In Stalin’s Secret Service - Expose of Russia’s Secret Policies by Former Chief of Soviet Intelligence in Western Europe 1929631030

Walter Krivitsky was the first Soviet spymaster to defect to the West in 1937. A classic text of espionage history last

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In Stalin’s Secret Service - Expose of Russia’s Secret Policies by Former Chief of Soviet Intelligence in Western Europe
 1929631030

Table of contents :
Stalin Appeases Hitler --
The End of the Communist International --
Stalin's Hand in Spain --
When Stalin Counterfeited Dollars --
The Ogpu --
Why Did they Confess? --
Why Stalin Shot his Generals --
My Break with Stalin.

Citation preview

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WITH AM INTRODUCTION BY SAM TANENHAUS, AUTHOR OF "WHITTAKER CHAMBERS

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«.-

SECRET SERVICE MEMOIRS OFflKEFIRSl

SOVIET MAS1ERSP1

TO DEFECT"

US. $27.00

)Sr in concentration

them. They had given their entire

had died

of Russia so long

had been

sped toward the Finnish border

ment, thinking of the

Mos-

my

my

As the

compart-

comrades,

camps, almost

my

all

of

build a better world, and

not under the bullets of an enemy but

it.

left to

respect or admire?

What

hero or heroine

of our revolution has not been broken and destroyed?

I

could

think of but few. All those whose personal integrity was absolutely

above question had gone

down

as "traitors," "spies," or

comxv

W. G. Krivitsky

mon

War when

the Civil a

my mind

criminals. Pictures flashed through

same

these

and

"traitors"



pictures of

"spies" faced death

thousand times without flinching; of the arduous days that

and the superhuman demands

lowed, of industrialization

upon

all

the rations to keep us alive. all

before

Through

fol-

made

barely

had

—sweeping

And then the great purge who had labored hardest

destroying those

it,

which man should no longer exploit

state in

when we

of us, of collectivization and famine

it

the long years of struggle

all

sacrifice, that a

last vestige

of the old has been destroyed. But could

Bolshevik Revolution to destroy

learned to repeat

of the old society can

only be attained with moral as well as physical

world can not come into being until the

man.

his fellow

we had

to ourselves that a victory over injustices

to build a

new

of the habits

be necessary for a

it

Bolsheviks? Was

it

the Bol-

shevik Revolution that was destroying them, or had that revolution

itself

then, but

I

long since perished?

asked them

.

.

At the age of thirteen ment.

It

was

did not answer these questions

.

I

had entered the working-class move-

a half-mature, half-childish act.

melodies of

tive

I

my

I

heard the plain-

mingled with new songs of

suffering race

freedom. But in 19171 was a youngster of eighteen, and the Bolshe-vik Revolution

came

to

me

as

problems of poverty, inequality and vik Party with faith as a I

had

my

whole

soul.

weapon with which

I

an absolute solution of

injustice.

I

joined the Bolshe-

seized the Marxist

to assault the

and Leninist

wrongs against which

instinctively rebelled.

During

all

the years that

I

served the Soviet government

never expected anything more than the right to continue I

never received anything more.

been

me

all

stabilized,

I

enough

after the Soviet

and that twice landed

sixteen to eighteen hours a day,

to cover the

traveling abroad,

my work.

power had

was sent abroad on assignments that exposed

to the danger of death,

worked from

Long

I

most ordinary living expenses.

would

live in

me

in prison.

I

and never earned I

myself,

moderate comfort, but

I

when

did not

my apartment in Moscow heated properly or pay the price of milk for my two-year-old earn enough, even as late as 1935, to keep

xvi

In Stalin's Secret Service

son.

I

was nor

much absorbed

too

and

in a strategic position,



my work

in

to

I

had no

desire



become one of the new

I

was

privi-

leged bureaucrats with a material stake in defending the Soviet order.

I

defended

it

because

I

believed

it

was leading the way

new and better society. The very fact that my work was concerned with ing

much

of what was happening within

in the small inner ficer

I

world of power

its

politics.

the defense

me from

of the country against foreign enemies prevented

to a

think-

borders and especially

As an

Intelligence of-

saw the external enemies of the Soviet Union much more

closely than cist plots

its

internal conspirators.

that were being hatched

on

I

knew of separatist and

foreign

but

soil,

contact with the intrigues inside the Kremlin.

I

saw

I

was out of

Stalin rise to

undivided power while Lenin's closer comrades perished

hands of the

state

they had created. But like

many

Fas-

others,

at the I

reas-

sured myself with the thought that whatever might be the mistakes of the leadership, the Soviet

Union was

still

sound and was

the hope of mankind.

There were occasions when even occasions when,

if I

new

have chosen a

when

starvation,

and that

But always events

and

I

meant I

life

knew

might part

in the service of Stalin.

that Stalin's ruthless policies

for the

had caused

it,

state's help,

I

Germany and there destroy everything human spirit. Stalin was an enemy of Hitler in

remained in the service of Stalin.

In February, 1934, a similar

Marino Sanatorium

dilemma confronted me and

I

taking

my annual month's rest at

in the province

of Kursk, Central Russia.

made the same choice. I was then the

I

some other

was deliberately withholding the

saw Hitler take power and

me

in

the Russian people were dying by the millions of

Stalin

that

was badly shaken,

could have seen any hope elsewhere, course.

of the world would conspire to keep In 1933,

this faith

Marino was once the palace of Prince Buryatin, the conqueror of the Caucasus.

The

palace was in the resplendent style of Versailles,

surrounded by beautiful English parks and

torium had an excellent

staff

artificial lakes.

The sana-

of physicians, athletic instructors,

nurses and servants. Within walking distance of

its

enclosed xvi 1

W. G. Krivitsky

grounds was the

state

guests with food.

A

passing

on the

farm where peasants labored to provide

its

sentry at the gate kept the peasants from tres-

enclosure.

One morning soon

after

my arrival

I

walked with a compan-

The

ion to the village where these peasants lived.

beheld was appalling. Half-naked

little

spectacle

I

brats ran out of dilapi-

dated huts to beg us for a piece of bread. In the peasants' cooperative store was neither food nor fuel

— nothing

Everywhere the most abject poverty dismayed

my

depressed

was

bitterly cold,

ward the window.



I

saw the

the bezprizornii



of

an excellent supper.

after

but within, a roaring fireplace gave us

cozy warmth. By some chance

dren

and

eyes

in the brilliantly lighted dining hall

Marino, everyone was chatting gaily it

my

spirits.

That evening seated Outside,

to be had.

turned suddenly and looked to-

I

feverish eyes of

their little

cold panes. Soon others followed

hungry peasant

chil-

faces glued like pictures to the

my glance,

servant that the intruders be driven

off.

and gave orders

Almost every night

a

to a

few

of these children would succeed in eluding the sentry and sneak

up

to the palace in search

of something to

eat. I

sometimes slipped

out of the dining hall with bread for them, but

I

did this secretly

among us. Soviet officials against human suffering:

because the practice was frowned upon

have developed a stereotyped defense

"We wayside.

are

We

to socialism. Many must fall by the must be well fed and must recuperate from our la-

on the hard road

few weeks each

bors, enjoying, for a others, because

We

we

are the builders

tinue

on the hard

year,

comforts

still

denied to

are the builders of a Joyous Life in the future.

of socialism.

road.

We

must keep

Any unfortunates who

in shape to con-

cross

our path

will

be taken care of in due time. In the meanwhile, out of our way!

Don't pester us with your crumb, the goal

itself

may

it

runs.

And

peace of

mind

in that

So

it

is

suffering! If

we

XVlll

you

a

never be reached."

obvious that people protecting their

way

are

not going to be too squeamish

about the turns in the road, or inquire too really leading to the

stop to drop

Joyous Life or not.

critically

whether

it is

In Stalin's Secret Service

was an

It

from Marino. the

Moscow

room,

and

I

and

wandered into the

third-class

never be able to obliterate from

my mind

to spare,

shall

I

The

saw.

waiting

children, peasants

I

room was jammed

—about

full

was so

frightful that for a fleeting instant

flying over these tortured beings.

—on

thought

Many of them

their

saw bats

I

naked

lay almost

room. Others were manifestly dying of typhus

in the cold

Hunger, pain, desolation, or fering,

I

women, way The scene

of men,

hundred of them

six

herd of cattle from one prison camp to another.

like a

men

my way home

express. After eating a hearty breakfast in the lunch-

had time

I still

reached Kursk on

I

entered the railway station to await the arrival of

I

waiting room.

what

morning when

icy

were on every

just

While

face.

dumb I

half-dead submissive suf-

stood there, hard-faced militia-

of the ogpu undertook to rouse and herd them out

drove of

pushing and kicking the

cattle,

most too weak

to walk.

One

fever.

old man,

and those

stragglers I

saw

as

like a al-

turned away,

I

would never

rise

tachment,

knew, of the horde of millions of honest peasant

families

I

whom

longer means

from the

floor.

them

Stalin, calling

much more

This was but one mournful de-

"kulaks," a

name which no

than victim, had rooted up and trans-

ported and destroyed. I

also

ruary,

knew, however, that

1934

shelling the

had



at that

very

moment

Fascist field pieces in the streets



it

of Vienna were

model workers' apartment houses which the

built. Fascist

workers in their

was Feb-

socialists

machine guns were mowing down the Austrian last

desperate stand for socialism. Everywhere

Fascism was on the march. Everywhere the forces of reaction

were gaining ground. The Soviet Union of mankind. is,

of Stalin,

I

seemed the

sole

remained in the service of the Soviet Union

its

Two years

still

hope



that

master.

later

and Hitler pour

came the Spanish

their

men and

tragedy,

and

I

saw Mussolini

munitions to the aid of Franco,

Blum of France, a Socialist, was drawn in on game of "non-intervention" which doomed the

while Premier Leon the hypocritical

Spanish Republic.

and not enough

I

saw

—come

Stalin



belatedly to be sure,

and

timidly,

to the aid of the beleaguered republic.

I

xix

W. G. Krivitsky

still felt

that, as a choice

between

was fighting on the

evils, I

right

side.

But then came the turning point.

watched

I

Stalin,

while col-

lecting hard cash for his belated help, drive a knife into the

of the Loyalist government.

back

saw the purge assume insane pro-

I

Moscow, sweeping away the entire Bolshevik Party. I transported to Spain. And at the same time, from my van-

portions in

saw

it

tage point in the Intelligence Service,

of secret friendship to Hitler.

I

saw

I

Stalin extend the

saw him, while thus paying court

to the Nazi leader, execute the great generals of the

Tukhachevsky, and the other chiefs with I

had worked

hand

Red Army,

whom and under whom

of the Soviet Union and of

for years in the defense

socialism.



And then Stalin made his final demand upon me the demand he made upon all responsible officials who wished to escape the firing squads of the OGPU.

by delivering a close comrade into offer.

what

I I

its

must prove

I

clutches.

I

my

loyalty

declined the

I forced my eyes to remain open to my mind to know that, whether there

broke with Stalin.

had

seen.

I

forced

was any other hope in the world or not, tarian despot

who

differed

I

was serving

from Hitler only

phrases, the relic of his Marxist training



a totali-

in the Socialist

Socialist phrases to

which he hypocritically clung. I

the

broke with Stalin, and began to

fall

of 1937,

when he was

tell

the truth about him, in

successfully deceiving public opin-

ion and the statesmen of both Europe and America with his insincere denunciations of Hitler.

meaning people lions

to

remain

who had perished

Although advised by many well-

silent,

in Stalin's

compulsory famine; the millions

I

spoke out.

compulsory still

I

spoke for the mil-

collectivization

living at forced labor

concentration camps; the hundreds of thousands of

my

shot.

It

took the

final overt act

of

in

former

Bolshevik comrades in prison, the thousands and thousands

had been

and

and

who

Stalin's treachery, his

pact with Hitler, to convince a large public of the madness of hon-

oring him, of closing eyes to his monstrous crimes in the hope that he

xx

might carry a gun

in the armies

of democracy.

In Stalin's Secret Service

Now that Stalin

has

shown

his

hand,

who

time for others

it is

remained silent for shortsighted or strategic reasons, to speak out.

A

few have already done

so.

Luis

De

Araquistain, former ambas-

sador to France of the Loyalist government, has helped to dis-

abuse world opinion as to the character of Stalin's "help" to the

Spanish Republic. Largo Caballero, the former Spanish Premier, has also spoken.

There of them

are others

is

Romain

upon whom

Rolland.

rests

The

One

an obligation to speak.

help that this renowned author

gave to totalitarianism by covering the horrors of Stalin's dictatorship with the mantle of his great prestige,

many

years Rolland

incalculable. For

conducted a correspondence with

who was

Gorky, the noted Russian novelist. Gorky,

comradely with

is

Stalin,

and even exercised

at

a restraining

Maxim

one time

hand upon

him, no doubt played a part in bringing Rolland into the camp of the fellow travelers.

Gorky was

During the

last

months of his

life,

however,

him permission

a virtual prisoner. Stalin refused

to

go

abroad for his health. His mail was censored, and by special order the letters from Stalin's

head

Romain Rolland were

secretary,

and

intercepted by Stetsky, then

filed in Stalin's cabinet.

quieted at his friend's failure to answer his other friend, the assistant director of the

asking what was the matter. During the

wrote to an-

Moscow Art Theater, Moscow treason trial

last

the world was told that Gorky, supposedly

poisoned by Yagoda. At the time of this

letters,

Rolland, dis-

still

trial,

Stalin's friend,

was

in an interview with

the eminent writer Boris Souvarine, published in

La

Fleche,

ex-

I

Romain Rolland why his letters had not been delivered. I asked him to make a statement on the fact that his letters to Maxim Gorky were intercepted by Stalin. He remained silent. Will

plained to

he speak

now

that Stalin has openly joined hands with Hitler?

Eduard Benes, the former president of Czechoslovakia, has an account to

also

settle. When Tukhachevsky and the Red Army chiefs

were executed in June,

1

937, the shock to Europe was so great, the

disbelief in their guilt so stubborn, that Stalin

was forced

to seek a

channel to convince Western democratic governments that the

conqueror of Kolchak and Denikine was a Nazi

spy.

At

Stalin's

xxi

W. G. Krivitsky

direction the OGPU, in collaboration with the Intelligence Service

of the Red Army, prepared a dossier of the alleged evidence against the

Red generals

for transmission to the

Czech government. Eduard

Benes was then so certain that Stalin would fight for Czechoslovakia that he apparently took this evidence at Let Benes

now

recall

and re-examine,

face value.

in the light

events, the character of the evidence prepared

the

its

of present

by the experts of

OGPU and decide whether he is free to remain silent. Now that it has become painfully clear that the worst way of

fighting Hitler

is

to mitigate the crimes of Stalin,

were maneuvered into that

folly

years have taught us anything,

ought to speak.

it is

that the

all

those

who

If these last tragic

march of totalitarian

barbarism cannot be halted by strategic retreats to positions of half-truth

which I

and falsehood. While no one can

civilized

think that

all

Europe

by

New York,

xxi 1

its

man

those not destined for the

will agree that truth

called

will restore to

real

must be the

first

dictate the

method by

his dignity

and worth,

camp of Hitler and Stalin,

weapon, and murder must be

name.

October,

1939

W. G. Krivitsky

I

Stalin Appeases Hitler

DURING blood

the night of June 30, 1934,

purge broke out and while

Stalin called in the Kremlin.

it

when was

Hitler's first

still

going on,

an extraordinary session of the Politbureau

Even before the news of the Hitler purge reached

the wide world, Stalin had decided

upon

his next

move

in rela-

tion to the Nazi regime. I

was then

at

my

post in the Intelligence Department of the

General Staff of the Red

was impending

in

Army

in

Moscow.

Germany. All our confidential dispatches had

prepared us for an outbreak. As soon

we began

as Hitler

to receive constant bulletins

That night

I

We knew that a crisis launched

his purge,

from Germany.

was working feverishly with a

staff

of assistants,

Politbureau

War Commissar Voroshilov. nonmembers summoned to that meeting of the were my chief, General Berzin; Maxim Litvinov,

Commissar

for Foreign Affairs; Karl

summarizing our information

Among

the

for

Radek, then director of

W. G. Krivitsky

the information bureau of the Central

Committee of the Com-

munist Party; and A. C. Artusov, chief of the Foreign Division of the ogpu.

The emergency meeting of the Politbureau had been

probable consequences of the Hitler purge,

to consider the

and

its effects

called

upon

Soviet foreign policy. Confidential informa-

tion in our possession

showed

that

two extreme wings of Hitler's

opponents were involved. There was the group led by Captain

modThey were dreaming of a "second revolution.'' The other group was composed of officers of the German army, under the leadership of Generals Schleicher and Bredow This circle

Rohm,

consisting of Nazi radicals dissatisfied with Hitler's

erate policies.

had looked forward hands with the

to a restoration

Rohm wing

of the monarchy.

joined

purpose of unseating Hitler,

for the

Our

each side hoping to emerge triumphant in the end.

special

from Germany brought the news, however, that the gar-

bulletins

risons in the metropolitan centers

that the

It

main body of army

remained

officers

loyal to Hitler

was true

to the

and

government.

In Western Europe and America, Hitler's purge was widely interpreted as a weakening of the Nazi power. In Soviet circles, too, there

were those

who wished

collapse of Hitler's rule. Stalin

up the discussion

"The events

had no such

it

foreshadowed the

illusions.

He summed

at the Politbureau as follows:

in

the Nazi regime.

to believe

Germany do not

On

at all indicate the collapse

the contrary, they are

bound

of

to lead to the

consolidation of that regime, and to the strengthening of Hitler himself."

General Berzin came back from the Kremlin session with

this

dictum of Stalin. In

that

my

anxiety to learn the decision of the Politbureau

I

had

We had a strict rule no one, not even the Commissar of War himself, could take

stayed

up

all

night awaiting Berzin's return.

confidential state papers

would have

The from

to

home with him, and

come back

to the

course of Soviet policy toward Nazi

Stalin's

dictum.

The

I

knew

that Berzin

department.

Germany

Politbureau decided at

all

followed

costs to in-

In Stalin's Secret Service

duce Hitler to make a deal with the Soviet government.

Stalin

had

always believed in coming to terms early with a strong enemy.

The

night of June 30 convinced

new course

ture in his policy toward

Nazi regime during the

The

He

six years

of

recognized in Hitler a

idea prevailing

and

Hitler

Stalin

He

Germany.

only decided to redouble

appease Hitler. His whole policy toward the

his past efforts to

direction.

him of Hitler's strength. It was no It marked no revolutionary depar-

for Stalin, however.

up

its

tent suitor

was the

to the recent

Russian-German pact that

were mortal enemies, was pure myth.

was

There was enmity on

It

was a

and the vapors of

The true picture of their relations was who would not be discouraged by

suitor.

lain in that

real dictator.

distorted picture, created by clever camouflage

propaganda.

had

existence

Hitler's side.

that of a persisrebuffs. Stalin

On Stalin's there

fear.

If

one can speak of a pro-German in the Kremlin,

been that figure

all

along.

right after Lenin's death,

when

He

Nazis strengthened

him

favored cooperation with

and he did not

Hitler rose to power.

On

tions,

a

in his quest for closer

And

must come Stalin's

been a

Berlin.

in the Far East.

respect for the "mighty" totalitar-

he was guided throughout by the rule that one

to terms

with a superior power.

whole international policy during the

series

last six

years has

of maneuvers designed to place him in a favorable

position for a deal with Hitler.

Nations,

bonds with

menace

profound contempt for the "weakling" democratic na-

and an equally profound

ian states.

Germany

alter this basic attitude

the contrary, the triumph of the

In this he was spurred on by the Japanese

He had

Stalin has

when he proposed

When

he joined the League of

the system of collective security,

he sought the hand of France, Britain, intervened in Spain,

flirted

when

with Poland, courted Great

he was calculating every move with

an eye upon Berlin. His hope was to get into such a position that Hitler

A

would

find

it

high point in

advantageous to meet his advances. this Stalin policy

was reached

late in

1936

upon the conclusion of a secret German-Japanese agreement, negotiated behind the smoke screen of the anti-Comintern pact.

— W. G. Krivitsky

The terms of that session, in the

incited

him

secret agreement,

main through

my

which came into

Stalin's

and those of

efforts

my

posstaff,

to a desperate attempt to drive a bargain with Hitler.

Early in 1937 such a deal was actually pending between them.

Nobody knows

to

was anticipated

at that time.

what extent the recent

was two years before

It

his friendly attitude

Stalin

and occupation of the Sudeten world-shaking Nazi conquests. friendly overtures to Hitler.

Hitler

later,

The

began to disclose to the world

toward Germany.

pronouncement following

his first

It

treaty of August, 1939,

On March 10,

areas, giving his

made

of Austria

answer to these

The world was astounded by Stalin's

was dumbfounded when, three days

marched into Czechoslovakia.

record of Stalin's policy of appeasement toward Hitler

both the open and the secret record gressive Hitler's policies



reveal that the

more

ag-

became, the more Stalin pressed his court-

And the more strenuously Stalin wooed him,

ship.

1939, he

Hitler's annexation

the bolder were

Hitler's aggressions.

Long

man

before the rise of Hitler, or even of Stalin, Soviet-Ger-

cooperation had been dictated by the pressure of events.

Moscow-Berlin

tie

A

had been formed more than ten years be-

Both the Soviet Union and the German republic were then being treated as outcasts; both were in disfavor with the Allies; both opposed the fore Hitler in the Rapallo pact of 1922.

Versailles system.

mutual It is

was a

traditional business

bonds and

now common knowledge that during those ten years there arrangement between the Reichswehr the German and the Red Army. Soviet Russia permitted the German



secret



army

They had

interests.

republic to evade the Versailles prohibitions against training lery

and tank

officers,

artil-

and developing aviation and chemical war-

These things were done on Soviet

The Red Army, on German military knowledge. The two armies exchanged information. It is also common knowledge that trade between Soviet Russia and Germany flourished during that decade. The Germans invested capital and fare.

the other hand, got the benefit of expert

soil.

In Stalin's Secret Service

operated concessions in the Soviet Union.

The

Soviet govern-

ment imported machinery and engineering personnel from Germany.

Such was the situation when

menacing

Hitler's

figure arose.

Some seven or eight months before his ascent to power, in the early summer of 1932, I met in Danzig one of the high officers of the German general staff, a confirmed monarchist who came from Berlin expressly to meet me. He was an old-school military man and believed in the restoration of the German Empire in cooperation with Russia. I

asked this officer for his opinion on Germany's policy in the

event Hitler became the head of the government. Hitler's views, as outlined in his officer gave

me

his analysis

We

discussed

book, Mein Kampf.The

German

of coming developments, and con-

come and do his job. And then we, the army, will make short work of him." I asked the officer if he would be good enough to submit his cluded: "Let Hitler

views in writing for

do

so.

me

to forward to

His report created a

stir in

Moscow, and he agreed

Kremlin

view there was that military and economic

and Russia were disregard them.

Bolshevism

as a

The

circles. ties

prevailing

between Germany

so deep-rooted that Hitler could not possibly

Moscow understood

Hitler's

maneuver on the road

fulminations against

to power.

They had

their

function. But they could not change the basic interests of the countries,

which were bound

Stalin himself derives

German

officer.

to

Although

sure toward the east," he

to

make

two

for cooperation.

much comfort from fully alive to the

was habituated

the report of the

Nazi doctrine of "presto the tradition

of col-

Red Army and the Reichswehr, and had a wholesome respect for the German army and its leadership under General Von Seeckt. The report of the German staff officer dovetailed with his own views. Stalin looked upon the Nazi movement primarily as a reaction to the Versailles peace. It seemed to him that all Germany would do under Hitler was to throw off the shackles of Versailles. The Soviet government had been the first laboration between the

to

hammer

at

them. Indeed,

Moscow and

Berlin

had

originally

W. G. Krivitsky

been drawn together by their of the

common

opposition to the rapacity

allied victors.

For these reasons, Stalin to break the secret his best to

keep

it

made no

Berlin-Moscow

in force.

It

effort after the rise

On

tie.

of Hitler

the contrary, he tried

was Hitler who, during

his first three

Red and He only became

years, gradually dissolved the intimate link between the

the

German

armies. But this did not deter Stalin.

more assiduous in the pursuit of Hitler's friendship. On December 28, 1933, eleven months after Hitler became chancellor, Premier Molotov, speaking before the Congress of

Soviets, asserted Stalin's adherence to the

former German

policy:

"Our

relations

with

Germany have

place in our international relations

cause

on

The

its

.

.

always occupied a distinct .

The

Soviet

part for any change of policy toward

Union has no

Germany."

following day, before the same Congress, Foreign

Com-

missar Litvinov went even further than Molotov in pleading for

an understanding with outlined in ries.

He

Hitler. Litvinov described the

Mein Kampffov

the reconquest of all

spoke of the Nazi determination, "by

pave the way for expansion in the

east,

program

German

fire

territo-

and sword,

without stopping

to

at the

borders of the Soviet Union, and to enslave the peoples of this

Union."

"We and

And

he went on to

say:

Germany by

have been connected with

political relations for ten years.

try

which would have nothing

its

consequences.

economic

We were the only great coun-

do with the

We renounced the

this treaty reserved for us.

foreign trade.

to

close

rights

Versailles Treaty

and

and advantages which

Germany assumed

first

place in our

Both Germany and ourselves have derived extraor-

dinary advantages from the political and economic relation established

between

tee: 'Especially

many was

us. (President Kalinin,

Germany!')

able to speak

On

of the Executive

Commit-

the basis of these relations, Ger-

more boldly and confidently to her victors

of yesterday."

This hint, emphasized by President Kalinin's exclamation, was designed to remind Hitler of Soviet Russia's help in enabling

him

In Stalin's Secret Service

to challenge the Versailles victors. Litvinov then

made

the follow-

ing formal declaration:

we want to have the best relations. The Soviet Union and Germany will gain nothing by benefit from such relations. We, on our side, have no desire for "With Germany,

as

with other

states,

expansion, either in the west or the east or in any other direction.

We would like to

hear

Hitler did not say

Germany it.

But

say the

same thing

to us."

that did not deter Stalin.

It

encour-

aged him to a more strenuous courtship of the Nazi regime.

On

January 26, 1934, Stalin himself, addressing the Seven-

Communist

teenth

Party Congress, continued the drive for an

appeasement of Hitler. Hitler had then been year.

He had

rebuffed

all

of Moscow's

in

power

exactly

political advances,

one

although

he had entered into a trade deal on favorable credit terms with Soviet Russia. Stalin interpreted this as a sign of political

He

will.

referred to those

good

Nazi elements which favored a return to

"the policy of the ex-Kaiser of

Germany, who

at

one time occu-

pied the Ukraine, undertook a march against Leningrad, and trans-

formed the

Baltic countries into

There had been a change, he

an encampment for

German

said, in

this

policy,

march."

which he

attributed not to the theories of National Socialism, but to a desire to its

cist

avenge Versailles.

He denied that Soviet Russia had changed

policy toward Berlin because of "the establishment of a Fas-

regime in Germany," and stretched out his hand to Hitler with

these words:

"Of course we gime

in

are far

from enthusiastic about the

Germany. But Fascism

is

not the issue here,

Fascist reif

only for

the reason that Fascism, in Italy for example, did not prevent the

Soviet

Union from

establishing

good

relations with that coun-

try." Stalin's

outstretched

hand was ignored

in Berlin. Hitler

had

other ideas on the subject. But Stalin would not be discouraged.

He

only decided upon a change of method. Viewing the Nazi

agitation for an anti-Soviet bloc as a Hitler,

he resolved to respond to

it

maneuver on the part of

with a counter-maneuver.

Henceforth, the Soviet government would appear

as

an upholder

W. G. Krimtsky of the Versailles system, would join the League of Nations, would even associate with the anti-German bloc.

The

threat involved in

such a course, Stalin thought, would bring Hitler to his senses.

pave the way for

Stalin picked a brilliant journalist to

must be remembered that an

ersault. It

had been brought up the

in the belief that the Versailles Treaty

Soviet

band of pirates.

government

in the

There was onlv one

man

It

was no simple task

saw

I

1934



munist

to prepare Russian

this

subsequently

for his

tactics.

a great deal of

Radek

in those days

at the

headquarters of the Central

The Inner

Circle in

ing a build-up toward the articles

coming

were to appear

Communist and



in

in

the early spring of

Committee of the Com-

Moscow was

then buzzing with

series

Kremlin

of articles form-

policy.

both Pravda and

Soviet organs.

Izvestia, the

They would be

throughout the world and carefully studied in

all

reprinted

European chancel-

Radek's task was to whitewash the Versailles peace, to her-

leries.

ald a

up the

of January, 1937.

trial

about Radek's assignment to prepare a

leading

au-

Versailles.

and world opinion

Party.

The

was

and foreign con-

man who

plaved such a tragic role in the great

change of

its

Union who could do

sumption. That was Karl Radek, the

Radek

to dress

costume of a defender of the in the Soviet

publicitv stunt adequately both for domestic

Stalin picked

som-

entire Soviet generation

most pernicious instrument ever drawn up, and that

thors were a

talk

this

new

thizers

era of friendship

with

Paris, to

persuade Soviet sympa-

abroad that such a stand was harmonious with

commu-

nism, and at the same time to leave the door open for an agree-

ment with Germany. I

was

knew, because of my frequent

in daily consultation

with

calls at

Stalin.

Radek's

office, that

he

Sometimes he would dash

over to Stalin's office several times a day. Every phrase he wrote

was subject

to Stalin's personal supervision.

every sense a joint labor of

While

efforts

articles

were in

Stalin.

these articles were in preparation,

was keeping on with April, he

Radek and

The

Commissar Litvinov

toward an agreement with

Hitler. In

proposed to Germany a joint undertaking, to preserve

Secret Service

In Stalin's

and guarantee the independence and states. Berlin rejected

of the Baltic

inviolability

the proposal.

The Radek article was

hailed widely as foreshadowing a Soviet

turn toward France and the Little Entente, and away from Ger-

many. "German Fascism and Japanese imperialism," wrote Radek, of the world

"are in a struggle for a redivision



a struggle di-

rected against the Soviet Union, against France, Poland, Czecho-

Romania, and the

slovakia,

United States of America.

Baltic states; against

And

British imperialism

direct this struggle exclusively against the Soviet

At that

I

time

this

I

had quite

was familiar with

Radek would thing

loose a flood of talk:

Union."

He knew made some remark about

I

"Only

Germany. What

the realities are something

Germany

like to

it

was creating

in

circles.

let

ever break with



would

a conversation with Radek.

his assignment.

our "new policy" and spoke of the impression

uninformed

China and the

else.

fools can

imagine we

am writing here is one No one can give us what I

has given us. For us to break with

Germany

is

simply

impossible."

Radek continued me. very

to discourse along lines only too familiar to

He spoke of our relations much in the saddle even

big business in

Germany

with the

under

—was not

industrialists? Surely Hitler

German

trade with us. These

two

thumb of the

against the general

Russia. Surely Hitler

business circles,

forces

army, which was

of our relations with

Hitler under the

would not go

which favored cooperation with cross swords with

German

Hitler,

staff,

would not

who were doing a large

pillars

of German-Soviet

who thought

that Soviet Russia

were the

relations.

He denounced

as idiots those

should turn against

Communists and its

one thing. interests

Its leader,

members were It

because of the Nazi persecution of

Socialists. True, the

many was smashed. sands of

Germany

Communist

Thaelmann, was

Party of Ger-

in prison.

in concentration camps.

was something

else

when one

Thou-

But that was

considered the

vital

of Soviet Russia. Those interests demanded a continua-

tion of the policy of collaboration with the

German

Reich.

W. G. Krivitsky

As with

for the articles

was

facts? It

he was writing, what did they have to do a matter of big politics.

all

was a necessary

It

maneuver. Stalin had no idea of breaking with Germany. contrary, he

was seeking

All of this

to

draw Berlin

On

the

Moscow.

closer to

who were on the None of us dreamed, in the spring with Germany was possible. We all re-

was elementary to those of us

inside of the Kremlin

policy.

of 1934, that a rupture garded the Radek

articles as Stalinist strategy.

Litvinov went off on a tour of the European capitals, ostensibly in the interests of the so-called Eastern Locarno pact which

was to

insure,

by mutual agreement of

all

the governments con-

cerned, the existing boundaries of the nations in Eastern Europe.

He

Geneva. His

visited

visit filled

the world with rumors of a

coming Franco-Russian rapprochement, crowning the work begun by Radek's

articles.

At the same time,

to assert at the Politbureau:

"And

Stalin

continued doggedly

nevertheless,

we must

get to-

gether with the Germans."

On June

13, 1934, Litvinov

stopped in Berlin to confer with

Baron Konstantin von Neurath, then

Hitler's Foreign Minister.

Germany to join in his proposed Eastern EuroVon Neurath firmly declined the invitation, and bluntly pointed out that such an arrangement would perpetuate the Litvinov invited

pean

pact.

When

Moscow might strengthen its treaties with other nations by military alliances, Von Neurath replied that Germany was willing to risk such an encircle-

Versailles system.

Litvinov intimated that

ment.

The

following day, on June 14, Hitler

met Mussolini

in Venice

for luncheon. Stalin

Through

was not discouraged by

this latest rebuff

the Soviet trade envoys, he

persuade the leading

German

circles

had

all

from

Berlin.

along endeavored to

of his sincerity in seeking an

understanding with Hitler, allowing them to intimate that Mos-

cow would go

a long

way

At the same time,

10

in

making concessions

Stalin tried to

to

Germany.

induce Poland to define her

policy to the disadvantage of Germany.

Nobody knew at that time

which way Poland was going, and

a special session

of the

In Stalin's Secret Service

Politbureau was called to consider this problem. Litvinov and

Radek,

of the Commissariat of War,

as well as the representative

took the view that Poland could be influenced to join hands with

The only one who

Soviet Russia.

disagreed with this view was

Artusov, the chief of the Foreign Division of the ogpu.

He

con-

sidered the prospects of a Polish-Soviet accord illusory. Artusov, a bit rash in thus

opposing the majority of the Politbureau, was cut

short by Stalin himself: "You are misinforming the Politbureau."

This remark of Stalin traveled devil"

Artusov was regarded

quent events proved Artusov fold,

fast in

right.

He had joined the

and the Bolshevik Party

for a while.

in Czarist Russia as a

movement

revolutionary

in 1917.

The "dare-

man. Subse-

Poland joined the German

and that may have saved Artusov

who had taken up residence

the inner circle.

as already a finished

He was

before the

Of small

a Swiss

French teacher.

World War

stature, gray haired,

wearing a goatee, a lover of music, Artusov had married a Russian

woman and

and executed

The

Moscow. In 1937 he was

raised a family in

in the great purge.

fiasco

with Poland increased

need of appeasing

Hitler.

lin his readiness for

He

name but

conviction of the

an amicable arrangement. Hitler's blood purge

demonstrated for the

how

Stalin's

used every avenue to convey to Ber-

of June 30 immensely raised him in

he knew

arrested

first

Stalin's

time to the

men in

to wield power, that he

in deed. If Stalin

estimation. Hitler

was a

had

the Kremlin the that dictator,

had doubts before

not only in

as to Hitler's ability

to rule with an iron hand, to crush opposition, to assert his au-

thority even over potent political

were

now

master, a

dispelled.

man

From now

on, Stalin recognized in Hitler a

up

his challenge to the world. This,

able to back

more than anything

and military forces, those doubts

else,

was responsible

for Stalin's decision

on

the night of June 30 to secure at whatever cost an understanding

with the Nazi regime.

Two weeks gan

Izvestia,

later,

on July

attempted to

15,

raise before Berlin the

bugaboo of

He

ended, how-

Moscow's alignment with the ever,

with

this

Radek, writing in the Soviet or-

Versailles powers.

contrary note: 11

W. G. Krivitsky

"There

is

no reason why

Germany and

Fascist

should not get on together, inasmuch Fascist Italy are

good

Hitler's warning,

many was willing to a

move

The

ence.

much tion.

conveyed through Von Neurath, that Ger-

risk encirclement,

At

Army and

the

trade relations between the therefore looked

Moscow

maneuver

Not

was what sent

as a

his

still

in exist-

two countries were very

upon

Hitler's political course

for a favorable diplomatic posi-

he decided to respond to

to be outflanked,

maneuver of

Stalin off on

this time, the close relations

German army were

alive. Stalin

toward

Union and

as the Soviet

friends."

for counter-encirclement.

between the Red

Soviet Russia

it

by a wide

own.

Litvinov was sent back to Geneva. There in late November,

1934, he negotiated with Pierre Laval a preliminary joint agree-

ment envisaging

a mutual-assistance pact

open

Russia, purposively left col

was signed Four days

in

relations

powers to

Geneva on December

later,

Union never

Soviet

for other

between France and join.

This proto-

5.

Litvinov issued the following statement: "The ceases especially to desire the best all-around

with Germany. Such,

of France towards Germany.

I

am

The

confident,

is

also the attitude

Eastern European pact would

make

possible the creation

tions

between these three countries,

and further development of such as well as

rela-

between the other

signatories to the pact."

To

this

opened

maneuver Hitler did

to the Soviet

couraged.

The

at last

respond. Large credits were

government. Stalin was tremendously en-

financial interests of

Germany

were, in his judg-

ment, forcing Hitler's hand.

Anthony Eden, Pierre Laval and Eduard Benes were visiting Moscow, Stalin scored what he considered his greatest triumph. The Reichbank granted a long-term loan In the spring of 1935, while

of 200,000,000 gold marks to the Soviet government.

On the evening of August 2, other

members of his

Division of the OGPU.

on 12

his

famous

1935,

staff at the It

first flight

1

was with Artusov and the

Lubianka

offices

of the Foreign

was on the eve of Levanevsky's take-off across the

North Pole from Moscow

to

In Stalin's Secret Service

We

San Francisco. Levanevsky and

his

were

all

waiting for a car to take us to see

two companions

start for

were waiting and looking up papers in the relations with the

America. While

safes,

we

the subject of our

Nazi regime came up. Artusov produced a

highly confidential report just received from one of our leading agents in Berlin.

worrying

Stalin:

It

was prepared

in

answer to the question

What and how strong are the

forces in

Germany

favoring an accord with the Soviet Union?

After an exceptionally interesting review of the internal eco-

nomic and

political conditions in

Germany, of the elements of

possible discontent, of Berlin's relations with France

and other

powers, and of the dominant influences surrounding Hitler, our

correspondent arrived "All

are

at this conclusion:

of the Soviet attempts to appease and conciliate Hitler

doomed. The main

obstacle to an understanding with

cow is Hitler himself." The report made a profound impression upon logic

and

boss" took

ing

seemed unanswerable.

facts it.

Artusov remarked that

Germany remained unshaken. "Do you know what the boss

of

us. Its

We wondered how the Stalin's

"big

optimism concern-

said at the last

Politbureau?" Artusov observed with a

quoted

all

Mos-

meeting of the

wave of the hand. And he

Stalin:

"Well, now, us such loans?

how can Hitler make war on us when he has granted impossible. The business circles in Germany

It's

are too powerful,

and they

In September, 1935,

are in the saddle."

I left

for

Western Europe

to take

up

my

new post as Chief of the Military Intelligence there. Within a month I

flew back to

Moscow.

My hurried

return trip was caused by an

extraordinary development. I

discovered, in taking over our Intelligence network, that one

of our agents in

Germany had come upon

the

trail

of secret ne-

gotiations between the Japanese military attache in Berlin, Lieu-

tenant General Hiroshi Oshima, and Baron Joachim von Ribbentrop, then Hitler's unofficial minister for special foreign relations.

13

W. G. Krivitsky

I

decided that these negotiations were a matter of such para-

mount concern

to the Soviet

ceptional attention

no routine

affair. I

our disposal. For

on

government that they required

my part. To watch

their progress

needed for the task the boldest and best this

purpose

came back

headquarters.

I

sary authority

and means

to

I

returned to

Moscow

Holland armed with

to pursue to the bitter

all

ex-

would be

men

at

to consult

the neces-

end the quest

for

information on the Oshima-Ribbentrop conversations.

These conversations were carried on outside ordinary diplo-

The Japanese ambassador in Berlin and the German Foreign Office were not involved. Von Ribbentrop, Hitler's matic channels.

envoy extraordinary, was handling the matter privately with the Japanese general. By the end of 1935, the information in possession tiations

showed beyond

a

shadow of doubt

my

that the nego-

were progressing toward a definite objective.

We knew,

of course, that that objective was to checkmate the Soviet

Union.

We also knew that the Japanese

to

The Tokyo

militarists

been anx-

special anti-

had shown themselves willing

go to any lengths to obtain from Berlin

patents in

for years

and models of Germany's

ious to secure the plans aircraft guns.

army had

all

weapons of warfare. This was the

the latest technical

starting point for the

German-Japanese negotiations. Stalin kept in close

touch with developments. Apparently

Moscow decided to try to spike the negotiations by publicity. in January, 1936, reports

Early

began to appear in the Western Euro-

pean press that some kind of secret agreement had been concluded between

Germany and Japan.

On January

mier Molotov referred publicly to these reports. Berlin

10, Soviet Pre-

Two

and Tokyo denied that there was any substance

days

later,

in the ru-

mors.

The only

effect

of the publicity was to increase the secrecy of

the negotiations and to force the

German and

Japanese govern-

ments

to devise some mask for their real treaty. Throughout 1936, all the world capitals were

and private reports of the German-Japanese 14

astir

deal.

with public

Diplomatic

In Stalin's Secret Service

everywhere buzzed with exciting speculation.

Moscow

pressed hard for documentary proof of the agreement.

My men

circles

Germany were risking their lives, in the face of almost insuperable difficulties. They knew that no expense was too high, no hazin

ard too great. It

was known to us that the Nazi

and had

ing,

in

its

was intercept-

secret service

possession, copies of the

coded messages ex-

changed during the negotiations between General Oshima and Tokyo. Late in July, 1936,

tostatic

form by our men

ment and

The less

received

word

correspondence had

this confidential

provide us with

1

all

in Berlin.

of

The channel thus opened would from Oshima to his govern-

future messages

back.

of the following days, when

strain

material was

I

file

been secured in pho-

at last

had

I

knew

that this price-

our hands, but had to await

in

from Germany, was nearly unbearable.

and

that the complete

its

safe arrival

No chances could be taken

to wait patiently.

On August

8,

word came through

that the carrier of the cor-

German frontier and was due in Amsterdam. I was in Rotterdam when the message arrived. I got into my automobile, accompanied by an aide, and made a dash for Amsterdam. On the way we met our agent, who was speeding to respondence had crossed the

deliver the material to

"Here of film I



We've got

it is.

the form in

went

We stopped on the highway.

me.

it,"

straight to

we had

in

whom we

Moscow waiting I

and handed all

rolls

The Oshima correspondence was first-class

had scoured Moscow for the arrival

to find.

in

also

could not keep

I

of the documents by

get ready to fly to Paris at a

I

Japanese-language ex-

could not send coded messages from Holland.

men

me some

our mail.

our possession the Japanese code book.

had, awaiting us in Haarlem, a pert,

said,

Haarlem, where we had a secret photo-

graphic developing room. code, but

he

which we usually put

moment's

I

courier,

and

had one of our

notice, to send off a

long message to Moscow. I

saw, as

it

was being decoded, that

I

had before

me

the entire

sheaf of Oshima's correspondence with Tokyo, reporting step by 15

W. G. Krivitsky

step

all

tions

his negotiations

with Von Ribbentrop, and also the sugges-

him by

conveyed to

his

government. General Oshima

re-

ported that his negotiations were being conducted under the per-

who

sonal supervision of Hitler,

Ribbentrop and gave him

frequently conferred with

Von

instructions. His correspondence re-

vealed that the purpose of the negotiations was the conclusion of a secret pact to coordinate

kyo

in

Western Europe

the

all

moves made by Berlin and To-

No

as well as in the Pacific.

reference to

Communist International, and no suggestion of any move against communism, was contained in this correspondence coverthe

ing

more than

a year of negotiations.

Under the terms of the

many undertook

to regulate

Europe or

to China,

in the Pacific

Berlin also agreed to place

the disposal of Tokyo

its

and

Japan and Ger-

between themselves

Union and

lating to the Soviet either in

secret agreement,

and

matters

re-

no action

without consulting each other.

improvements

to

all

to take

in

weapons of war

at

exchange military missions with

Japan.

At with

five o'clock

my coded

one afternoon,

message.

I

returned

my

courier took off for Paris

home and took

a rest for sev-

From then on, all correspondence between General Oshima and Tokyo flowed regularly through our hands. It revealed finally that a secret pact had been drawn up and initialed by General Oshima and Von Ribbentrop. The pact was so worded as to extend the field of cooperation between Japan and Germany to

eral days.

include interests beyond

China and Soviet

There was but one problem secret agreement; Hitler as a device for

to settle:

Russia.

How to

camouflage the

decided to draft the anti-Comintern pact

misleading world opinion.

On November

25, in the presence of

all

the envoys of the

foreign powers in Berlin, with the exception of the Soviet Union,

the anti-Comintern pact was signed by the official representatives

of the governments of

document

Germany and

Japan.

The

pact

consisting of a couple of brief clauses.

is

a public

Behind

it lies

concealed a secret agreement, the existence of which has never

been acknowledged. 16

In Stalin's Secret Service

Stalin was, of course, in possession of

which

had uncovered.

I

government knew

all

He decided

about

it.

all

show

to

the proofs of this

Hitler that the Soviet

Foreign Commissar Litvinov was

assigned to spring the surprise

upon

On November

Berlin.

28

addressing an extraordinary session of the Congress of Soviets, Litvinov said:

Well-informed people refuse to believe that in order

draw up the two meager

to

which have been

articles

published of the German-Japanese agreement,

it

was

necessary to conduct negotiations for fifteen months; that these negotiations should have been entrusted to a

Japanese general and a

German super-diplomat, and that

they should have been conducted in extraordinary crecy and kept secret even from official

As

diplomacy

is

.

German and

Japanese

.

German-Japanese agreement which has

for the

been published, for

.

se-

I

would recommend

any meaning in

it,

since

it

to

really has

you not

to seek

no meaning.

It

only a cover for another agreement which was simul-

taneously discussed and initiated, probably also signed,

and which was not published and

is

not intended for

publication. I assert,

realizing the full

weight of

was to the working out of this the

word communism

is

my

words, that in

which

not even mentioned, that

fifteen

secret

document,

months of negotiations between the Japanese attache

it

military

and the German super-diplomat were devoted

.

.

.

This agreement with Japan will tend to extend any

war which breaks out on one continent if

not more than two, continents.

Needless to

As

umph.

to at least two,

for I

say,

my own

there

was consternation

share in this

was recommended

mendation was approved the time of the

all

affair,

for the

I

Moscow

hailed

it

as a tri-

Order of Lenin. The recom-

along the

Red Army purge.

in Berlin.

line,

but got

never received

lost sight

of at

it.

17

W. G. Krivitsky

An American sequel to to

the German-Japanese secret pact

my attention when I was already in

came

the United States. In Janu-

ary, 1939, Hitler appointed his personal aide, Capt. Fritz

Wiedemann, consul had been

Private Hitler's

one of the

commanding

is

tors.

The appointment of such

Ftihrer's

officer in

most intimate and trusted collabora-

and

on the

Wiedemann the World War

general at San Francisco. Fritz

a figure to a seemingly

Pacific suggests the significance

of the German-Japanese

secret agreement. Hitler included in his plans

of joint maneuvers with Japan in the

minor post

even the possibility

Pacific.

Oshima was elevated from military attache to Japanese ambassador to Germany in October, 1938, and presented his credentials to Hitler on November 22, last. Now, what was the effect of the Berlin-Tokyo pact upon the Lieutenant General

Kremlin's foreign policy?

How

did Stalin react to Hitler's en-

veloping operation against the Soviet Union? Stalin

of maneuvers he executed on the surface

series

open

continued his two simultaneous courses of action. The

He

record.

special treaty

is

a matter

of

strengthened his association with France by a

and pressed

for

an

alliance.

He

tual-assistance pact with Czechoslovakia.

entered into a

He

launched the

united-front campaign throughout the anti-Fascist world.

had Litvinov inaugurate the crusade

mu-

He

for collective security, de-

all the great and small powers in the defense of the Union from German-Japanese aggression. He intervened Spain in order to forge a closer link with Paris and London.

signed to align Soviet in

But Hitler,

all

these surface

moves were designed only

and bring success to

had but one aim:

his

a close accord

to impress

undercover maneuvers which with Germany.

No

sooner was

the German-Japanese pact signed than Stalin directed the Soviet trade

envoy

in Berlin, his personal emissary,

David Kandelaki,

to go outside the ordinary diplomatic channels

ever cost arrive at a deal with Hitler.

bureau held

ment with Germany." 18

at

whatPolit-

at this time, Stalin definitely

ants: "In the very near future

we

and

At a meeting of the

shall

informed

his lieuten-

consummate an

agree-

In Stalin's Secret Service

In December, 1936,

work

Germany. The

in

I

was

I

Moscow when he

in

accompanied by the

down our

months of 1937 were passed in exoutcome of Kandelaki's secret negotia-

pectancy of a favorable tions.

received orders to throttle

first

OGPU

arrived

from

representative in

Berlin, in April,

Germany. Kandelaki

brought with him the draft of an agreement with the Nazi government.

He was

lieved that he

At

this

received in private audiences by Stalin,

had

time

I

who

be-

achieved the goal of all his maneuvers.

at last

had occasion

for a long conference

with Yezhov,

then head of the ogpu. Yezhov had just reported to Stalin on certain operations of mine.

Yezhov had been a metal worker in

his youth, raised in the Stalin school.

great purge

had

with Stalin

at once,

word

for

a simple

mind.

This dreaded marshal of the

Any question

of policy he took up

and whatever the big boss

said,

he repeated

word, and then translated into action.

Yezhov and

I

discussed various reports in our possession as to

discontent in Germany, and possible opposition to Hitler from the old monarchist groups. Yezhov

day in

ject that very

had discussed the same subwith

Stalin.

His words were

phonographic record of the boss himself:

practically a

"What's

his conference

all this

drivel

about discontent with Hitler in the Ger-

man army?" he exclaimed. "What does it take to content an army? Ample rations? Hitler furnishes them. Good arms and equipment? and honor? Hitler provides

Hitler supplies them. Prestige

sense of power

and

army unrest

Germany

in

is all

"As for the capitalists,

wanted for

to put the workers

The

it.

A

talk

about

a Kaiser for?

They

victory? Hitler gives that, too.

nonsense.

what do they need back in the

factories. Hitler has

done

it

them. They wanted to get rid of the Communists. Hitler has

them

and concentration camps. They were fed up with

in jails

labor unions

and

strikes. Hitler

has put labor under state control

strikes.

Why

should the industrialists be discon-

Yezhov continued

in the

same

and outlawed tented?"

now

Who

the strongest

can doubt

it?

vein:

Germany

is

power

in the world. Hitler has

How

can anyone in his senses

strong.

made fail

She

her

is

so.

to reckon

19

— W. G. Krivitsky

with

For Soviet Russia there

it?

quoted

Stalin:

"We must come

is

but one course.

And

to terms with a superior

here he

power like

Nazi Germany." Hitler,

however, again rebuffed

Stalin's

advances.

By

the end

of 1937, with the collapse of the Stalin plans in Spain and the Japanese successes in China, the international isolation of the Soviet

Union became extreme.

Stalin then took,

position of neutrality between the

On November

on the

surface, a

two major groups of powers.

Com-

27, 1937, speaking in Leningrad, Foreign

missar Litvinov poked fun at

the democratic nations for their han-

dling of the Fascist nations. But Stalin's underlying purpose re-

mained the same. In March, 1938, Stalin staged his ten-day super-trial of the

Rykov-Bukharin-Krestinsky group of Bolsheviks, Lenin's closest associates

who had been

and who were among the

Soviet Revolution. These Bolshevik leaders

were shot by Stalin on March

3.



On March

fathers of the

hateful to Hitler

12, with

no

protest

from Russia, Hitler annexed Austria. Moscow's only reply was a proposal to

call a

parley of the democratic nations. Again,

when

Hitler annexed the Sudeten areas in September, 1938, Litvinov

proposed concerted aid to Prague, but made

it

conditional

upon

action by the League of Nations. Stalin himself remained silent

during the whole eventful year of 1938. But signs have not been

wanting since Munich of his continued wooing of Hitler.

On January

12, 1939, there

took place before the entire diplo-

matic corps in Berlin the cordial and demonstrative chat of Hitler

new Soviet ambassador. A week later an item appeared in the London News Chronicle reporting a coming rapprochement between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. And this item was immediately and prominently reprinted, without comment and without refutation, in Stalin's mouthpiece, the Moscow Pravda. On January 25, W. N. Ewer, foreign editor of the London

with the

^

Daily Herald, leading British Labor paper, reported that the Nazi

government was "now almost convinced that in the event of a European war the Soviet Union would adopt a policy of neutrality and non-intervention" and that a German trade delegation 20

In Stalin's Secret Service

whose

"objects are political rather than commercial"

way

Moscow.

to

Early in February deal to to the

sell its oil

it

was disclosed that Moscow had made

only to Italy and

Rome-Berlin

axis.

For the

government had stopped the rations.

This

Germany

new

in case

Then, on

was

policy

time in

first

of

sale

would

Germany and its

a

nations friendly

history the Soviet

oil to private

foreign corpo-

provide supplies vital to Italy

and

of war with Great Britain and France.

Friday,

word

his first

was on the

March

spoke up.

10, 1939, Stalin at last

since the annexation of Austria

It

and the

Sudeten lands by Germany, and he displayed such remarkable

good humor toward Hitler

He

opinion.

that

it

came

as a

shock to world

excoriated the democracies for plotting to "poi-

son the atmosphere and provoke a conflict" between Germany

and Soviet Russia,

were "no

for which, he said, there

visible

grounds."

Three days slovakia.

after Stalin's speech, Hitler

Two days later,

Of course,

was the

this

result

of Chamberlain's policy of appease-

ment. The world did not then Stalin's policy

dismembered Czecho-

he extinguished Czechoslovakia altogether.

realize that

it

was

the Rome-Berlin against the London-Paris axis

not believe in the strength of the democratic

To entire

also the result

of

of appeasement. Secretly Stalin had been playing

was

all

along.

He

does

states.

had undertaken

to solve the

problem of Central and Southeastern Europe,

to bring the

Stalin

it

clear that Hitler

peoples and resources in those areas under his political and eco-

nomic domination, and

to extend there his military base for fu-

ture operations. Stalin has seen Hitler in recent years reach out

hold for a leap in almost every direction. chor in the

Pacific,

and put his hand

in

get a foot-

has dropped an an-

South America.

ing within striking distance of the British

And

He

and

Empire

in the

He is comNear

East.

he has, with the aid of Mussolini, driven a stake in colonial

Africa. Stalin

wants to avoid war

Hitler will assure

him

at

any

cost.

He

fears

war most.

If

peace, even at the price of important eco-

21

W. G. Krivitsky

nomic concessions, he rections

.

.

will give Hitler a free

hand

in

all

these di-

.

The above account of Stalin's hidden policies toward Hitler's Germany was written and published in the Saturday Evening Post several months before August 23, 1939, when the world was astounded by the signing of the Stalin-Hitler say that the pact was

no

pact.

surprise to the author.

It is

needless to

Both Molotov and

Von Ribbentrop assert that the Nazi-Soviet pact inaugurates a new epoch

in

German-Russian

relations,

which

will

have profound

consequences for the future history of Europe and the world.

That

22

is

absolutely true.

II

The End of the Communist International

THE

Communist

March

2,

1919.

International was born in

It

received

its

death blow in

Moscow on Moscow on

August 23, 1939, with the signing of the Nazi-Soviet pact by Premier Molotov and German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop.

But

its

decay was apparent in

many

things that

happened

years

before.

On a May morning in

1934,

I

was with Volynski, the chief of

the counter-espionage section of the OGPU, in his office

on the

tenth floor of the Lubianka building in Moscow. Suddenly, from

we heard the sound of music and of singing men. Looking down we saw a parade going by. The marchers were three hundred members of the Austrian Socialist Army, the Schutzbiind, who had fought heroically on the barricades in Vienna

the street below,

against the Fascist this small battalion

Heimwehr. Soviet Russia had given refuge of Socialist

to

fighters.

23

W. G. Krivitsky

I

shall always

remember

of the Schutzbundler

that

May

morning: the happy

song, Brueder Zur Sonne,

Zur Freiheit,

the spontaneous fellowship of

moment

the Russian crowds as they joined the march. For a forgot where

I

was, but Volynski brought

"How many

spies

faces

they marched, singing their revolutionary

as

me down

do you suppose there

I

to earth.

among them,

are

Krivitsky?" he asked in the most natural tone of voice.

"Not one," "You're

I

replied angrily.

making a big mistake," he said. "In six or seven months

seventy percent of them will be sitting in the Lubianka prison."

Volynski was a good judge of the tioned.

Of

after their arrival. at

Stalin

machine func-

those three hundred Austrians not a single one re-

mains today on Soviet

territory.

Many of them were arrested soon

Others, although they

home, came flocking

ports

way the

knew what awaited them

to the Austrian

and returned home

embassy

for their pass-

to serve long prison sentences.

"Better behind bars in Austria," they said, "than at liberty in the Soviet Union."

The ment to

last

of these refugees were shipped by the Soviet govern-

the International Brigade in Spain during the Spanish Civil

War. Stalin was moving swiftly on the road to totalitarian despotism,

and the Comintern had long since outworn

its

original pur-

pose.

The Communist Bolshevik Party

*

International was founded by the Russian

twenty years ago in the belief that Europe was

on the eve of world revolution. Lenin,

its

moving

spirit,

was

convinced that the Socialist and labor parties of Western Europe by supporting the "imperialist war" waged by their gov-

ernments from 1914

*

A

few

functioned

to 1918,

had

socialists or converts to

as "delegates"

from

the representatives of the Left

forfeited the support of the

Bolshevism accidentally

their respective countries.

Wing

in

Moscow

But aside from

of the Scandinavian Socialist Parties,

the only genuine delegate from a foreign revolutionary organization, Eberlein,

representing the Spartacusbund in Germany,

Rosa Luxembourg

24

to vote against the formation

came with instructions from of a new international.

Secret Service

In Stalin's

working masses. He believed that the traditional labor

parties

and Trade Union Federations of Germany, France, Great and the United

ain,

with their

States

ernment and peaceful evolution

faith in representative gov-

to a

more equitable

were completely outmoded; that

der,

Brit-

it

social or-

was the task of the

vic-

torious Russian Bolsheviks to provide revolutionary leadership

workers of all nations.

to the

Communist United Communist order.

The

of Europe and ultimately a world

States

a

which guided Lenin was

vision

Lenin was certain that the Bolsheviks, despite their enthusi-

asm

in the first flush

of victory, could not build a Communist

society in Russia unless the

came

He saw

to their aid.

unless

working

his

classes

of advanced countries

bold experiment

doomed

backward agricultural Russia was joined by

the great industrial states.

He

to failure

at least

one of

put his biggest hopes in a speedy

revolution in Germany.

The

last

twenty years indicate that Lenin underestimated

the significance of existing labor organizations, trade-union as well as political,

and over-estimated the adaptability

ern Europe of Russian Bolshevism, with

mediate overthrow of

all

West-

battle cry

of the im-

governments, democratic

as well as

its

and the establishment of an International

autocratic,

to

Commu-

nist Dictatorship.

For two decades the Communist International



the

Comintern

founded, inspired and directed by the Russian Bolsheviks, sought to

implant their methods and their program beyond the bound-

aries

of the Soviet Union.

It

established

Communist parties

its

every-

where, patterned them closely after the highly centralized and disciplined Bolshevik

model and made them responsible and obedi-

ent to the general staff in It

sent

its

insurrections

and

in the

forts failed,

Moscow.

agents to every corner of the earth.

and military uprisings

Western Hemisphere. it

embarked

in 1935,

planned mass

Europe, in the Far East,

in

And

It

finally,

upon

its last

when

all

action, the Popular Front. In this final period, with the

ons of camouflage and compromise,

it

made

these ef-

course of political

its

new weap-

greatest drive,

25

W. G.

Krivits im-

penetrating into the organs of public opinion and even the gov-

ernmental institutions of the leading democratic nations.

was

I

in a position

from the very beginning Comintern.

serve closely the workings of the litical

and military part

teen years.

I

in

its

I

to ob-

took a direct po-

revolutionary actions abroad for eigh-

was one of the executive arms of

Stalin's

Spain, during which the Comintern sent

tion in

1937

until

its

interven-

forces into

battle for the last time.

My work with the Comintern began in Polish war. for the

I

1

920 during the Russo-

was then attached to the Soviet Military Intelligence

Western Front which had

its

headquarters in Smolensk. As

Red Armies of Tukhachevsky moved toward Warsaw

the

it

was

the function of our department to operate secretly behind the Polish lines, to create diversions, to sabotage the

shipment of

munitions, to shatter the morale of the Polish army by propaganda, and to furnish the general staff of the military

and

Red Army with

political information.

our work from that of we cooperated in every possible way with the recently formed Polish Communist Party, and we published a revolutionary newspaper Svit (Dawn) which we distributed among the soldiers of the Polish army.

As there was no

the

clear line separating

Comintern agents

in Poland,

On the day that Tukhachevsky stood before Dombal,

saw, "I

do not

the

the gates of War-

a peasant deputy, declared in the Polish parliament:

see in the

Red Army an enemy.

On the contrary,

Red Army as the friend of the Polish people." To us this was an event of great importance.

Dombal's speech

in Svit,

We

I

greet

printed

and distributed hundreds of thousands

of copies throughout Poland, especially

Dombal was immediately

arrested

saw Citadel, the dreaded Polish

among the

Polish soldiers.

and confined

in the

War-

political prison. After three years

the Soviet government finally obtained his release by exchanging

him

number of Polish aristocrats and priests held as hosHe then came to Moscow where he was acclaimed as one

for a

tages.

of the heroes of the Comintern. Lavish honors were heaped upon

him and he was 26

raised to a high position. For

more than

a decade,

In Stalin's Secret Service

Dombal was one of the most important non-Russian Communist International.

officials

of

the

In

1

936 he was

arrested

spy for seventeen years liament.



on

a charge of having been a Polish

ever since his speech in the Polish par-

The OGPU decided that Dombal's greeting to the Red Army,

as well as his three-year prison term,

had been part of

ranged plot of the Polish Military Intelligence.

a prear-

Dombal was

ex-

ecuted.

During the Russo-Polish war the Polish Communist Party worked hand

in

hand with our department, and we prepared

that

Red Army. The Polish Communist Party obeyed all the commands of the advancing army

party for action in cooperation with the

of Tukhachevsky.

Members of the

Polish

Communist

Party aided us in organiz-

ing sabotage, in creating diversions, and in impeding the arrival of

munitions from France.

We

organized a strike in Danzig to pre-

vent the landing of French munitions for the Polish army. eled to Warsaw, Cracow,

Lemberg, German, and Czech

to Vienna, organizing strikes to stop

arms shipments.

a successful railroad strike in the

Czech

I

I

trav-

Silesia

and

organized

railroad junction of

Oderberg, persuading the Czech trainmen to walk out, rather than handle Skoda munitions for the Poland of Pilsudski. "Railroad workers!"

on your

line

I

wrote in a

leaflet.

"You

are transporting

guns to slaughter your Russian working-class broth-

ers.

At the same time,

a Polish Soviet

government, organized in

anticipation of the capture of Warsaw, was

Tukhachevsky' s

moving with

staff toward the Polish capital. Felix Dzerzhinsky,

veteran Polish revolutionist and head of the Russian earlier

head

name

this

for the

ogpu) had been appointed by

Cheka

(the

Moscow

to

government.

The Russo-Polish war was the one serious attempt made by Moscow to carry Bolshevism into Western Europe on the points of bayonets.

It failed,

despite

all

our

efforts, military

and

political,

Red Army, and although we had a Comintern working with our political agita-

despite the victories of the Polish section of the

27

W. G. Krivitsky

tors

and

men behind the Polish front. In the end the Red Army was forced to fall back. Pilsudski remained

intelligence

exhausted

master of Poland. Lenin's hope of joining hands through Poland,

Germany and helping them

with the revolutionary workers of

extend the revolution to the Rhine, was

The

lost.

idea of hastening Bolshevist Revolution through military

invasion had been entertained

earlier, in

1919, during the

exist-

ence of the short-lived Hungarian and Bavarian Soviet republics.

Detachments of Red Guards were then only about

from Hungarian

territory.

a

hundred miles

But the Bolsheviks were then too weak,

and were moreover fighting against the Whites

for their very ex-

istence.

By

the beginning of 1921,

when

the treaty of Riga was signed

between Russia and Poland, the Bolsheviks, and especially Lenin himself, realized that to bring successful revolutions to

Europe was

a serious

and long-time

task.

There was no such hope

of quick triumph on an international scale first

Western

as

had existed

at the

and second Congresses of the Comintern when Zinoviev,

President, proclaimed that within

Communist. Even

cow launched

after

one year

1921, however, and

all

its

Europe would be

as late as

a series of revolutionary adventures

1927, Mos-

and putsches.

In this series of irresponsible attempts, thousands of workers in

Germany,

in the Baltic

needlessly sacrificed.

on

a gamble, with

eral strikes

and

and Balkan countries, and in China, were

They were sent to slaughter by the Comintern

cooked-up schemes of military coups d'etat, gen-

rebellions,

none of which had any substantial chance

of success. Early in 1921 the situation in Russia was particularly threaten-

ing to the Soviet regime. Hunger, peasant uprisings, the revolt of the sailors in Kronstadt, and a general strike of the Petrograd

workers, brought the government to the brink of disaster. All the victories

of the Civil

War seemed

to have

been in vain,

as the

Bolsheviks groped blindly in the face of opposition from those

workers, peasants and sailors

who had been

their chief support.

The Comintern, caught in this desperate situation, decided that the only way of saving Bolshevism was through a revolution in 28

In Stalin's Secret Service

Germany. Zinoviev sent head of the Hungarian Bela

Kun

the Central

his trusted lieutenant, Bela

Kun, former

Soviet republic, to Berlin.

appears in Berlin in March, 1921, with an order to

Committee of

the

German Communist

Party from

Zinoviev and the executive committee of the Comintern: There

is

a revolutionary situation in Germany. The Communist Party must seizepower.

Committee of the German Communist Party is incredulous. The members can scarcely believe their ears. They know

The

Central

that they cannot

hope

to

overthrow the Berlin government. But

Bela Kun's orders are clear: an immediate uprising, the abolition

of the Weimar republic, and the establishment of a dictatorship in

Communist

Germany. The

Party obeys the instructions from

Moscow. As

subordinate of the Executive Committee of the ternational headed

Communist German

Central Committee of the

a loyal

Communist

In-

by Zinoviev and directed by Lenin, Trotsky,

Bukharin, Radek, and Stalin, the

German Communist

Party can-

not disobey.

On March districts

22, a general strike was declared in the industrial

of Mansfeld and Merseburg, central Germany.

On March

Communists seized the city administration buildings at Hamburg. In Leipzig, Dresden, Chemnitz, and other cities of central Germany the Communists directed their attack upon court houses, city halls, public banks and police headquarters. The official German Communist newspaper, Die Rote Fahne, openly called 24, the

for a revolution.

In the Mansfeld copper mining district,

munist Robin Hood,

Max Hoelz,

the

Com-

who had a year before single-handedly waged

guerrilla warfare against the Berlin

government throughout the

Vogtland area of Saxony, arrived to announce that he was in charge of operations. About the same time a

series

of bombing outrages

took place throughout Germany, including attempts to blow up

monuments in Berlin. In this the government recognized Hoelz's expert hand. On March 24, the Communist workers in the huge nitrogen plant at Leuna, armed with rifles and hand grenades, barricaded

public buildings and

themselves within the factory.

29

W. G. Krivitsky

But the Communist

down

tions broke

responded to the

effort to co-ordinate these localized ac-

completely. Their loyal, trained party regulars call,

and were sent

battalion after battalion, his troops into battle.

to their death

by the

party,

more ruthlessly than Ludendorff had sent

The great mass of workers neither responded

for a general strike, nor joined in the scattered out-

to the call

By early April, the uprising had been put down everywhere. The leader of the German Communist Party, Dr. Paul Levi,

breaks.

who had opposed

the adventure as

madness from the very

was expelled from the party for putting the blame language where

He

it

ditions in

that

understood nothing of the con-

it

Western Europe, that

sands of workers

no uncertain

belonged.

Moscow

informed

in

it

had

upon an insane gamble. He referred Comintern

and "cheap

of thou-

sacrificed the lives

shevik leaders, and the emissaries of the drels"

to the Bolas

"scoun-

politicians."

uprising, the

Communist

Party of Germany had lost half of its members. As for

Max Hoelz,

Within

a short time after this

Communist

the

mite, he

and

fifty I

was

firebrand

tried

who

March

expected to seize power by dyna-

on charges of "murder,

other counts" and sentenced to

was interested

arson, highway- robbery life

in Hoelz's fate, because for

the workers of his native Vogtland he has figure.

When

I

was stationed

Hoelz was imprisoned, ers

imprisonment. all

his

wild no-

he was undoubtedly an honest and bold revolutionist. To

tions,

who had become

I

become

a legendary

several years later in Breslau,

established contact with

ate Hoelz. as

But

it

deeply attached to him. Through

was necessary for

authorization from the

Hamann,

him

reliable

men

ferred with the Central

such

sent

liber-

Communist Party. I communicated with for

me.

I

and he promised

to

then went to Berlin and con-

Committee of the

Some wanted Hoelz

party.

They debated

the

released through a legal maneuver,

him to the Reichstag. Others believed that his would be the very thing to galvanize the masses, who were

as electing

escape

I

jail-

to obtain assistance as well

the leader of the party in Breslau,

have several

issue.

me

where

one of his

Hoelz books, chocolates, and food. Together we plotted to

30

start,

In Stalin's Secret Service

Communist Party. I was granted perjail delivery Upon my return to Breslau,

then very apathetic to the mission to attempt the

however, the

first

thing Hoelz's

me was: "We

jailer told

have been

ordered to chain up his door."

The than

authorities

Hamann

member of the Hoelz was

working

had learned of our

—and

Reichstag

When

by

later released

to effect his escape

with him while in Breslau, in 1932, at the

Communists,

I

police stool pigeon.

means. Although

legal

had been

I

communication

and was

in constant

met him

for the first time in

Moscow

apartment of Kisch, the German Communist writer.

he learned

"Oh, you

through none other

plot,

himself, the leader of the Breslau

who

I

was, he laughed:

are the rich

American uncle who sent

me good books

and food." In

Moscow Hoelz was

Order of the Red Banner,

a hero for a time.

He was awarded

a factory in Leningrad

was named

him, and he was furnished with a good apartment

the

after

Hotel

at the

Metropole. But when the Communists capitulated to Hitler in 1933

without firing a shot, and policy of Stalin

He

was put off day

became

became

it

clear that this

and the Comintern, Hoelz asked after day,

and

spies

were

set

official

on

his trail.

He

He demanded immediate permission to leave. His Moscow now avoided him. The OGPU refused to return

furious.

friends in

his passport.

A little later an insignificant notice appeared in Pravda

announcing that Hoelz had been found drowned side

was the

for his passport.

Moscow. In the ogpu

I

was told that

in a stream out-

after the rise

of Hitler,

Hoelz had been seen coming out of the German Embassy

Moscow. The

fact

is

that

Hoelz was

glorious revolutionary past

killed

made him

by the ogpu because

in his

a potential leader of the

revolutionary opposition to the Comintern.

The defeat of the March uprising in Germany sobered Moscow considerably. Even Zinoviev toned down his proclamations and manifestoes. Europe was quite evidently not done with talism.

Nor was

Russia

itself



for after the suppression

peasant rebellions and the Kronstadt revolt, Lenin tant

economic concessions

to peasants

capi-

of the

made impor-

and business men. Russia 31

W. G. Krivitsky

settled

down

revolution

went decidedly into the background. The Comintern

was busy finding scapegoats for nist

and the world

to a period of internal reconstruction,

Central Committees

its

defeats, cleaning

in various countries

leaders in their places. Factional fights in the

out

Commu-

and appointing new

Communist

Parties

abroad kept the machinery of the Comintern busy drawing up resolutions, counter-resolutions

In January,

1

and expulsion

orders.

923 I was working in Moscow in the third section

of the Intelligence Department of the Red Army. us that the French were about to collect reparations.

was

I

was

living at this time in the

of the

also the chief residence

of visiting foreign Communists.

I

want

to explain that the

the headquarters of Western bies pass

Communist

.

officials .

reached

in order to

Hotel Lux, which

of the Comintern and

.

Hotel Lux was, and

Europe

leaders

Word

occupy the Ruhr

still is,

Moscow. Through

in

from every country,

union delegates, and individual workers

in fact, its

lob-

as well as trade

who have in some fashion

earned a trip to the proletarian Mecca.

Consequently,

it

is

important for the Soviet government to

keep a close watch upon the Hotel Lux, in order to discover exactly

what the comrades

in every

know their attitude toward

country are saying and doing, to

the Soviet government

warring factions within the Bolshevik Party. For

Hotel Lux residents.

the

is

honeycombed with OGPU

Among the

agents

OGPU informed about

workers, was Constantine

dor to the United I

had

purpose the

registered as guests

and

Lux and kept Communists and

lived at the Hotel

the doings of foreign

Oumansky,

at present Soviet

ambassa-

States.

met Oumansky

in Bessarabia,

who

and toward the

this

in

1922

lived in

for the first time.

Romania and Austria

Oumansky, born until

1922 when

he came to Moscow. Because of his knowledge of foreign languages, he received a position with Tass, the official Soviet

Agency. His wife was a typist in the Comintern

When Oumansky's turn came to serve in told me that he did not wish to "waste" two 32

News

office.

the

Red Army, he

years in

common

In Stalin's Secret Service

army

barracks. Soviet

then had not assumed the caste charac-

life

now

bears, and his remark shocked me. Most Communists upon service in the Red Army as a privilege. Not so still look Oumansky. He presented himself at the offices of the Intelligence Department with a recommendation from Foreign Commissar ter

it

Chicherin and from Doletsky, Chief of Tass, requesting that he be permitted to "serve" his two years in the for the

Army

as a translator

Fourth Department.

That very evening while

was

I

in the

company of Firin,

at that

time assistant to General Berzin, Chief of the Military Intelligence

Department,

saw Oumansky

replied that he

was going to

keep his Tass job, and serve

partment

in a

Moscow

kill

I

went over

his job

with Tass.

restaurant.

and asked him why he was dropping

to his table

He

I

two birds with one stone

his military

term in the Fourth De-

offices.

When

I

told this to Firin, he replied angrily:

"You may

rest

work

assured that he will not

Fourth

in the

Department." In those years soft berths were not easily arranged,

Oumansky

and

did not get the translator's job with the Red Army.

But he succeeded

in staying out of those

uncomfortable bar-

racks by serving as a diplomatic courier of the foreign office. This

was considered

a substitute for military service, because

all

diplo-

matic couriers are on the staff of the OGPU. Without giving up his Tass job,

Oumansky traveled

to Paris,

Rome, Vienna, Tokyo, and

Shanghai.

Oumansky served

the

OGPU

in the Tass

News Agency,

too, for

here were Soviet journalists and correspondents having a danger-

ously close contact with the outside world.

Oumansky was

able to

spy upon Tass reporters from every vantage point, from the Mos-

cow

office

and from abroad. And

tuned sharply to

Communists. in

bits

All of

at the

Hotel Lux he kept

his ear

of stray conversation exchanged by foreign

Oumansky' s

which he has worked, have

fallen before the bullets

superiors, in every

either

department

been removed and broken or

of the purge. These include his former

chief in the Tass, Doletsky, as well as nearly

all

his colleagues there;

33

W. G. Krivitsky

his

former chief in the foreign

Troyanovsky,

Vladimir friend.

office,

Maxim

Soviet ambassador to the United States,

first

Romm, Tass correspondent in Washington,

Troyanovsky and

Romm

were recalled to

Washington while Oumansky was working United

in the

Litvinov; Alexander

and

his personal

Moscow from

by side with them

side

States.

Oumansky

is

one of the few Communists who succeeded

in

crossing the barbed-wire frontier that separates the old Bolshevik

Party from the new.

During the purge there was only one passport

across this frontier.

You had

and

to present Stalin

the required quota of victims. Constantine

good

.

.

his

OGPU with

Oumansky made

.

When

news reached our department of the French occupa-

tion of the Ruhr, a group of five or six officers, including myself,

were ordered to leave hours

all

at

once for Germany. Within twenty-four

arrangements were made.

cussions of the French occupation

Moscow hoped would open

newed Comintern drive in Germany. Within a week I was in Berlin. My

Germany stood on

first

that the reper-

the

way

for a re-

impression was that

the eve of cataclysmic events. Inflation

carried the reichsmark to astronomical heights;

had

unemployment was

widespread; there were daily street fights between workers and police, as well as

between workers and nationalist fighting

bri-

The French occupation added fuel to the flames. For a moment it even looked as if exhausted and impoverished Germany might take up arms in a suicidal war against France. The Comintern leaders followed German events cautiously.

gades.

They had come that

off badly in 1921,

no blow was struck

Intelligence structions.

and they wanted

until internal chaos

to be certain

was complete. Our

Department, however, had given us very definite

We were

sent to

Germany

in-

to reconnoiter, to mobilize

elements of unrest in the Ruhr area, and to forge the weapons for

an uprising

We

at

when

moment

arrived.

once created three types of organizations in the Ger-

man Communist 34

the proper

Party: the Party Intelligence Service,

working

In Stalin's Secret Service

under the guidance of the Fourth Department of the Red Army; military formations as the nucleus of the future

and

Zersetzungsdienst, small units of

German Red Army;

men whose and the

shatter the morale of the Reichswehr

function was to

police.

At the head of the Party Intelligence Service we named Hans Kiepenberger, the son of a lessly,

Hamburg

weaving an elaborate spy net

police, the

in

hand with the

political party

and

His agents penetrated the monar-

hostile fighting organization.

tain officers

tire-

of the army and

in the ranks

governmental apparatus, and every

chist Stahlhelm, the

He worked

publisher.

Wehrwolf and

the Nazi units.

Zersetzungsdienst, they secretly

Working hand

sounded out

cer-

of the Reichswehr concerning the stand they would

take in the event of a

Communist

uprising.

Kiepenberger served the Comintern with great loyalty and courage. During the events of 1923, his day. In the

end he suffered the

life

was

in

danger every

fate that befell all loyal

Commu-

Elected to the Reichstag in 1927, he became a member of Committee on Military Affairs. Regarding himself as the Comintern's representative on that body, he supplied the Soviet

nists.

the

Military Intelligence with valuable information for

He

remained in Germany for some months

many

after Hitler

years.

came

to

power, continuing to do dangerous underground work for the

Communist

Party. In the fall

was arrested

as a

in

Nazi

of 1933 he fled to Russia. In 1936 he

spy.

The OGPU examiner pressed him for an admission that he was the service of the German Intelligence. Kiepenberger refused

to "confess."

"Ask Krivitsky whether

he pleaded. "He knows what "Didn't you

I

I

could become a Nazi agent,"

did in Germany."

know General Bredow, head of

Military Intelligence?" asked the

the Reichswehr

OGPU examiner.

"Of course I knew him," replied Kiepenberger. "I was a memCommunist fraction of the Reichstag and on the Mili-

ber of the

tary Affairs

Committee." (General Bredow had frequently appeared

before the Reichstag Committee.)

The OGPU had no

further "incriminating" evidence against

Kiepenberger. Nevertheless, after six months of "questioning,"

35

W. G. Krivitsky

the dauntless fighter "confessed" that he was in the service of the

Military Intelligence. "There

German

kept repeating. "Give

We

me

is

something that

me

put

will

head," he

to sleep."

German Communist foundation of the German Red Army

Soviet officers organized

formations, the

never to be, in a very systematic fashion, dividing

of one hundred men, Hundertschaft.

who had

nists

my

a nail in

them

Military that

was

into units

We prepared lists of Commuthem according

served in the war, cataloging

to

Out of this list we expected to create the officGerman Red Army. We also organized a technical

their military rank. ers

corps of the

staff

of experienced

machine-gunners,

specialists:

the nucleus of an aviation corps,

ers,

and

artillery offic-

a liaison personnel cho-

sen from trained wireless and telephone operators. organization of women and trained

them

We

up an

set

for hospital duty.

In the Ruhr, however, as a result of the French occupation,

we were

faced with an entirely different problem.

The Ruhr was

the scene of one of the strangest spectacles in history. Unable to

oppose French arms by

force, the

Mines and

passive resistance.

Germans were waging

factories shut

down, leaving only

skeleton staffs at their places to prevent the mines

and

to

war of

a

from flooding

keep factory equipment in working order. Railroads were

almost at a

standstill.

Unemployment was

universal.

The

Berlin

government, already faced with a fantastic inflation, supported virtually the entire population of the Ruhr.

Meanwhile the French began

ment which aimed

and form an independent Separatist

state.

it

opposed

it,

was native and very the Rhineland

in 1923. In

move-

Rhineland from Germany

Casual observers thought that the

movement was nothing but French propaganda.

however,

many

to encourage the Separatist

to detach the entire

serious,

and

if

the British

would have severed

itself

In fact,

had not

from Ger-

many Rhenish homes I saw busts of Napoleon,

the creator of the Confederation of the Rhine. Often

enough

I

heard the inhabitants complain that their rich country was exploited

by

Prussia.

The Communist every

36

means

Party opposed the Separatist

at its disposal.

The

movement by

slogan of the Comintern was

In Stalin's Secret Service

"War Against Stresemann and and

Stresemann!" rorist,

It

The slogan of the Nazis "War Against Poincare and

Poincare!"

their nationalist allies was:

was during these days that Schlageter,

was executed by the French military

a

Nazi

authorities. Schlageter's

death would have passed unnoticed outside the narrow

comrades had not Karl Radek, the Comintern's

his

pagandist, brought

it

ter-

home to the German people.

circle

of

cleverest pro-

"Join the

Com-

munists," cried Radek, "and you will liberate the Fatherland nationally

and

socially!"

For a time negotiations went on between Radek and a number

of Nazi and Nationalist leaders, notably Count Reventlow. basis for collaboration

was that German nationalism's

sole

The

chance

of success was in joining hands with Bolshevik Russia against imperialist France

summated.

It

and Great

was not

until

Britain.

But

1939 that

it

union was not con-

this

finally

took place under

conditions vastly different from those contemplated by

when Germany was

the underdog.

Meanwhile everything was prepared

The in

for a Separatist coup d'etat.

—Mathes,

leaders of the Separatist Party

marshaled their

forces.

September was

Moscow

A great

Dorten, Smith

demonstration in Dusseldorf

late

to be the signal for the proclamation of the

Rhenish republic.

The Nationalists were combating the Separatists by individual acts of terror. The Communist Party called a counterdemonstration "against the Separatist traitors."

When

met

I

at a cross section in the city,

Communists the

German

the two conflicting forces

saw, for the

first

time in

my life,

fighting side by side with Nationalist terrorists

police.

The

Separatists

and

were defeated, mainly because

of the interference of the pro-German British cabinet.

Even while we were supporting German Nationalists against the French in the Rhineland

and the Ruhr with every weapon

our disposal, we decided that in the event of a ing in Germany, conflict

we would not

with French military

mulated by our

Communist

at

upris-

allow ourselves to be drawn into

forces.

staff officers in the

Our

plan of strategy, as for-

Rhineland, called for the with-

drawal of our party military formations into central Germany, into

37

W. G. Krivitsky Communists were

Saxony, and Thuringia, where the strong at that time.

particularly

We trained our units with that in mind.

In preparing for the

munists created small

Communist revolution,

the

German Com-

"T"

terrorist groups, so-called

units, to de-

moralize the Reichswehr and the police by assassinations.

composed of

units were

zealots.

meeting of one of these groups on a September

recall a

I

courageous

fiercely

Communist

evening in the city of Essen, shortly before the ing.

I

recall

how

"Tonight we

commander announced

and

filed

their revolvers,

and

of the body of a murdered police

unknown. For weeks

effectively in various parts

When orderly

cause.

peace came these fanatics could find no place in the

life

Many

of the country.

of them took part in armed

holdups for revolutionary purposes

ally

these groups struck swiftly

of Germany, picking off police

and other enemies of the Communist

officers

acts

checked them for the

out one by one. The very next day the Essen

press reported the discovery officer, assassin

tersely:

act."

Calmly they took out time,

upris-

they came together, quietly, almost solemnly, to

receive their orders. Their

last

The "T"

of brigandage.

wound up

at first,

The few who found

and then simply

their

way

in

to Russia usu-

in Siberia in exile.

In the meantime, the

German Communist

Party was await-

ing instructions from the Comintern, which seemed incredibly

slow in coming. In September, Brandler, the leader of the party,

and

several

of his colleagues were

summoned

structions. Interminable discussions

to

Moscow

took place in the

Bureau, the supreme body of the Russian

for in-

Political

Communist

Party,

where the Bolshevik leaders were debating the proper hour to launch a German revolution. For of the

German Communist

many anxious

hours the leaders

Party cooled their heels in

while the Bolshevik brain trust was formulating

its

Moscow

final

plan of

action.

Moscow

decided to do the thing thoroughly this time.

cretly dispatched

Levine,

38

its

best people into

who had been one

Germany: Bukharin;

It se-

Max

of the leaders of the four weeks' Ba-

In Stalin's Secret Service

varian Soviet dictatorship; Piatakov; Hungarian and Bulgarian

Comintern

agents;

and Karl Radek himself.

Germany continued

We Red Army men in We held secret

training our military forces.

woods near Solingen in the Rhineland in which several thousand workers would take part. At last the word went around: "Zinoviev has set the date for night maneuvers in the

the uprising."

nal

Communist Party units throughout Germany awaited their fiinstructions. A telegram arrived from Zinoviev to the German

Central Committee fixing the exact hour. Comintern couriers has-

tened to the various party centers with the

command from Mos-

Guns were removed from their hiding places. With mounttension we awaited the zero hour. And then "A new telegram from 'Grisha,'" said the Communist leaders.

cow. ing

.

"The insurrection

is

.

.

postponed!"

Again the Comintern couriers sped through Germany with

new

orders

and

a

new

date for the revolution. This state of alarm

continued for several weeks. Almost every day a new telegram

would

new

arrive

from

agents from

'Grisha' (Zinoviev)

Moscow with new

—new

orders,

instructions

new

plans,

and new revolu-

tionary blueprints. At the beginning of October, orders

came

through for the Communists to join the governments of Saxony

and Thuringia

in coalition

with the Left

Socialists.

Moscow

thought that these governments would become effective

rally-

ing centers for the Communists, and that the police could be dis-

armed At

in

advance of the uprising.

last

the stage was

set.

A categorical telegram came through

from Zinoviev. Again the couriers of the Comintern sped ery party district in

Communist near.

with

Germany

to ev-

passing along the word. Again the

battalions mobilized for the attack.

The hour drew

There could be no turning back now, we thought, and awaited relief the

the last

end of those nerve-wracking weeks of

moment

the Central Committee of the

German

delay.

At

Party was

again hurriedly convened.

"A new telegram from

'Grisha'!

The

insurrection

is

postponed

again!"

39

W. G. Krivitsky

Again messengers were dispatched with urgent

man

The Hamburg Communists, with

late.

went

discipline,

into battle at the appointed hour.

of workers armed with

rifles

Ham-

true Ger-

Hundreds

attacked the police station. Others

occupied strategic points in the

Communist workers

minute

But the courier to

cancellation orders to the party centers.

burg arrived too

last

city.

of Germany were thrown

in other parts

into a state of panic.

"Why

are

we doing nothing while

the workers of

are fighting?" they asked the district leaders

Hamburg

of their party.

"Why

we come to their aid?" The party lieutenants had no answer to give them. Only those on top knew that the workers of Hamburg were perishing because of 'Grisha's' latest telegram. The Hamburg Communists held out for about three days. The great working-class masses of don't

and Saxony and Thuringia did not

the city remained indifferent,

The Reichswehr under General Von Seeckt entered Dresden and threw the CommunistLeft Socialist cabinet of Saxony out of office. The Thuringia cabinet suffered the same fate. The Communist revolution had come

to the aid

of the Communists.

fizzled out.

Those of us

cow were

in

Germany

all

knew

responsible for the fiasco.

that headquarters in

The

Mos-

entire strategy of the

proposed revolution had been worked out by the Bolshevik leaders

of the Comintern. This

The

made

it

necessary to find a scapegoat.

factional rivals of Brandler in the

German

Party were familiar

with the Comintern technique of covering up the mistakes of the high

command, and

they at once

"Brandler and the Central

swung

into action.

Committee

are responsible for our

new by Ruth Fischer, Thaelmann and Maslow failure to capture

power," shouted the

"Entirely correct," echoed tunist, a social

democrat.

"opposition" headed

Moscow. "Brandler

He must

is

go! All hail to the

an oppor-

new

revolu-

tionary leadership of

Ruth Fischer, Thaelmann and Maslow!" At the next World Congress of the Comintern this was

dressed

40

up

in ritualistic resolutions

and

decrees,

all

and with Moscow's

In Stalin's Secret Service

German Communist

blessings the

new

general

Brandler received an order to

German

come

to

Moscow, where he was

passport and given a Soviet office job.

matters, he was informed by Zinoviev, were

concern him. All of his

efforts to return to

no longer

to

Germany were unsuc-

cessful until his friends threatened to create

dal

its

staff.

deprived of his

German

Party was turned over to

an international scan-

by bringing the matter to the attention of the Berlin govern-

ment. Only then was he released from Soviet Russia and expelled

from the Communist

Party.

Souvarine, the eminent French writer and author of the most

comprehensive biography of

Ousted

Stalin,

had the same experience.

1924 from the leadership of the French Communist

in

Party by order of the Comintern, he was detained by the Soviet

government

until his friends in Paris threatened to appeal to the

French authorities.

Upon one branch

of the Soviet government the costly experi-

ment of 1 923 was not entirely wasted. That was ligence Service. efforts,

tion."

we

We

and the

When we

saw the collapse of the Comintern's

said: "Let's save

took the best

the Military Intel-

what we can of the German

men

revolu-

developed by our Party Intelligence

and incorporated them into the Soviet

Zersetzungsdienst,

Out of the ruins of the Communist revoluGermany for Soviet Russia a brilliant intelligence

Military Intelligence.

we

tion

built in

service, the

envy of every other nation.

Shaken by the defeat

in

Germany, Moscow began looking

for

By the late fall of 1924, Germany had The Communist International after nearly six

other fields of conquest.

become years

stabilized.

had not

a single victory

squandering of sites

money and

were on the Soviet

with which to justify

lives.

somewhere, was necessary

Thousands of Comintern para-

at

any

A

victory,

somehow,

cost.

Soviet Russia's western border was Estonia, a tiny nation,

then apparently in the throes of a tive

enormous

payrolls. Zinoviev's position within the

Bolshevik Party was beginning to wobble.

On

its

crisis.

Zinoviev and the execu-

committee of the Comintern decided

to

throw

all

Marxian 41

— W. G. Krivitsky

theory to the wind.

Summoning

the chief of the Intelligence

De-

partment of the Red Army, General Berzin, Zinoviev spoke to

him along

these lines: Estonia

not act there

no

strikes,

as

no

we

in a revolutionary crisis.

did in Germany.

agitation. All

command

under the

is

two or three days we

We will

we need

new methods

a few courageous groups

is

of a handful of Red will

use

We will

Army

officers,

and

in

be masters of Estonia.

man who obeyed orders. In a few days a reliable Red Army officers, mainly Baltic

General Berzin was a

group of about

sixty

Russians, was organized under Zhibur, one of the heroes of the

They were directed to enter Estonia through different routes, some through Finland and Latvia, others by slipping across the Soviet border. Awaiting them in Estonia were scattered special Communist units totaling about two hundred men. By late November all preparations were ready. On the morning of December 1, 1924, a "revolution" struck at specified focal points in Reval, the capital. The country remained completely calm. The workers proceeded to their factories as usual. Business moved at a normal pace, and in about four hours the civil

war.

"revolution" was completely crushed.

Communists were shot on nected with the ers

affair in

the spot.

About one hundred and

fifty

Hundreds of others, not con-

any way, were jailed. The Red Army offic-

returned quickly to Russia along pre-arranged routes. Zhibur

reappeared

at his

desk in the offices of the General

Estonian "revolution" was hushed up In Bulgaria, the

as

Comintern enjoyed

Staff,

and the

quickly as possible.

a period

of prosperity while

Stambouliski, the leader of the Peasant Party, was in power. Stambouliski was friendly to Moscow.

The remnants of General

Wrangel's White Army, which the Bolsheviks had driven out of the Crimea, were

on Bulgarian

ment was anxious

to break

up

territory,

this force.

and the Soviet govern-

With

Stambouliski's con-

sent Russia sent a group of secret agents into Bulgaria for this

purpose. These agents used every

method of propaganda, including the publication of a newspaper, and every means of terror, including assassination. To a considerable extent they were suc-

cessful in

42

demoralizing

this potential anti-Soviet

army.

In Stalin's Secret Service

Despite these friendly relations between Stambouliski and

Moscow, when

in

1923 Tsankoff executed

a military revolt against

Com-

Stambouliski's government Moscow directed the Bulgarian

munist Party

to

remain neutral. The Communist leaders hoped

that as a result of the death struggle

between the army

and Stambouliski, they would gain

tionaries

full

power

for

reac-

them-

selves.

Stambouliski was overthrown and a military dictatorship.

gallows,

Two

Thousands of innocent people went

and the Comintern decided

years passed

A

for a

Communist putsch

to the

One

Communist

that the time

against the Tsankoff govern-

conspiracy was organized in

the Bulgarian officers.

Tsankoff established

and the Communist Party was driven underground.

had come ment.

slain.

Moscow by

the leaders of

Party with the assistance of

Red Army

of these Bulgarian leaders was George Dimitrov.

The Communists learned that on April 16, 1925, all the ranking members of the Bulgarian government would attend services in the Sveti Cathedral in Sofia. They decided to use the occasion for their uprising. By order of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Party, a

bomb was

exploded in the cathedral during the

reli-

About one hundred and fifty persons were killed. But Premier Tsankoff and the important members of his government survived. All the direct participants in the bombing were

gious services.

executed.

Dimitrov himself continued

Moscow. He became

its

to

work

representative in

for the

Comintern

Germany. Late

in

in 1932,

he was ordered back to Moscow, and people on the inside said that his career

was arrested

was

in

at

an end. Before he could obey the order he

connection with the historic Reichstag

fire.

His

bold and clever behavior before the Nazi court, where he suc-

ceeded in fixing the guilt on the Nazis themselves, made him the

Communist hero of the It is

day.

one of the inimitable

ironies

of Comintern history that

Dimitrov, one of those responsible for the Sofia bombing, later

became,

as

president of the Comintern, the official spokesman of

"democracy," "peace," and the popular front.

43

W. G. Krivitsky

Moscow had in

elaborate theoretical explanations for

its

failures

Hungary, Poland, Germany, Estonia and Bulgaria. These

volumes of

was

and

theses, resolutions,

it

The myth of the

sponsible.

reports. In

and

suggested that Bolshevism

of

fact

for the future,

failure,

The

more grandiose became

the

re-

of the Comintern leader-

ship was preserved with ecclesiastical stubbornness.

became the

however,

case,

Russian leaders were

its

infallibility

no

filled

clearer

the plans

and the more complicated the international

struc-

Comintern.

ture of the

Although the Communist International never accomplished its

primary aim, the establishment of a Communist dictatorship,

in a single country,

it

— —one of

became

especially after

stratagem of the popular front litical

the

turned to the

it

most important po-

agencies in the world.

The general framework of the Comintern is no secret. It is known that there are Communist Parties, legal or illegal, in every country of the world. The world knows that the headquar-

widely

ters are in

ratus,

Moscow. But

and

its

it

knows almost nothing of the

intimate connection with the

OGPU and

real

appa-

Soviet Mili-

tary Intelligence.

The

general staff of the

facing the Kremlin attire. It is

who

no spot

Comintern

is

located in a building

and heavily guarded by OGPU agents

for curious Muscovites to congregate. Persons

have business within the building, whatever their rank, are

subjected to the very closest scrutiny from the until they depart.

the

in civilian

commandant, If Earl

the

staffed

left

of the main entrance

is

they enter

the office of

by OGPU agents.

Browder, general secretary of the American

nist Party, desires

pass in the

To

moment

an audience with Dimitrov, he must obtain a

commandant's

office,

oughly examined. Before he

is

where

moment when

his papers will

be thor-

permitted to leave the Comintern

building his pass will again be examined.

hand, the exact

Commu-

It

must bear,

in Dimitrov's

their interview ended. If

any time

has elapsed since the end of the interview, an investigation

is

con-

ducted on the spot. Every minute spent in the Comintern building must be accounted for and recorded. Informal chats in the

44

In Stalin's Secret Service

and

corridors are severely discouraged

OGPU agent

reprimand a ranking

to

it

is

official

not unusual for an

of the Comintern for

violation of these rules. This system provides the

comprehensive

file

The heart of the Comintern

is

by

to use at the proper time.

known and never pubknown by its Russian initials

the

licized International Liaison Section, as the

little

O.M.S. Until the purge got underway, the O.M.S. was headed *

Piatnitsky, a veteran Bolshevik, trained

gime

a

regarding the associations of Russian and for-

Communists, which can be put

eign

OGPU with

in the practical business

during the Czarist

of distributing

illegal

re-

revolutionary

propaganda. Piatnitsky had been in charge of the transport of Lenin's paper, Iskra,

of the century.

from Switzerland

to Russia in the early part

When the Communist International was organized,

Lenin's choice for head of the all-important Foreign Liaison Section naturally

became, in

fell

effect,

upon

Piatnitsky.

As the chief of the O.M.S. he

the Finance Minister

and Director of Personnel

of the Comintern.

He

created a world-wide network of permanently stationed

agents responsible to him, to act as the liaison officers between

Moscow and

autonomous Communist

the nominally

Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the United agents of the Comintern, these

whip over the which they

leaders of the

are stationed. Neither the

majority of the leaders of the tity

O.M.S.

Communist

States.

Parties

As

of

resident

representatives hold the

Party in the country in

rank and

file,

nor even the

Communist Parties, know the idenwho is responsible to Moscow,

of the O.M.S. representative,

and who does not participate

directly in party discussions.

OGPU has gradually taken over many of the especially the hunting down and reporting to

In recent years the

O.M.S. functions,

Moscow of

cases

of heresy against

Stalin.

However,

in the

im-

mensely complicated work of subsidizing and coordinating the activities

of the

Communist

Parties, the

O.M.S.

is still

the chief

instrument.

Otdyel Mezhdunarodnoi Svyazi.

45

W. G. Krivitsky

is

The most delicate job entrusted to the O.M.S. resident agents the distribution of money to finance the Communist Parties,

their expensive

propaganda and

their false fronts



such, for in-

League for Peace and Democracy, the International

stance, as the

Labor Defense, the International Workers' Aid, the Friends of the Soviet Union, tions,

and

which became

a host of ostensibly non-partisan organiza-

especially important cogs

embarked upon the popular

many

For

when Moscow

front.

years, while revolutionary prospects there

promising, the Comintern poured the greater part of

Germany and

into

Central Europe. But

when

it

seemed

its

money

became more de-

an appendage of the Soviet government, and revolution-

cisively

ary objectives were sidetracked in favor of Stalinizing public

opinion and capturing key positions in the democratic governments, Moscow's budgets for France, Great Britain, and the

United States were enormously increased.

At no time has any single Communist Party in the world managed to cover more than a very small percentage of

Moscow's own estimate

is

that

it

its

expenses.

must bear on an average from

ninety to ninety-five percent of the expenditures of foreign

munist

Parties.

This

Com-

money is paid from the Soviet treasury through

the

O.M.S.

the

The O.M.S. resident agent is the judge, in the first instance, of wisdom of any new expenditure which a Communist Party

in

sums decided upon by

Stalin's Political

wishes to make. In the United States, for example,

if

Bureau.

the Political

Bureau of the American Communist Party contemplates the pubof a

lication

new

newspaper, the O.M.S. agent

considers the suggestion, cates

and

if it

with the O.M.S. headquarters in

important

cases,

it is

representative has

One

from Moscow

He

Bureau of the Rus-

minor matters, of course, the

discretion.

of the favorite methods of transmitting

structions

46

wide

consulted.

communiMoscow. From there, in

referred to the Political

sian Bolshevik Party for decision. In

O.M.S.

is

merits attention he

to a foreign

Communist Party is through immune from search. For this

money and

in-

country for the use of the

which

local

the diplomatic pouches,

are

reason the O.M.S. representa-

In Stalin's Secret Service

tive

is

bassy.

usually

employed

From Moscow he

the Soviet government,

nominal capacity

in a

receives, in

in the Soviet

packages bearing the

Em-

seal

of

of banknotes together with sealed

rolls

instructions for their distribution.

He

personally delivers the

roll

Communist leader, with whom he maintains direct Through carelessness, American, British, and French

of bills to the contact.

banknotes have several times been sent abroad for Comintern use bearing the In the

telltale

first

even more crudely.

Bureau

Political

confiscated

abroad.

stamp of the Soviet State Bank.

Comintern the financing was done

years of the I

recall a

time

to order the

when

the procedure was for the

Cheka (ogpu) to deliver sacks of to the Comintern for shipment

diamonds and gold

Still

other methods have since been developed. Conve-

nient blinds are the Soviet Trading Corporations, such as the Arcos

Amtorg in the United States, and connected private business firms. The constant displacement of leaders in the foreign Communist Parties presents its own special problem to the O.M.S. in its monetary operations. When Moscow supplanted the leadership of the German Communist Party, after the failure in

London and

the

of the 1923 uprising, Mirov-Abramov, the O.M.S. agent in Ger-

many,

as well as Piatnitsky in

Moscow, spent many anxious hours

wondering whom they could now trust with Comintern money.

It

them when Wilhelm Pieck was retained in the new Central Committee, for both Piatnitsky and Mirov-Abramov

was

a relief to

trusted this veteran labor leader.

Mirov-Abramov, representative in in the press

whom I knew for many years, was the O.M.S.

Germany from 1921

to 1930. Officially,

department of the Soviet Embassy

he worked

in Berlin. Actually

money and the transmission of Comintern instructions throughout Germany and the greater part of Central Europe. At the height of the Comintern's German he directed the distribution of

drive,

Mirov-Abramov employed

assistants

and

couriers.

as Piatnitsky's assistant.

the

more than twenty-five Later he was recalled to Moscow to work

When

a staff of

the old Bolshevik general staff of

Comintern was liquidated by

Stalin,

Mirov-Abramov together

with Piatnitsky were removed. Because of his exceptional under-

47

W. G. Krivitsky

Germany Mirov-Abramov was then transferred to the Soviet Military Intelligence where he served until 1937, when he was shot in the great purge. Absurdly enough, when Yagoda, ground contacts

in

the fallen chief of the OGPU, was tried the following year, he declared

on the witness stand

that he

had sent

sums of money

large

through Mirov-Abramov to Trotsky.

Managing tion

the finances of the

Comintern and

its

only a small part of the tasks of the O.M.S.

is

also as the

foreign secIt

functions

nervous system of the Comintern. Envoys dispatched

by Moscow

as political

commissars to the Communist Parties of

foreign countries establish

all

their contacts

which furnishes them with passports, addresses,

and generally

tween the

home

acts as the

offices in

through the O.M.S.,

them

directs

permanent

Moscow and

to "reliable"

liaison staff be-

these political agents

abroad.

A notable years ago

country

Comintern Commissar

for the

United States some

was the Hungarian Communist, Pogany, known

as

Lovestone and Gitlow, the leaders of the American Party, after they

jority

and

in this

John Pepper. His primary mission here was to remove had won

a vote of confidence

Communist

from the vast ma-

of the party members. Pogany- Pepper carried out his orders,

installed a

new high command

for the

American Communist

Pepper himself was arrested in Moscow in 1936 and shot. The passport division of the O.M.S. unlike the OGPU and Mili-

Party.

,

tary Intelligence, does not actually manufacture passports.

It

gets

genuine documents whenever possible and doctors them according to requirements. In obtaining passports natical zeal of

O.M.S.

draws upon the

man

Comintern agents

in the

in China,

American Communist

fa-

sympathizers. If the

representative in the United States requires

passports for his

Communist members and

it

two American

he communicates with

Party.

This

latter obtains

genuine United States passports from party members or sympathizers.

The O.M.S.

tutes others,

Moscow

and

skillfully

then removes the photographs, substi-

makes the other necessary changes.

has always been fond of American passports. In an-

other connection

48

staff

I

have described the part they played in the Span-

In Stalin's Secret Service

ish Civil

War.

OGPU agents

It is

not unusual for the O.M.S. representative or

to send batches of

where the central O.M.S. engaged

American passports

office has a staff

to

Moscow,

of about ten people

such documents according to the Comintern's

in fixing

needs.

1924 the Berlin police raided the O.M.S. headquarters

In

seized a batch of

and

German

passports, together with

there,

files list-

ing the names of their original owners, the true names of the

Comintern agents then using them, and the which they were passport

is

traveling.

much

China. but

I

I

He had

For such reasons of course a genuine

sent Earl

do not know why Browder was chosen

believe the

reminded a

names with

preferred.

Comintern and the OGPU

In 1927 the

fictitious

main reason was

in this connection

man working

his

for

I

passport.

had with

I

him named Lobonovsky, whose

competence was always the subject of anecdotes

in

capitals

Lobonovsky

in

one of the

am

Piatnitsky.

would often run

into

to

for the mission,

American

of a conversation

Browder

our

in-

circle.

I

of Eu-

rope as he scurried about on seemingly important missions. Later I

had occasion "Tell

me

him with Piatnitsky. Comrade Piatnitsky," I

to discuss

frankly,

keep that idiot on your

The

said,

"why do you

staff?"

veteran Bolshevik leader smiled tolerantly and replied:

"My dear young Walter, the question here is not Lobonovsky s capability. What is important is that he has a Canadian passport and

I

one

else will do."

need a Canadian for the missions on which

"Canadian!" a

I

I

send him.

No

exclaimed. "Lobonovsky isn't a Canadian. He's

Ukrainian born in Shepetovka." Piatnitsky bellowed.

"What do you mean, a

born

Canadian passport. That's good enough

it's

a

a Ukrainian

so easy to find a real Canadian?

Canadian born I

believe that

in Shepetovka! for

We've got

me. to

He has

Do you

make

think

the best of

in Shepetovka!"

when

sending Browder to

Comintern debated the question of China they were fully aware that he was not the

49

— W. G. Krivitsky

an expert on Chinese

from Kansas

affairs.

But Browder

a real

is

American

City, not Shepetovka.

Practically

all

matters regarding the manufacture and doctor-

ing of passports and other documents are entrusted to native Russians. Pre-war conditions in Czarist Russia gave tional training in this art.

The

them excep-

elaborate passport regulations

which

have become prevalent in most European countries since 1918

found the Bolsheviks well prepared. In the

who

offices

Army

and the Fourth Department of the Red

can forge consular signatures and government

indistinguishable

The Foreign importance.

It

from the genuine

all

still

the educational and propaganda

and about Moscow

scale. It

conducts

for carefully selected

munists from every country, teaching them warfare,

wholly

another function of great

Comintern on an international

training schools in

seals

article.

Liaison Section has

co-ordinates

functions of the

of the OGPU

there are experts

all

Com-

the angles of civil

from propaganda to the operation of machine guns.

These schools had

their

beginning during the

first

months of

when brief training courses were given German and Austrian war prisoners in the hope that these "cad-

the Bolshevik revolution to

res"

would use

knowledge on the barricades of Berlin and

their

Vienna. Later these courses became organized institutions.

most promising students would

receive military instruction

the immediate tutelage of the Intelligence

The

under

Department of the

General Staff of the Red Army. In 1926, a university was established in

Moscow

to instruct

Western European and American Communists in the technique of Bolshevism. This university, the so-called Lenin School,

is

subsi-

dized by the O.M.S., which also provides living quarters for the students. viet ish, life,

Its

dean

is

the wife of Yaroslavsky, Chief of the So-

"League of the Godless." The students, French and American Communists,

and have

in the Soviet

little

live

now

largely Brit-

an entirely secluded

contact with either Russians or foreigners

Union. Graduates of

this

Bolshevik academy are

expected to return to their native countries to work for the

Comintern 50

in labor unions,

government

offices

and other non-

In Stalin's Secret Service

Communist positions. Secrecy is maintained because their value to Moscow in the United States, France, and Great Britain is destroyed if it becomes known that they have studied methods of civil warfare under the Intelligence Officers of the Red Army. for very small groups of carefully

Another training course, sifted foreign

Communists,

Moscow

side

is

conducted

in

complete secrecy out-

suburb of Kuntsevo. Here European and

in the

American Communists are taught intelligence work, including wiretapping, the operation of secret radio stations, passport forgery, etc.

When

the

Comintern began

to turn

its

attention to China,

created a university of the east, the so-called sity,

with Karl Radek

Moscow was

at the head.

then in a frenzy of

optimism over the prospects of a Soviet revolution of generals and of high Chinese this special training school.

Kai-shek. the

The Kuomintang and

Among them

was the son of Chiang

the Chinese Nationalist Party, and

at

hand, and

in

Moscow felt

hand.

received a Russian political tutor, Borodin,

a Russian military advisor, General Galen-Bluecher, later

mander of the 1938. tered

When

central

into the

committee and

its

Chiang had received the

all

Kuomintang and many enacademy at Whampoa.

military

full

he made a sharp about face and on munists from

com-

Soviet Far Eastern District until his liquidation in

Communists flocked

its

Sons

were invited to attend

Comintern were then working hand was

in China.

officials

The Kuomintang,

that at last a big victory

it

Sun Yat Sen Univer-

benefit of

Moscow's support

May 20, 1 926 eliminated Com-

important positions.

Stalin,

however, avoided a

him later. known before

clean break with Chiang, hoping to outwit I

was

staying, at this time, at the hotel

lution as the Kniazi Dvor. Living

on the same

the revo-

floor with

me

was

General Feng, the Christian General. Despite the about-face in

May, the Comintern

leaders

were

still

confident of their approach-

ing victory in China. Feng was in Moscow, maneuvering to ar-

range an alliance against Chiang Kai-shek. Great importance was attached to his

visit

by the Soviet

leaders,

meetings and parties and boosted him

who

dragged him to

as a leader

of the Chinese 51

W. G. Krivitsky

masses. Feng played his part admirably, promising everywhere in

ringing speeches to fight for the victory of Leninism in China.

Almost every day

I

saw a new

delivered to the door of his suite, I

crate of

books and pamphlets

where OGPU

soldiers stood guard.

spoke to Feng several times, partly in English, partly in Russian.

He was

a typical

Chinese war

whom nothing in the world

lord, to

was more foreign than the Leninism with which he was being

bombarded. Like so many

He

others, he proved a disappointment.

returned to China without opening the crates of books, and

never gave another moment's thought to the "Leninist" promises

he had made in Moscow. In

December 1927,

after

Chiang had completed

his job

shooting and decapitating thousands of Communists hai, the

Comintern sent Heinz Neumann,

German Communist

Party, to lead

in

by

Shang-

a former leader of the

an uprising in Canton. The

uprising lasted two and a half days and cost nearly six thousand lives.

All the Chinese

Communist leaders

and Heinz Neumann

fled to

Communist

Canton were executed

Moscow.

Wholly independent of the individual

in

Parties,

vast

propaganda machinery of the

with their newspapers, magazines,

books, and pamphlets running into millions of dollars annually, the centralized propaganda apparatus of the is

in the charge of the

Comintern

is

itself. It

Bureau of Agitation and Propaganda, but

financed and actually directed by the Foreign Liaison Section.

most important publication

is

Its

the International Press Correspon-

dence, released in English, French, and

German.

It is

intended

Communist editors The Nazis have attempted to imitate this

primarily to benefit the hundreds of

in vari-

ous countries.

type of

propaganda with

their

tributed to pro-Fascist

World Service, published in Erfurt and

and anti-Semitic

dis-

editors throughout the

world.

Nothing occasions ties

more embarrassing

is

when

get their signals mixed,

same question.

to

Moscow than those Communist

the official newspapers of the

rare

Par-

and take contradictory stands on the

When the Berlin-Moscow pact was signed, ten days

before the outbreak of the present European War, the synchroni-

52

In Stalin's Secret Service

zation of the

Communist

official

organs was perfect.

The London

Daily Worker, the Paris LHumanite\ and the Daily Worker in the

United States simultaneously and in identical language hailed signal for general

war

The Comintern

as a great

this

contribution toward peace.

also publishes in every leading

country

in-

cluding the United States, a magazine called the Communist Interna-

which contains the decisions of the Comintern

tional, articles

as well as

by leading Russian and foreign Communists.

These key publications serve a double function. Not only do

Communist Parties recent years has become

they insure unity of opinion throughout the

of Europe and America, but what in

even more important, they constitute the mechanism whereby Stalin

is

guaranteed a well-organized echo to everything which he

decrees in for the

Moscow. During the

Kremlin

to be able to

pro-Communist

great purge

show

writers of Western

backed him to the

it

was very important

the Russian people that

Europe and the United

hilt in his liquidation

all

the

States

of the old Bolshevik he-

roes.

Foreigners

and 1938

German,

how vital it was for Stalin in

little realize

to be able to declare that the

Polish, Bulgarian,

American,

two

first

Not

936,

1

937,

British, French,

and Chinese Communists unanimously

supported the liquidation of the "Trotskyite,

and wreckers"

1

Fascist,

mad-dogs,

—among them even Zinoviev and Bukharin,

chiefs

the

of the Comintern.

a single

Communist

leader in the United States writing

during the period of the great purge, failed to furnish Stalin with these prescribed epithets directed against the former leaders of

the Bolshevik Party

and of the Comintern.

Even before the Comintern tactics, the

O.M.S. had

officially

began

started to subsidize a

form of propaganda. Moscow decided that adequate for

its

its

Popular Front

new and it

subtler

was no longer

purposes to reach only those groups

whom

it

Communist slogans. In the person of Willi Muenzenberg, once a leading German Communist and memcould attract by outright

ber of the Reichstag, field

it

found

a

means of branching out

into the

of what are called "front publications." Muenzenberg was

53

W. G. Krivitsky

publisher and entrepreneur.

He

turned out attractive illustrated newspapers and magazines,

all

set

up with O.M.S. funds,

as a big

apparently non-partisan but nevertheless "sympathetic" to the

He later went

Soviet Union.

motion picture business

into the

also

known

as Prometheus. The Muenzenberg managed and soon extended their operations into the Scandinavian countries. When Hitler came to power, Muenzenberg transferred them to Paris and Prague. When the great purge reached out for Muenzenberg it found him an elusive target. He declined an invitation to "visit" Moscow.

and founded

a concern

enterprises were cleverly

Dimitrov, the President of the Comintern, wrote reassuring

let-

Moscow needed him for important new assignMuenzenberg refused to bite. The OGPU then dispatched

ters insisting that

ments.

one of its agents, Byeletsky,

to convince

him

that he

had nothing

to fear.

"Who decides your fate?" argued And I know that Yezhov is on

OGPU?

Muenzenberg avoided the and

fall

trap,

Byeletsky.

your

"Dimitrov or the

side."

and during the

entire

summer

of 1937 remained in hiding, fearing a more violent type

He

of persuasion.

turned his establishments over to Smeral, a

Czech Communist. The German Communist Party expelled him

and indexed him

as

alive in Paris today.

an "enemy of the people." Muenzenberg

He

has never

come out openly

After the Seventh Congress of the

Muenzenberg

front publications

and the United

evening newspaper, Ce

Soir.

Comintern

became

States. In Paris, the

a

model

is

against Stalin. in

for

1935 the all

Europe

Comintern even founded an

But for the past three or four years

Comintern has spent more money for "nonpartisan" publications and front organizations in the United States than in any other

the

country. So long as

Moscow adhered

to the pretense

of collective

and anti-Hitlerism, the American public became a vericampaign ground for its propagandists. Instead of building

security table

revolutionary "cadres" to convince

New

among American workers,

Deal

officials,

the job was

now

respectable business executives,

trade-union leaders and journalists that Soviet Russia was in the forefront of the forces of "peace

54

and democracy."

In Stalin's Secret Service

At the height of this popular front campaign, when the

dicta-

Union was becoming more and more totalitarian and the purge was the dominant fact in Soviet life, the Comintern became more than ever, and indeed essentially, an OGPU torship within the Soviet

subsidiary.

The Comintern

has a "Control Commission" on the model

of that of the Russian Bolshevik Party, which over the political morals of Stalin

party grew

more

members. During the years that

its

climbed to sole power,

as the factional

acute, internal espionage

tion of this body.

supposed to watch

is

war

in the Bolshevik

became the

sole func-

The Control Commission threw all wavering Communist Party. The Comintern

Stalinists out of the Russian

Control Commission followed

example on an international

this

scale.

The Control Commission, however, other instrument, created to aid

of "Cadres Section." This

title

many years

Comintern. For

it

it, is

is

one of the milder

the

arm of the ogpu

friend of Dzerzhinsky, the

Soviet Secret Police,

and

many years

a

first

its

Communist

Party,

Chief of the

Comintern agent

United States and Latin America. Kraiewski planted every

in the

was headed by Kraiewski, a Polish

Communist, an old

for

in-

body bearing the innocent

a

now

is

of the Stalin regime. An-

quisitorial instruments at the disposal

in the

his agents in

and developed intra-party espionage

to

present level of supreme efficiency.

Every ten days the chief of

this

Cadres Section meets the

chief of a corresponding section of the

OGPU and turns over

him

The OGPU then

the material gathered by his agents.

data as

down

it

to

sees its

fit.

Today

this police office in the

Communists munist

uses this

Comintern

tracks

source every ripple of foreign opposition to Stalin.

follows with special vigilance

all

to

It

threads running from foreign

to potential oppositionists inside the Russian

Com-

Party.

One

of the most unsavory jobs assigned to

the luring to

Moscow

loyalty to Stalin.

ing with the

this

department

of foreign Communists suspected of

A Communist who believes himself in good

Comintern will

receive

word from

is

dis-

stand-

the executive

com55

W. G. Krivitsky

mittee that he

needed in Moscow. Flattered

is

at this recognition

Upon his Many such

of his importance, he hastens to the Comintern capital. he

arrival

turned over to the OGPU and disappears.

is

catches are credited to the Cadres Section,

work of

which through

spies frequently receives "information"

its

not only

net-

false,

but malicious, tending to show that the individual in question has not been toeing the Stalinist munists

who

line.

The number of foreign Com-

have been thus lured to their destruction will prob-

ably never be ascertained.

Moscow has also more refined methods of handling, foreign Communist leaders who are in disfavor. An important political figure who still enjoys a certain amount of prestige among his own followers has to be whittled down before he is ready for the discard. He must be compromised in the eyes of Communists in his own country. When that is done, he can be dealt with summarily.

The whittling down process follows a well designed pattern. The first step is to remove him from work in his own country. Ordered

to

Moscow, he must choose between obedience and im-

mediate expulsion. nist Party.

But

if

He

cannot refuse and remain in the

he has high standing, he cannot be turned right

off into a Soviet office boy.

Comintern, he

is

Summoned

to the offices of the

informed that he has been chosen for an impor-

tant mission in China, in the is

Near

East, or in Latin

America. This

the beginning of his decline. Detached from his

thrown into returns to

a

Commu-

own

remote sphere where he can accomplish

Moscow

to face a very

dour Comintern

for the six

dollars

months you were



that the

avail.

working

The

class

familiar

ings, falls

56

on deaf ears. Informed of all

they have not forgotten

light.

five

you

to

thousand

The Comintern

sent

argument

—and obvious

of Brazil has not yet reached a

cient level of political consciousness to

if

and the

you spent?"

Excuses are of no fact

in Brazil,

he

chief.

"Well, comrade," the chief says, "what results have

show

party,

little,

suffi-

embrace Communist teachthis, his

comrades

at

home,

him entirely, see him now in a new him to Brazil and he didn't deliver.

In Stalin's Secret Service

The

He is now given a job in one Bureaus. He becomes a wage employee

next step follows logically.

of the thousands of Soviet

of the Soviet government, and

From

this

moment,

he has any backbone,

at

is

his chief

an end.

ambition

is

of the Soviet Union and back to his country and to

to get out

sever

if

his political career

all ties

with Soviet Russia and the Comintern. In

this

he does

not often succeed.

One

of the most tragic cases of

this

kind was that of

my

friend Stanislaw Hubermann, brother of the world-renowned violinist. Hubermann, who was known in our circle as Stach Huber, entered the Polish revolutionary movement during the World War.

Together with Muenzenberg, he was one of the founders of the

Young Communist League. He worked valiantly in the underground Communist Party and soon became one of its leaders. He served many prison sentences in Poland and was often severely beaten by the police.

When tee

the

Comintern decided

of the Polish

Party,

to

change the central commit-

Huber was summoned

to

Moscow. He was

soon transferred to a newly created bureau connected with the railroads.

work.

He

Huber was completely out of

his

element in railroad

vainly exerted pressure to be sent back to

party in Poland.

work

He was pushed from one bureau to another,

in his

given

an opportunity to sample every aspect of Soviet bureaucracy, but

he was not allowed to go back to his Polish comrades.

He was

still

in

Moscow, working

as

an obscure secretary in a

when the fifteenth anniversary of the founding of Young Communist League was celebrated in the House of

Soviet office,

the

the Soviets.

On

viet regime,

parading in their splendor. Stirring speeches were de-

livered

the platform were the

new

dignitaries of the So-

emphasizing the great role of the Young Communist League

in Soviet Russia

and

in the world. In the

back of the

Huber, one of the founders of the Young

Wandering about long since

aimlessly,

hall

was Stach

Communist League. who had also

he met an old comrade

They were happy to run into each other and invited Huber to his apartment. They spent the

lost caste.

the old friend

better part of the night reminiscing

and exchanging anecdotes 57

W. G. Krivitsky Huber was summoned to appear before the Control Commission of the Comintern. "Were you at the home of Comrade N last Wednesday night?"

over a bottle. Several days

the

Stach

later,

Huber admitted the "charge." He was at once expelled from party, which made it impossible for him to get any job. He was

directed to vacate his apartment immediately,

He came

a roof over his head.

to live with

and was

me

left

without

my apartment.

in

I was almost certain during those days that Stach Huber would commit suicide. But Manuilsky, one of the leaders of the Comintern, came to his rescue. The Control Commission was persuaded to reverse its decision. Huber was readmitted into the

Party,

with the remark, "strong and

final

warning" recorded in

his

He was given a job at the railroad depot of Velikie Huber knew how precarious his position now was, and he

Party dossier. Luki.

labored assiduously in the hope that eventually the black

would be erased from

He worked

Huber was

his party record.

so well that in

1936 he was awarded an

air trip

Moscow for the November anniversary of Revolution. En route the plane crashed and Stach

from Velikie Luki the Bolshevik

mark

to

killed. Several

months

later

one of his

friends said to

me:

"How fortunate Stach was to die in an aeroplane crash!" And indeed he was fortunate. In the province of Velikie Luki the local

Communist official had rewarded him

for his

good work,

but in the OGPU office he was merely an old Bolshevik

been expelled from the Party and reinstated on parole. purge attained

its

height, the

OGPU was searching

who had

When

for Stach

the

Huber.

The end was not always so tragic. When Tomann, a leader of Communist Party, was appointed educational director of a seaman's home in Leningrad, he arranged to receive a telegram from Vienna informing him that his mother was dying. This time it was Moscow that was fooled. Upon reaching Vienna, Tomann announced his break with the Comintern. the Austrian

The coterie of foreign Communists at the

Hotel Lux,

parties,

58

as

residing in

Moscow chiefly

permanent representatives of their respective

have always constituted a glaring anomaly in Soviet

life.

In Stalin's Secrei

The Communist

Parties

Moscow. Men Thorez come only when summoned or congress. But each party has

from

are not paid

who

to

and

Pollitt

an important conference

Moscow

resident consuls in

the Bolshevik Bureau,



and

contempt by

especially

by

Stalin



or did shine until recently

as

Moscow.

During the famine

when

in 1932-33,

Browder,

like

sent them. Regarded with

himself, they nevertheless shine social lights in

its

their first rank

a regular diplomatic corps in that their salaries

by those

members of

the

rvice

do not of course send

leaders to reside in

too, differing

Si

bread and dried

that

accompanied

forcible collectivization

the average Soviet employee had to get along

fish, a

on

cooperative was created for the exclusive

use of these foreigners, where they could purchase, at moderate prices,

products that no

Lux became vite, if

asked

a

money could buy

symbol of social

who

lives in

injustice,

elsewhere.

The Hotel

and the average Musco-

comfort in Moscow, would invariably

reply:

"The diplomatic corps and

The handful of Russian mixed

casionally

to lick the plates

come

to

socially

of

the foreigners in the Hotel Lux."

writers, actors

actresses,

The

at the

oc-

Russians would

them and beg for such small conveniences

To the OGPU, the

who

with the Comintern people were forced

this foreign aristocracy.

needles, lipstick, fountain pens, or a

Lux

and

as razor blades,

pound of coffee.

international collection living at the Hotel

government's expense was, and

is

always, subject to

suspicion. This papier-mache world of the "proletarian revolution"

is

always buzzing with intrigue, and mutual recriminations,

Communist accusing the other of insufficient loyalty Stalin. The OGPU, through its planted "guests" in the hotel, bears

each foreign to all

these charges

luminous

and counter-charges and records them

in

its

vo-

files.

When

the great purge began there was a general

roundup and

Communists living in the Soviet Union. The Lux at last received important work. They became agents of the OGPU and denounced their own liquidation of foreign

Comintern consuls countrymen

living at the

in batches.

Being personally responsible for

all

for-

59

W. G. Krivitsky

eign

Communists then

own

positions

countrymen

in the Soviet

and often

their

own

Union, they could save

to the OGPU.

Ironically enough,

was during these years when the

it

Comintern became the creature of Stalin and the OGPU, viet Russia attained the tries.

The Popular

Horse speech

Seventh Congress of the

at the

that So-

peak of its prestige in the democratic coun-

famous Trojan

Front, heralded by Dimitrov's

national in 1935, ushered in a lar

their

necks only by delivering their

Communist

Inter-

new day. Abandoning the unpopu-

Bolshevik slogans, which after nearly two decades had failed to

take hold in a single foreign country, citadels

of capitalism

anti-Hitlerism.

as the

champion of

Even while the

us in every walk of

life,

Moscow now peace,

entered the

democracy and

was terrorizing

great purge

all

Stalin granted to his subjects "the

most

democratic constitution in the world," a constitution which,

though

it

exists

is

ment,

As

regarded by

many foreign

built

on the

Fascist sys-

liberals as, if not a great achieve-

at least a "significant aspiration."

a practical matter, the Popular Front

was important

in five

countries: the United States, Great Britain, France, Spain,

Czechoslovakia. In

all

Fascist

I

underground Communist

had good occasion

Parties

to observe, in

Intelligence in Western Europe,

a fight.

of Germany and

my post as

to their deaths.

amounted to nothing. Shot through

Communism

rupt in these countries, and

Germany

as a result

if a

The Italy,

Chief of Military

with Fascist stool pigeons, the only function they serve

men

and

and semi-Fascist countries the

Comintern abdicated without even the pretense of so-called as

al-

only on paper, and there openly guarantees the

permanent sovereignty of his new party tem,

of

has long since

is

to

send

become bank-

new revolutionary wave is to sweep

of Hitler's war,

it

most

certainly will not be

under the leadership of Moscow. In the stable and progressive democracies of Scandinavia, the

Popular Front's slogans

of

just as

had revolutionary slogans

earlier years.

In Great Britain, face

60

fell flat,

won

on the other hand, although Moscow's new

few converts among the laboring masses,

its

anti-Fascist

In Stalin's Secret Servh

slogans captured a substantial

number of

i

students, writers,

trade-union leaders. During the Spanish tragedy and the days,

many

and

Munich

scions of the British aristocracy enlisted both in the

Army of the Comintern in Spain) and Moscow show trials shocked many At the height of the Purge one of the mem-

International Brigade (the in

our Intelligence Service. The

new

of these

recruits.

bers of the Central

Committee of

the British

Communist

Party

said to a colleague of mine:

"Why

does Stalin shoot you people?

Union, but

serve the Soviet

I

am

I

know how

sure that if

loyally

you return

to

you

Mos-

cow, you too will be shot."

Such moods

The all its

arose,

but they subsided.

executions continued.

totalitarian horror.

But

The Spanish

picture unfolded in

Stalin kept his international follow-

ing as the great ally of the democracies against Hitler. In France the Front Populaire was so intimately tied up with the

Franco-Soviet alliance that ture.

it all

but captured the governmental struc-

True, there were those, like

military situation

from

Leon Blum, who

tried to

keep the

affecting internal politics, but to a large

Most of France, from General Gamelin

extent such efforts failed.

and conservative Deputy De

Kerillis to

trade-union leader Jouhaux,

were so obsessed with the idea that France's security was linked with Moscow, that the Front Populaire became the dominant

French

life.

On

the surface the

fact in

Comintern operated through

sugar-coated organizations. Newspapers like Ce

Soir,

book

publishing houses, theaters, motion picture companies



its

clubs, all

be-

came instruments of Stalin's "anti-Hitler" front. Behind the scenes the OGPU and Soviet Military Intelligence were working feverishly for a stranglehold

on the

The country was not

state institutions

entirely blind to the danger.

frequent interpellations on the floor of the in

of France.

which the charge was hurled

There were

Chamber of Deputies

that the Soviet

government was

too well informed regarding the secrets of French military aviation. is

Whatever

basis there

at least a fact that

may have been for these insinuations,

we of

number of ranking French

it

the Soviet Intelligence referred to a

officials as

"our people."

61

W. G. Krivitsky

Moscow's influence over Czechoslovakia was even more pronounced. Soviet Russia was looked upon by the most responsible ministers of the Prague its

government

as the vigilant

protector of

independence. Here an element of pan-slavism entered to make

the Kremlin's authority even greater.

enamoured of the notion of

The Czechs became

so

their great Slav brother protecting

them against Nazi Germany that they allowed themselves to be drawn

into

one of the most

story of how

The

Moscow

tragic intrigues in

modern

history.

used the Czech government for a pur-

pose of Stalin, has been told in

my introduction.

Communist Party as such never played and was always regarded by Moscow with su-

In the United States the

any serious

role,

preme contempt. For

all its

long years of activity up to 1935, the

American Communist Party had almost nothing nized labor did not respond to

its

slogans,

to show.

Orga-

and the mass of Ameri-

can people were barely aware of its existence. Even in those years, however, the party was important to us, because

connected than any other Intelligence Service.

of the Red Army,

Communist

it

was more

Party with our

closely

OGPU and

During the mechanization and motorization

we had members of the American Communist

Party as our agents in aircraft and automobile factories and in

munitions plants. In

Moscow

several years ago,

Intelligence in the far in

I

told the Chief of our Military

United States that

I

thought he was going too

mobilizing such a large percentage of American Party func-

tionaries for espionage.

"Why

not?

They

His reply was

receive

typical:

good Soviet money. They'll never

make a revolution, so they might as well earn their With the thousands of recruits enlisted under democracy, the

Communist

United States grew touched

territory.

much

By

pay."

the banner of

OGPU espionage ring in the and penetrated previously un-

Party

larger

carefully concealing their identity,

munists found their way into hundreds of key positions.

came cials

possible for

who would

Moscow

It

conduct of

be-

offi-

not knowingly approach a Comintern or OGPU

agent with a ten-foot pole.

62

to influence the

Com-

In Stalin's

More

Secret Service

challenging perhaps than this success in espionage and

pressure politics,

is

the Comintern's penetration into labor unions,

publishing houses, magazines, and newspapers

complished by simply erasing the Comintern's anti-Hitlerism in

a

label

maneuver

ac-

and stamping

place.

its

The members of world party and



its

the

Comintern have always regarded

Moscow

leadership as the

first

their

and para-

mount object of loyalty. Whether it was Kiepenberger as a member of the Military Affairs Committee of the German Reichstag, Gallacher in the British House of Commons, or Gabriel Peri, in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the French

Chamber, the only the Comintern.

allegiance they recognized as binding

When

the

Comintern became

was to

a personal instru-

ment of Stalin they transferred their allegiance to him. The era of the Popular Front came to an end with a resounding crash on August 23, 1939. The curtain came down on the Popular Front farce at the moment when Soviet Premier Molotov affixed his signature

under that of Nazi Foreign Minister Von

Ribbentrop, in Stalin's beaming presence, to the Berlin-Moscow pact.

There

world was Berlin to the two

Stalin gave Hitler carte blanche, at war.

A

work out

and

in ten days the

Soviet military mission was dispatched to

the details of complete collaboration between

most autocratic, all-embracing tyrannies the world has ever

known.

To

Stalin the fusion

of these two dictatorships

is

the climax

of all he has striven toward for years. Hopelessly enmeshed in the contradictory results of his

own economic and

political blunders,

he can only hope to remain in power by working hand with

Stalin has always

hand

maintained a completely cynical attitude

ward the Communist International and aries.

in

Hitler.

As

far

back

1927 he

as

said,

its

to-

non-Russian function-

during a meeting of the Bolshe-

vik Political Bureau:

"Who are these Comintern people? They are nothing but hirelings

on our Soviet

payroll. In ninety years they will never

make

a

revolution anywhere."

63

— W. G. Krivitsky

Stalin's favorite

name

for the

Comintern

is

the "lavotchka"

or gyp joint. But he has been careful to preserve this gyp joint because it has served him well both for the purposes of internal

and

politics

in his international maneuvers.

Next

to the OGPU,

it

has been his most useful personal weapon.

Although

Stalin dealt a

deathblow to the Comintern

cluding his pact with Hitler, he will seek to preserve cratic countries exclusively





in con-

in the

demo-

skeleton party machines. These will

continue, to the extent of their dwindled power, to be the creatures of his totalitarian despotism.

The knows

64

big difference

that those

who

is

that since

August 23, 1939 the world

serve Stalin serve Hitler.

Ill

Stalin's

THE

Hand

in Spain

story of Soviet intervention in Spain

still

the major mystery of the Spanish Civil War.

knows

that there

was Soviet intervention

remains

The world

in Spain,

and

does know. It does not know why Stalin interhow he conducted his operations there, who were the undercover men in charge of his campaign, what he thought to get out of it, nor how the venture ended. that

is

vened

I

about

all it

in Spain,

happen

viet officials

to be the sole survivor

who had

a direct

tervention in Spain, and

am

abroad of the group of So-

hand

in organizing Soviet in-

the only one

now

free to

expose

this

dramatic chapter of current history. As Chief of the Soviet Military Intelligence in

Western Europe,

I

was on the inside of every

major step taken in the Spanish matter by the Kremlin. For years before that

I

had occupied

a post

which kept

me

many

in intimate

contact with Stalin's foreign policy, of which this Spanish venture

was an organic

part.

65

W. G. Krivitsky

Ever since the

rise

of Hitler in 1933,

He was

had been an anxious one. His

efforts to

come

Stalin's

foreign policy

driven by the fear of isolation.

now encouraged moments, when success here

with Hitler were

to terms

and now rebuffed. At hopeless seemed impossible, he would

try to revive the old Czarist pact

with France. But here too he had not the complete success he wanted. His attempts to join hands with Great Britain were even less successful.

Anthony Eden and Premier

In 1935,

their state visits to

Laval paid

Moscow. Foreign Commissar Litvinov went

to

Washington, secured American recognition, and then played a star role in

he got.

Geneva.

He got world-wide

London would make no

publicity, but publicity

was

commitment. The

definite

all

treaty

with France was a feeble reed to lean on. In this state of things, after the outbreak of the Franco rebel-

turned his eyes toward Spain.

lion, Stalin

He made haste slowly,

as

he always does. There was a period of watchful waiting, of furtive exploration. Stalin

wanted

to be sure first that there

quick and easy Franco victory.

—and him —

His idea was

who

served

influence.

this

Then he

was

intervened in Spain.

common

knowledge among us

to include Spain in the sphere of the Kremlin's

Such domination would secure

his ties

London, and thus strengthen, on the other hand,

—of —he would

ain

vital strategic

find

revolution.

But

ally to

bargaining

is

not true.

had long before that ceased

He would

Brit-

be a force to

The world believes that way connected with world

be coveted.

Spain were in some

this

his

importance to France and Great

what he was seeking.

be reckoned with, an Stalin's actions in

with Paris and

Once he was master of the Spanish govern-

position with Berlin.

ment

would be no

The problem of world

to be real to Stalin.

It

revolution

was

solely a

question of Russia's foreign policy.

Three countries participated directly in the Spanish Civil War: Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union. The participation

Germany and Italy was open. Both countries officially acknowledged the action of their expeditionary forces in Spain, of

exaggerating their military exploits rather than hiding them.

66

In Stalin's Secret Servk

But

Stalin, unlike Mussolini, played

it

i

safe in Spain. Far

from

down timidly, and indeed at the beginning concealed it altogether. The Soviet intervention might have been decisive at certain moments had boasting of his intervention, he played

Stalin taken the risks

on the Franco sure before

side that Mussolini took

But Stalin risked nothing.

side.

moving

on the Loyalist

it

that there was

enough gold

He

in the

Spain to more than cover the costs of his material

no chances of involving the Soviet Union launched of the

his intervention

made Bank of

even

aid.

He

took

in a great war.

He

under the slogan: "Stay out of range

artillery fire!"

This was and remained our guiding slogan throughout the Spanish intervention.

On July

19, 1936, the

day General Franco raised the banner

my headquarters in The Hague, Holland. I was my wife and child, as an Austrian antiquarian. This disguise accounted plausibly for my residence, for the funds with which I was supplied, and for my frequent journeys to other of revolt,

I

was

living there,

at

with

parts of Europe. I

had up

secret service

to then

been devoting nearly

network

in

Nazi Germany.

an understanding with Hitler were

still

all

my

energies to

my

Stalin's efforts to reach

unsuccessful,

and the

Kremlin was deeply concerned over the German-Japanese pact then being negotiated in Berlin. tiations closely, as

At the

first

I

I

was following the

secret nego-

have related in another chapter.

thunder of guns beyond the Pyrenees,

I

dispatched

an agent to Hendaye on the French-Spanish border, and another to Lisbon, to organize a secret information service in the Franco territory.

These were merely routine measures. structions

from Moscow

was no contact between

I

had received no

in-

in regard to Spain,

and

my

Madrid government.

As the responsible head of

agents and the its

at that time there

European Intelligence

Service,

I

was simply securing general information for relaying to the Kremlin.

67

W. G. Krivitsky

Our

agents in Berlin and

Rome, Hamburg and Genoa,

Bremen and Naples, duly reported to us the powerful aid that Franco was receiving from Italy and Germany. This information I dispatched to Moscow, where it was received in silence. I got no secret instructions regarding Spain. Publicly also

still

the Soviet government had nothing to say.

The Comintern, of none of us

course,

men

practical

made

took that

a great deal of noise, but

seriously.

This organization,

then already nicknamed the "gyp joint," had been relegated to a quiet suburb of

Moscow and from

international revolution,

being the intended torch of

had become

—sometimes

a

mere adjunct of

Stalin's

useful in indirect ways, other times a

foreign policy

considerable nuisance.

one great service had been to launch the international policy

Its

known

Popular Front. This meant that in every democratic

as the

country the obedient members of the

Communist

Party should

drop their opposition to the ruling powers and, in the name of "democracy," join forces with other political parties.

nique was to

The

tech-

with the aid of "fellow travelers" and dupes,

elect,

governments friendly to the Soviet Union. This had been of some help to the Kremlin in several countries. In France, indeed,

real

had elevated the moderate Socialist Leon Blum now in the Spanish crisis, with the Comintern shout-

the Front Populaire

But

to power.

ing for the Republic and issuing battle cries against Franco, Pre-

mier

Blum launched, with

the backing of

London, the policy

of nonintervention in Spain.

Comintern were still more number of its adherents there was almost infinitesionly 3,000 men in the Communist Party all told. Spanish

In Spain itself the shouts of the futile, for

mal



the

trade unions ist,

and

all

the strong revolutionary groupings, syndical-

anarchist, Party of Marxist Unity,

stinately

of existence,

still

relations

Notwithstanding

68

Socialist,

refused to recognize the Soviet

had no diplomatic ings

and

anti-Communist. The Spanish Republic,

this,

and collected funds

all

remained ob-

after five years

government and

with Moscow.

the

Comintern organized mass meet-

over the world for the Spanish Repub-

In Stalin's Secret Service

From

lie.

Union it dispatched as soldiers to Spain scores Communists who, outlawed in their own countries, had

the Soviet

of foreign

been living

as refugees in Russia. Stalin

was glad to get

of

rid

them.

To

Comintern,

a few veteran leaders of the

still

inwardly de-

voted to the ideal of world revolution, the fighting in Spain

brought new hope. These old revolutionists Spanish Civil their

War might once more

really

thought the

kindle the world. But

all

enthusiasm produced no munitions, no tanks, no planes,

none of the war supplies

for

which Madrid was pleading, and

with which the Fascist powers were supplying Franco. The function of the Comintern at this time was to

motion

The

to

drown

the louder noise

revelations of

made by

German and

real

make enough com-

the silence of Stalin.

Italian aid to Franco,

and the

desperate appeals of the Spanish revolutionary leaders for help,

seemed not

Kremlin

to penetrate the

walls.

The

Spain developed into a huge conflagration and

no move.

A

still

civil

war

Stalin

in

made

constant stream of devastating reports came in to

me

at

kia,

from Schneider

The Hague, and

them to Moscow. Although the Spanish government in Madrid was in possession of the $700,000,000 gold reserve of the Bank of Spain, its efforts to buy arms from Vickers in England, from Skoda in CzechoslovaI

steadily relayed

in France,

and from Germany's powerful mu-

nitions makers, were frustrated

word from

got no It

was

late in

by the noninterventionists.

August, and the Franco forces were firmly

organized and marching successfully on Madrid,

high

officials

when

three

of the Spanish Republic were finally received in

They came

Russia.

Still I

my government.

to

buy war

supplies,

and they offered

in

exchange huge sums of Spanish gold. Even now, however, they

were not conveyed to

And

Odessa.

Moscow

but kept incognito in a hotel in

to conceal the operation, Stalin issued,

on

Friday,

August 28, 1936, through the Commissar of Foreign Trade,

a

decree forbidding "the export, re-export or transit to Spain of all

kinds of arms, munitions, war materials, airplanes and war-

ships."

The

decree was published and broadcast to the world

69

W. G. Krivitsky

on the following Monday. The fellow travelers of the Comintern, and the public, roused by them, already privately dismayed at Stalin's failure to rush to the

now understood

that he

support of the Spanish Republic,

was joining Leon Blum's policy of non-

intervention. Stalin was in reality sneaking to the support of

the Spanish Republic.

While

its

high

officials

waited in Odessa,

and

Stalin called an extraordinary session of the Politbureau,

presented his plan for cautious intervention in the Spanish Civil

War



under cover of his proclamation of neutrality.

all this

was gone and that the new

Stalin argued that the old Spain

Spain could not stand alone.

must

It

and Germany, or the camp of

neither France nor Great Britain

which commands the entrance by

trolled

camp of Italy

join either the

opponents. Stalin said that

their

would

willingly allow Spain,

to the Mediterranean, to be con-

Rome and Berlin. A friendly Spain was vital to

and

Paris

London. Without public intervention, but by an adroit use of his position as the source of military supplies, Stalin believed

could

command

them the as a

offer

pos-

the respect of France

of a

real alliance,

and

and England, win from

either accept

it

or,

with that

bargaining point, arrive at his underlying steady aim and pur-

pose, a

compact with Germany.

That was was

it

Spain a regime controlled by him. That done he

sible to create in

also

Stalin's central

thought on Spanish intervention.

moved, however, by the need

foreign friends of the Soviet

for

some answer

Union who would be

He

to the

disaffected

by

the great purge and the shooting of his old Bolshevik colleagues.

The Western world does not

realize

was

how essential

Stalin's

hold on power, and

as dictator that

foreign

to him.

It is

not too

And his

tenuous it

was

at that

time

to his survival

he should be defended in these bloody acts by

Communists and eminent

Rolland.

how

much

failure to

fellow travelers, like

Romain

was

essential

to say that their support

defend the Spanish Republic, combined

with the shock of the great purge and the treason have cost him their support.

trials,

might

There was also that hoard of gold in Spain, $700,000,000, which the government was willing to spend for war materials. How

70

In Stalin's Secret Service

much of this

gold could be transported to Russia in payment for

munitions delivered in Spain, while the Soviet Union adhered to

its

officially

announced policy of strict nonintervention, was no

doubt an urgent question.

The

Politbureau of course adopted

He doubly

Stalin's policy.

cautioned his commissars that Soviet aid to Spain must be unofficial

and handled

covertly, in order to eliminate

involving his government in war. His

last

those at that Politbureau meeting as a ers

any

possibility

phrase, passed

command

to

all

of

down by

high

offic-

— Stay out of

of the service was: Podalshe ot artillereiskovo ognia!

range of the artillery

Two

fire!"

who came by

days later a special courier,

land, brought

me

instructions

plane to Hol-

from Moscow: "Extend your op-

erations immediately to cover Spanish Civil War. Mobilize

able agents

and

facilities for

prompt

creation of a system to pur-

chase and transport arms to Spain.

A

patched to Paris to aid you in

work.

there I

this

all avail-

being

dis-

will report to

you

special agent

He

is

and work under your supervision." was glad that

Spain.

Stalin

had

at last

The Kamenev-Zinoviev

trial

decided to

move

had created

earnestly in

a dreadful im-

pression in pro-Soviet circles, and the strict neutrality adopted by

Moscow

in the Spanish struggle

was giving

rise to

embarrassing

questions even in the friendliest quarters.

At

this

same time

Stalin instructed Yagoda, then chief of

up in Spain a branch of the Soviet secret podid the omnipotent Yagoda dream that five days afhonored him with this momentous commission he

the ogpu, to set lice. Little

ter Stalin

would be removed from in

his post,

and

a

few months

later

lodged

one of the Lubianka^cells over which he had presided so

came to an end before one of his own firing squads on March 14, 1938, after he had "confessed" to a plot to poison his successor, Yezhov, and also his old friend, Maxim long. His career

Gorky, the famous writer.

On September

14, obedient to Stalin's order,

emergency conference

at his

cow. Frinovskv, then

commander of

Yagoda

called

headquarters, the Lubianka, in

an

Mos-

the militarv forces of the

71

W. G. Krivitsky

OGPU,

came

later

to

commissar of the navy, was present. (His career

an abrupt end in 1939

when he

also

"disappeared.") Sloutski,

chief of the Foreign Division of the OGPU, and General Uritsky

Army

of the General Staff of the Red

From I

Sloutski,

were

also present.

whom I met frequently in Paris and elsewhere,

learned that at this conference a veteran officer of his depart-

ment was

detailed to establish the

OGPU

in Loyalist Spain.

He was

Nikolsky, alias Schwed, alias Lyova, alias Orlov.

This Lubianka conference also placed the Soviet secret police in charge

of Comintern operations in Spain.

dinate" the activities of the Spanish

It

decided to "coor-

Communist

Party with those

of the OGPU.

Another decision of

this

ment of volunteers

to Spain

by the OGPU. There

is

nist Party in the

sion from the

conference was to have the move-

from every country

in the central

world one member

OGPU and

it

secretly policed

Commu-

committee of every

who

holds a secret commis-

was through him that

this

would be

accomplished. In

many

United

countries, including the

States, enlistment

under the Spanish republic seemed a noble international crusade to rescue

democracy and

Young men from for these ideals.

all

to preserve socialism

over the world volunteered to fight in Spain

But the republican Spain that was fighting Franco

was by no means united in

up of many cialists.

factions

political beliefs or policies. It

—democrats,

mine the

and using Spain

relation of France

was made

anarchists, syndicalists,

Communists were a very small

seizing control

from destruction.

as a

and

so-

minority. Stalin's success in

weapon with which

to deter-

and England toward the Soviet gov-

ernment, depended upon his breaking the powerful anti-Communist opposition in the republican

to control the

camp.

movement of these

It

was therefore necessary

idealistic foreign volunteers, to

prevent

them from joining up with elements opposed

policies

and ambitions.

to Stalin's

The major question of organizing the arms shipments was solved by the Lubianka conference with a decision

72

to Spain to

push

In Stalin's Secret Service

the task simultaneously from Russia

and from abroad. The

for-

eign end was assigned to me.

The domestic phase of the undertaking was handled by Yagoda himself. it

presented even greater difficulties than mine, because

It

was absolutely necessary that no sign appear of any

ernment participation Yagoda sioned ers.

called in

him

Captain Oulansky of the OGPU and commis-

to organize a "private syndicate"

He had

of munitions deal-

"You

visits to

man

previously been entrusted by the

the delicate task of escorting

during their

gov-

in the traffic.

Captain Oulansky was an exceptionally skilled

service work.

official

in secret

ogpu with

Anthony Eden and Premier

Laval

the Soviet Union.

Odessa

will find three Spaniards in

ing their heels there for

some

who

have been cool-

time," Yagoda said to Captain

Oulansky. "They came to buy arms from us unofficially. Create a neutral private firm for

them

to deal with."

Since no one in Soviet Russia can buy so

from the government and the government

is

much

as a revolver

the sole manufac-

turer of arms, the idea of a private firm trading in munitions

would be

Soviet soil

was needed

to Soviet citizens preposterous.

for foreign

consumption. In plain terms,

tain Oulansky's job to organize glers,

and

by the

to

do

your

and operate

this so cleverly that

spies of foreign

"If you succeed," lapel for the

But the

no

a ring of

it

on

farce

was Cap-

arms smug-

trace could be discovered

governments.

Yagoda told him, "come back with

a hole in

Order of the Red Banner."

Captain Oulansky was instructed to trade for cash only and informed that the Spaniards would provide their own ships to transport the munitions as fast as they were delivered to the "private syndicate" from the arsenals of the

Red Army. He

armed with governmental orders placing under authorities in the city,

from the

local chief

left for

Odessa,

his control

all

the

of the secret police to

the president of the regional soviet.

General Uritsky represented the Intelligence Service of the

Red Army

at the

Lubianka conference.

It

was the function of his 73

W. G. Krjvitsky

department to handle the technical military side of the enterprise,

and kinds of equipment

to determine the quantities

vided from the

arsenals, to fix

military experts, pilots, artillery,

Spain. In military matters, these

to be pro-

number and personnel of the

the

and tank

officers to

men remained under

be sent to the orders

of the General Staff of the Red Army; otherwise, they were supervised by the secret police. Stalin's intervention in

action as active

if

were

I

war duty.

I

Spain was

at the front.

now launched. I went into

Indeed

my

assignment was to

recalled an important agent

from London,

another from Stockholm, a third from Switzerland, and arranged to

meet them

in Paris for a conference

with the special agent

me from Moscow. This agent, Zimin, was an exmunitions and a member of the military section of the

assigned to pert in

OGPU.

We all met in Paris in perfect secrecy on September 2 1 brought mit the in

explicit

Zimin

.

and emphatic instructions that we must not per-

slightest possibility

of the Soviet government's becoming

any way associated with our

traffic in

arms. All cargoes were to

be handled "privately" through business firms created for the purpose.

Our

first

problem, therefore, was to create a

new European

chain of ostensibly independent concerns, in addition to our existing "business" outposts, for the

porting war materials.

It

purpose of importing and ex-

was new to

us,

but

it is

an ancient profes-

sion in Europe.

Success depended

had such men societies allied

such

We

our disposal. Numbers of them were in the

with the various

Intelligence of the as

Communist

Party centers abroad,

Red Army looked upon war

Soviet defense system.

74

men.

Friends of the Soviet

of these societies

men

selecting the right

Union and the many "Leagues and Democracy." Both the OGPU and the Military

as the

for Peace

at

upon our

certain

members

reserves of civilian auxiliaries of the

We

were then able to choose

among

long tested in unofficial work for the Soviet Union.

A few

In Stalin's Secret Service

of course were profiteers or

but more of them were

careerists,

sincere idealists.

Many were discreet,

reliable,

having the right contacts and ca-

pable of playing a role without betraying themselves. plied the capital.

We

furnished the offices.

We

We

sup-

guaranteed the

The men were not hard to find. Within ten days we had a chain of brand-new import and

profits.

port firms established in Paris,

some other European

Zurich, Warsaw, Prague, Brussels, and ies.

In every firm an agent of the

OGPU was

furnished the funds and controlled mistake, he paid with his

While America

a silent partner.

urgently claimed

war

cit-

He

transactions. In case of a

all

life.

these firms were scouring the markets of

for available

ex-

London, Copenhagen, Amsterdam,

supplies, the

my attention.

Europe and

problem of transportation

Suitable

merchantmen were

obtained in Scandinavia for a sufficient price. to secure licenses for

such shipments to Spain.

on consigning them

to France,

The

to be

difficulty

was

We at first counted

and trans-shipping

to the Loyalist

Spanish ports. But the French Foreign Office refused to grant clearance papers.

There was but one other way

to secure consular papers

from

overseas governments, certifying that the arms were purchased for

import into their countries. From certain Latin American con-

sulates

I

was able to secure unlimited numbers of

we succeeded

Occasionally

in obtaining

certificates.

them from Eastern Eu-

ropean and Asiatic countries.

the

With such certificates we would obtain clearance papers and ships would proceed, not to South America or China, but to

the ports of Loyalist Spain.

We made slovakia,

large purchases

from

several firms in France,

Holland. Such

is

bought arms

Nazi Germany.

in

from the Skoda works from others

in

in

Poland and

the nature of the munitions trade that I

Czecho-

we even

sent an agent representing a

Dutch

Hamburg, where we had ascertained that quantiof somewhat obsolete rifles and machine guns were for sale.

firm of ours to ties

75

W. G. Krivitsky

The

director of the

the price, the

bank

German

firm was interested in nothing but

references

and the

legal papers

of consign-

ment.

we bought was first class. Arms grow obsolete very rapidly these days. But we made it our object to furnish Caballero's government with rifles that would shoot, and furnish them without delay. The situation in Madrid was becoming grave. By the middle of October, shiploads of arms began to reach republican Spain. The Soviet aid came in two streams. My organization used foreign vessels exclusively, most of them of ScandiNot

navian

all

the material

registry.

Captain Oulansky's "private syndicate" in Odessa

began by using Spanish boats but found their number limited.

Moscow, held by

become

Stalin's insistence

involved in a war,

on absolute secrecy

lest

would not permit the use of ships

he

sail-

ing under Soviet papers. Stalin was especially obdurate after sub-

marines and trawlers in the Mediterranean began to attack and seize freighters

bound

for the Spanish coast.

Captain Oulansky, however, was resourceful. Mueller, chief of the

ogpu Passport

He

Section, to supply

called

on

him with

counterfeit foreign clearance papers. Mueller's department, with

had developed

the inexhaustible resources of the government, the art of forgery to

Some months

unexampled

later in

his receiving the decoration

"Why,

that's

perfection.

Moscow I was of the Red

an altogether

new

Star.

field

shipping papers!" he cried. "You think

it

teasing Mueller about

of operation

was easy?



forging

We worked day

and night!"

With these false papers, Soviet boats loaded with munitions would sail from Odessa under new names, flying foreign colors, and they would

German and

Italian

counter-espionage agents were keeping a sharp lookout.

When

clear the

Bosporus, where

they had entered Loyalist ports and delivered their cargo, their

names would be changed back to Russian ones and they would return to Odessa under their own colors.

Madrid was desperately the

76

call in

calling for airplanes.

orders to me. Franco was advancing

Moscow echoed

on the

capital; his

In Stalin's Secret Service

and German

Italian

flying squadrons

and mechanics were

aviators

can planes were few and

were masters of the

air.

Our

arriving in Madrid, but the republi-

inferior.

I

had

to find

somewhere

in

Eu-

rope a supply of bombing and pursuit planes that could be bought

No

quickly.

private firm, naturally, can furnish at a

moment's no-

any considerable number of war planes. Only a government

tice

can do

that.

With

the rapid advances in aviation, however,

able to suppose that a friendly sale

of a part of

its air

force.

Europe.

made

sign,

For but

decided to approach such a government in Eastern

I

bank

combat planes of obsolescent de-

purpose an exceptional agent was obviously required,

man. He was

right

aristocratic family,

able

fifty

in France.

this

had the

I

to the

equipment, thus being enabled to modernize

its

owned about

It

was reason-

it

government might consent

a blue blood, the son of an old

with the best of connections and unimpeach-

references.

Both he and

his wife

were staunch friends

of the Soviet Union, and ardent supporters of the Loyalist cause in Spain.

He had

already

done

a

few

services for us.

I

knew

that

I

could count on him. I

him.

him

asked

The

to

come

and outlined the

to Holland,

next day he flew to the Eastern European capital. That

night he put through a long distance in turned called

me

at

call to

from him.

When

my agent in Paris, who

The Hague and arranged

the following morning, at a certain place

carefully

situation to

this call

came through

for

and time,

me

to await,

a direct call

my aristocrat gave me,

in

coded language, the report of a deplorable experience.

He had

secured an introduction to the Minister of War. Pre-

senting to the minister his card, bearing the

name of one of the

banks in the world, he had gone directly to the heart of his

largest

mission. "I

have come here to buy a quantity of war planes from your

government. sent to at

sell

I

would

them.

like to

We are

know

in the

if

your Excellency would con-

market

for at least fifty machines,

your Excellency's price."

77

W. G. Krivitsky

The Minister of War looked again

request

at the visitor's card.

you

my office

to leave

at

his desk.

He grew

He examined

he turned upon

Then

troduction.

from

rose

my

He

pale.

the letter of in-

agent and said quietly:

"I

once."

My agent got up to leave. But he could not accept failure without making one more

effort.

"Pardon me, your Excellency," he word. This mission.

come

is all

It is

in the open.

There

is

me to add one nothing questionable in my said.

"Permit

a matter of helping the Spanish

my

here as a representative of groups in

lieve that

we should

country

protect the Spanish republic in the

I

have

who

be-

name of

We believe that your country has a stake in keeping the

humanity.

powers out of the Mediterranean

Fascist

government.



in preventing Italy

from

dominating it." "I

reply.

am the Minister of War; I am "Good

"It

not a merchant," was the cold

day, sir."

looks hopeless



quite hopeless,"

my

agent

mourned

over

the phone.

"Give

you

it

up

as a

bad job and

clear out,"

I

told him. "I will

meet

at the airport."

"Not

yet,"

Three days

he

said. "I

later

I

am

not ready to give up yet."

received a report that he was returning by

The Hague. When he emerged from the cabin, I saw that his head was bound in a bandage. He looked exhausted. I took him quickly to my waiting car. plane to

As soon

as

we were

inside,

he told

me

that he

had bought the

fifty planes.

"The day

after

I

called you," he said, "the card of a

representing the largest

bank

in the

gentleman

country was brought to

me in

my hotel room. I invited him to come up. He made no reference to my call on the War Minister but merely said he understood that I

wanted

to

buy war

suggested that

we

planes. If

I

was prepared to do business, he

discuss the matter at his office."

My agent had bought the fifty government planes for $20,000 each, subject to inspection.

78

When

the question of the consignee

In Stalin's Secret Service

came

The

up, he offered a choice of a Latin

American country or China.

dealer preferred China. "I

assured

him on behalf of the Chinese government

that the

papers would be in perfect order."

"But

how did you get this?"

I

inquired, indicating the bandage

around his forehead.

"Oh,

just a jolly

good bump when

I

climbed into that bloody

plane," he laughed.

Arrangements had appraise the planes.

I

made immediately

to be

went

a French aircraft expert, with

two

the Eastern European capital port.

I

and employed

to Paris

and

to inspect for this

and returned with

purpose

They

engineers as aides.

flew to

a favorable re-

ordered the planes dismantled and crated with

all

possible

speed.

Throughout the world the merciless

there was a cry of anguished fury at

bombing of almost

defenseless Madrid.

My organi-

zation performed miracles to hasten the transport of the fifty

Norwegian boat

pursuit planes and bombers. In mid-October a

was loaded with them.

At that point

I

received strict instructions

to permit the boat to deliver

its

from Moscow not

cargo in Barcelona.

Under no

circumstances were those planes to pass through Catalonia, which

had

its

own government,

very

much

like that

of a sovereign

state.

This Catalonian government was dominated by revolutionists of anti-Stalinist persuasion.

They were not

trusted

by Moscow,

though they were then desperately holding one of the most sectors of the Loyalist front against fierce attacks

al-

vital

from Franco's

army. I

was ordered

to send the planes to Alicante.

blockaded by Franco's Alicante, but

tempted board.

to

had

head

vessels.

to turn

The master of

back to save

for Barcelona, but

My shipload

the ship

and

made

for

He

at-

cargo.

was prevented by

my agent on

of aircraft plied back and forth in the Medi-

terranean. Franco kept Barcelona. In the

his ship

But that port was

it

from Alicante.

meantime

Loyalist Spain

Stalin kept

it

from

was fighting desper-

79

W. G. Krivitsky

ately

and was woefully short of planes. At

last

my agent on

board

directed the ship to proceed to Marseilles.

This fantastic development was part of lent battle to gain

which went on behind the open theater of war.

was

make

pawn

Spain a

tion was in Catalonia. Stalin

The spearhead of that

was determined

and manpower only those groups

in Spain

accept without reservation his leadership. the Catalonians lay hands

which were ready

increase their prestige

days, while with

On

Soviet

Union only do

one hand

Stalin

October

16, Stalin

was keeping

wired to Diaz: "The

duty when they give

the

Communist toilers

to the revolutionary masses of Spain."

"The Spanish

common

cause of

for Soviet adherents

The Norwegian ade and discharged

war

of the

the aid within

of Spaniards.

advanced and progressive man-

all

kind." This message was, of course, intended for the

and

his first

all

their

struggle," Stalin continued, "is not a private affair It is

and thus

from Barcelona, with the other he addressed

Party.

power

to

resolved not to

public message to Jose Diaz, leader of the Spanish

their

arms

weight in the republican ranks.

During these military aid

opposi-

to support with

He was

all

on our planes, with which they might

win a military victory that would their political

If Stalin

power game, he must subdue

in his

opposition in the Spanish republic.

let

si-

complete control of the Loyalist government, a

battle

to

but

Stalin's fierce

Comintern

throughout the world.

ship finally slipped through Franco's blockits

planes at Alicante. At the

supplies, including tanks

and

artillery,

same time, other

arrived

from the Soviet

Union. All Loyalist Spain saw that tangible aid was actually coming from Russia. calists

had only

The

republicans, Socialists, anarchists

theories

and

ideals to offer.

and syndi-

The Communists were

producing guns and planes to use against Franco. Soviet prestige soared.

On

The

jubilant

Communists made

October 28, Caballero,

as

lamation to the Spanish republic. said: "At this

armaments 80



moment we have we have tanks and

the most of it.

Minister of War, issued a procIt

was a

at last in

call to victory,

and

it

our hands formidable

powerful aviation."

In Stalin's Secret Service

who had opened wide the doors to Stalin's messengers, did not know the nature of the force that was coming to the rescue of the Spanish republic. He did not realize that this aid would cause his own fall. The movement of war supplies to Spain went hand in hand Caballero,

with a world-wide movement of manpower to Madrid. Volunteers

from the

British Isles, the

America and South rope, even

United

States,

Canada, Latin

Africa, Scandinavia, the Balkans

from Nazi Germany and

Italy,

and

all

Eu-

from Australia and the

Philippines, were eager to fight for the Loyalist cause.

The famous

International Brigade was being formed.

Now, to

if Stalin

was

support with arms,

to control the Spain that it

he was beginning

was imperative to organize and

and

far-flung tide of crusaders,

to

weld

it

direct this

into a Stalinist force.

Caballero's popular-front government was a precarious coalition of antagonistic political parties.

group of Communists,

The

small, hard, disciplined

now commanded by

the OGPU, sup-

ported Caballero's government but did not control

more important

for

Moscow

to seize control

it.

It

was the

of the International

Brigade.

The nucleus of this Brigade was the 500 to 600 foreign refugee Communists sent from Russia. Not a single Russian was among them. Later, when the brigade swelled to nearly 15,000 fighters, no Russian was permitted

to join

was deliberately erected between

Red Army

its

ranks.

this force

An

impenetrable wall

and the

units of the

detailed for service in Spain.

In every foreign country, including the United States, the recruiting agencies of the International Brigade were the local

munist

Parties

Socialists

and

their auxiliaries.

and other

radicals

Some independent groups of

attempted to organize columns. But

the overwhelming majority of recruits were enlisted by

Commu-

nists

and drawn from the spreading networks of "fellow

ers,"

who

cised over

When

are often entirely

Com-

travel-

unaware of the remote control

exer-

them by communists. a volunteer offered

enlistment bureau. Here he

himself he was directed to a secret

filled

out a questionnaire and was told 81

W. G. Krivitsky

to await notification.

Behind the scenes the OGPU investigated

political record; if

seemed acceptable, he was

it

called

his

back and

who was rarely a Russian and somemember of the Communist Party, but and absolutely devoted to his Communist and

questioned by an ogpu agent, times not even officially a

was always

OGPU in the

reliable

chiefs. After this political investigation,

Anglo-Saxon countries

—appeared

which



especially

to be quite casual

and

informal, the recruit was directed for physical examination to an

equally reliable physician with solid

sympathy for the Communist

cause. Passing this examination satisfactorily,

transportation

and instructed

he was supplied with

to report at a given address in

Eu-

rope.

we improvised a number of secret control points where each applicant would be thoroughly reinvestigated by In Europe

devoted and trustworthy foreign Communists, or secretaries and agents of Communist-controlled organizations like the S.R.I. (Secours

Rouge

International), the Friends of Republican Spain,

or officials of such Spanish administrations as were entirely in the

hands of the Communists. As Luis ist

Ambassador

De Araquistain,

to France, conclusively shows,

former Loyal-

90 percent of

all

War Department were at a later stage firmly occupied by Stalin's henchmen. The OGPu's control of those volunteers who were found worthy to sacrifice important posts in the Spanish

their lives in

what they believed

to be the cause of the repub-

was continued

in Spain, where informers were planted weed out suspected spies, to eliminate men whose political opinions were not strictly orthodox, and to supervise their reading matter and conversation. Practically all the political commissars with the International Brigade, and later even with the greater part of the Republican Army, were stalwart Communists. lic,

among them

to

All the volunteers' passports in Spain,

man was From

and very

rarely

was

were taken up when they arrived

a passport returned.

discharged, he was told that his passport

the United States alone about 2,000 volunteers

and genuine American passports 82

Even when

had been

are highly prized at

a

lost.

came over, OGPU head-

In Stalin's

Moscow. Nearly every diplomatic pouch from Spain

quarters in

that arrived at the

members of

Lubianka contained

I

was

this mail in the offices

One

a batch

in

Moscow

in the spring

of 1937,

I

of the Foreign Division of the OGPU.

day a batch of about a hundred passports arrived; half of

them were American. They had belonged was

of passports from

the International Brigade.

Several times while

saw

Secret Servic]

to

The

a great haul, a cause for celebration.

some weeks of inquiry

dead, after

dead

soldiers.

That

passports of the

into the family histories of their

original owners, are easily adapted to their

new

bearers, the

OGPU

agents.

While



Brigade

this International

was taking shape

Red Army were

the

army of the Comintern of the

in the foreground, purely Russian units

quietly arriving

hind the Spanish

front.

and taking up

their posts be-

This Soviet military personnel in Spain

never reached more than 2,000 men, and only pilots and tank of-

saw

ficers

active duty.

Most of

the Russians were technicians

general staff men, military instructors, engineers, specialists in set-

up war

ting

industries, experts in chemical warfare, aviation

chanics, radio operators

men

and gunnery

experts.

were segregated from the Spanish

sible,

watched by the OGPU, both secret

civilians as

housed apart and never permitted

with Spanish political groups or

and

to prevent

any

to

These Red

much

to associate in

figures.

They were

me-

Army

as pos-

any way

ceaselessly

keep their presence in Spain a

political heresy

from corrupting the

Red Army. This special expeditionary force was under the direct control of Gen. Ian Berzin, one of the two leading Soviet figures assigned

by Stalin to captain Arthur Stashevsky, in Barcelona.

his intervention in Spain.

officially the Soviet trade

They were

the real mystery

The

other was

envoy stationed

men

of

Moscow

be-

hind the scenes of the Spanish theater of war, and while they gathered

all

the controls of the Spanish republican government

into their hands, their missions remained completely

General Berzin had served for fifteen years Military Intelligence of the

Red Army.

unknown.

as chief

A native of Latvia,

of the he had

83

W. G. Krivitsky

led, at the

band

age of sixteen, a guerrilla

in the revolutionary

He was wounded,

struggle against the Czar.

captured, and sen-

tenced to death in 1906. Because of his youth, however, the Czar's

government commuted

He

his sentence to penal servitude in Siberia.

escaped and was leading the

tionist

Army

when

of an underground revolu-

Red

under Trotsky, and rose to a powerful position in the high

command. Large framed, crafty,

life

the Czar was overthrown. Berzin joined the

already gray-haired, given to few words,

Berzin was selected by Stalin to organize and direct the

Loyalist army. Stalin's chief political

shevsky.

He was

commissar

in Spain

was Arthur

Sta-

of Polish extraction. Short and stocky, he looked

like a business

man, and nominally, he was the Soviet trade envoy

in Barcelona.

But Stashevsky,

He

too,

had served

resigned from the military service to take

organizing the Russian fur industry at a time

in the

Red Army.

up the

task of re-

when

important

this

industry was prostrate. His success was brilliant; he revived the

Russian fur trade in trip to the

United

the world's markets,

all

States. Stalin

now

making

assigned

him

incidentally a

the job of ma-

nipulating the political and financial reins of Loyalist Spain.

While Berzin and Stashevsky were operating backstage, the International Brigade was holding the spotlight of the spectacular Loyalist campaign. front, the real

To

foreign

mystery

war correspondents on the Spanish

man seemed

to be

Emil Kleber, leader of

the International Brigade. Millions of readers will as the

most dramatized

remember Kleber

figure of the heroic defense of

Madrid.

Kleber was presented to the world, in interviews and sketches, as

the strong

man

of the hour, fated to play a

momentous

role in

the history of Spain and the world. His physical appearance lent color to the legends. his face

one

He was

big in stature, the features of

were heavy, and his shock of gray hair belied

years.

his forty-

Kleber was introduced to the world as a soldier of

fortune, a naturalized Canadian, a native of Austria,

who,

as

an

Austrian war prisoner in Russia had joined the White Guards in their fight against the Bolsheviks, only to finally to

84

communism.

become converted

In Stalin's Secret Service

This picture was compounded at the OGPU headquarters in Moscow, which supplied Kleber with his false Canadian passport. Kleber played his part under OGPU dictation. His interviews were outlined for him by the agents of the Kremlin. I

had known Kleber and

many years. His

real

then in Austria and

his wife

and children and brother

name was Stem. He was

now

in

for

of Bukovina,

a native

Romania. During the World War, he

served as an officer, was taken prisoner by the Czar's troops, and

camp

sent to a

at

Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. After the Soviet revolution

he joined the Bolshevik Party and the Red Army, and fought throughout the Russian

civil

war on the Soviet

side.

Then he

at-

tended the Frunze Military Academy, from which he was graduated in 1924. For a while

we worked

Department of the General

Staff.

together in the Intelligence

In 1927, Kleber was assigned to

the military section of the Comintern, in

its

military schools.

He went

and acted

China

to

as

an instructor

Comintern on

for the

confidential missions.

Kleber had never been to Canada and never associated with the

White Guards. This of his being a

fact

as leader

bit

of fiction was used to cover up the

staff officer

of the Red Army.

made

It

of the International Brigade more plausible. In

despite the dramatic part assigned to him, he in the Soviet

machine. In November, 1936,

his role reality,

was without power

this

Russian general

was named supreme commander of the Spanish government in the northern sector

On

one of the

first

No

ters.

hotel

which served

I

took off from

A waiting car whisked me

and the members of

and worked our military

to a

in Barcelona as Soviet headquar-

outside guests were permitted to stay there. Here

Stashevsky, our trade envoy, lived

November

days of

Marseilles by plane for Barcelona.

downtown

forces

of the Madrid front.

his staff.

I

met

Here

intelligence staff in Catalonia, un-

der the supervision of General Akulov. I

had come

to Barcelona to

under the orders of tions

put

my agents in Franco's territory

staff officers in

which General Berzin was

charge of the military opera-

secretly directing.

I

thought that

85

W. G. Krivitsky

the information

more

I

was receiving from the

Madrid and Barcelona than

useful in

rebel zones in

would be

Moscow.

General Akulov had organized our secret intelligence service

enemy's camp most

in the

Our

efficiently.

radio operatives there

were working without interruption, and daily transmitted vital formation by means of portable radio Naturally,

my first questions were

The reply was, in Our only comfort is

in-

sets.

about the prospect of mili-

"Things are in a

frightful

tary victory.

effect:

mess here.

that they are in a worse mess over

there."

General Berzin was working indefatigably to shape an army out of undisciplined and uncoordinated armed detachments.

was pressing Caballero

He

for conscription.

Berzin had assembled a group of Russian staff officers, and

was making them the backbone of the Loyalist command.

He

took a leading part in organizing the defense of Madrid during the desperate weeks of

November and December.

Yet so thor-

oughly was Berzin masked that even his presence in Spain, alone his identity, was

known

to only half a

let

dozen of the highest

Loyalists.

Berzin insisted on the appointment of a commander-in-chief.

This authority the republican government, supported by jealous

and

parties

factions,

suitable candidate in litical

was reluctant

to establish. Berzin

ambitions. Within a few weeks

obtained the appointment for Miaja,

mand

until the

found

a

Gen. Jose Miaja, a good soldier without po-

end of the



in

who

November, 1936 retained supreme

—he com-

Civil War.

Meanwhile, Arthur Stashevsky was exerting

all

his efforts to

gather into Soviet hands the control of the finances of the republic.

He

liked Spain

and the Spaniards.

He was

entranced with his

assignment, feeling that he was living over again his experiences in the Russian Revolution of twenty years before.

He discovered in Juan Negrin,

Finance Minister in the Madrid

cabinet, a willing collaborator in his financial schemes.

found

it

world market. The Spanish republic had deposited

86

Madrid

almost impossible to buy arms openly anywhere in the a considerable

In Stalin's Secret Service

quantity of the Spanish gold reserve in Paris banks, hoping to

import war materials from France. But an insuperable

difficulty

developed: the French banks refused to release the gold because

Franco threatened to victory.

claims against

Such claims would

the gold was in ish

file

its

them

in the event

of his

disturb the distant Kremlin, once

little

possession. Stashevsky offered to take the Span-

gold to Soviet Russia, and to supply Madrid with arms and

munitions in exchange. Through Negrin, he made the deal with Caballero's government.

Somehow made

a

rumor of this

deal traveled abroad. Charges were

had mortgaged part of

in the foreign press that Caballero

the national gold reserve for Soviet aid.

On December

transport of the gold was being arranged,

3,

while

Moscow

officially



it

denied that such a deal had been consummated

just as

has

consistently denied the existence of Soviet intervention in Spain. In our inner circle, Stashevsky was then jestingly called "the richest

man

in the

world" because of his control of the

Spanish treasury. In

my conversations with

ber, Stalin's

Stashevsky

Stashevsky in Barcelona in

Novem-

next moves in Spain were already cropping out.

made no

secret to

me

of the

fact that

Juan Negrin

would be the next head of the Madrid government. At

that time,

Caballero was universally regarded as the favorite of the Kremlin,

but Stashevsky had already picked Negrin

as his successor.

Caballero was a genuine radical, a revolutionary over,

idealist.

More-

he did not favor the work of the OGPU, which, under Orlov,

was beginning

to develop in Spain as in Russia a

sweeping purge

of all those dissidents, independents and anti-Stalinists,

whom the

party lumps together under the label of " Trotsky is ts." Dr. Juan Negrin,

on the other hand, had

bureaucratic politician. fairs

a professor, he

with the outlook of a businessman.

show

to Paris

the makings of a

was a

He was

man

of

af-

just the type to

make a good facade and London and Geneva. He would impress the

suit Stalin's needs.

to

Though

all

Like General Miaja, he would

outside world with the "sanity"

republican cause; he

would

and "propriety" of the Spanish

frighten

nobody by revolutionary

re-

87

W. G. Krivitsky

He had

marks.

and moreover

a Russian wife,

as a practical

man,

Doctor Negrin welcomed the purging of the "uncontrollables" and "troublemakers" in his country by any hand, even the foreign

hand of Stalin Doctor Negrin, of course, saw the only salvation of his counwith the Soviet Union.

try in close cooperation

obvious that active support could

was ready to go along with

come only from

It

had become

He

that source.

Stalin in everything, sacrificing

all

other

considerations to secure this aid.

These things were discussed while

months before the

sador,

OGPU

in Barcelona, six

of the Caballero government.

fall

long to effect the change. aid of an

was

I

It

was accomplished

plot in Barcelona.

Here the

took that with the

official Soviet

ambas-

Marcel Rosenberg, was making speeches and keeping in

the public eye, but the Kremlin never considered Silently

and

effectively,

Stashevsky did the

ordered from

modeled on parture.

Moscow

him important.

work of Stalin.

Sloutski, chief of the Foreign Division of the

tory,

It

at the last

OGPU, had been

to inspect the secret police

that of Russia.

He

arrived a day or

The OGPU was then blossoming out

all

two

which was

after

my

over Loyalist

de-

terri-

but concentrating on Catalonia, where the independent groups

were strongest and where

also the real Trotskyists

had

their party

headquarters.

"They have good material over he returned to Paris some weeks

We

there," Sloutski told

later,

cannot allow Spain to become a

"but they lack experience.

camping ground

for

all

the anti-Soviet elements that have been flocking there from

all

over the world. After front.

all, it is

free

our Spain now, part of the Soviet

We must make it solid for us. Who

there are

among

Trotskyists, even

those volunteers?

though they

And

knows how many

them

as for the anarchists

1

and

we have

to root

out."

The OGPU had done ber,

spies

are anti-Fascist soldiers, they are

our enemies. They are counter-revolutionists, and

a brilliant bit of work. Already in

Decem-

936, the terror was sweeping Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia.

The ogpu had 88

me, when

its

own

special prisons. Its units carried out assassi-

In Stalin's Secret

nations and kidnappings. ing raids.

It

It filled

kvk

Si

i

hidden dungeons and made

fly-

functioned, of course, independently of the Loyalist

government. The Ministry of Justice had no authority over the OGPU, which was an empire within an empire.

which even some of the highest

fore

It

was a power be-

officers in the Caballero

government trembled. The Soviet Union seemed

on

Loyalist Spain, as if

On

December

it

were already a Soviet possession.

Largo Caballero issued his proclamation

16,

of defiance to Franco: "Madrid will not begin, because

Next day

now we

in

to have a grip

fall!

Now

the war will

have the necessary war materials."

Moscow,

Stalin's official

mouthpiece, the newspa-

per Pravda, openly proclaimed that the purge in Catalonia, already

begun,

"will

conducted

The

be conducted with the same energy with which

in the Soviet

heroic and desperate defense of

Madrid was reaching

had been wrecking the

troops were almost in the suburbs. But the Loyalists

and

pilots, tanks

was

Union."

climax. Franco's air squadrons

ers

it

and

artillery.

Our

its

capital, his

now had bomb-

military aid

came

just in

time to save Madrid. General Berzin and his staff silently guided the fighting that General Miaja publicly

commanded, and

Kleber,

the

Comintern

rial

help received from the Soviet Union, so promoted the growth

The of the

general, dramatized before the world.

splendid feats of the International Brigade, and the mate-

Communist

bership was

Party of Spain that by January, 1937,

prestige.

At the same time intervention in the in

stage of Stalin's

The business of Stalin izing Spain now The OGPU was in charge. The Comintern

to the rear.

was announced that

first

war.

civil

was removed from the

Malaga

marked the end of the

it

grim earnest.

was relegated

to

mem-

more than 200,000. The saving of Madrid enormously

enhanced Soviet

began

its

On

February

command

this

1937, General Kleber

4,

of the International Brigade.

Comintern general was

to organize the Loyalist defense.

to

He was

It

be transferred never heard of

again.

Some weeks

later,

while in Moscow,

I

learned that Kleber's

disappearance was connected with the purge in the Red Army,

89

W. G. Krivitsky

and the numerous

arrests

rades were being executed I

of staff officers.

Many of his

as conspirators

by

ran into Kleber's brother,

who had been

April. Several days later he, too,

The vanishing of useful to Stalin,

and that

now had The those

Comintern

he knew too much.

in the great

who were no

longer

Stalin decided that

job in Spain. Berzin and Stashevsky

its

on the government.

a firm grip

comment from

vanishing of General Kleber evoked no

who had sung

his praises all over the world.

His manufac-

tured glory died with him. General Lukacz was perhaps

vored by the gods.

in

was arrested by the ogpu.

the general of the

Comintern had done

com-

squads.

from abroad

recalled

purge simply meant that he was one of those

the

close

Stalin's firing

He was

Hungarian Communist

a

more

fa-

writer, his

name Mata Zalka, and he perished on the Spanish front. The successful defense of Madrid with Soviet arms gave the OGPU new opportunities to extend its powers. Thousands were arrested, including many foreign volunteers who had come to fight real

Franco.

Any criticism

of methods, any unflattering opinion of the

any association with

Stalin dictatorship in Russia,

men

of hereti-

The OGPU employed

cal political beliefs,

became

methods

Moscow of extorting confessions and

mary I

alist

familiar in

treason.

all

the

of sum-

executions.

do not know the number of anti-Stalinists executed Spain.

I

could describe scores of individual

confine myself to one probable victim

but

cases,

who may still

be

Loy-

in

shall

I

alive.

The

few facts which I shall relate may help his family to save him. A young Englishman, a radio engineer named Friend, had a brother in Leningrad, anti-Fascist,

married to a Russian

girl.

He was

and Soviet Russia was the land of

an enthusiastic his

dreams.

He

succeeded, after long efforts, in gaining admission to the Soviet

Union, and took up

When

his residence there.

Soviet intervention began, he was dispatched to Spain

as a radio technician.

cow headquarters of the OGPU

to the effect that Friend

ing "Trotskyist sympathies."

knew

tion in

90

Early in 1937, a report arrived at the

I

the boy, and there

Mos-

was showis

no ques-

my mind that he was wholeheartedly devoted to the Loyal-

In Stalin's Secret Service

ist

cause and to the Soviet Union. True, he had associated with

and other

Socialists

radicals,

Englishman unaware of the

which was only natural

invisible

for a

young

Chinese Wall segregating the

Soviet personnel from the Spaniards.

Later

1

asked one of the ogpu

him, and was answered that Friend

On

evasively.

had been brought home

was told of the

trick

Moscow about

further inquiry

I

learned

Odessa.

as a prisoner to

by which he had been taken. The ogpu

Spain had lured him onto a Soviet

needed

officials in

vessel,

I

in

pretending that he was

to repair the ship's radio transmitter. Friend

had no

suspi-

him. Once on board, he was seized.

cion that the

ogpu was

On April

he was put in the dungeons of the ogpu in Moscow.

To

12,

this day, his

after

brother in Leningrad and his family in England do

know what happened

not

whether he was executed

to

him. Nor have

as a "spy" or lives

I

been able to learn

now

in a

remote con-

centration camp.

There were countless such disappearances. Some

men

were

kidnapped and taken to Soviet Russia. Others were assassinated

One

Spain.

of the most celebrated cases

is

that of

in

Andres Nin,

the leader of the revolutionary party of Marxist Unity (poum).

Nin had once been ers

a Trotskyism

and years before one of the

of the Comintern. With a group of

lead-

Nin van-

his associates,

ished from the prison where they had been confined by the ogpu.

Their bodies were found only bers of Parliament

had come

after a

commission of British

mem-

to Spain to investigate their disap-

pearance. Another outstanding case

is

that of young Smillie, son

of the famous British Labor leader, Robert Smillie, murdered in

an OGPU prison in Spain.

Still

another

is

that of Mark Rein, son of

the emigre Russian Socialist leader, Raphael Abramovitch

(see

Chap-

ter IV).

The work of anti-Fascist ranks lero

and

the

ogpu on Spanish

of the republic.

his associates that they

It

soil

created a

rift

in the

began to dawn upon Cabal-

had not known what they were

doing when they joined hands with the Communist Party in the united front. Premier Caballero had no stomach for the Soviet terror,

which was decimating

his

own

party and striking

down

his

91

W. G. Krivitsky

The autonomous government of Catalonia which

political allies.

was resisting the Caballero.

From

An

OGPU purge, tooth and

internal crisis

was ripening

I

watched the

blessings of

in Spain.

Moscow, where the

the inside in

were being decided,

had the

nail,

internal affairs of Spain

crisis

develop and reach

its

climax.

In March, 1937,

Berzin to the

read a confidential report from General

I

Commissar of War,

Voroshilov.

Yezhov, Yagoda's successor as chief of the dated").

Such

It

OGPU

was

also read

by

(also since "liqui-

reports were, of course, intended for Stalin himself,

although addressed to the immediate superior of the writer. After giving an optimistic estimate of the military situation,

and commending Generalissimo Miaja, Berzin reported

ment and

protests against the

OGPU

in high Spanish circles.

OGPU agents were compromising the

stated that our

thority in Spain by their unwarranted interference in

government

quarters.

be recalled from Spain "Berzin after

I

is

He

Soviet au-

and espionage

He concluded with a demand that Orlov

at once.

absolutely right," was Sloutski's

had read the

resent-

comment

to

me,

report. Sloutski, chief of the Foreign Division

of the OGPU, went on to say that our

men

were behaving in Spain

as if

they were in a colony, treating even Spanish leaders as colo-

nists

handle natives.

When I asked him if anything would be done

about Orlov, Sloutski said

it

was up to Yezhov.

Yezhov, grand marshal of the great purge then under way,

himself looked upon Spain Berzin's associates in the all

as a

Russian province. Moreover,

Red Army were

over the Soviet Union, and Berzin's

any.

With

own

already being seized life

was no

safer

than

many of his comrades in the nets of the OGPU, any him would be viewed with suspicion at the Kremlin.

so

report from

Moscow to report to Stalin on the Spanish situation. Though a rockribbed Stalinist,

In April, Stashevsky arrived in personally a rigidly

orthodox party man, Stashevsky

of the OGPU in the Loyalist areas was an

also felt that the

error.

conduct

Like General Berzin

he opposed the high-handed colonial methods used by Russians

on Spanish 92

soil.

In Stalin's Secret Service

Stashevsky had no use for dissenters or "Trotskyists" in Russia,

and approved the ogpu method of dealing with them, but he

thought that the OGPU should respect the regular Spanish parties.

political

Cautiously he intimated that Stalin might perhaps change

the Spanish policy of the ogpu.

with him, and Stashevsky

left

The

"Big Boss" pretended to agree

the Kremlin quite elated.

Later he had a conference with Marshal Tukhachevsky, in the

course of which he called attention to the disgraceful behavior of the Soviet officials in Spain. This conference caused quite a lot of talk in the inner circle, partly because

shaken position. ing those

The Marshal was

who behaved

of Tukhachevsky's already

fully alive to the

in Spain as

though

it

need of curb-

were a conquered

country, but he was already without the authority to discipline

them. Stashevsky and fall

I

had

of Caballero and the

groomed

He was awaiting the early of Negrin, the man whom he had

several talks. rise

for the premiership.

"Big fights are ahead of us in Spain" he remarked more than once.

This was plain to those of us Stalin

had consolidated

who understood

his successes in the plan to

dependency of the Kremlin, and was already forward.

Berzin

The Comintern was

now

Stalin's policy.

make Spain

for another

of Spain to Moscow.

army

in his hands.

had proceeded

in accordance with Stalin's

instructions: "Stay out of the range of the artillery fire!" risks

seemed within

Bank

The ogpu machine was going full steam ahead.

enterprise

avoided the

push

fading out of the picture altogether.

held the reins of the Spanish

Stashevsky had transferred most of the gold reserve from the

The whole

a

of an international war, and yet

We

had

Stalin's goal

grasp.

The one big obstacle in the way was Catalonia. The Catalonians were

anti-Stalinist,

and they were one of the main props of the

Caballero government.

To

seize full control, Stalin

had still

to bring

Catalonia under his rule and oust Caballero.

This was emphasized to ers

me

in a report

of the Russian anarchist group in

by one of the lead-

Paris,

who was

a secret

93

W. G. Krivitsky

agent of the OGPU.

He had been

despatched to Barcelona, where

prominent anarchist he enjoyed the confidence of the

as a

anarcho-syndicalists in the local government. His mission was

an agent provocateur,

to act as acts that

would

behind the

reports,

it

at the

in tiny rolls

Like

all

our secret

of photographic film.

Moscow headquarters

American photographic apparatus

for

Each page of the report was an enlarged

The

as if to suppress a revolt

at least thirty pages.

was conveyed

department

finest

army

front.

His report covered

cial

to incite the Catalonians to rash

justify calling in the

is

A spe-

equipped with the

handling these

films.

print.

agent gave a detailed report of his conferences with the

various party leaders

whose confidence he shared, and of the

measures he had taken to inspire them to acts which would give the

OGPU an excuse

for destroying

would soon be an outbreak

them.

He was

sure that there

in Barcelona.

came from Jose Diaz, the leader of the Spanish Communist Party, and was addressed to Dimitrov, the Another report

I

read

president of the Comintern. Dimitrov sent

it

immediately to the

headquarters of the OGPU, since he had long since learned

who

his

master was. Diaz berated Caballero as a dreamer and a phrase

monger who would never become

He

praised Negrin.

doing among

He

a trusted ally of the Stalinists.

described the

Socialists

work

the

Communists were

and anarcho-syndicalists

to sap their

strength from within.

These reports made

it

clear that the

OGPU was

plotting to crush

the "uncontrollable" elements in Barcelona and seize control for Stalin.

On May

2, Sloutski

telephoned

me

at the

Hotel Savoy, and

me to call on an important Spanish Communist named He was the chief of the secret service of the Loyalist government, which now had its capital at Valencia. He had been sent to Russia to attend the May Day celebration. Because of preasked

Garcia.

occupation with the purge, a telegram announcing his

been neglected.

94

No

one had met him, and he was

all

arrival

had

alone at the

In Stalin's Secret Service

New Moscow best

me

to repair the oversight as

could.

I I

Hotel. Sloutski asked

went with

vigorous

man

a

comrade

in his early thirties.

Orlov, chief of the

vacation for "I

to visit Garcia,

him

OGPU

and found

a neat

and

He told me that his good friend,

in Spain,

had kindly arranged

this little

in the Soviet capital.

was happy to come" he

said,

"but no one greeted me, and

could not get a pass to enter the Red Square on able to see of the parade were glimpses of

my window here." We extended apologies

to

it

I

May Day. All I was

across the river

from

Comrade Garcia and took him

to

He remarked that the Soviet workers in the much worse off than the Spanish workers, even during civil war. He had observed that supplies were scarce, and asked me why the Soviet government was not successful in dinner

at the Savoy.

streets were obviously

raising the standard

of living of the masses.

When I saw Sloutski I asked him:

"What's the idea of bringing

that Spaniard over here?"

"Orlov wants him out of the way," Sloutski

said.

"We

have to

keep him amused here until the end of May."

Having read the

reports,

I

did not need to ask what Orlov

expected to do in May.

The news from Barcelona burst sensationally upon the world. The headlines screamed: Anarchist Revolt in Barcelona! The correspondents reported an anti-Stalinist conspiracy in the capital of Catalonia, a fight for the Telephone Exchange, street riots, barricades, executions.

To

this day, the

Barcelona

the history of our times as a fratricidal cists

May Days

appear in

war among the

anti-Fas-

while Franco was attacking them. According to the

official

statements, the Catalonian revolutionists treacherously attempted to seize resist

power

at a

moment when

every energy was needed to

Fascism. Another version of the Barcelona tragedy, given to

the press and echoed throughout the world,

is

that

it

was a

some uncontrollable elements who managed extreme wing of the anarchist movement, in order

rebel-

lion "by

to get into

the

to

provoke

disturbances in favor of the enemies of the republic."

95

W. G. Krivitsky

The ers

fact

were

was

is

that in Catalonia the great majority of the

fiercely anti-Stalinist. Stalin

inevitable, but

knew

that a

work-

showdown

he also knew that the opposition forces were

badly divided and could be crushed by swift bold action.

and provoked

The

OGPU and Socialists against one another. After five days of bloodshed, in which five hundred persons were killed and more than a thousand wounded, Catalonia was made the issue on which the Caballero government must stand or fall. The Spanish Communists, led by Diaz, demanded the suppression of all antiStalinist parties and trade unions in Catalonia; the placing of newspapers, radio stations and meeting halls under OGPU control, and the immediate and complete extinction of all antiStalinist movements throughout Loyalist territory. Largo Caballero would not yield to these demands, and he was forced to resign on May 15. Dr. Juan Negrin became the premier of the new government, as Stashevsky had long ago decided. His government was hailed as the Government of Victory. Negrin remained premier until the collapse of the Loyalist defense in March 1939. Garcia, on hearing the news from Barcelona, came running to fanned the flames

me

of high excitement.

in a state

syndicalists, anarchists

He had

been to the Spanish

He wanted to return to Spain at once. He could not understand why he could not get away. But Sloutski would not let

Embassy.

him

go;

Orlov

in Barcelona did

not want Garcia around. True, he

was an important Communist, but he might make trouble. In Barcelona the ogpu was taking prisoners en masse. Sloutski offered Garcia a trip to the Caucasus

the Soviet government

wanted

to go

home.

wanted him

Of course

and the Crimea,

insisting that

to see everything.

But Garcia

he did not go.

In the Spanish Embassy, Garcia

made

the acquaintance of

who also wanted to go home. These four had been provided with two spacious rooms at the Hotel Metropole. They had been escorted to every museum m Moscow, to every sight in and around the capital. They had been to the four other Spaniards

Crimea, to the Caucasus, to Leningrad, even to the Dnieprostroy

96

In Stalin's Secret Service

Dam. For viet

five

months they had been seeing

the sights in the So-

Union. Daily they went to the Spanish Embassy for news from

home. Daily they ing with them,

tried to get their passports back.

suspected that they

I

From

knew they were

Their government could not help them; Stalin ruled

talk-

prisoners.

their govern-

ment. asked Sloutski

I

who

"Those four?" he Spain.

They came

months counting

they were.

said.

"They

are cashiers

from the Bank of

over with the gold shipment. it,

They spent

day and night, and then checking the

Now they want to go home!" When I asked Sloutski how it would end, "They'll be lucky to get out of here

he

when

three

figures.

said:

the

war ends. For

the present they will have to remain in our hands."

A

few days before Sloutski told

iers

of the Bank of Spain,

list

of high ogpu

I

officials

me

had noticed

who had

the story of the cashin the

Moscow

press a

received the Order of the

Red Banner. Among them were several familiar names. It occurred to me to ask Sloutski what distinguished service had brought them this coveted decoration. He said that the hon-

men had been the leaders trusted officers who had been

ored

work

as

of a special squad of about thirty sent to Odessa in

December

longshoremen.

An enormous Spain. Stalin

quantity of gold had arrived at that time from

would

entrust only the highest officials of his secret

police with the job of unloading the treasure, fearing that it

might get out.

task.

The

word of

He made Yezhov personally pick the men

for the

operation had been surrounded with such extraordinary

secrecy that this was the

One

to

first I

of my associates,

tion, described to

me

the pier was cleared

myself had heard of

who had gone on

the scene in Odessa.

this

The

it.

unusual expedientire vicinity of

and surrounded by cordons of special

troops.

Across this cleared and empty space from dock to railroad track,

ogpu officials carried the boxes of gold on their backs. For days and days they carried this burden of gold, loading it on

the highest

97

W. G. Krivitsky

freight cars,

which were then taken

Moscow under armed

to

con-

voys.

He

attempted to give

me

an estimate of the amount of gold

they had unloaded in Odessa.

Red Square. He pointed

We

were walking across the huge

open

to the several

acres

surrounding

us,

we piled up in the Odessa and said: "If all yards were laid side by side here in the Red Square, they would cover it from end to end." That was his way of picturing the size the boxes of gold that

of the haul.

The

treasure secured

by

Stalin

from Spain

hundreds of millions of dollars, and

may

certainly ran into

have reached half a

bil-

lion.

Shortly after the Caballero government

day

the Special Section. left

when the telephone They wanted to know

in Sloutski's office

fell, I

rang. if

It

was

sitting

was a

call

one

from

Miss Stashevsky had

the Soviet Union.

who was

Sloutski,

troubled.

When

On

a friend of Stashevsky

and

his family,

was

another telephone he called the Passport Division.

down

he put

the receiver he sighed with

Stashevsky had crossed the frontier.

He

relief.

Miss

gave this information to

the Special Section.

We both knew that the call had then returned in Paris,

to his post in Barcelona.

working in the Soviet Pavilion

had made arrangements

for their

mother and work with her

month

meant no good

at the exposition.

Stashevsky

daughter of nineteen to join her

there.

from the Soviet

The

Pavilion.

thing, she returned to the Soviet

He

His wife, Regina, was

girl

reached

Paris,

June, she was instructed to take back to

later, in

certain exhibits

to Stashevsky.

but a

Moscow

Without suspecting any-

Union.

In the meantime, her father had been recalled from Spain. In July,

1937,

I

was back

Stashevsky to find out

day she told

me

in Paris.

when

that he

98

Madame there. One

kept telephoning

her husband would arrive

and General Berzin had come through,

but had stopped only between great haste.

I

trains,

proceeding to

Moscow

in

She could not disguise her anxiety. In June, Stalin had

In Staj

wiped out nearly the

entire high

Marshal Tukhachevsky I

Madame

saw

Secret Servu

en's

at the

command

i

of the Red Army, with

head.

Stashevsky repeatedly. She heard nothing

from her daughter or her husband. She began their

apartment

a friend

in

would be

Moscow, knowing

to telephone to

that if they were not there,

living in the apartment. For several days

and

nights she kept the long-distance operators ringing her number.

The

"No

report was always the same:

answer."

She could not understand what was happening, and kept on trying. Finally the

connection was made.

Stashevsky had not arrived. that he girl,

was

in

No

one

Moscow. Nor was

A housemaid answered. apartment even knew

in the

there any information as to the

who had been lured as a hostage a month earlier. Two weeks passed without news. Early in August, Madame

Stashevsky received a brief note from her husband, asking her to

wind up everything and return telephone

calls,

went back

to the Soviet

that the letter

to

came from

Union



to

General Berzin also vanished.

commanders of Stashevsky, he

missars

the

Moscow. She knew,

all

after

her

prison. She packed

and

she had

The

left in

the world.

execution of the leading

Red Army portended

ill

for Berzin. Like

had been intimately associated with the purged com-

and generals since the beginning of the Soviet revolution,

nearly twenty years before. Against that fact his achievements in

Spain and his

To

this

leaders

strict

and obedient

loyalty

would count

for nothing.

day he belongs to that great number of vanished Soviet

whose

fate

can only be surmised and

may

never become

known.

At

this time, in the

summer of 1937,

just

when

Stalin ap-

peared to have achieved his goal in faraway Spain, Japan struck at

China.

The menace

to the Soviet

Union

in the Far East

became

bombarded Shanghai advanced on Nanking. The government of Chiang Kai-shek made peace with Moscow and solicited Soviet aid. Simultaneously, the Fascist powers became more and more

alarming. Japanese forces took Peiping [Peking],

aggressive in the West. Italy

and Germany intervened openly on 99

W. G. Krivitsky

Franco's side.

The

military situation of the Spanish republic grew

increasingly difficult. If Stalin were to capitalize

ment

in Spain, he

would have

to give her

help needed to defeat Franco and his

he was loath to the artillery

China and

The

risk a

fire!"

on

now the

allies.

his achieve-

full

measure of

But more than

ever,

major war. His slogan "Stay out of range of

became more

insistent after Japan's invasion

of

threat to the Siberian frontier.

role

close. Stalin

of Stalin in Spain was drawing to an ignominious

had intervened there

in the

hope that he might, with

the stepping-stone of a Spanish dependency, build a road from

Moscow to London and

Paris,

maneuver was unsuccessful. his

and so ultimately

He

to

Germany. His

lacked real audacity.

He

played

game boldly against the independence of the Spanish people,

but feebly against Franco.

He

succeeded in murderous intrigue,

but failed in waging war.

Leon Blum and Anthony Eden resigned. Paris and London adopted a more friendly attitude toward Franco. Gradually, during 1938, Stalin withdrew his hand from Spain. All he got out of the adventure was a pile of Spanish gold.

100

IV

When

Stalin

Counterfeited Dollars

THE

first

Five-Year Plan extended from 1928 to 1932.

Those were the

years of our heavy purchases of foreign

machinery and materials trialize Russia.

One

for the gigantic drive to indus-

of the major consequences of that drive was

an acute shortage of foreign exchange in Moscow. In the course of those

same

years the globe

was

circled

by a

of spurious $ 1 00 Federal Reserve banknotes of the United

trail

States.

They

first

trickled

and

later

flowed into the United States

Treasury from Shanghai and San Francisco, from Houston and

New

York, from Montreal and Havana, from Warsaw, Geneva,

Bucharest, Berlin, Vienna, Sofia, and Belgrade. It

was

Stalin

who thus put into circulation throughout the world

about ten million dollars in bogus American currency.

The

fact

is

interesting, not only intrinsically,

reveals the primitiveness

of

this

Georgian's

mind

but because



it

his ignorance

101

W. G. Krivitsky

of modern world conditions, and the readiness with which in a he turns to the expedients of

crisis

rose to

prominence

propriations"



common

in the Bolshevik party as

that

is,

crime. Stalin

first

an organizer of "ex-

bank robberies designed

to replenish the

party treasury. Boris Souvarine, in his recent Life of Stalin, describes such an expropriation at Tiflis, organized

although not participated

were exploded in the

in,

It is

Stalin, in

street, fifty

and 341,000 roubles— that funds.

by

directed,

which eight bombs

people injured, three

$170,000— added

is

and

not surprising that in another

killed,

to the Party's

crisis in

which he

felt

the need of ready cash, Stalin should conceive the all-too-simple

idea of taking

The

it

out of the United States Treasury.

need, however, was extreme.

The fund of

foreign ex-

change in the Soviet Treasury was woefully inadequate for the first-line industrial

departments.

The foreign

and the Soviet Military Intelligence were condition at a time

The

when

quest for "valuta"

they, too,

—gold

or

its

divisions of the

in a critical budgetary

were expanding their equivalents

occupation of the Soviet government.

A

OGPU

—was

a

services.

main

special Valuta

pre-

Bureau

was organized by the OGPU, and every conceivable method, from trickery to terror,

employed

to

pump

treasures out of the population.

It

foreign currency

reached

its

climax in the so-

called Dollar Inquisition, the systematic extortion

citizens of relief remittances sent to

America.

Many

by the OGPU All this

became known

To

this day, the

relatives in

ransom money arrived from abroad. to a fairly

more primitive grab

still

them by

from Soviet

of the victims were imprisoned and tortured

until

his

and other

for easy

wide public, but

money

a pretty

Stalin kept

deep

secret.

source of those forged $ 1 00 notes remains an

unsolved mystery even for American and European secret

ser-

vices.

Suspicions were indeed entertained, and even voiced, that

there

was a counterfeiting ring

in Soviet Russia.

But no one

in

authority dared to suggest that the Soviet government was the criminal.

The

facts are that Stalin

counterfeiting ring, that

102

its

himself established and directed this

presses

were in

Moscow in

the deepest

In Stalin's Secret Service

of the OGPU, and that the distributors of the bogus cur-

recesses

rency were Soviet agents.

The United

notes were printed

imported from the

special stock

and were of such superb workmanship, that bank

States,

tellers in

on

America accepted them

as authentic for years after their

appearance. So sure were the counterfeiters that their prod-

first

would defy

uct

detection, that they offered the bogus notes in

quantity for exchange to leading American financial institutions. Stalin's agents

world



worked

in alliance

with the criminal under-

with a gang of American racketeers

in Berlin, for instance,

operating in Eastern Europe, and in Chicago with sters.

These

facts

have been established by police probes. But the

agents themselves, so far as

from purely

known gang-

is

known, took no

political motives.

They wanted

profits,

and acted

to help the Soviet

Union. In the Federal Penitentiary of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, there is

now

a prisoner

serving a fifteen-year sentence for victimizing

Chicago banks to the extent of $25,500

The

prisoner

is

Dr. Valentine Gregory Burtan, a

cian, identified as a

punishment

in counterfeit

$100

notes.

New York physi-

prominent Communist. Dr. Burtan took

stoically,

giving no hint of the higher-ups in

whose devoted agent he was. Therefore,

his trial in 1934,

his

Moscow although

preceded by an intensive investigation on the part of the United States Secret Service, failed to solve the

mystery of the bogus

notes.

In Berlin, several years before Dr. Burtan's arrest, the private

banking firm of Sass ner,

by the Soviet government

ing bogus

of

& Martini was bought up, in a devious man-

bills in

bulk.

The

for the express

purpose of exchang-

collapse of the venture

and the

flight

promoter caused an international sensation, and again

its

a

police probe brought out connections with the underworld. But the agent involved, a

ous undertaking in a Soviet Union.

was

as

good

man well known to me, entered this hazardmood of consecration to the service of the

Although he was not captured by the

as

police, his life

ruined in the cause.

103

W. G. Krivitsky

My own

first

came on January

intimation of Stalin's counterfeiting operations 23, 1930, while

I

was on

a train

Rome. Getting off at a way station to buy a paper,

from Vienna I

to

noticed, in the

Berliner Tageblatt, a sensational headline displayed over a story run-

ning across the top of the entire page, which read:

TERFEITS

The

"WHO COUN-

THE DOLLARS?"

story began as follows:

The news of

$100

the circulation of counterfeit

banknotes formed the topic of conversation today in

banking

circles

and on the stock exchange. So

far nei-

ther the counterfeiters nor their plant has been discov-

But recent investigations have established that

ered.

Franz Fischer, of the

Neue

Winterfeldstrasse 3,

undertook to pass the counterfeit notes

in Berlin,

who had

returned from Russia in March, 1929.

The name of Franz Fischer leaped the devil!"

the account, in that paper and others

firmed

my worst

fears. It

at

me from the page. "What

must be our

said to myself. "This

I

I

affair."

The

rest

bought along the way, con-

appeared that a group of American pro-

moters, dealing in Canadian mining shares, had acquired in the

of 1929 the private banking house of Sass

founded

in 1846.

of

&

fall

Martini, a firm

The promoters soon stepped out and turned

ownership over to a certain Herr Simons, and he in turn sold

the

it

to

none other than Paul Roth, formerly Communist member of the Berlin Municipal Council.

ployee of the Soviet

I

knew Roth

Embassy

in

Franz Fischer was described I

had known Fischer

1923 when munist

I

to be a confidential

Germany.

as the

since 1920,

chief customer of the bank.

and had worked with him

helped organize a military staff for the

Party.

I

knew

that he

had been

for years in the service

the Soviet Military Intelligence, and that he

that since 1927, Alfred

in the

United

104

States.

in

German Com-

worked under the

pervision of "Alfred," one of our leading officers abroad.

knew

em-

I

of

su-

also

had been spending most of his time

In Stalin's

There was

knew and

a personal

Secret Service

me and

bond, too, between

respected his mother, a veteran revolutionist

Fischer.

and an out-

Communist movement in Germany. It was World War days, that the Spartacus Bund, led

standing figure of the in her

home

in the

*

by Karl Liebknecht, was cradled. Franz had grown up sphere of social revolt. Although

of

late,

was sure that he was

I

I

had

I

a

still

lost

in

an atmo-

him

contact with

thoroughgoing

idealist.

Counterfeiting for lucrative reasons would be impossible to him.

His

role in the Sass

under

& Martini adventure must have been played

political orders. In brief,

Moscow was

involved,

Moreover,

The

pattern.

I

I

had no doubt

that, if Fischer

was

involved.

recognized in the press reports a familiar Soviet

acquisition of the old banking firm by an elusive

group of "Canadian American" promoters, of it to a Mr. Simons,

ately disposed

for interests represented

who

by Paul Roth



who

in turn

immedi-

turned out to be acting

all

this

was

just the

kind

of window dressing our secret services were in the habit of hang-

The

ing out.

old Berlin bank had obviously been purchased in

order to inspire confidence in the bogus currency to be handled. I

learned from the Tage I? la tt that

Fischer

had exchanged

$ 19,000 in $

1

00

bills.

at the Sass

Sass

on December

&

10, 1929, Franz

Martini Bank the

sum of

& Martini had them deposited with

the Deutsche Bank, which shipped a quantity to the National City

Bank of New size type,

interest

York.

A

York. As the notes were of an old-fashioned, large-

then no longer issued in America, they aroused some

upon

their arrival at the Federal Reserve

Bank

in

New

microscopic investigation by experts discovered them to

be counterfeits of a pattern already familiar to the Treasury.

On

December 23, New York cabled Berlin that the notes were spuriThe cable warned the German banks and authorities that the

ous.

counterfeit

The

bills

were the best imitation ever discovered.

Berlin police, under

Commissioner von Liebermann,

promptly swooped down on Sass

Not

to be confused with

Ruth

& Martini, and soon exposed

its

Fischer.

105

W. G. Krivitsky

artificial character. All its

transactions in bogus

Fischer's connections

with

secret to the authorities that 1

927

in the

The fair.

Moscow were known.

It

was no

he had been employed during 1925-

automobile section of the Soviet Trade Mission in

He had

Berlin.

however, led

bills,

and Fischer had vanished.

to Franz Fischer,

one time made a hobby of automobile

at

racing.

police concluded that he served only as a "fence" in the af-

A high German

official declared:

"The gang must have

a big printing shop somewhere, with a

large staff of experts, or they could never produce such perfect

They have turned out

results in quantity.

so

much

that they

must

have relations with a big paper mill, probably through bribery of employees. Their profits must be enormous."

The theory of the

Berlin police, according to the papers, was

that the counterfeiting ring

Balkans.

their eyes to

bought

was operating

wondered how long

I

Moscow.

feared grave consequences to

all

of

us. I

of papers and studied every item on the counter-

sorts

all

feiting case.

I

either in Poland or the

would be before they turned

it

My

primary

intelligence network.

The

interest

was

in protecting

some of our

fact that

our military

agents were en-

tangled in this crazy enterprise appalled me. Besides that,

was disturbed

I

for Franz Fischer.

military intelligence operations in the United States,

I read about the police raid on Sass main aspect of the crime seemed to be

The United back to

this

the

more

States its

I

had no confi-

judgment.

at all in his

As the

his

important post of chief of our

superior, "Alfred" occupied the

dence

Although

government,

I

it

its

Martini, to

me

sheer stupidity.

thought, would surely trace

source in Moscow.

fantastic

&

And

appeared that in

more I pondered, modern age of inter-

the

this

national exchange a great state should engage in such shenani-

gans

I

felt

a stop to

that

I

ought to do or say something calculated to put

it.

Fortunately,

I

fidential emissary,

was to meet

in

Stalin's personal

and con-

General "Ter" Tairov, then abroad on a tour of

inspection of our secret services.

106

Rome

A

native of the Caucasus, like

In Stalin's Secret Service

Tairov was later the Soviet Envoy in Outer Mongolia

Stalin,

*

which

is

to say that he

Tairov

came

first

was

appeared on

Stalin's viceroy there.

my horizon in

1928

in Paris,

where he

ostensibly as the representative of the Soviet Oil Syndicate.

In reality his mission was to look into things Stalin. It

was

meeting with Tairov that

in this

with the highly personal character of

As an

officer

my superiors, mittee. Tairov

as a

went

member of the

and sundry

for

got acquainted

Stalin's dictatorship.

of Military Intelligence,

and

all

I first

I

had been trained obey the

party, to

at things in a novel way.

to serve

central

com-

Although working

in a

department remote from mine, he would suggest in an offhand

manner that he was "If

where

me

else, just let

me any help I might require.

in a position to offer

you need anything,

aid

from the Embassy or from any-

know, and

I'll

drop a

line to the Boss."

conversation was punctuated with such personal references. this straight

to take the

from

man

Stalin," or "Stalin told

for a braggart

me

that."

I

"I

His got

was inclined

and inquired of my chief in Mos-

cow, General Berzin, whether he was reliable. Berzin sent

word

that Tairov's claims to intimacy with Stalin were not inventions.

He had been one

of the group that served under Stalin during the

Civil War. Later, in

Department

to

1

932, he had been planted by Stalin in the War

open the mail of War Commissar Voroshilov and

other generals. I

now met Tairov

Rome, and

at the Tivoli in

I

jumped

right

into the question of the counterfeit dollars.

"That

much will viet

is

some messy

afraid of

its

affair

over in Berlin,"

I

said.

"I'm very

developing into an international scandal that

wreck our intelligence organization and compromise the Sogovernment." "Nitchevo!" said Tairov, with a shrug of the shoulders, dis-

missing the whole thing with that inimitable Russian word which

means,

literally,

In a recent listed as

under

"Nothing!"

New



or "Aw,

it

York Times dispatch

doesn't matter!"

his

name was among

officers

arrest.

107

W. G. Krivitsky

"Don't be surprised

if

you

"This won't blow over.

said.

all

pay with your heads

Whoever

for

started this will get

all

it," I

of us

into hot water."

"Don't you worry about is

on

in

You

it.

would go

Tairov reassured me. "The Boss

don't think the boys in the Fourth

in for this

Department

kind of thing without the word from

was taken aback

I

it,"

for a minute. It

would never have ventured authorization of Stalin.

I

is

Stalin!"

true that General Berzin

into such an enterprise without the

returned to the argument, however.

"Aside from political considerations," financially preposterous. Just stop

and

I

said, "the enterprise

How much

consider.

is

false

Then estimate the money into

currency can one exchange in the world markets? the cost of the plant, and the expense of getting

Exchange

circulation. credit.

Cash

in

doesn't go

modern times

far.

is

largely a matter of bank

Whoever conceived

the idea

is,

my

in

opinion, a barbarian." "Well, that's just

why we bought a bank in

Berlin," Tairov said.

"And what did you get out of it? You bought the bank with good money. if

it

And how much currency could the bank have floated even

had survived? Don't our people

of a world profits,

we

and

live in?

also

in

Moscow understand the kind

Didn't they estimate the costs and possible

weigh the hazards,

And what

in advance?

are they

going to do now? Here we've built up an intelligence network, great cost

and danger, and

this infantile

Tairov admitted that he did not Sass

& Martini affair, but he

still

scheme

is

going to wreck

know what

tried to

to

at

it!"

do about the

defend the counterfeiting

plan on grounds of the acute shortage of valuta in connection

with the Five- Year Plan. I

pointed out the

to the inefficiency

money sent a

to us

difficulties

we secret service agents had, owing

of our financial bureaucrats in exchanging

from Moscow. At times the courier would bring

whole bundle of $500 banknotes,

at other times, ten

dollars in one-dollar bills. Occasionally, these notes

the stamp of the Soviet State Bank.

changing 108

this

real

The

risk

thousand

would

carry

of exposure in ex-

genuine currency was bad enough.

And

now, Mos-

In Stalin's Secret Service

cow proposed good

to furnish us with counterfeit

death sentence to

as a

money!

was

It

our work. Tairov was shaken by

all

as

my

arguments, and gave ground. "Perhaps you're right," he conceded, "as

Europe

far as

is

con-

cerned. But you must understand, this business was organized

primarily with an eye on China.

of these

dollars,

and we need them

This stumped me, for China, and we dropped

took place

and more

Over

at Ostia, the

The

there."

knew nothing about

I

conditions in

the matter until our next meeting, which

new

seaport near

successfully, tried to

the whole business.

there we're floating millions

Rome. There

convince him that

I

again,

we should end

& Martini case was then beginning

Sass

to re-echo from every corner of the globe.

The

Bankers' Association of Berlin had issued a public warn-

ing against spurious United States banknotes of tion bearing an oval portrait of several its

minute discrepancies

$100 denomina-

Benjamin Franklin.

in the counterfeit

It

described

money to

facilitate

detection.

The

Berlin police

its

that "these ($100) bills are so

no foreign bank has ever detected them," and

cleverly forged that

broadcast

announced

belief that "Millions of dollars of this false

are in circulation in

On January 23,

money

America and Europe." a bulletin

from Geneva announced: "Ameri-

can Treasury Officials have warned the Federal Police Depart-

ment

Berne that $100

at

These notes

The

notes are circulating in Switzerland.

are very clever forgeries."

next day

forged $100

false

bills

word came from

Berlin:

"About $40,000

have been discovered to date.

A

in

reward for

the capture of Fischer has been offered by the police."

On January

26, the Associated Press carried a dispatch from

Havana, Cuba: Police revealed the existence of an international counterfeiting ring in last

Havana, said to have circulated

week between $75,000 and $100,000

States Federal Reserve

$100

bills

of the

in

in the

bogus United

New York bank. 109

W. G. Krivitsky

A survey of the American banks here showed all held number of

a

these

bills.

The Havana branch of

the

National City Bank has fourteen, and has refused to accept approximately $16,000 more. All banks have installed special tellers to scrutinize large

currency. place,

is

The Casino

denomination

National, an expensive gambling

said to have received

many

of the fraudulent

notes.

On

January 29, the well-known

Alphonse Sack (who some years in the

famous Reichstag

room,

his readiness to

later

German

attorney, Dr.

appeared for the defense

Fire Trial) declared in a Berlin court-

prove that the forged $100 notes had

been made in the Soviet State Printing Establishment cow. Dr. Sack alleged, according to the

New

Mos-

at

York Times of

January 30, that "during the recent trouble with China, $2,500,000

in counterfeit

source, was circulated in

On

February

6,

pound and dollar notes from China by Soviet agents."

news came from Warsaw of the

Communist leader found in days later from the same States

$100

same

the

arrest

possession of American currency.

city:

notes were found,

of a

Ten

"Large quantities of forged United

upon

analysis, in a

bank

in

Lwow

(Lemberg)," and these notes were found to be similar to those discovered in the

German

banks.

At about the same time the Berlin police made public

a report

of the discovery in Antwerp, Belgium, of a counterfeiting ring,

flooding Europe with fictitious American $100 and $500 banknotes, and of the arrest of three men, a Romanian, a garian,

and

The

Hun-

a Czech.

Federal Reserve

Bank of

New

York issued a circular on

February 22, 1930, calling attention to a number of minute crepancies in the fake

spacing between the

1

bills,

among them

and the

first

numerals on the face of the note was genuine.

110

dis-

the fact that the black

of the slightly

1

00

in the corner

wider than in the

In Stalin's Secret Service

On March 3,

large quantities

of this counterfeit currency were

encountered in Mexico City. Here, too, the workmanship was pro-

nounced very

skillful.

On March

seven smugglers of the

7,

were seized

false bills

at

Teschen, on the Polish-Czech frontier.

While had been

these echoes were resounding through the world, Tairov

communication with Moscow, and he

in

orders to assign

me

to liquidate the affair.

returned to Vienna, where

I

Military Intelligence in Austria.

who had

had

in the

meantime

met Alexandrovsky, then head of our

of nerves over the whole thing. Alfred,

I

finally received

I

found Alexandrovsky

He

in a state

was particularly incensed

now

shipped Fischer to Vienna, and

at

expected

Alexandrovsky to provide the fugitive with a hide-out and the necessary papers for clandestine passage from Austria to the So-

Union. Circulars carrying the picture and description of Franz

viet

Fischer were by this time posted throughout Western Europe. "I told

Tairov

when he was

here that

I

didn't

want

anything to do with the case," Alexandrovsky complained that imbecile Alfred

"It's

Let

who

is

He

that

it,"

saw Fischer

in

Vienna

bitterly.

replied Alexandrovsky,

he had no choice but to obey

to Odessa,

and thence

just before his departure.

instructions.

him

supplied Fischer with passports, enabling

way of Romania and Turkey

have

responsible for the whole mess.

him clean it up." "What did Tairov say?" I asked. "He told me the Boss was behind

which meant, of course,

to

to

to

go by

Moscow.

About

I

six feet

tall,

slender but strongly built, always smartly dressed, Fischer was

well

known

tache,

for his dashing appearance.

and dressed

carelessly.

He now wore a false mus-

Besides that, he was effectively dis-



mood a sorry figure indeed. am a finished man," he said to me. He knew that once he got to Soviet Russia, he would never be allowed to leave. He also knew that Stalin could not afford to let

guised by his disheartened "I

him

survive if he remained abroad.

fate.

After

all,

he had done the job in

orders of the Soviet

I

was deeply moved by

his line

his

of duty, acting under

Government. Ill

W. G. Krivitsky

met Alfred

I

March

in

opened our conversation "You blockhead!"

and Western Europe

He

I

Cafe Kuenstler, in Vienna, and

at the

no

in

said.

flattering terms.

"You have

defend himself.

tried to

said.

like ordinary counterfeit currency.

same paper they use that

United

in the

"This

stuff.

The only

States.

in

I

It

got the

difference

is

our conversation Alfred referred to

"Nick," an American, apparently of Latvian origin,

main

money

aide in circulating the false

He was him

money.

real

is

the real

It's

printed on our presses instead of in Washington."

it's

More than once his

States

and learned absolutely nothing."

for years,

"But you don't understand," he isn't

United

lived in the

of their success and

full

realize the gravity

Martini venture,

had put

the problem. Point by point position into

The

States.

collapse of the Sass

a different

analyzed for

I

United

in the

took some time to make

it

of the situation.

explained,

I

who had been

which he had maneuvered

us.

&

complexion on

him

the dangerous

He sat there like a man

hearing a death sentence, and finally asked imploringly:

"What can I

told

him

do?"

I

that

instructed to lay

Moscow.

I

the

all

off,

had

bills

to be called in,

and

and that he himself would have

was not sure that Alfred would obey

meet us

therefore arranged for Tairov to

my

together,

to

his agents

go back to

and

orders,

I

and confirm

my full authority in the matter. It

was from Alfred that

I

learned

counterfeiting scheme. Although

under It

at

any

rate,

who

the details of the

was carried out

in

Moscow

he claimed to have originated the

Stalin's supervision,

was he,

it

some of

idea.

secured in the United States a shipment

of the special paper used in printing money. Alfred, circle in

whose

head. Alfred was tures.

I

name was

last

tall,

blue-eyed, lanky, of strong but

had known him and

was statuesque, was known everybody in

112

Tilden, belonged to the Latvian

our department, of which General Ian Berzin was the

Moscow

his wife as a

Maria

homely

for several years.

fea-

Maria

crack shot, and was considered by

the brains of the family.

In Stalin's Secret Servn

come

In the spring of 1928, Alfred had

i

tried

and

hard to keep Alfred from taking Lydia with him.

clever

officer

woman, then

and

later

had joined our

in her thirties,

one

to Paris to detach

of our best agents, Lydia Stahl, and transfer her to America.

A

had

I

striking

once the wife of a Czarist

married to Baron Stahl, a Baltic nobleman, Lydia secret service while a refugee in Finland in 1921.

She was one of the best we had. Alfred States.

won

his point,

and took Lydia with him

She remained about three

espionage case broke in Paris rested there, tried,

and given

years,

at the

to the

United

but when the Gordon Switz

end of 1932, Lydia was

ar-

a five-year prison sentence. Alfred's

wife Maria, then stationed in Finland as our military intelligence agent,

was

also caught,

and

is

now serving

a ten-year sentence as a

Soviet spy in a Finnish prison.

Despite

all

his ineptness, Alfred

himself never got into trouble

with the police. However, the collapse of the counterfeiting enterprise

was a setback

to his career.

well-known Communists,

like

The

fact that

he had employed

Franz Fischer and Paul Roth, was

one of the gravest aspects of his

failure, as it

was bound

to

com-

promise the Communist parties of Western Europe. It

took

me

several

weeks to liquidate the

affair

and have the

outstanding counterfeit currency shipped back to Moscow. In May,

1930, Alfred, too, went back home, and Fischer had by that time

By mid-June the storm seemed to have blown over, although $100 notes continued to appear now and then in the Balkans. About June 20, 1 returned to Moscow to arrived safely in Soviet Russia.

report to General Berzin.

Tairov was also in Moscow, and was present at our conference. General Berzin expressed in an for

embrace

jumping into the breach caused by the

me

his gratitude to

collapse of the Sass

Martini Bank. In the course of our conversation,

I

offered

&

some

frank criticisms of the whole enterprise.

"Counterfeiting I

said. "It

is

no business

puts us on a par with

for a powerful state to

go into,"

some small underground

sect

without resources."

113

— W. G. Krivitsky

Berzin explained again that the plan had been worked out with a

view to China, where large-scale operations were possible, and

admitted that

it

was not suitable

for the West.

I

argued that

it

was

ridiculous anywhere.

"Didn't Napoleon print British banknotes?" Berzin countered. I

recognized in that the voice of Stalin himself.

"The comparison won't stand up," ditions are wholly different.

I

said.

A few million

"Modern

fiscal

con-

dollars'

worth of cur-



dam-

rency can accomplish nothing substantial today

except to

age the prestige of the state that prints them." I

went away feeling that the counterfeiting venture had been killed

for good,

and

that the banknotes

on hand would be

New York and

mistaken, as subsequent events in

destroyed.

I

was

Chicago proved.

Alfred was later transferred to Minsk, near the Polish border,

where he was put

in charge of

White Russian Military

the motorized forces of the

all

assumed

District. Franz Fischer

a

new

name as soon as he arrived in the Soviet Union. Although a veteran Communist in Germany, he was not admitted into the Russian Communist Party a severe handicap. He was assigned



OGPU Construction

after a while to the

him

off as a foreman to

much

Some of us

for a time, but

In the late

me

Vienna

to

I

Division,

which shipped

Northeastern Siberia

sent Franz parcels of

warm

clothing,

he never acknowledged our communications. of 1931, General Berzin suddenly dispatched

fall

to act

Here, once more, prise.

in

North Pole and Alaska than the nearest Rus-

nearer the

sian railroad.

Kolyma,

I

once more

came on the

as a trail

troubleshooter in a mess.

of the counterfeiting enter-

was introduced to an impressive American couple, then

stopping

at the

Hotel Regina, with

whom

I

passed

many sociable

hours in Vienna. They were Nick Dozenberg and his attractive

young

wife. This

in the

United

was the same Nick

States. Originally

the founders of the

who had worked with Alfred

from Boston, he had been one of

Communist

Party in the United States. In

1927, after the arrival of Alfred, Dozenberg "went underground," i.e.,

he became inactive in the public

began to operate

114

secretly as

Communist movement and

one of our agents.

In Stalin's

Tall, heavily built,

Secret Service

with a massive head, and well dressed, Nick

Dozenberg looked the part of a very successful American business-

He was operating for us now in Romania, where he maintained the American-Romanian Export Film Company. He had come on to

man.

us in

Vienna

to try to secure funds for a trip to

America

to purchase

an expensive filming machine. But the valuta situation

now more

was

critical

than

Moscow

in

So acute was the shortage of

ever.

foreign currency that even our pivotal

men

were handicapped by

budgetary limitations. Moreover, Dozenberg was accustomed to a

much higher standard of living than we Soviet citizens. Two years had then passed since the Sass & Martini venture. The counterfeit banknotes had ceased appearing. The press had forgotten them. Franz Fischer was pictures in

European railway

ering dust.

I

had good reason

stations

from a

foolish

Early in

and

I

and

seashore,

offices

both the American and

thought, had

of those

come out unscathed

fantastic venture.

to the

United

States.

left for Berlin,

to be

on the lookout

and

Toward the beginning of

new warning was suddenly sounded from Geneva

European banks

his

were gath-

their quest for the source

1 932 Nick Dozenberg and his wife

from there went on April, a

and post

to think that

European police had dropped bogus banknotes. Moscow,

on the Arctic

for the

same old $100

to

all

notes.

On April 29, the Berlin Boersenzeitung reported that counterfeit $ 1 00 bills

had appeared once more

in

uted no special importance to "fence" of Alfred's until

Vienna and Budapest.

thinking that some former

this,

had retained

a

attrib-

I

few of the

he thought he could exchange them

bills,

safely. I

and waited

did not then

connect Dozenberg's return to the United States with the reappearance of the counterfeit -money. ever, that

news burst

like a

1933, and

its

lin.

how-

little later, 1

932 pro-

to Stalin's counterfeiting venture.

bombshell

in

New York and

reverberations were heard in

to be at the time,

The

learned a

Dozenberg's stay in the United States during

duced an American sequel

pened

I

Chicago

in January,

Moscow, where

and caused some uneasiness

The

in the

I

hap-

Krem-

following events took place in the United States in conse-

quence of Dozenberg's expedition. 115

W. G. Krivitsky

On Tuesday port, the

from

afternoon, January 3, 1933, at the

United States Secret Service

a plane

Air-

he alighted

from Montreal, a certain "Count" von Buelow. Upon

man was

investigation, this

identified as

a police record in Chicago.

had

Newark

arrested, just as

who

one Hans Dechow,

He was

charged with being an

agent of a counterfeiting ring in Canada and Mexico.

On January 4,

the Federal agents

New York

York, reported by the

made another

Times

arrest in

as follows:

Agents of United States Secret Service arrested night Dr. Valentine Gregory Burtan,

of 133 East 58th

Street,

on

New

last

young physician

a charge of counterfeiting.

His arrest came within 24 hours after that of "Count"

von Buelow. The

arrest

followed disclosure from Chi-

cago that agents of the ring had passed $25,500 in a

Loop Bank of

that

police, returned

Burtan

Dr. Burtan, according to the

from Montreal yesterday by

a heart specialist

is

Hospital.

He

The United face to face

city.

is

34

train. Dr.

connected with the Midtown

years old

and

a Russian

by

States authorities, in arresting the

birth.

two men, came

with what they found to be one of the most baffling cases

in the history

of counterfeiting.

Dechow made

the Federal agents, and the case against

a full confession to

him was suspended from

the

docket in view of his testimony for the government. Dechow's confession was that he had been meddling in the munitions business, particularly in the

chemical warfare equipment, and had met

Dr. Burtan in

New York in the summer of 1 932. Dechow had connec-

tions with the

Chicago underworld. In November, 1932, Dr. Burtan

told to

him

that he

him by

had $ 1 00,000

a patient, a

in $

1

00

bills

member of Arnold

which had been given

Rothstein's gang,

and

that

New York. Dechow unChicago. He went there with a

he did not wish to have them exchanged in

dertook to

effect the

exchange in

sample of the money and offered the business to some Chicago

The Chicago case,

had the fake

nounced them 116

racketeers, eight bills

pals.

of whom were involved in the

examined by various bank

tellers

authentic. Dr. Burtan then arrived

who

on the

pro-

scene,

In Stalin's Secret Service

and an agreement was consummated under the terms of which thirty percent

of the receipts was to go to the underworld group

passing the money.

The sum of $100,000 was turned

over to the

gangsters for exchange.

This was ing the tional

just before Christmas,

got off to a good

bills

Bank

and Trust

the Harris Trust

warded

start.

Company,

and the business of exchang-

The Continental

and Savings Bank, exchanged the

several parcels

NaCompany,

Illinois

the Northern Trust

bills

and

for-

of them to the Federal Reserve Bank of

Chicago. That was on December 23, 1932. Again the arrival of several packages

Mr. Thomas called in to

J.

of $100 notes of an old issue aroused suspicion.

Callaghan, of the United States Secret Service, was

examine the banknotes.

them

and

identified

and

at various other points since

All the

mas

a

He declared them counterfeit,

those found in Berlin in 1930,

as similar to

1928.

Chicago banks were warned, and

man was

just before Christ-

arrested at the First National

Bank of Chicago

while trying to change one hundred $ 1 00 notes for ten $ 1 000 notes.

This

arrest led the police to the

underworld syndicate, whose

mem-

had been swindled. They money was genuine. They relinquished the $40,000 of bogus money still in their possession, offered to cooper-

bers were outraged to discover that they

had been sure

that the

ate to the limit

report in the

Dechow

with the Federal authorities, and according to a

New York tried to

had been taken

in

Times, "promised to take Burtan for a ride."

convince his underworld friends that he too

by the

New

York physician.

He

New York to clear up the misunderstanding with Dr. fident that he could

redeem himself with

his

Chicago

returned to Burtan, concronies.

But

when Dechow told him of the developments in Chicago. He advised Dechow to get away to Europe at once. But Dechow did not like that at all. He insisted that the Chicago crowd wanted good money for the bogus curDr. Burtan changed his attitude

rency.

At

a corner

leaving Dr. Burtan,

of 90th Street and Central Park West,

Dechow was

that if he did not leave for a ride.

The

accosted

Europe

by a man who

at once,

after

told

him

he would be taken for

stranger was about five feet eight inches

tall,

and

in his

117

W. G. Krivitsky

After this experience,

late thirties.

Dechow compromised, and

agreed to meet Dr. Burtan in Canada.

On January Mount Royal

1

,

Dechow

arrived in Montreal, registered at the

Hotel, and there

met Dr. Burtan. To Dechow

a most unsatisfactory conference. Indeed, he

menaced from losses

three sides.

made good. The

The Chicago

now found

racketeers

on the

Federal agents were

was

himself

wanted

trail

involved in the case. And, in addition, the stranger

it

their

of all those

who had

ac-

him in New York now appeared in Montreal, and warned Dechow to take passage for Europe at once. Dechow did not know that the mysterious stranger deployed against him by Dr. Burtan was an agent of the Russian OGPU. But he knew that something was the matter. He promised to take the next boat for Europe. costed

Instead, he decided to eral authorities,

was

arrested.

He

throw himself upon the mercy of the Fed-

and took the next plane

for

Newark, where he

then led the United States agents to Dr. Burtan's

office.

The

investigation

which followed established

that Dr. Burtan

had been prominently identified with the Communist February 24, 1933,

New York

Party.

account of the matter appeared in the

this

Times:

FLOOD OF FAKE

BILLS

IS

TRACED TO RUSSIA

The origin of $100,000 in counterfeit $100 notes, many of which were successfully passed last month in Chicago, has been traced by Federal agents to Soviet Russia,

it

was disclosed yesterday

at the Federal Build-

ing.

The notes, which have turned up

as far

away as China,

have been pronounced by experts of the Treasury De-

partment to be the most genuine-appearing counterfeits

ever uncovered.

They

are said to

have been made

six years ago.

The government,

it

was disclosed,

report that Dr. V. Gregory Burtan,

118

On

is

investigating the

New

York physi-

km

In Stalin's Se
• la* Comaaitl taroidata far itUraa? Oaaaral of too Stato a/ too Tork. la 1*29 «aa tat aaUaaal lacrawr/ of ifaa Ultra* tloaal U^ot Lafaa*» fojoto ditA^pokrtd appraalaatoly 6-4-J7 at fttv lork dtjr. too aiaappaaraaoa of fo/nts tat oatar aaaa a»plilaa4| taaatar, it 19M aba atjt a*el*r*a laptt? 4to4. Uriwi inaiTidualt aaia a^oaalavad oa taa petal til. V/ tAti aha aa/ *** aaajaai aX aay atrraci poodlag aaaa llQaiaatod •. iha KTC. fajtvt iavttti^tUaa K tto

eat

UttiUt

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paalitlj aatlltbla la tba boat CiUow. Jm X949 roal Croca puolielj diaclaaad iafaraaUae rtlaUva to Fo/aU tafora vat Caaaltiot an 9a-i^r:oaa AcUtittoa^ftfX Xaforatlloa aontar*la< PojratK

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s tilUr

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Irlrl va*j vie bar* 6-2S-99 in k»MU. fiaxtoc !*>> ant 19J7 to Vte CAicf el &*not JCLLlWiy IaHolHcoaoo Tor toropo. tte >»1I of i9J7 ho teiKU. arirlialqr Obtero* tte felted ofertoff KriTiUIqr *** Xoool dead la hi* room At tte lell**** hotel, 1930* OR teakiajUai, i. tte aotro;«litoa Polio* of AcUlij attributed ai» doota to aoioldo. Itei* tec teoa aoaa apocoloito* ttet Irintejgr Uqoldated a? th

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a

$m 281

W. G. Krivitsky

.^Usi.*^

&& Dr. Yohl Mid that the first ties he celled on tri-rltaky at Urn Bagua, Bollard, lr 1936 for itiodi/ visit ha erne Hac* Broasee

there, later in 1937 when KrlTitaky e*U*d upon hie (ToU) is Ptrie, Tranea he ataic ea» Brussac. although fohl did not knee? Braesse'e connection with Irivitaky he smid Brueise see an expert locked th end had ir.^mnt^d * avail elMtrio light nitd la that prof«aelon« lohl elaijui further to h*r» aeen Bruesse on the street* of Bee forte shortly before January 7, 1941 and appears to >eve» acapeeted thet Bruesae ems oo the trail of KriTiteky ghg had defected. A copy of &t *•* Tork BMrco 19, 19-OL Urn report of Special in tha ease entitled •B*n* Brcnsae ot el, Bepiona^e - R,« ie for your information,

^«iSBBetW

.

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(65-3315^-9)

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282

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In Stalin's

Secret Service

&P furnished tba following aancriptlona of

fc)C fcT>&

aod lor* BxuMiwi Ban*

SSBSB

»

AH

•bout

Baignt

6' or awar

(tn 1947)

largo, with broad ahmTlrtem P»la, locked ill and had aug*r dlabataa light brown or dark blond aanally wora flaaaaa

Ca«pl»zioo

Bair

Cbame t«ilstiM t lora Bna««a»

abont 28 &n 1947) aawOl, pattta MPB uujiah bob bad beautiful faoa and were

aga Build Charactarlatioai

elothee praferring low healtd aboai

and bloaeae* The photographs of teas and Jan Bmaaae, first eonaiae of Bans BruoBoa 4 ara being forwarded for exhibition Ton will bt adriaad of any pertinent

_ Agant^| your

It i» ragpa» tad that yon afford the aneloaad report of Spade! /relative to Sana Bruaaaa so dJaoawdaetloa entelde ^-j

eceuey^^^^^^

-3

::

y-S.

283

q

W. G. Krivitsky

I'MTTJ) STATES GOT

S^RET

"iNMEVT

Memorandum DIRECTOR, KBI (100-11146)

i\m.

FROM

* SUBJECT

NEW YORK (100-59589)

7/13/65

date:

At!*

rrcr*' '.tic^t ccaniB©

^'

WALTER Q. KRIVITSKY aka IS-R

OTHSLfflSE^

Aa the Bureau la aware, Oeneral WALTER Q. KRIVITSKY, former Western European Head of Soviet Military Intelligence was found shot to death on ^10/41 in his room In Bellevue Hctil in Washington, D.C. That death was listed aa a suicide, although strong suspicion has continued to exlat that in fact, the Soviets did away with KRIVITSKY.

On 11/26/59, POVL BANQ-JENSEN, a Danish diplomat for 20 years and a Senior Political Officer at the UN, was found dead of a bullet wound in the right ten^le in Alley pond park at Little Neck, Queens, NY, and a 25 automatic NYCPD listed the death as a suicide. was clutched in his hand.

r^r

*"»



"**

t;" f*.

The Internal Security Sub- Committee of the Committee of the Judiciary of the United states Senate, 87th Congress, First Session, conducted hearings on that case and issued a report on 9/1 V^ 1 concerning their findings. In it they referred to the death of WALTER KRIVITSKY as well aa those of LAWRENCE DUGOAN, a former Chief of the Latin American Division of the State Department, WALTER MARVIN SMITH, an attorney in the Office of the United States Solicitor Oeneral, as well as LOUIS ADAMIC and others. The sub- committee raises the question of suicide and murder aa well as the problem of simulated or induced suicide and refers to the above mentioned cases in that connection and points out that It is common knowledge among those who have worked in the Soviet apparatus, that the Soviets have highly developed techniques for simulatedsuicide. PETR S. DERIABIN, a former member of the Soviet Terror Apparatus who defected in 195^ stated "it is general knowledge among those who have worked in the ranks of the MVD that the MVD, when it undertakes the liquidation of a political

Bureau New York .



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(3) Daje of Occliu

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284

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Sarinp Plan

In Stalin's

^ NY

Secret Service

S^r;E7

100-59589

opponent, has certain techniques for simulating suicide and other techniques for inducing suicide* A convincing suicide may talce a year or two to prepare During this period, the subject' 8 life Is examined minutely in order to determine the methods most suitable to his personality and circumstances. Meanwhile, stories may be circulated to the press, if possible, and at the very least among his neighbors, that the subject This prepares the ground for plausible is despondent. suicide story when the deed occurs. The report then states "simulating or inducing suicide are very real phenomena. M .

i

"Local police chiefs will be well advised to call in the FBI in any case of apparent suicide where there is some reason, even the slightest reason for believing that the Kremlin stood to benefit from the death of the deceased

"N

^

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s

285

r

W. G. Krivitsky

s

sWwr

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f

s

comments on IriviUky's book entitled

"In Stalin's secret Serotoe" are contained i« our report of June 23, 1ZS4, entitled "Alexander Qrloxt, soith client, Internal Security - R, * a copy of which was furnished to your Agency on September 10, lStSd. There in ho additional pertinent information or references oomcermtng Xrioitsky's

acttoittes whtch hap* not previously bee* furnished to

***

iith reference to contacting Chambers, this Bureau kao in recent monthe refrained from making ony aontacte with Chanter* mhtch mere not absolutely oecoooary Lr. i. Besse in view of his serious heart condition* Silkies of eestmtnstsr, Maryland, who is Chambers' phyeictau, has advised this Bureau that en October BO, 19S5, Chambero suffered another severe heart attack and would be confined to bed for an extended ported of time, Lr* tilkins recommended against any contacts which might excite Chambers and even prior to this time Mrs, Chambers hod requested that contacts fcftlt her husband be held to an absolute minimum and oaly in connection with »oat important and urgent mature* &\sk\

- * f

286

Sibil tjk%l

s

j Jf

In Stalin's Secret Service

#

shbiT

All data regarding lrioiteey*e movement* during immediately preceding Me death and the identitiee ef oarioue oereone amnocta\e& fn oaf arty nr another with him \oere furniehed to__ ~\y memorandum regarding Margarita KTWT9mr¥W§l9W Tebert and ltteT~lolf Dobert, with eleven tmweetigative reporte tm the eaee entitled Mane Brueeee and other*, Sepiomage - £• (65-33254the period

initial theory regarding Krioiteky'e death van tnat trivitehjf committed euicide ef hie o»» accord due to hie oca feelinge induced by economic difficulty and "hope 1* at home lt/4*" ^^^ Thie ie eet out on page IS of the repert of Special Agent Wg/gtl dated Horch £4, 1*42, at lev lore City, in the Mane Brueoee caee mentioned above.

According to references in House locument Mo. 711, diet Concree*, Leoond Session, Toretgn Relatione of the United : tctee 1*33-1939, the Soviet Union," the eentemce ef death oca carried out on General Tu*ha4heeeki and others, including one Futna, former Soutet Military Attache la Berlin, on June 12, 1*37, after they had been found guilty ef treason by a military collegium in a epecial judicial eeesion of the Supreme Court of the OSSfi. (65-37939-254, encl m, pages 379-383)

hi SZtotlT

287

W. G. Krivitsky

8*foxT

3

V>\

, m

cruel* in J>laim Tmlk* /or October, 194*, "1 alto recalled to trlattoky the starting tten which had cropped out during hie fir** all-tig** nee-ting with thtttaker Chanbertj involving m major em the general eta// e/ the 8*s m Army, m graduate e/ West Point* It appeared that tkio e//lcor, who wee given to axceeeiva drinking, had been maneuvered into becoming m patd op* 0/ tho Soviet military intelligence. Bit pramature death one rtgardod ae a blew by the chief* a/ the Soviet underworld* I tried to /tnd out /rem Irivituky %/ the Iremltn had, te hie knowlodg*, any ether agent* in our national de/emee d*part~ mentt+ n Thit quoted paragraph mae merely the introduction to the quotation /rem mPloin fmlk" en pago one of this memorandum. Levin* at that ttmo did iot attribute to trtviteky any ttcteneatt regarding Putna or a decooeod American major. la.

vi*

lev in* otcttd:

Any mddtttoncl data coming to your attention regarding thee* nntttr* would b* o/ interett.

\

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4

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288

&

In Stalin's Se
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Isaac Don**i,evinej free-lance writer, indicated in press to have told British Embaszy, lashington, D. C, in 1939 that tu>o Soviet agente had penetrated British Foreign .Service, Indicated one had been executed in Touxr of London and the other had all the characteristics of Donald Maclean, Any representations by Levine to Bri tish un known to B ureau. fel \>1

H

RECORDED

100-1146 cc - Board ian Belmont Branigan " Payne Whitson L*;blb f

-

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M^

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(6)

/

,::,*-

289

J

)

W. G. Krivitsky

s

:k. Memorandum for



F.

Boardman

DETAILS: Newspaper* 6-7-56 carried stories that Isaac Don Levine, free-lance writer, testified at hearing of Senate Internal Security Subcommittee that in 1939 he, Levine, had told the British Embassy in Washington, 2). Cm, that tico Soviet spies had infiltr: ted its Diplomatic Corps. Levine ^testified he got the information from the late Walter Krivitsky, Levine also testified that one of these wis later identified as a men named King who held a key spot in the coda room of the British Consular Office* According to Levine, the British executed King in October, 1939, in zhe Tower of London* (** Levine said Krivitsky had described the second man as a member of a Scottish family and a young intellectual con.r.unist with

artistic interests which Levine stated

all characteristics of Donald Maclean.

we/^i jr

A British spokesman was quoted as saying that King had been convicted on evidence relayed from, the United States

Tou inquired,

290

"Is this true,

"(a,

In Stalin's Secret Service

- * The f olloring telegram was received today sent to the sane oa-fy as those furnished to you yesterday and sent by the sane sender? "Hill yof check Waldran, Hotel Villard, on today's Journal story that revolver found was, 30 calibre vh\le Dobert says Krioitsky bought *32, Also Waldr.an yest erday telephoned Washingtonian in on the kr.ox (confidentially Dies Committee Inves+igotor) lectin? hin think he wes talking to Louis Wcldnon, said emphatically that it was a suicide, fou might press Waldnan on that. Also you might build up a new lead on the statenent fron faldman that whether suicide or murder what he wants is a Federal incuiry into the activities of the OOPU here."