Theory of Fielding

Sunday, January 14, 2001

Theory of Fielding: An Investigation
By H. B. Laes

01/15/05 - Set O - Oppenheimer
12/20/04 - Oppenheimer and Groves
11/20/04 - Fuchs and Oppenheimer
09/20/04 - Uranium and Hydride
08/06/04 - Top Ten Questions
06/30/04 - SOVME Unit
05/30/03 - Was Kitty in Spain?
04/28/03 - Progressive Professor
04/24/03 - Fielding Revealed
03/09/03 - Was Philip Morrison Perseus?
02/10/03 - The Anonymous Letter
01/07/03 - Was Shakespeare a spy?
12/18/02 - CHESS PLAYER
11/10/02 - Goldsmith
09/17/02 - The Mironov-Zarubin Affair
07/05/01 - Japan
05/25/01 - Mitrokhin

Set A - Comment Staline
Set B - Spanish Civil War
Set D - Drugstore Safehouse
Set E - The Eltenton-Chevalier Incident
Set F - Prodigy, Prankster, Scientist, Spy
Set H - Hero of Russia
Set J - September, 1941
Set K - MLAD's Report
Set L - Mission to New Mexico
Set M - MAR and "D"
Set N - 1945, 1946, 1947
Set O - Oppenheimer
Set P - Perseus (Reserved)
Set Q - 1948, 1949, 1950
Set R - The Rosenbergs
Set S - Sudoplatov and Sacred Secrets
Set T - The Kurchatov Decision
Set U - Fuchs Reexamined
Set V - The Volunteers
Set W - The Progressive Organization
Set X - Strays
Set Y - Implosion and Hydride
Set Z - ANTA and ADEN
Conclusion - Fielding
Conclusion - Perseus

Table - Table of External Web Links


In 1991 Vladimir Chikov, a Colonel in the KGB Press Bureau, first told the espionage story of Morris and Lona Cohen. The Cohens were native Americans who were KGB agents in New York City during the early 1940's, and then later in London in the late 1950's. Chikov's shocker was the claim that Morris Cohen had recruited a physicist involved in the United States' early atomic bomb program. The recruitment of the physicist allegedly occurred sometime before July 1942, the date Cohen left New York to enter the US Army. Chikov initially gave the physicist the fictitious name "Arthur Fielding," but later in his story said that Fielding was assigned the codename Perseus. These and many other details of the Perseus-Cohen story were later published by Chickov and co-author Gary Kern in their 1996 book, Comment Staline a vole la bombe atomique aux Americains, Dossier KGB No. 13676 (How Stalin stole the atomic bomb from the Americans, File No. 13676). Most writers on this subject believe that Perseus was not Fielding's, nor any other Soviet spy's, real codename. Most writers also agree that Chikov's Perseus legend is really a composite portrait of two or more Soviet atomic spies, one of whom was undoubtedly Theodore Hall, codenamed MLAD.

However, questions and controversy about the Perseus story continue: Knowledgeable readers understand that Hall could not have been Fielding as delineated by Chikov; the Venona codenames PERS, KVANT and MAR are associated with atomic espionage and remain unidentified; the source of Igor Kurchatov's knowledge in March 1943 of Fermi's successful "uranium pile" experiment, just three months previous in Chicago, is not known; etc. Bombshell's authors, by virtue of their Perseus Myth Chapter, are in the camp that discounts the Fielding part of the Perseus story. Nevertheless, there are other interested parties who are not quite ready to dismiss Chikov's story about Fielding. Bombshell does not completely agree with other credible writing on early Soviet atomic espionage and there is a physicist who's career, actions and words are very consistent with the Fielding legend. That physicist is J. Robert Oppenheimer, the first Scientific Director of Los Alamos.

Some readers may not know that Robert Oppenheimer was once accused of being a Soviet spy. In 1953 William L. Borden, a former Executive Director of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, wrote a detailed and incriminating letter to J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, alleging that "more probably than not J. Robert Oppenheimer is an agent of the Soviet Union." This letter resulted in the 1954 Atomic Energy Commission Personnel Security Board that removed Oppenheimer's security clearance. Our Theory of Fielding could be viewed as a fresh examination of that controversy in light of new information. The very idea that the Director of Los Alamos was in some way a Soviet spy will elicit a knee-jerk reaction of disbelief and derision among some readers. That will be unfortunate because it will serve to fulfill Oppenheimer's traditional drinking toast to his communist friends, "To the confusion of our enemies!" (The Story of a Friendship, Haakon Chevalier, page 22). More objective readers will bear in mind that, in the spring of 1942, Oppenheimer wasn't 'Oppenheimer'. He had only recently become a 'player' in America's atomic research effort as a consultant to Arthur Holly Compton, head of the recently established Metalurgical Lab at the University of Chicago. Thus, at the time, the Soviets would have considered Oppenheimer only as someone commensurate with their new, contemporaneous source in England, Klaus Fuchs.

This post and the ones that follow certainly do not constitute a proof against Oppenheimer. We understand that, and want readers to understand that. Our discussion should be viewed as an unfinished theory that tries to accommodate what Chikov and others have written, along with other unexplained facts or phenomena. In the scientific world if a theory fits the phenomena it is used, studied and pushed further. When it ceases to explain phenomena it is discarded. The Theory of Fielding is posted on that basis. Perhaps via the Readers' Rendezvous the theory will elicit what others presently know or what they can contribute through additional research.

The Theory of Fielding will address 8 or 9 sets of phenomena, some of which are still 'under construction' either with regard to research or final write up. Subject headings of postings will be: Met Lab 1942, Spanish Civil War, Parents in New York, Prospect of Employment, Soviet Consulate, VEKSEL, Pavel Sudoplatov, Hero of Russia, December 1941, etc.

(With minor differences the forgoing was posted in February, 1998, at the Readers' Rendezvous at the Bombshell website under the title, Best guess at Perseus - Theory of Fielding)

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:53 AM [edit]

Tuesday, January 09, 2001

Theory of Fielding - Conclusion - Fielding

The conclusion to the Theory of Fielding is divided into two parts: Fielding and Perseus. They are not fully equivalent entities.

From 1991 through 1997 Vladimir Chikov wrote a number of articles and published two books about Morris and Lona Cohen, American KGB agents whose joint espionage careers spanned over 20 years. The Cohen spy story moves from provocative to the very extraordinary with Chikov's claim that Morris Cohen came into contact with and subsequently recruited an American physicist who in 1942 was involved in America's incipient effort to develop an atomic bomb. Chikov first gave the physicist the alias "Arthur Fielding." In order to hide Fielding's identity, Chikov did not provide the precise dates of Cohen's meetings with the physicist. If true, however, the contacts had to have occurred prior to July 22, 1942, the date Cohen left New York City for US Army boot camp. At the point in the story when Fielding is assigned to Los Alamos, Chikov gives him the spy name Perseus. There is a degree of independent support for Chikov's story. In personal interviews before their deaths both Cohen himself and Anatoli Yatskov, his KGB controller, confirmed contact with such a physicist. Be that as it may, Chikov's legend on Fielding changed significantly from the early articles to the later books.

Fielding Legend #1, "Luis Reports"

The Cohen-Fielding account from early periodicals such as New Times (Novoye Vremya), Nos. 16 & 17, April 1991:
1. Cohen was addressed by Fielding
2. Fielding was a Spanish Civil War acquaintance of Cohen
3. Fielding was aware that Cohen worked at Amtorg
4. Fielding had a prospect of employment with the Los Alamos Laboratory
5. Fielding was visiting New York City to see sick parents and planned to stay about a fortnight (2 weeks)
6. Fielding was cognizant of risks associated with directly contacting a member of the Soviet Consulate

1 - Chikov used the Russian word "obratslsya" for "was addressed." Alternate Russian dictionary meanings for "obratslsya" are, to appeal to, to accost, or to approach; hence the sense that Fielding initiated the contact with Cohen, i.e. that he was a 'walk-in.'
4 - An immediate non-starter in Chikov's articles was his claim that Fielding's 'prospect of employment' was connected to Los Alamos - the Los Alamos Lab did not exist in 1942 and would not exist for close to another year. This prima facie error was corrected perforce in the later books (below).

Fielding Legend #2, Comment Staline

The Cohen-Fielding account from the Chikov & Kern book, Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Americains, 1996:
1. Cohen and Fielding 'ran into' one another in a New York subway in May of 1942
2. Cohen and Fielding had worked together on the side of the Republican government in the Spanish Civil War, but Fielding had not volunteered for combat as had Cohen
3. Cohen told Fielding that he was working at Amtorg which then prompted Fielding to ask if Cohen could put him in touch with someone at the Soviet Consulate
4. Fielding was a young nuclear physicist who worked at the Met Lab at the University of Chicago in May 1942
5. Fielding was a well-known specialist who occupied a key position in the atomic project.
6. Fielding was in New York for a couple of weeks to visit sick relatives
7. Cohen reported the contact to Semyonov who reported it to Zarubin who reported it by coded telegram to Moscow

1, 3 & 5 - Comparison of these first two legends shows that major revisionism occurred in elements 1 and 3. Such a 'rewrite' in and of itself is curious - same author, but a complete reversal on these two points. In legend element 5, it is observed that "parents" gets moderated to "relatives." The political environment in Russia had changed significantly between 1991 and 1996. Glasnost, effectively, was over. A prudent rule of thumb, therefore, might be: the closer to Glasnost, the more accurate; the further away, the more suspect.

Fielding Legend #3, Confidential

In addition to Chikov's published work there exists another fragmentary but highly interesting reference to the initial contact between Cohen and Fielding. We are not free to divulge the confidential source of the following but are convinced of it's authenticity. Although 'bulletized' into sentences below, each sentence is constituent and contiguous in the source document. It can therefore be read as a single paragraph.

1. "The [material] states directly that six months/a few months before Morris Cohen was called into the army, he had a meeting with a young man who was presented to him as a doctor of physics from Chicago.
2. "It does not say who presented the young man.
3. "LUKA [Pastelnyak] informed the Center of the meeting, but the Center thought the physicist was a plant.
4. "Kvasnikov, however, insisted that the opportunity should not be lost, and the order went out to TVEN [Semyonov] to do a check on the young physicist: does he really work at the Met Lab in Chicago, is he a specialist in uranium, does he have a doctor's degree?
5. "When the candidate passed, Cohen was assigned to carry out the recruitment.
6. "Yatskov directed the recruitment. It took place in the Spring of 1942.
7. "MLAD sent information on the Met Lab from that time to 1944."

1- If Morris Cohen got his draft notice ("was called") in June 1942, then "six months/a few months before" translates to as early as December 1941 and as late as May 1942. We are convinced that Oppenheimer was in New York in December 1941 over the Christmas holidays (Set C refers). On his return to Berkeley he detoured to the University of Illinois at Urbana to invite Robert Serber to join him on the bomb project. While in Urbana, Oppenheimer undoubtedly visited another former doctoral student and mentoree, Philip Morrison, who, like Serber, held a teaching position at Urbana due to the strenuous placement efforts of Oppenheimer. At any rate, both Serber and Morrison soon (not later than June 1942) became involved in the bomb research program then ramping up at the Met Lab in Chicago.

2- This sentence provides a second mention that Fielding was "presented" or introduced to Cohen. An introduction by a third party would imply that Cohen and Fielding were not personally acquainted at the time of the initial contact. A connection to the Spanish Civil War is not mentioned. A possible explanation is that the putative Spanish Civil War relationship might be between Cohen and the intermediary, not with Fielding himself. In Set B we argue that either Steve Nelson or Kitty Oppenheimer was the basis for the Spanish Civil War attribute, and in all probability acted as the intermediary between Fielding and Cohen.

3- Pavel Pastelnyak is identified as the originator of the message informing the Center about the contact between Cohen and Fielding, not Zarubin as mentioned in the Chikov-Kern book. Background: Gayk Ovakimyan was the KGB Resident in the United States until May 1941 when he was arrested by the FBI. Pastelnyak in the Soviet Consulate in New York, became acting Rezident until Vasili Zarubin landed in the December, 1941. From Chikov: "Once Ovakimyan was exposed his assistant Pavel Pastelnyak took over in his stead. In 1938 Pastelnyak headed security at the Soviet pavilion of the World Fair [where Morris Cohen had been employed]. His code name was LUKA." Due to the war in Europe, Zarubin's point of entry into the U.S. was San Francisco (on December 6, per Sacred Secrets); his eventual arrival in New York City and formal assumption of US Rezident responsibility was probably in early January, 1942. The point to note here is the agreement between "six months before" and LUKA as the message drafter - to wit: if Fielding did contact Cohen in December 1941, it indeed should have been Pastelnyak who reported it to Moscow, Zarubin was not in place yet. But Zarubin was running things at the time of the recruitment meeting in May, the report of which he would have signed-out to the Center.

4- The "order" to Semyonov to check out the "young physicist" offers a correlation opportunity with Sudoplatov's statement that, circa 1942, Semyonov was directed to relinquish contacts with "friendly sources around Oppenheimer" (Set S refers). We believe this statement begs the question, was the "young physicist" a friendly source around Oppenheimer?

5-, 6- These two legend elements give the distinct impression that there were at least two meetings between Cohen and Fielding, separated by enough time for Semyonov to check out Fielding's bona fides. Thus, we find meaning and additional correlation in the dual reference datum, "six months/a few months before."

7- This last detail jives with Chikov-Kern regarding Fielding's first code name, MLAD (but, of course, this 'MLAD of 1942' can't be Ted Hall). Of particular significance is the indication that MLAD evidently stopped reporting on the Met Lab in 1944. We find that this legend element relates provocatively to the last bullet on RELE/SERB, SET I.


Spanish Civil War.
Only two individuals might be considered 'original sources' on the Spanish Civil War (SCW) connection between Fielding and Cohen: Cohen himself and V. Chikov. It is not clear, however, if Chikov's understanding derived from his interviews with Cohen or from Cohen's KGB dossier, or perhaps both. In 1994 Morris Cohen was interviewed at length by Pravda journalist Nikolai Dolgolopov. In the resulting Pravda article Dolgolopov wrote that Cohen had said that "Perseus" joined the International Brigade (went to Spain). At the very end of Comment Staline (p.327), Chikov expressed bewilderment over the discrepancy between Dolgolopov's version and his own. According to co-author Gary Kern, the bewilderment was genuine to the extent of questioning either Cohen's memory or the accuracy of Pravda's reporting. It is interesting that Chikov has uncertainty on this issue because there is a presumption that Chikov learned the identity of Fielding (Perseus). Given his access to KGB file materials, and the high profile, documented backgrounds of 1942 Manhattan Project scientists, Chikov should have been more authoritative about Perseus and the SCW.

Along with the differing legends, the possibility of disinformation needs to be considered. Is the SCW attribute on Perseus disinformation insinuated by the SVR? The Perseus Myth school considers it such--false information deliberately spread in order to obscure the truth about Ted Hall. If the SCW legend is disinformation, however, it would seem a questionable choice by the SVR due to its specificity, historical record and Communist Party associations. On the one hand, if true, it would be a very strong clue applicable to relatively few Manhattan Project scientists; on the other hand, if judged to be patently false, it would undermine the SVR's whole public relations enterprise. The only atomic scientist rumored to have actually gone to Spain was Dr. Louis Slotin, a Canadian biochemist. No one, however, has ever tried to make the case that Slotin was Fielding. An extensive profile of Louis Slotin by Martin Zeilig on the Internet perhaps suggests why. Sam Slotin, Louis' older brother, stressed to Zeilig in interview that "Louis went on a walking tour in Spain. He did not take part in the war." In 1937, when most of the international volunteers were headed to Spain, Slotin was home in Canada seeking employment with Canada's National Research Council. Unsuccessful in that effort, he later in 1937 took a Research Associate position in the United States at the University of Chicago. Finally, Slotin is not found among the nearly 600 SCW volunteers listed in William Beeching's 1989 book, Canadian Volunteers, Spain, 1936 -1939. Dr. Slotin died in a radiation accident at Los Alamos in 1946.

Kitty Dallet Oppenheimer
Kitty Dallet rendezvoused with Joe Dallet and Steve Nelson in France in the Spring of 1937. She joined them to journey to Spain as an international volunteer in the SCW. Due to French government prohibitions and uncertain infiltration routes into Spain, Kitty stayed behind with the understanding that Joe would go first, assess the situation and then send for her. That is what happened. On instructions in a letter from Joe, Kitty returned to the continent on or about October 1937. Purportedly, she was in Paris en route to Spain when she was met by Steve Nelson who told her of Joe's death in battle. If this account is true, it is only happenstance that Kitty did not enter Spain as an International Brigader. Given that she was a communist and the wife of Joe Dallet (Cohen's immediate superior), and given her presence in Paris (the major IB assembly point for Spain), Morris Cohen would have viewed Kitty Dallet as a member of the International Brigades. There is also the possibility that Kitty did in fact get into Spain where, under the circumstances, she might have tried to meet Cohen in hospital. (Set B refers)

Pavel Sudoplatov
Pavel Sudoplatov was a KGB General, and virtually a legend in his own time. His testimony about atomic espionage in Special Tasks has largely been repudiated by historians and writers. We couldn't disagree more. Instead, we endorse the argument made by Special Tasks' publisher, Roger Donald of Little, Brown and Company: "In 1982 Sudoplatov appealed his conviction to former KGB head Yuri Andropov. He listed among his accomplishments that he supplied Soviet scientists with important information obtained 'from such sources as the famous nuclear physicists R. Oppenheimer, E. Fermi, K. Fuchs and others,' and he cited a document that provides a detailed account. It is inconceivable that Gen. Sudoplatov would have dissembled or even exaggerated his activities, since Mr. Andropov could have readily verified their accuracy." Similarly, it is our experience that when one has as many 'pelts' on one's belt as Sudoplatov does, one neither needs nor is inclined to fabricate, exaggerate, dissemble, etc. Granting that Sudoplatov may have misremembered, omitted or even disinformed on some details, we remain unreconstructed respecters of his testimony about atomic espionage.

In their book The Venona Secrets, authors Romerstein and Breindel reference a 1996 article in Pravda that bolsters the Sudoplatov testimony on Oppenheimer. The Pravda article, based on SVR sources, said that documents obtained from Oppenheimer were in secret Soviet archives. The article stated further, "It is no secret that first-hand information on [a] nuclear reaction experiment performed in 1942 by the Italian physicist E. Fermi in Chicago [Met Lab] was obtained through scientists close to Oppenhiemer. The source of this information was a former staff member of Comintern, G. Kheifitz, our Rezident in California." (TVS, p. 277) Significantly, this statement resonates with legends 2 & 3 above: Cohen's atomic recruit (Fielding) was purportedly at the Met Lab, and Sudoplatov asserted that Semyonov and Kheifitz had "friendly sources around Oppenheimer." (Set S refers)

Our contrarian thinking about Fielding is predicated on basic, but not blind, assent to the following:

- A connection relating to the Spanish Civil War existed between Fielding and Morris Cohen.

- Robert Oppenheimer was a source for the KGB and the channel was through his wife Kitty. ("Katherine Oppenheimer was not mentioned by name in the reports, but we worked through a woman close to Oppenheimer, and it was my understanding then and is now that the woman was his wife." ST, p. 190)

- Oppenheimer's essential service to Soviet Intelligence was the placement of junior scientists on the Manhattan Project who would operate as moles. ("Oppenheimer, together with Fermi and Szilard helped us place moles in Tennessee, Los Alamos and Chicago as assistants in those three labs." ST, p. 190)

- Semyon Semyonov, Cohen's KGB controller, was running at least one source close to Oppenheimer. ("Eitingon and I also instructed Kheifetz and Semyonov to turn over to our old moles all their confidential contacts with friendly sources around Oppenheimer in California." ST, p. 187)

- Fielding's identity is recorded in documents only found in Beria's archive. Chikov did not have access to these materials. ("Beria's intelligence records, which contain the names of sources of secret atomic bomb information, have not been released and their location remains uncertain. Beria's atomic intelligence materials are not in the Enormous file of the SVR." ST, p. 494)


We believe that the Oppenheimers, Robert and Kitty acting together, are the underlying basis for the Fielding legend (Legend #1, Luis Reports). Either at the initial contact with Cohen in late December 1941 or several months later in April 1942, a surrogate was proffered/introduced to facilitate operations but especially to provide cover and insulation for Robert. This was handled as a separate recruitment by Cohen and the event is the basis of Legend #3. Originally the Oppenheimer surrogate was codenamed MLAD.

The Enormous file to which Chikov was privy has been cleansed of all documents and references to senior scientists such as Oppenheimer. Chikov only read sanitized remnants on "Fielding" and his surrogate, and he probably subsumed both in his initial character, Arthur Fielding. Chikov's literary artifice of Perseus includes the realities of "Fielding" (Oppenheimer and his proxy) and another scientist who became the Soviet's most important source on the Manhattan Project. Not Klaus Fuchs, and not Ted Hall.

In short, J. Robert Oppenheimer was an agent of the Soviet Union. He was not Perseus, the spy alleged by Chikov. However, he was the witting enabler of Perseus and other spies.

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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Theory of Fielding - Conclusion - Perseus

The conclusion to the Theory of Fielding is divided into two parts: Fielding and Perseus. They are not fully equivalent entities.

The Bidding

As a matter of settled American history the known atomic KGB sources are Klaus Fuchs (CHARLES), David Greenglass (KALIBER) and Theodore Hall (MLAD). The full story may be quite different according to other parties:

- In The Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs wrote, "Perseus evidently played such an important part in the [Soviet atom-spy] network that--if his existence is confirmed--it would relegate the Rosenbergs' role in supplying atomic secrets to Moscow to the periphery." (Not if Rosenberg was his recruiter and/or his courier. Set R refers)

- Albright and Kunstel write in Bombshell: "One retired KGB officer [presumably not Yatskov] who has read the Cohen's dossier said that in addition to Morris and Lona Cohen the Volunteers consisted of MLAD, STAR, ANTA, ADEN and two other American agents who have never been identified even by code name."

- Pavel Sudoplatov in Special Tasks posits "3 moles" working in the atomic laboratories and excludes Fuchs, Pontecorvo and Greenglass from being such moles (Set S, The Scheme, refers)

- Citing documents from the Mitrokhin archive, Christopher Andrew in Sword and Shield implicates agents MAR, ADEN, SERB and SILVER as atomic sources, the latter three from the Volunteer group.

- There are at least 2 unidentified codenames in Venona that are explicitly linked to atomic espionage, KVANT and FOGEL'. With some assistance from Andrew we have imputed a third, RELE/SERB.

- At a NSA conference on Venona in October 1997, Robert L. Benson, Chief Historian of the Venona Project, asked the question, "Did the United States have any secrets?" In answer, Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, who attended the conference, wrote: "Our book, Bombshell, dug out a least one piece of the story: the role of Los Alamos physicist Theodore A. Hall in helping Moscow replicate the Nagasaki bomb. But the focus remains intense on the unknowns that still litter the field of atomic espionage... Who was FOGEL/PERS? His or her identity is one of the most important remaining mysteries of Cold War Espionage."

- Markus Wolf, Chief of the East German KGB for 34 years wrote in his 1997 autobiography, "The [atomic spies] recruited at that time [WWII] were the best, giving the Soviet Union the chance to catch up in the nuclear race, and many have remained undiscovered, even after the McCarthy period and the defection to Canada in 1945 of Igor Gousenko."

- In 1951 Harry Gold testified at his trial that Anatoli Yatskov had unsuccessfully tried to contact a "source of information" on the atom bomb in late 1945. Gold's testimony was recounted in the 1953 hearings of the US Congress' Joint Committee on Atomic Energy (JCAE). This atomic source has never been identified in the public record.

- Haynes and Klehr wrote: "Yatskov, as had Chikov, credited Morris Cohen with making the initial contact between Soviet intelligence and an American physicist who eventually supplied the Soviets with the most important American nuclear secrets" (p. 222, The Secret World of American Communism). Morris Cohen was in Europe in 1944 when Hall walked-in in New York.

- Phillip Knightley, a serious and knowledgeable researcher, wrote the following for the 1999 PBS piece, Red Files: "This is the story of the most important American traitor, the man who gave away the secret of the atomic bomb. The FBI claims that it caught all the atomic traitors. It did not. The main one was never caught and no one has any idea who he is. He is known only by his code name--PERCY."

- Sergei Leskov (Izvestia correspondent) wrote in the 1944 July/August Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that, "I was also told [by FIS officials] that as well as Klaus Fuchs, who was imprisoned for espionage in Britain for 14 years, and "Perseus," an unidentified agent who has been mentioned frequently in recent years, there were 10 agents of similar caliber working in the West. Six worked in the United States, four in Britain. They were significant figures who remain unknown to the FBI to this day."

- The Mitrokhin Inquiry Report treats the number of atomic sources developed by the KGB as still classified information (***).

- Alexander Feklisov, the KGB controller of Klaus Fuchs and the Rosenbergs, wrote the following in his recent book, The Man Behind the Rosenbergs (p. 64): "I didn't know it at the time but my friend Yatskov and our boss Kvasnikov directed the most imnportant network - actually the only network - dedicated to atomic espionage. It was thanks to Klaus Fuchs, Theodore Hall, the Cohens, and a few other agents who have not been identified to this day that the USSR was able to create its own atomic bomb." (see also, Feklisov)

- Author Gary Kern summarized the profile on Perseus in the Afterword to Comment Staline. Recurrent identifying details were: MLAD, short, young, physicist, Met Lab, and still alive (Yatskov also said Perseus was still alive). Kern added another piece of scuttlebutt picked up on his visit to Moscow, "In 1993 I was told by one source in Moscow that Perseus is a physicist of such significance that "when he dies his obituary will appear in all the papers of the world" (CS, p. 363). That did not occur when Ted Hall died.

- In the Forward to Sacred Secrets by Jerrold and Leona Schecter, Strobe Talbot tells a vignette about a meeting between Bill Clinton and Vladimir Putin in June 2000: "President Clinton was just about to get up from the table when Putin said he had a story he wanted to tell. It concerned Joseph Stalin's decision to put his secret police chief, Lavrenti Beria, in charge of ferreting out the secrets of the American crash program to develop the atomic bomb during World War II......Putin had words of praise for the American scientists who willingly helped the USSR develop its own A-bomb." To date there is only one "American scientist" proven and accepted to have spied for the Soviets, Ted Hall. One wonders if our president, (1) reminded Mr. Putin that our cost was 33,651 dead in Korea, and (2) asked for names.

- In an article in The Washington Post Michael Dobbs quoted Anatoli Yatskov as saying that the FBI had uncovered "half, perhaps less than half" of his atomic spy network. In a 1990 KGB film production, Polveka Tain, Yatskov gave a similar but more specific account: "Well, you many persons took part in this atomic business...let us start with the sources of information: I had 5 persons on line..." (translation by Gary Kern).

Others will slice and dice these perplexities as they see fit. Bombshell, of course, concludes that Perseus is a myth, disinformation concocted for our reading pleasure by Chikov and company. We take the view that with so many unidentified bodies laying around, the mythical Perseus may be more corporeal than currently believed.


For the sake of anlaysis and discussion, one needs to establish and hold two different mental pictures of Perseus:

The first is that of a single, real individual recruited by Morris Cohen in the first half of 1942 and later labelled "Arthur Fielding" by Vladimir Chikov circa 1994. One dialectical problem with 'Fielding-Perseus' (F-P) is that by definition he cannot be Ted Hall. In the first half of 1942 Ted Hall was 16 years old and matriculating as a freshman at CCNY in New York; he was certainly not yet a physicist, and we know through Venona that he was essentially a KGB walk-in in October, 1944. Another significant particular from Chikov is the sentence, "[MLAD] was, in fact, the Center's first code name for PERSEUS." (CS, p.156) The logical inference of this statement is that at some point in the future this atomic source received a different code name, but that in 1942 (when he was recruited) he was called MLAD.

The second picture of Perseus is that of a composite entity, an amalgam of legend details melded together by Vladimir Chikov in his two books Comment Staline and Nelegaly (The Illegals). In these books Chikov used the nameplate Perseus to subsume the activities of at least two, and perhaps more, KGB sources on the Manhattan Project. In doing so he described numerous intersections (at least 9 contacts by our count) between 'Composite-Perseus' and the KGB. These meetings continued right up to June 1950 when the Cohens fled the United States. While it has been the sub-theme of the Theory of Fielding to show that Ted Hall does not fit most of the particulars on 'Composite-Perseus,' it is even more obvious that neither does Oppenheimer. As de facto Director of the Los Alamos Lab from January 1943 Oppenheimer's high profile and consequent security baggage made any sort of direct contact out of the question.

Abstracting 'Composite-Perseus' (C-P) into an equation whose terms are Scientists X, Y and Z, our candidates for these sources are SERB, MLAD and PERS, respectively.
- We have devoted a single set to RELE/SERB and cannot contribute anything further at this time - with the possible exception of directing attention to the above quote from Gary Kern.
- Ted Hall, in the guise of MLAD, is treated extensively and accurartely in Bombshell. In factoring Hall into the equation, we concede the possibility that one or more of the markers on 'Composite-Perseus' may pertain to Hall (even though we have difficulty affirming a single instance).
- Scientist Z, FOGEL/PERS, is much more problematic. Set X, Strays, provides some background and sketchy anlaysis to include argument that Venona codename PERS was possibly an abbreviation for Perseus and that Perseus was a field covername used contemporaneously by the Cohens to represent a 1942 physicist recruited by Morris (for a contrary view see Weinstein and Vassiliev). We provide no compelling proof for our case that Scientist Z is the Soviet agent codenamed FOGEL/PERS. It is an educated guess based on cumulative circumstantial evidence that more probably than not Scientist Z was a KGB source and he ought to have a footprint in Venona.

Theory of Fielding Dance Card

Arthur Fielding...............................................Oppenheimer
FOGEL-PERS...............................................Scientist Z.......................SET C
RELE-SERB...................................................TBD..................................SET I
ANTA and ADEN............................................Serbers.......................... SET Z
KVANT, IRI-ERNEST.....................................Bruno Pontecorvo..........SET G
GURON............................................................Alan Nunn May...............SET G
MAR.................................................................GLW................................SET M
"K"...................................................................Klaus Fuchs.....................SET U


A consistent modus operandi throughout Theory of Fielding has been the attempt to spotlight the instances where Ted Hall is a very difficult match with the legend of Perseus. Any measure of success in this endeavor will be readers who are disposed to rethink the position of Bombshell's Chapter 28, The Perseus Myth. Building on any such doubt, we further hope that readers might be open to the possibility that the true, full story of the greatest intelligence coup of the Twentieth Century has not yet been told. J. Edgar Hoover characterized it as the "Crime of the Century." He, quite literally, didn't know the half of it.


HB finally tracked his nemesis, the great Perseus, to his lair in Moscow. Extradition will not be sought. HB's credo, based on personal ideological position, is to let sleeping dogs lie.


The Man Who Stole the Bomb For Us, Pravda, 4 October 1994
Roger Donald, Dissenting Thoughts of a KGB Memoir," The Washington Post, 19 May 1994, A20
Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Americains: Dossier KGB No. 13676, Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern, 1996
Special Tasks, Pavel and Anatoli Sudoplatov, 1994, 1995

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:50 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set Z - ANTA and ADEN


In his book Comment Staline, Vladimir Chikov wrote that Lona Cohen had a meeting with Perseus in New York City shortly before she and her husband Morris (LUIS) traveled to Paris in July, 1947. At that meeting Perseus told Lona that "he could propose some other scientists who might be willing to work for the Soviets�they work at Hanford and have already given him materials." Further dialog from Chikov indicates that Perseus considered these contacts as a "replacement" for him. Then, according to Chikov, sometime later in 1948, Perseus reported to LUIS (Morris Cohen) that ANTA and ADEN, "expressed willingness to hand over data on Enormoz. But with two conditions: their only connection must be with Perseus and their names should not be known to officers of [the KGB]." Chikov does not give codenames for the new contacts or indicate that they were husband and wife. However in the book's Afterword Gary Kern, Chikov's co-author, added that Perseus, "recommended in his stead a married couple working at the Hanford Engineer Works in Washington State�Their codenames were ANTA and ADEN...Their contact was Oldtimer." Mr. Kern's basis for these statements was unidentified "other sources."

The book Bombshell by Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel has rather a lot to say about ANTA and ADEN, in the context, of course, that they were recruited and couriered by Ted Hall (Set P refers). Their primary source on this was the French edition of Chikov/Kern as well as personal interview with Chikov. Bombshell does not provide new particulars on ANTA and ADEN that extend the picture from Chikov/Kern, but the authors do say that they received accounts about ANTA & ADEN "similar" to Chikov/Kern from several other confidential sources including an ex-KGB officer.

Finally, if we need further corroboration we get it from Christopher Andrew in The Sword and The Shield: "The Volunteer network expanded to include, in addition to MLAD, three other agents: ADEN, SERB and SILVER. Two of these were undoubtedly the two nuclear physicists contacted by Hall. Though their identities remain unknown, the Centre clearly regarded their intelligence of the first importance." Per footnote, the basis for this statement is Vasili Mitrokhin's archive. First, it should be noted that ANTA is not named, but Andrew suggests that SERB or SILVER is a substitute. Secondly, it is interesting that the codename SILVER is new in the literature, unlike ADEN; and not found in Venona, as is SERB. It is disappointing that, unlike the case of Melita Norwood, evidently Mitrokhin's material doesn't reveal the identities of any of these codenames (or is Professor Andrew in 'poker' mode pending Volume II of the Mitrokhin Archive?).

(1) We don't know how to reconcile the fragment from Kern regarding Oldtimer (aka STAR, aka Saville Sax) other than to point out the complete contradiction between the purported stipulation from ANTA & ADEN of working only through Perseus, their fellow scientist, and working through a quirky amateur like Saville Sax. More provocative, given the subjects of this set, is the fact that Sudoplatov said that Oppenheimer was referred to as STAR by the Center.
(2) We note, as was done in Set W, that Mr. Andrew and the Albrights reference the 1996 French edition of Chikov/Kern which selectively and unilaterally substituted MLAD for "PERSEUS" in the original Russian edition, Nelegally. If the Perseus of Arthur Fielding heredity is a hoax, then all is well and good; however, if Fielding is not disinformation then a Perseus, who may have been the recruiter of ANTA and ADEN, remains unidentified.

Set Up

This set is based on the assumption that the "Hanford" attribute on ANTA and ADEN is disinformation from the Soviets. It is the type of identifying detail that Chikov pledged to alter. Moreover, it seems incredible that, even under Glasnost, the KGB would make public or leak an agent profile so narrow and specific that identification would be relatively easy and certain. To wit, in 1947/8 how many husband and wife scientific teams were at Hanford? Without a record search even, the Hanford historian was able to mention John and Leona Marshall, who had been at Hanford during the war but who returned in 1947 to the University of Chicago (where Hall was a student).

Ostensibly, Perseus was at Los Alamos during the war; Chikov places him there in 1943. Chikov also wrote that after the war Perseus considered teaching at a university (Set N refers). Then in 1947 Perseus proffered a replacement for himself to the Soviets. Why? Was he stressed out? Had he lost his zeal for the cause? Or was he not in a position to deliver as before, at Los Alamos? Our thought experiment in this set goes: Perseus did indeed return to academia and was thus out of the mainstream on atomic weapons research. Much desiring his mission to continue and being a young master of the universe, his recourse was to recruit two scientist friends who were still well-placed in the bomb program and similarly disposed to provide intelligence to the Soviets.

Leofs and Serbers

The Morris Leof's were a well-known family in Philadelphia who resided at 322 S. 16th Street. The scion of the family, Morris V. Leof, was a general practitioner doctor, who had been born in Russia and immigrated to the United States before the turn of the century. Jenny Chalfin Leof, his common-law-wife, was also born in Russia. The Leof's had 3 children, Madelin, Milton and Charlotte. Madelin married Sam Blitzstein, father of composer Marc Blitzstein. Milton was a Philadelphia dentist who may have gone to Spain as a Spanish Civil War volunteer on the Loyalist side. He later became an American expatriate living in Mexico City (it might be interesting if he also exited the U.S. circa 1950 when Sarant, the Cohens, et al, fled). All of the Leof's were extremely active in socialist politics and communist organizations.

David Serber was born in Russia and immigrated to the United States in 1886. He married Rose Frankel, born in Philadelphia, and they had 3 children the eldest being a son, Robert. David Serber was a lawyer and for a period of time in the 1920's was the American attorney for Amtorg, the Russian trading company. Rose Serber died in 1922. David Serber later married Frances Leof, niece of Morris Leof. Frances Leof Serber was investigated by the Philadelphia office of the FBI and found to be a member of the Communist Party.

Robert Serber was born March 14, 1909, in Philadelphia. He earned a bachelor's degree from Lehigh University in 1930 and a doctorate in physics at the University of Wisconsin in 1934. Charlotte Leof and Robert Serber were married in 1933 following her graduation from college. Hearing an Oppenheimer lecture at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Robert Serber was so impressed that he changed his post-doctoral study plans from Princeton University in favor of the University of California, Berkeley, to work with Oppenheimer as one of his prot�g�s. He later became an associate professor at the University of Illinois, a job he held when Oppenheimer asked him to join the incipient Manhattan Project in 1941. In April1943, when scientists were first gathering at Los Alamos, in New Mexico, Robert Serber presented a series of five lectures which summarized all that was known at the time about designing and building an atomic bomb. At Los Alamos until the end of the war Serber worked in the Theoretical Division as a Group Leader under Hans Bethe and Robert Oppenheimer. Charlotte was appointed by Oppenheimer to head Los Alamos' technical library, making her the only female section leader at wartime Los Alamos. Charlotte Serber died in 1967; Robert Serber passed away in 1997 in New York.

Hypothesis and Circumstance

In the context of this set's assumption re Hanford, the facts and circumstances of Charlotte and Robert Serber resonate with the legend on ANTA and ADEN.

Question. Why would two atomic scientists, ANTA and ADEN, provide secret materials to the Soviets? Answer. They would be disposed to do so if both were committed Communists as well as of Russian heritage. Charlotte Serber was a member of the Communist Party who evinced an extremely high political profile. From Charlotte Serber's FBI File: "Dr. Oppenheimer advised General Leslie R. Groves while Charlotte Serber was employed by the Manhattan Porject, that it was known to him that Charlotte Serber came from a Communist family in Philadelphia and was at one time herself a member of the CP." Although not the political firebrand that Charlotte was, Robert Serber's FBI file is likewise replete with evidence that he was in total sympathy with the tenets and goals of Communism. Both were of Russian descent.

After Los Alamos Robert Serber joined the Radiation Lab in Berkeley where he worked from 1946 to 1951. The Radiation Lab - where Edward Teller worked - was central to the development of the Hydrogen bomb and Serber was highly involved in the research relating to America's continuing nuclear weapons program. In January 1947 Charlotte was also employed at the Radiation Lab, starting as a Consulting Librarian. Her employment was terminated, however, about a year later for security reasons.

Scientific Couple
Charlotte Serber was not a scientist per se. However, she possessed a Bachelor of Science in Education from University of Pennsylvania, a very exceptional qualification for a woman in 1947. She was a very capable and intelligent individual. From her FBI FOIA file: "[she] held a very responsible position at Los Alamos and that she was one of the finest technical librarians in the country and that she had a great knowledge of atomic energy."�. "[she] had been the Chief Librarian, had had access to all secret documents, and had read them over for indexing and filing �. she was an intelligent person [who] knew a great deal of physics." Characterization of the Serbers as married scientists by KGB sources would not be far off the mark and would incorporate a subtle bit of disinformation to boot.

1947 Yes, 1948 No
A distinguishing aspect of the ANTA and ADEN legend from Chikov/Kern is that, in 1947, these persons were prepared to be direct sources for the Soviets, but a year later their stance changed significantly: there would be no direct contact with the KGB, they would work only through Perseus and Perseus should not disclose their names. This timing and change of heart is consistent with events occurring in both Serbers' lives. In August of 1948 Robert Serber was subjected to an AEC Personnel Security Board hearing at Berkeley. Although he retained his clearance it was a close thing and troubling experience. Not only that, earlier in the year Charlotte's employment at the Lab was terminated due to continued communist associations (perhaps this bears on why ANTA is absent from Andrew's enumeration of the Volunteers). Follow on to these events, in December 1948, Perseus reported to Claude [KGB resident in NY] the important change in terms under which ANTA and ADEN would cooperate with the Soviets.

Volunteer Group
In Set Y, The Volunteers, we argued the case for Steve Nelson as the de facto origin of the Volunteer Group. From Mitrokhin's archive we learn that the KGB conferred Volunteer Group membership on ADEN. Through his association with Oppenheimer and the radical left political cell at Berkeley Robert Serber would certainly qualify for such approbation and nomination by the Soviets.

"the stuff"
In 1947 the Atomic Energy Commission asked the FBI to conduct an employee internal security investigation on Robert Serber. In connection therewith the Bureau instituted a telephone wire tap on the Serbers' residence. During an otherwise very normal, commonplace telephone conversation in August 1947 with Jackie Oppenheimer (Robert Oppenheimer's sister-in-law, and a communist) Charlotte Serber "stated that she had seen 'Oppie' as he was in town [Berkeley] with the Commission [AEC]; however, she explained that, 'I never saw him alone on Sunday, so I couldn't ask him about the stuff - there was always someone around - I couldn't ask him what he thought and so on.'" No doubt there is an innocent explanation. However, when abstracted, it seems a thought provoking episode: one communist, departing from routine conversation, to broach something sensitive to another communist; something involving Robert Oppenheimer, a communist, that could only be discussed with him in private.

Scientist Z
As mentioned at the top of the set, Chikov wrote that Perseus first proffered ANTA and ADEN to Lona Cohen in New York just before the Cohens' July 1947 trip to Paris. In Set M we expressed the belief that Perseus was in New York to attend the Shelter Island Physics Conference in June of that year. All of the conferees rendezvoused in New York City for a group bus ride to Shelter Island at the end of Long Island. Robert Serber and Scientist Z, both former members of the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos, attended the Shelter Island Conference, This meeting between Serber and Scientist Z gives the occasion for Lona's claim that, "they have already given him materials." Similarly, almost a year later in 1948, Scientist Z was a house guest of the Serbers in Berkeley, a visit which coincided with the security problems hanging over both Serbers' heads.

In October 1989 the Cohens gave a recorded English-language interview in Moscow. On the topic of their July 1950 "Flight from America" they discussed their sources that needed to be turned over to Rudolf Abel, their controller. Morris stated that 2 were in California and 1 in New York. Lona chimed in that the main one was in California. During this time frame Serber and Scientist Z were in California, SERB we think in New York; Ted Hall resided in Chicago. Since the Cohens were always based in New York City it seems curious, possibly evidentiary, that 2 of their espionage contacts should wind up in California.


The problem, as we see it, is that there is exactly zero 'connective tissue' in the literature between Ted Hall and a scientific couple recruited by him. Nor is it helpful that Hall cannot be Fielding, the progenitor Perseus from Chikov. Say what you will, the facts and circumstances surrounding the Robert Serbers offer a modicum of possibility and explanation where none has been provided.

If the introduction of Scientist Z rankles, factor him out and replace with Hall. In his memoirs, Robert Serber mentions his close familiarity with two of Hall's Harvard classmates, Ray Glauber and Freddie de Hoffman (they all arrived at Los Alamos together in early 1944). Ted Hall was charged with calibrating the Ra-La experiments which were a result of theory from Serber. Certainly Hall and Serber were acquainted with one another. But we still can't get excited about this possibility (including the Marshalls) for reasons given in Set P.


Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Ameicains: Dossier KGB No. 13676, Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern, 1996
Bombshell, Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, 1997
The Sword and The Shield, The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, 1999
Peace and War, Robert Serber with Robert P. Crease, 1998
Robert Serber, FBI FOIA file
Charlotte Serber, FBI FOIA file

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:48 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set Y - Implosion and Uranium-hydride
O-09/26/99; R-09/20/04


Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel wrote: "Hall was probably not only the first conveyor of the implosion principle to Moscow, but also the source of the concept of the uranium-hydride bomb." (Bombshell, p.127)

David Holloway wrote: "Kurchatov�s memoranda reveal that the Soviet Union had other sources of information in the Manhattan Project." (Stalin and the Bomb, p.108)


A case can be made that the most interesting and important chapter of the book Bombshell by Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel is Chapter 14, "Passing the Implosion Principle." In addition to new sources of information and cogent analysis, Bombshell's authors rightly zero-in on the intelligence value of the implosion secret: "This [implosion] was the germ of one of the seminal inventions of the twentieth century, and the idea was so counterintuitive that Soviet physicists might have taken a decade to come up with it on their own." Indeed, as the authors point out, the Russians did not have a word in their language for implosion, meaning an explosion inward.

The centerpiece of Chapter 14�and the focus of this set�is a comprehensive report on atomic intelligence prepared for Lavrenti Beria by the NKGB and dated 28 February 1945. Readers can find the Beria Report in Special Tasks (Appendix Two, Document 7, p.457). We couldn't agree more with Bombshell�s assessment of this document: "The Report would rank among the more remarkable intelligence feats of World War II." The Report is stunning because it reveals the deep extent and contemporaneity of the information the Soviets had about the work at Los Alamos, and the Manhattan Project overall.

The known Los Alamos spies are Theodore Hall, David Greenglass and Klaus Fuchs: Ted Hall first provided information while on furlough in New York in October 1944; David Greenglass provided Los Alamos information to Julius Rosenberg in December 1944, and again in January 1945. Klaus Fuchs first provided Los Alamos data when he visited his sister in Cambridge, MA, in February 1945. The goal of this set is to analyze the espionage of these 3 persons in relation to both the 28 February Beria Report and a number of memoranda from Igor Kurchatov of the same period.

Ted Hall

Ted Hall arrived at Los Alamos in January 1944, and was assigned to the Experimental Physics Division under Bruno Rossi. He had not yet finished his Bachelors degree in Physics from Harvard; he graduated in absentia in June 1944. On October 15 he left Los Alamos to begin a two-week vacation in New York. His 19th birthday would occur while he was home. Several days before leaving New York to return to Los Alamos Hall contacted Soviet intelligence and �handed over a file folder containing a report he had written on Los Alamos and a list of the scientists there working on the atom bomb� (B, p.95). Hall�s initial work at Los Alamos involved the construction and testing of advanced radiation counters, referred to as a �double ionization chamber� (B, p.67) Using these new devices Rossi�s group was able to perfect the measurement of the cross-section of fission of U-235�an extremely important result. Toward the end of the summer Hall became involved in the preparation of equipment designed to measure the symmetricality of implosion detonation waves using an ingredient called Radioactive Lanthanum (Ra-La). Prior to his furlough in October he had participated in just a couple of unsuccessful Ra-La test shots.

Before returning to Los Alamos Hall and Saville Sax, his espionage co-conspirator, agreed on a letter scheme involving a Walt Whitman book to coordinate a future trip by Sax to New Mexico. Bombshell, unable to identify exactly when the trip occurred, states that it was �a few months after Halls furlough, probably in December 1944. (For reasons we will detail later, we think it actually occurred some time in February 1945). Nonetheless, it is firmly established that Sax traveled to New Mexico, met Hall on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and returned with information from Hall which he turned over to the Soviets. However, as will be discussed later, the actual nature and significance of the information remains unclear. Be that as it may, when Sax made his trip Hall was working on implosion experiments and it can hardly be the case that he would not give a full account of his own work.

David Greenglass

David Greenglass was an Army Technical sergeant who arrived at Los Alamos in the summer of 1944. He lived in an Army barracks and worked as a machinist in the Theta Shop in the separately fenced Technical Area. Julius Rosenberg persuaded David�s wife Ruth to visit him in November 1944 with the purpose of soliciting atomic information from him. Ruth arrived in Albuquerque by train on Sunday, 24 November 1944. David came down from Los Alamos on Wednesday, 29 November. Ruth broached Rosenberg�s request that David provide atomic secrets to the Soviets and Greenglass agreed. Per her instructions from Julius, Ruth asked David questions about his work. DG: �She asked me to tell her about the general layout of the Los Alamos atomic project the buildings, number of people and stuff like that; also scientists that worked there and that was the first information I gave her� (TB, p.89). Greenglass then asked his wife to repeat and memorize the information. Ruth Greenglass arrived back in New York on Thursday December 7. Julius Rosenberg came alone to the Greenglass apartment on the weekend, 8 or 9 December. RG: �[Julius] asked me if I had spoke to David, and what he had to say, and then I told him that David consented to do this and I wrote down the things he had told me as best as I could remember� (TB, p.95).

David Greenglass spent Christmas 1944 at Los Alamos, but took a furlough home at the end of the year, arriving in New York on Monday, January 1, 1945. Rosenberg dropped by the Greenglass' apartment several days later (they did not have a phone). Julius questioned David closely about Los Alamos and his job. During this conversation Julius described his own understanding of an atomic bomb. David realized that it was something different than what he was working on. (It was the design of Little Boy, a gun-type uranium bomb.) Before leaving Julius asked David to write down all that he could remember about Los Alamos. �That evening, David committed to paper the names of scientists, details of technical processes, and physical layouts that he had learned since the previous August and all that he had memorized during the month since Ruth had recruited him as a Soviet spy" (TB, p.113) He also sketched out the design of a lens mold, a flat design resembling a four-leaf clover with a hollow center. Rosenberg returned the following day and picked up David�s notes. Later during Greenglass� furlough Julius asked David to meet face to face with a Russian. David drove his father-in-law�s car to the appointment; Rosenberg performed an introduction and the Russian got in the car�s back seat. David and the Russian drove around and the Russian questioned him extensively about the lens mold. But Greenglass had no additional information to what he had already written up for Julius (TRF, p.69). On Thursday, 18 January 1945, Greenglass left NY to return to Los Alamos.

Klaus Fuchs

Klaus Fuchs arrived at Los Alamos on August 14, 1944. He was assigned to the Theoretical Division, the primary analytical physics group at the lab. Fuch's first contact with Gold after he entered Los Alamos was in February 1945 at his sister's (Kristel Heineman) home in Cambridge. He had not been able to leave Los Alamos during Christmas of 1944 as he had hoped. Fuchs FBI file shows that he departed Los Alamos on Sunday, 11 February, and returned on Sunday, 25 February. Arriving at the Heineman home on Monday or Tuesday he received the envelope with contact instructions that had been left by Gold the previous November. He called a phone number as instructed and gave the message that he was in Cambridge "for so many days" (TMBTR, p.201). In his confession to the FBI Gold stated that early in the morning on a weekday he got a call from his controller, Anatoli Yatskov, who had unexpectedly come to Philadelphia where Gold lived. He wanted to see Gold immediately. Yatskov wanted Gold to travel to Cambridge as soon as possible, and Gold remembered that he arrived there on a Friday. Fuchs and Gold met at the Heineman house. Fuchs informed Gold that he was working at a remote location called Los Alamos near Santa Fe, New Mexico. He gave Gold a report of about 8 pages that included information on the plutonium bomb and the implosion design (Fat Man). Gold returned to New York on Saturday, February 16, and turned the report over to Yatskov that day.

Documents and Dates

The Beria Report and a number of �Reports� from Igor Kurchatov are provided in Appendix Two of Special Tasks. These documents, �from the archives of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia, appeared in Voprossi Istorii Estestvoznania i Tekhniki, No.3, 1992� (ST, p.436). The titles of the Kurchatov reports exhibit a consistent structure and nomenclature: Document No.�this number is the control number of the covering letter (forwarding memorandum) from Soviet intelligence (probably Sudoplatov�s Dept. S). The date associated with the Document No. is important because it provides a marker for when the intelligence was received in Moscow, i.e. sometime prior to the date. Materials�this refers to the intelligence products that were enclosed/attached to the numbered cover letter. These products were of different forms: notes of meetings and interviews by Soviet agents with sources; written accounts and synopses by sources based on personal knowledge; and copies of actual U.S. government technical/scientific papers. Report�the written evaluation, signed and dated, by Kurchatov of the materials he has received under cover of the specified Document No. The signature date of the Kurchatov report can also be illuminating with regard to chronology of events. Pertinent examples:

1. �To the People�s Commissar of the Interior of the Union SSR, Comrade L. P. Beria", signed Veslevov Merkulov, People�s Commissar of State Security of the Union SSR, February 28, 1945 (ST, D.7, p.456)

2. �Report on Materials Accompanying Document No. 1/3/3920 of March 5, 1945, from the Atomic Bomb Section of the Report� (signature) Kurchatov, March 16, 1945

3. �Report on Materials to Letter No. 1/3/2382 of February 7, 1945� (signature) Kurchatov, March 16, 1954

4. �Preliminary Report on Materials Accompanying Document No. 1/3/6134 of April 6, 1945� (signature) Kurchatov, April 7, 1945

The Beria Report and Document No. 1/3/3920 are separated by only 5 days and should be considered as one. The 28 February Beria Report is the first Soviet archival document to mention implosion, and Kurchatov�s Report on Document 1/3/3920 dated 5 March shows that it was his first knowledge of the subject of implosion. It is therefore virtually certain that the technical and detailed materials attached to Document 1/3/3920 are also the primary basis for the statements on the implosion and ballistic methods in the Beria Report.

Time Line

Listed below are events associated with the spying of Hall, Greenglass and Fuchs during the 5 months leading up to 28 February, and two months following. Venona messages (indented) that corroborate an event are added for confirmation. Intelligence materials were sent to Moscow by diplomatic pouch, traveling west from NY to America�s west coast, across the Pacific Ocean to Russian Siberia, and thence to Moscow. The rule of thumb for the time between collection of intelligence documents in New York and their physical delivery in Moscow was 4 to 6 weeks, depending on train, boat and plane schedules. Added to the front end is the time it took the Residentura to photograph and �work over� the material themselves. Also, on the backend there could be significant delay for translation, vetting, sanitation, etc., in the forwarding of �materials� to Kurchotov.


25 October..... On or about Wednesday, 25 October 1944, Theodore Hall provided a �report� about Los Alamos to Soviet intelligence in New York. The strong inference from Bombshell is that the report was prepared by Hall personally (not a document that he took out of Los Alamos) and probably written after his arrival in New York. The nature of the report was evidently such that a copy could be made (rewritten) over night.

12 November..... Venona No. 1505 of 12 November 1944, New York to Moscow: �Hall handed over to BEK [Sergei Kurnakov] a report about the CAMP and named the key personnel employed on ENORMOZ. He decided to do this on the advice of his colleague Saville Sax�..With the aim of hastening a meeting with a competent person, Hall on the following day sent a copy a copy of the report by Sax to the [Consulate]. [Yatskov] received Sax �. Hall had to leave for CAMP-2 in two days � We shall send the details by post.� [Due back at Los Alamos by Mon, 30 Oct; Hall left NY on or about Friday, 27 October]
9 December..... On or about Saturday, 9 December 1944, Julius Rosenberg went to the Greenglass apartment and received information on Los Alamos from Ruth Greenglass, who had just returned from visiting David in New Mexico. She had memorized the information and then wrote it down in her apartment for Julius. This information has been characterized as the general layout of the Los Alamos lab, the buildings, number of people and names of scientists that worked there.

16 December..... Venona No. 1773, of 16 December 1944, New York to Moscow: "KALIBER [David Greenglass] also reports: Oppenheim from California and Kistiakowski (MLAD's report mention the latter) are at present working at the camp .... Advise whether you have information on these two professors. [Signed] ANTON" [Kvasnikov]
Late December..... Purported trip (exact date unknown) by Saville Sax to New Mexico to courier Ted Hall. (Bombshell, p.112)


4 January..... On or about Thursday, 4 January 1945, Julius Rosenberg received written information about Los Alamos (�notes�) from David Greenglass. The notes contained information on the names of scientists, details of technical processes, and the physical layouts of buildings and work areas. The notes also contained a sketch of a lens mold, a flat design resembling a four-leaf clover with a hollow center. (TB, p.113)

13 January..... On or about Saturday, 13 January 1945, David Greenglass met Anatoli Yatskov in a car and answered questions about the lens mold. Greenglass� answers undoubtedly covered the fact that the mold was used to shape a conventional explosive which would cause a detonation wave toward the center, i.e. the concept of an implosion.

16 February..... On or about 16 February 1945 Harry Gold returned to New York from Cambridge MA with intelligence materials on Los Alamos obtained from Klaus Fuchs who was on furlough visiting his sister. In his confession Gold stated that Fuchs had given him �a quite considerable packet of information.�

27 February..... Venona No. 183, of 27 February 1945, Moscow to New York: �Advise forthwith exactly where and in what capacity CHARLES [Fuchs] is working in the RESERVATION [Los Alamos] �.how in detail the meeting [with Gold] went off; �. What materials were received from [Fuchs].�
28 February..... Report to Lavrenti Beria from V. Merkulov summarizing in non-technical terms the KGB�s state of knowledge of the Manhattan Project. �The problem of building the bomb is at the present time confined to two main tasks: (1) The production of the necessary amount of fissionable elements, uranium 235 and plutonium; (2) The development of a system of activating the bomb. In accordance with these tasks the following centers have been set up I the USA: (a) Camp 1, also know as Camp C, in Oak Ridge... (b) Camp W, near Hanford, Washington on the Columbia River. An installation belonging to the Du Pont Company there produces element 94, or plutonium... Camp 2, or Camp Y, is situated in the township of Los Alamos, 70 km northeast of the small city of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The camp is managed directly by the War Department�..Two ways of activating the atomic bomb are being developed: (1) The ballistic method, and (2) the implosion method � As for bombs of a somewhat smaller capacity, it is reported that within a mere few weeks one can expect the production of one or two bombs, for which Americans already have the necessary amount of the active substance...�

5 March..... On this date (a Monday, 5 days after the Beria report) the KGB forwarded materials to Kurchatov that �posed a great deal of interest� to him. Most significantly, Kurchatov wrote that the information �points to potentialities that have not been reviewed here so far. These include: 1) the utilization of uranium-hydride 235 instead of metallic uranium 235 as the explosive in the atomic bomb; 2) the use of implosion for activating; the bomb �.. The materials contain stimulating remarks with regard to the insulation substance for the atomic bomb .�Our designs also suggest the use of beryllium for insulating, thigh in its metal from, and not an oxide, which is what the materials propose.�

31 March..... Venona No. 298, of 31 March 1945, Moscow to New York. � 1) We are sending herewith an evaluation on Enormoz. Referenced are materials from [Fuchs] about the FUNICULAR: a, b, c, d, e, f; 2) [Hall�s] report about work [4 groups unrecovered]. (1 group unrecovered) great interest.
6 April..... The KGB forwarded materials to Kurchatov that were �of great value.� Kurchatov wrote: �They contain data: 1) on atomic characteristics of the nuclear explosive; 2) on details of the implosion method of activating the atomic bomb; 3) on the electro-magnetic method of uranium isotope separation.�

10 April..... Venona No. 349, of 10 April 1945, Moscow to New York: �[Fuchs] information on the atomic bomb is of great value. Apart from the data on the atomic mass of the nuclear explosive and on the details of the explosive method of actuating it contains information received for the first time from you about the electro-magnetic method of separation.�

Venona message No. 183 (above) shows that as of 27 February 1945 the �materials� from Fuchs had not yet reached Moscow. (Given that NY only obtained Fuchs' "packet" of information on 16 February, and given the logistics of getting original documents to Moscow, how could they have?) However, Venona message No. 298, of 31 March 1945 indicates they did arrive sometime before 31 March. Kurchatov�s Report dated 7 April (item #4 above) and Venona message No. 349 of 10 April show that the KGB first forwarded the Fuchs data to Kurchatov on 6 April 1945. Therefore the mention of implosion in the Beria Report can not be based on information from Fuchs.


There is a significant body of information on David Greenglass: books by historians and journalists, FBI records, Rosenberg trial records, etc. All sources indicate that the only information he gave to the Soviets had to do with people, places and his own work as a machinist. He was not in a position to know or understand the esoteric bomb physics embodied in the Beria Report and Document No. 1/3/3920. The lens mold information that he provided was obviously related to implosion but limited to mostly corroborative value to the Soviets. From Alexander Feklisov, who received the Greenglass information from Julius Rosenberg: "The Greenglass drawings were certainly not technical blueprints giving the size and dimensions or even just the proportions of the objects--but rather only childish sketches." (TMBTR, p.298) Such information from a machinist can hardly be the basis for formally asserting to Lavrenti Beria a theretofore unheard of, completely counterintuitive method for detonating an atomic bomb.

One item in the Beria Report that undoubtedly did come from Greenglass is the mention of the Anchor Ranch proving range. As pointed out by Bombshell, Anchor Ranch is where Greenglass worked. But Bombshell also notes that the Beria Report �included nothing about the technical work in Greenglass� explosives shop at Anchor Ranch.� (B, n.124, p.329)



Did Ted Hall (MLAD) provide the information on implosion contained in the Beria Report and Document No. 1/3/3920? If the answer is yes, then there were only two opportunities for him to do so: October 1944, when on furlough to New York (his first contact with Soviet intelligence) or when Saville Sax travelled to New Mexico as his courier. With regard to October, there is no information indicating that he passed the implosion secret at that time, and Bombshell does not suggest that he did. On the contrary, Bombshell�s authors posit the �passing of the implosion principle� as occurring during Sax�s trip to New Mexico. A marker they use to make the case is a 31 March 1945 Venona message (above) in which Moscow acknowledged the receipt and value of Hall�s information: �MLAD�s new report had evoked �great interest,� read the cable Lubyanka sent to the NKGB residentura in New York.� (B, p.119) Bombshell�s authors, however, are unable to conclusively establish the dates of Sax�s trip. Their judgment is that it was in December 1944, sometime prior to the 28th. (B, p.115)

In point of fact, we believe that Sax�s courier run to New Mexico happened in February 1945. The KGB�s modus operandi for recruiting agents is well documented�residenturas did not enlist/use new operatives without first vetting them and receiving permission from the Center. Thus, the argument for February is based on the proposition that before going to New Mexico Sax had to be vetted and his role as courier for Hall sanctioned by Moscow. Solid evidence for this proposition is found in a Venona message as well as an anecdote from Bombshell:

- Venona No.94, New York to Moscow, 23 January 45: �[Reference] Your nos. 316 and 121. The checking of [SAX]* and [Hall] we entrusted to [Bernard Schuster] a month ago, the result of the check we have not yet had. We are checking [Sax�s] mother also� [Anatoli Yatskov] has met [Sax] twice [but] cannot yet give a final judgment ... [Hall] sent a letter but never [made arrangements] for calling to [arranging] a meeting.� (*Real names are substituted for the codenames used in the message.)

- Bombshell, page 114: �After reaching a private spot for their meeting, Savy took out a single piece of paper that he had brought inside his shoe all the way from New York. On the paper was a question typed in English given to Sax by a Soviet intelligence officer. The question was some specific technical little thing involving the use of sulfur dioxide�or so Ted Hall would tell a few friends in England in the 1990�s.�
The foregoing make clear that Sax�s �run� to New Mexico was conducted under the auspices of the residentura, but that as of 23 January 1945 Sax was still not vetted for the mission. It is virtually certain then that Sax went to New Mexico sometime after 23 January. He travelled to Albuquerque by bus (B, p.112), a trip that in 1944-5 took at least 4 full days, one-way, from New York. Thus, his trip either began or overlapped into February. Indeed, the March 31 date of Moscow�s message acknowledging Hall's and Fuchs' information suggests a February trip--March 31 would be later than expected for intelligence collected in December, but consistent with intelligence obtained in February, such as Fuchs'. Indeed, one can surmise that Hall�s �new report� and Fuchs� �considerable packet� traveled to Moscow in the same diplomatic pouch.


One major circumstance Bombshell cites for linking Hall to the Beria Report is the research at Los Alamos on uranium-hydride. The authors� rationale is based on the fact (purported) that the meeting between Hall and Sax in New Mexico fell within the unique sixty-day time frame when the Los Alamos lab "possessed enough ... uranium-hydride to make a critical mass ... late November 1944 to late January 1946" (B, p.125) Indeed it was in the latter two months of 1944 that Otto Frisch was engaged in proof of theory experiments using uranium-hydride. Frisch�s experiment to demonstrate criticality in uranium-hydride was dubbed the Dragon because Richard Feynman likened it to tickling the tail of (awakening) a sleeping dragon. Notwithstanding the foregoing argument that Sax and Hall did not rendezvous in the relevant period (Nov-Jan), we also feel Hall was not in a position to know the full nature and results of Otto Frisch�s hydride experiments. It was a subject totally divorced from his responsibilities, i.e. the empirical testing of implosion designs using Radioactive-Lanthanum and conventional explosives. But by the end of February 1945 the Soviets possessed a complete picture of the uranium-hydride research at Los Alamos.

Also, with only a bachelor's degree one has to question whether Hall could have competently and comprehensively expounded on the hydride problem to the degree evidenced in the �materials� reviewed by Kurchatov. Finally we are influenced when Bombshell�s authors write, "A half century later, Ted Hall didn't recall knowing anything about the uranium-hydride option, but at the time he probably did know of it." That doesn�t seem to compute. We don't see Ted Hall forgetting something as central to the Los Alamos effort as was hydride (at that time), and something he consequently judged (purportedly) the Soviets needed to know about in great detail.

"Materials" vs. "Report"

Ted Hall was an important member of Bruno Rossi's Radioactive Lanthanum (Ra-La) Method team. The Ra-La method was the very creative idea of Robert Serber (Theoretical Division) to measure the compression force and symmetrical uniformity of implosion test shots. Bombshell�s description of what Hall handed over to Sax is that of a relatively short �report� written by Hall based on his own work and general knowledge: (1) "Sax carried back to New York a piece of paper far more important than a response on sulfur dioxide. It was only a page or two, something Hall had written by hand during one of his breaks from work in the Gadget Division" (p. 114); (2) "What Hall gave to Sax in Albuquerque, this source said, was a short summary of the early results of the Ra-La implosion experiments. Hall's handwritten paper included a description �in the form of equations� of how an implosion was supposed to work. It also contained a capsule explanation of why this new technique for rapid assembly of the critical mass was seen on the Hill as promising" (p. 127). Such descriptions are not consistent with either the quantity or quality of information contained in the Beria Report and Document No. 1/3/3920: �implosion,� �uranium-hydride,� �beryllium insulation,� "the system described," "the discharge (ballistic) method," "experiments to be staged," "bombs of somewhat smaller capacity," �the Los Alamos lab, its ranges,� etc.

The disparity between �materials� and �a page or two� is also reflected in Venona No. 298, of 31 March 1945, Moscow to New York (above). This message treats the materials from Fuchs in specific detail but gives short shrift to Hall�s �report.� Contrary to expectation, Hall�s information did not garner a single technical pointer in contrast to six follow-up items for Fuchs. Bombshell�s authors find possible significance in the fact that the 31 March Venona message characterized Hall�s report as being of �great interest.� Specifically, they suggest the �great interest� reference was a paraphrase from Kurchatov�s evaluation of the materials (on uranium-hydride and implosion) received on 5 March. He began that report with the phrase, �The materials pose a great deal of interest.� We think it more than likely, then, that the commendations in the 31 March message re Fuchs materials and Hall�s report were solely the response of the Center, communicated to NY prior to forwarding the information to Kurchatov. The Kurchatov Report of 7 April and Venona message No. 349 of 10 April (above) both suggest that Kurchatov received the �31 March� documents several days later, on 6 April.

In no way were the Ra-La invention and the Ra-La team's methods technical 'no brainers.' On the contrary, they were no doubt of high interest and value to Soviet scientists. Hall would certainly have given a good account of his own work in his report. As the authors point out in a footnote (n.125, p.329), �U.S. codebreakers were never able to decode the five code groups between �work� and �great,� so it is impossible to know precisely what �work� the cable was referring to.� (Perhaps U.S. cryptologists did not have the esoteric terms Radioactive Lanthanum in mind when examining the Soviet code.) Be that as it may, our belief is that Hall�s report was fundamentally only confirmatory of other, highly detailed intelligence on implosion, devoid of information on the ballistic hydride bomb and, therefore, not a substantial factor in the Beria Report.

Dragon Experiment

Early in the Manhattan Project Edward Teller proposed the idea that compounding uranium 235 with a hydrogen substance might produce a fissionable material with advantages for use in a gun (ballistic) design atomic bomb. In later 1944 Los Alamos received enough enriched uranium for metallurgists to produce metal uranium-hydride bars in sufficient quantity to put Teller�s idea to the test. The experiments were carried out by Otto Frisch�s Critical Assemblies group in G Division, and were characterized as "tickling the dragon's tail." From Richard Rhodes:

�Frisch�s group built a ten-foot iron frame, the �guillotine,� that supported upright aluminum guides. The experimenters surrounded the guides at table level with blocks of uranium hydride. The blocks were stacked within a boxlike framework of larger machined bricks of beryllium tamper to reflect back neutrons and reduce the amount of uranium required. To the top of the guillotine they raised a hydride core slug about two by six inches in size. It would fall under the influence of gravity, accelerating at 32 feet per second/per second. When it passed between the blocks it would momentarily form a critical mass.� (TMOTAB, p.610-11)
On 28 November Frisch�s Dragon experiment achieved the first critical assembly. On 7 December, Oppenheimer ordered a final push to settle the design of the uranium gun, specifically with regard to the fissile material to be used. Richard Feynman was given the task of analyzing Frisch�s data and doing the mathematical analysis that would address Oppenheimer�s directive. (B, p.113) From Hans Bethe:

"[Feynman's] group was charged with the calculation of the behavior of uranium-hydride in a nuclear explosion. This had been suggested by Edward Teller because the hydride has a much lower critical mass than uranium metal. However the calculations gave an unsatisfactory result: Because the neutrons are very much slowed down by the hydrogen, the rate of neutron multiplication is low, and therefore the yield of such an explosion is also low." (MOTGS, p.33)
In late December, 1944, Feynman reported to Oppenheimer that the efficiency of neutron multiplication inside a hydride bomb would be �negligible or less� and consequently uranium-hydride was much inferior to U235 as a fissionable substance for a ballistic weapon. On 1 January 1945 Oppenheimer shelved the hydride gun design and directed the immediate conversion of over 1000 hydride cubes into metallic uranium for eventual use in a U235 gun. With this history in mind, and knowing that by the end of February 1945 the Soviets were fully aware of Los Alamos� pursuit of uranium-hydride, Bombshell�s authors pose the compelling question, How did the early Soviet bomb designers managed to steer past the blind alley of the low-budget hydride bomb? (B, p.127) They conclude that the answer remains unknown. We believe, however, that part of the answer is fairly obvious: Moscow obtained a copy of Feynman�s report to Oppenheimer. The basis for this suggestion is found in Igor Kurchatov�s Report dated 16 March 1945 Report which reviewed the materials he received on 5 March.

- Regarding the utilization of uranium-hydride 235 instead of metallic uranium 235 as the explosive in the atomic bomb, Kurchatov commented as follows:
"It seems exceptionally important to establish whether the system described was studied through calculation or by way of an experiment. If the latter, that would mean that the atomic bomb has already been executed and that uranium 235 has been separated in major quantities. The materials contain a remark that seems to suggest that.� (ST, App.2, D. No.2, p.458-9)
We believe these statements are in clear reference to Frisch�s Dragon experiment, which demonstrated a critical mass and which required a significant supply of U235.

- Regarding the unsuitability of uranium-hydride as the active substance in a gun type bomb, Kurchatov commented as follows:
"The utilization of uranium-hydride 235 instead of uranium 235, as the materials suggest, is based on a great degree of probability of the absorption of low-velocity neutrons by uranium, which provides for diminishing the critical mass. The introduction of hydrogen, however, retards the entire process and may drag it out to impermissibly long periods of time. Besides, because of the low density of the substance, the critical mass needs to be increased. Therefore, it is far from obvious that the use of uranium-hydride instead of uranium will yield that significant (almost 20-fold) gain with regard to the mass, which the materials suggest.�
Just as the phrase �as the materials suggest� in the first sentence modifies its preceding clause, we believe the phrase "which the materials suggest" separated by comma in the last sentence, modifies the �it is far from obvious� clause. Thus, Kurchatov's first sentence can be fairly read, "the materials suggest the utilization of uranium-hydride 235 instead of uranium 235," and similarly his last sentence can be read, "the materials suggest it is far from obvious that the use of uranium-hydride instead of uranium will yield that significant (almost 20-fold) gain with regard to the mass." Posed in yet different terms, which is the greater likelihood: (a) within eleven days of his first knowledge of uranium-hydride as a fissionable substance, Kurchatov found as Feynman did--but without benefit of experimental results or a team of mathematicians using advanced computers--that the �rate of neutron multiplication in hydride is low, and therefore the yield of such an explosion is also low;� or (b) the materials he had recently received indicated that to be the case?


The issue reiterated:

Albright and Kunstel wrote: �In other words, the report to Beria had to be written from reports from Private Ted Hall and Technical Sergeant David Greenglass, the two Soviet spies serving in the Army�s SED unit as Los Alamos.� (B, p.124)

David Holloway wrote: �Kurchatov�s earlier memorandum, of March 16, seems to have been written in response to information provided by someone else [other than Fuchs].� (SATB, p.107)

As mentioned at the beginning, we think Bombshell's Chapter 14 offers some unique insights into the pivotal period of Soviet atomic espionage in America. There is virtually no doubt of the book�s essential claim that Hall disclosed the bald secret of implosion. But neither Fuchs, Greenglass nor Hall could have been responsible for the comprehensive content of the Beria Report. Particularly not Ted Hall. Perhaps the best witness for that is Ted Hall himself: "By early 1997, Hall said he had come to believe that Los Alamos probably did harbor yet another Soviet informant, a conviction based solely on the description of the extremely precise data the Russians say that they received. �I never had access to detailed data on the assembly of the bomb,� Hall insisted, declaring with much emphasis that he did not 'recognize himself' as having been in a position to supply the kind of precise bomb dimensions furnished to the Soviets (B, p.155)."

Other phenomena give credence to Hall�s declaration:
KGB General Pavel Sudoplatov wrote, �A description of the design of the first atomic bomb was reported to us in January 1945." Special Tasks, page197. The first atomic bomb was Little Boy, a uranium gun-type weapon.

David Greenglass testified during his trial that Julius Rosenberg had told him about a 'gun-type' bomb design during his furlough in January 1945: "[Julius] said there was fissionable material at one end of a tube and at the other end of a tube there was a sliding member that was also of fissionable material and when they brought these two together under great pressure, a nuclear reaction would take place. That is the type of bomb that he described." The Rosenberg File, page 444. (Set R refers)
More probably than not (99 to 1), Soviet intelligence had yet another, fourth, spy at Los Alamos. The evidence strongly suggests that the information obtained by the KGB on implosion, uranium-hydride, etc., came from someone other than Fuchs, Greenglass or Hall. We judge that the documents containing this information came out of Los Alamos between the 15th and 25th of December 1944. The second part of the Albrights� question is, who was the person that conveyed them?

Not surprisingly, the Theory of Fielding asserts that it was Perseus.


Bombshell, Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, 1997
Stalin and the Bomb, David Holloway, 1994
The Brother, Sam Roberts, 2001
The Rosenberg File, Ronald Radosh and Joyce Milton, Second edition, 1997
The Man Behind the Rosenbergs, Alexander Feklisov, 2001
The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Richard Rhodes, 1986
Most of the Good Stuff (Feynman in Los Alamos and Cornell), Hans A. Bethe

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:45 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set X - Stray Cats and Dogs

Weinstein and Vassiliev - Albright and Kunstel - Goldsmith? - Progressive Professor - 1K vs. 5K - Flight from America - Abel in Mexico? - Abel and Brazil - Mitrokhin - Japan - Feklisov - KGB Organization - CHESSPLAYER - Chronology - IPP - Fogel' - PERS-p,e,r,s - Perseus - PERS Morass - SOVME - "the physicist"

Weinstein and Vassiliev

In their book The Haunted Wood, noted authors Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev provide the following detailed description of FOGEL/PERS: * He was a young, US engineer * He was a Communist Party Member * His father was a friend of Earl Browder (Head of CPUSA) * He found employment on "Enormoz" with Kellex, a subcontractor to Kellogg * He delivered information on the plant structure and equipment being used in the "Enormoz" project's New York facilities * He was initially controlled by Semyonov, then transferred to Feklisov * He declined a company transfer to Los Alamos as a construction engineer * He had a wife, small child, and lived in a comfortable apartment * He had begun a new business with another Communist and had invested $20,000 * He met with Anatoly Yatskov on March 11, 1945, at which time his wife was ill * In May 1945 he delivered some drawings and plans to the Soviets that were directly linked to "Enormoz." The foregoing profile was evidently gleaned from KGB archive material to which the authors had access. Notwithstanding the source and specificity of their account, however, the authors inform readers in a seven word footnote that PERS' real name/identity remains unknown.

In their treatment of FOGEL/PERS, the authors note and comment on the similarity between the Venona revealed PERS and the SVR created "Perseus," to wit: "During the 1990's, the SVR Service created the code name "Perseus," which resembles [PERS] "Persian," in an apparent effort to confuse those who worked on the NSA/CIA's Venona deciphering project...Although the SVR's motives remain unclear, it seems to have hoped that Western scholars would credit the still-undetected "Perseus" with mysterious and still-unrevealed Soviet espionage triumphs [of Ted Hall]. The best account of this disinformation effort can be found in...Bombshell [The Perseus Myth]" (THW, 190).

In other words, "Perseus" was invented in the early 1990's by the SVR precisely because the name resembled PERS in Venona, and was meant to be disinformation for the purpose of misdirecting and distracting intelligence analysts and scholars away from the spying of Ted Hall and Saville Sax (MLAD and STAR). However, this explanation does not comport with the fact that the SVR's own Chikov makes references in pre-Venona writings to MLAD as Perseus, and STAR as his courier. This is not something you would do if you had knowledge of the US Venona program (the Russians did) and wanted to keep Hall and Sax buried.

Albright and Kunstel

Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, the authors of Bombshell, wrote a companion article to the book titled The Youngest Spy in the January/February 1998 edition of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. It is interesting to note that notwithstanding their Perseus Myth chapter they are of the opinion that important unknowns still exist in the history of espionage against the Manhattan Project. In an inset piece to their youngest spy article they address the question originally asked by NSA officer Robert Louis Benson, "Did the United States have any secrets?" In tackling this question, one of the Albrights' lingering concerns is the unidentified FOGEL/PERS. About this Soviet agent they write, "A strange echo of the FOGEL/PERS story surfaced in Moscow in 1991, when KGB publicists began dribbling out a story that Soviet intelligence had obtained Los Alamos secrets from a 'Young idealistic American scientist codenamed 'Perseus.' As we document in Bombshell, the press bureau of the KGB had simply invented Perseus. To enhance the KGB's tarnished reputation, it had combined into one fake agent the actual exploits of no fewer than three real Soviet atomic sources the KGB still wanted to protect: "MLAD" (Theodore Hall), "STAR" (Saville Sax), and "PERS" (unidentified)." With this statement, the Albrights, make unidentified Soviet agent PERS part of the Perseus equation.

On the subject of PERS, Albright and Kunstel also provide an interesting and important footnote on page 363 of Bombshell, "Disappearing code names in Feklisov's manuscript." The footnote states that an early manuscript for Alexander Feklisov's book On the Island and Across the Ocean contained the codename PERS and significant information about PERS' espionage activities. However, the manuscript showed PERS crossed out and replaced with the alias "Monti." When the book was published in 1994, before Venona came out, it contained no mention of PERS whatsoever. The altered Feklisov manuscript leads to the conclusion that Monti equals PERS, so that the information on Monti is information about PERS. In the 1994 book as well as the later Rosenberg book, Feklisov gave a general sketch of Monti. A serviceable profile of Monti from the Rosenberg book is: Monti was an experienced, affluent engineer who worked for Kellex and lived in a beautiful residence in the suburbs of Manhattan.

Authors Albright and Kunstel have retooled their Bombshell website to outstanding effect. It now is a wide-ranging compendium of web links related to atomic espionage which greatly facilitates reading and research on this subject.


FOGEL' was changed to PERS by Venona message #1251 of 2 September 1944. Therefore, codenames FOGEL' and PERS represent the same person. The Venona messages indicate that FOGEL'/PERS was a KGB source on the Manhattan Project (Enormoz), who seemed to be providing materials from the Oak Ridge plant in Tennessee. The first Venona message containing FOGEL' is from February 1944. FOGEL' is an interesting choice for a KGB codename because it is not a native Russian word. As explained by Allen Thomson, FOGEL' is the transliteration back into the latin alphabet of the phonetically correct Cyrillic rendering of the German word "vogel," meaning bird. Mr. Thomson went further in framing the debate with the following question, "Why the Russians chose a German word for the agent, I dinna ken -- perhaps the officer in charge had worked in Germany and knew the language."

Perhaps the following statements from Pavel Sudoplatov in Special Tasks provide a framework for answering Mr. Thompson's question:
1."When it became clear that the atomic project was a heavily guarded, top-secret American priority, Eitingon and I suggested that we use our networks of illegals as couriers for our sources of information. Vassili Zarubin, our Washington rezident, instructed Kheitez to divorce all intelligence operations from the American Comminist Party, which we knew would be closely monitored by the FBI, and to have Oppenheimer sever all contacts with Communists and left-wingers."
2. "The mole in Tennessee [Oak Ridge] was connected with the illegal station at the Santa Fe drugstore, from which material was sent by courier to Mexico."
3. "By 1943 it ws agreed at the center that all contacts with Oppenheimer would be through illegals only. Lev Vasilevsky, our rezident in Mexico City was put in charge of running the illegal network after Zarubin left" [which is to say, Zaubin ran it while he was in the US].

Vasilli Zarubin was the senior KGB resident in the United States from late 1941 until late 1944. As such, and as indicated by Sudoplatov above, he was in overall charge virtually from the beginning of KGB operations against the Manhattan Project. His responsibilities also included the networks of illegals employed by order of Beria. In light of Mr. Thomson's remark, it is conceivably very interesting that Zarubin's resume reflects two postings to Germany as an illegal KGB officer, 1927-1929 and 1933-1937 (p. 394, Venona, Haynes and Klehr). Zarubin, highly fluent in German, would be involved in the vetting of American atomic sources to include codename assignment. We wonder if he 'hand picked' the name FOGEL and if there was some association in his mind?


There seem to be peculiarities also with FOGEL's new codename, PERS, meaning Persian. Best practice in codename selection involves absolute randomness, but we know the Soviets routinely violated this pirnciple in the 1940's. Nevertheless, since we do not know the identity of FOGEL'/PERS (was he birdlike, of Persian descent, etc.) there is a presumption of randomness in the selection of both codenames in the 1940's. Roughly 50 years later in 1994 Vladimir Chikov, while writing some rehabilitation history for the KGB, picked the word PERSEUS to represent an atomic physicist recruited by Morris Cohen. Writers have commented (and differed) on whether there is a connection between PERS and Perseus or are they totally random events, their close similarity being just coincidence (See Weinstein and Vassiliev below).

If coincidence, a very remarkable coincidence, we would say. Envision it this way. Way back when in 1944 a Russian intelligence officer involved in atomic espionage is looking at an agent file and trying to decide what the source's new codename will be. For possibilities he has his native dictionary in front of him to consult; it offers near 50,000 entries. He picks PERS. Fifty years later another KGB official, undertaking a history project dealing with the exact same espionage operation (Enormoz), needs to choose a name for the story's central figure. Out of 50,000 possibles, he randomly picks PERSEUS. What are the odds of randomly picking two words that both begin with the lettes p e r s ?

Let's stipulate that there are a total of 25 words in Russian that begin with p,e,r,s - our 1965 Russian dictionary indicates this is close enough for government work. Now imagine that you have a shuffled deck of 50,000 cards. All of them are black, except 25 which are red. You pick one - its red. The odds are 1 in 2000 that you would get that red one. Pretty good shoot'n. Put the red one back in the deck of 50,000, reshuffle and pick again. On your second try you again come up with a red one. Congratulations, you have just beaten odds of 4 million to 1. We are sure this little bit of probability analysis is simplistic and has much inaccuracy, but we also think it is competent enough to make the point: If you assume the complete unrelatedness of PERS and PERSEUS in the literature on Soviet atomic espionage then you have to accept that it is a coincidence of major proportions.

In addition to the probabilities, the "coincidence" explanation is further constrained if there is reason to believe that Chikov's adoption of "Perseus" was not just a fictitious, independent literary choice on his part. Well, in fact, Chikov did provide some rationale for the name Perseus. He wrote: "The Cohens however preferred to call him Perseus because of his connection with Gorgon, the bomb, and they were indulged in this respect." It was not altogether necessary to his story for Chikov to make such a statement. With Chikov's assertion in mind, we ask the question, did the Residentura in 1944 perhaps shorten Perseus to PERS in order to achieve better "economy of means in encoding" while at the same time "indulging" their field agents?

In any event, it is interesting to note that Benson & Warner in their treatise on Venona suggest that PERS was at Los Alamos and, referencing Chikov, that there may be a connection between the real covername PERS and the journalistic Perseus.


It is a tenet of tradecraft that sources and couriers in the field are never permitted to know the actual codenames used by intelligence officers in communications with headquarters. Similarly, sources are never to know the real names of their couriers, and couriers are never to know the real identities of their controllers. The practical result of these rules is that controllers and agents in the field employ a parallel and unofficial construct of codenames, perhaps more properly called covernames. As expected, then, the Cohens developed their own syllabus of identities: Ted Hall was Tom, Anatoli Yatskov was Johnny, Rudolf Abel was Milt, etc. Furthermore, although modern day tradecraft calls for absolute randomness in codename assignment, this was not an ironclad konspiriatsia practice in the 1940's. In addition to their penchant for using classical and other higher learning words as codenames (Tyre, Carthage, etc.) the Soviets allowed semantic associations and logical relationships to creep into their naming conventions. For example, Julius Rosenberg was "Antenna" because he worked for the Army Signal Corps. That the Cohens would adopt the name "Perseus" for an early bird physicist placed at the heart of the atomic bomb project is consistent with the terminology predilections of the KGB at the time and satisfies the need for a field covername.

As mentioned above, Chikov wrote that the Cohens originated/adopted the name "Perseus" for their atomic physicist source and that their controllers abided the practice. Considering the message in Vlad the Veridical (below) as well as other considerations, we are more disposed than not to believe there is basis in the Cohens' KGB dossier for this claim by Chikov. In Greek mythology Perseus is the legendary hero, son of Zeus and Danae, who slew the gorgon Medusa. There is good reason to presume that Morris Cohen was familiar with the famous Greek myth of Perseus and the Gorgon. Far from being unlettered, Morris Cohen was a well educated man, especially for the 1940's: Bachelor of Science in English from Mississippi State College in 1935; Masters of Arts from Columbia University in 1947; and a Teacher's Certificate from Columbia in 1949. The classics would have been a staple of his education and reading. The fact that Cohen's chosen cover occupation in England was that of an antiquarian book dealer is further evidence of the requisite background in literature that would evoke Perseus in his mind.

With respect to the Theory of Fielding, Robert Oppenheimer would certainly have personified the mythological virtue and heroism of Perseus. We have changed our thinking on the name Perseus and now have a fundamentally different perspective from Bombshell's authors. In their November 12, 1997 post Re: Best guess at Perseus at the Readers Rendezvous they expressed their belief that, "three KGB officers -- Chikov, Prelin and Drosdov-- literally invented Perseus in around 1991." We respectfully disagree. We contend that the name was not invented in 1991 but was resurrected from the Cohens' case file, and then used in the KGB's public relations campaign. The name was authentic, evocative, and thought to have no cryptanalytic risks since it was never used precisely in long form in official communications. But one wonders if Chikov would have utilized PERSEUS had he written Comment Staline after the publication of Venona, wherein he would have realized that NSA had captured abbreviated codename PERS as well as PERS' atomic perfidy. Cryptanalytic risks did exist but Chikov and his superiors didn't anticipate them.

The PERS Morass

As time passes, the mystery surrounding unidentified covername PERS deepens. Currently, there seems to be 6 candidate profiles on PERS:

(1) Albright and Kunstel: A young, idealistic American scientist (but not Hall) whom the SVR folded into their Perseus concoction - A&K;;
(2) Weinstein and Vassiliev: A young Kellex engineer and Communist Party member who lived in an apartment with wife and child - W&V;;
(3) West and Farrell: Rudolf Peierls, as alleged by espionage author Nigel West and journalist Nicholas Farrell in the May 29, 1999, issue of the British magazine, The Spectator;
(4) Alexander Feklisov: A senior Kellex engineer who lived in a beautiful house in a Manhattan suburb - A. Feklisov, TMBTR;
(5) Benson and Warner: An unidentified atomic source at Los Alamos, as described in their monograph Venona;
(6) H. B. Laes: Scientist Z, as theorized at Set F.


- The Albright-Kunstel description of PERS is decidedly off-key with the PERS profile from Weinstein and Vassiliev. Semantically speaking, an engineer is not a scientist, particularly a "construction engineer" is not. This shade of difference between 'scientist' and 'engineer' is exposed when the Albrights write that Soviet nuclear physicist Isaak Kikoin "was fascinated to read about the influence of thickness of the mesh on the separation process," ....and that Kikoin, "was almost certainly referring to the fresh intelligence from FOGEL on a new uranium separation plant at Oak Ridge." Technical information concerning the "influence.....on the separation process" almost certainly relates to matters of physics and molecular chemistry, and would not be the expertise or purview of a construction engineer. Nor would an engineer have the 'need to know,' or hold the requisite security clearance for such information.

- There is little agreement between Rudolf Peierls' background and the PERS profiles from either Albright-Kunstel or Weinstein-Vassiliev. Regarding Farrell's 'PERS equals Peierls' allegation, he made the statement that, "PERS was recruited as a spy in part because he felt he had been tricked into working on the bomb by being told that Germany was developing its own bomb." In refuting Farrell, Peierls' daughter, Jo Hookway, exposed the illogic of this statement by pointing out (correctly) that it was indeed her father who had first warned the British government of the danger from Germany. Joining Hookway in vehemently disputing the Spectator's charge was Hans Bethe (if there is anyone who might set the record straight on this matter it would be Dr. Bethe). Nigel West, however, is another voice supporting the allegations against Dr. Peierls. As widely reported in British media Mr. West's view is evidently based on information in the files of the FBI and MI5. On this idea, it should be noted that a PERS Venona message does remain classified, and Lamphere and company were game. But Dr. Peierls was knighted by the Queen in 1968 and knighthoods are not bestowed without full and serious vetting throughout the British government. If indeed the Crown erred, it does not appear that the U.S. Postal Service will make the same mistake. Even though the KGB often used associations in choosing covernames, we think they viscerally would have been unable to use PERS for Peierls -- too close for comfort. Then again, fogel is the russianized German word for 'bird.' Peierls was German and depicted himself as a 'bird of passage." Etc, etc, etc.

- In published writing, Alexander Feklisov has nothing to say, per se, about PERS (sorry). As discussed above at Albright and Kunstel , the Albrights obtained a Feklisov manuscript whcih had several pages of material relating to atomic source PERS. In this manuscript PERS was lined out (not obliterated) and replaced with the name MONTI; the information pertaining to PERS was unaltered. When the book came out, however, most of the material on PERS-MONTI had been dropped. In his 2001 book, The Man Behind the Rosenbergs, Feklisov has a good deal more to say about MONTI. Thus, there is a real inference that MONTI equals PERS, and that Feklisov's legend on MONTI (disinformation or not) applies to PERS. Significantly, Feklisov's MONTI-PERS profile has parallels with both A&K; and W&V; but it is also distinctly different. For one thing Feklisov introduces the intermediary PYOTR as the courier for MONTI-PERS. There is no mention or hint of a courier in the 4 declassified FOGEL-PERS Venona messages.

- There is yet another perspective on PERS from a highly competent source, the Benson-Warner 1996 publication Venona: Soviet Espionage and the American Response, 1939-1957. In their preface The Atomic Era, p. xix) the writers state that "at Los Alamos alone, at least four agents reported through couriers such as Lona Cohen to the Soviet consulate in New York." This statement was footnoted as follows: "The four assets apparently were Klaus Fuchs (covernames CHARLES and REST), David Greenglass (covernames BUMBLEBEE and CALIBRE), Theodore Alvin Hall (covername MLAD), and a source convernamed FOGEL and PERS." Although not completely obvious from the Venona message cited, Benson and Warner place PERS at Los Alamos, and they further suggest a possible link between covername PERS and the high level Soviet atomic source labeled "Perseus," first proclaimed in 1991 by SVR official Vladimir Chikov.

- The Laes working theory: Morris Cohen, under direction by Semyon Semyonov, was the original recruiter of PERS. When Cohen went into the Army, Julius Rosenberg (also supervised by Semyonov) filled Cohen's shoes as the PERS contact/courier. In the same fashion that Anatoli Yatskov took over control of both Fuchs and Gold from Semyonov, Alexander Feklisov was given responsibility for PERS and Rosenberg. One thing this explains is how Rosenberg had such extensive information on the Manhattan Project prior to recruiting his brother-in-law, Greenglass. Rosenberg's courier runs were limited to Oak Ridge. PERS was based at Los Alamos but made a number of trips to Oak Ridge. PERS was under the wing of Oppenheimer and in effect was one of the "moles" referred to by Sudoplatov ("the mole in Tennessee connected with the illegal station at the Santa Fe drugstore"). As mentioned at the top, the Index of KGB Covernames: New York - Moscow Communications lists a PERS message that is not found in the Venona documents provided at NSA's website. We use to feel this phenomena was rare and benign, but no longer. (Sets F, R and S refer)

With respect to Albright-Kunstel-Weinstein-Vassiliev-Farrell-West-Feklisov, the PERS picture is a mess. Prudence would suggest that where so much disparity exists, there might also exist obfuscation in order to conceal a deeper, darker reality. Pleasantly, if the Benson-Warner suggestion about PERS and Los Alamos is well-founded, there is no contradiction among Benson-Warner-Laes-Chikov-Kern.

Was Philip Morrison Perseus?

In his 1999 memoir, Every Man Should Try, Jeremy Stone asked this question and tried to answer it. He concluded that more probably than not Morrison was Perseus. Stone was vigorously attacked by Morrison and others, and he quickly recanted. In truth, Stone's case was mostly circumstantial and subjective, and therefore weak. The whole contretemps can be reviewed at the Bombshell website (see the links beginning at "those Suspected as Atomic Spies").

Although agnostic on the banner question, we were not nourished by the ending to the Stone flap, which was a statement from Dr. Morrison: "I remain loyal to the letter and spirit of my commitment to atomic secrecy, and I have never breached the trust that my colleagues, my employers and my country placed in me." A brief historical tour shows why this declaration of virtue is specious:

- In May 1943 Dr. Morrison completed a government information form which contained a section asking for a listing of "any type of organization with which you have been connected in any way whatever." Dr. Morrison did not list the Communist Party.

- On the same form, question 6 asked, "Are you or have you ever been a member of any political party or organization which now advocates or has ever advocated overthrow of the constitutional form of government in the United States? Dr. Morrison answered, "No."

- In May of 1953 Dr. Morrison testified before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws, May 7, 1953, William K. Jenner, Chariman.

Q.-- Have you been a member of the Berkeley Campus section of the Communist Party?
A.-- I joined the Young Commuinist League when I was 18, and when I was 21 [1936] I did become a member of the Communist party in Berkeley. I don't remember precisely which branch.
Q.-- While you were a member of the Berkeley Campus section of the Communist Party, did you in fact deliver a series of lectures to that Communist group, entitled "Imperialism," by V. I. Lenin?
A.-- I think it would be perhaps more accurate to say that I led in a series of discussions on a book by Lenin called Imperialism.
Q.-- Now, in connection with that work on the Manhattan Project, did you inform your superiors -- lets say General Groves -- you had been a member of the Communist Party prior to your joining the project?
A.-- I had very good reason to believe that the principal security officer of the Los Alamos project knew of my previous connections. I think the conversations and conclusions were quite clear as to my being a Communist; yes.

The security officer in question was Colonel John Lansdale. In a memorandum to the MED G2 office at Oak Ridge, dated 27 September 1944, Colonel Lansdale wrote: "I had a lengthy interview with Morrison on 20 September 1944, in which his whole past history and record of Communist activity were discussed. Morrison states that he is not a member of the Communist Party and never has been, although he worked very closely with them and believes in the principal tenets of Communism." The occasion of this interview at the War Department in Washington D.C. was the transfer of Dr. Morrison to Los Alamos being proposed by Robert Oppenheimer.

Tenets of Communism

- "Imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism."
- "Imperialism is the eve of the social revolution of the proletariat."
- "American imperialism is the butcher and hangman of the revolution in all countries."
- "The October revolution broke the chains of Imperialism and hoisted in the sight of the whole world the banner of struggle for the complete overthrow of imperialism."
- "American workers will not follow the bourgeoisie. They will be on our side, for civil war against the bourgeoisie."
- "The suppression of the bourgeois state by the proletarian state is impossible without a violent revolution."
- "The proletariat will certainly overthrow the yoke of capital with revolutionary ruthlessness."
V. I. Lenin, On Imperialism, 1920

Fair Choices?

"I have never breached the trust that my employers placed in me"
"Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus"


Venona No. 259, dated 21 March 1945, directs GURON to travel to Chicago and re-establish contact with VEKSEL (Set G refers) as well as another scientist whose real name is redacted. The message (as provided by NSA) comprises 3 pages. The name of the other scientist is redacted in line 1 of the Summary on the first page; it is redacted again in the message itself on the second page; and the entire pertaining footnote is redacted on the third page.

On line 2 of the message Summary Gregory Breit and Hyman H. Goldsmith, both scientists at the Met Lab in 1945, are identified. It is NSA convention that if a name is mentioned in a message summary, it is also found in the message text - we are not aware of an exception. Incongruously, Breit's name is found in the message text, but Goldsmith's is not. Nonetheless, because of the convention, some writers (including ourselves) have made the reasonable assumption that Goldsmith is the thrice-redacted scientist. For example, Haynes and Klehr in their book on Venona wrote, "The other was Hyman H. Goldsmith, a physicist who worked at the Metallurgical Laboratory in Chicago.....Nothing in the message [No. 259] indicated that Goldsmith and VEKSEL had a compromising relationship with the KGB. [V, p. 329]"

Further, assuming that Goldsmith is the redacted scientist, message No. 259 presents the following absurdity: In the Summary, Goldsmith's redacted name on line 1 is located .5 millimeter directly above Goldsmith's unredacted name on line 2. Thus one gets the mental picture of the NSA redactor carefully using a black marker to hide Goldsmith while just as cognizant permitting his exposure. The logic escapes - Goldsmith is assiduously redacted (3 times) on the one hand, and haphazardly revealed on the other? If it is just an administrative error, it still mystifies: 2 issuances, 6 public releases, at least 2 vetters (redactor and declassification reviewer), etc?

On every slice and dice, we keep seeing just two possibilities: a ridiculous bureaucratic inanity, or, crafted deception - the redactee is not Goldsmith. Not given to conspiracy theories, we are inclined to apply Hanlon's Razor (related to Ockham's) to the problem: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by [stupid error]." In this event, surely NSA should have no problem reposting No. 259 to their Venona website with Goldsmith's name unredacted throughout, thereby giving him and fellow Met Lab associate Breit equal disclosure (FOIA) treatment. Right? Well, not exactly. A FOIA request on the matter yielded NSA's decision to maintain their redactions. The exemption cited for non-disclosure was 5 U.S. C. 552(b)(6), "which protects from disclosure information about an individual which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of that person's privacy or the privacy of surviving family members."

The NSA is therefore hiding Goldsmith because of privacy concerns for him or members of his family. Neither Breit nor Goldsmith was alive in 1995 when NSA declassified and published Venona 259. Goldsmith died in 1949 at an early age; he was survived by a wife and son. Intent notwithstanding, the NSA's execution failed to achieve its objective - witness Haynes and Klehr's categorical assertion that Goldsmith is the redacted scientist whom GURON was asked to contact. However, if the redactor would have obliterated Goldsmith's name on line 2 of the Summary, the job gets done. Be that as it may, just the desire to shield Goldsmith still doesn't completely compute.

There are many Venona messages which reveal personal identities where the legal privacy issues are the same as for Goldsmith or stronger. The case of Ted Hall (MLAD) is one example. A more analogous example to Goldsmith is Venona No. 619, San Francisco to Moscow, dated 27 November 1945. This message reads in part: "Volkov permitted ERNEST to meet the people with whom Professor Smyth collaborated. Among them are the engineer Morris Perelman and Professor....[67 groups unrecovered]....[vii] - Morris Leonard Perelman, at this time employed at the Los Alamos Laboratory."

Morris Leonard Perlman was born 10 August 1916 in Detroit. He received his B.S. in chemistry at Louisiana State University in 1937 and his Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1940. From 1941 to 1943 Dr. Perlman served as Research Associate with the University of California Radiation Laboratory; he worked at the Los Alamos Laboratory from 1943 to 1946. Dr. Perlman died 21 June 1982 and was survived by his father, his wife, two sons, two sisters and two brothers. Interestingly, in the first public release of No. 619 (10 July 1995), Perlman was redacted; however, for reasons unknown, in the sixth release (August 1996) he was uncovered.

The context in which Perlman is mentioned in No. 619 is almost exactly the same as that of Goldsmith in No. 259: ERNEST is allowed to meet Perlman, GURON is sent to contact Goldsmith. Also, Perlman and Goldsmith's circumstances relative to 5 U.S. C. 552(b)(6) appear to be exactly the same: In 1996 both were deceased and both had surviving family. NSA's public disclosure policy on Venona 259 is unclear. On the face of it, it also appears to be inconsistent and arbitrary, not to mention careless - unless, of course, the redacted scientist is not Goldsmith.

Progressive Professor

Venona No. 1328 of 12 August 1943 is a short, 2 paragraph message. The interest is the second paragraph, which could have two different interpretations.

The second paragraph reads as follows: "In SACRAMENTO, California, in Radiation Laboratories [a], large-scale experimental work is being conducted for the War Department. Working there is a progressive professor XXXXXXXX [a] [iv], whom one can approach through the KORPORANT [v] PINSKY [a] [vi] -- one of the directors ..... [24 groups unrecoverable] ...... [signed] MOLIERE [MOL'ER] [vii]

MOL'ER. MOLIERE is identified by NSA as Pavel P. Mikhailev. Mikhailev was the GRU resident in New York.

KORPORANT. Identified by NSA in the message's comments section as "Paul George PINSKY, research director of CIO in California." Pinsky was the person responsible for CPUSA's recruiting and organizing effort for the Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists and Technicians (FAECT) locals in Berkeley and Oakland. Then as now, the FAECT is a member of the CIO. (In the first issue of this message KORPORANT's name was redacted and we surmised that the person might have been Steve Nelson, who was director level in the CPUSA and whose surname is 6 letters. In a later release NSA lifted the redaction and named PINSKY as KORPORANT)

SACRAMENTO. Sacramento is a 'problem' -- the Rad Lab was in Berkeley, CA. The presumption is that MOL'ER was mistaken on this detail, e.g. his source had given him incorrect information.

Progressive Professor. The name of the professor is redacted. In the original Russian decryption the name was rendered in English, i.e. the Latin alphabet. Analysis of the structure of the message indicates that the redacted name is 8 letters long (it is seen to be one letter shorter than the word immediately above it, "conducted," which is 9 letters). The label "progressive" was KGB terminology for a person or organization that was affiliated with the Communist Party. A guess about the identity of the "progressive professor" can vary depending on how you view the meaning of the phrase "one of the directors," i.e. is it a modifier for "progressive professor" or of "KORPORANT." If it modifies the "progressive professor," then Ernest Lawrence, Director of the Rad Lab and 8 letters, is a possibility. If it does not modify "progressive professor," but KORPORANT, then three individuals who could be proposed are Joseph Weinberg, Rossi Lomanitz and Max Friedman (each surname is 8 letters). Our first impression was that the phrase related to KORPORANT.

Joseph Weinberg. Herken's Brotherhood of the Bomb gives a robust account of Weinberg's involvement with Steve Nelson in espionage against the Rad Lab. In April 1943, Weinberg met Nelson at his house and gave him secret information on the atomic project. The FBI recorded the conversation. Weinberg's family lived in New York where MOL'ER was based.

Rossi Lomanitz. Lomanitz was active as a labor recruiter on behalf of the communist party in the Oakland area. In October 1942 (5 months before the surveillance on Weinberg) the FBI overheard Lomanitz tell Steve Nelson that he was working on a secret weapon project. Nelson indicated knowledge of the work at the Rad Lab and advised Lomanitz to disguise his membership in the Communist Party. (See V, H&K;, p. 325) Lomanitz was a member of FAECT in Berkeley.

Max Friedman. Friedman had been chairman of FAECT Local 25 at the Rad Lab until it was dissolved in late 1943 under pressure applied by the White House on the CIO. (BotB, p, 107-109)

Miscellany. In a 1941 letter, Ernest Lawrence admonished Oppenheimer about joining leftish organizations and bringing "causes and concerns" into the Rad Lab workplace. Nor would he allow Robert's brother Frank to join the Rad Lab unless he agreed to renounce all political activities. Gregg Herken writes that Oppenheimer hosted a FAECT recruiting meeting for Paul Pinsky at his home in Berkeley. (BotB, p. 54)

Independent Progressive Party

The 8th Report of the Senate Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities to the 1955 Regular California Legislature, page 46, reflects the following: "The Independent Progressive Party in California was quickly captured by the Communists, and by the time the Wallace for President campaign had swung into high gear was being operated lock stock and barrel by the Communist Party of California. Time after time the Committee in questioning witnesses throughout the state discovered that the leaders of the Communist Parties in various localities were identical with the leaders of the Independent Progressive Party in the same area. It is true, of course, that in the Independent Progressive Party there were many sincere liberals who, because of dissatisfaction with the two major political organizations registered as Independent Progressives and continued their affiliation until the true control of the I.P.P. became obvious."

In September 1952 Scientist Z registered to vote in the year's upcoming primary election. In doing so he affirmed his intention to affiliate with the Independent Progressive Party. Although Scientist Z did not usually care what others thought, that didn't seem to be the case with respect to his own political stripe. In conversation about the 1952 election with a fellow scientist, Dr. Z recalled "that when he registered to vote he had put down 'Independent' and that the Registrar of Voters Office had misconstrued this some way and had connected him with the Independent Progressive Party." The County Registrar of Voters Office didn't misconstrue anything. A photostat of Scientist Z's 1952 affidavit of registration shows that he wrote down "Independent Progressive" in his own hand writing. Surely one should conclude, then, that Scientist Z was joking when he told his associate that a month after he registered (as an Independent Progressive) he voted for General Eisenhower in the 1952 national election.

$1,000 vs. $5,000

Two facts: Ted Hall's KGB codename was MLAD, and Vladimir Chikov wrote that PERSEUS' first codename was MLAD. One, therefore, tries to identify Hall in Chikov's statements about PERSEUS.

$5000 Perseus. Chikov wrote that just before departing New York at the end of June 1950 Lona Cohen had a last meeting with PERSEUS. During this meeting she tried to get him to accept $5,000 earmarked for him by the KGB: "Following Abel's directive, I informed him of the high evaluation given his information in Russia and tried, by way of appreciation, to hand him $5,000 unloaded from a drop." PERSEUS initially refused but after discussion accepted half of the money and agreed to have the second half placed in a bank savings account which would bear no interest: "Eventually we agreed that the second half would be kept in the bank, so that he could use it whenever he needed, but it would not draw interest. Later this arrangement allowed a Soviet intelligence man to re-establish contact with PERSEUS. The words 'a bank account without interest,' became a sort of motto for him."

$1000 Hall. Bombshell established that in 1947 Ted Hall (MLAD) received $1,000 from the Soviets. Saville Sax got the money from the Cohens in New York and turned it over to Hall back in Chicago. Presumably, the $1000 that Hall received in 1947 was in appreciation for the 'keys to the Los Alamos kingdom' that he provided to them in 1944/45 and an incentive to keep him producing in Chicago.

The above gives us two accounts of KGB payouts to agents. However, Bombshell, the definitive work on Hall, never mentions a 5K payment to Hall in 1950 and also casts great aspersion on the existance of Perseus. If one is undecided and open minded about Chikov's Perseus story, the two accounts need to be reconciled or otherwise rationalized.

- Does $5000 PERSEUS = $1000 Hall?
Two possibilities: (1) Chikov noted the 1947 $1000 payment to Hall in the Cohens' KGB file and skewed it with a ton of disinformation for his book; or (2) Ted Hall received a second payment of which Bombshell's authors were unaware and which Chikov incorporated into his book about Perseus with or without disinformation.

On the first possibility, we think there are hundreds of ways Chikov could have described the 1947 payment without compromising Hall and without transposing the event to 1950 and larding it with completely gratuitous nonsense. Of the second possibility, one has to ask, what did Hall do for the Soviets after 1947 to warrant more funds, especially an amount close to $5000 (about $100,000 in today's dollars)? Based on Bombshell, it is very difficult to divine what atomic secrets Hall might have passed after 1947. Top Secret intelligence on the hydrogen bomb would certainly qualify but Hall strongly denied that he helped the Soviet Union on thermonuclear weapons and buttressed this claim with the fact that he never worked on the H-bomb and indeed never had a security clearance after he left Los Alamos (1946). The Albright's, who had Hall's FBI file (which would reflect a security clearance/investigation), do not dispute Hall's denial and offer no other specifics on post Los Alamos complicity in atomic espionage. All in all, $5000 PERSEUS = $1000 Hall seems problematic.

- Does $5000 PERSEUS = Nobody?
This option contemplates that Chikov created $5000 PERSEUS out of whole cloth, without a single basis in fact or scintilla of truth. Such total fabrication by Chikov would be much more than a "dash of imagination" (to which he has admitted in presenting his story) and it would be expressly contrary to his bona fides to readers in his Preface: "But the content of no document [from the Cohens' KGB case file] has been changed in a way so that X says he met Y when in fact he did not, or that he did not meet Y when he did." Even knowing his employer and constraints, our opinion of Chikov's journalistic integrity is higher than would be warranted by this option.

- Does $5000 PERSEUS = Scientist Z?
In Set V, Implosion and Uranium Hydride, we put forward the case that Ted Hall was not the source of the wealth of information on implosion and hydride that the Soviets had amassed by early 1945. Following that train of thought, we feel the two page, handwritten "report" given to Sax by Hall in Albuquerque, would probably be worth $1000 relative to the atomic intelligence surveyed in the 1945 Beria Report. In left-handed fashion, then, we find expected symmetry: MLAD was worth $1000, PERSEUS (Scientist Z) five times as much.

The Cohen's Flight from America

The Cohens had only several weeks notice to prepare for their flight from America, but it seems the KGB was not so rushed. Unbeknownst to the Cohens, their handlers had been spending some time and effort preparing their evacuation plan. Vladimir Chikov: "Further, [the Center] told [Abel/Mark] to make his next rendezvous with Leslie his last and to cease meeting with Luis altogether. It was getting too hot for the couple in New York and steps would be taken to remove them."

The bearer of the actual directive to leave was Yuri Sokolov, aka CLAUDE, the KGB resident in NY at the time. In early June he took the very risky step of going to the Cohens' apartment to deliver the decision and requirement for haste. The literature contains differing accounts of the route the Cohens took out of the country. One account is that they headed to Canada; another to California, thence to Mexico. Chikov's account has its own conflicts: First he says that the Cohens got on a ship in NY that took them to Vera Cruz, Mexico, a port city on Mexico's Atlantic coast. But later in the book he includes testimony from Lona which differs: "Leontina recalls the last days ?. When we arrived in Mexico they stuck us in an unsightly little house somewhere near the border." There is no border near Vera Cruz, north or south. Our guess is that the Cohens took the train or were driven from New York to Texas where they crossed into Mexico. Possible locations for the "unsightly little house" are Juarez (on the border) or Chihuahua City, about 90 miles away. From there we surmise a train to Mexico City, the railroad hub of the country, where a connection could be made for Vera Cruz.

Rudolf Abel in Mexico?

In 1948 Rudolph Abel, a KGB illegal in the US, took over control of the Cohens from Sokolov, the legal resident in New York. We view Sokolov's going to the Cohen's apartment, instead of Abel (who had been to the Cohens' apartment before), as highly unusual and probably due to special circumstances. Those circumstances might have been the judgment in Moscow that time had become of the essence and Abel was gone from New York. Possibly, Abel was in Mexico coordinating the Cohen's escape plan.

Of Abel's arrest in New York on July 21, 1957, Vladimir Chikov wrote: "Moreover, there were three interesting slips of paper that [Abel] had failed to destroy. One contained the time, place and parole of a secret meeting: 'Balmora, Avenida Oberon. 3pm. Display left of entrance. I. Is this an interesting picture? L. Yes. Do you wish to see it, Mr. Brandt? L. smokes a pipe and has a red book in his left hand.' Another slip indicated where to leave a mark for impersonal means of communication: 'In Mex: Signal T on pole opposite #191 Chihuahua Street (Folonia Roma), using side of pole towards roadway. Sat or Sun. Tues. Thur. Met on Mon. Wed. Fri at 3 pm. Movie Balmora.'"

We believe the location referenced in these slips was Mexico City. Old town Mexico City has a section known as Colonia Roma (The Roman Colony, Little Italy?). In the 1950's there was a movie theater in Colonia Roma on Avenida Obregon called el Balmori. One block south of Avenida Obregon is Chihuahua street. In a footnote, Chikov's co-author, Gary Kern, has the following comment: "If the slip is dated pre-1950, L might signify Luis, code name for Morris Cohen." We concur.

Rudolf Abel and Plan B (Brazil)

After the Cohens left the United States Abel had a 'span of control' problem with respect to running their networks. This included the 'mythical' Perseus. How he picked up the slack is very much a mystery. Perhaps a clue can be found in other tasking of Abel by the Center. From Sudoplatov in Special Tasks (pg 242) we learn that, "[Abel] created a new network that encompassed agent informers in California and KGB illegal officers in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina." How utterly intereting, then, to read in Sacred Secrets (2002) by the Schecters that when Abel was exchanged for Francis Gary Powers (downed US U2 pilot) on the Glienicke Bridge the KGB man there to meet him, and debrief him, was Joseph Grigulevich (Had Abel given up Perseus, had he given up the drugstore in Santa Fe, etc.).

Among Abel's possessions confiscated by the INS at the time of his arrest was a book titled Paintings from the Sao Paulo Museum, which suggests possible travel by Abel to Brazil to implement the Center's assignment. We ask: Would not a world class intelligence organization develop a 'safe harbor' and potential escape route, Plan B in this case, for their most valuable and vulnerable assets? Brazil, of course, was a favorite academic R&R; (or E&E;?) stop after the war for a number of Manhattan Project scientists. Among other serendipities, it so happens that a passport for South America (Brazil) was issued to Scientist Z on June 28, 1957 - seven days after Rudolf Abel was arrested. Starting from 1949, it was perhaps his fourth excursion to Brazil. Wouldn't a university professor planning a summer vacation trip to South America have dusted-off his passport a little earlier than the end of June? Maybe the trip was spur of the moment.


CHESS PLAYER is a KGB covername that has appeared in several books (it is not found in Venona). Its first and most provocative appearance was in Sudoplatov's Speical Tasks:

"Elizabeth Zarubina's other mission was to check on the two Polish Jewish agents established on the West Coast as illegals by Eitingon in the early 1930's. They had remained under deep cover for more than ten years. One of these agents was a dentist with a French medical degree that the OGPU had subsidized. His code name was CHESS PLAYER. The dentist's wife became a close friend of the Oppenheimer family, and they were our clandestine contacts with Oppenheimer and his friends, contacts that went undetected by the FBI. To the best of my knowledge, even Elizabeth was not identified by the FBI as a Soviet case officer in America until 1946, after she had returned to Moscow." (ST, 194)

Two other books that mention CHESS PLAYER are Sacred Secrets and Kitty Harris. Added background from them is that Zarubina delegated the assignment of locating the illegal agents to Kitty Harris. Harris had difficulty finding the dentist in San Francisco because there were three dentists listed in the phone book with "the same first and family names." Subsequent to Kitty's initial contact with the dentist, CHESS PLAYER and his wife introduced Zarubina to the Oppenheimers.

The Oppenheimers vacationed summers at their small ranch in Cowles, New Mexico, near Santa Fe. One of the businesses they frequented in Santa Fe was the Capital Pharmacy operated by Morris Yashvin. In connection with 2 prescriptions for the Oppenheimers as described at Set D, Yashvin told the FBI that he did not recognise doctors Hannah Peters and M. Jacobs; further, he was sure they did not practice in Santa Fe. In the case of Dr. Hannah Peters, we know that to be true. She was the wife of a Rad Lab physicist (Bernard Peters), an organizer in the Alameda County Communist Party and a close friend of Kitty Oppenheimer's.

It is an educated guess, then, that Dr. M. Jacobs was also from the Bay Area and also a friend of the Oppenheimers. This of course matches the profile of CHESS PLAYER, a doctor (of dentistry and able to prescribe), and a friend of the Oppenheimers who lived in the Bay Area. The 1942 San Francisco telephone directory lists 3 dentists with the last name of Jacobs. However, only one had a first name beginning with initial "M." M. Jacobs is therefore not an exact fit with the story from authors Schecter, Damaskin and Elliot. But then again, the directory shows no 3 dentists with the same surname and same first name.

Top Ten Questions

1. What was the date of Robert Oppenheimer's MED security clearance? (Set E)

2. Who requested that Klaus Fuchs be transferred to Los Alamos in August 1944? (Fuchs and Oppenheimer)

3. Did Kitty Dallet Oppenheimer enter Spain in October 1937 to join her husband, Joe Dallet? (Set B)

4. What was the name of the KGB's "drugstore" safehouse in Santa Fe, NM? (Set D)

5. On what date did Special Agent Robert Lamphere return to FBI Headquarters from Arlington Hall with the Soviet decrypts that led to the identification of Klaus Fuchs? (SOVME)

6. How did Julius Rosenberg know the design concept of a 'gun-type' atomic bomb in January 1945? (Set R)

7. Who is the atomic spy FOGEL-PERS? (Set C)

8. Who is the American atomic spy MAR, mentioned in the Mitrokhin archives as well as the Venona messages? (Set M)

9. Why did Klaus Fuchs not go to his scheduled contact with Soviet intelligence on the first Saturday in July, 1949? (Set U)

10. Since Richard Feynman has written several books about himself, and since several other writers have written books about him, what exactly "was" he at Los Alamos that is far deeper than we are likely to understand? Is the answer in anyway related to what Freeman Dyson told Abraham Pais, a secret Dr. Pais said he would take to his grave?

At Los Alamos

"What I really was under such circumstances [at Los Alamos] is far deeper than you are likely to understand." Richard Feynman, 1986. Written in a fit of pique, not in a matter-of-fact or whimsical manner. (Genius, p.414)


On page 244 of their book Bombshell authors Kunstel and Albright write: "The following year [1955] Moscow Centre sent [the Cohens] all the way to Hong Kong and Tokyo for reasons still unknown." The sourcing for this statement, given in the book's notes (page 358), is a transcript of a July 15, 1993, videotaped interview of Morris Cohen conducted by a KGB historian. The interview is available from the archives of the Bombshell Internet website.

This same interview transcript mentions a secret mission by Lona undertaken alone in 1953. Lona's trip occurred during a period when the Cohens were holed up in a dacha outside of Moscow for the purposes of training and relationship building with their future controller in London, Gordon Lonsdale (Ben). The most common meaning or association of a dacha is that of summer cottage. We think it likely therefore that Lona's trip occurred during the summer months of 1953. We further propose that she traveled to Japan.

At minimum, we find it serendipitous that a number of Shelter Island physicists, including Scientist Z, visited Japan during the summers of 1953 and 1955 for international conferences on physics. Abraham Pais gives an interesting account of the September 1953 event in his book A Tale of Two Continents. One interesting anecdote that he mentions is that Robert Oppenheimer cancelled his plan to attend at the last minute and he, Pais, was chosen to replace him as the chair of the opening session. Another interesting but cryptic comment from Dr. Pais has to do with his mentor relationship with Freeman Dyson. Evidently Dyson shared something sensitive enough to engender the following from Pais, "What [Dyson] told me then I shall carry to my grave" (A Tale of Two Continents, p. 251).


Vasili Mitrokhin, his family and six cases of secret material were exfiltrated from Russia in 1992 by the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). The Mitrokhin Inquiry Report published in June 2000 by the UK's Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee is the result of a government investigation into the facts and circumstances of Mr. Mitrokhin's defection and the subsequent handling of his archive material. Reprinted below are some excerpts which illuminate the policy and chronology of the disposition of material pertaining to the United States.

- "As soon as Mr Mitrokhin's material reached the UK the SIS [MI6] passed that relating to the UK to the Security Service [MI5] in unprocessed form for them to take matters forward and investigate. Material relating to the USA and Canada was read by the SIS and then passed, through liaison channels, to the CIA and FBI at Director level and to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in July 1992. This process.....continues."

- "One of the volumes on the US listed hundreds of KGB agents and confidential contacts by codename, with sufficient detail to allow identification in most cases."

- "Material was not, however, completely compartmentalized by country: British material was, for example, contained in the US chapter, and vice versa. The American chapter alone consisted of 800 pages of dense typescript. There were also two books of technical or procedural information , while a further 27 envelopes and 107 exercise books contained contemporaneous manuscript notes, based directly on Mitrokhin's reading of KGB files. One of these envelopes alone contained details of 645 KGB agents and contacts."

- "The work of translation and processing was undertaken by SIS in the period 1992-98. The Security Service gave early assistance in translation work, and US agencies translated material relating to the USA."

- "In April 1994 the Foreign Secretary was briefed on Mr. Mitrokhin, who was due to visit the USA."

- "The SIS nominated Professor Christopher Andrew, who had seen some of Mr. Mitrokhin's material in late 1995 and had expressed an interest in producing the book."

- "The SIS confirmed that while Professor Andrew had seen 60% of the material, he had only seen the historic cases contained in the UK material and that Security Service agreement would be sought before any further material was passed to him."

- "Also discussed were the issues concerning consultation with foreign services over the inclusion [in the Andrew-Mitrokhin book] of material relating to their nationals/interests and the need to have a watertight legal contract with Professor Andrew....The Chairman continued by stating that this amounted very largely to ensuring the policy on the exclusion of certain categories of information from the book was complied with....Also included in the letter was a record of the current status of the clearances given for the text [in the book] by departments and foreign governments."

- "Through espionage, the Soviet Union obtained widespread coverage of the US/UK atomic bomb programme from 1941 until the detonation of the first Soviet bomb in 1949. Former Soviet intelligence officers have claimed, probably accurately, that they were able to obtain details of all aspects of the development of the atomic bomb from sources working within the projects. Almost all the sources working for the KGB and GRU were volunteers, often with communist backgrounds, who believed that information about such a destructive weapon should be shared with the Soviet Union. There were some *** sources reporting on developments in both the US and UK; the most serious and damaging were Klaus Fuchs and the American, Theodore Hall, who between them passed information about the design of the first US plutonium bomb which was sufficiently detailed to provide Soviet scientists with a blueprint for replicating its manufacture. The first Soviet atomic bomb in 1949 was in fact an exact replica of the American design."

There is little doubt that the Mitrokhin Archive contains material pertaining to atomic espionage in the United States and that this information has not previously been, and is not now, in the public domain. Up to the present, the public's only view of the new material is the Andrew-Mitrokhin book, The Sword and The Shield. A case in point is atomic source MAR, an unknown Soviet agent until publicized in The Sword and Shield. The excerpts quoted above show:
(1) that Professor Andrew did not receive Mitrokhin material until late 1995, after the CIA and FBI had ample time for review and after Mitrokhin's debrief tour to the US;
(2) that "certain categories" of information were withheld to Andrew by fiat of UK government agencies, both intelligence and policy; and
(3) that the allies had both exclusion authority and editorial privileges over the manuscript.
None of which is either surprising or necessarily flawed policy. But it does indicate that new information on atomic espionage based on MItrokhin material remains out of the public realm. That there still are intelligence imperatives to be served in this area can be inferred from the observation that the aggregate number of atomic sources is witheld in the Inquiry Report released to the public (replaced with *** ). Furthermore, the facts and circumstances of atomic source MAR (Set M) seem indicative of governmental coordination between Mitrokhin information and Venona information which resulted in the non-publication of a relevant Venona message.


- Rosenberg
The Man Behind The Rosenbergs is the fourth literary product from Mr. Feklisov on the subject of Julius Rosenberg. The other three, in reverse chronological order, are: (1) Confession d'un agent sovitique par Alexandre Feklissov avec Sergue Kostine published in Paris by Editions du Rocher, 1999; (2) Za okeanom i na ostrove: zapiski razvedchika [Across the Ocean and On the Island: Notes of an Intelligence Officer] published in Russia, 1994; and (3) a draft manuscript of Za Okeanom i na ostrove (discussed above at Albright and Kunstel).

Man Behind is a different ball game altogether. In it, Feklisov identifies Rosenberg; in the other three, the alias "Stanley" was used for Rosenberg. In giving two different 'skins' for the same person, readers/researchers have the opportunity to observe Mr. Feklisov employing disinformation - dezi for short. This is useful because it allows one to suspect and factor disinformation in his latest book. One particularly un-artful exercise in dezi by Mr. Feklisov involves the 3 pages circumscribing his handling of atomic source "Monti" (p.97). He concludes with the statement, "Every piece of information [Monti] passed on to us was priceless." Then, 200 pages later, he pledges, "I, Alexander Feklisov, the case officer for Julius Rosenberg, have accurately described in this book the true role played by this extremely valuable agent and his precise contribution--which was very minor--in the ENORMOZ case. I have done so against the opinion of my superiors and even in defiance of the SVR's position. Thus I have no reason whatsoever to distort the case at all. I can say that during my entire tour in the United States I had nothing to do with the gathering of information on the A-bomb and, consequently, never spoke to Julius Rosenberg concerning the need to recruit agents for that specific purpose before September 1944 when his sister-in-law Ruth told him that her husband David was working at Los Alamos."

Unfortunately, readers are left with the following contradictions: How can an agent's contribution be "very minor" and "priceless" at the same time? How can Mr. Feklisov limit his A-bomb work to Julius Rosenberg when he has just been touting "Monti?"

- "Monti"
Feklisov introduces a new name to the lineup of Americans who provided atomic secrets to the Soviets. The name is "Monti." Feklisov's "Monti" story is interesting in its own right but becomes particularly interesting because of the possibility that the name Monti may be Feklisov's alias for the agent PERS. This possibility is discussed in a Bombshell footnote (p. 363) that starts with the introduction, "Disappearing code names in Feklisov's manuscript." The manuscript is for Feklisov's book, Za Okeanom i Na Ostrove: Zapiski Razvedchika, published in 1994 (before Venona came out). The Albrights report that the original Russian manuscript listed 4 agents one of whose codename was PERS. PERS was mentioned several times and there was a two-page section on his activities. However, the manuscript showed that someone had crossed out PERS and substituted Monti. When the book came out only three agents were mentioned, Monti and two others. The PERS material and one of the other agents were completely censored out. Noteworthy attributions about Monti in the instant book are as follows:

Monti. "I shall refer to him as Monti. Just like many other sources in this book, he has never been identified nor even mentioned in the decrypted messages within the Venona Files. His real code name is useless to researchers, whether they are historians or spy hunters."
Monti. "I never actually handled Monti myself and never even saw him. I managed him through a cut out, who was also Russian and whose name I shall also keep secret, because it would be easy to identify Monti through this man since they met openly. I shall call him Pyotr Lastochkin."
Monti. Pyotr had met [Monti] during his first tour with Amtorg in America [1939-1940]. Pyotr returned to New York in 1942 as a chemical engineer assigned to Amtorg.
Monti. "Monti was in charge of a team of engineers who were building chemical plants in the US and overseas."
Monti. "[Monti] lived very well in a beautiful house in the Manhattan suburbs, ..."
Monti. Monti worked for Kellex which was completing the construction of a top secret pilot factory in Oak Ridge, TN.
Monti. "I told [Pyotr] to ask [Monti] a few questions without letting on that he was interested in the plant at Oak Ridge, ..."
Monti. "[Monti] answered all the questions my 'submarine' [Pyotr] asked..."
Monti. "Monti did not need to be prodded and at their next meeting he handed my friend Pyotr the technical blueprint of the plant at Oak Ridge."
Monti. "Even though I was not assigned to the atomic project at the time the Rezidentura never withdrew Monti's handling from me, ..."
Monti. "Monti was a rich man who was so eager to help us that we never offered him any compensation."
Monti. "Every piece of information [Monti] passed on to us was priceless."
Monti. "Even though Monti had never been formally recruited, he certainly must not have been fooled by the kind of relationship he had with the friendly Russian [Pyotr]. He agreed to meet with the new representative without reservation."

- The Atomic network
"The best example of this type of thinking is the atomic bomb. Without the choice of people like Klaus Fuchs, Allan Nunn May, and other secret agents of Soviet intelligence whose identity has not yet been revealed; without the sense of danger that Niels Bohr or J. Robert Oppenheimer felt in having the atomic superweapon under one country's control that could easily shatter such a fragile peace, we would have had few chances of avoiding another world war. It is very significant that the three main secret Soviet intelligence networks that were operating before, during and immediately following the Second World war (the Cambridge Five, the Rosenberg Group and the Atomic network [aka the Volunteer Group]), did not survive the opening shots of the cold war." (p. 66)

- Semyonov
Feklisov says that Semyonov's espionage career as an illegal came to an abrupt end because he openly met (dinner in a restaurant) with Gregory Kheifitz (Grigory Heifetz) in San Francisco in the summer of 1943. Kheifitz had been under suspicion and tight surveillance by the FBI in connection with espionage at the Berkeley Radiation Lab (CINRAD case), and the dinner between Kheiftz and Semyonov was observed. When Semyonov returned to New York the FBI surveillance on him was blanket and he lost all effectiveness. The Center recalled Semyonov in 1944, according to Feklisov. This little flap predated the defection of Igor Gousenko and Elizabeth Bentley. It is possible that Semyonov's problem occasioned a codename change for KVANT, an atomic source: perhaps to GURON or IRI, both unidentified in Venona but connected to atomic espionage. Semyonov (TVEN) is closely connected to KVANT in Venona message #961 of 21 June 1943.

- "the physicist"
By our lights, Feklisov's most interesting offering is a two paragraph passage beginning on page 203. The passage begins, "Since work on the A-bomb was entering its critical phase, Klaus [Fuchs] was well aware that he would have to stay in New Mexico for at least another year;" and ends, "The next meeting was set for September 19, near a church in the Santa Fe suburbs." However, in the middle, Feklisov starts a paragraph with this sentence, "The physicist, who had discovered ways of calculating the power of the bomb, took part in an expanded meeting of the coordination council of Los Alamos, chaired by Robert Oppenheimer, on June 4, 1945 to discuss Trinity, the first test of the plutonium bomb."

First, Feklisov's knowledge of the very obscure detail about the "expanded meeting of the coordination council...on June 4" is passing curious. Second, for some reason Feklisov declines to name this physicist. His omission is different treatment from other Los Alamos scientists whom he is unburdened to mention, individuals such as Edward Teller, Victor Weisskopf, Leo Szilard, Hans Bethe, Norris Bradbury, Enrico Fermi, Otto Frisch, Klaus Fuchs, Ted Hall, George Kistiakowski, Robert Oppenheimer and Rudolf Peierls. We are curious about who the physicist was and why Feklisov was constrained to name him. Perhaps, it was force of habit. Answering the who but not the why, Scientist Z would be a possibility. Reportedly, his computing team put everything aside to concentrate on the final problem of accurately calculating the energy of the gadget to be exploded just weeks hence at Trinity site, the first and only trial of the atomic bomb.

- Sudoplatov
The interest here might be what Feklisov doesn't say. Whereas Vladimir Chikov castigated Sudoplatov for many of Special Task's assertions on atomic espionage, Feklisov has nary a thing to say - plus or minus. Feklisov does mention, however, that Sudoplatov reported directly to Beria for 20 years.

- Fuchs-Gold
It is unfortunate that Mr. Feklisov attempts to persuade readers that Fuchs was caught because of betrayal by Harry Gold. The accepted version in the West is that Fuchs provided information to the British and FBI that, while not identifying Gold explicitly, facilitated his identification from existing investigative files. Fuchs knew Gold only by his covername, Raymond; their first contact in America was February 5, 1944 (THW, p. 187). Here is a condensed summary of the timeline of events in the Fuchs-Gold investigation as detailed by Robert Lamphere in his book, The FBI-KGB War:

Jun-Jul, 1949 - ASA provides number of Venona decrypts to FBI's Lamphere. One was GUS-REST message, #195, of 9 Feb 1944
Sep/Oct, 1949 - FBI identifies Klaus Fuchs as prime suspect for REST
Oct, 1949 - Top Secret FBI letter sent to Bistish Intelligence alledging Fuchs as probable atomic spy
Oct/Nov, 1949 - Reply from MI5 indicating agreement on Fuchs but uncertainty on how to proceed without revealing Venona
Dec, 1949 - Fuchs interviewed several times by William Skardon, MI5 Officer
Jan 24, 1950 - Fuchs began to confess to Skardon
Feb 2, 1950 - Fuchs arrested by British, charged with violation of Official Secrets Act (not espionage)
Feb 4, 1950 - Front page headline in New York Times, "BRITISH JAIL ATOM SCIENTIST AS A SPY AFTER TIP BY FBI"
Feb 6, 1950 - Hoover testifies to Congress; contradicted by General Groves about Army requesting a name check on Fuchs
Mar, 1950 - Fuchs given max penalty, 14 year prison term, for Official Secrets act violation.
Mar, 1950 - Hunt for "Raymond" by FBI goes into overdrive
Apr, 1950 - Gold comes into FBI's sights as prime "Raymond" suspect
May 1950 - Fuchs' appeal period completed. FBI given green light to interview Fuchs
May 16, 1950 - Lamphere and Clegg depart for London to interview Fuchs
May 20, 1950 - First Lamphere interview with Fuchs at Wormwood Scrubs prison. Fuch's undecided about recent photos of Gold
May 22, 1950 - Fuchs shown recent film of Gold, states, "I cannot be absolutely positive, but I think it is very likely [Raymond]."
May 22, 1950 - Gold interveiwed in Philadelphia and apartment searched; map of Santa Fe is found and Gold confesses.
May 24, 1950 - New pictures of Gold arrive by courier at Wormwood Scrubs. Fuchs states, "Yes, that is my American contact."
May 26, 1950 - Fuchs writes on back of two still photographs of Gold, "I identify this photograph as the likeness of the man whom I knew under the name of Raymond - Klaus Fuchs - 26th of May, 1950."

By way of contrast and comparison the following is a brief summary of Feklisov's arguments (which begin on page 272) that it was Gold who betrayed Fuchs to the FBI in 1948 or 1949:
- Fuchs didn't betray his KGB controller (Feklisov) who had immunity, so he wouldn't betray Gold who would likely get the electric chair.
- Fuchs gave a bogus description of Gold in order to protect him.
- FBI Special Agent T. Scott Miller, Jr. testified at Gold's trial that "the identification of Harry Gold's picture was not made until after Gold signed a confession." An officer of the law would never lie in court. Gold's admission of guilt was obtained long before his actual arrest and he participated in an entrapment operation against the KGB.
- Gold's KGB handler throughout 1949, Ivan Kamenev, made several attempts to convince Gold to leave the United States. Gold refused each overture. "The only possible conclusion was the FBI had succeeded in turning Gold!"
- Gold's apartment had been searched in 1947 and 1948. It is not believable that the FBI didn't find the 'smoking gun' map of Santa Fe during those searches that they "officially" found two years later in the same place.
- In the fall of 1949 the FBI sent MI5 a forged Venona decrypt describing a meeting between Fuchs and 'Raymond' at Fuchs' sister's house. The purpose of the forged decrypt was to hide that it was Gold who identified Fuchs (presumably, we didn't want to tell the Brits about our little counterintel operation).

In his book's Notes section, Robert Lamphere discusses possible confusion on the Fuchs-Gold identifications. But it is not the scenario that Feklisov is suggesting.
"Some confusion still remains on the precise timing of the Fuchs and Gold identification of one another. Radosh and Milton, op. cit., suggest that Gold confessed first and that Clegg and I, in London, must have told Fuchs of Gold's action before Fuchs himself made the identification. A close reading of the Clegg-Lamphere report, and an understanding of standard FBI operating procedure (which would have precluded telling Fuchs of Gold's confession) support the actual time sequence of events as I have depicted them in this section of the book."

There are numerous possible rebuttals to Feklisov's arguments. Suffice it to say this: Feklisov's charge is that Harry Gold betrayed Klaus Fuchs perhaps as early as 1948, no later than the end of December 1949. Lamphere is addressing only the chain of events between May 22 and May 26, 1950. The record is clear and strong that he and Clegg went to England to interview Fuchs without confirmation or proof that Gold was the Amercian courier. In this matter, Feklisov and the KGB have succumbed to the unbridled paranoia of intelligence work. They continue to allow an occupational addiction to 'the house of mirrors' to cloud their judgement on uncontestable truth.

SOVME � Part I

In May 1949 the FBI established a new espionage unit. Its mission was to investigate information contained in WW II Soviet messages being decrypted by the Army Security Agency (ASA) at Arlington Hall. Its classified name was Soviet Messages Unit (SOVME). SOVME came under the Espionage Section of the Bureau's Internal Security Division, which was led by Assistant Director Howard B. Fletcher. The Espionage Section itself was headed by Lish Whitson. Later, William Branigan, Whitson's assistant, took over the Section and oversight of SOVME.

Branigan had been transferred to Washington from San Francisco following his noteworthy work on the CINRADCASE (Communist Infiltration Radiation Lab). He had had the unique experience of being on the other end of an incriminating wiretap that recorded conversation between Steve Nelson and Joseph Weinberg, a student of Robert Oppenheimer's at Berkeley. Branigan had also been responsible along with his partner, Special Agent Mike Cassidy, for the surveillance operation on Vasili Zarubin when Zarubin came to Oakland in April 1943 to meet Steve Nelson (BOTB, p.96-98). Zarubin was a KGB General and Station Chief (Resident) for all of North America.

Special Agent Robert Lamphere was the initial case supervisor assigned to SOVME and he headed the unit. Over the previous year he had been the FBI's liaison to the ASA code-breaking group directed by Meredith Gardner. In 1986 Lamphere published The FBI-KGB War, which is the primary public reference on SOVME. The second supervisor brought in was Ernest Van Loon. (TFKW, p.160) He was transferred from the Los Angeles field office where he headed the Special Case Squad. The first SOVME Unit investigation began in June 1949. Lamphere returned to Headquarters from Arlington Hall with fifty or sixty fragmentary decrypts. For reasons of security, they were given the cover name Bureau Source 5 (BOTB, p.213). This source is now known as the Venona Program, having been declassified in 1995. Lamphere brought the messages back to "FIVE�s" office and met Van Loon. The two supervisors split the messages in half and dug in. It so happened that Van Loon�s portion contained decrypts reflecting two Soviet agents engaged in atomic espionage, REST and GUS.


At the beginning of the investigation, SOVME possessed at least eight Soviet decrypts containing cover names REST and/or GUS. As decrypted in the summer of 1949, each of these cables is detailed below:

- On May 8, 1944, New York advised Moscow that REST had reported that the work of the British Mission in the U.S. was not meeting with success due to misunderstandings. Moscow was further advised that REST might return to Great Britain or be posted to a special laboratory. (NY to M, #645, 08054)

- On June 15, 1944, New York reported to Moscow that materials described as �the third part of the report MSN-1 (one digit missing)� Efferent Fluctuation in a Stream� had been received from REST. In this connection, the words �diffusion method� and �work on his specialty� are mentioned. REST had expressed doubt about the possibility of staying in the US without arousing suspicion. REST reported that the Americans had told the British representative that construction of a plant in Great Britain would directly contradict the spirit of the agreement on Atomic Energy signed together with the Atlantic Charter; a representative of Great Britain in Washington was looking into the details of the transfer of the work to Great Britain; REST thought he would have to leave in four to six weeks. (NY to M, #850, 15064)

- On July 25, 1944, New York advised Moscow that �almost half a year of contact with REST� had demonstrated the value of his work. The residentura proposed to pay him a reward of $500. (NY to M, #1049, 25074)

- On August 28, 1944, New York advised Moscow that REST might be returning to Great Britain. The names ALEKSEY and GUS were mentioned in connection with REST�s status. GUS had advised on something related to REST, and apparently GUS was sent to see REST�s sister. The date of 20 September was mentioned as somebody's possible departure or arrival date. The $500. for REST had been authorized by Moscow. (NY to M, #1233, 29084)

- On October 1, 1944, New York passed to Moscow detailed information received from GUS about a Soviet agent with cover name CONSTRUCTOR. (The information contained in the message was such that it allowed the Bureau to immediately identify CONSTRUCTOR as Abraham Brothman.) (NY to M, #1390, 01104)

- On October 4, 1944, Moscow was advised that REST's sister had already returned home and that GUS's next trip to see her was planned for October 12. (NY to M, #1397, 04104)

- On October 5, 1944, New York changed REST's cover name to CHARLES, and GUS' cover name to ARNO. (NY to M, #1403, 05104)

- On November 16, 1944, reference was made to ARNO�s "last" trip to see REST�s sister. (NY to M, #902, 16114)

The foregoing is the sum and substance of the information the FBI gleaned from the initial decrypts on REST and GUS. In terms of viable investigative leads it netted out to the following: REST was most likely a member of the British Mission. REST gave the Soviets a document described as �the third part of MSN-1(one digit missing), Efferent Fluctuation in a Steam, diffusion method.� REST was likely to be a scientist whose work involved diffusion. By July 1944, REST had been in contact with Soviet intelligence for approximately six months; later in 1944 he may have returned to Great Britain. REST had a sister. REST was connected to another Soviet agent with cover name GUS. GUS had apparently made trips to visit REST�s sister. GUS was well acquainted with Abraham Brothman.

It is believed there are a total of 13 Venona messages containing REST or CHARLES; 7 of these also reflect cover names GUS or ARNO. There are 8 messages that contain GUS or ARNO alone. Thus, in total there are about 21 Venona messages that pertain to agents REST and GUS. At the very outset, SOVME had information from maybe half of them, and the decryption level was often less than 50% of what is available today. (Compare the meager information of BS-5 No. 1397 above, with the same declassified Venona message today.) Also interesting is the fact that SOVME apparently did not have the first REST message, No. 195 of 9 February 1944. This message definitively showed that REST was part of the British Mission and that GUS was probably his courier.


The most important and actionable lead from the decrypts was the information in message No. #850, 15 June 1944, on a technical report with the partial designation "MSN." That decrypt read, �received from REST the third part of the report MSN-1 (one digit missing) �. Efrent (Efferent?) Fluctuation in a Stream �. (diffu?)sion method �. work on his specialty.� In comments to this message, the ASA was able to advise that the missing digit was not 0, 1 or 5. Thus, a first step taken in the REST investigation was an enquiry to the AEC about documents bearing the designation �MSN� followed by a numeral. The enquiry was delivered to the AEC�s Security Office in person by SA Charles W. Bates of the FBI�s Liaison Office. The FBI requested that the matter be handled discretely and be confined to the Security Office. SA Bates' primary contact at the AEC for this matter was with C. A. Rolander, Jr. The Security Office responded affirmatively: Such documents existed: �MS� referred to the series of reports originating from the British Mission, the �N� was added to indicate the New York Office of the Manhattan Engineering District, and the MSN series were numbered chronologically according to date.

Since the ASA comment on �MSN� excluded documents designated MSN-10 or 11, SOVME requested examination of reports MSN 12 through 19. This examination produced a giant leap forward in the investigation. The SOVME supervisors learned that MSN 12 was dated June 6, 1944, and MSN 13 was dated June 21, 1944: the Soviet cable mentioning the MSN report was dated June 15. Furthermore, the full title of MSN-12 was �Fluctuations and the Efficiency of a Diffusion Plant, Part III, The effect of Fluctuations in the flow on N2.� Thus it was quickly and conclusively shown that MSN-12 was the report mentioned in the Soviet message. The piece d�resistance (retrospectively), K. Fuchs was its author. During July and August SA Bates was a frequent visitor to the AEC Security Office (housed in a separate building from the commissioners offices). The Bureau was further informed that, in addition to K. Fuchs, British scientists Rudolph Peirels, C. F. Kerarton and Tony Skyrme had full access to MSN-12.

File Search

A Bureau file search was conducted on Peierls, Kearton, Skyrme and Fuchs. The following items were returned on Fuchs:

- In 1944 the Bureau received a letter dated March 28, 1944, from the MED in Washington D.C. providing a comprehensve list of British scientists in the U.S. engaged in work for the MED. Included in this list was the name of "K. Fuchs", who had entered the U. S. on December 3, 1943, and who was employed in New York.

- In 1944 the Bureau received a letter dated August 11, 1944, from the MED in Washington D.C. advising that "Dr. K. Fuchs" had been transferred to "Y" on August 14, 1944.

- In June 1945 FBI Headquarters received a captured list of thousands of German citizens whom the Gestapo suspected of Communist activity. The list contained the following entry: "Klaus Fuchs, student of philosophy, December 29, 1911, Russelsheim, RSHA-IVA2, Gestapo Field Office Kiel." (It is not presently known when this information was translated and indexed in FBI files, but available documents suggest that it was subsequent to March 1946. See below)

- In March 1946 the Bureau received information from Canadian authority that the address book in the possession of Israel Halperin at the time of his apprehension in February 1946 contained the following entry: "Klaus Fuchs, Asst. to M. Born, 84 Grange Lane, University of Edinburgh, Scotland Camp N. �Camp L., Internment Operations � Kristel Heineman, 55 Carvel Road, Watertown.� Halperin had been uncovered as a result of the Gouzenko defection and discovered to be an agent of the GRU. The Bureau took note of the fact that Halperin�s address for Kristel Fuchs Heineman was five years old (1941) at the time of his arrest.

- The Halperin information resulted in a Bureau file search on Kristel Heineman. This search yielded the occurrence of a security investigation in 1946 on Robert Block Heineman and his wife Kristel Fuchs Heineman. The file showed that the Heinemans had lived in Watertown, MA, that Robert Heineman had been a member of the Communist Party, and that Mrs. Heineman was the sister of �Dr. Karl Fuchs.�

- In 1946 the Bureau received a letter dated July 2, 1946, from the War Department notifying the Bureau that "Dr. K. Fuchs" had returned to England on June 28, 1946, by bomber from Montreal, Canada.

In August 1949, concurrent with the ongoing enquiries at the AEC, SOVME queried the British Embassy for information on members of the British Mission assigned to New York in 1944. This request did not discuss Klaus Fuchs, but did mention covername REST in the context of BS-5. In a memorandum dated September 7, 1949, the British replied with background on Peierls, Kearton, Skyrme, and Fuchs. The information on the first three scientists was relatively accurate and checked-out with information already received from the AEC. However, the information on Fuchs was unaccountably riddled with inaccuracies. Fuchs� place of birth was given as �Ruesselhtenm, country unknown;� he was said to be a �medical physicist;� and it was stated that he had been posted to Oak Ridge on August 14, 1944. The Bureau was not happy to learn that Fuchs was currently a senior researcher at the Atomic Energy Project at Harwell, England.

By the second week in September 1949 the SOVME supervisors had Klaus Fuchs at the top of a short list of persons who might be identical to REST. Fuchs was the author of MSN-12, and he had a sister in America with communist connections. On September 22, 1949, SA Van Loon sent a memorandum forward to Howard Fletcher opening a full-scale investigation of Klaus Fuchs. It was captioned:

Dr. Karl Fuchs, Klaus Fuchs,
Klaus Emil Fuchs

Kristel Klaus, Kristbl Klaus,
Kristel Fuchs, Mrs. Bob Klaus
Alma Anna Dorothe Ida Christel Fuchs

There were two documents attached, as recommendations, to the case opening memorandum. The first was a memo to MI5 summarizing the developments in the REST investigation (see below), and the second was a letter to the FBI Field instituting separate espionage investigations on Dr. Emil Julius Klaus Fuchs and Kristel Fuchs Heineman. Both were sent out with the same original date as the opening memo, September 22, 1949.

Then the whole business mushroomed. On September 23, 1949, President Truman announced that the Soviet Union had recently detonated an atomic device (August 28; confirmed by the U.S. Air Force on September 9; BOTB, p.200-1). On September 26 Robert Lamphere sent a memo to Meredith Gardner updating him on the status of the investigation into REST & GUS. (V, B&W, p.141-3) The Lamphere memo is interesting because it shows the knowledge curve traveled between July and September. In this memo Lamphere connected Fuchs with Soviet agent REST, but stated that GUS was still unidentified. In mentioning that GUS (Goose) was a contact of Abraham Brothman and involved in work related to the thermal diffusion of gases, it can be noted that the SOVME supervisors were reading Venona messages No. 1390, 01104 and No. 1797, 20124. Also interesting, Lamphere wrote that Fuchs went to "Los Alamos or Oak Ridge in August 1944." (The AEC had reported Los Alamos, the British reported Oak Ridge.) The facsimile of Lamphere's memo shows Oak Ridge crossed out at a later date. Lamphere also urged Gardner to give top priority to the further decryption of all messages associated with REST or GUS.

As mentioned above, SOVME prepared a comprehensive memorandum to British intelligence, MI5 (TFKW, p.135). In distinguishment from the early enquiry of July/August, this letter laid out a detailed case for the belief that Klaus Fuchs was the Soviet agent REST. The first item presented was the Soviet decrypt which mentioned the MSN report provided to Soviet intelligence by REST. The Bureau wrote, �this document has been identified with a fair degree of certainty as being a report designated MSN-12 by the MED and entitled �Fluctuations and the Efficiency of a Diffusion Plant, Part III, The effect of Fluctuations in the flow on N2. This report which is dated June 6, 1944 was authored by K. Fuchs, who is identical with the above captioned individual.� Other facts laid out to the British included: Fuchs inclusion in Halperin�s address book along with one Kristel Heineman of Watertown MA; that Kristel Fuchs Heineman was the wife of Robert Block Heineman and the sister of Dr. Karl Fuchs; that Robert Block Heineman was a member of the Communist Party under the name of Robert Hill; that in 1944 Robert Heineman also had an address in Chicago; that Heineman traveled and lived in Mexico from February to August, 1947; that Fuchs� name turned up in a captured German document which appeared to be a list of German communists of interest to the German Army; that Fuchs arrived in the U.S. on December 3, 1943 and was subsequently stationed in New York; that during the pertinent period of March to June 1944, Fuchs was one of a group of British scientists in NY who did theoretical analysis of diffusional separation processes for the U.S. War Department; and that Fuchs was cleared to visit Chicago in November,1947, to participate in a declassification conference.

The British response to the Bureau letter was received on October 29. It confirmed that Fuchs alone (among the other 3 scientists) had a sister, and concluded that, "in the light of information supplied by you Fuchs has been proved beyond all reasonable doubt to be identical with the Soviet agent REST."

The full damage became known on November 1, 1949. The Bureau received a comprehensive review of Fuchs' work at Los Alamos from the Security Office of the Atomic Energy Commission. The secret AEC memorandum concluded that "Fuchs and Peierls made up 'two thirds of the team which handled the hydrodynamics in the Theoretical Division which made the implosion developments possible. They both contributed to all phases of the weapon development including implosion and super.'" (KF-AS, p.115) Because of the enormous consequences of the loss of America�s highest military secret, J. Edgar Hoover labeled the espionage of Klaus Fuchs, "The Crime of the Century."


Brotherhood of the Bomb by Greg Herken contains a very interesting segment about Lewis Strauss. Herken reports that Strauss, then an AEC commissioner, was informed about the Klaus Fuchs investigation by SA Charles Bates "two weeks before the General Advisory Committee (GAC) meeting" held on October 30, 1949. The absolute precise date of Strauss' knowledge is not given, but Herken reports that on October 13, 1949, Strauss called General Groves to discuss the "British Mission at Los Alamos." Most significant, however, is the assertion that Bates also revealed to Strauss that the Fuchs matter was based on decrypted Soviet messages and that there was evidence [in the messages] of other spies at Los Alamos. A few days later Strauss met with J. Edgar Hoover, and then called Groves for a second time: "His queries this time concerned not only British scientists at the lab but some American ones as well--specifically, Frank and Robert Oppenheimer." (BotB, p.213)

The following assumptions seem reasonable: (1) SA Bates was authorized to make these disclosures to Strauss; (2) a significant 'quanta' of Venona (BS 5) was shared with Strauss; (3) in the final analysis, Venona was probably at the bottom of the effort to remove Oppenheimer's security clearance in 1954. (More at ECI)


- 1949 June - Fuchs investigation launched based on Venona messages
- 1949 August - Fuchs tentatively identified as REST by FBI
- 1949 August 28 - Soviets detonate their first Atom bomb
- 1949 September - British Intelligence notified of Fuchs' espionage
- 1949 September - Kim Philby briefed on Fuchs investigation by MI5 Chief before coming to U.S. (MSW, p.186, 208)
- 1949 October 12 - Fuchs interviewed in England by Harwell security
- 1949 October - Rosenberg advised Greenglass that he was 'hot' and may have to leave the U.S. (TRF, p.74)
- 1950 February 2 - Fuchs arrested in Britain. Rosenberg again warned Greenglass about having to leave the U.S. (TRF, p.76)
- 1950 May 23 - Harry Gold (Fuchs' courier) arrested in Philadelphia. Rosenberg came to Greenglass apartment and applied more pressure on Greenglass to leave the U.S.
- 1950 May 28 - Rosenberg came to Greenglass apartment with $4,000. for expenses for leaving the U.S. (TRF, p.79)
- 1950 June 15 - FBI came to Greenglass?s apartment and took Greenglass to NY field office at Foley Square. Gold identified Greenglass, Greenglass confessed and implicated Rosenberg
- 1950 June 16 - Greenglass arrested. FBI came to Rosenberg apartment and Rosenberg agreed to go to Foley Square with the agents.
- 1950 June 25 - Korean War started
- 1950 July 17 - Julius Rosenberg arrested
- 1950 July 22 - Morris and Lona Cohen escape from New York and arrive in Mexico (Bombshell, p. 225)
- 1953, June 19 - Rosenbergs executed for conspiracy to commit espionage

KGB Organization

In the late 1930's and early 1940's the Soviet Union had four intelligence stations, or rezidenturas, operating in the United States. Three were "legal" residencies, meaning that the Soviet personnel assigned had official diplomatic responsibilities and therefore immunity. The legal stations were located in the Soviet embassy in Washington DC, and the consulates in New York City and San Francisco. The fourth intelligence station, a so called "illegal" rezidentura, was comprised of Soviet agents in the US undercover, espionage operatives without connection to a Soviet diplomatic mission. Involving organizations, locations and people, this is a complex, always changing history. Names in parentheses are U.S. pseudonyms.

Legal. In the mid-1930's Pyotr Gutzeit was the KGB legal rezident (senior officer) in New York. Circa 1939, Gutzeit was recalled to the Soviet Union where he was purged (executed). Gayk Ovakimyan replaced Gutzeit as legal rezident. Ovakimyan was arrested by the FBI in May 1941 but allowed to return home in July 1941. Pavel Pastelnyak (Klarin) filled Ovakimyan's shoes as legal resident until the arrival of Vassily Zarubin (Zubilin) in late December 1941. Semyon Semyonov, in the U.S. since 1937 and reportedly directed by Ovakimyan, was initially sent to MIT but returned to New York in 1940, changing his cover from student to Amtorg engineer. When Zarubin moved to Washington in 1943, Stepan Apresyian became rezident in New York. Other legal case officers in the New York rezidentura during the war years (1940-1945) were Anatoli Yatskov (arrived NY circa November or December 1940), Alexander Feklisov (arrived NY via Japan, Hawaii and San Francisco on 27 February 1941; TMBTR, p.24), and Leonid Kvasnikov and Alexander Feklisov.

Illegal. Boris Bazarov was the illegal reszident during the mid-1930's and Iskhak Akhmerov was his deputy. Like Gutzeit, Bazarov returned to the Soviet Union circa 1938 to be purged. Akhmerov succeeded Bazarov as U.S. illegal rezident. In mid-1939, however, Akhmerov was recalled to Moscow by Beria. This apparently resulted in an interregnum in the US illegal residency until Akhmerov returned to New York in September 1941. During his short tour back in Moscow, Akhmerov reportedly headed the American desk of the KGB's First Chief Directorate (Foreign Service or INO). Vitaly Pavlov was his deputy on the desk. In 1944 Akhmerov (who had remarried to Helen Lowry, the niece of Earl Browder) moved from New York to Baltimore. When Akhmerov moved to Baltimore Roland Abbiate (Pravdin) became illergal rezident in New York. The Akhmerovs returned to Moscow in December 1945.

Zarubin. In 1943, U.S. rezident Zarubin moved his flag from the New York consulate to the Soviet embassy in Washington DC. While in the US Zarubin had oversight over all KGB operations in North America, both legal and illegal. Akhmerov reported his illegal station to Moscow through Zarubin. His deputy in Washington was Vasili Dolgov; in San Francisco, Gregory Kheifetz; in Mexico, Lev Vasilevsky (Tarasov); in Canada, Vitaly Pavlov. Due to an allegation made to Stalin by Lieutenant Colonel Vasili Mironov (an intelligence officer under Zarubin in Washington) Zarubin and his wife, Elizabeth, were recalled to Moscow. They sailed from New York in August 1944. Stepan Apresyian in New York became acting US resident until the arrival of Anatoli Gorsky (Gromov), who theretofore had been KGB rezident in London.

How did Red Army Intelligence, the GRU, fit into Soviet intelligence operations? By the late 1930's the KGB had become the dominant Soviet intelligence service, foreign and domestic. Turf battles were bucked if necessary to Beria, and more often than not he ruled in favor of the KGB. A case in point is Klaus Fuchs. Originally recruited and controlled by the GRU in London, his control was switched to the KGB when he arrived in New York. In the field the GRU had their own rezident officers and case agents. In the early 1940's, the GRU Rezident in New York was Pavel Mikhailov, in Canada it was Nikolai Zabotin. Did GRU rezidents in the field take orders from their KGB counterparts? We are not sure, but the answer might be that the policy at each station turned on the circumstances of personnel, sources/agents and mission.

The foregoing is cobbled together principally from Sword and Shield (Andrew-Mitrokhin) and The Venona Secrets (Romerstein-Breindel). Any inaccuracies are ours.

Deep Throat

The 30th anniversary of Watergate has occasioned renewed investigation and speculation on the identity of Deep Throat. A very credible effort comes from several successive journalism classes under the tutelage of Professor William Gaines at the University of Illinois. Their excellent work product can be seen at Spike.

In a nutshell, Professor Gaines' students narrowed a field of 72 possibles down to 7 finalists. A primary consideration in the selection of some of the finalists was that they were speechwriters or press professionals - this related to a clue one of the students found in a manuscript of Woodward and Bernstein's book, All the President's Men. The seven finalists in the order listed in the piece by Professor Gaines are Pat Buchanan, David Gergen, Jonathan Rose, Raymond Price, Stephen Bull, Fred Fielding and Gerald Warren. Impressed with the methodology and thoroughness of the students' investigation, we judge there is a 85 to 90% chance that Deep Throat is one of the seven.

We do not feel that Throat is a composite person (as has been suggested) unless Howard Simons, Woodward's managing editor, is a 'co-conspirator' in the ruse. Simons purportedly originated the name after several discussions with Woodward about his Watergate source whom Woodward had been referring to as "his friend." In his 1995 book, A Good Life, Ben Bradlee has some interesting things to say and, unless you think Bradlee would participate in a disinformation effort, he throws cold water on the composite theory. During Watergate Bradlee did not demand the source's name from Woodward but accepted a profile that included job description, level of experience, access and expertise (years after Watergate Bradlee requested the name and Woodward told him). Interestingly, Bradlee suggested in his book an approach for identifying Deep Throat that is similar to the project Professor Gaines' students are engaged in: "I have always thought it should be possible to identify Deep Throat simply by entering all the information about him in All the President's Men into a computer, and then entering as much as possible about all the various suspects."

At the end of this year's course Professor Gaines' students indulged in speculation about the identity of Deep Throat. Their consensus pick among the final seven was Pat Buchanan. It would not be ours; nor would we agree with the students' decision to put White House speechwriters and press people at the head of the class for a Deep Throat draft. We think it virtually impossible that anyone in that role in the White House, then or now, would have access to the breadth, depth and virtually real time information on Watergate events evinced by the Throat.

Our choice for Deep Throat is based on more than a few notions about him, his circumstances and the facts:
- His bio (any Who's Who) certainly reflects the idealism and care for the law implicit in the actions and words of Deep Throat as described by Woodward.
- With regard to operations between the two, it was Deep Throat who called the shots and structured their 'tradecraft,' such as two cabs and long walks to get to a rendezvous. In doing so, Deep Throat demonstrated an appreciation and level of formal knowledge of security and intelligence matters that is supported by his bio.
- Deep Throat also exhibited the specialized knowledge of the law and legal matters expected from one with a law degree and civilian law firm experience.
- Woodward used his apartment to communicate with Deep Throat. Yet, in the middle of Watergate, Woodward changed apartments. Why is not as important as, would he take into consideration his modus operandi with Deep Throat in selecting a new address? Are you kidding? The new digs would, of course, be chosen to facilitate their transactions, not degrade them. Woodward moved to Southwest DC, closer to the I 395 bridge coming in from Virginia - the route that would be taken by a commuter living in Alexandria, like Deep Throat.
- From his notes Woodward quoted the Throat verbatim: "Affirmative, said Deep Throat" (p. 270). It is our experience that the single largest population of homogeneous Americans who habitually use the word "affirmative" in pointed discourse is US Army junior officers. Deep Throat had been one.

Stop the presses - since initial post we have read John Dean's ebook, Unmasking Deep Throat. Found it very thorough, well crafted and particularly compelling due to his personal knowledge of people and events. After reading his work we believe our theory is incorrect. In fact, we think the journalism students have got it right.

We have not changed our thinking, however, about speechwriters and press folk not having the access for the 'deep' facts that Throat knew and, more importantly, when he knew them. But most of that group did not have a sister who worked as a bookeeper and a brother who worked as an accountant at CRP, The Committee to Re-elect the President. The Watergate break-in occurred on Saturday, June 17, 1972. The most intriguing information learned by The Post on Sunday was that a Howard Hunt was connected to the burglars and he was also connected somehow to the White House. First order of business for Woodward on Monday morning, June 19, was to run down this spectacular lead. He didn't waste much time. He called Deep Throat early, probably before noon. Woodward described it this way in ATPM, "Woodward called an old friend and sometimes source who worked for the federal government and did not like to be called at his office. His friend said hurriedly that the break-in case was going to 'heat up' but he couldn't explain and hung up." (p. 23) Woodward kept working the phones and later in the afternoon sourced the fact that Hunt was CIA. That warranted another call to Deep Throat, who in the interim had been getting himself up to speed (hey, bro/sis - lets do lunch). In any event, the Throat was much smarter by the second call. He was able to tell Woodward, "On an off-the-record basis?..the FBI [regard] Hunt as a prime suspect in the Watergate investigation for many reasons aside from the address-book entries and the unmailed check." (p. 25)

The importance of these two calls just 48 hours after the break-in is underscored by Dean in his ebook. They are the beginning of the trail that leads him to conclude that Deep Throat had unique access to the goings-on at CRP. Mr. Dean writes, "Logic again suggests that this information [Summer of 1972] went from Sloan to Throat to Woodward,?.." Hugh Sloan was the Treasurer at CRP and a former aide to Haldeman. We would argue that there is a fourth person in the chain, between Sloan and Deep Throat (probably the first articulator of the "follow the money" line).

Another interesting assessment by Dean is that Deep Throat understood journalism and how newspapers operate. A good example is found in Woodward's account of the second call he made to Deep Throat on Monday, June 19: "Woodward was bound not to use the infomation in a story because it was off the record . But his friend assured him that there would be nothing unfair about a story which reported the address book and country-club connections." Here, Deep Throat is advising Woodward on a matter of journalistic practice (nothing unfair), not a source confidentiality/protection issue. Notwithstanding Dean's well taken warning about verbatim quotes of Throat, lingo such as "heat up," "too soft" and "you can go much stronger" sounds like reporter-editor speak. You would pick that up if you had worked for a newspaper once. But Deep Throat "didn't like newspapers," so he got out of that business.

Mr. Dean dedicates his ebook to Professor Gaines and his students, with whom he has collaborated a bit. I am sure next year's class will thoroughly scour Unmasking Deep Throat for new insight and leads. Both camps are down to very short lists. Dean's has 4 names. The odds are still against a smoking gun. The battle will probably be carried by overwhelming circumstantial evidence along with the fact that there will only be one guy left standing! If you are an Irishman, and you don't get to go into the books as President of the United States, going in as Deep Throat is probably your next best shot. The historical longevity may even be better! You will get to assuage your raspy throat free in most public houses too - and properly so.

Evidently, Bob Woodward was not amused or impressed with the students' work product. "Sounds like guessing," was his comment. Two maybies: Maybe that's an indicator, and maybe one day soon he will be able to amend that to, pretty good shootin'.

Things indeed are heating up.

Trivia -
- Deep Throat coined the expression, "switchblade mentality." (ATPM, p. 130) In demonstrating the art of the speechwriter, the Throat evokes another clever turn of phrase which emanated from the Nixon White House, the "silent majority."
- Woodward said that Deep Throat "knew too much literature too well." (ATPM, p. 131) That will happen after 9 years of Jesuit education (4 HS + 5-year college plan) culminating in college degrees in English and Philosophy.
- Woodward wrote that Deep Throat "could be rowdy, drink too much" (ATPM, p. 131) We can relate; we too did 9 years of SOJ servitude, adopting the 5-year plan due to a wee-bit of rowdiness.
- The second largest population of Americans who habitually use the word "affirmative" in pointed discourse is US Army ROTC graduates. Fairly been there, done that, had Deep Throat Elect (DTE).
- As described by Woodward, Deep Throat exhibited more than a layman's knowledge of the law and legal practice. Although not a lawyer, DTE's early resume does reflect both work experience and formal education in the legal field.
- Woodward wrote that Deep Throat was "not good at concealing his feelings." This personality trait is not far afield of irascibility (easily angered, quick tempered), a self-admitted character flaw by DTE.
- There is a massive contradiction between DTE's public persona of acolyte and hard liner, and the stupendous act of disloyalty reflected in Throat's actions. A rational explanation which includes evidence has to be established. Interestingly and serendipitously, it is this perception of being the 'least likely' that has kept him completely off the radar screen of Throat seekers. But ideals and principles do reign supreme with DTE, trumping personal allegiance in the final analysis. This is remarkably well documented, from High School on, in his autobiography (e.g., pages 122 & 226).

It appears Professor Gaines' class has made a definitive identification of Deep Throat, and it is not Pat Buchanan. A year ago, Mr. Buchanan was the class' first choice, but not initially ours. After they published their work on the Internet Mr. Buchanan, classily, sent them a polite as well as instructive note.

Now the class' second and final choice, originally our first, is Fred Fielding. The Fielding name and the Throat controversy being dear to our hearts, we couldn't resist adding our two cents a year ago.

The professor and his classes have chalked-up a very pretty and professional accomplishment. One can only wax Cosellian by telling it like it is, the kids scooped the Old Grey Lady. All that remains is to wait and see if the only imprimatur that counts is forthcoming.

Was Shakespeare a spy?

Most literary experts consider "Shakespeare" to be the greatest writer in the English language. Plays authored by "Shakespeare" were first staged in Elizabethan England in the late 1500's. Although William Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon holds the imprimatur for the poems and plays that bear his name, controversy over the true identity of "Shakespeare" has existed almost from the beginning.

Many theories and candidates have been put forward in proposition that the author of the plays is not William Shakespeare but someone else. One of the candidates proposed is Christopher Marlowe. "Marlowe was born in Canterbury in 1564. He was educated at Kings School, Canterbury, and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he was graduated A.B. in 1583 and M.A. in 1587. Thereafter, he was a successful London dramatist, attached to the Admiral's and Lord Strange's companies, and an occasional secret agent for the government. A warrant for his arrest was issued by the Privy Council on the charge of atheism in 1593, but the real reason may have been his activities as a secret agent. He was killed in May 1593, before coming to trial, by another government agent Ingram Frizer, after a tavern quarrel." (Elizabethan Drama, edited by Leonard Dean, 2nd Edition, 1961)

Standing alone (without other pretenders) the evidence that William Shakespeare wasn't "Shakespeare" is provocative in the extreme: He executed a will, but bequeathed no books, papers or manuscripts; and he did not complete the equivalent of a high school education. Full examination of the life and works of Marlowe serves to make the debate even more compelling. An early, no nonesense case for Marlowe as "Shakespeare" was made in 1923 by Archie Webster. Most recently, the controversy has racheted-up with the airing of Much Ado About Something, a documentary by Michael Rubbo on PBS' Frontline program. Much Ado is actually an update on Frontline's earlier (1996) piece, The Shakespeare Mystery, which pitched Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, as "Shakespeare."

One gentleman with compelling credentials to weigh-in on the controversy is Peter Farey. He has a site on the internet called, Marlowe Page. He grew up reading and acting Shakespeare. He also has deep roots to Marlowe. Where others are grounded in this matter intellectuallly, Farey's understanding is more umbilical, having been 'imprinted' with both men from an early age. Thus, his website's dedication is as much intuition as deduction: "Dedicated to the proposition that, had it not been for the 'sudden and fearful end of his life' on 30th May 1593, Christopher Marlowe would have equalled Shakespeare." Fair to say that the majority of literature experts consider William Shakespeare to be the greatest author/poet/dramatist in the English language. It can be further argued that a strong majority of this group would not quibble with Farey's proposition about Marlowe. One authority has even written, "If young Shakespeare had died with Marlowe in 1593, Marlowe would be remembered as the greater of the two playwrights." Such sentiment underscores the prohibitive and provocative odds that the two candidates for reigning Genius of English letters just happened to be born 75 days apart in 1564 (CM, February, 1564; WS, April, 1564). Calculate the odds as ye may, 1564 was obviously the "annus mirabilis" of English literature.

Much Ado About Something provides an overview of the competing camps -- Stratfordians, Oxfordians, Baconists and Marlovians -- but in the main concentrates on the Stratfordians and Marlovians. The theory that Marlowe was "Shakespeare" rests entirely on the conjecture that his murder in 1593 was a sham operation staged to cover his escape to the Continent from charges of heresy, a capital offense. The program ends on the note that the current state of play is the attempt to find evidence that Christopher Marlowe lived in exile in Italy after his reported murder at Deptford. A smidgen of arhcival documentation is produced for this possibility. Whatever develops, the true authorship of "Shakespeare" is a fascinating mystery. If further research should give a quantum boost to Marlowe's stock, the Shakespeare Mystery becomes the Shakespeare Conspiracy -- as A. Dolly Wraight proclaimed it to be. The implications of that will make the study of Shakespeare a whole new ballgame.

There is solid evidence and widespread agreement that Marlowe's clandestine services on behalf of the crown were non-trivial. For espionage buffs, the possiblity that Christopher Marlowe, a secret agent for the Crown, was Shakespeare would be almost too delicious to contemplate.
Supposition all our lives shall be stuck full of eyes;
For treason is but trusted like the fox,
Who, ne'er so tame, so cherished and locked up,
Will have a wild trick of his ancestors.

-- William Shakespeare (aka, CM?), King Henry the Fourth, Part I

Questions that come to mind: What is in the water at Cambridge? King Henry, forerunner of the spy genre? Le Carre of Circus pedigree, just following in the Bard's footsteps?

How can one not be Marlovian at heart?



The Venona Project, NSA
Brotherhood of the Bomb, Gregg Herken, 2002
Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Americains: Dossier KGB No. 13676, Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern, 1996
Bombshell, Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, 1997
Special Tasks, Pavel and Analtoli Sudoplatov with Jerrold L. and Leona P. Schecter, 1995
The Haunted Wood, Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, 1999
In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Transcript of Hearing Before Personnel Security Board, Washington, D.C., April 12 through May 6, 1954
The Sword and the Shield, Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, 1999
The Uranium People, Leona Marshall Libby, 1979
Management of the Hanford Engineer Works in World War II, Harry Thayer, 1996
A Tale of Two Continents, Abraham Pais, 1997
Venona, Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, 1999
The Man Behind the Rosenbergs, Alexander Feklisov and Sergei Kostin, 2001
Sacred Secrets, Jerrold and Leona Schecter, 2002
Kitty Harris, The Spy with Seventeen Names, Igor Damaskin and Geoffrey Elliott, 2002
The FBI- KGB War, Rogert J. Lamphere and Tom Shachtman, 1995
My Silent War, Kim Philby, 1968
Venona, Soviet Espionage and the American Response, Robert Louis Benson and Michael Warner, Editors, 1996
Venona, The Greatest Secret of the Cold War, Nigel West, 1999
Klaus Fuchs, Atom Spy, Robert Chadwell Williams, 1987
Genius, James Gleick, 1992

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:45 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set W - The Progressive Organization
By H. B. Laes


Vladimir Chikov wrote:

[A] "Leslie had more to report on Perseus, whom she saw shortly before leaving for Paris [June 1947]. He told her that he had joined a peace movement and wanted to ban the bomb."

[B] "As his chief contact, answered Semyonov, you should persuade him not to take part in highly visible progressive organizations and to avoid people who might fall within the FBI's range of vision. He should get out of that anti-bomb movement as quickly as possible."

[C] "Luis did have one success, however. Claude reported to the Soviet Embassy in Washington which sent out the message to Moscow [2 August 1948]: Luis had a meeting with Perseus. He persuaded him to leave the progressive organization and restrict himself to science."


Interestingly, the Albrights do not attempt to link Ted Hall with the Perseus of these phenomena even though the Chikov/Kern book is a major reference for Bombshell. However, Christopher Andrew in the recent The Sword and The Shield (page 148) does identify Ted Hall as the 'progressive oganization' Perseus described by Chikov - but not based on new material from Mitrokhin. Because Ted and Joan Hall worked for Henry Wallace and the Progressive Party in 1948 (Bombshell, page 176), and because the French edition of Chikov/Kern states, "Luis had a meeting with Mlad," Mr. Andrew concludes that Ted Hall and the Progressive Party are the facts behind this piece of the Perseus mosaic. We are not so sure for the following reasons:

First. It should be noted that the Russian edition and precursor of Comment Staline, Nelegaly (The Illegals; arguably the more definitive) states, "Luis had a meeting with Perseus" - not, "Luis had a meeting with Mlad."

Second. Bombshell informs us that at the end of 1947 or beginning of 1948 Ted and Joan Hall joined the Communist Party, underwent communist indoctrination, etc. We are further told that, "sometime in the middle months of 1948 Ted wrote that Savy must tell our friends in NY that he and Joan had joined the Communist Party and suggest they might not want to have anything more to do with us." Logic dictates that Luis' meeting with Perseus occurred in 1948 and, therefore, if it had been with Hall, Cohen would have heard first hand about the Communist Party. Common sense also says that Savy in New York would have passed on, as requested, this important news to the Cohens. The Halls' joining the CP would be the absolute antithesis of what the Soviets wanted Perseus to do. So contrary to what Chikov wrote, Cohen clearly would not have been able to report "success" regarding Ted Hall, MLAD.

Third. Perseus joined the so-called progressive organization sometime before June 1947, an organization described by Chikov as a "peace movement" (twice) and a "ban the bomb" organization (twice). In the first half of 1947 the Progressive Citizens of America (PCA), the precursor organization to the 1948 Progressive Party, was a multi-issue, broad-based political organization. Notwithstanding it's non-aggressive stance toward the Soviet Union, characterization of the PCA as a peace movement, per se, would not be accurate. Citations for Progressive Citizens in the New York Times Index for 1947 reflect such issues as rent/price controls, Federal Employees Loyal Order, federal anti-lynching legislation, opposition to federal income tax reduction, etc. None of the citations reflect a 'ban the bomb' position.

Federation of American Scientists

Were there any organizations in 1947 for which the labels "peace movement" and "ban the bomb" would be definitively applicable? Yes. There is one, perhaps only one. Moreover, one that you would expect a Los Alamos physicist, sympathetic to Soviet socialism, to have joined: the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). Although initially organized in 1945, the FAS of 1947 was essentially a new organization, having recently officially merged with the Federation of Atomic Scientists and formalized its leadership relationship with its constituent chapters and sub-groups. So, for example, if one had been a member of the Association of Los Alamos Scientists (ALAS) in 1945, but left Los Alamos after the war to return to academia, was of a mind to continue to support the "scientist's movement," then re-affiliation in 1947 would have meant joining FAS. More recently, Jeremy Stone, who was President of FAS for half of its existence, wrote: "Any original atomic scientist who would say that he would 'dedicate my life to averting the danger of a nuclear holocaust' [a statement attributed to Perseus by Chikov] would be among FAS's original members, since FAS was set up by the original atomic scientists to do just that and was, indeed, the first organization created for this purpose." (EMST, p. 326)

The Federation's agenda in 1947 was largely restricted to influencing the development of US domestic and international policy on atomic energy. In a nutshell the organization vigorously championed international control of the new science, especially with respect to atomic weapons. The definitive history of FAS (1945 - 1947) is a book written by Alice Kimball Smith, A Peril and A Hope. Here are a couple of quotes that fairly represent FAS sentiment of this period: "Science should henceforth be primarily an instrument of peace....The Cornell executive committee [Association of Scientists of Cornell University, a constituent group of FAS] recommended agreement on the early abolition of atomic weapons from national armaments, halting our own preparations for warfare, making available to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission all necessary basic scientific data, and developing a more consistent foreign policy."


Knowledgeable readers will point out, that Ted Hall was a member of FAS in 1947 (Bombshell). True, but we counter with our belief that Ted Hall did not leave FAS in 1948/9 as Perseus purportedly agreed to do. And again, with respect to the issue worrying the Soviets, Perseus joining the Communist Party would be a much greater concern than his joining FAS. It just makes no sense for Hall, new and active (open) Communist Party member, to be the subject of the 2 August 1948 "success" message to Washington. Thus, we are not in agreement with the idea that Ted Hall was the Perseus described by Chikov, someone who had joined a progressive, ban-the-bomb organization by mid 1947.

Furthermore, there exists another Los Alamos physicist, Scientist Z - a "first teamer," who in 1947 belonged to FAS but who later appears to have uncharacteristically dropped his membership - consistent with Perseus legend. Years later, arrogance trumping caution (and not for the last time), this Los Alamos "first teamer" registered to vote progressively, that is to say communist.


Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Americains: Dossier KGB No. 13676, Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern, 1996
Nelegaly: dos'e KGB No. 13676, Vladimir Chikov, 1997
The Sword and the Shield, Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, 1999
A Peril and a Hope, Alice Kimball Smith, 1965
New York Times Index, 1947
Bombshell, Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, 1997
Every Man Should Try, Jeremy J. Stone, 1999

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:43 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set V - The Volunteers


Venona message, # 32, 11 Jan 1945, New York to Moscow: "SERB has advised that VOLUNTEER [VOLONTER] has died at the front in Europe. The last meeting with LESLEY [LESLI] was had by TWAIN [TVEN] about six months ago."

Vladimir Chikov wrote: "Fitin turned to a discussion of LUIS, who also, it seemed to him was in need of relief. He was working as a recruiter, a courier, a contact man and even as a group leader - that is as the head of a spy ring called "the Volunteers."


From the phenomena we can see that Morris Cohen might have had two codenames, VOLONTER and LUIS. The codename VOLONTER appears in two Venona messages, one in 1944 and one in 1945 (above). It is the codename for Morris Cohen who was in the US Army at the time of both messages and not active as a Soviet agent. Cohen was born in America, joined the United States Communist Party in 1935, was drafted into the Army in July 1942 and had shipped out of the country by January 1943.

We believe Vladimir Chikov was first to write (1991, Novoye Vremya) about codename LUIS. We have not been able to find a second, independent source. However, in the same passage introducing LUIS, Chikov also mentions codenames LUKA and TVEN, both of which have been validated. Also, Chikov gave Lona Cohen the codename LESLI and Venona confirms this to be true. The veracity of both LUIS and VOLONTER seems strengthened when Christopher Andrew provides a footnote on them pointing to Mitrokhin's archives (Sword and Shield, p.147, f.62). On the other hand, Venona is rock solid - Cohen was VOLONTER. Just to stir the pot, however, Venona has a lone message with unidentified codename LUIS. The message is dated June 1943, when Private Cohen is out of the country, and refers to someone with responsibilities toward Argentina. This LUIS is no doubt the Louis of a Brother-Son Comintern document shown in The Secret World (p.213). In this set, however, we are inclined to proceed on the basis that during the 1940's Morris Cohen did in fact have the two codenames, VOLONTER and LUIS.

Since VOLONTER is factual, the following questions arise: When was VOLONTER assigned to Cohen, what authority assigned it, what were the initial conditions of its assignment? Why was the Anglo/Franco Cyrillic word used instead of the Slavic Cyrillic word, "dobrovolets?" Was VOLONTER a random choice or did it have an association (with Cohen), as was often the case in KGB codenaming. On this possibility one obviously looks at Chikov's assertion that Cohen was "head of a spy ring called the Volunteers." Which in turn would invoke the question, was Cohen VOLONTER before the recruitment of the Volunteers and therefore the predicate of the group name (perhaps due to to the fact that he was a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War), or was it somehow the reverse case? In mulling over these questions we should keep in mind Chikov's chronological context for the Volunteers, they were a 'fait accompli' prior to July 1942.

The Volunteers

To our knowledge, specific mention of the Volunteers per se does not occur in Venona. However, in addition to numerous references to the Volunteer group in Chikov/Kern, other writings exist which give credence to the group's existence and identity. For example, from Tatyana Samolis' SVR history: "the Volunteer group�were able to guarantee the transmittal to the Center of super secret information concerning the development of the American atomic bomb" (Samolis, p.158-9). Christopher Andrew also chimes in, and intriguingly so: "The Volunteer network expanded to include, in addition to MLAD, three other agents: ADEN, SERB and SILVER" (Sword and Shield, p.148). The footnote for this is a citation to Mitrokhin's archives.

More interesting, though, is Andrew's allusion to a connection between Iskhak Akhmerov and the Volunteer group: "[Rudolph Abel] never came close to rivaling the achievements of his wartime predecessor, Ishkak Akhmerov. During eight years as illegal resident, [Abel] appears never to have identified, let alone recruited a single promising potential agent to replace the VOLUNTEER network [which Akhmerov was instrumental in establishing]" (Sword and Shield, p.148). Iskhak Akhmerov was head of the KGB illegal residency in New York from 1942 to 1945. Semyon Semyonov, at Amtorg, reported to him.

The case of SERB deserves a bit of a digression. In the above quote Andrew adds him to the Volunteer group but does not indicate when this happened. We know from Venona that on or before January 1945 SERB mistakenly informed the KGB that VOLONTER/Cohen had been killed in Europe. This action by SERB strongly implies that he knew Morris Cohen, and knew him to the extent that he could appreciate the Soviets' vital interest in Cohen's fate. Since for all practical purposes Cohen was out of circulation after July 1942 (boot camp) and then gone from the United States after January 1943, SERB's acquaintance with Cohen more probably than not pre-dated July 1942. It is reasonable to think, then, that SERB himself (previously RELE - Set I ) was probably an early Volunteer.

All of the forgoing presents an interesting collage: the Volunteer group exists as an espionage entity before mid-1942; an unknown number of members are engaged in atomic spying; Morris Cohen is the head of the Volunteers circa the time he is purportedly approached by atomic physicist 'Arthur Fielding;' the volunteer group gets special status, rating its own clandestine KGB name (Julius Rosenberg managed up to 8 sources but his network doesn't appear to have been named); Soviet agent Morris Cohen has two codenames simultaneously, one of which appertains to the Volunteer group, but whose genesis is unknown. It�s an interesting but incoherent picture. We believe the following comment from Christopher Andrew sheds clarifying light: "Unlike Akhmerov, however, [Abel] did not have the active and enthusiastic assistance of a well-organized American Communist Party (CPUSA) to act as talent-spotters and assistants." (Sword and Shield, p.147)

The Secret Apparatus

In the 1930�s and 1940�s the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) had a covert intelligence arm, identified and named in Comintern archive documents as the Secret Apparatus. The existence of this organization is documented in books from Klehr, Haynes and Firsov to the extent that it cannot be questioned. In the 1940's the two ranking officials in charge of the Secret Apparatus were Rudy Baker and Steve Nelson. As Communist revolutionaries both men traveled to Moscow in the early 1930's to attend the International Lenin School, a two year 'graduate course' in Communism run by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the KGB. Much of what went on at the ILS was secret but it is known that select individuals were culled out for special, in depth training in covert intelligence operations, i.e. 'konspiriatsiya.' Both Baker and Nelson matriculated the "special work" program. Nelson also gained some practical experience: "During his two year stay [at the ILS] Nelson was sent on clandestine missions to Germany, Switzerland, France, India and China" (Venona, p.229).

Rudy Baker assumed the national leadership of the CPUSA' s Secret Apparatus from Joseph Peters in June 1938. At the time Baker was stationed in San Francisco, but by 1939 he had shifted his 'flag' to New York. As Head of the Secret Apparatus he reported directly to Earl Browder, General Secretary of the CPUSA. "Baker had a desk at the New York City offices of the CPUSA's literary-intellectual magazine, New Masses, and publicly carried out several minor Communist party tasks while at the same time directing a large clandestine organization" (Venona, p.68). Rudy Baker's codename was Son. He was a fellow Yugoslav and long time Party mentor to Steve Nelson.

The CPUSA sent Steve Nelson to California in the Spring of 1939. Six months after arriving in Los Angeles, he was transferred to the Bay area, Baker's old stomping grounds. According to plan and under delegation from Earl Browder and Rudy Baker, Steve Nelson quickly assumed leadership of the Secret Apparatus on the West Coast.

In Set B, Spanish Civil War, originally posted to the Bombshell website (Readers' Rendezvous) we wrote that it would be virtually impossible for Steve Nelson not to have been acquainted with Morris Cohen, but that we had no direct evidence for it. In response to our post the Albrights replied with the following comment: "As a green recruit who arrived in Spain in mid-August 1937, it is very doubtful if [Cohen] even met Steve Nelson before Nelson left Spain. But we do know that Cohen knew Nelson at least slightly back in the United States." Although queried further, the Albrights declined to elaborate. Nonetheless, we feel safe in contemplating that the West Coast head of the Secret Apparatus was acquainted with Communist Party revolutionary and Barcelona spy school graduate, Morris Cohen.

The Grand Alliance

Although the existence of the Secret Apparatus cannot be challenged, what remains a matter of public debate is the precise relationship between it and the KGB during the 1930's and 1940's. The picture is coming into sharper focus as documents and information from the Comintern archives, Venona program, FBI files, and now the Mitrokhin archives are being studied and synthesized. Chapter 7 of Sword and Shield is titled The Grand Alliance, referring to the combined efforts of the United States and Great Britain to prosecute the war against Hitler. In this set we appropriate that title for another alliance, the alliance in America between the KGB and the Secret Apparatus. Rather than offer a lengthy, substandard explication of this 'combined arms' relationship, we excerpt pertinent statements from professional writers/historians that circumscribe the case:

"As the senior NKVD officer in the United States [Vasily Zarubin] retained overall control in Washington of the New York and San Francisco residencies, responsibility for liaison with the head of the CPUSA, [Earl] Browder, and with the head of the illegal residency, Akhmerov." (Sword and Shield, p.123)

"Later [1942] in the report Baker stated that 'We are also cooperating very closely with Cooper [Zarubin] which accounts also for his helpful aid in communication with you." (Venona, p.72)

"In the same month (April 1941) the Centre for the first time established separate departments in its major residencies to specialize in scientific and technological intelligence operations (later known as Line X), a certain sign of their increasing priority." (Sword and Shield, p.107)

"The rolls of microfilm forwarded by Akhmerov's illegal residency to the Centre via the legal residency in New York increased almost four-fold in the space of a year. From fifty-nine in 1942 to 211 in 1943." (Sword and Shield, p.111)

"Vasily Zarubin's regular contacts with the CPUSA leader, Earl Browder, plainly convinced him of the reliability of those covert Party members who agreed to provide secret intelligence." (Sword and Shield, p.122)

"Zarubin's recruitment strategy was simple and straight forward. He demanded that the leaders of the Communist Party of the United States identify supporters and sympathizers in government establishments suitable to work as agents." (Sword and Shield, p.108)

"In 1941 Elizabeth Zarubina was a captain in the KGB. After her husband's posting to Washington, she traveled to California frequently to cultivate the Oppenheimer family through social contacts arranged by Kheifets. Kheifets then introduced Elizabeth to Oppenheimer's wife, Katherine, who was sympathetic to the Soviet Union and Communist ideals, and the two worked out a system for future meetings." (Special Tasks, p.190)

"The FBI placed listening devices in Nelson's residence and in October 1942 overheard Giovanni Lomanitz, a young scientist at he Radiation Laboratory, tell Nelson he was working on a highly secret weapon, a reference to the atomic bomb project. Nelson indicated prior knowledge of the project and advised Lomanitz, a Comminist, to be discrete and to consider himself a undercover member of the Party." (Venona, p.325)

"In April 1943 Steve Nelson, the West coast head of the CPUSA secret apparatus, received a visitor named Cooper. The FBI which had bugged Nelson house, recognized Cooper as Vasily [Zarubin], nominally a Soviet diplomat. He was the chief of KGB operations in the United States." (Venona, p.73)

"Nelson and [Zarubin] using guarded language, discussed espionage and how Nelson's west coast underground which they referred to as the apparat, could assist Soviet intelligence." (Venona, p.73)

"One part of Nelson's task was to gather information on the atomic bomb project. He was seen and overheard meeting with young Communist scientists working at the radiation lab at Berkeley." (Venona, p.230)

"Don't be na�ve, Browder told Bentley the next day. You know that when the cards are down, I have to take my orders from [the KGB]." (Sword and Shield, p.129)

"In effect, Nelson offered a "Comintern apparatus" then functioning on both the East and West coasts, through Kheifets, to his superior [Vasily Zarubin], the man whom we believed to be the KGB resident for the United States." (FBI-KGB War, p.143)


When Steve Nelson arrived in the Bay area in 1939 he didn't waste any time getting his spade into the University of California at Berkeley's fertile recruiting ground: "Soon after arriving on the coast, I made the acquaintance of a very amazing man, J. Robert Oppenheimer. I had gone up to Berkeley to speak about Spain and help raise funds for Spanish refugees�.Not long after that Oppenheimer invited me to his home to get together with some of his friends from the academic community who wanted to meet some one who had been in Spain. After we moved to Frisco and Oakland, I also saw Robert at Berkeley now and then because I was responsible for working with people from the university, getting them to conduct classes and discussions. A number of Oppenheimer's graduate students in the field of physics were quite active" (Steve Nelson, p. 268). Individuals at Berkeley who came under Nelson's sway included Robert Oppenheimer, Robert Serber, Philip Morrison, Joseph Weinberg, David Bohm, Eldred Nelson, Stanley Frankel, Giovanni Lomanitz, Leonard Schiff, etc.

In 1940 Steve Nelson tried his hand at writing while underground for several months: "In January 1940 Margaret and I went "on the shelf," as we called going underground. We were part of a group of about twenty Party members in the California organization who dropped out of public activities and left town��When I told the cottage owner I was a writer, I wasn't just creating a cover�.I had been wanting to tell what Spain had been like�..I stayed with them for a week and between the two of us, we knocked out a draft�..I called it "The Volunteers" (Steve Nelson, p.252).


The Volunteer network was not just a random group of agents brilliantly sourced and developed by VOLONTER/Cohen. They were in fact, especially with regard to atomic espionage, virtually off the shelf assets provided by the servile CPUSA to the KGB.

Steve Nelson was the right guy, at the right place, at the right time - intelligence trained, Berkeley campus, 1942-43. In a stroke of amazing good fortune (proving the maxim, better to be lucky than good) he was able to jump start the KGB's espionage effort against the Manhattan Project. In recruiting the Volunteers for espionage work he simply leveraged their support and grief over the Spanish Civil War crusade against fascism. He wouldn't hesitate to play to their latent sense of 'guilt' over being 'armchair' Loyalist fighters by reminding them that against Germany they now had a chance, nay a responsibility, to be front line combatants. If that fell a little short there was always the tried and true, 'Help Russia, the enemy of your enemy' gambit. You do not have to be a nuclear physicist to divine the name he would dub his special cell of communists.

Before leaving for Spain Morris Cohen had been involved in a number of Communist Party organizing activities. He was an apostle early on. In Spain he indicated on a personal history questionnaire that he intended to continue his activism upon return to the States or go wherever there was another peoples' war against fascism. In 1940 and 41 Rudy Baker, Head of the Secret Apparatus, was taking control and organizing the communist underground in New York. After his return to New York Cohen made the acquaintance of Steve Nelson. There is every reason to conclude that Morris Cohen quickly established himself in the underground Party milieu that coalesced into the Secret Apparatus. During this same time period (1941) the Centre was establishing a separate intelligence line in its residencies to specialize in science and technology (S&T;). Rudy Baker in New York and Steve Nelson in California were ready, willing and able to prime that line. A critical requirement existed for an operational link between the two covert organizations, a controller/courier for the S&T; sources being identified. The individual chosen had to be a very reliable, committed American communist with no public profile; for both security and other operational considerations neither a legal nor illegal Russian would be acceptable. According to Chikov, sometime after July 1941 Cohen was activated by the Soviets: "After Ovakimyan's departure [July 1941] but before Zarubin's arrival [December 1941], the New York intelligence station sent a coded telegram to the Center addressed to Fitin. It concerned someone named 'Altman'�.Contact with Altman established. His code name is LUIS�.[signed] LUKA." Thus Cohen, from the Secret Apparatus, was vetted and selected as the "contact man" for S&T; recruits being proffered to the KGB. His 'joint,' inter-apparatus codename would be Volunteer; adhering to 'need to know' procedure, 'LUIS' was internal KGB use only, not to be used or known to the Secret Apparatus. The pipeline for leads and coordination of West Coast Volunteers who traveled to Chicago or the East Coast for academic or war employment ran from Nelson to Baker to Akhmerov to Semyonov to Volunteer.

The idea thus proposed is that Morris Cohen wore two hats - he had 'portfolio' both as Secret Apparatus agent VOLUNTEER as well as KGB agent LUIS. Under this scheme the anomalies surrounding codename VOLONTER are understood. Why two codenames? Cohen was a cog in two different spy organizations. Why was he codenamed Volunteer? Cohen was to be the controller/courier/terminus for special sources characterized by Steve Nelson as the Volunteers and it was consistent with his own background as a Spanish Civil War veteran. Why was the western Cyrillic word used instead of the slavic? The American codename was a priori, so the Soviets adopted the closest translation in the Russian dictionary.

And what of the captain of the varsity, Team Volunteer - J. Robert Oppenheimer? Did Oppenheimer aid and abet the KGB in their efforts to acquire Manhattan Project secrets? We see two schools of thought: common sense buttressed by the "unwanted witness" of General Sudoplatov, or naivet� of 'the Rosenbergs were innocent' variety. We will go with Haakon Chevalier's revelation about Oppenheimer's Stalinist drinking toast to the Volunteers: "To the confusion of our enemies!" (Story, p.22) But was he Fielding?


An increasing number of American analysts and historians who are examining Soviet espionage in the 1940's are making the case that the CPUSA developed its own espionage apparatus and pledged it to KGB intelligence requirements. The latest authors of such conviction are Herbert Romerstein and Eric Breindel who write as follows in their recent book The Venona Secrets: "For a long time it has been an article of faith among apologists of the Left that Communist Party members were loyal citizens merely engaged in dissent and only bent on reform of the American system. Venona proves the opposite - their loyalty was to the Soviet Union, and many of the Party's leadership and some of the hard-core membership served as spies in the Soviet cause. Venona and other recently available materials help explain why American Communists betrayed their democratic country to a totalitarian dictatorship." We advance Set V, The Volunteers, as a particular instance of this thesis from Romerstein and Breindel.


Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Ameicains: Dossier KGB No. 13676, Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern, 1996
The Secret World of American Communism, Harvey Klehr, John Earl Haynes, Fridrikh Igorevich Firsov, 1995
Venona, Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, 1999
The Sword and The Shield, The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, 1999
Steve Nelson, American Radical, Steve Nelson, James R. Barrett and Rob Ruck,
The FBI- KGB War, Rogert J. Lamphere and Tom Shachtman, 1995
Special Tasks, Pavel and Anatoli Sudoplatov with Jerrold L. and Leona P. Schecter, 1995
Oppenheimer, The Story of a Friendship, Haakon Chevalier, 1965
Veterany Vneshnei Razvedki Rossii, T. V. Samolis, Editor, SVR Press, 1995
The Venona Secrets, Herbert Romerstein and Eric Breindel, 2000

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:43 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set U - Fuchs Reexamined

O-12/3/03; R-01/30/04


Background -- Emil Julius Klaus Fuchs

     Early History
     Espionage Period

          New York
          Los Alamos

     Late History
Discussion -- Unanswered Questions
     "K", MOOR, KELLY
     "K" was Klaus Fuchs
     Birmingham Revisited
     Fuchs and Oppenheimer
     Two Confessions
     Fuchs and GURON
     Britain, 1946-1947
     Fuchs and Perseus
     SOVME Unit
     Smoking Gun



"Why did Fuchs confess? The question remains unanswered in the greatest atomic spy case." --Alexander Feklisov, The Man Behind the Rosenbergs, with Sergei Kostin (2001)

"Klaus Fuchs made the greatest single contribution to Moscow's ability to build an atom bomb." --Marcus Wolf, Man Without a Face (1997)

" 'When I have helped the Russians take over everything,' as he put it, he would tell [Stalin] what was wrong with the Soviet system." --Klaus Fuchs to Rudolf Peierls, Brixton Prison, 4 February 1950; Norman Moss, Klaus Fuchs, A Biography (1987)


In Summer 1947 Alexander Feklisov was sent to England to be the control officer for Klaus Fuchs. Fuchs had returned from Los Alamos and was employed at Harwell, seat of Britain's atomic research program. From the summer of 1947 to the summer of 1949 operations with Fuchs were trouble free and extremely productive. Then, without a smitch of warning, Felisov's agent crashed, completely and forever. Usually when things go south in the spy business, there are events, information, signs or nuances that presage a reversal of fortune--even if only recognized in restrospect. Mr. Feklisov describes no such warning signals. Thus, Fuchs' exit was ultra unusual.

For Mr. Feklisov, now a retired intelligence officer and owner of his nation's highest service medal, it was and is a very unsatisfactory state of affairs. His personal and professional discontent are palpable in the ten or so chapters he devotes to Fuchs in his book, The Man Behind the Rosenbergs. It is obvious that he gained a deep sense of respect, gratitude and personal liking for Fuchs. Equally important, he fully understands the contribution made by Fuchs to the security of the USSR, a contribution attested to by Marcus Wolfe, Head of GDR Foreign Intelligence for 34 years. To wit: No Fuchs, no Joe-1 on 28 August 1949. More probably than not, no Joe-1 for several years.

Feklisov begins Chapter 27 in Man Behind with the bellwether question, Why did Fuchs confess? Unfortunately his effort to answer this question is more rationalization than factual development. He fashions two principal explanations. The first is that he believes Fuchs lost faith in communist ideology and Stalinism. (There is credible evidence that this was not the case; and nor was it a crisis of conscience over friends.) The second is his belief that it was Harry Gold who betrayed Fuchs, not vice versa; thus, when presented with such evidence of Gold's betrayal, Fuchs capitulated to MI5's William James Skardon. Prior to declassification of Venona such a theory re Gold might be debatable. But not afterward. Decrypts of Soviet cables (No. 195 of 9 February 1944, et. al.) brought Fuchs down. Notwithstanding these matters, we contend that Fuchs' confession per se is not the principal question, nor the most intriguing.

Subsumed in Chapter 27 are other questions that go to the heart of what is giving Mr. Feklisov no peace:
1. Why was he (Feklisov) never involved in Fuchs' debrief when Fuchs retuned to East Germany in 1959? Nor given the opportunity even to see him?
2. Why didn't the Soviet government give appropriate recognition or acknowledgement to Fuchs for his unquestioned espionage accomplishments over an 8 year period?
3. Why did Klaus Fuchs not make his 2 July 1949 meeting with Feklisov at The Spotted Horse pub? Or the backup meeting on 6 August, or the backup on 3 September, or the backup on 1 October, etc? Feklisov was there.

Clearly in Man Behind the Rosenbergs Mr. Feklisov is unsure of the answers to these questions. However there is one point on which he has absolute certitude. He believes that if there is one person (alive or dead) who should know the full story of Klaus Fuchs, it is himself. But after Fuchs' death in 1988, he has had to finally accept that there are secrets about Fuchs that he has been left out in the cold on. Clearly, he finds that unbelievable and unacceptable. He is right. We were wrong in originally suggesting that it was personal, inherent KGB paranoia that prevented him from accepting the truth.

There are literally hundreds of books that discuss or mention the espionage of Klaus Fuchs. Many contribute interesting, valuable insights. However there are only a handful that are comprehensive and move historical knowledge forward. The authors are Pincher (1984), Moss (1987), Williams (1987), West & Tsarev (1999), and Feklisov (2002). We are tempted to add Ruth Werner's Sonya's Report (1977), but she submitted her book to the Centre for publishing approval, and her account of Fuchs is suspiciously lean. At present, then, the state of play for the last word on Fuchs is West and Feklisov. Their treatments are different enough--factually and interpretively--as to emphasize the unsettled, unquiet state of the Fuchs case.


Emil Julius Klaus Fuchs -- Early History

Klaus Fuchs was born on 29 December 1911 in the village of Russelsheim, Germany. His father, Emil Fuchs, was a clergyman in the Lutheran Church. A socialist for most of his life, Emil joined the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in 1912. Klaus was the third of four children. All of the Fuchs children grew up to share their fathers' social concerns and left wing politics. When Klaus was still young, the family moved from Russelsheim to Eisenach, a picturesque town in what later became East Germany. They were known to some in Eisenach as "the red foxes" -- 'red' for their political orientation, and 'fuchs' being the German word for fox. After Gymnasium in Eisenach (1928), Fuchs went on to study mathematics and physics at the University of Leipzig. At Leipzig Fuchs joined the student branch of the Social Democratic Party. In 1931 (after their mother committed suicide), the Fuchs family moved to the rainy Baltic seaport of Kiel. Klaus entered Kiel University and joined a student political organization made up of both SPD and Communist Party members. In 1932 Fuchs broke with the SPD over the party's support of von Hindenberg in the presidential election; Fuchs supported the Communist Party candidate Ernst Thaelmann. Von Hindenberg won the election and the SPD expelled Fuchs. Fuchs subsequently joined the Communist Party of Germany (KPD); his brother and sisters also joined the same year.

The Nazis blamed the Communists for the Reichstag fire on 27 February 1933, and party members had to go underground. Klaus hid out in Berlin for five months before going to Paris in August 1933. He had a cousin who worked as an au pair for a wealthy couple in England, Ronald and Jessie Gunn. Klaus wrote his cousin about his circumstances. She shared the information with the Gunns, and they invited Fuchs to come to England and stay with them. Crossing the channel by steamer, Fuchs arrived in Britain on 24 September 1933. The Gunn family lived in Somerset near Bristol. Bristol University had an excellent physics department that was headed by Professor Nevill Mott. Mott had studied at Gottingen University in Germany and spoke fluent German. The Gunns recommended Fuchs to Mott for a position, and Mott took him on as a research assistant in his department.

After a period, Fuchs made contact with Jurgen Kuczynski, a leader of the German Communist Party, who had fled Nazi Germany and was in Britain organizing German communist refugees. In 1936 Fuchs' yournger sister, Kristel, emigrated to the U.S. to attend Swarthmore College. Fuchs earned his PhD at Bristol Universtiy in 1937. Subsequently, Nevill Mott contacted Max Born at Edinburgh University regarding possible employment for Fuchs. Born was able to hire Fuchs for a research post at Edinburgh. In August 1939 Fuchs applied for British citizenship, but the following month war broke out with Germany. Fuchs, still being a German national, became an enemy alien. In late June 1940 he was taken to an internment camp on the Isle of Man. After several weeks, he and others were put on a liner in Liverpool and sent to Canada for internment. Fuchs was interned at an Army camp in Sherbrooke outside Quebec City. While at Sherbrooke Fuchs corresponded with his sister Kristel in Massachusetts. Kristel discussed her brother with Wendell Furry, a communist acquaintance. Furry told Kristel that he had a brother-in-law in Canada whom he would ask to contact Klaus and offer support. The brother-in-law's name was Israel Halperin. He was a math professor at Queen's University in Ontario and a member of the Canadian Communist Party. Halperin sent Fuchs some magazines, but the two never met. Meanwhile, in Edinburgh Max Born had been pressing for Fuchs' release from internment. Fuchs was sent back to Edinburgh in late December 1940.

In the Spring of 1941 Fuchs received a letter from Rudolf Peierls, Professor of Mathematical Physics at Birmingham Uninvesrstiy. Peierls, a few yeras older than Klaus, was a German emigre who had become a British citizen. Since 1939, Rudolf Peierls and Otto Frisch had been working at Birmingham on the phenomena and theory of nuclear fission in uranium. They submitted a memorandum to the government which outlined the possibility of a bomb based on the fission characteristics of the uranium isotope u-235. This memo resulted in the creation of the Maud Committee in April 1940. Its purpose was to direct and organize further research into the potential war time applications of atomic fission. At Birmingham, Peierls' research program was expanding and he needed an assistant. He had met Fuchs a number of times, and was acquainted with his physics papers and mathematical skills. Peierls asked the Ministry of Aircraft Production if he could hire Fuchs. The Ministry asked MI5 for a background check on Fuchs. MI5 reported that there were two file items suggesting that Fuchs was a Communist. The Ministry of Aircraft Production did not attach great significance to this information and authorized Peierls to hire Fuchs. Fuchs found the offer attractive and accepted it. He had not theretofore been involved in atomic work. In May 1941 Klaus Fuchs travelled to Birmingham University and joined Peierls in the research of u-235. (All of the above from KF-AB, p.1-32)

Emil Julius Klaus Fuchs -- Espionage Period

- Birmingham

In the middle of 1941 Fuchs went to London and contacted Jurgen Kuczynski. He told Kuczynski that he had information that would be of value to the Soviet Union. Kuczynski was an agent of the GRU and he arranged a meeting between Fuchs and Simon Davidovitch Kremer, codename "BARCh," later "Alexander." (Sudoplatov gives a slightly different version: Kuczynski, aware of Fuchs' top secret work, informed Soviet Ambassador Ivan Maisky. Maisky directed Kremer to recruit him. Apparently, Kremer and Fuchs were already acquainted; Fuchs knew Kremer as "Alexander." ST, p.193) Nominally, Kremer was Secretary to the Military Attache of the embassy; in reality he was GRU rezident in London (ADIW, p.271).

Venona message No. 2227 dated 10 August 1941 records an event relating to Kremer and Fuchs. As the NSA analyst noted it was either a meeting between Kremer and "Doctor Fuchs" or between Kremer and an acquaintance of Fuchs, but further "collateral" would be required to determine which. That collateral is undoubtedly provided by Weinstein and Vassiliev in an excerpt from a KGB file. In 1943 the GRU informed the KGB that: "Klaus Fuchs has been our source since August 1941, when he was recruited through the recommendation of Urgen Kuchinsky." (THW, p.185) Over the next 7 or 8 months Fuchs met Kremer several times and gave him written reports on the work in nuclear fission and uranium diffusion he was doing with Peierls. In 1942 Fuchs was passed to Ursula Kuczynski, codename "Sonya." Sonya was Jurgen's younger sister, and she lived in Oxford almost halfway between London and Birmingham. In point of fact, Sonya was an officer of the GRU, highly experienced and trained, and in England as an illegal. This change of contact worked on a number of levels. A primary one was that it eliminated the risk of having Fuchs meet a person attached to the Soviet Embassy, clear surveillance targets for British intelligence (in this case a VIP, Kremer). During this period questions from Soviet scientists were passed back to Fuchs. One question, which surprised Fuchs because he had no knowledge of the subject, was about the electromagnetic method of separating u-235. In 1942 Fuchs applied again for British citizenship. He was sponsored by Nevill Mott. His application was granted and he took an oath to the Crown on 7 August 1942.

In Quebec in August 1943 Roosevelt and Churchill signed an agreement to jointly pursue the development of the atomic bomb. It was subsequently arranged for a large group of British scientists to come to America to join the effort. The group became known as the British Mission. Peierls was made deputy head of the Mission and he asked Fuchs, his assistant, to go with him. Fuchs informed his Soviet contact about the move to New York. When they next met Sonya briefed Fuchs on arrangements for contacting a new courier, covername Raymond, in New York. (Raymond was Harry Gold.) For the trip to America, Fuchs had to apply for a non-immigrant visa. His application was dated 22 November 1943; the application reflected that he was attached to Britain's Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), successor to the Ministry of Aircraft Production in responsibility for Tube Alloys.

- New York

Peierls, Fuchs, Otto Frisch and other British scientists arrived in Newport News, Virginia on 3 December 1943. Either before arrival or shortly afterward it was decided that Fuchs should go to New York to join a team working at Columbia University on u-235 separation. Fuchs proceeded to New York where he stayed in number of hotels before renting an apartment at 128 West 77th Street. Later in December Fuchs went up to Cambridge for Christmas and was reunited with his sister. In New York the Tube Alloys team came under the aegis of the British Ministry of Supply, and they worked in offices near Wall Street. By this time the diffusion effort had moved from just theory to construction of a separation plant in Oak Ridge, TN. The prime contractor was Kellex Corp, a subsidiary of the Kellog Construction Company. Fuchs and other Britons working on diffusion were officially listed as consultants to Kellex Corp. On Saturday, 5 February 1944, Fuchs made his first meeting with Raymond in New York. A few months later, in anticipation of Fuchs' continued work in America a Tube Alloys official asked MI5 for an updated backgrounder on Fuchs. MI5 reported that Fuchs had not been active politically in Britain and there were no concerns.

During the period February to July 1944 Fuchs met with Gold as many as six or seven times at various locations around New York City. The regular schedule for the meetings was the first Saturday of every month. In July 1944 (the first Saturday was on 1 July) Fuchs told Gold that Niels Bohr had joined the Manhattan Project and that he himself might be transferred to someplace in the southwestern United States later in the year or early in 1945. In case they lost contact, he gave Gold his sister's address in Boston with instructions to leave a message with her. Niels Bohr and his son Aage, travelling as Nicholas and James Baker, arrived at Los Alamos as 'permanent residents' on 17 July 1944. (Theretofore, they had made visits to Y in January and March and were considered part of the British Mission.)

Their next scheduled meeting was Saturday, 5 August 1944. Fuchs did not show up. It was the first meeting Fuchs had missed, and he was a no show also at the alternate rendezvous place and time (which we believe was either the very next day, Sunday, or the next Saturday, 12 August). Gold reported these missed meetings to Anatoli Yatskov, his controller. Yatskov was able to learn Fuchs' address and he gave it to Gold with instructions to go to Fuchs' apartment. Gold learned from the janitor, or a woman that may have been his wife, that Fuchs had vacated the premises and gone "somewhere on a boat." Sometime in late July Fuchs was transferred to Los Alamos. The official date of his transfer was reported to the FBI as 14 August 1944 (Monday). In November 1944 Gold traveled to Boston and went to Kristel Heineman's residence. He met Kristel and gave her an envelope containing contact instructions to be given to Klaus. Gold learned from Kristel that Klaus had been transferred to somewhere in the southwest part of the United States but that she expected him to visit Cambridge over the upcoming Christmas holidays.

- Los Alamos

The record indicates that Klaus Fuchs arrived at Los Alamos on Monday, 14 August 1944. It is not precisely known when he left New York, his itinerary or mode of transportation. There is information to suggest, however, that he visited his sister in Cambridge a week or two prior to reporting to Los Alamos. On arrival at Los Alamos, Fuchs was assigned to the Theoretical (T) Division under Han Bethe and Rudolf Peierls. In addition to his work in the T Division, Fuchs was made the liaison person between T Division and the Explosives (X) Group headed by George Kistiakowsky. In October 1944, two months after arriving at Los Alamos, Fuchs began attending Oppenheimer's weekly "Colloquium." This was a regularly scheduled event in which the Division leaders and Group heads gave reports and discussed their work with 50 or so other senior staff.

Fuch's first contact with Gold after he entered Los Alamos was in February 1945 at the Heineman home in Cambridge. He had not been able to leave Los Alamos during Christmas as he had hoped, but was able to do so in February. Fuchs FBI file shows that he departed Los Alamos on Sunday, 11 February, and returned on Sunday, 25 February. Arriving at Kristel's on Monday or Tuesday he received the envelope with contact instructions that had been left by Gold the previous November. He called a phone number as instructed and gave the message that he was in Cambridge "for so many days" (TMBTR, p.201). In his confession to the FBI Gold related the following about this event: Early in the morning on a weekday he got a call from his controller, Anatoli Yatskov. Yatskov, in fact, was in Philadelphia and wanted to see Gold immediately. Gold remembered this as occurring on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Yatskov wanted Gold to travel to Cambridge as soon as possible. Gold remembered that he got there on a Friday, which was the 15th. Fuchs told Gold that he was working at a location called Los Alamos near Santa Fe, New Mexico, and gave Gold a report of about 8 pages which included information on the plutonium bomb and the implosion design (Fat Man). At this meeting Fuchs told Gold that he would be unable to leave Los Alamos for a year or more and arranged with Gold to meet in Santa Fe. Fuchs showed Gold a map of Santa Fe and identified the Castillo Street Bridge over the Alameda River as their rendezvous point. The date of the rendezvous was to be the first Saturday in June, at 4:00 p.m. Gold offered Fuchs an envelope containing $1500. but Fuchs refused it. Gold returned immediately to New York, Saturday the 16th, and turned over the materials to Yatskov. (More at Fuchs and GURON)

On Saturday, 3 June, Fuchs and Gold made their meet in Santa Fe (Fuchs told Perrin it was the end of June). As planned they met at the Castillo Street Bridge on the outskirts of town. Fuchs gave Gold considerable information on the design of the plutonium bomb, e.g. the mass of its core, its polonium initiators, the tamper material and design, and the lens design and explosive material. He also informed Gold of the projected date and time of the first test of an atom bomb (Fat Man), referred to as Trinity. On Sunday, 4 June, Fuchs attended a full meeting of the Los Alamos Coordinating Council called by Oppenheimer to make final decisions on the Trinity test. Fuchs was present at Trinity on 16 July, 1945.

At the early June meeting Fuchs and Gold scheduled their next contact to occur after Trinity. Gold said they met on 19 September, a Wednesday. In his confession to Perrin, Fuchs was uncertain (or evasive) about the dates of meetings after June. For the September rendezvous Gold flew from Chicago to Albuquerque. He said he met Fuchs on the outskirts of Santa Fe near a large church and they drove in Fuchs' car up into the mountains overlooking Santa Fe. Gold mentioned that for the first time (in over 10 meetings) Fuchs was late for the contact. Fuchs did not bring project documents but wrote out his own report just prior to the meet. At this meeting Fuchs told Gold that there was no longer a complete interchange of information between the Americans and British at Los Alamos, and said that "certain sections of the project at Los Alamos, which had been freely opened to him now were barred." He also told Gold that he had been notified by a British Intelligence man that the Service was trying to contact his father in Kiel Germany (or repatriate him from Switzerland to Kiel in the British Zone of occupied Germany--Gold was unsure which). (KF-AS, p.216) Fuchs also said that the British Intelligence man suggested that it might be possible to bring Emil Fuchs to England. Fuchs told Gold that this contact between British Intelligence and his father concerned him in as much as his father might reveal his Communist Party past. (He needn't have worried. They knew.)

According to Gold it was also in the September meeting that he and Fuchs, anticipating his possible return to England by year's end, worked out a plan for contacting Soviet intelligence in England. The arrangements were specific and detailed: Gold was to stay in contact with Kristel to learn when Fuchs returned to England. A month after his return Fuchs was to go to the [Mornington] Crescent tube station in London at eight p.m. on the first Saturday of the month. His Soviet contact would have five books bound by string in one hand and a copy of a Bennett Cerf book in the other hand. (KF-AS, p.217) In his confession Gold stated that, although he made "one or two" attempts to see Fuchs at his sister's home after September, the 19 September 1945 meeting in Santa Fe was the last time he saw or heard from Klaus Fuchs. Gold made this assertion to the FBI in more than one interview.

On 20 November 1945 Fuchs traveled to Montreal, Canada, to meet John Cockroft and discuss a position back in England in the Atomic Energy Research Establishment then being proposed. Later in December he took a vacation to Mexico with the Peierls. Chadwick had planned for Fuchs to return to England in February, 1946, but Norris Bradbury (Oppenheimer's successor) requested that Fuchs' services be extended until after the Bikini Island atomic tests scheduled for later in the spring. Fuchs finally left Los Alamos on 14 June. He went to Washington DC and met with Chadwick and then visited Hans Bethe at Cornell. He was at his sister's home in Cambridge when he received a cable from Cockcroft offering him the position of head of the Theoretical Physics Division at Harwell, the new site of Britain's atomic research program. Fuchs accepted and Cockcroft asked him to attend a meeting of the Steering Committee on 1 July. Fuchs went to Montreal and returned to England on an RAF transport plane on 27 June 1946.

- Harwell

Most of the historical record on the espionage of Klaus Fuchs is drawn from his and Harry Gold's confessions in 1950. Fuchs' principal biographers, Moss and Williams, each give an account adding ancillary details, context and psychological analysis. Notwithstanding that their narratives are consistent with the confessions and each other, it is probalby best to read the verbatim confessions themselves. They are reprinted at Appendices A, B and C in Klaus Fuchs, Atom Spy by Williams. With respect to the chronology of events starting with James Skardon's first interview of Fuchs and ending with Fuchs' trial, we found the Moss history the most detailed and authoritative.


28 June Fuchs arrived back in England on RAF plane from Canada

July Harwell Security Officer Henry Arnold requests Securtiy check on Fuchs from MI5 (Williams, p.97)

1 August Fuchs took up his post as Head, Theoretical Physics Division and Deputy Chief Scientific Officer at The Atomic Energy Reseach Establishment, Harwell, England (Moss, p.93)

August Fuchs travelled to Germany and was reunited with his father. "Klaus arrived wearing a British army uniform, saying that he was on his way to see the German nuclear physicist Otto Hahn." (Williams, p.103)

December Five month security background check on Fuchs completed by MI5. MI5's Roger Hollis and Michael Perrin cleared Fuchs. (Williams, p.97)

25 December Fuchs visited his brother Gerhard in Switzerland. Gerhard was still a Communist. (Feklisov, p.225)


February-March-April Fuchs contacted Johanna Klopstech, a member of the KPD in England (well known to MI5 as a communist). "According to Fuchs, Klopstech put him in touch with the agent who served as his last contact in England." (Williams, p.100; p.234, n.21)

May Fuchs visited his father in Germany (Williams, p.103)

June Fuchs visted his father again in Germany, saying that he was "on a scientific errand that was fixed for certain days." (Williams, p.103)

27 September (Saturday, 8:00 pm) First rendezvous with KGB Officer Alexander Feklisov at the Nags Head Pub near the Green Wood underground station in London. (Feklisov, p.208)

September-November Emil Fuchs visited Klaus in England

November MI5 vetted Fuchs again for a permannent civil service appointment requested by the Ministry of Supply. Fuchs was cleared. (Williams, p.97)

November Fuchs went to Washington, DC for a declassification conference (Donald Maclean, First Secretary at British Embassy also participated). Conference lasted three days. Afterwards Fuchs visited Cornell, Rochester, Schenectady and the Argonne Lab in Chicago. (Moss, p.110)

December Emil Fuchs visited Klaus in England over the Christmas holidays. (Moss, p.110)


September At the second declassification conference Oppenheimer visted Harwell and had dinner with Fuchs. (Moss, p.112; Williams, p.98)


5 February (Saturday) Scheduled meeting between Feklisov and Fuchs. Feklisov "vividly" remembered. Fuchs told Feklisov: "I'd like to help the Soviet Union until it is able to test its atomic bomb. Then I want to go home to East Germany where I have friends. There I can get married and work in peace and quiet. That's my dream." (Feklisov, p.223-26)

2 April (Saturday) Feklisov's last meeting with Fuchs. (Feklisov, p.226)

June FBI began atomic espionage investigation into identity of REST, a member of the British Mission. The investigation was predicated on Bureau Source 5 information (Venona).

2 or 9 July (Saturday) Scheduled contact: "Fuchs did not show up at our next scheduled meeting in July." The meet was to occur at the Spotted Horse Pub, near the Kew Gardens underground station. (Feklisov, p.241)

July Emil Fuchs returned from extended visit to U.S. Spent a month with Klaus in England. "'My friends call me to the East,' he told Klaus." (Williams, p.104)

August MI5 and Michael Perrin analyze Venona message (No.195, 09024) uncovering Fuchs. Fuchs placed under surveillance, phone tap and mail cover. Henry Arnold, Harwell Security Officer, informed. (Moss, p.129-30)

23 September White House and 10 Downing announce to public atomic explosion in USSR

7 October The DWK Party formed a provisional government and proclaimed establishment of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany).

12 October Fuchs met with Henry Arnold to inform him that his father had accepted the post of Professor of Theology at the University of Leipzig and would be moving to East Germany, thus possibly compromising his position at Harwell. (Williams, p.1-2)

15 October Fuchs knew his father had moved to Leipzig in the GDR. (Williams, p.104)

October Gerhard Fuchs returned to East Germany from Switzerland.

29 October MI5 advised the FBI that they fully concurred that Fuchs was Soviet agent REST.

21 December (Wednesday) MI5 Officer James Skardon interviewed Fuchs at Harwell. After discussing Emil Fuchs' move to the GDR, Skardon asked Fuchs: Were you not in touch with a Soviet official or a Soviet representative while you were in New York? Fuchs denied. Skardon took no notes during the meeting. (Moss, p.134)

30 December (Friday) Skardon interviewed Fuchs at Harwell. He told Fuchs he knew he had given information to the Russians in NY. Fuchs denied it. (Moss, p.135)


10 January John Cockcroft told Fuchs that it would be best if he resigned from Harwell, but offered to keep him on as a consultant. (Williams, p.123)

13 January (Friday) Skardon interviewed Fuchs at Harwell. Told Fuchs that "It was either you or your twin brother" who gave secrets to the Russians in NY. Fuchs denied. (Moss, p.136)

23 January (Monday) Fuchs and Arnold had lunch at a pub near Harwell. Fuchs told Arnold that he had something else to tell Skardon and he would like to see Skardon again. Arnold asked Fuchs if he had passed information to a foreign agent. Fuchs admitted he had. Arnold called Skardon. (Moss, p.138)

24 January (Tuesday) Skardon came to Fuchs' house at Harwell. They went to lunch at the Crown and Thistle hotel in Abingdon. They returned to Fuchs' house and Fuchs told Skardon he had decided to confess, saying "What do you want to know?" Skardon asked: When did it start and how long has it been going on? Fuchs said: I started in 1942 and had my last meeting last year [1949]. Fuchs and Skardon agreed to meet again on Thursday at Harwell. (Moss, p.138-9)

26 January (Thursday) Skardon returned to Harwell and met with Fuchs. Skardon told Fuchs that he had to make a written confession. Fuchs could write it himself, dictate it to a secretary or dictate it to him. They arranged that Fuchs would come to London the next day to make a formal confession. (Moss, p.141)

27 January (Friday) Fuchs took train to London. Skardon met him at Paddington Station and drove him to the War Office. Fuchs dictated his confession to Skardon. Fuchs did not go into the details (places, dates, names, etc.) of his contacts or the specifics of the information he gave to the Soviets. Fuchs read his statement as written by Skardon and signed it. Skardon and Fuchs agreed that Fuchs would give the classified version of his confession to Michael Perrin. (Moss, p.141)

30 January (Monday) Fuchs travelled to London. Skardon drove him to the War Office where Perrin was waiting. Fuchs dictated a second confession to Perrin who took it down in long hand. (Moss, p.143)

31 January The British advised the FBI that Fuchs had signed a confession admitting continuous espionage from the end of 1941 to February, 1949.

2 February (Thursday) Perrin telephoned Fuchs at Harwell and asked him to come to his office in the Shell-Mex House in London. Commander Leonard Burt, head of Scotland Yard's Special Branch, was a surprise guest and arrested Fuchs. Fuchs spent the night in a cell at the Bow Street Police Station. (Moss, p.146)

3 February (Friday) Fuchs arraigned before a London magistrate. Burt testified that he had arrested Fuchs the day before and stated the charges. Fuchs was remanded to Brixton Prison for a week. The afternoon London paper carried the headline, "Atom Scientist Arrested." (Moss, p.147)

10 February (Friday) Fuchs appeared in court again for decision on whether the case would go to trial. The government prosecutor called Arnold, Skardon and Perrin as witnesses. At the end of the hearing the magistrate announced that Fuchs would stand trial at the Central Court, the Old Bailey, on 28 February. (Moss, p.154)

1 March (Wednesday) Fuchs Trial at the Old Bailey. The trial lasted an hour and a half. Fuchs convicted of violating Official Secrets Act and given max sentence,14 years in prison.

Emil Julius Klaus Fuchs -- Late History
Under construction

Discussion - The Unanswered

"K", MOOR, and KELLY

Chapter X, Atom Secrets, of the West-Tsarev book starts off with an excellent summary of the early Soviet effort to acquire atomic intelligence. Initially directed toward Germany, attention quickly focused on Britain and America. In September and October 1941 the Center learned of research by both countries into the atom bomb. The source of this pivotal information was John Cairncross, a KGB agent, who gave official British government documents to Anatoli Gorsky, KGB resident in London. These documents, which included the findings of the seminal MAUD Report, were analyzed and abstracted to Russian by Vladimir B. Barkovsky, the KGB Science and Technology officer in England. They were then forwarded to the Foreign Intelligence Department (KGB First Directorate) in Moscow. After analysis by the S&T and Operations sections of the First Directorate a summary report was sent to General Pavel M. Fitin, head of Foreign Intelligence. Fitin, in turn, forwarded the product to Lavrenti Beria, KGB Chairman. Beria left open the possibility that the London material was disinformation. But his skepticism was checked in February 1942 when the GRU provided information that the Germans were pursuing military applications of atomic science. Beria then made a full report to Stalin (March 10). Fundamental decisions followed. These resulted in organizational and operational changes dedicated solely to gathering atomic intelligence. The program was assigned the cover name ENORMOZ. An important development was the ascendancy of the KGB over the GRU as the central authority over Enormoz assets and operations, both at the Center and at residencies abroad. A more crucial development was Beria's decision to establish an ad hoc, top secret atomic line reporting directly to him. Through the primary use of illegals, the purpose was to add redundancy as well as external and internal covertness to atomic espionage. It was a model that had proved itself in the assassination of Trotsky in Mexico, and it paid enormous (sorry) dividends again.

"K" is the codename of a Soviet agent who provided information on Britain's Tube Alloys (atomic energy) program. The principal account on "K" comes from several pages in The Crown Jewels by West and Tsarev, but is also well synopsized in The Sword and The Shield: "In December 1942 the London residency received a detailed report on atomic research in Britain and the United States from a Communist scientist codenamed "K." Vladimir Barkovsky, head of scientific and technological intelligence (S&T) at the residency, later reported that "K" works for us with enthusiasm, but...turns down the slightest hint of financial reward. With the help of a duplicate key personally manufactured by Barkovsky from a wax impression provided by "K," he was able to remove numerous classified documents from colleagues' safes as well as his own. The most valuable, in the Centre's view, were those on the construction of uranium piles.'" (TSATS, p.114-5)

In The Crown Jewels, "K" is mentioned in the company of two other atomic sources, MOOR and KELLY, who were also supplying Barkovsky with atomic intelligence. But "K" was the more productive, by far. The story of the first contact with "K" is a bit complex. In December 1942 the London rezidentura (Anatoli Gorsky) advised the Center that a Soviet 'sympathizer' had received a detailed report on atomic research from an unnamed scientist. The scientist's material may have been intended for the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), but the sympathizer thought it more appropriate to pass it to the Soviets. Gorsky asked the sympathizer to contact "K" and push the possibility of meeting directly with a Soviet intelligence officer. A letter to the Center dated 10 March 1943 reported that the scientist, after some coaxing by the sympathizer, agreed to meet with a Soviet representative. Initially, that representative may have been Barkovsky. In a report to the Center, Barkovsky wrote that "K" was motivated by ideology (a communist) and enthusiastic about spying for the Russians. In addition, Barkovsky pointedly told Moscow that "K" asked his Soviet contact to stop "once and for all" attempts to give him money, and further advised that to continue to proffer money to "K" would undoubtedly offend him. (TCJ, p. 231-3)

K's scruples on accepting money are very reminiscent of Klaus Fuchs. He too reacted negatively to proffers of money from the Soviets. A striking example is mentioned by Harry Gold in his account of a meeting with Fuchs in Boston in February 1945: "Also, I had been given the sum of $1500.00 by [Anatoli Yatskov] with instructions to give it to Klaus, but that I must proceed very delicately in this last matter so as not to offend him and that under no circumstances must I insist upon or make an issue of this matter. Klaus did accept the wallet, but looked somewhat bewildered, and when I made some very tentative inquiries concerning whether he needed any money either for himself or possibly for his sister, the reply was so cold and final that I went no further with the matter. It was quite obvious that by even mentioning this I had offended the man." (KF-AS, p.212) One cannot help but have the notion that Yatskov, in giving Gold his instructions, had read the Barkovsky report on K. It is a curious phenomenon.

It is known that in 1942-3 there were at least 3 atomic spies operating in Britain: John Cairncross, Klaus Fuchs and Alan Nunn May. Cairncross, a Scotsman, was recruited in 1937 by the KGB's illegal residency. His initial code name was MOLIERE, later LISZT. (TSATS, p.65) Fuchs was recruited by the GRU in 1941. His initial GRU codename is not reported. Alan Nunn May was recruited by the GRU in 1942 while at Cambridge doing Tube Alloys work. His first GRU codename is unknown. Mitrokhin's Archive exposed Melita Norwood as an atomic spy. Her codename was HOLA. She was a member of the CPGB since 1935, and was recruited by the KGB in 1937. In 1941 Norwood's control was transferred to the GRU and her contact became SONYA. She began passing atomic secrets in the final months of the war. (TSATS, p.116) These are the known British atomic spies of the 1940's.

There may be a few more. As discussed above, West and Tsarev's troll through KGB archives elicited K, MOOR and KELLY. K's recruitment began in 1942 and he was extremely productive, supplying an enormous amount of official, important American and British documents (TCJ, p.233). MOOR and KELLY were not as prolific, but passed their share of important documents and reports. Enter Weinstein and Vassiliev. Their review of KGB File #82702, Vol. 1 uncovered British atomic spies with cover names ERIC, LIST and TINA. The authors identify LIST as John Cairncross; and their profile on TINA is fully consistent with HOLA, Melita Norwood (THW, p.193-4). Thus, LIST and TINA are redundant spies.

ERIC is a different proposition. The legend on ERIC from Weinstein and Vassiliev is as follows: He was a young communist physicist; he was the most useful Soviet source on Enormoz in England in 1943; he provided Vladimir Barkovsky with detailed reports on the military use of atomic energy, and also had access to American research documents on atomic energy; Zarubin received from Moscow a list of the major research center in America compiled on the basis of information received from ERIC. (THW, p.181-2); a colleague of ERIC provided him with a key to the laboratory library where reports on the Enormoz project were kept; a duplicate of this key was made for ERIC; arrangements were made to meet him three times a week without preliminary procedures; ERIC continues to decline the slightest hint at material reward." (THW, p.193) The authors cite specific KGB files for the information on ERIC.

Compare the Weinstein-Vassiliev rundown on ERIC with the following account on K from West and Tsarev: The KGB's concentrated effort on Enormoz had its first results in the beginning of 1943 when Barkovsky made contact with a valuable atomic scientist in Britain known only as "K"; when Barkovsky met K for the first time the scientist urged him to study Applied Nuclear Physics by Pollard and Davidson; Barkovsky recalled that K provided an impression of a key that would open his colleagues safes so a duplicate could be made; K had a daring nature was a bit of an adventurer; Barkovsky and K worked out arrangements for meetings so that they could meet three times a week in London without prior notification; K worked for the Soviets with enthusiasm "but turned down the slightest hint of financial reward"; the Center sent the New York residentura a listing of American atomic weapon facilities based on material from K; in 1943 the London resident, Konstantin Kukin, checked a list of atomic personnel received from K and noticed the name Klaus Fuchs. (TCJ, p.231-6) None of the information on K is referenced to specific KGB documents, although that is the book's general warrant.

Notwithstanding some disparities, it is clear to us that ERIC and K are the same agent.

"K" was Klaus Fuchs

We also firmly believe that K (ERIC) is Klaus Fuchs. The first-principle argument against such a proposition would be that Fuchs was recruited by the GRU, not the KGB residency. True, but there is a suggestion in the literature that Fuchs might have been co-opted at some point in 1942 by the KGB. In 1991 Vladimir Chikov, an SVR official, published an article on Soviet atomic espionage in the bi-weekly magazine New Times (Novoye Vremya). Under the sub-chapter heading, "When Beria intervenes it will be too late," he wrote the following vignette concerning Klaus Fuchs and Anatoli Gorsky (codename VADIM, London rezident).
- "We haven't heard anything from Vadim at all over the past two months, Fitin went on. He has sent us the Uranium Committee Report and relaxed. Meanwhile, our colleagues from the General Staff's military intelligence service lost no time. General Sklyarov reported yesterday that military intelligence officers had recruited Dr. Klaus Fuchs, a prominent atomic scientist in London. I wish we did that. The scientist came to our Embassy of his own free will to divulge the atomic bomb secret to the Soviet Union. Our men have goofed it. Abakumov has promised to ask Lavrenty Pavlovich to transfer this agent to us. Please send a coded message to Vadim and alert him to the implications of this omission. Let him have a talk with General Sklyarov in advance and give the latter to understand that this affair should not be allowed to go as far as to call for Beria's intervention." (NT, Chikov, Vol. 17)

Sklyarov pops up in a GRU Venona translation. It is a 3 page message, London to Moscow, No. 1107 dated 3 October 1940, and signed by BARCh (Simon Kremer). The GCHQ captions are "Impending handover to Sklyarov," and "Existence of two GRU residencies in London." (There is no mention of Fuchs or atomic espionage--as expected given the dating.) In the Comments section an analyst identifies Sklyarov thusly: Col. I. A. Sklyarov, Soviet Military and Air Attache in London, 1940-1946. Kremer was Fuchs' GRU controller for several months heading into 1942. He did not inspire confidence or comfort. Fuchs was much concerned by "Kremer's habit of constantly looking over his shoulder to see if he was being followed .... and irritated by his insistence on taking long rides in London taxis, regularly doubling back in order to throw off anyone trying to tail them" (TSATS, p.115; 595, n.90). Venona message No. 1107 provides confirmation of the substance of Chikov's writing, that Sklyarov took over as GRU resident in London and had responsibility for Fuchs.

(Kremer returned to Moscow in 1942, probably in the summer or before. He may have been recalled because of adverse comments by Fuchs to another member of Soviet intelligence. Interestingly, Kremer was probably Sonya's controller. From Peter Wright's Spycatcher: "The [HASP] messages were sent from the GRU resident Simon Kremer to Moscow Center, and described his meetings wth the GRU spy runner Sonia.....[the messages] showed that Sonia had indeed been sent to the Oxford area by Russian intelligence, and that during 1941 she was already running a string of agents." S, p.375)

We believe there is a respectable case for the proposition that Fuchs' cover name in England was the single letter "K," and that, in addition to the GRU, he had an active connection to the new, top secret X-Y sub-residency.
- The fact that upon arrival in America his control was the KGB residentura in New York could be indicative of such prior relationship.
- Certainly it has seemed curious that no cover name for Fuchs has been posited for the years 1941-1943. If he were K-ERIC that anomaly would be answered.
- Given the respective legends of K and ERIC, one would also expect to see this young physicist as part of the British Mission to America or Canada. Indeed it appears the agent's spy production in Britain dries up around 1944.
- The earliest instance of "K" in Venona traffic is No.803, 13 August 41, Stockholm to Moscow. It is a GRU communication showing only the message fragment , "According to information from K ...[70 groups unrecovered]... in HOLTENAU." In the Comments section Holtenau is identified as, "Town at the Kiel Harbor end of the Kiel Canal." Kiel of course is the town in Germany where Klaus Fuchs was from.
- Fuchs and "K" not only had identical aversions about accepting money for their espionage, but the descriptions and language in Soviet archives is virtually the same for both.
- But perhaps most revealing is a report in the Center's archives written by Harry Gold after his first meeting with Fuchs in New York. Throughout, he uses the one letter K in reference to Fuchs, which suggests to us that this was a 'usage' voiced by his controller at the time, Semyon Semyonov. (THW, p.187)
- One of the legend details on K is that he "had a daring nature and was a bit of an adventurer." Most people might not view Fuchs in this light. But anecdotes from his biography by Moss suggest a strong ego and a bit of an edge. For example, on hiking trips around Los Alamos with friends he would do a little showing off by rock climbing a cliff face while they were resting; he was muscled, if thin, and sought the outdoors. He drank to excess at parties just to prove to himself he could get drunk and not loose control of his secret doppelganger.

In June 1943 Konstantin Kukin relieved Anatoli Gorsky as KGB resident in London. A few months later he was shown a document obtained from K that listed personnel working on Tube Alloys. He noticed the name Klaus Fuchs and asked Moscow for information on Fuchs. In November he received a reply telling him that Fuchs had been the GRU's agent since August 1941. He was also informed that Fuchs was being sent to America and that contact arrangements had already been made for handing him off to the KGB residency. We see no problem with K=Fuchs. The list was probably an administrative personnel directory for TA, not a controlled document nor probably even classified. In providing such a document certainly Fuchs would have been astute enough not to omit or remove his own name. (TCJ, p.220, 236; THW, p.185)

A significant and inexplicable interregnum in Fuchs' espionage is reported in books from both Weinstein & Vassiliev and West & Tsarev:
- Weinstein. "A subsequent memorandum noted that the GRU had received material from Fuchs twice in September 1941 and five times in 1943." (THW, p.186)
- West. "A list of the reports received from Fuchs shows that the first were received in Moscow on 22 and 30 September 1941, while Cairncross sent material [Uranium Committee Report] to Moscow on 25 September and 3 October. After an interval, Fuchs became active again in May 1943." (TCJ, p.236)

How can it be that Fuchs did nothing for the Soviets for 20 months, all of 1942? It can't be. We note, however, that the beginning of the gap in the files read by these authors roughly coincides with Chikov's anecdote about the possibility of "Beria's intervention."

A theory that K=ERIC=Fuchs is at variance with the current literature version of Fuchs' uptake into espionage (recounted above at Background-Fuchs Espionage-Birmingham). In that synopsis we mentioned that Sudoplatov wrote that the Soviet Ambassador, Ivan Maisky, played a role. Also in the literature is Ruth Werner's (SONYA) explanation of how she first came into contact with Fuchs: "Towards the end of 1942, another unexpected event happened....a comrade with worthwhile military information....had turned to Jurgen for advice [on contacting the Soviet Union]...Jurgen told me [and] I sent a coded message to Centre and received the reply that contact should be established. The name of this comrade: Klaus Fuchs. I did not know then that he was to build the atomic bomb in cooperation with the United States." (SR, p.250) We question "end of 1942." Elsewhere Werner says she handled Fuchs for almost two years: "About two years after we had started working together, Center asked me to arrange a meeting for Klaus in New York." (SR, p.252) Sonya's last meeting with Klaus before he left would have been in October or November 1943. If she had been working with him for "about two years," then the start was at the end of 1941 or beginning of 1942.


Based on the foregoing, a revised theory of how Klaus Fuchs got started in espionage with Soviet Russia:

For Klaus Fuchs, the prime mover to commit espionage was Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Fuchs went to see Jurgen Kuczynski, whom he had known in Germany as an undergraduate (CS, p. 65), for assistance in contacting Russian intelligence. Kuczynski contacted Soviet Ambassador Ivan Maisky. Aware that Kuczynski was connected to the GRU, Maisky passed the lead to I. A. Sklyarov (BRION), GRU Resident since late 1940 (Venona No. 1107, 3 October 1940). Simon Kremer, the former resident, was liaison to the KPD emigre community in England and acquainted with Fuchs. It was decided that Kremer would make the initial contact with Fuchs. The meeting occurred on 8 August 1941(Venona No. 2227, 8 August 1941, signed BRION). The recruitment of Fuchs was completed over the next several months and reported to the Center by Sklyarov. Kremer continued as Fuchs' contact but his performance was questioned when Fuchs walked into the Soviet Embassy in an attempt to verify his bona fides. As the two continued to meet, Fuchs had increasing qualms about Kremer's 'street' conduct as well as his technical capacity for atomic espionage. Fuchs confided these concerns to Kuczynski who repeated them to the Soviets.

Going into 1942, Stalin and Beria's judgement on atomic intelligence was paranoidal--they strongly suspected it was disinformation. The principal source of the information was Britain; Stalin thus warned Beria to "double check the information coming from London" (CS, p.89). However, by April of 1942, the number, nature and independence of the reports caused a provisional conversion. Beria elevated atomic intelligence to a high priority, and fundamental changes followed. Previously, atomic espionage had been the responsibility of two departments: the Foreign Intelligence Directorate of the KGB and scientific intelligence in the GRU. Under Beria's guidance a compartmented line (X-Y) dedicated exclusively to atomic intelligence was established within the Science and Technology section of Foreign Intelligence. Next, a supernumerary office (Department S) was organized to coordinate the activities of both Foreign Intelligence and the GRU. It also served as a central collection authority for the dissemination of sanitized atomic research to Soviet scientists, principally Igor Kurchatov. (ST, p.184, et al) The most consequential decision, however, was the creation of a secret line of illegals to control the most sensitive atomic sources. (The Trotsky assassination model was followed and some of its dormant assets were even used). The principals of this ad hoc, extrinsic operation were Pavel Sudoplatov in Moscow, and Vasili and Elizabeth Zarubin and Lev Vasilevsky in America.

Within the context of these events, changes were made at the Center in the handling of Klaus Fuchs. First, a compromise was struck: the GRU would retain management of the agent, but the KGB would assume responsibility for the intelligence product and mission. Thus, Barkovsky's S&T sub-residency in London was inserted into the Fuchs operation. Second, a decision was made to run Fuchs using primarily illegals and foreign agents. The perfect asset was already in place, Ursula Kuczynski living near Oxford (halfway between London and Birmingham). Her cover name was SONYA. She was German, and a highly trained and experienced GRU officer. Control instructions transferring Fuchs to Sonya were passed to Sonya by her brother Jurgen. She used her radio transmitter to establish the new channel with Moscow. In her meetings with Fuchs she received materials and passed instructions to him. The materials were collected by an illegal that came up from London. Fuchs frequently worked in London and for a while had a "secret apartment" there (CS, p.67). This allowed weekly contact, which greatly increased the flow of materials. Couriers were predominantly illegals; Barkovsky met with Fuchs only as necessary. All materials from Fuchs were quickly delivered to Barkovsky for evaluation, translation and dispatch to the X-Y officer at the Center (initially Kvasnikov, and later Ovakimyan). After further scientific analysis and vetting, they were forwarded to Sudoplatov's operation. Fuchs' code name was "K."

In summary, under orders from the Center, the KGB and GRU residencies in London set up a joint operation to manage Fuchs. Using illegals both in London and the Oxford countryside they increased both the amount of intelligence and the security of the operation. It is a model we have glimpsed elsewhere in Beria's matryoshka KGB and we think it was implemented again when Fuchs returned to England in 1946: two contact channels, the primary being Feklisov, the backup being the 'Sonya' cell. Thus, we are far from convinced that Fuchs missed his last meeting with Feklisov in July 1949 because of ideological doubts. More probably than not, he was warned. As was his doppelt across the ocean, Perseus.

Fuchs and Oppenheimer

A 1951 US Government white paper titled Soviet Atomic Espionage made the following statement: �It is hardly an exaggeration to say that Klaus Fuchs alone has influenced the safety of more people and accomplished greater damage than any other spy not only in the history of the United States but in the history of nations.� How Fuchs arrived in the United States and made his way to Los Alamos is, therefore, more than an academic question. His involvement in the Manhattan Project was a two stage affair�he first went to New York, then, 8 months later, to Los Alamos. Each assignment had its own set of circumstances and decisions. The first step was the decision by the British in the Fall of 1943 to bring Fuchs to America to work on isotope separation by gaseous diffusion in New York. This had been his primary focus in England. The second stage was his assignment in August 1944 to the ranking scientific group within the ranking division at Los Alamos�the Implosion Dynamics Group (T1) in the Theoretical Physics Division headed by Hans Bethe. It is certainly true that at the time Bethe had increased need for someone of Fuchs� background and skills. But it is also true that in transferring to Los Alamos Klaus Fuchs went from a position on the periphery of the Manhattan Project to its epicenter, an office within a couple hundred feet of Robert Oppenheimer.

The KGB was either very good or very lucky.

Part I � Quebec Agreement

The whole business of bringing British scientists to America began with the Quebec Agreement�prior to that there was no official plan for including British atomic scientists en masse into the Manhattan Project. It is historically true that British scientists did the pioneering work on uranium fission and neutron multiplication that pointed to the possible military uses of atomic energy (MAUD Report). It is also historical fact that representatives of the British government came to the United States and convinced American leaders that an atomic bomb might be feasible and that Germany was conducting research on the subject. On January 19, 1942, after accelerated study and further warnings from top scientists such as Einstein and Szilard, President Roosevelt gave the �OK� for a full-scale American atomic research and development program. The project, which had been called DSM, was put under the control of the U.S. Army and referred to as Manhattan District (or sometimes Manhatten Engineer District, MED).. By the summer of 1943, the American effort had far outstripped the British program. American benchmarks: In early 1942, the Army Corps of Engineers began construction of the first plant to produce U-235 fissile material at Oak Ridge, TN; in December 1942, the world's first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction took place at the University of Chicago; in April 1943, the first research facility for the purpose of designing, building and testing an atomic bomb was opened in Los Alamos. Notwithstanding America�s advanced progress and position, the Quebec Agreement reflected the name of the progenitor British program, Tube Alloys, to wit: �Articles of Agreement Governing Collaboration Between The Authorities of the U.S.A. and the U.K. in the Matter of Tube Alloys.� The document�s first declaration read as follows: �Whereas it is vital to our common safety in the present War to bring the Tube Alloys project to fruition at the earliest moments.� The fact that the Quebec Agreement only mentioned the name of Britain�s program had subtle ramifications.

The Quebec Agreement comprised a set of five Articles detailing the relationship between the two countries for the development of atomic weapons. The fifth article called for establishment in Washington, DC, of a governing body called the Combined Policy Committee (CPC). The stated purpose of the CPC was "to ensure full and effective collaboration." It was composed of six members who were named in the Agreement: the US Secretary of War (then Henry Stimson), Dr. Vannevar Bush, Dr. James Conant (Americans); Field-Marshal Sir John Dill, Colonel J. J. Llewellin (British); and C. D. Howe (Canadian). The several references to Tube Alloys (in preference to DSM or Manhattan District) and the Agreement�s declarations themselves made it clear that the relationship between the US and UK was one of joint and several stakeholders, not senior-junior partners with different equities. In America, British atomic policy and decisions emanated from the The British Supply Council in North America, a wartime organization headquartered in Washington. This organization directed the work and movement of British personnel, collectively referred to as the British Mission. The British Supply Council derived its authority and prerogatives from the QA, in general, and the CPC, in particular: �The function of this Committee [CPC] � will be � to settle any questions which may arise on the interpretation or application of this Agreement.� In summary, the British Supply Council was a separate but equal executive agency within the Tube Alloys project (aka DSM, aka Manhattan Project). Perhaps more than is recognized, this organization had a great deal of independence and freedom of action from the Manhattan Engineering District, i.e. General Groves� command.

Archive documents of the MED (later the AEC) show that with regard to the assignment of personnel, the British Supply Council sent Groves the names and project destinations of their scientists�Groves, thus advised, was not required or requested to give his consent. In some cases he got involved with concerns or issues (e.g. Nunn May in 1945), but at the beginning of the British Mission he acquiesced knowing the politics and his lack of authority under the QA. Nevertheless, there was a moderator of sorts on the Supply Council�s freedom to place their scientists. In general, the Directors of Project facilities (all of whom were American) were to be consulted before a scientist showed up on their doorstep for work at their lab. The British facilitated this by having a senior person in residence to coordinate with the Lab Director. At Los Alamos and Washington, it was James Chadwick; in New York (for awhile) it was Rudolf Peierls; at Berkeley it was M. L. Oliphant; at Oak Ridge it was H. J. Emelius, etc. To some extent, the British Supply Council considered these on site leaders to be their �local offices.�

Part II � Fuchs to America

Chronologically, it was probably Alexander Feklisov who first wrote that Robert Oppenheimer had a hand in bringing Fuchs to America: In �the autumn of 1943," Robert Oppenheimer "asked" that Klaus Fuchs be included in the British Scientific Mission being organized after the Quebec Agreement of August 19, 1943. The basis for the request, according to Feklisov, was Oppenheimer's familiarity and appreciation of Fuchs' papers on fission and isotope separation. Feklisov made this comment in December 1990, in an article in the Russian journal Voyennoi Istorischeski Zhurnal. (ST, p.193) He also repeated it in his 2001 book, The Man Behind the Rosenbergs (p.196-7). Feklisov's assertion represented a slightly different slant than that found in the two principal biographies on Fuchs, Norman Moss (1987) and Robert Chadwell Williams (1987).
- Moss: "So it was arranged that a group of British scientists would be attached to the team in New York working on uranium diffusion...Naturally, Peierls was asked to go to New York, and naturally, he asked Fuchs to come with him; Fuchs agreed. As it happened, Fuchs's name was known to the Americans working on uranium separation because he had written an excellent paper on the control of a particular problem in the diffusion process." (KF-AB, p.46)

- Williams: "In September 1943 General Groves met with Peierls to discuss the design of the proposed K-25 gaseous diffusion plant at Oak Ridge. The reports of Peierls's Birmingham team had been sent regularly to J. Robert Oppenheimer and James Conant in the United States. Fuchs's contributions to the theory of gaseous diffusion were sufficiently valuable that an American team considered visiting Birmingham to consult him. But instead, the Americans decided that Fuchs, Otto Frisch, and some other scientists should come to the United States.� (KF-AS, p.67)

Williams� explanation and Feklisov�s explanation are very consistent. Although Williams states that Oppenheimer was familiar with Fuchs� work, he does not suggest the proactive role indicated by Feklisov. On the other hand, Feklisov imputes no conspiratorial motive on the part of Oppenheimer in facilitating Fuchs� coming to America. (A more senior Soviet intelligence officer has written otherwise.) Certainly, because of Oppenheimer�s key position and penchant for personnel evaluation (see Set P), it would be both normal and expected for him to be consulted on the makeup of the British Mission. (Indeed Groves did use Oppenheimer as a sounding board throughout the whole project: �I came to depend on him tremendously for scientific advice on the rest of the project.� OPOAE, p. 78.) In his memoir, Bird of Pasage, Rudolf Peierls corroborates not only his meeting with Groves in September 1943 but also a meeting with Oppenheimer (BOP, p.179). Other records show that Oppenheimer traveled to Washington DC from 10 through 16 September 1943 �for consultation with General Groves.� All of this fits with Williams� information that Peierls and Groves met in September 1943 to discuss gaseous diffusion matters, and that Oppenheimer was involved in the consideration of Fuchs. There must be the strong presumption, then, that the qualtifications of Klaus Fuchs were reviewed in Peierl's meetings with Groves and Oppenheimer, and that JRO affirmatively supported the selection of Fuchs for the British team.

Part III - Fuchs� Confessions

There are two confessions by Klaus Fuchs widely available in the public domain: his first confession to William Skardon, on January 27, 1950; and his second confession to Michael Perrin on January 30, 1950. These confessions were provided by the British government to J. Edgar Hoover (he forwarded copies of both to the White House and the AEC; they are reprinted in KF-AS, p.180 & 188 respectively). A less widely available confession from Fuchs is the one he made to FBI agents Robert Lamphere and Hugh Clegg when they went to England toward the end of May 1950. A comparison of the British confessions and the FBI confession reflects some additions and subtractions. One of the interesting additions is Fuchs� version of when he first learned he was going to America: �Fuchs said that in the summer of 1943 he learned he was being designated as part of an official British Mission which was to travel to the United States, and upon learning of his designation he informed his woman contact.� (J. Edgar Hoover to AEC, Attn: F. R. Hammack, Division of Security, June 16, 1950) It would appear from this that Fuchs was tapped by the British to go to America almost coincident with (or even before) the actual signing of the QA, August 19, 1943.

Certain aspects of Fuchs� espionage career are well understood. One is that before he left England for the U.S. he received contact instructions for rendezvousing with a new courier in New York (time, place, recognition, parole). This took time to arrange. His contact/control in England at the time was SONYA, Ursula Kuczynski. SONYA used a clandestine wireless transmitter to communicate with Moscow. There had to be at least 4 steps in the process whereby Fuchs received his instructions: 1. Fuchs informs SONYA of his prospective assignment to New York; 2. SONYA transmits the information to the Center; 3. The Center communicates back to SONYA their instructions for Fuchs; 4. SONYA passes the information back to Fuchs. These steps represent a considerable tail wagging the dog (perhaps as much as two months), and they had to take place before Fuchs left England (about 25 November). Fuchs therefore must have learned of his designation to the British Mission early on. And apparently he did, as indicated in his confession to Robert Lamphere.

A document in the FBI Fuchs file adds some detail about Fuchs� travel to the U.S. On 20 November 1943, Major General Geo. V. Strong, G-2, of the Army Chief of Staff (Groves� immediate superior organization) wrote a letter to Howard K. Travers, Chief of the Visa Division of the US State Department. Strong�s letter requested the immediate, time-is-of-the-essence assistance of Travers� office in obtaining visas for seven British scientists in London to come to the United States. Four of these individuals were individually named and designated to �travel on British passports as British Government Officials.� The scientists were: N. Kurtio, H. Kuhn, O.R. Frisch and K. Fuchs. The rationale for this special treatment is not clear. The common denominator of these four is that none were born in Britain, all had been naturalized as British citizens. General Strong ended his letter with the following: �I regret that this request could not have been made to you at an earlier date so that the matter could be handled in a less hurried fashion, but circumstances prevented.� The first contingent of the British Mission was a sizable group of about 25 persons. They sailed from Liverpool on the Andes about 25 November and arrived in Newport News, VA, on 3 December. On its own merits, Strong�s letter might suggest that Fuchs was a late addition to the British team. But other information, as we have seen, suggests that it was a last minute administrative glitch, albeit unexplained.

Part IV � Sudoplatov on Fuchs

In his 1994 book Special Tasks, KGB General Pavel Sudoplatov gave a much more detailed and pointed account of Fuchs� involvement in the Manhattan Project:
"[Elizabeth] Zarubina and [Gregori] Kheifetz persuaded Oppenheimer to share information with 'antifascists of German origin,' which provided a rationale for taking Klaus Fuchs to Los Alamos. Oppenheimer agreed to hire, and promote these people, provided he received confirmation of their opposition to Nazism before they came to the project.� (Oppenheimer's hesitation evidently stemmed from the fact that Fuchs was a German and not Jewish.) �Elizabeth Zarubina gave a code word--in fact, a code sentence--to a member of Oppenheimer's circle to pass to Oppenheimer. Its use could identify someone friendly to their cause: 'My escape from Germany was similar to the escape of Lise Meitner.' In 1943, under the influence of Kheifetz and Elizabeth Zarubina, [Oppenheimer] suggested that Klaus Fuchs be included in the Los Alamos British team. [Fuchs] was instructed to tell Oppenheimer the code sentence and to emphasize that he was spiritually close to the ideals of Lise Meitner...he was to identify himself as the only one of the British team who had escaped from a German prison camp, and thus gain the respect and absolute confidence of Oppenheimer. In this way, under Oppenheimer's initiative, Fuchs was given access to material that he had no right to look at." (ST, p.190, 193)

Notwithstanding that readers may accept or reject, in whole or in part, the testimony of Sudoplatov, there are some aspects of his claim to be noted:
- The first is that it relates to Los Alamos, not just Fuchs' original inclusion in the British Mission.
- The second is that Vassily Zarubin used the purported illegal line to communicate with Oppenheimer.
- The third is that the suggestion to have Fuchs included in the British team was passed to JRO in 1943.
- The fourth, and perhaps most significant, is that a face-to-face meeting would be required for Fuchs to say the code sentence to Oppenheimer, absent which JRO would not be inclined to allow Fuchs access to Los Alamos� most sensitive secrets.

The first British Mission group, numbering about 25 persons, came over on the SS Andes. The ship landed in Newport News, VA , on 3 December 1943. Klaus Fuchs was part of this group; others included Wallace Akers of ICI, who, as Head of the Tube Alloys program, was General Groves' British counterpart. Scientific members of the Mission were James Chadwick, Rudolf Peierls, Otto Frisch, William G. Penney, George Placzek, P. B. Moon, James L. Tuck, Egon Bretscher, and Geoffrey Taylor. The Mission's first stop was in Washington DC for in-processing at the office of the Bristish Ministry of Supply as well as a briefing from General Groves which emphasized Manhattan Project security, particularly compartmentalization. (TMOTAB, p.522-3) James Chadwick was Head of the scientific team and was Oppenheimer's opposite number. Chadwick's deputy was Rudolf Peierls. From Washington, members of the British team were detailed to several different locations within the Manhattan Project. The Diffusion Team (aka Akers Mission) comprising 16 personnel, Fuchs being one, went directly to New York. (Interestingly, all of this team, with the exception of Peierls, Kurti and Fuchs, returned to England after only two months in the U.S.)

Given Sudoplatov's claim about Oppenheimer and Fuchs, one is led to the following question: Is it known whether or not Oppenheimer and Fuchs met anytime prior to Fuchs� transfer to Los Alamos (14 August 1944)? Beginning in April 1943 a visitor and travel log was instituted at Los Alamos at the behest of General Groves. Permanent Residents who traveled away from 'Site Y' on business or vacation were logged as "Left" and "Returned." Visitors to Los Alamos (for example, even General Groves) were logged as "Arrived" and "Left." (Local excursions, e.g. Santa Fe, were not part of this 'Director's Office' log.) These trip logs show that Oppenheimer left Los Alamos on 2 December and returned on 9 December 1943. The stated destinations and purpose were Chicago IL and Knoxville TN, for consultation with General Groves. Oppenheimer was therefore traveling in the East when the British Mission was arriving. However, we have not found a record or mention of a meeting at this time between Oppenheimer and the British Mission in general, or Fuchs in particular.

Were there any other opportunities for JRO and Fuchs and to meet, such that Fuchs could have delivered his bona fides as described by Sudoplatov? First of all, it is known with certainty that Fuchs never visited Los Alamos prior to his transfer there in August. What about trips east by Oppenheimer? According to the Los Alamos travel log Oppenheimer left Los Alamos four times during the period between Fuchs' landing in America and his arrival at Los Alamos (December 3, 1943, to 14 August 1944). JRO's first trip during this period was 2 to 9 December 1943, already mentioned above. The second was 29 March to 2 April 1944, to a meeting in Chicago. The third was 15 to 22 May 1944, to Chicago for technical consultation. The fourth was 15 to 19 July 1944, to Chicago for the monthly Chemistry and Metallurgy meeting. Could Fuchs have attended any of these meetings? We have not found any documents or information showing Fuchs was at any of these places or meetings coincident with Oppenheimer. Nor have we seen an anecdote in the literature about when the two might have first met. In all liklihood, then, the first face-to-face meeting between JRO and Fuchs was undoubtedly at Los Alamos on Monday, August 14, 1944.

(It is interesting to note that Fuchs is not found at all in the Los Alamos travel/visitor logs. By contrast, the comings and goings of Chadwick, Peierls, Frisch, Penney, etc, are accounted for. Neither Fuchs� initial arrival on 14 August 1944 nor his visit to his sister in Boston on 11 February 1945 are found. The reason for this is not known.)

Part V � Fuchs to Los Alamos

If nothing else, Sudoplatov�s testimony is provocative and highlights the question, What were the facts and circumstances regarding the assignment of Klaus Fuchs to Los Alamos? Who, when and why was the decision made? In this regard, there is a very important letter found on the Internet. It is hosted by Membrane Domain which uses the registration name of The letter was found in British Government Archives by Brian Cathcart, author of Test of Greatness: Britain�s Struggle for the Atom Bomb. He provided it the to NuclearWeaponArchive along with his own trenchant piece of analysis.

The letter is from James Chadwick to Rudolf Peierls, dated 14 July 1944. Although Chadwick and Peierls were both permanent residents at Los Alamos, the Los Alamos travel log shows that Chadwick left Los Alamos for Washington on 3 July 1944 (returned 22 July 1944). Thus, Chadwick was visiting his office in Washington, and hence the necessity of a letter. In reading the Chadwick letter and the accompanying analysis by Cathcart it is most interesting to discover that as of 14 July, Fuchs' status was not only undecided, but Chadwick emphatically did not want him to go to Los Alamos. Chadwick:
"I come now to the point of this letter. It would put me in a very awkward position if a request for Fuchs' services in Y [Los Alamos] were to be sent to Groves."
Thus, British intentions�at least in the person of James Chadwick�were for Fuchs to return to England to work on a diffusion plant project there. In the letter to Peierls, Chadwick states that he had "now had a talk with Fuchs himself" and learned that Fuchs' own preference was to return to England, as opposed to going to Y. (The FBI�s Fuchs file corroborates that Fuchs traveled to Washington D.C. for a conference with Sir James Chadwick on Friday, 14 July 1944.)

Two very interesting aspects of Chadwick�s letter need to be mentioned:
1.The letter is not just about Fuchs. It is also about British physicist Tony Skyrme, who along with Fuchs was in New York as part of the British diffusion team. As can be read, Skyrme also was being rolled off this work and reassigned. In fact, as of 14 July, Skyrme is projected to go to Los Alamos�his transfer having been broached with General Groves, and in all probability with Bethe and Oppenheimer.
2. Chadwick, as of 14 July, is not the least bit ambivalent about his plans for Fuchs. He is of the very strong opinion that Fuchs is needed back in England. To that end he writes to Peierls: �I therefore do not want Bethe to ask for Fuchs. Further than that, I want Bethe to say that Fuchs would not be specially useful in Y, if Groves asks him if they want him.� Then, so there is no misunderstanding, Chadwick specifically tasks Peierls with interfacing with Bethe to insure this result.

Chadwick's letter, sent on Friday, 14 July, probably did not reach Peierls at Los Alamos until Monday the 17th or Tuesday the 18th. As mentioned previously, the Los Alamos travel logs reflect that Oppenheimer returned from his Chicago trip on 19 July, and Chadwick returned from Washington on 22 July. It can be confidently assumed that Peierls did as Chadwick requested, i.e. informed both Bethe and Oppenheimer of the British intention to have Fuchs return to England. If Bethe or Oppenheimer disagreed, they would certainly take no action until discussing the matter with Chadwick who was due back on 22 July.

A second document provides another marker in the chronology of Fuchs� transfer to Los Alamos. It is a letter from the British Supply Council to General Groves dated August 9, 1944. It reported the status and movements of 8 British Mission personnel, one of whom was Fuchs. It reads in part as follows:
�Dear General Groves, Further to my letter of August 1st, I have to report the following details of movements of U.K. personnel connected with our project .... Dr. K Fuchs. Dr. Fuchs has now been transferred officially from New York to Y. He is due to leave New York on August 11th and should report for duty at Y on about August 14th.�
Attention is directed to the reference of a previous letter about personnel, a letter dated August 1. Unfortunately we have not found this letter in MED archives. However, the language in the 9 August letter, "Dr. Fuchs has now been transferred," conveys the sense that Fuchs had been the subject of a prior communication, more probably than not, the 1 August letter. In any case, records show that by letter dated 11 August 1944 the MED advised the FBI: "Dr. K. Fuchs has been transferred from New York to Y. He plans to leave New York on 11 August and should arrive for duty at Y on or about 14 August." Fuchs� FBI file further reflects that �on or about 11 August, 1944,� Klaus Fuchs left Chicago by air for Santa Fe, New Mexico, and that he reported to Los Alamos on 14 August 1944 (this information was developed during the investigation in 1949).

A third document seems to close the matter out. It is a letter from Rudolf Peierls to Tube Alloys Director Wallace Akers in Britain dated 15 August 1944. Peierls writes: "I am sorry that we took so long over letting you know what would happen to Fuchs, but you will by now have heard that he has come here. The decision was difficult because there seemed to be good cases both for his coming back and for his joining us here." (KF-AS, p.74) Note: Peierls is not saying that Fuchs was brought to Los Alamos because a separation plant in Britain had been ruled out. He is saying that unspecified arguments in favor of �Y� prevailed in the decision.

Part VI � Collateral from Venona

There are several Venona messages on Fuchs during the period 15 June to 16 November that provide additional context to these events. They are consistent with Chadwick's letter and his intentions to have Fuchs return to England. (Fuchs� codename was changed in October 1944 from REST to CHARLES, and Harry Gold from GUS to ARNO.)

No. 850, NY to Moscow, 15 June 1944::"At present the ISLAND's director [Chadwick] in CARTHAGE [Washington, DC] is ascertaining the details of the transfer of work [separation] to the ISLAND. R. [REST] assumes that he will have to leave in a month or six weeks."

No. 1233, NY to Moscow, 29 August 1944: "In July it became known that REST might be leaving for the ISLAND......On 5 August REST did not appear at the meeting and GUS' missed the next meeting. When he checked on REST's apartment, GUS was informed that REST had left for the ISLAND. In order to re-check, I sent GUS to REST's sister [vi]; she and her husband the departure up to 20 September [vii]�.[67 groups unrecoverable]�.should check his arrival. I did not have time to hand over to REST the 500 dollars authorized by you. [viii]"

No. 902, NY to Moscow, 16 November 1944: "On ARNO's last visit to CHARLES' sister it became known that CHARLES has not left for the ISLAND but is at Camp No. 2. He flew to Chicago and telephoned his sister. He named the State where the camp is and promised to come on leave for Christmas."

The most significant fact from the above is that Klaus Fuchs did not show up for his scheduled contact with Harry Gold on Saturday, 5 August 1944. As the biographies of Fuchs plainly show, he was the most punctilious of persons and the most conscientious of spies. Yet he did not make his rendezvous on 5 August and he left New York without informing his Soviet courier. Why? Where was Fuchs on Saturday, August 5, 1949? The choices seem to be either a personal failure or an overriding circumstance. We favor the later and believe the evidence supports such an explanation. Specifically, we believe that Fuchs was in New York but engaged in preparations and briefings related to Los Alamos that could not be skirted.

Part VII � Reliable Facts, Probable Facts

At this point, quite a few reliable facts relating to events and circumstances of the transfer of Klaus Fuchs to Los Alamos can be enumerated:
1. The KGB in New York reported to Moscow on 15 June that Klaus Fuchs might be returning to England.
2. James Chadwick and Klaus Fuchs met in Washington, DC, on 14 July 1944. They agreed at this meeting that Fuchs would return to England to continue work there on diffusion.
3. Oppenheimer left Los Alamos on business to Chicago on 15 July; he returned to Los Alamos on 19 July.
4. Chadwick returned to Los Alamos from Washington DC on 22 July.
5. The British Supply Council sent General Groves a letter dated 1 August that discussed impending movements of British Mission personnel.
6. Klaus Fuchs did not show up on 5 August for a meeting in New York with his courier, Harry Gold.
7. The British Supply Council informed General Groves by letter dated 9 August that Fuchs had been transferred to Los Alamos, and that he would depart New York on Friday, 11 August.
8. The FBI received a letter from the MED dated 11 August 1944 advising that Fuchs had been transferred to site �Y� (Los Alamos).
9. On or about 11 August Fuchs flew from Chicago to New Mexico.
10. Klaus Fuchs reported to Los Alamos on Monday, 14 August 1944.

Based on the foregoing facts we believe that Fuchs� status on 22 July was still the same as it was on 14 July, i.e. he was destined to return to England. On the other hand, it is now clearly understood that this plan had been scotched by 9 August. Because the 9 August letter references a letter of 1 August, it is very probable that the decision to send Fuchs to Los Alamos had been put in train by at least 1 August and, moreover, had been broached to Groves in a letter of that date. As Peierls letter to Wallace Akers (Chadwick�s superior) shows, Akers was not involved in the final decision, but had left it up to Chadwick. Indeed, Chadwick�s 14 July letter shows he considered the Fuchs decision to be his prerogative. However, Chadwick�s letter also shows that if Fuchs was to be brought to Los Alamos such decision would necessitate a request or affirmation by Oppenheimer or Bethe. Therefore, it is more probable than not, that a request for Fuchs� sevices at Y went forward from Chadwick (with concurrence from Oppenheimer) sometime between 23 and 31 July.

Notwithstanding that we think this narrows the decision point on Fuchs to a roughly one week period, the question remains: Who put the brakes on Fuchs� return to England? We phrase the question this way because Chadwick, if not the prime mover behind the decision, would obviously be the final arbiter. We want to know who pushed the �good cases� in favor of Los Alamos referenced by Peierls. We only see three choices: Chadwick, Groves or Oppenheimer.

Chadwick. It is entirely feasible that in late July 1944 Chadwick, with new information, or rethinking the equation on diffusion in England, concluded on his own that the best use of Fuchs would be at Los Alamos. The problem is that this would be a virtually overnight sea change from what he expressed in his 14 July letter; Peierls in his letter to Akers does not allude to any diminishment in the imperatives on diffusion being considered by Chadwick; and no record seems to exist, anecdotally or otherwise, of such requisite, countervailing rationale.

Groves. General Groves had an opportunity to address the Fuchs question in his testimony at the Oppeheimer Personnel Security Board hearing in 1954. He was closely probed on Fuchs. In responding, he was explicit in exonerating Oppenheimer, but inexplicably mute on what actually transpired. From the PSB transcript:
Question. General Groves, Dr. Oppenheimer had no responsibility for the selection or the clearance of Fuchs did he?
Answer. No, not at all. He had no responsibility whatsoever, as far as I can remember. He had no responsibility for it, and I don't recall his ever having asked me to get an Englishman at the laboratory in any way, nor did he suggest their need. He acquiesced when I said I thought we should get them there in view of things, and because we desperately needed certain assistance that those men can give. They were a scientific reservoir. There was not any use in trying to keep them out, as I saw the picture. In other words, I tried to be reasonable about it. I didn't try to oppose the administration when I knew I was going to get licked. After all, I had been in Washington for many years.� (ITMOJRO, p.177)
In his answer, Groves indicates that he was proactive in getting members of the British Mission to Los Alamos. If Groves felt Fuchs was strongly needed at Los Alamos in July 1944 and stumped to get him there, one would think he would remember that fact and have said so at the Oppenheimer hearing. However, he doesn�t indicate that he stepped into the Fuchs matter. Further, in 1962 when he published a book about the Manhattan Project, Now It Can Be Told, he did not address the Fuchs-Los Alamos issue. (By �administration� we infer that Groves means the Combined Policy Committee and the US Military Policy Committee, both of which injected political considerations into his actions.)

Oppenheimer. The highest probability in this matter is that Peierls, upon receiving Chadwick�s letter on 17 or 18 July, carried out the instructions regarding Bethe (�I therefore do not want Bethe to ask for Fuchs �I hope you will be able to do what is necessary�� - Chadwick). Even though Bethe might have wanted Fuchs for his Division (he had recently gotten Tony Skyrme), he undoubtedly acquiesced to Peierls' definitive stance�Fuchs was not available. Presumably Peierls repeated this position with Oppenheimer when he returned from Chicago on 19 July. There the matter almost certainly stood until Chadwick arrived three days later (at least 2 of those days would be spent en route). Since Fuchs did come to Los Alamos, it seems completely evident that the decision somehow sprung from discussions between James Chadwick and Robert Oppenheimer. Extending the point, Oppenheimer must have presented a strong case. (The lab had been reorganized to concentrate on implosion; Edward Teller had been reassigned, etc.) Thus persuaded, Chadwick would have contacted Fuchs, either directly or through the Supply Council, to explain the new situation and seek his commitment. Following that step, we argue that the Supply Council in their 1 August letter informed Groves of a �Chadwick-Oppenheimer� request for Fuchs at Y. (Recall that the Council�s 9 August letter to Groves was not advice and consent, but that of faits accomplis).

Part VIII � End Notes

The Venona messages above may offer some additional insights: No. 850 of 15 June reads in part, �R. [REST] assumes that he will have to leave in a month or six weeks;" No. 1233 in August reads in part, �In July it became known that REST might be leaving for the ISLAND. � The import of these excerpts is that Soviet intelligence became informed early on (June) of the uncertainty of Fuchs� future in America, specifically that he might be sent back to England. The KGB would fully realize that, should this occur, Fuchs would have next to zero atomic espionage value to them. There can be little doubt that if the KGB could influence the decision on Fuchs, they would attempt to do so. Venona shows they had time to react. In this regard, it is interesting to reconsider the testimony of Pavel Sudoplatov. In brief, he stated that: 1. Oppenheimer had suggested that �Fuchs be included in the Los Alamos British team;� 2. Elizabeth Zarubina gave a code sentence �to a member of Oppenheimer�s circle;� 3. In this manner, �Fuchs was given access to material that he had no right to look at.� (ST, p.193-4)

The Chadwick letter conclusively shows that Chadwick had a completely different plan for Fuchs in the weeks immediately preceding his arrival at Los Alamos, and that his agenda suddenly and unaccountably changed. The only individual with the authority to alter that plan was Chadwick himself, the scientific leader of the British Mission in America. At the time Chadwick was resident at Los Alamos; his host there and project counterpart was Robert Oppenheimer. After Chadwick�s 14 July letter to Peierls the first opportunity for Chadwick and Oppenheimer to discuss Fuchs was 22 July. Unless you think that Chadwick would order Fuchs to Los Alamos without consulting Oppenheimer, you have to believe that the matter was raised with JRO and that he was a party to the final decision. This in itself is not to say that Oppenheimer was the root cause of Fuchs coming to Los Alamos; it is to say, however, that Oppenheimer was directly involved. This basic fact is a fundamental element of Sudoplatov�s claim. (Item 1 above)

It is further interesting to note that in the weeks immediately prior to the decision on Fuchs, Robert Oppenheimer was in Chicago at the Met Lab. It happens to be the case that a Venona message suggests an espionage link between Oppenheimer and Chicago. The message is No. 259, Moscow to New York, dated 21 March 1945. The NSA�s summary on this message begins, �GURON to visit Chicago to re-establish contact with VEKSEL and meet XXXXXXXX/X [redacted name of 8 or 9 letters].� A NSA footnote to this message contains the following comment on the identity of VEKSEL: �Possibly Dr. Julius Robert Oppenheimer.� Recalling that Sudoplatov wrote that the �code sentence� was passed to Oppenheimer through a member of his circle (i.e. a personal friend), it is provocative that there were a number of Oppenheimer confidants and prot�g�s working on the Manhattan Project in Chicago. (Just one example would be Dr. Philip Morrison. Morrison was a member of the Communist Party; one of JRO�s graduate students; Oppenheimer got him his first position at the U. of Illinois at Urbana; Oppenheimer brought him into the Project at the Met Lab beginning in April 1942; Oppenheimer brought him to Los Alamos at the end of 1944) In any case, just prior to the reversal on Fuchs, JRO was away from Los Alamos and thus easier to communicate with through a close associate. (Item 2 above)

There is also apparent fulfillment of another aspect of Sudoplatov�s testimony about Fuchs. Sudoplatov said that in coming to Los Alamos under Oppenheimer�s �initiative,� Fuchs was given access to material that should have been off limits to him. We would argue that Fuchs� assignment to the absolute most sensitive area at Los Alamos, The Implosion Dynamics Group (T1) of Bethe�s Theoretical Division, is equatable to Sudoplatov�s claim. (Item 3 above)

It is worthy of note that Sudoplatov�s testimony can be fitted to the known facts without undue stretching.

Part IX � End Thoughts

Borrowing a quote from Brian Cathcart�s commentary on the Chadwick letter, the transfer of Fuchs to Los Alamos was a �fateful event, having historic importance.� In this context, we are struck by two glaring disconnects. First, Pavel Sudoplatov wrote a very unusual account of how Klaus Fuchs arrived at Los Alamos, and James Chadwick wrote a letter demonstrating that Fuchs' transfer to Los Alamos was anything but business as usual. Second, It is undeniably curious (and exasperating) that in all of the books written by and about Groves, Oppenheimer, Chadwick, Peierls and Fuchs there is no clear explication of this seminal event in the history of atomic espionage. This seems so anomalous as to suggest unrevealed truth.

Exactly how Klaus Fuchs got to Los Alamos is an unanswered question.


Semyon Semyonov was Harry Gold's controller at the time of Gold's first meeting with Fuchs in February 1944. Soon thereafter Anatolii Yatskov (work name Yakovlev) took over Gold from Semyonov. Gold knew Yatskov only as JOHN. Operations with Fuchs went smoothly until without real warning Fuchs missed his rendezvous with Gold on 5 August 1944. A two month scramble ensued during which Yatskov and Gold tried to determine the reason for the blown contact and Fuchs whereabouts. The mystery was solved when Gold went to Boston in November 1944 and learned from Fuchs' sister that Klaus had been transferred to Camp 2, Los Alamos. (See Venona No. 902) In his confession to the FBI, Gold related two occasions when Yatskov seemingly was able to pull a rabbit out of a hat:

- "On the occaison of my next meeting with JOHN, which was in, I believe very late August of 1944, the following events occurred: 'The meeting took place on a very early Sunday morning, I would say about 8:30 or 9:00 o'clock, and it occurred in downtown New York, near Washington Square. At this time JOHN told me that he had ascertained the address of Klaus Fuchs, and that I should that very morning make inquiry at the address as to whether Klaus was there." (KF-AS, p.207) The address was Fuchs' New York apartment at 128 West 77th Street.

- "On the occasion of the next meeting, about the middle of September, JOHN told me with great glee that he had ascertained both the name and the whereabouts of Fuchs' sister. The name that he gave me was that of Mrs. Robert Heineman, and the address was merely Cambridge, Massachusetts. I do not recall JOHN having given me the street and number." (KF-AS, p.209)

An interesting, unanswered question is, who or what was Yatskov's backup source of information on Fuchs? The answer might not be prosaic. For example, this supposition: Yatskov's superior in the U.S., if not immediate boss, was Vasili Zarubin, KGB Resident for North America. Zarubin knew the big picture on Soviet intelligence operations in the U.S., to include both legal and illegal lines. He was initially stationed in New York, but moved to the Soviet Embassy in Washington DC in 1943. With respect to Yatskov's 'hat tricks' mentioned above, Zarubin could easily have 'fished' this information with a query delivered to Donald Maclean. Maclean "was assigned a top-secret Foreign Office mission to Washington, coordinating the American atomic bomb project with the British equivalent, known as Tube Alloys....As his wife Melinda was pregnant again, and so lived with her mother and stepfather in their apartment in Manhattan, Maclean had cast-iron cover for visits every weekend. He gave his handler in New York oceans of scientific secrets and microfilms as well as his own priceless political intelligence." (MFCF, p.6) Maclean obviously would have access to Fuchs' personnel file at the British Ministry of Supply offices in New York or Washington. This file would have contained Fuchs' New York apartment address as well as an entry on a sister in Cambridge, whom Klaus visited as often as possible (his first visit was Christmas, 1943). Maclean's "handler" in New York, confirmed by Venona No. 915, 28064, was Vladimir Pravdin. (Pravdin, under cover as a journalist for TASS, took over as illegal resident in New York when Iskhak Akhmerov moved to Baltimore in 1944.) Hence: Yatskov to Kvasnikov to Zarubin to Pravdin to Maclean, and back.

Two Confessions

A major discrepancy exists between the confession of Harry Gold and the confession of Klaus Fuchs on the subject of their meetings after September 1945. Gold was crystal clear with the FBI that he never saw Fuchs again after their meeting on 19 September. Fuchs told Michael Perrin that he met Gold (Raymond) in Santa Fe in the spring of 1946. (KF-AS, p.191) We believe Gold's statement is completely true, but Fuch's is only half true--he did meet a Soviet contact in 1946 but it wasn't Gold. (Operationally, it would be very un-KGB if there was no contact with Fuchs from September 1945 until he left the United States in June 1946. The proposition becomes less palatable when considering Feklisov's claim that Fuchs' first KGB contact after returning to England was with him in September 1947. That would mean the KGB had zero contact with their #1 or #2 atomic spy for a full two years? Nonsense)

We theorize that the defection of Igor Gouzenko on 5 September 1945 had a significant impact on the KGB agenda for Fuchs. In his book Dark Sun, Richard Rhodes also has this view. With respect to sending Gold back to Santa Fe in 1946, Rhodes speculates that Gold did not make the trip because he was in disfavor with Anatoli Yatskov and/or considered potentially at risk due to Gouzenko. He further suggests that Lona Cohen would have been a likely choice as a substitute courier for Gold. (DS, p.245). In support of this idea, there is a KGB document which suggests that Lona Cohen was a cog in the residentura's communication scheme with Fuchs. (See Tradecraft below). A more compelling choice, in our opinion, for a 1946 mission to service Fuchs might have been Lona's husband, Morris Cohen. Morris returned from Europe in November 1945 and was available. Out of KGB service since July 1942, he would be completely 'clean' of the Gouzenko problem (Lona had made trips to Canada). Alternatively, maybe Lona and Morris went together to New Mexico, which would be excellent cover.

The Gouzenko spy case was first published in the press on 15 February 1946, and Alan Nunn May was arrested 5 days later. There is a humorous yet interesting anecdote about this in the Norman Moss biography. The day after Nunn May was arrested a number of people at Los Alamos were talking about it. These included Fuchs and Else Pletschek, the wife of Los Alamos scientist Ernest Pletschek. She had previously been married to a physicist working in Montreal and knew Nunn May. She was asked about May by the others: "She found it difficult to ascribe any special characteristics to him. She said he was very quiet and one did not notice him much, and then she said, 'He was just a nice, quiet bachelor, very helpful at parties. Just like Klaus here.' Fuchs flushed and became visibly uncomfortable. The others assumed this was just because attention was drawn to him." (KF-AB, p.90)

Of course, we can now better understand Klaus' temporary lack of composure. It can be drawn from Gold's statement to the FBI on 10 July 1950, that he and Fuchs made no contingency arrangements in their September 1945 meeting for the possibility that Fuchs would stay at Los Alamos well into 1946. Given the news of Nunn May's arrest and the lack of a scheduled future contact, one can imagine that Fuchs was feeling a little exposed in the spring of 1946. Likewise, Vasili Zarubin, U.S. KGB Resident, no doubt felt several imperatives (read Beria) for doing something creative.

We think there are unanswered questions about contacts with Fuchs after September 1945.


Evidently the KGB used the good old US Postal system to coordinate their nefarious activities. From The Haunted Wood: "The next scheduled contact between Klaus Fuchs and Harry Gold, fixed for the first Sunday in June 1945, suddenly involved Lona Cohen as well. But why? Why, Moscow asked its New York operatives, should Fuchs now have to send a prearranged letter to Lona's address in case of unexpected changes?" (THW, p.207) Although the Center questioned New York about the plan there is no indication that they nixed it. Quite interesting.

It seems that "prearranged" letters were standard operating procedure for the KGB in America. In his book Comment Staline, about the Cohens and an atomic spy they purportedly named Perseus, Chikov wrote: "In the event [Perseus] should know in advance that he could not make the meeting, he should send a letter containing a pre-arranged phrase: 'I will not be able to get any leave for a while.' That would put the meeting off for another month. To schedule an emergency meeting, he should write that he would like to take a break after a certain date, on which day his contact would appear. I am not at liberty to say to whom he wrote." (CS, p.151) Chickov's book is only about the Cohens and Perseus. Since Chikov is not at liberty to say to whom Perseus wrote, that person is not Lona Cohen.

We think Fuchs would have exercised the emergency meeting procedure in 1946 after Nunn May was arrested. However, a more compelling question for us is to whom was Perseus to write to coordinate an unscheduled meeting? If the New York residency was prepared to use Lona Cohen as a 'mail drop' for Fuchs, we think a very reasonable nomination for Perseus' correspondent would be Julius Rosenberg. Such would begin to fathom his unexplained Manhattan Project knowledge. (Set R refers)

Fuchs and GURON

The Haunted Wood by Weinstein and Vassiliev contains a previously unreported incident about Klaus Fuchs, namely that he called a Soviet agent with the cover name GURON to reestablish contact with the KGB after that contact had been broken by his abrupt transfer to Los Alamos in August 1944. GURON is a cover name found in several Venona messages and believed to be an atomic source. The story from Weinstein and Vassiliev: Harry Gold was Klaus Fuchs' courier, his 'work' name was Raymond, and his codename in Venona was GUS (later ARNO). In December 1944 when Gold visited Fuchs' sister, Kristel Heineman, in Cambridge MA, he gave her a piece of paper with a phone number for a Yatskov agent, someone codenamed GURON. Kristel was to give this to Klaus when he visited over Christmas, and Klaus was to call GURON. Fuchs was unable to get leave from Los Alamos over Christmas but did visit his sister in February 1945. He made the call to GURON, who in turn informed Yatskov "of a stranger's call inviting someone named Raymond (Gold's alias) to visit him at his sister's home." (THW, p.203)

This account from The Haunted Wood must be compared with Harry Gold's confession about the same event: "This second trip to Cambridge occurred in either very late October or most likely in early November. Upon this occasion I took with me a piece of paper or a card inclosed in an envelope, and on this piece of paper were the following instructions: There was given the name of a man and phone number. I believe that the first name began with a 'J' and that the last name was something like 'KAPLOUN,' but I am not very certain on this point at all. Also on the piece of paper was the information that Klaus was to call the phone number given, any time on any morning between the hours of 8:00 and 8:30, and was to give the following message: Merely to say, 'I have arrived in Cambridge and will be here for _____ many days.' This message was printed by me in engineering lettering, but the details were given to me by JOHN [Yatskov]. Also, the message was sealed in the envelope." (KF-AS, p.209-10)

We believe the two stories are about the same event. We do not believe, however, that the name in the envelope was GURON, a real codename. It is a major violation of tradecraft for agents to know their own codenames or those of other agents. Nonetheless, we do credit the Haunted Wood account that the person Fuchs called, whose name he was told was 'J.... Kaploun,' was the agent GURON. For the plan to work, GURON (Kaploun) has to be instructed to be by the phone during the specified half hour, and has to understand the import of a caller who simply says, "I have arrived in Cambridge for X days," and hangs up. GURON and IRI are unidentified Venona codenames. It is almost a certainty that they were atomic spies, sources for Russian intelligence on the Manhattan Project. Along with other writers we believe cover names GURON and IRI have an association to Great Lakes Huron and Erie, respectively. We also think that these agents were probably located in Canada--the Manhattan Project and Tube Alloys had facilities in Montreal and Chalk River.

The GURON and IRI messages may be among the most interesting Venona decryptions:

The GURON / IRI / ERNEST messages
1. No. 912, NY to Moscow, 27 June 1944 (IRI, and GURON)
2. No. 1403, NY to Moscow, 5 October 1944 (GURON to ERNEST, IRI changed to GEORGE/S)
3. No. 1429, NY to Moscow, 9 October 1944 (GURON)
4. No. 210, NY to Moscow, 10 February 1945 (ERNEST)
5. No. 164, Moscow to NY, 20 February 1945 (ERNEST back to GURON, IRI amended to ERNEST)
6. No. 259, Moscow to NY, 21 March 1945 (GURON)
7. No. 989, NY to Moscow, 26 June 1945 (ERNEST)
8. No. 619, San Francisco to Moscow, 27 November 1945 (ERNEST)

The first message, No. 912 of 27 June 1944, contains both IRI and GURON. The sense is that both agents are being transferred to SMART (unidentified) for contact and handling.

The second message, No. 1403 dated 5 October 1944, is a code name change message. It changed 27 cover names as a precaution owing to the Mironov affair (confirmation from the Center on the changes was requested). This message changed GURON to ERNEST, and IRI to GEORGES.

The third message, No. 1429 of 9 October 1944, is an unusual message. Theoretically, it should not contain the cover name GURON which was replaced by ERNEST several days previous on 5 Oct (But perhaps confirmation had not yet been received). Furthermore, this message is not available on the NSA's website.

The fourth message, No. 210 of 10 February 1945, is listed in the Index of KGB cover names as an ERNEST message, but when viewed does not contain the cover name ERNEST. An NSA comment indicates that other parts of this message were not available. It is important to note that ERNEST in this message is the former GURON.

The fifth message, No. 164 of 20 February 1945, is an important message. It is from the Center to New York, to the attention of Leonid Kvasnikov. It begins, "Your number 97 [ii]. Leave the covername 'GURON' unchanged; IRI amend to 'ERNEST'." The NSA footnote [ii] on number 97 says, "Not available." Its number tells us that it was the 97th NY to Moscow message sent in 1945; it was likely sent by Kvasnikov around 23 January 1945 (No. 95, available, was sent on 23 January). In No. 97, Kvasnikov must have reported some issues with regard to cover name GURON (officially not then in use). After three weeks Moscow instructs Kvasnikov to return to using GURON, and to assign ERNEST to IRI. It therefore has to be concluded that any ERNEST message during the period 5 Oct 44 to 20 Feb 45 actually refers to GURON, and any ERNEST message after 20 February 1945 refers to the agent IRI. It is hard to speculate on the basis for these cover name changes. (One can grant going back to GURON, but why the assignment of ERNEST to IRI?)

The sixth message, No. 259 of 21 March 1945, Moscow to New York, directs GURON to visit Chicago to re-establish contact with VEKSEL and meet a scientist whose name is redacted. The redacted name is eight letters long and is undoubtedly a real surname. The NSA usually redacts the name of anyone still alive.

The seventh message, No. 989, NY to Moscow, of 26 June 1945 is an ERNEST (IRI) message. It is not presently available on the NSA's website but has been issued in paper form. Only a brief fragment out of over 300 groups was recovered. The text fragment conveys recognition (parole) signals for use in telephone contact between an unidentified agent and ERNEST. The unidentified agent is to initiate the conversation with the words, "This is your old friend." ERNEST is to answer, "Hullo, you old son of a gun." The message was signed by ANTON, Leonid Kvasnikov who was in charge of Atomic intelligence for the NY residentura.

The eighth message, No. 619 of 27 November 1945, is an ERNEST message. Interestingly, it is a San Francisco to Moscow message, which suggests that ERNEST may have traveled to California. This message indicates that ERNEST has obtained a copy of the Smyth Report on the history of the development of the atomic bomb. Also reported is that ERNEST had received a letter from "D" (unidentified).

We accept and stipulate the information uncovered by Weinstein and Vassiliev that the person Fuchs telephoned to restore his contact with the KGB was the agent GURON. All of the indicators from Venona are that GURON was a scientist working on atomic research. Venona No. 912 proposed the transfer of GURON and IRI to SMART (we assume this was approved by the Center). In their book Venona (p. 366), Haynes and Klehr profile SMART this way: "SMART: asset of the New York KGB who worked on technical intelligence in 1944. Not clear whether Smart was an American or a Soviet. The KGB also arranged for Smart to make contact with the GRU." Thus, the probable communication channel for this contact was: Fuchs notified GURON of his presence in Boston; GURON passed the message to SMART; SMART passed it to Yatskov, who immediately sent Gold to Boston.

We found the Fuchs-GURON datum of particular interest because in Set G we have pushed the theory that GURON was Alan Nunn May. We have not seen it reported that Nunn May and Fuchs were personally acquainted. We think it is a safe assumption, however, that Fuchs knew Nunn May at least by name as a member of the British Mission. It is an open question whether they had met in England as fellow researchers on Tube Alloys, or possibly as 'comrades' in the London underground party milieu. Nunn May was a member of the CPGB and Fuchs had ties to that organization. Having Fuchs call Nunn May in Canada raises many tradecraft issues, and would appear to be risky. But in the summer and fall of 1944 the residentura had to deal with two closely linked mega-problems: their entire leadership was under suspicion of being traitors, and their top atomic agent was incommunicado. They had to compensate, come up with new "liaisons" and workarounds, change all agent cover names, etc. You don't go to these extremes unless you face the possibility that all of your operations and agents are compromised. Therefore, we do not think that a short, anonymous call by Fuchs to Nunn May is completely improbable. Even if uncovered, it would appear normal, i.e. two British scientists staying in touch.

(The Soviets changed all of their code names in September and October 1944. The NSA has published two Venona decryptions which reflect this, No. 1251 (02094) and No. 1403 (05104). The residentura was accomplishing this 'project' in stages. Each change message ends with, "Please confirm. Continuation later." More probably than not there was another change message after 1403 on 5 October. The cover name changes only applied to foreign agents, not KGB staff. One would expect SMART to have been changed in 1403 which changed GURON and IRI. Since there is no change for SMART, this would be further indication that he was a Soviet.)

No question, of course, the foregoing is a house of cards--its twin pillars being that Fuchs telephoned GURON and Alan Nunn May was GURON. Notwithstanding these hypotheticals, there are still unanswered questions concerning the KGB's effort to reconnect with Fuchs, as well as the identiy of GURON.

Britain, 1946-1947

The following are synopsized accounts of Fuchs' return to Britain in 1946 and resumption of spying for the Soviets. They are sketchy, contradictory and, for the most part, not definitively sourced. Common to all, however, is the information that Fuchs initiated the renewed contact, and that a woman by the name of Johanna Klopstech was involved as an intermediary.

Williams. Fuchs tried to contact Jurgen Kuczynski, as Gold had instructed him to do. After Fuchs learned that Kuczynski was no longer in England he contacted another member of the KPD in England, Johanna Klopstech, a thirty-seven year old woman who had been a stenoptypist for the KPD refugee organization in Czechoslovakia. "According to Fuchs, Klopstech put him in touch with the agent who served as his last contact in England." (KF-AS, p.100) Comment: There is no mention of Kuczynski in Harry Gold's confession. Rrather, the contact person at Mornington Crescent would be someone unknown to Fuchs (KF-AS, p.216-7).

Moss. In 1947, after a skiing trip to Switzerland with the Pierels, Fuchs decided to resume spying for the Russians. Assuming the arrangements with Gold (Mornington Cresent) were obsolete, he tried to contact Jurgen Kuczynski. Learning that Kuczynski had returned to Germany, Fuchs then contacted a woman emigre acquaintance who was from the Sudentenland (the German-speaking part of Czechoslovakia). She had been a member of the KPD in England before the war. Fuchs went to see her and asked to be put in touch with whomever had taken Kuczynski's place in the underground. This woman was then able to provide Fuchs with instructions for a rendezvous with a Soviet intelligence agent at the Nags Head Pub in Wood Green. (KF-AB, p.103-4) Comment: The detailed contact instructions Gold gave to Fuchs in NM came from the residentura--Gold could not have freelanced such decisions and specifics (e.g. Bennet Cerf book to be carried by soviet, KF-AS, p. 217). Unless Fuchs later received countermanding instructions, we feel he would have gone to Mornington Crescent for at least a couple of consecutive months before turning to his KPD network.

West and Tsarev. The last Fuchs-Gold meeting was in New Mexico in September 1945. The next meeting was scheduled for December 1945 at Mornington Crescent, north London. It never took place because all operations were suspended in November as a result of Igor Gouzneko's defection in Canada. The London rezidentura avoided contact with Fuchs until August 1946 when Konstantin Kukin sent Pavel Yerzin to the Mornington Crescent rendezvous. Yerzin did not see Fuchs. Kukin sent an interrogatory to the Center but before he got a reply Fuchs tried to make contact through two different channels. The first was Jurgen Kuczynski's wife. Fuchs contacted her and explained that he had gone to the Mornington Crescent rendezvous on several occasions but his Soviet contact had not shown up. She referred Fuchs to Hanna Klopstech, and the two met. Klopstech then contacted Hans Zibert with Fuchs' message/request to Soviet intelligence. In turn, Zibert got the message to Kukin, who reported the matter to the Center. While Moscow was reviewing the situation Jimmy Shields an employee of the CPGB approached Zibert with a second attempt by Fuchs to make something happen (Klopstech had not shown up for a meeting with Klaus). Fuchs had contacted Angela Tuckett through her sister. Tuckett was an old friend of Fuchs who worked for the Daily Worker. Fuch's asked Tuckett to get a message to Party leadership that, "a man from Edinburgh wishes to see big Hanna." Tuckett took this to Shields, who took it to Zibert, who once again passed it to Kukin. The Center agreed to a suggestion by Ovakimyan and Kukin that Hanna Klopstech should be the liaison with Fuchs. On 31 May 1947 Hanna met Angela Tuckett. Tuckett told Klopstech that Fuchs desired a rendezvous on 19 July in Richmond Park. The Soviets agreed to this plan and gave Hanna instructions for Fuchs. These instructions directed him to meet a Soviet intelligence officer on 27 September 1947 in a pub across from the Wood Green underground station. The parole for the contact would be the question, "Do you know big Hanna?" (TCJ, p. 238-41)

Weinstein and Vassiliev. Having recently returned from America, Fuchs contacted Jurgen Kuchinsky's wife and asked her for help in contacting Soviet intelligence. This was reported to the KGB by one Hans Sibert, a leading German Communist exile in London. Moscow, for a host of reasons, responded cautiously: "Devising a method to contact Fuchs without resorting to German Communist intermediaries was complicated by the trust Fuchs had in his former comrades." Nonetheless, the NKGB briefed Hanna Klopstech and sent her to meet Fuchs in London's Richmond Park on 19 July 1947. She passed to Fuchs the instructions for meeting a Soviet intelligence agent in a bar opposite the Wood Green underground station on 27 September. (THW, p.312) Comment: Since TCJ is listed in THW's bibliography, this account is probably derived from TCJ.

Feklisov with Kostin. "Despite the fact that he was a very disciplined agent, Fuchs decided to contact the Soviets on his own and against the strictest orders of the Center." He once again went to the KPD underground in England. However, Jurgen Kuczynski had returned to Germany, and no one knew what had happened to Sonya. Fuchs had a friend in London, "Johanna Klopstech, alias Martha," a German emigre whom he knew before the war. He saw her in London and asked her to contact Soviet intelligence. Klopstech was a so-called "reliable person," not a Soviet "agent." Fuchs met his new case officer on Saturday, September 27, at 8 pm. The parole challenge and response was: Fuchs, "I think the best British heavyweight of all time is Bruce Woodcock." Feklisov, "Oh no, Tommy Farr is certainly the best!" (TMBTR, p.208-10)

Of the above, the West-Tsarev account is the most comprehensive, covering 4 complete pages, and affirms the viability of the Mornington Crescent arrangements. The Feklisov-Kostin account is the most authoritative (ostensibly), covers just 1 paragraph, and is negligently silent about the residentura's contact instructions given by Gold to Fuchs. With regard to the record, they must be presumed operative. The Fuchs-Gold arrangements were: On the first Saturday of the month after he arrived in England, Fuchs was to go to the Mornington Crescent tube station. The appointed time was 8:00 pm, and the meeting was to take place on the street. The month Klaus returned to England was to be learned by the Soviets through enquiry with Klaus' sister. In any case Klaus planned to visit his sister at Christmastime, 1945, and Soviet intelligence should contact Kristel prior to Christmas to confirm his whereabouts. (Gold Confession, KF-AS, p.216-7)

The Crown Jewels states that a rendezvous at Mornington Crescent was scheduled in December 1945 but did not occur because of an operational suspension resulting from the Gouzenko defection.
- December 1945 would seem to be a non-starter in view of the fact that Harry Gold told the FBI twice that Klaus planned to spend Christmas 1945 in Cambridge with his sister, and that by late November Klaus knew he would not be back in Britain in December, let alone by the first Saturday (December 1). But if December had somehow been stipulated, the reason it didn't go down wasn't Gouzenko. Fuchs was still in America where his services were required.
- On the other hand, the August 1946 attempt by Yerzin does fit with the Fuchs-Gold arrangement--August being the month after Fuchs' effective return, July.

The Man Behind account is unusually sparse, and improbable as well. It begins, "Klaus Fuchs had had no contact with Soviet intelligence since his return to England in July 1946. Fifteen months is a long time and he was anxious to pass along the information he had gathered."
- Given the West account, it is curious, if not implausible, that Feklisov does not mention either the residentura's or Fuchs' attempts to make the meet at Mornington Crescent.
- "No one knew what had happened to Sonya." But nothing had happened to Sonya in the sense of her whereabouts. She was still in the Oxford area, where she had been the last time Fuchs saw her. Kuczynski's wife, whom Klaus reportedly contacted in Jurgen's absence, certainly knew where her sister-in-law was living. The Sonya statement is disingenuous because Feklisov knew (when writing the book) what the Sonya problem was. It happened circa March 1947, just when the Center thought it was out of the 'Gouzenko woods' on Fuchs. Alexander Foote, one of Sonya's comrade-spies from Switzerland, defected to MI5 and uncovered her (TSTL, p.126-7). The Center of course was tracking and managing this new crisis through Phillby and company. By the start of summer Moscow realized that their plans and schedule for reactivating Fuchs were being derailed, and Fuchs' own imprudence threatened catastrophe. The fix necessitated the hasty recall of Feklisov from a July vacation at the Black Sea. (TMBTR, p.167)
- "Fuchs had no contact with Soviet intelligence since ... July 1946 ... fifteen months." (July 1946 to September 1947 equals fifteen months). The Fuchs-Gold meeting on 19 September 1945 and Fuchs' departure for England in late June 1946 are both covered by Feklisov in Man Behind. He mentions no other Soviet contacts during this nine-month period. Thus, Fuchs would actually have gone 24 months without contact with Soviet intelligence. Hardly inconsequential, and conspicuously not addressed by the author.
- "Against the strictest orders of the Center ... [Fuchs] went to the local German Communist Party underground." This language smacks of an explicit caution given to Fuchs by a person and a date certain. The logical time for this to have occurred was while Klaus was still in America (if "fifteen months" is true, it would had to have been in America). Gold's confession is detailed and comprehensive. It doesn't mention such unequivocal admonishment to Fuchs.

This period of the Klaus Fuchs story, September 1945 to September 1947, is shrouded in ambiguity. Clearly, if he had chosen to, Alexander Feklisov could have made sense of it for readers. It is no mere coincidence that the hiatus and confusion begin after September 1945, the month Igor Gouzenko defected in Canada.


Igor Gouzenko, a GRU cipher clerk at the Soviet embassy in Ottawa, defected on 5 September 1945. He quickly advised Canadian authorities of the extensive espionage activities of the Soviet Union. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was responsible for the investigation of Gouzenko's charges. Canada was part of the Commonwealth--thus British intelligence was a full partner in the investigation. In terms of charter, it was MI6's bailiwick, specifically the new Soviet Counter-intelligence Department, Section IX. The head of Section IX was Kim Phillby. However, for reasons unclear, MI5 was chosen to the lead British investigative effort. MI5 Officer Roger Hollis was in charge of the Gouzenko case. In the fall of 1945, Hollis traveled to Canada to interview Gouzenko and make a first hand assessment (TSTL, p.109). Although MI5 had the lead, there was a complete sharing of information with MI6.

Lamentably, there exists a rule of thumb in 1940's espionage: If British intelligence knew it, then Soviet intelligence knew it. This can be fairly called the Cambridge Cock-up Thumb Rule (CCTR). The Gouzenko affair provides an object lesson in this principle of action. Consider the following instance knitted from Chapman Pincher's Too Secret Too Long and West's The Crown Jewels:

TSTL. "[Roger] Hollis had brought back from Canada the translation of a document provided by Gouzenko revealing the arrangements whereby Nunn May was to establish contact with the Soviets on his return to London so that he could continue his espionage. Neither Nunn May nor the contact kept any of the proposed meetings, indicating that both had been warned of the danger" (TSTL, p.109).

TCJ. On 18 November 1945, Kim Phillby reported the following to Moscow Center: "MI5 has established four planned meetings of May with his London contact. These meetings were fixed for 7, 17,and 27 October and 7 November. Neither May nor any of his contacts appeared at these meetings."(TCJ, p.238)

The Center did not need Phillby to appreciate that it was unsafe for Nunn May to follow his contact plan back in London. But the Phillby report is a breathtaking example of how Moscow was able to monitor and manage their Gouzenko problem from start to finish. The record shows that the Gouzenko matter turned up the name Klaus Fuchs. Ipso facto, the Center would react quickly to assess Fuchs' vulnerability and to protect that operation.

On 20 November 1945 Fuchs left Los Alamos for vacation. He first went to Montreal, Canada, where he conferred with John Cockcroft and some British civil servants about a position in England with the Atomic Research Establishment. Before going to Montreal, however, Fuchs had accepted an invitation from the Peierls to join them and the Tellers on a trip to Mexico City (Klaus volunteered his car for the trip; Edward Teller dropped out of the excursion). Fuchs returned from Canada and met the vacation party at the Albuquerque Airport on 25 November. After a two-day car repair in Texas the group drove to Mexico City. The trip lasted several weeks. By all accounts, the travelers returned to Los Alamos before Christmas. (KF-AB, p.86-7; KF-AS, p.87) The literature does not mention a visit by Fuchs to the Heineman's in Boston at Christmas 1945. Whatever the matter, Klaus would have informed Kristel of his plans for the Christmas period, and Kristel would have passed this information to the Soviets if contacted. Was she contacted? All of the evidence is that, if she was, it was not through Harry Gold. Up to this point, Harry Gold had been the KGB's liaison with Fuchs' sister. In his FBI confession, Gold did not mention any contact with Kristel after his February 1945 visit to Cambridge (when he met Klaus at the Heineman home).

Gold also stated that his September 1945 contact with Klaus was his last: "Since this last meeting that I had with Klaus Fuchs, in September of 1945, I have never seen nor heard from him again." (KF-AS, p. 218) Nor is this surprising. Gouzenko implicated communist Israel Halperin. The RCMP obtained Halperin's address book with Fuchs name listed along with Kristel's name and U.S. address. MI5 was provided this information (as was the FBI). Invoking CCTR, we confidently suggest that Soviet intelligence was aware of this development, and thus, in an abundance of caution, would quickly move to disconnect Gold from both Fuchs and his sister. (Indeed, the FBI interviewed Kristel in summer 1946.)

For the Center, the Halperin address book was an unforeseen bleed over to Fuchs. Were there any other vulnerabilities to Fuchs from Gouzenko? What about Nunn May? In view of their common Tube Alloys and Communist Party backgrounds, had absolute compartmentalization been maintained between Fuchs and May? Is there the slightest possibility that May was GURON? Would the mere discovery of May's espionage cause close scrutiny of Fuchs? Whatever the answers, the Center was in control--CCTR. We believe it a virtual imperative, dictated by the fall out from Gouzneko, that the KGB had direct contact with Fuchs after September 1945 and before his return to England. Fuchs himself stated such contact occurred in New Mexico in 1946, although he finessed the matter by laying it off on Gold. The FBI's Robert Lamphere did not have benefit of Gold's confession when he interviewed Fuchs in May 1950, so this inconsistency between Fuchs and Gold was not exposed at the time. But interestingly Lamphere tumbled to it, albeit in left handed fashion, decades later and, as discussed above, the suggested courier was Lona Cohen. From The FBI-KGB War:

"[Lona] served as a courier to Perseus and allegedly made two trips to Albuquerque to meet with him. I find the foregoing interesting because a few years ago I flew to Albuquerque to be filmed by a soviet film crew operating under Producer Rostislav Andeyev. He questioned me about Lona Cohen having served as a courier to Klaus Fuchs. [Interesting] I disputed the idea, saying that both Fuchs and Gold were certain that Gold had been the only courier meeting with Fuchs. It is, of course, possible that Lona might have been a courier to Fuchs after his last meeting with Gold in September of 1945 when Fuchs had stayed on at Los Alamos into 1946. This would have meant that Fuchs had lied to me. It also would have meant that the KGB had again violated the basic principles of net work security in crossing between two operations.� True, but the circumstances were such that the Center had no choice.

Fuchs and Perseus

In 1996 Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern published Comment Staline (Set A). The book is about Morris and Lona Cohen, two Americans who became communists in the 1930�s, and Soviet intelligence agents in the early 1940�s. The crux of Chikov�s story is that Morris Cohen recruited an atomic physicist in 1942, Lona Cohen became the spy�s courier after Morris went into the Army, and the couple referred to him as Perseus. Ostensibly, Chikov could have written his book without any particular mention of Klaus Fuchs. That there is more than passing reference to Fuchs in Comment Staline is a phenomenon worth examining. Chikov wrote:

- "Thenceforth, at discrete moments, Fuchs was asked questions or requested to provide papers that would cover material previously provided by Perseus. When [Fuchs] moved to Los Alamos in 1944, he assumed an ideal position to duplicate the efforts of the No. 1 spy already on the scene. Thus it may be said that Soviet intelligence had a pair of doppelganger [d�un duo de sosies] at the Los Alamos site." (CS, p. 155)

This quote is an excerpt from a subchapter in Comment Staline titled The Backup Plan. The episode occurs during 1943, being placed between the subchapter dealing with Perseus' entry circa March 1943,and the following subchapter which tells of a trip by Lona Cohen to New Mexico in July 1943 to courier Perseus (Mission to New Mexico). As described by Chikov (CS, p.152-6), The Backup Plan was a proposal made by Pavel Fitin, head of the KGB First Directorate, to Lavrenti Beria. Fitin�s idea was to use information obtained from Fuchs to independently corroborate information received from Perseus. Appropriate questions put to Fuchs would facilitate this objective (more). About this scheme, Chikov wrote further: "Traces of this backup plan may be seen in Fuch's confession to Dr. Michael Perrin in January 1950, though only dimly. The supposedly penitent spy remained remarkably tight-lipped throughout the period of his interrogation, trial and incarceration." Perrin's report of Fuchs' oral confession can be read at Appendix B of Robert Chadwell Williams' worthy book on Fuchs. The "traces" indicated by Chikov are most likely the following:

Perrin statement, "First Period. From 1942 to December 1943"
- "The [Soviet] agent with whom [Fuchs] was in contact clearly understood none of the technical details, but according to Fuchs, he was in no way surprised to hear work directed to the production of an atomic bomb, and on one occasion asked Fuchs what he knew about the electro-magnetic method as an alternative means of separating the uranium isotopes. This very much surprised Fuchs who, at the time, knew nothing of any work on this method and had never considered it."

Perrin statement, "Fourth Period. Harwell. Summer of 1946 to spring of 1949"
- "During 1947 Fuchs was asked on one occasion by the Russian agent for any information he could give about 'the tritium bomb.' He said that he was very surprised to have the question put in these particular terms and it suggested to him (as had the earlier request for information about the electro-magnetic isotopes separation process) the Russians were getting information from other sources."

Three interesting associations between Klaus Fuchs and Perseus are found in Comment Staline:
1. In terms of value and importance to the Soviets, Fuchs and Perseus were of equal rank�they were considered espionage doubles, twins.
2. The atomic work that Fuchs and Perseus were doing was related or overlapped. But it was Fuchs who would be used to corroborate Perseus.
3. The dating is 1943--Fuchs was in Britain and Perseus was in America.

The interrogative to Fuchs on electro-magnetic separation is interesting�Fuchs found it so, likewise Perrin, and so do we. This research was being conducted in two places: the Radiation Lab at the University of California at Berkeley, in the form of the Calutron project headed by Ernest Lawrence; and the Isotron project headed by Robert Wilson at Princeton University in New Jersey. The Isotron project was begun in November 1941 and cancelled in December 1942; the Calutron project continued throughout 1943. According to Chikov, Perseus was recruited by the Soviets in the Spring of 1942, when both projects were in full swing; he then went to Los Alamos �in early 1943.� The possibility thus exists that Perseus was the source of the information from America on the electro-magnetic method. Having said that, the subject matter of the Backup Plan was Fuchs' primary field of research, the gaseous-diffusion method of isotope separation. If Chikov�s Backup Plan is true, then Perseus must also have been significantly involved in this area of research. (Scientist Z was involved in the research into the electro-magnetic separation method in 1942 and, thereafter at Los Alamos, became principally involved in diffusion matters).

It should be observed that, because of the dating as well as Fuchs' specialization in gaseous diffusion, Perseus cannot be Ted Hall, who was not employed on the Manhattan Project until January 1944 and who was not involved in diffusion or isotope separation. Thus readers can choose for themselves whether the Backup Plan has the ring of truth or Perseus is a myth created by Chikov.


In May 1949 the FBI established a new espionage unit. Its mission was to investigate information contained in WW II Soviet messages being decrypted by the Army Security Agency (ASA) at Arlington Hall. Its classified name was Soviet Messages Unit (SOVME). SOVME came under the Espionage Section of the Bureau's Internal Security Division, which was led by Assistant Director Howard B. Fletcher. The Espionage Section itself was headed by Lish Whitson. Later, William Branigan, Whitson's assistant, took over the Section and oversight of SOVME.

Branigan had been transferred to Washington from San Francisco following his noteworthy work on the CINRADCASE (Communist Infiltration Radiation Lab). He had had the unique experience of being on the other end of an incriminating wiretap that recorded conversation between Steve Nelson and Joseph Weinberg, a student of Robert Oppenheimer's at Berkeley. Branigan had also been responsible along with his partner, Special Agent Mike Cassidy, for the surveillance operation on Vasili Zarubin when Zarubin came to Oakland in April 1943 to meet Steve Nelson (BOTB, p.96-98). Zarubin was a KGB General and Station Chief (Resident) for all of North America.

Special Agent Robert Lamphere was the initial case supervisor assigned to SOVME and he headed the unit. Over the previous year he had been the FBI's liaison to the ASA code-breaking group directed by Meredith Gardner. In 1986 Lamphere published The FBI-KGB War, which is the primary public reference on SOVME. The second supervisor brought in was Ernest Van Loon. (TFKW, p.160) He was transferred from the Los Angeles field office where he headed the Special Case Squad. The first SOVME Unit investigation began in June 1949. Lamphere returned to Headquarters from Arlington Hall with fifty or sixty fragmentary decrypts. For reasons of security, they were given the cover name Bureau Source 5 (BOTB, p.213). This source is now known as the Venona Program, having been declassified in 1995. Lamphere brought the messages back to "FIVE�s" office and met Van Loon. The two supervisors split the messages in half and dug in. Van Loon�s portion happened to contain several decrypts indicting that two Soviet agents were engaged in atomic espionage. There codenames were REST and GUS.


At the beginning of the investigation, SOVME possessed at least eight Soviet decrypts containing cover names REST and/or GUS. As decrypted in the summer of 1949, each of these cables is detailed below:

- On May 8, 1944, New York advised Moscow that REST had reported that the work of the British Mission in the U.S. was not meeting with success due to misunderstandings. Moscow was further advised that REST might return to Great Britain or be posted to a special laboratory. (NY to M, #645, 08054)

- On June 15, 1944, New York reported to Moscow that materials described as �the third part of the report MSN-1 (one digit missing)� Efferent Fluctuation in a Stream� had been received from REST. In this connection, the words �diffusion method� and �work on his specialty� are mentioned. REST had expressed doubt about the possibility of staying in the US without arousing suspicion. REST reported that the Americans had told the British representative that construction of a plant in Great Britain would directly contradict the spirit of the agreement on Atomic Energy signed together with the Atlantic Charter; a representative of Great Britain in Washington was looking into the details of the transfer of the work to Great Britain; REST thought he would have to leave in four to six weeks. (NY to M, #850, 15064)

- On July 25, 1944, New York advised Moscow that �almost half a year of contact with REST� had demonstrated the value of his work. The residentura proposed to pay him a reward of $500. (NY to M, #1049, 25074)

- On August 28, 1944, New York advised Moscow that REST might be returning to Great Britain. The names ALEKSEY and GUS were mentioned in connection with REST�s status. GUS had advised on something related to REST, and apparently GUS was sent to see REST�s sister. The date of 20 September was mentioned as somebody's possible departure or arrival date. The $500. for REST had been authorized by Moscow. (NY to M, #1233, 29084)

- On October 1, 1944, New York passed to Moscow detailed information received from GUS about a Soviet agent with cover name CONSTRUCTOR. (The information contained in the message was such that it allowed the Bureau to immediately identify CONSTRUCTOR as Abraham Brothman.) (NY to M, #1390, 01104)

- On October 4, 1944, Moscow was advised that REST's sister had already returned home and that GUS's next trip to see her was planned for October 12. (NY to M, #1397, 04104)

- On October 5, 1944, New York changed REST's cover name to CHARLES, and GUS' cover name to ARNO. (NY to M, #1403, 05104)

- On November 16, 1944, reference was made to ARNO�s "last" trip to see REST�s sister. (NY to M, #902, 16114)

The foregoing is the sum and substance of the information the FBI gleaned from the initial decrypts on REST and GUS. In terms of viable investigative leads it netted out to the following: REST was most likely a member of the British Mission. REST gave the Soviets a document described as �the third part of MSN-1(one digit missing), Efferent Fluctuation in a Steam, diffusion method.� REST was likely to be a scientist whose work involved diffusion. By July 1944, REST had been in contact with Soviet intelligence for approximately six months; later in 1944 he may have returned to Great Britain. REST had a sister. REST was connected to another Soviet agent with cover name GUS. GUS had apparently made trips to visit REST�s sister. GUS was well acquainted with Abraham Brothman.

It is believed there are a total of 13 Venona messages containing REST or CHARLES; 7 of these also reflect cover names GUS or ARNO. There are 8 messages that contain GUS or ARNO alone. Thus, in total there are about 21 Venona messages that pertain to agents REST and GUS. At the very outset, SOVME had information from maybe half of them, and the decryption level was often less than 50% of what is available today. (Compare the meager information of BS-5 No. 1397 above, with the same declassified Venona message today.) Also interesting is the fact that SOVME apparently did not have the first REST message, No. 195 of 9 February 1944. This message definitively showed that REST was part of the British Mission and that GUS was probably his courier.


The most important and actionable lead from the decrypts was the information in message No. #850, 15 June 1944, on a technical report with the partial designation "MSN." That decrypt read, �received from REST the third part of the report MSN-1 (one digit missing) �. Efrent (Efferent?) Fluctuation in a Stream �. (diffu?)sion method �. work on his specialty.� In comments to this message, the ASA was able to advise that the missing digit was not 0, 1 or 5. Thus, a first step taken in the REST investigation was an enquiry to the AEC about documents bearing the designation �MSN� followed by a numeral. The enquiry was delivered to the AEC�s Security Office on 29 August by SA Charles W. Bates of the FBI�s Liaison Office. The FBI requested that the matter be handled discretely and be confined to the Security Office. SA Bates' primary contact at the AEC for this matter was with C. A. Rolander, Jr. The Security Office responded affirmatively: Such documents existed: �MS� referred to the series of reports originating from the British Mission, the �N� was added to indicate the New York Office of the Manhattan Engineering District, and the MSN series were numbered chronologically according to date.

Since the ASA comment on �MSN� excluded documents designated MSN-10 or 11, SOVME requested examination of reports MSN 12 through 19. This examination produced a giant leap forward in the investigation. On 6 September the SOVME supervisors learned learned from the AEC that MSN 12 was dated June 6, 1944, and MSN 13 was dated June 21, 1944: the Soviet cable mentioning the MSN report was dated June 15. Furthermore, the full title of MSN-12 was �Fluctuations and the Efficiency of a Diffusion Plant, Part III, The effect of Fluctuations in the flow on N2.� Thus it was quickly and conclusively shown that MSN-12 was the report mentioned in the Soviet message. The piece d�resistance (retrospectively), K. Fuchs was its author. The Bureau was further informed by the AEC on 7 September that, in addition to K. Fuchs, British scientists Rudolph Peirels, C. F. Kerarton and Tony Skyrme had full access to MSN-12. During August and September SA Bates was a frequent visitor to the AEC Security Office (housed in a separate building from the commissioners offices). On 14 September SA Bates asked AEC Security whether Fuchs was planning to visit the U.S. in the near future. He was advised that Fuchs had intended to participate in a declassification conference on 26-28 September but had cancelled due to illness. (Memo to Files, 19 September 1949, C. A. Rolander, AEC)

File Search

A Bureau file search was conducted on Peierls, Kearton, Skyrme and Fuchs. The following items were returned on Fuchs:

- In 1944 the Bureau received a letter dated March 28, 1944, from the MED in Washington D.C. providing a comprehensve list of British scientists in the U.S. engaged in work for the MED. Included in this list was the name of "K. Fuchs", who had entered the U. S. on December 3, 1943, and who was employed in New York.

- In 1944 the Bureau received a letter dated August 11, 1944, from the MED in Washington D.C. advising that "Dr. K. Fuchs" had been transferred to "Y" on August 14, 1944.

- In June 1945 FBI Headquarters received a captured list of thousands of German citizens whom the Gestapo suspected of Communist activity. The list contained the following entry: "Klaus Fuchs, student of philosophy, December 29, 1911, Russelsheim, RSHA-IVA2, Gestapo Field Office Kiel." (It is not presently known when this information was translated and indexed in FBI files, but available documents suggest that it was subsequent to March 1946. See below)

- In March 1946 the Bureau received information from Canadian authority that the address book in the possession of Israel Halperin at the time of his apprehension in February 1946 contained the following entry: "Klaus Fuchs, Asst. to M. Born, 84 Grange Lane, University of Edinburgh, Scotland Camp N. �Camp L., Internment Operations � Kristel Heineman, 55 Carvel Road, Watertown.� Halperin had been uncovered as a result of the Gouzenko defection and discovered to be an agent of the GRU. The Bureau took note of the fact that Halperin�s address for Kristel Fuchs Heineman was five years old (1941) at the time of his arrest.

- The Halperin information resulted in a Bureau file search on Kristel Heineman. This search yielded the occurrence of a security investigation in 1946 on Robert Block Heineman and his wife Kristel Fuchs Heineman. The file showed that the Heinemans had lived in Watertown, MA, that Robert Heineman had been a member of the Communist Party, and that Mrs. Heineman was the sister of �Dr. Karl Fuchs.�

- In 1946 the Bureau received a letter dated July 2, 1946, from the War Department notifying the Bureau that "Dr. K. Fuchs" had returned to England on June 28, 1946, by bomber from Montreal, Canada.

In August 1949, concurrent with the ongoing enquiries at the AEC, SOVME queried the British Embassy for information on members of the British Mission assigned to New York in 1944. This request did not discuss Klaus Fuchs, but did mention covername REST in the context of BS-5. In a memorandum dated September 7, 1949, the British replied with background on Peierls, Kearton, Skyrme, and Fuchs. The information on the first three scientists was relatively accurate and checked-out with information already received from the AEC. However, the information on Fuchs was unaccountably riddled with inaccuracies. Fuchs� place of birth was given as �Ruesselhtenm, country unknown;� he was said to be a �medical physicist;� and it was stated that he had been posted to Oak Ridge on August 14, 1944. The Bureau was not happy to learn that Fuchs was currently a senior researcher at the Atomic Energy Project at Harwell, England.

By the second week in September 1949 the SOVME supervisors had Klaus Fuchs at the top of a short list of persons who might be identical to REST. Fuchs was the author of MSN-12, and he had a sister in America with communist connections. On September 22, 1949, SA Van Loon sent a memorandum forward to Howard Fletcher opening a full-scale investigation of Klaus Fuchs. It was captioned:

Dr. Karl Fuchs, Klaus Fuchs,
Klaus Emil Fuchs

Kristel Klaus, Kristbl Klaus,
Kristel Fuchs, Mrs. Bob Klaus
Alma Anna Dorothe Ida Christel Fuchs

There were two documents attached, as recommendations, to the case opening memorandum. The first was a memo to MI5 summarizing the developments in the REST investigation (see below), and the second was a letter to the FBI Field instituting separate espionage investigations on Dr. Emil Julius Klaus Fuchs and Kristel Fuchs Heineman. Both were sent out with the same original date as the opening memo, September 22, 1949.

Then the whole business mushroomed. On September 23, 1949, President Truman announced that the Soviet Union had recently detonated an atomic device (August 28; confirmed by the U.S. Air Force on September 9; BOTB, p.200-1). On September 26 Robert Lamphere sent a memo to Meredith Gardner updating him on the status of the investigation into REST & GUS. (V, B&W, p.141-3) The Lamphere memo is interesting because it shows the knowledge curve traveled between July and September. In this memo Lamphere connected Fuchs with Soviet agent REST, but stated that GUS was still unidentified. In mentioning that GUS (Goose) was a contact of Abraham Brothman and involved in work related to the thermal diffusion of gases, it can be noted that the SOVME supervisors were reading Venona messages No. 1390, 01104 and No. 1797, 20124. Also interesting, Lamphere wrote that Fuchs went to "Los Alamos or Oak Ridge in August 1944." (The AEC had reported Los Alamos, the British reported Oak Ridge.) The facsimile of Lamphere's memo shows Oak Ridge crossed out at a later date. Lamphere also urged Gardner to give top priority to the further decryption of all messages associated with REST or GUS.

As mentioned above, SOVME prepared a comprehensive memorandum to British intelligence, MI5 (TFKW, p.135). In distinguishment from the early enquiry of July/August, this letter laid out a detailed case for the belief that Klaus Fuchs was the Soviet agent REST. The first item presented was the Soviet decrypt which mentioned the MSN report provided to Soviet intelligence by REST. The Bureau wrote, �this document has been identified with a fair degree of certainty as being a report designated MSN-12 by the MED and entitled �Fluctuations and the Efficiency of a Diffusion Plant, Part III, The effect of Fluctuations in the flow on N2. This report which is dated June 6, 1944 was authored by K. Fuchs, who is identical with the above captioned individual.� Other facts laid out to the British included: Fuchs inclusion in Halperin�s address book along with one Kristel Heineman of Watertown MA; that Kristel Fuchs Heineman was the wife of Robert Block Heineman and the sister of Dr. Karl Fuchs; that Robert Block Heineman was a member of the Communist Party under the name of Robert Hill; that in 1944 Robert Heineman also had an address in Chicago; that Heineman traveled and lived in Mexico from February to August, 1947; that Fuchs� name turned up in a captured German document which appeared to be a list of German communists of interest to the German Army; that Fuchs arrived in the U.S. on December 3, 1943 and was subsequently stationed in New York; that during the pertinent period of March to June 1944, Fuchs was one of a group of British scientists in NY who did theoretical analysis of diffusional separation processes for the U.S. War Department; and that Fuchs was cleared to visit Chicago in November,1947, to participate in a declassification conference.

The British response to the Bureau letter was received on October 29. It confirmed that Fuchs alone (among the other 3 scientists) had a sister, and concluded that, "in the light of information supplied by you Fuchs has been proved beyond all reasonable doubt to be identical with the Soviet agent REST."

The full damage became known on November 1, 1949. The Bureau received a comprehensive review of Fuchs' work at Los Alamos from the Security Office of the Atomic Energy Commission. The secret AEC memorandum concluded that "Fuchs and Peierls made up 'two thirds of the team which handled the hydrodynamics in the Theoretical Division which made the implosion developments possible. They both contributed to all phases of the weapon development including implosion and super.'" (KF-AS, p.115) Because of the enormous consequences of the loss of America�s highest military secret, J. Edgar Hoover labeled the espionage of Klaus Fuchs, "The Crime of the Century."

Smoking Gun

If one were looking for a �smoking gun� in the Fuchs case it would be Venona decrypt No. 850 of 15 June 1944. As detailed above, this message conveyed the fact that REST provided Soviet intelligence with a research report designated MSN-12. The determination by the FBI that Klaus Fuchs was the author of MSN-12 was quick and straightforward. If the Bureau possessed only this one decrypt they would have been able to run a name search on Klaus Fuchs and learn the two �derogatory� items about his communist past: his name on a Gestapo arrest list of communists, and his name (and sister�s) in a Soviet agent�s address book (Israel Halperin). Thus, on the strength of one item of information, MSN-12, it was guaranteed that REST would be identified as Klaus Fuchs.

Be that as it may, virtually all of the literature on the Fuchs case indicates that it was the �Venona� decrypts and the subsequent FBI investigation that uncovered him as a spy. The role of British intelligence was a trailing one. They did not initiate the investigation; and it was not until the end of October 1949 that they officially conceded certitude about him. However, review of all information now available�some of it new�raises the question whether the present anatomy of the Fuchs matter is entirely correct? Two proverbial questions frame the issue: What did British intelligence know about Fuchs� communist background and when did they know it? And, when did British intelligence first learn about the REST-MSN smoking gun? Three periods can be examined for answers: 1933 to 1943, 1946, and 1949.

1933 - 1943

- British intelligence knew that Klaus Fuchs was a communist even before he arrived in England as a refugee from Nazi Germany in 1933. (KF-AS, p.6) �MI6 opened a security file on Fuchs in 1933 when an agent in Kiel, a canal worker whose code-name was Arthur, reported on Fuchs�s KPD activities.� (KF-AS, p.22)

- In 1934 Fuchs registered with the German Consulate in Bristol. He sought to have his passport renewed but the Consulate refused. �At this period the Nazi authorities kept lists of known Communists who had escaped abroad, and in November 1934, the German consul in Bristol informed the chief constable of the city that Klaus Fuchs was a member of the German Communist Party [KPD]. The chief constable duly forwarded the consul�s report to London.� (TABS, p.115)

- The Robert Kuczynski family in Germany was well known to British intelligence. �MI5 opened a file on them in 1928 based on information from MI6 agents inside Germany. In 1936 Jurgen Kuczynski and his wife arrived in London, and Jurgen began organizing German Communist refugees in Britain.� During this period, Klaus Fuchs registered his presence in England with Jurgen. �By the late 1930�s British intelligence knew that the Kuczynski family was at the heart of the KPD�s anti-Nazi activities in England.� (KF-AS, p.25) When Fuchs moved from Bristol to Edinburgh he stayed in touch with the KPD leader. In Edinburgh, Fuchs assisted the KPD in mailing Communist leaflets back into Germany. (KF-AB, p.21)

- Fuchs applied for British citizenship in August 1939. However the war broke out the following month, and his application was not acted on. Instead he was classified as an enemy alien. Fuchs was sent to an internment camp in Canada in 1940. In the internment camp Fuchs openly attended regular weekly meetings of a group of communists organized by Hans Kahle, a well-known German Communist who had commanded a Brigade on the loyalist side in the Spanish Civil War. Six months after being interned Fuchs was freed and returned along with Kahle by ship to England.

- In Spring of 1941 Fuchs was contacted by Rudolf Peierls at the University of Birmingham with an offer of employment on Tube Alloys, the British atomic research program. Fuchs was vetted for this work through MI5: �MI5 had two items about him in their files. One was the 1934 report from the German consul in Bristol that he was a Communist, but this was from a tainted source. The other was more recent: a report from an informant in the German refugee community saying that he was known to be a communist.� (KF-AB, p.31)

- Fuchs applied again in 1942 for British citizenship, but he was still classified an �enemy alien.� This time, however, he had the backing of the Tube Alloys directorate. �During the war enemy aliens were only naturalized in exceptional circumstances, but Fuchs�s case was regarded as exceptional since he was engaged in work of national importance. He had to undergo another security �vetting� and the German consul�s report was again brought up. He was duly cleared �as a national interest case,� however, since he had to become a British citizen in order to be given access to secret material and prohibited places for the purpose of his duties. His naturalization was approved and he formally became a British citizen on August 7, 1942.� (TABS, p.118)

- In the latter part of 1942 British Security received information from a refugee source in England that when Fuchs had been interned in Canada (1940) he had been a close friend of a German Communist in the camp (probably Kahle), had belonged to the KPD and had taken part in propaganda activities since coming to Birmingham. (IAD, V.2, p.146-7)

Question: �What did British intelligence know about Fuchs� communist past and when did they know it?� Answer: They knew everything about his communist background from 1933 onward. Could that possibly include his spying for the Russians beginning in 1941? Probably not (51-49). But, given the Anglo-Soviet Mutual Assistance and Collaboration Treaty, as well as British antipathy toward communism at this time, it is not as far-fetched an idea as could be first thought. In November 1943 Fuchs was tapped by the Tube Alloys Directorate to go to America as part of the British Mission to the Manhattan Project. This assignment called for another security review and an explicit undertaking to the U.S. government about his reliability. It simply cannot be maintained that the British dossier on Fuchs was barren or misplaced (as alleged). So what information did the British provide the MED on Fuchs?

In his book, Now It Can Be Told, General Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project (MED) wrote:
- �I had learned within a week or two after my assignment [September 1942] that the only known espionage was that conducted by the Russians against the Berkeley laboratory, using American Communist sympathizers. Our security aims were soon well established. They were threefold; first to keep the Germans from learning anything about our efforts or our technical and scientific advancements; next to do all we could to ensure a complete surprise when the bomb was first used in combat; and finally, insofar as we able to keep the Russians from learning of our discoveries and the details of our designs an processes. (NICBT, p.141)
- �When I received the names of the first group of British scientists coming over to work in the Manhattan Project, under the terms of the Quebec Agreement, I observed that there was no mention of their reliability. I told the British official with whom I was dealing that I would have to have a statement that they had been properly cleared. The statement furnished in reply was inconclusive, in my opinion, and I asked for a more definite one. This was given me; it said that each member had been investigated as thoroughly as an employee of ours engaged on the same type of work.� (NICBT, p.143)

Thus, instead of receiving individual intelligence profiles on Fuchs and the other British scientists, Groves was given only a blanket warranty that all members of the Mission had been vetted and there were no security risks. The assurances Groves received were in the form of a letter from Walace A. Akers, British Ministry of Supply Mission (Tube Alloys), dated December 10, 1943 and received by Groves on December 11, 1943. The forwarding letter to the Akers letter stated: "Forwarded herewith a letter from Mr. Akers conveying an assurance that all members of our present parties had been cleared by the British Security Organization in Great Britain. I trust this will prove a statement satisfactory to you." Akers' letter then stated that this special clearance had been carried out in the case of twenty-two listed names, one of whom was Klaus Fuchs. (AEC archive files)

Groves did not find it satisfactory. General Groves: "Certainly, if they had given me the slightest inkling of his background, which they did not, Fuchs would not have been permitted any access to the project." (NICBT, p.144) Notwithstanding the communist problem with Fuchs, the British 'general warranty' tactic had the added benefit of not disclosing that Fuchs was a native German, which the British well knew would be a major security issue for Groves and the United States. Groves: "If Dr. Chadwick had been in charge of the British mission at that time [Nov-Dec, 1943], as he was later, I am sure that no such deception would have been attempted. Chadwick was always most punctilious in informing me of the slightest question of background, including that of German blood. Unfortunately for the free world, Chadwick did not take over until a few weeks later." (NICBT, p.144) In addition to not providing country of birth, the British further finessed their Fuchs problem by listing him as �K. Fuchs,� or �Karl Fuchs�, a medical physicist. This subterfuge first occurred in 1943, but the charade continued in 1946 and 1949.


Historical literature and other records show that there was an opportunity in 1946 to discover Fuchs' spying, which if that had occurred would have materially limited the damage to American security. The opportunity came in February 1946 when Israel Halperin was arrested by the RCMP following the Gouzenko defection (September, 1945). Halperin�s address book with over 400 names was seized at the time of his arrest. As detailed in SOVME above, it contained an entry for one Klaus Fuchs in Edinburgh and a Kristel Heineman in Watertown MA. Britain�s MI5 was a full partner in the Gousenko investigation and learned of the Halperin-Fuchs connection at virtually the same time as the RCMP. The FBI received the Halperin address book documents a month later on March 12, 1946. (KF-AS, p.89-90, 233)

Of course, the British intelligence services immediately understood that the �Klaus Fuchs� in Halperin�s address book was identical to British Mission physicist Klaus Fuchs, then still in residence at Los Alamos. The significance of the Halperin-Fuchs connection was not lost on them: Halperin was not just a member of the Communist Party but a Soviet espionage agent. Thus, the GRU residency in Ottawa that had been running British atomic physicist Alan Nunn May, also had knowledge of and potential entr�e to Fuchs. Question number one was, Had Soviet intelligence tried to recruit Fuchs through Halperin or his sister?

At the same time British intelligence was trying to triangulate their Halperin-Fuchs problem, Britain�s atomic energy leaders were considering Fuchs for a top position in their own atomic program. Shortly before leaving the United States to return to Britain (June 28, 1946), Fuchs accepted the head Theoretical Physics position at the Harwell atomic research center. Given both the Halperin-Fuchs link and the de facto espionage of Nunn May, Fuchs� employment at Harwell could not be as perfunctory as hoped or expected. Another security vetting was required, and it was initiated. Fuchs, however, was allowed to assume his post at Harwell on August 1, even though his security clearance was not completed until December 1946 (KF-AB, p.97). In the end, Fuchs� value once again trumped the risks. And, as in 1943, the U.S. was again purposely kept in the dark on a crucial security matter. (Later in 1950 the FBI SOVME Unit noted this breach of responsibility: �The [Halperin] documents being made available to the British Intelligence Services by the RCMP, no attempt to investigate individuals listed therein as having addresses in Great Britain [Fuchs] was made. Furthermore, though the British had this data available, they did not furnish any further information concerning Fuchs to us.� (FBI Fuchs file) (General Groves also alluded to this blatant delinquency in his testimony at the security hearing of Robert Oppenheimer in 1954 (ITMOJRO, p.175).


As we have seen, the quick explication of MSN-1? by SOVME and the AEC security office pointed to a member of the British Mission in New York. In August 1949 the FBI requested information from the British on their atom scientists in New York in 1944. This request did not focus on Klaus Fuchs, but did indicate that the basis of the enquiry was a Soviet message decrypt linking a report bearing the desgingation �MSN� to an agent with the cover name REST. The British replied on September 7, 1949. They suggested four British scientists as possible candidates for REST: Rudolf Ernst Peierls, Dr. C. F. Kearton, Dr. Tony Hilton Royle Skyrme and Emil Julius Klaus Fuchs. The background information on the first three was accurate and agreed with information already obtained from the AEC. Unaccountably, however, the information on Fuchs had several errors: Fuchs� place of birth was given as �Ruesselhtenm, country unknown;� he was described as a �medical physicist;� and it was stated that he had been posted to Oak Ridge on August 14, 1944. The circumstances for such bogus information are not clear. What is very clear, however, is that the British intelligence services were in full command of the facts: Fuchs was born in Russelsheim, Germany, he was a mathematical physicist and he had been posted to Los Alamos on August 14, 1944.

The biography of Klaus Fuchs by Robert Chadwell Williams has an interesting comment relating to the British government�s contemporaneous knowledge in August and September 1949 of the unfolding Fuchs matter : �The memorandum was duly reported to Stewart Menzies, the head of MI6 in London, and on September 6 [1949] Michael Perrin told Menzies� deputy director, Dick White, that �it looks very much as if Fuchs of Harwell is working for the Russians.�� (KF-AS, p.120) Professor Williams� source for this quote is Montgomery Hyde�s book, The Atom Bomb Spies. The Hyde passage in question reads: �When this message [Soviet decrypt] was shown to Stewart Menzies, the head of British SIS (MI6) in London, he could not understand it; but he realized that it had something to do with atomic energy. Accordingly, on September 5, he sent for Michael Perrin, who had been assistant director of Tube Alloys, which originally came under the Ministry of Aircraft Production. �. Asked if he could throw any light on the message�s meaning, Perrin replied: �It looks very much as if Fuchs at Harwell is working for the Russians.�� (TABS, p.137) Regrettably, Hyde provides no source for his quote of Perrin, so its provenance is not documented. It is curious to note that one version refers to a memorandum (which agrees with FBI history), while the other citation refers to a Soviet message.

In his book My Silent War, Kim Philby wrote that he was briefed in September 1949 about a �joint Anglo-American investigation of Soviet intelligence activity in the U.S. [that] suggested there had been a leakage from the atomic energy establishment in Los Alamos.� (MSW, p.186) This �leakage� was from Klaus Fuchs (MSW, p.208). The exact date of Philby�s briefing in September is not given. (Philby and his family embarked the Cunard Line�s RMS Caronia, �The Green Goddess,� on September 30, 1949; the Caronia docked in New York on Saturday, October 8, 1949). Another book, The Philby Files by Genrikh Borovik, provides additional information. Borovik wrote that Philby's briefing on American issues was with Maurice Oldfield, MI6�s counter-intelligence chief: �The counter-intelligence chief told [Philby] that British cryptographers in London had deciphered around 200 Soviet ciphered telegrams sent in late 1944 and early 1945 from New York to Moscow and from Moscow to New York.� Philby was further told that, based on decryption results thus far, it was absolutely certain that Soviet intelligence was receiving secret information �from a source in Los Alamos.� (TPF, p. 258-9) The reference to Los Alamos seems somewhat curious as the MSN-12 report only cast a shadow on British scientists in New York.

As can be seen, the picture from Hyde and Philby is inconsistent and contradictory in a number of respects. Nevertheless it conveys the strong impression that in early September 1949 the British government was clearly but unaccountably out in front of the FBI on Fuchs. Their response to the FBI�s enquiry in August about MSN-12 was effectively, �your guess is as good as ours,� while in fact they were quite certain that Fuchs was the unidentified source REST. At the end of September British intelligence received another memorandum from the Bureau. As detailed above in SOVME, this correspondence set forth a virtually prima facie case against Fuchs. The facts on the table were now such that the British could no longer dissemble and finesse. At the end of October they informed the Bureau that they were fully onboard with the Fuchs investigation.

There are other troubling question marks in the record. When Fuchs came into the US he was referred to as Karl Fuchs in British correspondence for administrative matters. This was a legitimate security measure with respect to the war with Germany. But it is not clear if the MED was informed (in real time) of the fact and purpose of this incorrect usage. Also in the early stages the FBI had a difficult time obtaining Fuchs� correct apartment address in New York from the British. Finally, as the investigation progressed a question was raised concerning the letter "N" found in the entry on Fuchs in Halperin�s address book. It was suggested that the �N� possibly stood for a Russian word that meant �ours� and thus was shorthand indicating that Fuchs was a Soviet intelligence agent. It was further suggested that British intelligence was possibly aware of such practice and ignored the implications.

We find that the record is compelling, if not absolutely certain: In line with their own national security interests, British government authority wittingly withheld the truth about Fuchs from the United States beginning in 1943, and continues to do so to the present day.



Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Americains, Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern, 1996
The Man Behind the Rosenbergs, Alexander Feklisov with Sergei Kostin, 2001
Man Without a Face, The Autobiography of Communism's Greatest Spymaster, Marcus Wolf, 1997
Special Tasks, Pavel and Anatoli Sudoplatov with Jerrold and Leona Schecter, 1994, 1995
Klaus Fuchs, Atom Spy, Robert Chadwell Williams, 1987
Klaus Fuchs, A Biography, Norman Moss, 1987
Bird of Passage, Recollections of a Physicist, Rudolf Peierls, 1985
Dark Sun, The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb, Richard Rhodes, 1995
My Five Cambridge Friends, Yuri Modin, 1994
The Sword and The Shield, Chritopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, 1999
The Haunted Wood, Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassilev, 1999
Comment Staline a vole la bombe atomique aux Americains, Vladimir Tchikov & Gary Kern, 1996
A Death in Washington, Gary Kern, 2003
The Crown Jewels, Nigel West and Oleg Tsarev, 1999
How Soviet intelligence service "split" the American atom, New Times (Novoye Vremya), 16 & 17, Vladimir Chikov, 1991
Spycatcher, Peter Wright with Paul Greenglass, 1987
Too Secret Too Long, Chapman Pincher, 1984
Sonya's Report, Ruth Werner, London, 1991
The FBI-KGB War, Robert Lamphere, 1995, 1986
My Silent War, Kim Philby, 1968
The Philby Files, Genrikh Borovik, 1994
The Atom Bomb Spies, H. Montgomery Hyde, 1980
Independence and Deterence, Britain & Atomic Energy, Vol 2, Margaret Gowing, 1974
In The Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Atomic Energy Commission, 1954
Bird of Passage, Rudolf Peierls, 1985

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:42 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set S - Sudoplatov and Sacred Secrets

Special Tasks - Pavel Sudoplatov


There is certainly no dearth of folks taking Pavel Sudoplatov to task over Special Tasks (pun intended since it so seldom happens). The major cause of the heartburn is his Atom Spies Chapter, most specifically his assertion that Oppenheimer, Fermi and Szilard were KGB sources on the Manhattan Project. Perhaps his strongest critic is Vladimir Chikov who catalogs Sudoplatov's shortcomings and errors in the Preface of his 1996 book, Comment Staline, to wit: Kheifetz is not found in the SVR's Enormoz file; the Santa Fe drugstore is not found in the Enormoz file; STAR was the codename of a courier (Sax), not Oppenheimer; MLAD was the Center's first codename for Perseus, not Bruno Pontecorvo; Terletsky's interviews with Bohr did not have the import ascribed by Sudoplatov; the absurd use of the same covername for two people, e.g. STAR was used for both Oppenheimer and Fermi; it is patently false that Oppeheimer was responsible for Fuchs placement on the British Mission to the Manhatten Project; etc.

Our contrarian view has been that Sudoplatov has credibility, his testimony is plausible and it should be examined with more circumspection and objectivity. The phenomena below, all quotes from Special Tasks, might be regarded as an exercise in pointillism: when viewed en masse and from a distance (hindsight) a picture emerges.

Phenomena - INO and Special Tasks

"Throughout the 1930's there were within the NKVD parallel intelligence services: the Foreign Department, known by the Russian acronym INO (Inostrannye Otdel), and the Adimistration for Special Tasks. The INO was responsible for running the rezidenturas (intelligence stations) abroad �.the Administration of Special Tasks�[a] separate intelligence center [going back to Dzerzhinshy]�was primarily responsible�.for deep illegal penetration in the West."

Comment. Without even considering Beria's paranoia and penchant for direct involvement we see here the precedent organizational structure and modus operandi that would be the hallmark of KGB atomic espionage against America in the 1940's.

Phenomena - Special Tradecraft

"Occasionally the most valuable information comes from a contact which is not an agent in the true sense - that is working for and paid by us - but who is still regarded in the archives as an agent source of information. Our problem was that the atomic espionage business required new approaches�.we understood that [Oppenheimer] and other members of the scientific community were best approached as friends, not as agents."

"Kheifetz was an experienced professional and knew better than to approach such a jewel of a source [Oppenheimer] with the usual money or threats�.Oppenheimer, Fermi, and Szilard could not be run as traditional agents."

"One line [of attack] was to indoctrinate scientists to cooperate in open discussions�. Elizabeth Zarubina [1942 - 1944] and Sam Semyonov were the first to establish friendly contacts with the American scientific community�..The other line [of attack] was traditional espionage tradecraft, handled from 1944 to 1946 by officers such as Anatoli Yatskov and Aleksandr Feklisov."

"By 1943 it was agreed at the Center that all contacts with Oppenhiemer would be through illegals only. Lev Vasilevsky, our resizdent in Mexico City, was put in charge of running the illegal network after Zarubin left."

Comment. Special sources called for special tradecraft. With regard to high profile, senior scientists assigned to the Manhattan Project the KGB (Beria) responded with multiple, highly compartmentalized networks built largely from an infrastructure of illegals controlled by the Special Tasks side of the house. Moreover, this stratagem was ostensibly implemented during 1942, being a fait accompli by 1943.

Phenomena - The Scheme

"There were four agent networks in the United States during the war years. Three of the networks operated from the San Francisco consular office [1], the Soviet Embassy in Washington, DC [2] and the AMTORG trading company in New York City [3]. The fourth network [4] was run by our chief illegal, Isak Akhmerov, who was married to the niece of the American Communist leader Earl Browder. Akhmerov was the control officer of Yakov Golos, the chief organizer of espionage activities through the American Communist party. In addition, there was Vasilevsky's network run from Mexico City [5]."

"Oppenheimer, together with Fermi and Szilard helped us place moles in Tennessee, Los Alamos and Chicago as assistants in those three labs. In total there were four important sources of information who transmitted documents from the labs to the New York and Washington rezsidenturas and to our illegal station, which was a drugstore in Santa Fe."

"These unidentified young moles, along with the Los Alamos mole, were junior scientists or administrators who copied vital documents to which they were allowed access by Oppenheimer, Fermi, and Szilard, who were knowingly part of the scheme."

"I do not recall that codename or such a source [Perseus], but I remember a cable from New York reporting the date of the first nuclear blast which referred to information passed by three moles and friendly sources - CHARLES (Klaus Fuchs), MLAD (Pontecorvo), and STAR (meaning Oppenheimer and Fermi). The three moles, whose names I do not remember, worked in their laboratories. Vasilevsky knew the details, as he was the first intelligence officer to approach Pontecorvo directly in 1943."

Comment. Sudoplatov is reasonably consistent throughout Atomic Spies in making a distinction between sources and moles. Fuchs, Pontecorvo, Oppenheimer, Fermi and Szilard were sources in his frame of reference, not moles. It is also clear from his writing in Atomic Spies that the Rosenbergs were minor payers in atomic espionage and Greenglass' role did not rise to the level of 'laboratory' mole.

Phenomena - Moles

"The material that reached Anatoli Yatskov, the control officer in New York, came from Fuchs and one of the Los Alamos moles and was carried by couriers one of whom was Lona Cohen."

"Another route was the mole who worked with Fermi and Pontecorvo. The mole in Tennessee was connected with the illegal station at the Santa Fe drugstore, from which material was sent by courier to Mexico."

Comment. Doing mole math 'modulus' Sudoplatov is somewhat challenging but worth an effort. First, a careful reading of the phenomena suggests that there were at least two 'moles' at Los Alamos ("one of the Los Alamos moles"). Therefore, 2 moles in Los Alamos, 1 in Chicago (Fermi/Pontecorvo) and 1 in Tennessee = 4 moles; which jives with Sudoplatov's statement that, "in total there were four important sources of information." All can undoubtedly agree that the Los Alamos mole associated with Anatoli Yatskov and Lona Cohen (above) is Ted Hall (Perseus-MLAD). That would leave three moles unidentified: a second mole in Los Alamos, one in Chicago and one in Tennessee.

Phenomena - MLAD AND STAR

"Although they were unaware of it , Oppenheimer and Fermi were assigned code names, Star and Editor, as sources of information. STAR was used as the code name not only for Oppenheimer, but also for other physicists and scientists in the Manhattan Project with whom we had contact but who were not formally recruited agents. Code names were changed from time to time for security reasons; Oppenhiemer and Fermi were also jointly known as Star."

As mentioned at the beginning Vladimir Chikov takes strong exception to the notion that codenames MLAD and STAR belonged to other persons and "the confusion that would result if two or more sources of information were assigned the same codename." Maybe yes, maybe no:

First of all, the MLAD-STAR combination relates to and is consistent with the scheme the KGB was working - senior Manhattan Project scientists with surrogate junior scientists acting as 'conduits.' The implication from Sudoplatov is that 'MLAD-STAR' was used generically by the Center to signify these junior-senior scientist pairings and was deemed an appropriate convention because these sources were not "formally recruited agents." Thus, Pontecorvo, a logical MLAD to Fermi-STAR.

Second, Sudoplatov identifies 5 intelligence networks targeted against America. If these lines were faithfully compartmented all the way to Moscow there should be no confusion on the part of the responsible case officer at the Center.

Third, Christopher Andrew provides some precedent when he writes in Sword and Shield, " example of the Centre's confusing habit of sometimes recycling the same codename for different people" (p.594, n.65).

Fourth, additional cover is provided by Robert Benson in his Venona monograph when he writes, "[The] KGB did occasionally reuse covernames: the same covername for different pesons. This can usually be understood by context or geographic location." (p. 476)

Last, we have first hand experience that old men forget details much sooner than they forget constructs. MLAD-STAR was a codename construct adopted for a new intelligence paradigm.

Phenomena - Beria

"Eitingon and I also instructed Kheifetz and Semyonov to turn over to our old moles all their confidential contacts with friendly sources around Oppenheimer in California. Vasilevsky took part in this operation. Under Beria's direct orders we forbade Kheifetz and Semyonov to tell anybody from the American Section of the Foreign Directorate about this transfer of contacts."

Comment. Sudoplatov's testimony indicates that Beria was the controlling authority on operations involving the senior scientists on Enormoz. Vladimir Chikov provides interesting corroboration of such Beria micro-management in a pithy vignette describing his distrust and "circumvention" of Leonid Kvasnikov (Set K, MLAD's Report, refers).

Phenomena - Archives

"In 1945 the personnel files of all scientists and officers working on the project were removed from the American section to Department S and later centralized under the control of Beria's secretariat."

"My colleagues recalled that in 1946, under direct orders from Beria and Vannikov, I transferred from Lefortovo and Lubyanka all technical intelligence information on the atomic problem to the administration of the Special Government Committee on Atomic Energy. The sources of that information were very closely held under Beria's direct personal control, and when he was arrested in 1953 his files were moved to the Kremlin under Malinkovs' orders."

"Beria's intelligence records, which contain the names of sources of secret atomic bomb information, have not been released and their location remains uncertain. Beria's atomic intelligence materials are not in the Enormous file of the Federal Intelligence Service."

Comment. In the 1990's Vladimir Chikov (SVR spokesperson), Sergei Leskov (Izvestiya reporter) and Amy Knight (Beria historian) have all written to the effect that the bulk of Beria archival material remains unavailable.


As regards Sudoplatov's credibility, we have to say that it is our impression that his 'testimony' on subjects such as Raoul Wallenberg, the Katyn Forest massacre, Fuchs, Pontecorvo and Terletsky has received substantial corroboration in subsequent years from other authors and newly released material. A particularly germane instance is that Alexander Feklisov has also apparently written that Oppenheimer facilitated Klaus Fuchs' assignment to the Manhattan Project (Za Okeanom, A. Feklisov; as reported by Vladislav Zubok, Atomic Espionage and its Soviet "Witness").

The most important question arising from this set is, who was MLAD to Oppenheimer (STAR)? In answering this question we focus on two Sudoplatov assertions from above: (1) "Oppenheimer, together with Fermi and Szilard, helped us place moles in Tennessee, Los Alamos and Chicago as assistants in those three labs; (2) "Eitingon and I also instructed Kheifetz and Semyonov to turn over to our old moles all their confidential contacts with friendly sources around Oppenheimer in California."

The latter statement is especially intriguing because it raises the question of how New York-based Semyonov would have come into contact with friendly sources around California-based Oppenheimer? You would think that such sources would have been the exclusive province of Kheifetz in San Francisco. But is there an echo here with the Cohen-Fielding recruitment account? Sudoplatov's time context for this transfer of contacts is 1942, and reference is made to a mole/assistant in Chicago. The legend on Fielding is that he worked at the Met Lab in Chicago and was recruited in 1942 by Morris Cohen, who was controlled by Semyonov. Thus we can propose that Oppenheimer (Fielding) recruited an assistant in Chicago (MLAD) who was to function as a communication relay (RELE) to the Soviets, and this person was one of the "friendly sources around Oppenheimer" that Semyonov was directed to transfer to Vasilevsky's net run through Mexico City.


Special Tasks, Pavel and Analtoli Sudoplatov with Jerrold L. and Leona P. Schecter, 1995
Za Okeanom i Na Ostrove: Zapiski Razvedchika, Aleksandr Feklisov, 1994

Note. Set S was originally posted at Bombshell's Readers Rendezvous and was titled The Santa Fe Drugstore. After significant research we could not develop a likely candidate for this safe house as described by Sudoplatov. We are persuaded that Sudoplatov disinformed (lied) about this, at least on the details about the location (Santa Fe) or the business front (a drug store). On reflection we feel that 1940 Santa Fe, a very small town not on a thru rail line, would have been a poor choice for an E&E; station in support of the Trotsky operation. In view of events, it might even have been more of a curse than a blessing - Santa Fe crawled with Army CIC during the war. Albuquerque, a railroad "Y" junction between the East coast, Mexico City and the West Coast would seem to make more sense.

Sacred Secrets

Sacred Secrets by Jerrold and Leona Schecter has a much wider scope and thesis than just Soviet atomic espionage. Nonetheless, it represents a quantum jump in the history of KGB operations against the Manhattan Project. It is also fair to say that the work is a blanket affirmation of the testimony of Pavel Sudoplatov in Special Tasks, to which the Schecters were party. Perhaps this is a vulnerability. In our opinion, however, the authors provide enough documentary evidence, oral history and credible analysis to effectively sidestep a charge of unobjectivity or overreaching. The contributions of Sacred Secrets on atomic espionage give optimism that the full story will one day become known and ratified.

All of which is not to say that Sacred Secrets is without major disappointments. There are a couple, the foremost being it's treatment of Morris Cohen's alleged recruitment of an atomic physicist - the Perseus story. For the Theory of Fielding, it is a bit of a case of what the lord giveth, Oppenheimer, the lord taketh away, Perseus. About Perseus, the Schecters are in the same camp as the Albrights: the Cohen recruitment tale from Vladimir Chikov is pure disinformation from the SVR. Our difficulty with this lies less with the rejection than with the completely uncritical nature of it. Sacred Secrets devotes all manner of ink to the likes of the Zarubins, Kheifetz, Kitty Harris, Grigulevich, Vasilevsky, Eitingon, Abel, Fuchs, Philby, etc. But poor Morrie Cohen, Hero of the Soviet Union (in distinguishment from the others!), gets next to zip.

The Schecters disavow nothing in Special Tasks, the place where Sudoplatov wrote: "Oppenheimer, together with Fermi and Szilard helped us place moles in Tennessee, Los Alamos and Chicago as assistants in those three labs." To the contrary, the authors restate and stress this assertion from Sudoplatov. Thus, it has to be asked: since the citation for Cohen's Hero of the Soviet Union medal is still a classified document; since VENONA contains KGB 'atomic' codenames that are still unidentified; since Robert Oppenheimer provided "access to research," beginning in 1942 (below); and since none of the Oppenheimer-Fermi-Szilard moles has ever been revealed, is it too much to expect some argument from the Schecters on why a recruitment of one of these moles by Morris Cohen is a flat-out impossibility?

Set pieces in Sacred Secrets that advance the state of knowledge on atomic espionage pertain to PERSEUS, Robert Oppenheimer, Earl Browder, Kitty Harris, the Santa Fe drugstore, The Rosenbergs, The Mironov-Zarubin Affair, Margarita Konenkova .......


In Sacred Secrets, the Schecters support the theory that Perseus was a KGB (SVR) fabrication. (p.87) The rationale (cause and effect) they give is that the story was disinformation ginned-up in response to the publication and distribution of secret atomic technical data in the journal "Voprossi Istorii Estesvoznania i Tekniki," Academy of Sciences, Moscow, no.3 (1992). Thus, footnoting Bombshell, the Schecters similarly find that, "The search for PERSEUS distracted researchers and confused the hunt for the real spies." Maybe so, but the linkage to the Academy of Sciences Journal doesn't completely work. The errant material that purportedly precipitated the Perseus charade was published in 1992. The Perseus story from Vladimir Chikov first appeared in a Novoye Vremya (New Times) article published in April 1991.


Right out of the box in their Preface, the authors mince no words in their finding on Robert Oppenheimer: "The secrets in KGB memoirs, Soviet archival records and translations, and NSA decrpytions of Soviet war time cable traffic, codenamed VENONA, reveal: The cooperation of J. Robert Oppenheimer in atomic espionage from 1942 to 1944."

A supporting document for this statement adds the context that Oppenheimer was a member of the apparat of CPUSA leader Earl Browder: "In 1942....Professor Robert Oppenheimer while being an unlisted member of the apparatus of Comrade Browder informed us about the beginning of work [on uranium in the USA]." For further evidence that Oppenheimer was a de facto Communist the authors provide a letter from J. Edgar Hoover to the AEC's David Lilienthal stating that Oppenheimer had been a Communist Party monthly dues payer up to April 1942. It is especially important to keep in mind that, with respect to Oppenheimer's cultivation as a Soviet agent, Sacred Secrets describes two concurrent tracks: (1) direct courtship by the NKVD (Kheifetz and Zarubina) beginning in December 1941, and (2) pursuit by the American Communist Party underground (the Secret Apparatus) - both of which yielded "cooperation in access to [atomic] research" from JRO.

Events occurring circa April, 1942:
Robert Oppenheimer completed a government Personnel Security Questionaire preparatory to formal employment at the Met Lab;
Robert Oppenheimer completed personnel recommendation forms at the Met Lab on Robert Serber, Philip Morrison, etc;
Robert Oppenheimer ceased paying dues to the Communist Party;
Morris Cohen was contacted by a physicist who had the prospect of employment in the US atomic research program (purportedly).
On a Personnel Security Questionnaire (PSQ) executed in 1947, Scientist Z listed April 1942 as the start of his employment on the U.S. atomic bomb project.

In the matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Sacred Secrets and the Theory of Fielding are consonant.

Earl Browder

Head of the CPUSA, who lived in New York City. In federal jail in Atlanta from March 1941 until May 16, 1942. Makes sense that Oppenheimer would have a connection to Browder given that Kitty Oppenheimer had been acquainted with him since the early 1930's, when she first ran with Joe Dallet and Steve Nelson and joined the Communist Party. Browder, like his Russian wife Raisa, was a graduate of the Lenin Institute in Moscow. Browder was Stalinist to the core. He twice visited his CPUSA International Brigade volunteers in Spain. A document included in Sacred Secrets makes the very interesting statement that Oppenheimer provided entr�e into the Manhattan Project for a relative of Browder's ("On the request of Comrade Kheifetz, confirmed by Comrade Browder [Oppenheimer] provided cooperation in access to research for several of our tested sources including a relative of Comrade Browder [p. 50].") This has some correlation with the information from Weinstein and Vassiliev on the background of FOGEL/PERS.

Kitty Harris

Born in London, daughter of Soviet �migr�s. Later moved to Canada, thence to the US where she met Earl Browder and became a member of the CPUSA. Traveled with Browder to China in late 1920's where they lived as husband and wife. Later became a prot�g� of Elizabeth Zarubin and in 1938 was assigned to London as courier for Donald Maclean. In 1941 selected by the Zarubins for duty in the US; preceded them to San Francisco with the mission to locate dormant illegal assets (Jewish immigrants from Poland, one a dentist, the other a retail businessman) who had become "close to the procommunist Oppenheimer family" in California. Harris was successful in unearthing both. The dentist, code-named CHESS PLAYER, introduced Elizabeth Zarubin to Katherine Oppenheimer. Kitty Harris went to Mexico City in early 1943 to courier for Lev Vasilevsky, the rezident. She was further detailed by Vasilevsky to the drugstore safe house in Santa Fe (originally set up by Joseph Grigulevich) where she coordinated the front's clandestine activities.

Sacred Secrets' footnotes convey that much of the information about Kitty Harris comes from the new Igor Damaskin-Elliott book, Kitty Harris, The Spy with Seventeen Names. However, there is also much information for which the Schecters provide no sourcing. For example, the extremely important claim that she couriered and facilitated the Santa Fe drugstore operation is not mentioned in the Damaskin book (2002 paperback edition). Furthermore, information on Harris that is footnoted as coming from Damaskin is sometimes conflicting: in Secrets, Kitty's alias when first arriving in San Francisco in 1941 is Eleanor Drevs, in Kitty it is Elizabeth Dreyfus. An atomic espionage role in Santa Fe for Kitty Harris seems to be supported in Damaskin's telling of how Zarubin brought her to New York, in advance of her move to Mexico, and put her through intensive photography training using state of the art miniature cameras: "She had to learn several new techniques, including how to strip the emulsion away from film and to hide photographs and documents in various household items such as pens, pencils, matchboxes, toilet bags, slippers and suitcases. She loved the work and turned out to be very adept at it."

Santa Fe Drugstore

Previous research into the existence of this KGB operation focused on the sense that it was a new business in 1940. However, information in Sacred Secrets suggests that an existing pharmacy might have been purchased or bought into. Sacred Secrets also states that the drugstore was located on The Plaza in downtown Santa Fe (no sourcing is given for these new attributes of a Santa Fe safe house). In 1940, there were 4 drugstores within a stones throw of the Plaza, but technically only two were on the Plaza, i.e. the Plaza was directly across the street from their front doors. Interestingly, one of the drugstores was owned by a first generation Russian-American whose parents emigrated to the US from Vilna, the capital of Lithuania. Lithuania is where Grigulevich was from.


The Schecters state that the Rosenbergs were secretly awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union medal soon after their executions (p. 183). Their soruce for this information is provided in footnote, "Interview with former KGB General Oleg Kalugin, Karlshorst, Germany, September 1999." We have not read this about the Rosenbergs before. If fact, it would not be very surprising, given that their martyrdom as Soviet agents would alone qualify them for the Soviet Union's highest award. What does seem surprising, however, is that this might still be a "Sacred Secret" of Russia. Considerations:

Pavel Sudoplatov surely knew this fact - but he chose not to reveal it in Special Tasks.

After the Venona release there seems very little reason, on the face of it, for non-disclosure by the Russian government. A tacit acknowledgement should at least be possible.

Comment Staline, by Vladimir Chikov of the SVR, published a picture of Morris and Lona Cohen receiving their Hero medals. The Cohens thus receive official disclosure, but the Rosenbergs do not - a non-trivial inconsistency. An intreresting distinction both husband-wife teams share, however, is that their respective citations detailing their rendered services remain classified, top secret documents in Russia.

Man Behind the Rosenbergs by Alexander Feklisov is nothing if not an exoneration and elegy to the martyred Rosenbergs: "In this book I am telling the truth because I consider that Julius Rosenberg's collaboration with Soviet intelligence was not something shameful or a crime that had to be hidden, but a heroic act [p.307]." Going further, Mr. Feklisov tells us more than once that some of his revelations are "against the opinion of my superiors and even in defiance of the SVR's position." But why then was Mr. Feklisov, evidently and unaccountably, constrained to mention that the Rosenbergs are Heros of the Soviet Union?

The foregoing anomaly is only underscored by the facts that Feklisov felt free to state that Harry Gold received the Red Star, "a combat medal that very few intelligence officers were awarded at that time [p. 318]," and that previously in the late 1990's he did allude to official KGB honors given to the Rosenbergs (See The Rosenberg File, Second Edition, 1997, p. xxviii). But not a hint of this in his own panegyric to the Rosenbergs.

Regarding the Rosenbergs' "contributions" to Soviet atomic espionage, Sacred Secrets offers two contradictory, competing points of view. The first is from Khrushchev's memoirs, the second from Sudoplatov's memoirs:
1. Khrushchev. The Schecters inform us that the first authoritative confimration of the Rosenbergs role in atomic espionage came from publication in 1991 of Khrushchev Remembers: The Glasnost Tapes. About the Rosenbergs, Khrushchev said, "I heard from both Stalin and Molotov that the Rosenbergs provided very significant help in accellerating the production of our atomic bomb."
2. Sudoplatov. In Special Tasks, Pavel Sudoplatov said the following about the Rosenbergs: "The validity and usefulness of agent sources varied greatly. The involvement of the Rosenbergs in atomic spying was the outcome of our efforts to utilize any and all possible sources of information, but the Rosenbergs were never a significant source......Their contributions to atomic espionage were minor." On Greenglass: "Greenglass's alleged diagrams remain a vague episode in the work that continued for six years. Greenglass's contributions were minimal, and he was never developed further after his contact with Harry Gold." (ST, p. 213-217)

The currently certified history of Julius Rosenberg's atomic espionage is only that he recruited and passed atomic information from David Greenglass. Using the associative principle, it can therefore be said that the atomic contribution of Julius Rosenberg is exactly equal to the information provided by David Greenglass. But this, unfortunately and uncomfortalby, only serves to highlight the contradiction in Khrushchev's "the Rosenbergs provided very significant help" versus Sudoplatov's "the [Rosenbergs] were never a significant source."

We conclude that there is still a "Sacred Secret" in Russia regarding the Rosenbergs, and that it might be a sacred Sacred Secret. More with Feklisov.

The Mironov-Zarubin Affair

The first public disclosure of the so called Zarubin-Mironov Affair was provided by Pavel Sudoplatov in Special Tasks (1994). In his memoir, Special Tasks (p.197), Sudoplatov revealed that Stalin received a letter in 1944 from Vasili Mironov, a KGB officer then stationed at the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C. (Sudoplatov did not provide the exact date of the letter, but other information suggests that it was during the summer). The essential fact reported by Sudoplatov was that Mironov's letter denounced Vasili Zarubin as a double agent for the FBI.

The next event was the 1996 release (3 October 1996) by the NSA--as part of their declassification of the Venona Project--of a top secret letter sent to J. Edgar Hoover which identified Zarubin and his wife not only as officers of the KGB but also as double agents for Japan and Germany. The letter to Hoover was postmarked August 7, 1943, but it was not signed or dated. It had been a government secret from then until 1996. At the time of its release, the anonymous letter was thoroughly dissected in Benson & Warner's, Venona: Soviet Espionage and the American Response, 1996.

After Sudoplatov (1994) and Benson-Warner (1996), the following authors and books have retold or reviewed the Zarubin-Mironov matter in a substantial way: Haynes & Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, 1999; Nigel West, Venona: The Greatest Secret of the Cold War, 1999; Andrew & Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive, 1999; Weinstein & Vassiliev, The Haunted Wood, 1999; Schecter & Schecter, Sacred Secrets, 2002. Unfortunately some of the details of the Zarubin-Mironov affair in these accounts are not consistent or correct. The Schecters characterized this episode as the start of the Cold War and, whether you completely agree or not, their statement is more accurate than hyperbolic. We therefore think this piece of espionage history deserves to be clearly recorded.

Two of the book accounts indicate that in 1944 Sudoplatov was aware of Mironov's letter to Hoover. For example, one author wrote that Mironov's inclusion of himself in his letter to Hoover was particularly 'spicy' because Mironov was later to be named as the author of the Hoover letter by Pavel Sudoplatov, who revealed that Mironov had sent a similar letter to Stalin. Contrary to this account, Sudoplatov never mentioned a Mironov letter to Hoover in Special Tasks. Sudoplatov only wrote that Mironov's letter to Stalin alleged that Zarubin "was contacting the FBI," and that investigation established that Zarubin "was not working with the FBI." An account in a second book similarly stated that Sudoplatov's 1994 memoir credited Mironov as the author of the anonymous letter to Hoover, and also that Mironov had denounced the Zarubins to Stalin as Axis agents. However, the Special Tasks account of Mironov's letter to Stalin does not mention Germany or Japan, and never states a supposition by Sudoplatov that Mironov had contacted the FBI, i.e. wrote a letter to Hoover.

In point of fact, the Schecters state in Sacred Secrets that up to 1994 Sudoplatov remained unsure that Mironov had given their operations away. They also chipped in the new piece of information that the Mironov-Stalin letter contained allegations against Grigori Kheifetz, which allegations were the cause of his recall to Moscow in September 1944. Needless to say, the Mironov letter spooked the Soviets because it was reinforced by the realization in 1943 and 1944 that many of their top people were now under continuous FBI surveillance. In addition to the recalls, the KGB changed the covername of every agent in their American playbook in September and October 1944.

It is interesting to note in the letter to Hoover, that Mironov in some cases gives real names and in other cases gives pseudonyms. We believe, for example, that Kheifetz, Kvasnikov and Semyonov are real names; and Klarin and Tarasov are pseudonyms (Pastelniak and Vasilevski, respectively). For his arch foe, Mironov gave both, Zarubin and Zubilin. For himself, he gave two names, Mironov and Markov, stating that Mironov's "real last name is Markov." Perhaps Mironov's real name is still a question, but Andrew in a footnote in Sword and Shield says that Mitrokhin's notes referred to him as Mironov.

The story of Mironov's denouement is also interesting. In Special Tasks, Sudoplatov said that Mironov was tried, found to be schizophrenic, hospitalized, discharged from the KGB; and left it at that. Christopher Andrew in Sword and Shield, however, provided the rest of the story: "In 1945 [Mironov] tried to smuggle out of prison to the US embassy in Moscow information about the NKVD massacre of Polish officers similar to that which, unknown to the Centre, he had sent to the FBI two years earlier. On this occasion Mironov was caught in the act, given a second trial and shot" (p. 124). Andrew's footnote for this statement referenced Mitrokhin's Archive and chided that Sudoplatov wrongly claimed that Mironov was "simply hospitalized and discharged." The Schecters addressed this issue in Sacred Secrets. With regard to hospitalization versus prison, the Schecters wrote that Mironov was "hospitalized in a Special Security hospital in Leningrad." With regard to execution, the Schecters basically corroborated Andrew with a quote from an unidentified and un-footnoted source: In July 1945, "pending to the newly established circumstances indicating high treason and continuous talk about top secret matters among unauthorized persons," Mironov was condemned to death by firing squad. The Schecters also referred to the Andrew-Mitrokhin version regarding Mironov's attempt to get the Katyn Forest story to the American embassy. All these machinations notwithstanding, we do find it curious that Sudoplatov chose not to reveal the details of Mironov's execution. Certainly, he knew what happened to Mironov. In describing the Katyn massacre in Special Tasks, which he called a criminal operation, he exonerated Zarubin of any hands-on role in the killing. Mironov stated the opposite to Hoover, but Sudoplatov did not know that.

The Mironov-Zarubin Affair is a unique and interesting espionage tale, based as it is on two letters from one man, sent to two national leaders, which created a mystery that lasted over 50 years. In the FBI, that mystery was known as The Anonymous Letter.

The Anonymous Letter

Part I

For over fifty years a fascinating kabuki played-out between two historical intelligence adversaries.

In 1943, J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, received an astounding letter. The correspondence was unsigned and undated; however, the envelope was postmarked August 7, 1943, Washington D.C. The contents of the letter dealt with the Soviet intelligence apparatus in North America. The letter exposed Vasili and Elizabeth Zarubin as the leaders of the KGB in the United States; accused them of being double agents for Germany and Japan; and detailed virtually the entire senior leadership of the KGB in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Despite the cloud on its validity, the FBI moved aggressively to investigate the individuals named: Boris Morros, Pavel Klarin, Gregory Kheifetz, Leonid Kvasnikov, Andrey Savchenko, Semyon Semyonov, Sergei Lukianov, Vasili Pavlov, Lev Vasilevsky (Lev Tarasov), Vasili Dolgov, and Vasili Mironov. Within the FBI the document became the original source for the omnibus COMRAP Case (Comintern Apparatus) and was officially referred to as The Anonymous Letter. Most significant for FBI investigators was the fact that The Anonymous Letter, in its particulars on Zarubin and Kheifetz, dovetailed with the current and very active CINRADCASE (Communist Infiltration, Radiation Lab, 1943). At the heart of the CINRADCASE was Steve Nelson and a super-secret military project at the Radiation Lab in Berkeley. At the time, the FBI was unaware of the nature or even the existence of the project. It was, of course, the Manhattan Project.

In 1944, it was Joseph Stalin's turn to be astounded. He received a bombshell letter from KGB officer Lieutenant Colonel Vasili Dimitrovich Mironov, who was then assigned as Second Secretary at the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C. Mironov's letter denounced Vasili and Elizabeth Zarubin as double agents working for the FBI. Although this was virtually unbelievable, the conundrum for the KGB was that Mironov's letter roughly coincided with the knowledge that many of their senior agents were suddenly under close surveillance by the FBI. The Zarubins and Mironov were recalled to Moscow; the Zarubins sailed from New York in August 1944. Also recalled to Moscow in the Fall of 1944 were Gregori Kheifetz, Semyon Semyonov, Pavel Klarin and Lev Vasilevsky. Another response by the KGB to the Mironov letter was a blanket change of agent covernames in September and October 1944. Once the principals of the Mironov affair were back in Moscow, an extensive investigation was conducted into his charges. Mironov was found to be schizophrenic and his allegations groundless--the Zarubins and others were exonerated. Undoubtedly Mironov was suspected as the source of the KGB problems in America, but his schizophrenia precluded certitude. The intensified FBI surveillance had the hallmark of a mole operation, the ultimate intelligence nightmare. All possibilities had to factored and kept open.

In 1994, KGB General Pavel Sudoplatov published Special Tasks, a memoir co-authored with Jerrold and Leona Schecter. Sudoplatov's book contained the first public record of Mironov's letter to Stalin; it made no mention of a Mironov letter to Hoover. In a later book, Sacred Secrets, the Schecters had this to say about the Mironov affair: "As recently as 1992 to early 1994, while retired KGB Lieutenant General Pavel Sudoplatov was telling his story, he was not sure wheher or not Mironov had succeeded in revealing a picture of NKVD activities in America to its war time ally." This lack of certitude on Mironov may or may not be reflected by Sudoplatov when he hedged about the role codebreaking played in the FBI's suppression of Moscow's networks: "I do not think that American codebreakers played the decisive role in unmasking our espionage effort......The FBI has never publicly discussed its sources and methods. However, former FBI agent Robert Lamphere, in Chapter Six of his book, The FBI-KGB War, presents a complicated story of how the FBI re-created our codebooks by using the old one as a starting point. That may be true. I cannot absolutely exclude that codebreaking might have played a role in exposing our agents in the United States and Canada. But we have reason to believe that the FBI wanting to hide its agent source of information, invented the story of codebreaking. [ST, p. 218]" Running true to form, the old spy master did not elaborate on the "reason" why the KGB was not buying the codebreaking story from Lamphere. What was in the back of his mind and why did he keep mum about it?

Thus, a fifty year state of mutual ignorance existed between each intelligence organization's understanding of their respective 'open� cases. The FBI still did not know who wrote The Anonymous Letter; the KGB was still in the dark about how their agents were compromised. The stalemate was broken, ostensibly, when Sudoplatov published Special Tasks.

Part II

Under development

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:41 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set T - The Kurchatov Decision


As pointed out in Set S, Pavel Sudoplatov wrote that the sources of technical intelligence on the the atom bomb were held under Beria's direct personal control; when Beria was arrested in 1953 his files (archives) were moved to the Kremlin (from the Lubyanka) and that their present location is unknown; thus, Beria's atomic intelligence materials are not in the KGB's (FSB's) Enormous file. Vladimir Chikov (SVR spokesperson), Sergei Leskov (Izvestiya reporter) and Amy Knight (Beria historian) have similarly commented that the bulk of Beria archival material remains unavailable. The following, then, is an interesting set of circumstances that could possibly be illuminated by Beria's files.

Vladimir Chikov (Comment Staline) and Amy Knight (Beria) both wrote in their books that anecdotal information had it that Stalin chose Igor Kurchatov to head the Soviet Union's atomic bomb project because of his relative youth--a noteworthy and unusual mindset for Stalin under the circumstances.

Then comes Sudoplatov (Special Tasks) with this additional intriguing background: "That Oppenheimer, a relatively young scientist, then age thirty-eight, was being put in charge of the American project influenced our decision to appoint Kurchatov, then forty, to head ours. This was a controversial decision, as our older scientists did not, or could not, believe that Neils Bohr and Enrico Fermi, world famous figures could be subordinate to Oppenheimer in Los Alamos."

Stalin's predilection for youth is itself interesting, but the ostensible timing is more interesting. From Rhodes (The Making of the Atom Bomb) we learn that the essential decision to pick Oppenheimer to head the atomic bomb effort was made at a meeting on October 19, 1942, in Washington DC between Groves, Oppenheimer and Vannevar Bush. Then, a month later in mid-November 1942 Groves and Oppenheimer chose Los Alamos, New Mexico, for the site of the new lab. Amy Knight fixes the Stalin meeting that resulted in the Kurchatov selection as occuring in November, 1942. (B, p.133)


The foregoing construction, admittedly loose and on the fly, implies some pretty good shooting on the part of the KGB--damn near real time intelligence on the United States' choice of Oppenheimer. If true, how did they do that?

Maybe in this matter, as well as others, Beria's archives would shed some light.


Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Americains: Dossier KGB No. 13676, Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern, 1996
Beria, Stalin's First Lieutenant, Amy Knight, 1993
Special Tasks, Pavel Sudoplatov, 1994, 1995
The Making of the Atom Bomb, Richard Rhodes, 1986

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:41 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set R - The Rosenbergs

O-08/29/02; R-09/15/03


The Rosenberg Case was 'reopened' and debated anew in the 1990's following release of Venona messages that provided irrefutable, primary evidence of Julius Rosenberg's espionage. Radosh and Milton assimilated new information and published a revised edition of their definitive work, The Rosenberg File. It has been written, that if the Radosh-Milton book didn't put paid to the Rosenberg matter, then publication of Alexander Feklisov's The Man Behind the Rosenbergs surely did.

Case closed again.

The espionage of the Rosenbergs has not been part of the Theory of Fielding, which is more properly an analysis of the Perseus story from Vladimir Chikov. But you can't read about atomic espionage without learning about events and people connected to the Rosenberg Case. Every book written on WWII espionage mentions it to one degree or another. Thus, our reading would turn up the odd item that seemed in need of more explanation. Over time the aggregation of such items led to niggling puzzlement. That is now in the rear view mirror. We have become convinced that there are still important unknowns about the activities of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Beyond this conviction, simmers a theory that suggests Rosenberg may intersect with Perseus.

June 19, 2003, marked 50 years since the Rosenberg executions and was the occasion of renewed commentary and debate. Robert Meeropol, Ethel and Julius� son, published a book An Execution in the Family: One Son�s Journey. The �place� Mr. Meeropol has arrived at is: �While the [Venona] transcriptions seemed inconclusive, they forced me to accept the possibility that my father had participated in an illegal and covert effort to help the Soviet Union defeat the Nazis.� (His mother remains innocent) Rebuttal was provided by Ronald Radosh on the Internet in An Open Letter to the Rosenberg Son. It is an effective summary that touches all the bases. Radosh concluded his piece by advising Meeropol: Be �mentally prepared for the inevitable day when the KGB�s own archives reveal that your parents were guilty. Get ready, because it�s going to be soon

The case should stay open.


Part I � When did Rosenberg begin spying for the Soviet Union?

Part II � Is there a connection between atomic source FOGEL/PERS and Julius Rosenberg?

Part III � Is KGB courier "KLIBI" Julius Rosenberg?

Part IV � What did Rosenberg know about the atom bomb and when did he know it?

Part V � Do unidentified Venona cover names TU�. and NIL belong to Morton Sobell?

Part VI � Is Julius Rosenberg responsible for the Soviet Union beating America into space?


Part I - When did Rosenberg begin spying for the Soviet Union?


"But another source, who has asked to remain confidential, told us that Yatskov had shown him a document from KGB files that indicated that it was Morris Cohen who recruited Julius Rosenberg to work for the Soviet Union." -- The Rosenberg File, Second Edition, Radosh and Milton, page xv.


There are many differing accounts of when and how Julius Rosenberg began spying for the Soviet Union. That in 2005 there is not a subtantiated, generally accepted version seems a curious, even bizarre, circumstance. The most provocative version is the statement above by Radosh and Milton � Rosenberg was recruited by Morris Cohen. Others who have written on this specific question are Pavel Sudoplatov, Sam Roberts, Weinstein and Vassiliev, Robert Lamphere, Alexander Feklisov and possibly Vladimir Chikov. Their answers are widely diverse, and fall between 1938 and 1943. Basic knowledge of the organization and personnel of the KGB during this period is important in evaluating their respective stories.

Sam Roberts
A somewhat ludicrous account is found in Sam Roberts' book, The Brother. Roberts wrote that Greenglass said that in the summer of 1943, while in a line to see a movie, Julius told him that he had walked into the Soviet Embassy and volunteered his spy services. Rebuffed on his initial pitch, Julius explained how he had recruited numerous guys into the Young Communist League and, "he mentioned all their names and said they're all engineers and they are going to go out in the field and so on." (TB, p.52-3) It is not clear if Rosenberg went more than once to the consulate. (Rosenberg left the Young Communist League and became a member of the Communist Party USA in December 1939. TRF, p. 51-55) There is an echo of the Greenglass anecdote in the testimony of Max Elichter at the Rosenberg trial. Elichter testified that in 1947 Julius told him that "a long time ago" he decided he wanted to help the Russians so he made it a point to get close to people in the Communist Party until "he was able to approach someone, Russian.....who would listen to his proposition." (TRF, p.176)
Comment & Analysis. Rosenberg espionage recruits Joel Barr and Morton Sobell graduated from CCNY in 1938. As Greenglass told the story, Rosenberg's pitch was that his engineer associates in the YCL were going to graduate and get jobs in the field, etc. Thus, the verb tense suggests that Rosenberg's walk-in at the Soviet embassy occurred before June 1938. As implausible as the vignette from Greenglass might seem, it should be remembered that this is exactly how Klaus Fuchs began spying for the Russians--he walked into the Soviet Embassy in London in August 1941.

Pavel Sudoplatov, in Special Tasks, reports the earliest contact between Julius Rosenberg and Soviet intelligence: "Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were recruited by Gaik Ovakimian, our rezident in New York, in 1938.� (ST, p.213) "Semyonov was the case officer of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, after Ovakimian recruited them.� (ST, p.177) In 1939 Gaik Ovakimian became KGB resident in New York. He was arrested by the FBI in May 1941 but allowed to return to Russia. He left the U.S. on 23 July 1941 (CS, p.70) Semyon Semyonov, in the U.S. since 1937, had been under Ovakimian's wing. Semyonov was initially sent to MIT but returned to New York in 1940, changing his cover from student to Amtorg engineer. At Amtorg, Semyonov directed the activities of Morris Cohen.
Comment & Analysis. Sudoplatov asserted that Ovakimian recruited Rosenberg in two different places in his book; he was not undecided about the matter. By his use of a comma, he was specific about the year 1938. Of special note is his claim that Ethel was also recruited. The literature is clear that Semyonov became Rosenberg's Case Officer. If Sudoplatov is correct, and knowing that Semyonov was a full time student at MIT in 1939-1940, who was Rosenberg's contact during the period Semyonov was at MIT? Morris Cohen? Jacob Golos?

Weinstein and Vassiliev
The Haunted Wood by Weinstein and Vassiliev contains several detailed accounts of Rosenberg and his network working under the control of Jacob Golos, the CPUSA's chief liaison with the KGB.
a. "Several sources were provided by an American Communist Party cell supervised by Jacob Golos in 1941 through a party functionary, Bernard Schuster ('Echo')....In fact, without identifying his agents by name, Golos delivered their material directly to Soviet NKVD operatives. But Moscow's files show that the leader of this party cell - a radio engineer ("Antenna") who collected both information and party dues from four colleagues, Communists and engineers like himself - understood that the materials were going to the Soviet Union. 'Antenna' (a code name later changed to 'Liberal') was Julius Rosenberg." (THW, p.177)
b. Weinstein and Vassiliev provide excerpts from a November 1944 report by Semyon Semyonov found in KGB archives. Semyonov wrote: "In 1942 I learned that [Golos] was working with a group of local compatriots in the field of technical intelligence..... Having fragmentary data about this group, nevertheless I determined that it had great potenial possibilities in the field of radio-engineering and aviation. Therefore, I brought the station chief's [Zarubin's] attention to the matter of giving me [Rosenberg] with his group, which was done despite a certain resistance on [Golos's] part.......[Rosenberg] was absolutely unripe in matters of working as an agent, our demands regarding the type of materials we aquire, and elementary rules of konspiratsia."
Comment & Analysis. Semyonov's report needs to be evaluated in the light of the Mironov investigation which was then taking place in Moscow (August to December 1944). Semyonov had been recalled to Moscow that summer and in all probability was a party to the investigation of the Zarubins who had been denounced as traitors by KGB Colonel Vasili Mironov.

Alexander Feklisov
In The Man Behind the Rosenbergs, Alexander Feklisov gives the following account of Julius Rosenberg's introduction to KGB service: Rosenberg "came to the attention" of the New York Residentura in the Spring of 1942 through Bernard Schuster, a senior official of the CPUSA in New York who vetted and recruited Americans for Soviet intelligence. Schuster's KGB Case Officer was Konstantin Chugunov. The initial approach to Julius occurred during a Labor Day rally on September 7, 1942, in Central Park. Schuster brought Julius to the rally and they were met there by Chugunov and Semyon Semyonov. After introductions and pleasantries, Schuster and Chugunov left, and Rosenberg and Semyonov adjourned to a restaurant for lunch where the formal recruitment began. At their next meeting Rosenberg brought Semyonov a first batch of confidential documents. From that date until late 1944 Semyonov was Rosenberg's case officer. Following Semyonov's return to Russia in September 1944, Feklisov was given responsibility for the Rosenberg ring by Vasilli Zarubin and Leonid Kvasnikov. (TMBTR, p.108-109)
Comment & Analysis If Semyon Semyonov was not on the FBI's radar by August 1943, he certainly was thereafter. He was one of the principal KGB agents exposed in the Anonymous Letter received by J. Edgar Hoover on 7 August 1943. This letter was the basis for the Bureau's COMRAP investigation and caused the establishment of 'Russian' squads in the major offices of Washington, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Semyonov's situation would only get worse. From Robert Lamphere's FBI-KGB War: "Agents of the FBI covering Gregory Kheiffets, a KGB man, saw Kheiffets have a joyous reunion with Semenov in San Francisco in early 1944" (TFKW, p.171). In addition to being mentioned in the Anonymous Letter himself, Kheiffets was also a figure in the active CINRAD case that Steve Nelson was at the heart of. There was yet a third whammy impacting Semyonov. Colonel Vasili Mironov, who wrote the letter to Hoover in 1943, wrote a similar letter to Stalin in 1944. The letter to Stalin was comparable to the Hoover letter in that it denounced Vassilli Zarubin (Semyonov's boss) as a double agent for the FBI. The precise date of the letter is not known, but it was before August 1944. Nor is it known if Mironov included charges against others in the American residentura, as he had to Hoover, but it is a reasonable assumption that he did. In Man Behind Feklisov reports that Semyonov "deactivated" in the summer of 1944 and contact with all of his agents was severed. We believe these drastic measures were in all likelihood connected to Mironov's letter to Stalin. In any event the Zarubins were recalled to Moscow and left the U.S. in August 1944; Semyonov soon followed, on 29 September 1944. It was Feklisov who then reestablished contact with Rosenberg after the operational hiatus: "I had to reestablish a contact that had been cut off for several months since the deactivation of Henry, alias Semonov." (TMBTR, p.110) This first contact by Feklisov occurred sometime between the change of Rosenberg's codename on 2 September 1944 (from ANTENNA to LIBERAL) and Christmas 1944. [For reasons unclear Feklisov states that Semyonov returned to Russia in early 1944 (p.106). Howver Lamphere's book and other sources indicate that Semyonov left the country at the end of September 1944; also, several Venona messages show that Semyonov (TVEN) was still in the U.S. through the end of August 1944. And Feklisov contradicts himself by indicating that he never handled Rosenberg when his codename was ANTENNA.]

Robert Lamphere
In The FBI-KGB War, Robert Lamphere shows that Rosenberg and his ring were assisting the Soviets as early as the Summer of 1942: "[Elizabeth Bentley] also knew about certain sources she had never actually handled. For example, in the summer of 1942, before Golos death, she learned about the existence of a cell of engineers who reported to him." (FKW, p.38) This account is also part of Bentley's testimony at the Rosenberg trial. The essentials of her story to the FBI were that she accompanied Golos to an agent meeting in the vacinity of Knickerbocker Village, New York. Golos had told her that the agent was one of a group of engineers and that he had given this agent her residence phone number so he would be able to reach Golos whenever he desired. The unknown agent subsequently called Bentley a number of times and identified himself as "Julius." Julius Rosenberg lived in Knickerbocker Village.

Radosh and Milton
The Rosenberg File, 2nd Ed., of course, addresses the subject of Julius' direct and indirect involvement with the "Russians."
a. Distilling from several pages of the Radosh-Milton book, the authors ballpark the start of the relationship as occurring in 1943. The authors explain that the date would be roughly equivalent to the date the Rosenberg's subscription to the Daily Worker ended: "When a Party member was recruited for espionage, [Junius] Scales told us, one of the surefire things was that their subscription to the Worker and Daily Worker, one or both, had to be dropped." Scales further recalled for Radosh and Milton that the cancellation of the Rosenbergs' subscription was "handled at the highest level at the was not handled routinely." The Rosenberg File credits KGB Officer Alexander Feklisov with formalizing the recruitment: "And it was in this capacity that [Feklisov] was assigned the task of formally signing up Julius Rosenberg and directing him to engage in espionage and to report on a regular basis." (TRF, p.xxiii)
b. Radosh and Milton then muddy the water (considerably) by 'throwing in' the possible involvement of Morris Cohen: A confidential source told the authors that Anatoli "Yatskov had shown him a document from KGB files that indicated that it was Morris Cohen who recruited Julius Rosenberg to work for the Soviet Union." (TRF, p. xv)

Vladimir Chikov
Vladimir Chikov's book Comment Staline was principally about atomic espionage, and the role Morris Cohen (LUIS) played in rercuiting an atomic physicist in the first half of 1942. He unfolds the Cohen story largely in chronological order. For example, he mentions that Morris and Leona Petka were married in June 1941 (they were), that she was almost immediately recruited to work with Morris as a Soviet agent and that her first assignment involved obtaining a prototype of a new machine gun. At about this time (circa Septemger 1941) an evaluation of Morris Cohen was sent to Moscow Center. The report, as reprised by Chikov, begins with the statement that, "LUIS recruited the agent MORTON on the ideological basis." Three sentences later the report states, "In addition, LUIS has acquired two valuable sources, FRANK and RAY. The latter turned over higly calssified materials on radars and sonars." (CS, p.94) Additional collateral in Comment Staline suggests that Cohen acquired FRANK and RAY sometime between June 1941 and December 1941.
Comment & Analysis To be noted is the use of the words "recruited" and "acquired," and their difference in meaning. Thus, in regard to FRANK and RAY, we believe that these agents were transferred to Cohen, that he did not personally or directly recruit them. In view of the information from Radosh regarding a Cohen-Rosenberg link, we think it is possible that RAY is Rosenberg. It is certainly known that Rosenberg provided the Soviets with information on radars and sonars obtained from Sarant and Sobel. (MORTON, FRANK and RAY are pseudonyms, not real codenames)

Morris Cohen Chronology

Morris Cohen graduated from Mississippi State in 1935. Thereafter, he enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana. At Illinois he worked with a communist front called the American Student Union and he joined the Young Communist League as well. He was soon expelled, however, for distributing radical political literature. Cohen returned to New York in early 1936 where he became a member of the Communist Party and one of its branch organizers in the Bronx. In July 1937, Cohen (under the alias Israel Altman) went to Spain as a member of the International Brigades. While in Spain he was recruited for a special KGB intelligence school in Barcelona. Cohen returned to the States in December 1938 and resumed work for the CPUSA. In the Summer of 1939, while working as a guard at the Soviet pavilion during the World's Fair, he was 'activated' by Semyon Semyonov, a KGB operative with diplomatic immunity and assigned to the Amtorg Trading Company. (Important note: At this time, Semyonov was a full time student at MIT, so during the academic year he was in Boston. He left MIT in 1940.) An engineer by training, Semyonov's portfolio was technical and scientific espionage. Cohen was given a cover job at Amtorg where he was controlled, at some point, by Semyonov. In June 1941 Cohen married fellow Party member Lona Petka. Several weeks after their marriage Morris recruited her (with the Party's permission) to join him in espionage. On July 8, 1942, Cohen received an Army draft notice. Two weeks later, 22 July, he was in boot camp at Fort Dix, New Jersey. After boot camp Cohen was assigned to the 3233rd Quartermaster Service Company based at Camp Edwards, Mass. On January 30, 1943, the 3233rd, shipped out for Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada. The unit returned to Camp Edwards, Mass, on February 9, 1944; departed Boston by ship April 7, 1944, and arrived in Engand on April 16, 1944. The 3233rd was diary reported in Belgiuim on October 26, 1944, and in Germany on March 30, 1945. Cohen returned from the war in Europe in November 1945.


The Golos-Rosenberg relationship is documented and cannot be questioned. The essential truth it conveys is that Rosenberg was entrenched in spying, recruiting and network building well before September 1942 -- the date Feklisov begins the espionage career of Julius Rosenberg. It is clear from the background, that Rosenberg's uptake into Soviet espionage does not begin on Labor Day, 1942. Rosenberg history, therefore, is not only incomplete but also in question.

It is known that in 1940-41 Semyon Semyonov was the KGB officer in the New York rezidentura principally responsible for technical intelligence. Semyonov reported to Gaik Ovakimian until Ovakimian's arrest by the FBI and subsequent deportation in July 1941. Semyonov had been in the United States for almost 4 years. Considering himself 'hot' by association with Ovakimian (under surveillance by the FBI), Semyonov wrote two letters to the Center requesting replacemnt. (CS, p.133) Pavel Fitin picked Anatoli Yatskov, who had been the staff officer responsible for the Cohen file, to replace Semyonov. Yatskov would travel to America after three months of English language training, arriving in New York early in 1942. Sometime in the first half of 1942, probably May or June, Vassily Zarubin transferred control of Morris Cohen to Anatoly Yatskov. Only months later (July), Zarubin had a major problem on his hands, perhaps one of crisis proportions. Morris Cohen had been drafted and, with only two weeks notice to the KGB, he was in boot camp and gone from New York. It is evident that Cohen's caseload at the time was very heavy. Vladimir Chikov gave the following picture in Comment Staline: "[Pavel] Fitin turned to a discussion of LUIS who also, it seemed to him, was in need of relief. He was working as a recruiter, a courier, a contact man and even as a group leader - that is, as the head of a spy ring called The Volunteers. The [KGB] was asking him to be a jack of all trades." Cohen himself recalled it this way: "I went into the Army and [Lona] took over. We had been building up a group until there were about seven comrades in the group. And she took over this work." (B, p.50)

It is known that Lona did pick up some of this "work." But she could not have taken over all of it--at that point it was a bona fide two person job. (Also, with only one year of tradecraaft experience, it is doubtful the residentura even would have considered it.) Another recruiter-courier had to be found to replace Morris Cohen. Further, the profile for a replacement had to be a veritable match with Cohen: born in America, CPUSA member, proven recruiter, competent with technology. Julius Rosenberg was just such a person. It makes a great deal of sense that Cohen's departure occasioned the transfer-promotion of Rosenberg from Golos to Semyonov in the early Fall of 1942. And obviously, such a circumstance and its implications re Rosenberg would be a secret that Feklisov would need to respect.

In The Rosenberg File Radosh and Milton refer to ongoing speculation about ties between Cohen and Rosenberg. Certainly their anecdote about a KGB file document indicating that Cohen recruited Rosenberg serves to stir that pot. It is a reasonable speculation, one that is furthered by the chain of cause and effect in the arrests of Fuchs, Gold, Greenglass and Rosenberg:

- Klaus Fuchs was arrested on February 2, 1950. His arrest did not necessitate the extraction of the Cohens from the United States. The Fuchs investigation led to Harry Gold, his American courier.
- Harry Gold was arrested on May 23, 1950. His arrest did not require the timely departure of the Cohens from the U. S. The Gold arrest led to David Greenglass.
- David Greenglass was arrested on June 16, 1950. His arrest did not precipitate the immediate departure of the Cohens from the U.S. The Greenglass arrest led to Julius Rosenberg.
- Julius Rosenberg was arrested on July 17, 1950. Morris and Lona Cohen left New York almost immediately thereafter.

Moscow Center performed back bearings on these agents. Their file reviews suggested that if proper tradecraft (compartmentalization and need to know) had been followed none of these people would be able to name or identify the Cohens to the FBI. Undoubtedly, the Center had a degree of confidence that proper tradecraft had been followed. After Greenglass was arrested the KGB was aware that Rosenberg had been questioned by the FBI and was under close surveillance. As problematical as that was, the KGB was confident that Julius would not cooperate in the face of FBI enquiries. The arrest of Julius Rosenberg, however, changed the calculus entirely.

The Cohens possessed the keys to the KGB house of spies: Ted Hall, RELE/SERB, Perseus, Rudolf Abel, Steve Nelson (to name just a few). If the Cohens were arrested, all were at risk. The Cohens had to be pulled out immediately, and they were. Julius Rosenberg was arrested on July 17. Five days later, July 22, the Cohens were in Mexico. The close correspondence of Rosenberg's arrest and the flight of the Cohens constitutes circumstantial evidence that an espionage link existed between Rosenberg and Cohen.


As Julius Rosenberg's case officer, it is not plausible that Alexander Feklisov was ignorant of Rosenberg's prior work with Jacob Golos. For instance, Feklisov states that after Vassili Zarubin approved the transfer of Rosenberg to him, he was given access to Julius' file at the Rezidentura. (TMBTR, p.107) Feklisov's failure to tell the complete truth about Rosenberg is a deliberate omission. The reason for the withholding is that the full truth would entail disclosure of Rosenberg agents that are still unidentified, perhaps still alive, and perhaps connected to Morris Cohen. For Feklisov, this was impermissible since the Rosenbergs chose execution rather than divulge such co-conspirator comrades.

Part II � Is there a connection between atomic source FOGEL/PERS and Julius Rosenberg?

The Rosenberg Network

In their book on Venona, Haynes and Klehr detail the Rosenberg network as follows:
Six sources: Joel Barr, William Perl, Alfred Sarant, Morton Sobell, David Greenglass and unidentified cover name "Nile" (NIL);
Two couriers: Michael and Ann Sidorovich; and
Three support persons: Vivian Glassman, Ruth Greenglass and Ethel Rosenberg. (V, p.303)

Rosenberg knew Barr first, from High School. They both went to CCNY where they met Morton Sobell. Rosenberg also met Perl at CCNY. Perl was a year or so behind the others.

Julius Rosenberg: Graduated CCNY Feb 1939; employed War Department, Signal Supply Office, Brooklyn NY, Sep 1940; transferred to Signal Corps, Philadelphi PA, Oct 1941; transferred to Newark Signal Corps, Newark, NJ, Oct 1942; suspended Feb 1945 for Communist Party membership, terminated, Mar 1945; employed Emerson Radio, New York City, Feb 1945; terminated Emerson Radio, Dec 1945. Venona cover names ANTENNA and LIBERAL

Joel Barr: Graduated CCNY 1938; employed Signal Corps Laboratories, Ft Monmouth, NJ, Jul 1940-Feb 42. Venona cover names SKAUT and METR

Morton Sobell: Graduated CCNY 1938; employed Bureau of Naval Ordnance Washington DC, Jan 1939-Oct 1940; employed General Electric, Schenectady, NY, Jun 1942-Jun 1947. Venona cover name/s not established (TU�. and NIL available)

William Perl: Graduated CCNY 1940; employed National Advisory Committee for Aeronautices at Langley Field VA, 1939-1944. Venona cover names GNOM and YaKOV

Alfred Sarant: Graduated Copper Union College, NY City, Jun 1941; employment terminated at Signal Corps Labs, Fort Monmouth, NJ, Sep 1942; employment terminated Western Electric Labs and Bell Telephone Labs, Sep 1946. Venona cover name HUGHES

Rosenberg recruited Barr and Sobell first, Perl a year or two later. Barr, with assistance from Rosenberg, recruited Sarant, a co-worker at Western Electric Labs. Rosenberg recruited the Sidoroviches to act as couriers for Perl who worked in Cleveland for the National Advisory Board for Aeronautics. Rosenberg�s first (known) controller was Jacob Golos who fronted as a CPUSA operative. Rosenberg�s second controller was KGB officer Semyon Semyonov who replaced Golos in 1942. Rosenberg�s third controller was Alexander Feklisov who took over from Semyonov probably in 1943.

The Rosenberg Network in Venona

Venona message No. 1251 dated 2 September 1944 changed the covernames of 22 agents. Five were changed in the following order: ANTENNA to LIBERAL, GNOM to YaKOV, SKAUT to METR, TU... to NIL, FOGEL' to PERS.

ANTENNA was Julius Rosenberg; GNOM was William Perl, a member of the Rosenberg network; SKAUT was Joel Barr, a member of the Rosenberg network; TU.... is unassigned but Venona No. 1657 (27 November 1944) links him unequivocally with the Rosenberg network. It is clear that the author of message No. 1251 mentally had the Rosenberg network in mind when he enumerated these cover name changes: He began with Julius and then listed three Rosenberg agents in succession.

FOGEL� / PERS in Venona

FOGEL' (Bird) and PERS (Persian) are unidentified codenames in Venona. There are 3 messages containing FOGEL and 3 containing PERS. However, message No. 1251, a codename change message, changed FOGEL to PERS. Thus, FOGEL and PERS are the same person, and there are a total of 5 messages on him.

The FOGEL-PERS messages:
No. 212, NY to M, 11 February 1944 (FOGEL�)
No. 854, NY to M, 16 June 1944 (FOGEL�)
No. 1251, NY to M, 2 September 1944 (FOGEL� to PERS)
No. 1749, NY to M, 13 December 1944 (PERS)
No. 127, M to NY, 10 February 1945 (PERS) - not available

The first FOGEL message is dated 11 February 1944 and begins as follows: �Herewith a report from FOGEL on the work on Enormoz.� The implication of this message is that FOGEL was an established KGB source by 11 Feb 44. Before being brought on line, sources/agents were the subject of extensive vetting by the Rezidentura, and advice and consent by the Center. More probably than not, then, the initial recruitment of FOGEL took place in 1943 or earlier.

The last FOGEL-PERS message is a Moscow to New York communication. Although listed in Venona's Index of KGB Cover names, No. 127 is not available on the NSA website--nor otherwise found in the public domain. However, a reliable and knowledgeable source has indicated that No. 127 is a two-part message containing several hundred code groups, and that it contains the wording, �LIBERAL�s wife Ethyl.� In suit with No. 127, review of the other four messages shows that ALL of the FOGEL-PERS messages contain a reference to Rosenberg or someone in his network.


Three of the five FOGEL-PERS messages contain a reference to Rosenberg or a member of his network; in a fourth message the cover names FOGEL/PERS are contiguous with the covernames of the other Rosenberg spy ring members. The odds would suggest that FOGEL-PERS was associated with Julius Rosenberg.

This circumstantial association of FOGEL-PERS to Rosenberg is based on analysis of Venona messages. For argument predicated on information outside of Venona see Set C.

Part III � Is KGB courier "KLIBI" Julius Rosenberg?

KLIBI is a codename mentioned in Chikov-Kern's Comment Staline. The story line is that KGB officer Anatoli Yatskov was having last meetings with Morris Cohen before Cohen was shipped out to Alaska (January 1943). Shortly thereafter, the Rezidentura was in planning for a courier trip "to New Mexico to make contact with Perseus. The chief requirements for the mission were intelligence, resourcefulness and good health. Three agents were recommended: Klibi, Pylos and Leslie. The first, it was determined would not fare well on such a long train ride. The second had broken two clandestine meetings for insignificant reasons. LESLIE was the obvious choice. As the mission was urgent, Yatskov took the extraordinary step of accosting LESLIE on her way to work and slipping her a rolled-up note." (CS, p. 157)

It can be safely said that LESLIE was Lona Cohen. In their book Venona, Haynes and Klehr give the following footnote: "Cohen, Lona: Cover name Lesley, also called Volunteer's Wife." (V, DSEIA, p.345) Venona message No. 32 of 11 January 1945 contains the following: "SERB has advised that Volunteer [Morris Cohen] has died at the front in Europe. The last meeting with LESLEY was had by TWAIN about six months ago. Do you consider it advisable to establish liaison with LESLEY to render her assistance and [B% activate] her in the future as a go-between [1 group unrecovered] special conspirative apartment [?]"

PYLOS is more interesting and 100% speculative. We believe "Pylos" (as in Golos) might refer to Elizabeth Bentley. A good biography has come out recently on Bentley--Red Spy Queen by Kathryn Olmstead. By 1943 Bentley (covername "Umnitsa," Clever Girl) had been involved in espionage for over 2 years, primarily as a courier. Besides Golos, for example, she had been a courier for Abraham Brothman (TFKW, p.142). Her Russian case officer at this time was Anatoli Yatskov ("John"), the same as Lona Cohen's. Yatskov exhibited the same ill-advised actions with Bentley as he did with Lona Cohen: "Soon after he met Elizabeth, he called her at work--a huge risk for an agent assumed to be under surveillance by the FBI. He then compounded the mistake by asking for 'Miss Wise' at her workplace." (RSQ, p.44)

In the 1943 period, the KGB considered Jacob Golos a loose canon and began transferring his agents to other handlers (Rosenberg was one). From Red Spy Queen: "As part of the effort to professionalize the intelligence service, Moscow in 1943 ordered Golos to turn over all his sources and agents--including Elizabeth--to its control.....In mid-1943, [Bentley] began turning over her biweekly trove of Silvermaster documents to a new Russian controller directly. [Golos] was out of the loop.....Secretly, however, Elizabeth took the material to Golos for his inspection before she passed it on to the Soviets." (RSQ, p.59) Reminiscent of the knock on PYLOS (breaking meetings), Pavel Fitin wrote to Ishkak Ahkmerov (Bentley's new controller) expressing concern about Bentley's "unbalanced state and inconstancy." (THW, p.98)

In addition to Comment Staline there is another mention of KLIBI, albeit brief and from a confidential source. This source listed KLIBI as a member of the Volunteer Group (Set I refers). The best description of the Volunteer Group comes from Russia's SVR:
The "Volunteer group�were able to guarantee the transmittal to the Center of super secret information concerning the development of the American atomic bomb." (Samolis, p.158-9)
In The Man Behind the Rosenbergs, Alexander Feklisov couched it differently: "In 1950 an American couple, Morris and Leontine Cohen, the key operatives within and atomic espionage network in New York, which handled another Los Alamos physicist code-named "Mlad," were spirited to the USSR through Mexico." (TMBTR, p.257)
(Lona Cohen, LESLI, was a member of the Volunteer Group; she went to New Mexico to courier one or more atomic sources. Harry Gold, not part of the Volunteer Group per se, was also sent to New Mexico to courier atomic sources, two of them--Klaus Fuchs and David Greenglass.)

Mr. Feklisov relates another historically interesting piece of information: It was a member of the Rosenberg network, not Harry Gold, who was originally considered to be the courier for Greenglass in New Mexico. From Man Behind: "The information [from Greenglass] then had to be conveyed from Albuquerque to New York. This would be the job of my dear and brave Ann Sidorovich, code named "Objektiv," who was William Perl's liaison agent. The Greenglasses met Ann at the Rosenberg's a few days later." (TMBTR, p.279; corroboration in Gold confession, TFKW, p.173) Ann Sidorovich, of course, was recruited by Julius Rosenberg. Mr. Feklisov, with appropriate disdain, says that the Center overruled this plan in favor of using Gold. The point here being, the 'Sidorovich' plan in 1944 offers an antecedent for the consideration of Rosenberg in 1943.

In sum, we think cover name KLIBI from Mr. Chikov is fictitious, but in reality represents Julius Rosenberg. The argument is tenuous but possibly tr�s int�ressant:
First, the rumor above from Radosh and Milton that Morris Cohen (aka VOLONTER) might have been the recruiter of Julius Rosenberg. A connection to Cohen seems to be a condition for inclusion in the Volunteer Group, and Rosenberg was involved in atomic espionage.
Second, 1943 is when Julius Rosenberg comes on line as a KGB courier directed by Semyon Semyonov.
Third, Rosenberg's documented infirmities of boils and anemia during this period imply the difficulty of a three day train ride.
Fourth, Chikov's source for Comment Staline is the SVR's Enormoz file--a file chock-full of reports from Feklisov refering to his agent "Libi," his diminutive for LIBERAL.
Fifth, LESLIE, an English noun, means Leslie; PYLOS, a Greek noun, means gate; but KLIBI means nothing, suggesting that it could have been manufactured from Libi.
Sixth, as the Sidorovich-Gold anecdote indicates, Moscow Center used couriers where they could find them in servicing atomic sources in New Mexico. Over his entire espionage career, Rosenberg was a courier as much as anything else.

Part IV � What did Rosenberg know about the atom bomb and when did he know it?

Central to this review is Rosenberg's early, inexplicable knowledge of the atom bomb project.


Ruth and David Greenglass

In the summer of 1944, David Greenglass was sent by the Army to work briefly at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Greenglass did not know the nature of the project but, when Ruth Greenglass told Julius where David was located, Julius ventured an opinion: On July 31, 1944, Ruth wrote [David]: "Julie was in the house and he told me what you must be working on." (TRF, p. 65)

Later in mid-November,1944, Ruth had a meeting with Julius before her trip to visit David in Albuquerque: "In Ruth's court testimony describing the evening's conversation, Julius was tremendously excited about David's assignment to Los Alamos. He did his best to explain the significance of the atomic bomb to the uncomprehending Ruth, stressing that it was the biggest thing yet, that is was top secret." (TRF, p. 67)

When Ruth visited David in Albuquerque in November 1944 she discussed Julius' recruiting overtures with her husband: "I told [David] that I knew that he was working on the atom bomb. He asked me how I knew and who had told me. I said that I had been to Julius' house and that he had told me that [your] work was on the atomic bomb, and [David] asked me how Julius knew it and I told him of the conversation we had had, that Julius had said they spent two years getting in touch with people who would enable him to do work directly for the Russian people, that his friends, the Russians, had told him that the work was on the atomic bomb, that the bomb had dangerous radiation effects, that it was a very destructive weapon and that the scientific basis, the information on the bomb should be made available to Soviet Russia." (TIC, p. 120)

Greenglass testified during his trial that Julius had told him about a 'gun-type' bomb design during his furlough to New York in January 1945: "[Julius] said there was fissionable material at one end of a cube and at the other end of a cube there was a sliding member that was also of fissionable material and when they brought these two together under great pressure, a nuclear reaction would take place. That is the type of bomb that he described." (TRF, p. 444)

Greenglass-Yatskov Meeting

David Greenglass met with KGB officer Anatoli Yatskov in New York in 1945. The meeting was arranged by Julius Rosenberg and his controller, Alexander Feklisov. Several authors have described it in their books.

The Man Behind the Rosenbergs (p.151): "I must now introduce the final character in the tragedy, which was about to unfold. In September 1944, during one of our working dinners, Julius talked to me for the first time about David Greenglass......[Greenglass] had just been drafted and transferred to a military installation in the desert of New Mexico as a machinist.....David was stationed at an ultra-secret base where a very powerful weapon was being developed. None of us at the time knew what this was all about but we clearly understood that it was a highly sensitive project....Compartmentalization is a basic rule of all clandestine work. Each member of the network must only know the very minimum required for him to carry out his mission.....However, through bits and pieces of information, I was aware that my colleagues Yatskov and Kvasnikov were looking for information on a "super bomb" that top Western scientists were working on somewhere in the American southwest....Despite his natural reserve, [Kvasnikov] was unable to hide his excitement.....He immediately understood that David Greenglass was working at Los Alamos on the Manhattan Project.....He asked me a million questions about the smallest details of my conversation with [Rosenberg] and ordered me to write a report.....Kvasnikov then had a long discussion with Yatskov......Three days later, after an exchange of cables with the Center, Kvasnikov asked me to begin planning, with Rosenberg, for the recruitment of David Greenglass.....In November 1944, Ruth Greenglass, David's young wife, went to spend two weeks at Albuquerque to visit her husband and celebrate their first wedding anniversary.....I met with Julius again on December 5. Ruth Greenglass had just returned from Albuquerque and David had agreed to help us. Since [Julius] knew nothing about nuclear physics, he suggested that one of our specialists meet with David upon his return to New York on leave, in January 1945.....Yet by our next meeting, on January 3, 1945, David had already spent a few happy days with his family. Julius had asked him questions about his work at Los Alamos and, at his request, David even made a drawing of one of the lens molds.....We could not go any further than that because I was just as ignorant as Julius was on the subject....It's very important that David be able to talk to one of your specialists. Is that possible? asked Julius.....I proposed a meeting on Wednesday January 10, between David and the expert who was none other than Anatoly Yatskov.....After making the introductions, I immediately left them alone; for me the entire matter ended there.....Because of the sacred "need to know" rule, I was not to find out what happened that day until after I left the United States in September 1946."

With some significant differences, several other authors also describe this event:
Sam Roberts in his book The Brother (p. 145). We paraphrase: When Greenglass was home on furlough in New York in September 1945 he borrowed his father-in-law's Oldsmobile, picked up Julius Rosenberg in Knickerbocker Village and drove to a bar to meet one of Rosenberg's "Russian friends." Leaving Greenglass in the car, Rosenberg went into the bar and met Alexander Feklisov, whereupon Feklisov introduced Julius to Anatoli Yatskov. Julius then escorted Yatskov out to the car and introduced him, by first name only, to Greenglass. Yatskov got in the back seat of the Olds. They drove around for about 20 minutes while Yatskov conducted an in-depth, technical interview.
The Schecters in Sacred Secrets also cover this meeting between Greenglass and Yatskov. They peg the date as January 1945, and give their source as the FBI Rosenberg Case Summary.
In their book, The Rosenberg File, Radosh and Milton give a version of the meeting. They place it in January 1945. In their version, Greenglass does not pick up Rosenberg in Knickerbocker Village but drives directly to the "appointed" location whereupon Julius comes out of a nearby bar, checks Greenglass and the car out, goes back in the bar and returns with a "stranger." During the drive around the stranger grilled Greenglass on the lens mold. (TRF, p.69)


With everything that has been written about the Rosenberg Case, it is curious that no author has focused on the nature, timing and implications of Rosenberg's advanced knowledge of the bomb. The first atomic bomb design to come out of the Los Alamos Lab was the so-called gun-type. This design came to fruition in the last half of 1944. Richard Feynman's dragon tail experiments were part of the research on this weapon and helped expose the design�s inherent limitations. Nevertheless, at the end of 1944 this work was tantamount to the holy grail of the Soviet atomic espionage program. By all accounts the KGB was up to the job. In Special Tasks, Pavel Sudoplatov wrote that, "a description of the design of the first atomic bomb was reported to us in January 1945." (ST, p.197) This weapon, named Little Boy, was built and used (untested) against Japan at Hiroshima.

If Sudoplatov's claim isn't provocative enough, the phenomena above demonstrates that Rosenberg was also privy to the secret of Little Boy in January 1945. How did Rosenberg get this knowledge? It is theoretically possible that Rosenberg's case officer briefed him. But to reveal such top secret data, ostensibly received from another source, to an external agent such as Rosenberg would be the grossest of violations of compartmentalization and need-to-know. A second possibility is that Rosenberg gleaned it through contact with other CPUSA operatives involved in the Party's secret work. Between these two possibilities, we could believe the latter before the former. The only other explanation is that Rosenberg acquired this knowledge through direct contact with someone in the Manhattan Project. However, the historical record is that his atomic weapon knowledge came soley from David Greenglass (the implosion design). But this doesn't compute because it was Greenglass who said that he first heard about Little Boy from Julius. It also needs to be kept in mind that the phenomena show that as early as the summer of 1944 Rosenberg knew about Oak Ridge and Los Alamos, top secrets in their own right. (To put this in perspective, Harry Truman did not learn about Los Alamos and the atom bomb until the evening of April 12, 1945, the day Roosevelt died.)

Was Rosenberg involved with another atomic spy within the Manhattan Project? In Part I of this set we suggested that Rosenberg might have been assigned one or more of Morris Cohen�s agents after Cohen was drafted into the Army. Both Cohen and his KGB controller, Anatoli Yatskov, stated that he recruited an atomic source before going into the Army. This is the thesis of Chikov's book Comment Staline. Chikov named this agent Perseus and claimed that Perseus had someone to use as a 'mail drop' for scheduling contacts--a service evidently performed by Lona Cohen for Klaus Fuchs. (see Tradrecraft, Set U) Was Rosenberg pressed into such contact/courier service for an atomic spy? For Perseus? In Part II of this set we offer a circumstantial case that Rosenberg was connected to FOGEL-PERS, an atomic source in Venona. In Set C we discussed the fact that an early manuscript by Alexander Feklisov showed Rosenberg connected to an agent called Pers, and that this agent�s legend was very similar to the profile of FOGEL-PERS given by Weinstein and Vassileiv.

Finally, a couple of interesting questions arise from Sudoplatov�s claim that the Center received the design of Little Boy in January 1945. If true, that would mean that operatives in the field obtained the material in late 1944 (it took 4 to 6 weeks for physical material to get to Moscow from North America). Did Rosenberg�s knowledge of Little Boy in January 1945 stem from the same source? If not, the Soviets had two independent sources on Little Boy? An additional sidelight to recall is that Sudoplatov claimed that the KGB had a �mole in Tennessee� (Oak Ridge) whose material was sent by courier to Mexico via the illegal station at the Santa Fe drugstore. FOGEL-PERS seems to be linked to Oak Ridge.


The answer to 'what did he know and when did he know it' is: Julius Rosenberg was clued into the penultimate secret of the U. S. government in 1944. The logical follow-up is, how did he know it? Currently, there is no answer.

The Rosenberg File is replete with examples of Rosenberg�s modus operandi of typing up information received from agents before delivering it to his KGB control. Even if a source gave him printed documents Rosenberg would have familiarized himself with the material before handing it over. That was his nature. He was the classic eager beaver�he had to be in the know. Our feeling is that Rosenberg had contact with another atomic source besides Greenglass, and this was how he acquired his extensive, top secret information. Additionally, because of the coincidence in timing and substance, we think, more probably than not, the source of Rosenberg's knowledge in January 1945 is the same as Sudoplatov�s (Moscow�s) in January 1945.

Part V � Do unidentified Venona cover names TU�. and NIL belong to Morton Sobell?


A. "Morton Sobell was a friend of the Rosenbergs and a co-defendant in their trial. Sobell met Julius Rosenberg while attending City College of New York, where he received a degree in engineering. Sobell received a sentence of 30 years imprisonment for his role in the Rosenberg conspiracy." --Douglas Linder, Rosenberg Trial website

B. "The Rosenberg network included six sources: Joel Barr, William Perl, Alfred Sarant, Morton Sobell, David Greenglass and unidentified cover name "Nile" (NIL)." --Haynes and Klehr, Venona (p. 303)

C. "[Rosenberg], in his new job as a recruiter, was fully aware of how important his friend [Sobell] was to the cause. Sobell was involved in radar engineering and had access to other confidential documents inside GE. Rosenberg recruited him during the summer of 1944 and handled the first two deliveries of documents....Our agent [Sobell] gave us forty complete research documentations representing thousands of pages of text and drawings. In 1945 alone there were two thousand pages but quantity was not the only criterion; most of Sobell's production, and especially the documents on sonar was rated 'very valuable.'" --Alexander Feklisov, The Man Behind the Rosenbergs (p.149)

D. "The men around Julius Rosenberg did seem like a cell, and all had many interconnections. Morton Sobell, for example , had been a classmate of Rosenberg's, Elitcher's and Barr's at CCNY.....Greenglass had also said that Julius had boasted that one of his 'boys' was a two-hundred dollar-a-day consultant on an 'Aswan Dam' project." --Robert J. Lamphere, FBI-KGB War (p.186)

E. "[Rosenberg] never met [Elizabeth Bentley] personally. But he said he had passed to [Golos] personal data on himself, 'Yakov,' Meter' and 'Nil.' ... In case [Rosenberg] is asked to name his friends, he will name [Joel Barr] and 'Nil," who are his old friends." --Weinstein and Vassiliev, The Haunted Wood (p. 217-8)

Venona covernames TU.... and NIL (Nile)

TU.... and NIL (Nile) are unidentified codenames in Venona. There are 2 messages containing TU.... and 4 containing NIL. However, message No. 1251, a codename change message, changed TU..... to NIL. Thus, TU.... and NIL are the same person, and there are a total of 5 messages on this agent.

The TU.... - NIL messages:
No. 863, NY to M, 16 June 1944 (TU....)
No. 1251, NY to M, 02 Sept 1944 (TU.... to NIL)
No. 1657, NY to M, 27 Nov 1944 (NIL)
No. 200, M to NY, 06 Mar 1945 (NIL)
No. 325, M to NY, 05 April 1945 (NIL)


Julius Rosenberg's first espionage recruits were Joel Barr and Morton Sobell, and they became the nucleus of his network. Barr and Sobell were classmates at CCNY (class of 1938), were close friends who socialized toghether, were visitors to Rosenberg's apartment, etc. Consequently, the two are often mentioned in tandem.

It is conclusively known that Barr's Soviet code name was METR. Venona message No. 1657 reads in part: "Information on LIBERAL's wife....first name Ethel....Knows of her husband's work and the role of METR and NIL." This message, along with two others, show that TU...-NIL was a member of the Rosenberg network along with Barr. Venona No. 1251 is a mass cover name change message which reads in part: "SKAUT - METR [xii], TU.... - NIL [xiii]." These and other documents (E) show METR and NIL juxtaposed or coupled in a manner similar to the occurrences of Barr and Sobell.

The first "Tu...." message, No. 863, is dated 16 June 1944. This corresponds with the date that Feklisov says Rosenberg recruited Sobell, the summer of 1944.

"TU...." is an unusual cover name because it incorporates an ellipsis. (An ellipsis is a mark or marks that indicate an omission or a pause.) As noted above, No. 1251, is a cover name change message--accuracy and attention to detail would be paramount. It also repeats the ellipsis of the first "TU...." message. Therefore, the ellipsis in the cover name is not a transmission, typographical or decryption error. It is a KGB artifact; it was intended and it has meaning.

Regarding TU, a Russian language expert has commented that "there are several connotations of TU relating to technology or science, such as technical conditions or technical supervision." Added to this, we suggest the ellipsis is meant to represent the pulses and pauses of radar or sonar (radio waves and sound waves respectively). These technologies were the expertise of Morton Sobell. Leonid Kvasnikov was the KGB officer in charge of technical intelligence in the rezidentura, and was an engineer himself. More probably than not, Kvasnikov originated the "TU...." cover name.

In the 1940's, Aswan Dam Egypt (an Egyptian government entity) signed an agreement with the Soviet Union for technical and engineering assistance to the Nile River dam project. One of the ways the KGB compensated an agent such as Sobell was to employ their services on business deals through Amtorg. The new technology and tools of sonar were particularly important in the siting and construction of the Aswan Dam. Sobell was a specialist in sonar. (However, the $200. per day consultant blabbed by Rosenberg was undoubtedly William Perl. See Radosh and Milton, p. 302)

The foregoing bring to issue two very improbable anomalies: The first is that Morton Sobell, a key member of the Rosenberg network, is unique among his fellow conspirators in not having a cover name attributed to him in Venona; the second anomaly is that the agent in Venona with cover names TU.... and Nil is a member of the Rosenberg network but has never been identified. Each anomaly in its own right is problematic--taken together they are preposterous. Both anomalies normalize, however, if Sobell is TU....-NIL.


On a crossword errand, we were obliged to look up the word chutzpah in the dictionary. What we found:

Function: noun
Etymology: Yiddish khutspe, from Late Hebrew huspAh
Date: 1892
1: the attendance-protest of Morton Sobell at the 1996 Venona conference.

Part VI � Is Julius Rosenberg responsible for the Soviet Union beating America into space?


"A front-page story in the Chicago Tribune quoted former U.S. Attorney Myles Lane as confirming that Sputnick was no less than the fruit of the "sky platform" data that had been given to the Russians by Rosenberg." -- Radosh and Milton, The Rosenberg File (p. 426)


Shortly after his arrest in June 1950, the FBI took a deposition from David Greenglass in which he divulged many details of Julius Rosenberg's activities. Part of the interview, characterized as "electrifying" by Robert Lamphere, included references to a "sky platform" and an "atomic airplane." The gist of this episode is recounted on the FBI's website: "Late in 1947, Julius Rosenberg told David Greenglass about a sky platform project and mentioned he had received this information from 'one of the boys.' Rosenberg described the sky platform as a large vessel which could be suspended at a point in space where the gravity was low, and that the vessel would travel around the earth like a satellite. Rosenberg also advised David that he had a way of communicating with the Russians by putting material or messages in the alcove of a theater and that he had received from one of his contacts the mathematics relating to atomic energy for airplanes." (The Atom Spy Case) Additional information given by Greenglass was that the "work on the platform idea was being done somewhere in upstate New York," and that the research was "in the stage where the mathematics were being worked out." (TRF, p.427)

Amazing to the FBI later on, information on "atomic energy for airplanes" came to them from another avenue besides Greenglass. In prison, Rosenberg blabbed to Jerome Tartakow that William Perl had given him plans for an airplane fueled by nuclear fission. The FBI investigated:
From the Air Force the FBI learned that the "sky platform" was a research effort being conducted by the Rand Corporation in California: "In May 1946, the first RAND report appeared, Preliminary Design of an Experimental World-Circling Spaceship, concerned with the potential design, performance, and possible use of man-made satellites......Also in 1947, a symposium was held in New York as part of Project RAND's Evaluation Section as a first step in enlisting social scientists for the staff." (History of the Rand Corporation)
From the AEC the FBI learned that both the "sky platform" and the "atomic ram jet" were research topics addressed in a document titled the Lexington Report produced in late 1948. (Called the Lexington Report probably because the project was headed-up by MIT, in Lexington MA)

The best account of this intriguing aspect of the Rosenberg case is found in The Rosenberg File by Radosh and Milton (p. 300-3, 426-7). In their account, the authors report FBI investigative information that points to Morton Sobell and/or William Perl as Rosenberg's source/s. One sticking point for the FBI, however, was that Project Rand was being undertaken in California, not in upper New York as indicated by Greenglass. Even so, the FBI learned that that the Rand Report had been circulated to General Electric's Aeronautics and Ordnance System Division in Schenectady, New York, where Sobell was employed in 1947; and that the Lexington Report was on file in the library of the NACA in Cleveland where Perl worked. Notwithstanding those tantalizing leads, the FBI was never able to develop hard evidence that Sobell or Perl had access to the reports.

There is more to the story. As noted by Radosh and Milton, the Lexington Report contained confidential material which required specific authorization to read. In 1948 a scientist at Los Alamos brought to the attention of the FBI an article published in an engineering magazine about the "propulsion of ram jets with the use of atomic energy." The scientist had only read an abstract of the article but knew that the matter involved restricted data which, if disclosed, would violate the Atomic Energy Act. After investigation and analysis of the complete article the scientist "could find nothing of a restricted nature in it." However, an offshoot of the FBI investigation was a finding that the article "was based on a speech made [by Scientist Z] before a scientific group and concerned work [Scientist Z] did while stationed at Los Alamos [1943-45]." (FBI file EP 116-3947, October 24, 1947)

Scientist Z

Although Sobell and Perl cannot be ruled out as Rosenberg's source/s on "sky platform," certain facts and circumstances surrounding Scientist Z invoke another scenario: In 1945 Scientist Z was a lead scientist on "sky platform" research at Los Alamos; in 1947 Scientist Z was employed as a consultant to the Atomic Energy Commission, a lead agency in the "sky platform" project; in 1947 Scientist Z delivered a scientific talk on "sky platform;" in 1947 an article on "sky platform" based on the speech by Scientist Z was published in upstate New York; circa 1947 Julius Rosenberg traveled to Ithaca, New York, to meet Alfred Sarant, a member of the Rosenberg spy ring; it is reported that "Sarant's contacts" in Ithaca included Hans Bethe and Philip Morrison, former Los Alamos physicists (TFKW, p.251); in June 1950, the FBI found Scientist Z's name and phone number listed in Sarant's Bates List Finder; in June 1950, Sarant informed FBI agents that Scientist Z had moved to California (a very recent event); in July 1950 Sarant escaped from the U.S. and disappeared behind the iron curtain.

Conclusion-Part VI

The Lexington Report was a highly classified matter. Tartakow corroborated Greenglass regarding Rosenberg's handing over such information to the Soviets. The science in the report, while of significant value, was not the intelligence coup. The real intelligence value was the fact that the United States was seriously researching the potential military applications of space science. The Soviets had lagged far behind the U.S. in nuclear weapon development. That would not be the case for space. More probably than not, the classified information from Rosenberg was the impetus for the top secret, crash program in the USSR that resulted in Sputnik.

Conclusion-Set R

In his book with Tom Shachtman, The FBI-KGB War--A Special Agent's Story, Robert Lamphere wrote: "We firmly believed that solving what Director Hoover would later term "The Crime of the Century" -- the Fuchs/Gold case-- was only the beginning." (p. 161) SA Lamphere was more right than his boss. (On the other hand, he and his partner were responsible for making sure that the boss was right!)

More probably than not, the real crime of the 20th century is the Perseus/Cohen/Rosenberg case. Which case cannot be divorced from the charge against Oppenheimer, that he wittingly assisted the Soviets in placing moles in the atomic labs.


Special Tasks, Pavel and Analtoli Sudoplatov with Jerrold and Leona Schecter, 1995
The Haunted Wood, Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, 1999
The Man Behind the Rosenbergs, Alexander Feklisov and Sergei Kostin, 2001
The Rosenberg File, Ronald Radosh and Joyce Milton, 1997
The Brother, Sam Roberts, 2002
Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Americains: Dossier KGB No. 13676, Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern, 1996
Veterany Vneshnei Razvedki Rossii, Tatyana V. Samolis, Editor, SVR Press, 1995
Venona, Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, 1999
Red Spy Queen, A Biography of Elizabeth Bentley, Cathryn S. Olmstead, 2003
The FBI- KGB War, Rogert J. Lamphere and Tom Shachtman, 1995

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:40 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set Q - 1948, 1949, 1950


Vladimir Chikov wrote:

"The messages chiefly concerned Perseus: Did he still have a job in Chicago?" �. "Claude reported to the Soviet Embassy in Washington, which sent out the message to Moscow: Luis had a meeting with Perseus. He persuaded him to leave the progressive organization and restrict himself to science. Received important information about the two new contacts of Perseus. They expressed willingness to hand over data on Enormoz. But with two conditions: their only connection must be with Perseus, and their names should not be known to officers of Artemis. Request sanction to pay off Perseus's travel expenses and to reward him for information provided on Enormoz. At our request Luis has asked Perseus to meet Claude at Christmas [1948]."

"Because the Center wants [Perseus] to carry out a new assignment. And also, as an incentive $5000 for his earlier performance. Since I [Abel] am not familiar with him you alone should meet him. I will go along and watch from afar. Where can we do it?" Leslie, "It must be at his place of work. Chicago."

"Lona recalls the last days: Before my last meeting with Claude, I had to go see Perseus, despite the Center's proscription. He had just arrived unexpectedly from Chicago and he sent me disturbing information about how the Pentagon generals, along with the atomic scientists had already put pins in the map of the USSR, marking the major industrial centers to be hit in an atomic strike."


As these phenomena from Chikov would indicate, KGB atomic espionage involving Perseus continued up until the Cohens' flight from America in June 1950. After Yatskov, the Cohens' controller in NY was Yuri Sokolov (diplomatic passport), cover name Claude. In 1949, for security reasons, control of the Cohens was turned over to the illegal Rudolf Abel, cover name Mark. One common detail in these phenomena is "Chicago."


This set will analyze Chikov's writings on post-war Perseus using the formulation, Perseus = Fielding + Scientist Z + MLAD + STAR, i.e. Robert Oppenheimer + Scientist Z (TBD) + Ted Hall + Saville Sax.

First and foremost, we think Chicago is disinformation across the board, but especially with regard to Ted Hall. We can not accept that the SVR and Chikov would divulge such factual detail about an agent still alive. On this basis alone, we don't like Hall for the Perseus in these phenomena.

Repeated reference is made to Perseus having a job. We don't think Hall's research associate position qualifies. At this time he is still primarily a student, pursuing his Doctorate.

In 1948 - Claude, it is Luis, not Lona, meeting the Perseus who proffered the services of ANTA and ADEN. The new recruits have two interesting conditions for their cooperation: their only contact will be with Perseus himself and Perseus is not to reveal their true names to the KGB. The KGB want this Perseus and Claude to meet personally at Christmas, 1948. We again note the recurring practice of meeting Perseus in the December holiday period. The personality profiles of Hall and Sax are not suggestive of espionage recruiters.

The Perseus of these phenomena is apparently willing to accept funds. Chikov's original Perseus, Fielding, was abhorred by such a suggestion. We cannot envision Oppenheimer accepting money even for travel purposes (domestic travel anyway).

An interesting tidbit in 1950 - Claude is that Perseus was privy to top-secret strategic war plan information. How could Hall have gotten wind of such closely held information? Were these secrets being grapevined among Los Alamos alumni in 1950? Has Rhodes mentioned or alluded to this? In addition to being Chairman of GAC we believe Oppenheimer was a consultant at the Joint Chiefs level in this period. Either responsibility no doubt entailed 'need to know' access to such information. It seems to us that this 'most holy of holies' military secret should be a good marker for the identity of Perseus. It points more toward Oppenheimer or a close associate than it does toward Hall.

In 1950-Claude we learn that Perseus unexpectedly arrived in New York "from Chicago" just prior to the Cohen's 'extraction' from the States. As above, assume with us that Chicago is disinformation. Then recall from Set O that the Cohens said in an interview in 1989 - in a moment of candor, we think - that two of their sources were in California and one in New York. The time context regarding the sources was 1950 ("the last time we saw Abel"). Did Perseus travel from California to New York? Possibly. Two Shelter Island conferees were in California during this time frame.

Did Perseus come from a location in New York State, but afar from the city? A provocative possibility here might be Cornell University in Ithaca. The Cornell Physics Lab continued to receive major AEC consulting contracts after the war. The Soviets sent Alfred Sarant, a cog in the Rosenberg network, there to support their espionage operations. Sarant lived next door to Philip Morrison. The record shows that Julius Rosenberg made a courier trip to Ithaca. While he was in prison Rosenberg mentioned the names 'Bedda' and 'Morris' to a fellow prisoner. Robert Lamphere, author of The FBI - KGB War, has written that these referred to Hans Bethe and Philip Morrison. On July 19, 1950, the FBI searched Sarant's apartment with his permission and found Scientist Z's name entered in his address book. Interestingly, Sarant was aware and revealed to the agents that Scientist Z had left Cornell for a position in California. Shortly thereafter, the Soviets whisked Sarant out of the United States at the same time they exfiltrated the Cohens, the summer of 1950.


Toss-up: Oppenheimer, Scientist Z, or both


Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Americains: Dossier KGB No. 13676, Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern, 1996
Bombshell, Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, 1997
The FBI - KGB War, Robert Lamphere and Tom Shachtman, 1995

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:38 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set O - Oppenheimer


The 1954 Personnel Security Board in the matter of Robert Oppenheimer was an effort to assess his fitness to hold a Q clearance for top-secret work in the U.S atomic energy program. (By direction of President Eisenhower, the AEC had suspended his clearance in December 1953.) Any reading of the Transcript of Hearing shows that Oppenheimer had enormous security baggage in 1942 when he joined the atomic project. The Transcript along with recent books such as Brotherhood of the Bomb further show that in 1943 there continued to be much internal angst and strife within Army Security and the Manhattan Engineering District over Oppenheimer�s reliability, particularly in view of his position as head of Los Alamos. In late 1943 the situation was brought to a boil by the so-called Eltenton-Chevalier incident. There can be little doubt that had General Leslie Groves not considered Oppenheimer absolutely indispensable to obtaining an atomic bomb before Germany, he would have removed him from the project as a security risk. Being a de facto security risk, however, is a far cry from being suspected of actual treason. But here again, going back to the beginning of the Manhattan Project, there have been both accusations and information suggesting that Oppenheimer committed espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union. Any discussion of such a possibility starts with the question of motivation�Why would Oppenheimer give U.S. secrets to the Russians? Given the man and his times, this is tantamount to the question, Was Oppenheimer a member of the Communist Party?

Part I - Was Robert Oppenheimer a member of the Communist Party?

Unquestionably the definitive book on Oppenheimer�s involvement in the Manhattan Project is Brotherhood of the Bomb published by Gregg Herken in 2002. On the question of Oppenheimer being a Communist, it can be fairly said that in 2002 Mr. Herken was inclined to accept the proposition that, more probably than not (51-49), JRO had been a member of the Party from 1937 to 1942. Post publication, however, events have moved Mr. Herken to an even stronger conclusion. Brotherhood apparently served to reopen the question of JRO�s past, and Herken received several new documents on the subject. He presents this new evidence on the Brotherhood of the Bomb website at Documents. Based on this information, Herken now believes that the question is finally settled: Robert Oppenheimer was in fact a member of the Communist Party.

Scholarship thus finally catches up with common sense. The debate can now move ahead to a fuller appreciation of the nature and significance of his Party membership�because J. Robert Oppenheimer was no ordinary Communist. He was a secret member of the Party; he was a member of a so-called closed unit, a professional cell; he provided leadership within this cell on propaganda and policy; he donated significant amounts of personal money; he actively supported a myriad of communist front organizations; the cause he was most ardent about was the Loyalist side in the Spanish Civil War, which he knew to be organized and led by the international Communist Party (ITMOFJRO, p.186); he contributed significant additional time and money to this cause. The foregoing does not do full justice to the breadth and depth of his Party involvement. In interviews with Manhattan Project security officials and later in testimony at his Security Hearing, Oppenheimer was in the habit of using the word �red� when describing other people�s association with the Party. Thus, Rossi Lomanitz was �quite a red;� Al Flannigan was a �real red.� By 1940 Robert Oppenheimer had become a real Red.

One of Herken�s new documents is solid evidence of Oppenheimer�s Party membership as well as his activities on behalf of the Party. It is a report published by the �College Faculties Committee, Communist Party of California.� The 3-page pamphlet is titled Report to Our Colleagues: I, and it is dated February 26, 1940. In a 1975 letter Chevalier wrote: �The pamphlets to which I refer were, I believe, two in number and appeared in February and April of 1940. They were sent directly to faculty members of the leading colleges and universities of the west.� In a second letter (to Oppenheimer) dated July 25, 1964, Chevalier referred to these pamphlets as �your Reports to our Colleagues.� Another document provided by Herken is an excerpt from an unpublished memoir by Gordon Griffiths, a graduate student at Berkeley in 1940-42. Griffiths was a Communist who acted as a liaison between the Berkeley Faculty Group and the California CP. In his memoir Griffiths identified Arthur Brodeur, Haakon Chevalier and Robert Oppenheimer as members of the Berkeley faculty Communist group. He indicated that the group met about twice a month either at Chevalier or Oppenheimer�s house, and that the primary mission of the faculty group was the publication of the �Report to Our Colleagues� pamphlets. Griffiths wrote that, if JRO was not the sole author, he took special pride in them and undoubtedly paid for their printing; and they were �stylistically elegant and intellectually cogent.� Griffiths also said that they could be �taken as valuable evidence of the quality of his political thinking in the pre-war years.�

On domestic issues, Report to Our Colleagues by Robert Oppenheimer pushes a mix of liberal fare and communist propaganda on such subjects as labor, unemployment, the New Deal. In a number of instances Oppenheimer�s commentary is derisive or dismissive of United States constitutional government. For example, regarding the fact that warrants were being served on Party members for passport fraud (e.g., Earl Browder), Oppenheimer wrote, �Only the time and circumstance of their serving is to be determined by the Bill of Rights, not the fact.� One recurrent theme is Socialism, specifically the threats against it:
��.the campaign against the Soviet, the campaign against Communists, has tried to discredit, has been meant to discredit, socialism.�
��in all progressive movements there is a hope for a Socialist future�.and that is the reason for the participation of Communists, the reason that Communists supported the New Deal.�

On international affairs, Report to Our Colleagues is patently grade �A� Communist Party tripe. Oppenheimer advised colleagues to be unconcerned about the Soviet aggression in Finland, Poland and China. For example, Russia�s invasion of Finland was �a necessary measure against a planned offensive.� There is a theme, however, that should be noted: Oppenheimer�s near paranoia about war with Russia. The following excerpts provide a sense of his �political thinking� on this sentiment:
��the total extermination of the Party can only silence some of the clearest voices that oppose a war between the United States and Russia.�
��but we know that it would be an evil thing for the country [USA] to go to war or to join a war against Russia.�
��in a war against Russia almost anything could be illegal [union strikes, for example] except the rich making money and poor dying.�
��the immediate purpose of the attack on the Communist Party in this country is to destroy the progressive movement. This is a beginning; it is not an end. Whenever, in other countries, such an attack has been successful, it has led to attrition, to repression, and to war.�

It is entirely fair to say, Report to Our Colleagues by Robert Oppenheimer evokes the popular Communist ditty of the period:
"I'm always thinking of Russia
I can't get her out of my head.
I don't give a damn for Uncle Sham
I'm a left-wing radical red."
In December 1941, Robert Oppenheimer�s political agenda and Party activism changed dramatically. The catalytic event was Pearl Harbor and America�s declaration of war against both Japan and Germany. It was a seminal month for all concerned:
- Robert Oppenheimer: �I went to a big Spanish relief party the night before Pearl Harbor, and the next day, as we heard the news of the outbreak of the war, I decided that I had had about enough of the Spanish cause and that there were other and more pressing crises in the world.� (ITMOJRO, p.9)

- Steve Nelson: In the late thirties and early forties the Party�s �main goals were to get every possible benefit for workers in their fight with management and to cement the left-liberal coalition of labor and the New Deal. These objectives were to change, however, with the entrance of the United States into the war�.I was in New York City for a National Committee meeting the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor. We immediately issued a statement indicating our support for the war effort. I left the meeting and caught the next flight back to the coast �The Party was ready to shift into high gear to do everything it could for the war.� (SNAR, p.261)

- Pavel Sudoplatov: �Kheifetz�s first contact with Oppenheimer came at a party to raise money for the Spanish Civil War refugees on December 6, 1941 [the day before Pearl Harbor] � Kheifetz managed to meet Oppenheimer alone for lunch later in December 1941.� (ST, p. 175) Sudoplatov was a high ranking KGB officer who reported directly to Lavrenti Beria on certain aspects of atomic espionage; Gregori Kheifetz was KGB Resident at the Soviet Consulate in San Francisco.

- Robert Serber: �About Christmastime in 1941, just a few weeks after Pearl Harbor, I received a phone call from Oppie. He said he was in Chicago and wanted to come down and talk to me about something. He came, and we took a walk out to the cornfields beyond the edge of town. There, alone in that rural setting, he told me that he was going to be appointed to head the weapons end of the atomic bomb project, to replace Gregory Breit in that position. He wanted me to come Berkeley and be his assistant in the project.� (WAP, p. 65)

J. Robert Oppenheimer was a totally committed Communist. He was a secret member of the CPUSA who functioned as a Party operative. The CPUSA was the handmaiden of the Comintern; the Comintern was the handmaiden of the CPUSSR; the CPUSSR was the handmaiden of the KGB; and the KGB was Stalin�s instrument of direct action. In December 1941 the objectives and priorities of the Communist Party changed fundamentally. So did Oppenheimer�s. As he said, �there were other and more pressing crises in the world� that deserved his attention. Did Oppenheimer�s objectives and intentions include espionage on behalf of Communist Russia? The answer is not clear. But what is absolutely clear is that, as a Communist, his values and motives were every bit identical to, if not greater than, those of Klaus Fuchs, Julius Rosenberg, David Greenglass, Ted Hall, Alan Nunn May and Bruno Pontecorvo.

Part II - Was Robert Oppenheimer an agent of the Soviet Union?


Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:37 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set N - 1945, 1946, 1947

1945 - Los Alamos, Post Trinity


1. Vladimir Chikov wrote: "Luis returned from the Western front.....Leslie still does not work anywhere.....Materials obtained by her from Perseus will be forwarded to the Center with Plovets. According to our information the movement of the scientists against the use of Gorgon, which they created, is gaining ground.....To everyone's surprise Robert Oppenheimer has announced his retirement as director of the Manhattan Project. He intends to return to teaching at Chicago University. Perseus has expressed similar thoughts. In this regard we are working out variants of arranging meetings with him during the period of his leave, in which we are trying to convince Perseus to remain at Carthage [Los Alamos]."

2. Excerpt from record of Joint Committee on Atomic Energy (JCAE), Soviet Atomic Espionage, 1953, relating to the court testimony of Harry Gold:
"Question [to witness Gold]. Now, in January 1946 did you have a conversation with Yakovlev [Anatoli Yatskov, Gold's Soviet handler]?
Answer. Yes, I did.
Question. Where did this conversation take place?
Answer. This conversation took place in New York City.
Question. What was the conversation?
Answer. Yakovlev at this time told me that I should be very careful, much more careful than ever before. He related to me an incident which had taken place toward the end of 1945. He said that a very important person who had upon him information on the atom bomb had come to New York at the end of 1945 and that he, Yakovlev, had tried to get in touch with that person over a period of time, a period of a few days, but that the man had been trailed by Intelligence men continually, so that Yakovlev had to give up the idea of getting in touch with this source of information."
(This testimony is also recounted in Dark Sun by Richard Rhodes, p. 245)


As mentioned in the Introduction, although Chikov's Perseus tale begins with Arthur Fielding, most writers on the subject believe he expanded the identity to include at least one other Manhattan Project source, and maybe more. This set will analyze Chikov's writings on post-war Perseus using the formulation, Perseus = Fielding + Scientist Z + MLAD + STAR (i.e., Robert Oppenheimer + Scientist Z + Ted Hall + Saville Sax).

The phenomena quote from Chikov is his paraphrase of a message purportedly sent by Anatoli Yatskov to Moscow. The timing of 'late 1945' is based on the return of Morris Cohen (Luis) from Europe on or about November 6, 1945, and the promotion of Yatskov to Residentura in NY after the departure of Leonid Kvasnikov.
The phenomena excerpt from the record of the JCAE - which actually is transcript from Harry Gold's trial in 1951 - describes a meeting in New York City in January of 1946 between Harry Gold (Klaus Fuch's American courier) and Anatoli Yatskov.

The relevance of the quotations from Chikov and the JCAE excerpt is that Soviet espionage against the Manhattan Project involving Perseus and perhaps another person continued well after Hiroshima and heading into 1946. How do these phenomenas fit with the individuals of the Perseus equation?


The Perseus of Yatskov's message expressed thoughts about returning to teaching. Ted Hall had not been a teacher before Los Alamos, so a "return" to teaching would not strictly apply to him. Teaching at the university level was not even an option for Hall since he only had a Bachelors degree. He may have been pointing toward the University of Chicago at this time, but as a student not a teacher.
Chikov writes that the Soviets were "trying to convince Perseus to remain at Carthage." This suggests that in late 1945 Perseus had options and a career choice to make. Hall was still in the Army at this time and didn't have such decisions before him. Furthermore, Hall was very resentful of being in the Army and wanted to pursue his science career by way of completing his doctorate. The Soviets would have known to save their breath on Hall.
The Soviets were "working out variants of arranging meetings with [Perseus] during the period of his leave." This suggests a business as usual, continue to march, courier meetings every three months agenda. Bombshell's authors were too thorough in their sourcing and backgrounding on Hall not to have gotten wind of such continued espionage.
Bombshell is extremely detailed on the actions and whereabouts of Ted Hall, particularly his 3 years at Los Alamos. During most of 1945 Hall was an enlisted man in the Army at Los Alamos. No furlough is mentioned for this period. As Bombshell details, Tech Sergeant Hall remained quite busy at Los Alamos after Trinity (July 16, 1945). In August, Hall volunteered for a project to check the radioactivity at the Trinity test site; in September Hall was assigned to Edward Teller's "Super" group, a part time project lasting 4 months; in October, Los Alamos University was created and Hall signed up for two courses, the most anybody was allowed to take; he was one of only three who had persevered to the end and gotten credit for Hydrodynamics when the University closed its doors in January 1946; during the school session Hall became the official compiler of Rudolph Peierls' lecture notes to be saved in the Los Alamos library. Given Hall's espionage activities during 1945, had Bombshell's authors discovered a furlough or trip home to New York they most certainly would have expatiated on it in the book.


The Soviets had to pay big bucks to get Sax into Harvard, but even they didn't have enough money to keep him there. He does not have a degree, he is not going to teach, he is not a scientist at 'Carthage' - he is not part of the Perseus equation.


Although Oppenheimer could have taught anyplace he wanted, and may have had discussions with the University of Chicago, his correspondence of the time primarily reflects focus and negotiations on returning to Caltech and/or Berkeley. Chikov's mention of Oppenheimer in the message could easily be interpreted as misdirection (disinformation). We find nothing in the phenomena from Chikov to preclude Oppenheimer from being this Perseus.

Regarding the JCAE/Yatskov-Gold conversation, a good number of Los Alamos physicists were from New York, and no doubt many of them visited friends and family there soon after the success of the project and the end of the war. For example, the Robert Serbers visited Charlotte's sister, Madelin (married to Sam Blitzstein) in New York City in November 1945. As detailed in Set C, the Oppenheimers had relatives in New York.

Scientist Z

Chikov's wording seems to convey the sense that Perseus was influenced by Oppenheimer in a return to academic life or even to Oppenheimer's choice of institutions. Going on the theory that Chicago University is disinformation, in late 1945 two Los Alamos physicists, one of whom was Scientist Z, were contemplating academic positions at Berkeley.

Regarding the JCAE/Yatskov-Gold account, a good number of Los Alamos physicists were from New York, and no doubt many of them visited friends and family there soon after the end of the war. Scientist Z visited the New York City area during the Christmas holidays of 1945.


We are a little confused by the JCAE/Yatskov/Gold vignette. Remembering that this is testimony Gold gave at his trial in 1951, question #1 for the FBI at the time would have been, who was tailing whom in New York at the end of 1945. Unless Yatskov was mistaken or the "intelligence men" were not US - both highly improbable - the FBI must have quickly identified Mr. VIP ("very important person") either from their own or the Army's files. (In July 1946 the Atomic Energy Act was passed, establishing the Atomic Energy Commission. The AEC replaced the Manhattan Project on December 31, 1946. Until then the Manhattan Engineering District CIC organization, under General Groves, remained responsible for security and counter-intelligence operations at the many atomic labs and facilties.)

So, who was Mr. VIP? Is his identity found in the public domain on atomic espionage? We are not aware of such surveillance anecdote regarding any of the exposed Manhattan Project spies - Fuchs, Greenglass, Rosenberg or Hall.
Fuchs. It obviously isn't Fuchs - Gold was Fuchs' courier and Yatskov's secrecy with Gold would make no sense.
Greenglass. The public record indicates that Greenglass visited New York in September 1945 but not that he was the subject of a surveillance during the visit. Also, in the JCAE transcript immediately prior to the above excerpt, Yatskov and Gold openly discuss Greenglass, whom Gold had couriered for the Soviets in Albuquerque in 1945. As with Fuchs, Yatskov's secrecy makes no sense.
Rosenberg. The record shows that the first time Rosenberg drew attention from counterintelligence was as a result of the Fuchs investigation in 1950 (Fuchs led to Gold, Gold to Greenglass, Greenglass to Rosenberg - TF-KW, p. 175; The Venona decrypt that launched the FBI's FOOCASE (Fuchs case. The initial case name, FUCASE, was deemed too salty) is # 195 of 9 February 1944). Surely the high profile of the Rosenberg and Greenglass cases, both then and since, would virtually guarantee that had either been surveilled in New York in late 1945 that fact would have come to light.
Hall. Our analysis that the source in New York wasn't Hall is given above.

Seems to us that this episode is a classic example of 'better to be lucky than good'. Yatskov was surveilled frequently by the FBI in New York throughout 1946 (see TF-KW, p. 28). But it was not constant and, evidently, Robert Lamphere did not watch Yatskov watching Army CIC watching Mr. VIP.

Advantage Scientist Z

1946 - Operations Freeze


Vladimir Chikov wrote:

(1) "Kvasnikov opposed the [Gouzenko] freeze. He figured that it was easy for Perseus, Frank and Morton to handle the temporary shutdown, since their meetings with NKVD contacts occurred only once every three months."

(2) "Data received from Perseus deserves top proiority and material support. Leslie permitted to make independent meetings. Luis after his return from Germany should be prepared for work in the illegal residentura."

(3) "From Moscow came the word that [Stalin] was impressed with the work of the NKGB. �. Perseus and Charles were mentioned in this regard."

(4) "The materials with which Comrade Vasilevsky acquainted me today, on the problems of a) American experiments on her super-bomb, and b) certain features of the atomic reactors at Hanford, are credible." (Igor Kurchatov memo, December 31, 1946)

(5) "The Cohens were kept on ice for seven months. During that time they travelled throughout the States and managed to see some of their American contacts."


Setup. As mentioned in the Introduction, although Chikov's Perseus chronicle begins with Arthur Fielding, most writers on the subject believe he expanded the identity to include at least one other Manhattan Project source, and maybe more. This set will analyze Chikov's writings on post-war Perseus using the formulation, Perseus = Fielding + Scientist Z + MLAD + STAR (i.e., Robert Oppenheimer + Scientist Z + Ted Hall + Saville Sax).

These phenomena from Chikov clearly indicate that , Gouzenko freeze or not, a certain level of atomic espionage was ongoing in 1946, and 'Perseus' was a continuing source for the Soviets. Whomever the source/s, information on the hydrogen bomb was provided. We note that although Morris Cohen (recruiter of Arthrur Fielding, progenitor Perseus) had been put back into KGB service, Lona Cohen remained Perseus' courier.

Hall and/or Sax

Without going into chapter and verse, we find no definitive, detailed support in Bombshell for such espionage by Hall or Sax in 1946.

Oppenheimer and/or Scientist Z

The travel by the Cohens during 1946 period is interesting: "They travelled throughout the States and managed to see some of their American contacts." The language "throughout the states" suggests that the Cohens ventured well afield of the NY area, maybe as far as California. This possibility strikes a chord because the Cohens mentioned California in a recorded interview in October 1989:

Lona: "The last time we saw Abel, we gave him the addresses of our two contacts in California, remember?"
Morris: "Two in California, one in New York."
Lona: "Da, the main one was, I think, in California."

The last time the Cohens saw Abel was probably in early 1950. Oppenheimer was living in Princeton NJ in 1950, a couple of Shelter Islanders, such as Scientist Z, can be found in California and New York.


Advantage Scientist Z

1947 - The Shelter Island Conference, and Paris


Vladimir Chikov wrote:

(1) "Leslie had more to report on Perseus whom she saw shortly before leaving for Paris."

(2) "Yatskov asked the Cohens if they had found out anything about America's knowledge of Soviet 'handicrafts.' Leslie spoke up: 'Indeed we did. That same scientist at Los Alamos who caused me to lose my job came recently to see his relatives in New York.'"


As mentioned in the Introduction, although Chikov's Perseus chronicle begins with Arthur Fielding, most writers on the subject believe he expanded the identity to include at least one other Manhattan Project source, and maybe more. This set and several succeeding ones will analyze Chikov's 'Perseus' using the broad formulation of Perseus = Fielding + Scientist Z + MLAD + STAR (i.e., Oppenheimer + Scientist Z + Ted Hall + Saville Sax).


The background of the first phenomena quote is that the Soviets brought Lona and Morris Cohen (LESLIE and LUIS) to Paris in the early summer of 1947 to meet with Semyon Semyonov and Anatoli Yatskov, their former controllers in New York. The phenomena are snippets of dialogue that Chikov uses to describe the conversations in Paris between the Cohens and these KGB officers. Bombshell's authors provide chronlogical help by placing the Cohens in Paris a couple of weeks before Bastille Day, July 14 (page 183). Without too much stretching then, we can say that Chikov's "shortly before" translates to either late May or June. In other words, according to Chikov, Lona had a meeting with 'Perseus' in New York in May or June 1947.

In view of such time and place, it is interesting to learn that the main physics event of 1947 was the Shelter Island Conference sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences from June 1 to June 3, 1947. Shelter Island is at the end of Long Island but virtually all of the conferees assembled in New York City and were bused from there to the Ram's Head Inn on Shelter Island. Twenty-three scientists attended this physics event. The coterie included Hans Bethe, David Bohm, Gregory Breit, Karl Darrow, Herman Feshbach, Richard Feynman, Hendrik Kramers, Willis Lamb, Robert Marshak, John von Neumann, Arnold Nordsieck, Robert Oppenheimer, Abraham Pais, Linus Pauling, I. I. Rabi, Bruno Rossi, Julian Schwinger, Robert Serber, Edward Teller, George Uhlenbeck, John Van Vleck, Victor Weisskopf, and John Wheeler.

Robert Oppenheimer's parents-in-law lived in the New York area (see Set C) and he visited New York on his way to attend the Shelter Island Conference.

Scientist Z.
In addition to Oppenheimer, several other Shelter Islander conferees, such as Scientist Z, had relatives in New York.

Ted Hall did not attend the Shelter Island Conference, but his parents lived in New York and he may have visited there in May or June of 1947. However, Bombshell offers no confirmation or indication that he did. The image of Hall at this time is that of a young man concentrating on academics, political society and a short, intense courtship leading to marriage. Ted and Joan Hall were married in Chicago on June 25, 1947.

Bombshell develops a strong case for Saville Sax not only traveling to NY in this general time frame but also meeting and receiving funds from Lona Cohen. However, the Perseus whom Lona "saw shortly before leaving for Paris" was the Perseus who proffered two other scientists for duty with the KGB. As we will discuss in a later set, we are not at all enamored of the idea that Sax was this Perseus. Also, the treatment in Bombshell is that Sax's trip to New York was in early spring, not early summer.


We think that 'Perseus' attended the Shelter Island Conference and that Bombshell's savant readership ought to be able to lineout about 19 or so of the attendees without too much effort. But then it gets dicey. To help, we recommend a picture from the conference that one sees in the literature (e.g., A Tale of Two Continents). The photograph is of Richard Feynman surrounded by physics luminaries and holding court no doubt on new expressions for QED. Our guess is that there are two folks in the picture who know the secrets and a third who will find out later. A fourth conferee absent from the picture blows a great opportunity for a Perseus hat trick.

Sidebar. It is worth noting a detail in the dialog quote ascribed to Lona, namely, "That same scientist at Los Alamos who caused me to lose my job..." We find it compelling that Lona Cohen's employment record does in fact reflect an unexplained gap and change of employer in the fall of 1943 (Set J refers). A number of the Shelter Island conferees were 1943 'first teamers' at Los Alamos.

1947 - Paris in July


Vladimir Chikov wrote: "LESLIE had more to report on Perseus, whom she saw shortly before leaving for Paris," followed by this dialog:

LESLIE: "[Perseus] also said that he could propose some other scientists who might be willing to work for the Soviets."
Semyonov picked up: "What is this about a replacement for him?"
LESLIE: "That's right, he said he had reliable people in mind.
Semyonov: "Good, get their names, profession and other particulars."
Yatskov asked: "When will you see [Perseus] next?,
LESLIE answered: "I don't know. I am not able to go see him. Besides, it's more dangerous now. We have agreed on a meeting in New York in November or December. He'll send me a postcard with a cue."


As mentioned in the Introduction, although Chikov's Perseus chronicle begins with Arthur Fielding, most writers on the subject believe he expanded the identity to include at least one other Manhattan Project source, and maybe more. This set will analyze Chikov's writings on post-war Perseus using the formulation, Perseus = Fielding + Scientist Z + MLAD + STAR (i.e., Robert Oppenheimer + Scientist Z + Ted Hall + Saville Sax).

The background is that the Soviets brought Lona and Morris Cohen (LESLIE and LUIS) to Paris in the summer of 1947 to meet with Semyon Semyonov and Anatoli Yatskov. The phenomena are pieces of dialogue that Chikov uses to describe the conversations between the Cohens and their former controllers.

"Reliable People"
According to Chikov, when Perseus met Lona before her trip to Paris he proffered the potential espionage services of two other scientists. These folks have been given the code names ANTA and ADEN. There is good corroboration for their existence as both Bombshell's authors and Chikov's co-author, Gary Kern, write of their recruitment. These authors' respective profiles of ANTA and ADEN are fairly consistent: a man and a women, married, scientists, working at Hanford, recruited in 1948. Bombshell, however, attributes the pair's recruitment to the "agent called MLAD," while Mr. Kern indicates that ANTA and ADEN's contact was Oldtimer (STAR). Chikov's dialog offers some interesting nuances about ANTA and ADEN.

A. Semyonov, "And what is this about a replacement for him?" >>Here we have the clear indication that this Perseus is contemplating getting out of the spy business.

B. Lona, "That's right, he said he had reliable people in mind." Semyonov, "Get their names, profession and other particulars." >>This dialog suggests that, in their pre-Paris meeting, Perseus did not choose to name the persons he had in mind as his replacements. That would happen later and they would be recruited in 1948, as reported by Bombshell and Kern.

C. Chikov's dialog conveys the unmistakable sense that this Perseus was going to 'sign and deliver' this couple to the Soviets, not just provide names for the Soviets to follow-up on.

"More Dangerous Now"
The dialog with Yatskov also has some interesting aspects:

D. Lona is not able to go see this Perseus. The sense here is that either Perseus requested or his circumstances dictated a hiatus in face-to-face meetings.

E. Relative to the previous year or six months why has it become "more dangerous" to meet with Perseus? In other words, it had been dangerous, but by mid 1947 it had become 'more dangerous'. What was up?

F. A recurring Perseus 'modus operandi' from Chikov is that meetings with the Soviets are best scheduled in December or November, holiday seasons that allow time off from work (e.g., teaching responsibilities) or permit long distance travel.


Notwithstanding Ted Hall's disclaimers that he was not influenced/recruited by Sax, it does appear that Sax functioned to some degree as a "spotter"- cum - recruiter for the Soviets. Sax was in Chicago at this time, staying close to Hall. However, if we assume that ANTA and ADEN were working at Hanford in 1947, it is hard to understand how/when/where Sax could have developed these people. If we posit "working at Hanford" as disinformation (which we do), and consider Sax recruiting a couple from Fermi's Institute for Nuclear Studies, University of Chicago, that seems more plausible. John and Leona Marshall, for example, returned there from war work at Hanford. Based on what we have read, we can't definitively discount Sax as the Perseus who recruited ANTA and ADEN. Influencing factors are that Sax returned to Chicago in April or May with money from the Soviets and also, somehow, he had learned of Lona's kleenex box escapade. Finally, the assertion from Lona that she can't readily go see Perseus is hardly suggestive of Sax.


The fact is Bombshell is very ambiguous and ambivalent about espionage by Hall after he arrived at Chicago in 1946 up until 1950 when the Fuchs case blew the lid off. In this set we are only focusing on the period from January 1947 to the middle of 1948. The gist of Bombshell on Hall during this period is: No contacts with Soviets; tells fiancee that covert ties with NKGB are all in the past; gets married on June 25, 1947; forms a subcommittee on Soviet society under the Federation of American Scientists in the Fall of 1947; joins the American Communist Party in early 1948; and writes a letter to Sax in NY suggesting that Sax inform the Soviets that they have joined the Communist Party and therefore the relationship should probably be discontinued. The authors do not substantiate any KGB contacts by Hall during this period, but it seems obvious that the relationship continued, maintained by Sax if not Lona.

We find it very difficult to accept the proposition staked out by Bombshell ("the agent called MLAD", page 193) that Ted Hall was the Perseus of this phenomena, a proselytizer to treason of a married couple. Why?

Bombshell's portrait of 1947 Hall is one of distraction and near dormancy, but not of a severed relationship. The desire or need to replace himself is not manifest.
The personality profile of Hall rendered in Bombshell doesn't conform. The suasion and leadership of a recruiter are not expressed.
In June 1947 he was 21 years old and a student. Not really the platform to convince two professionals undoubtedly his senior in age, resume and sophistication to betray their country.
We cannot place Hall in NY "shortly before" the Cohens left for Paris.
Boria Sax has reported here at the Readers Rendezvous on March 10 (an important date in espionage matters) that, "Most specifically, [Hall] denies recruiting agents to pass information on the h-bomb."
Notwithstanding Truman's executive order of March 22, 1947, regarding the dismissal of federal employees who associated with 'radical' organizations, we find no compelling rationale why Lona should be precluded from seeing Ted Hall.


Mr. Recruiter. Read a little about Robert Oppenheimer and you quickly realize that he was the consummate Mr. Recruiter. It was his custom and he raised it to a new art form. Examples: He recruited an "American school" of physicists at Berkeley; he recruited a cr�me de la cr�me staff at Los Alamos to develop an atomic weapon; he recruited a science hall of fame at the Institute for Advanced Studies. Oppenheimer's chutzpah as a recruiter was such that he recruited folks before he even had the authority to make it happen . In December 1941 when his own prospects for war work were only embryonic he visited Serber in Urbana and signed him up. In January 1947 he made a recruiting pitch to Abraham Pais to join the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton - three months before he even accepted the Institute's offer and a full nine months before he actually succeeded Aydelotte!

Readers interested in even deeper insight into this aspect of Oppenheimer's personality and penchant, may want to peruse a chapter on Oppenheimer found in Freeman Dyson's book From Eros to Gaia. The pertinent anecdote recounts a letter written to Dyson by Lansing Hammond, who in earlier days had been in charge of placing Commonwealth (British) Fund Fellows in American universities. Hammond's letter describes in detail Oppenheimer's virtuoso performance in picking and positioning candidates for varied academic programs. In essence, this activity is purely reminiscent of the service Pavel Sudoplatov said Oppenheimer performed for the KGB ("Oppenheimer .....helped us place moles ....."); it also adds plausibility to Sudoplatov's and A. Feklisov's claim that Oppenheimer 'proactively' facilitated the addition of Klaus Fuchs to the British Mission (Set S refers). The recruitment of an ANTA and ADEN would be 100% consistent with the past behavior of Robert Oppenheimer.

Between January and June 1947 a number of major changes occurred in Oppenheimer's life. He was appointed to and elected Chairman of the General Advisory Committee to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and he was appointed as Director of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey. These were two very high profile positions and necessitated a move back to the East Coast. In regard to his GAC responsibilities, certainly Truman's March 22 Executive Order would have gotten his and Kitty's attention. For Oppenheimer, then, 1947 would be a context for uncertainty, change and replacement. For the Soviets, this would be a decidedly "more dangerous" operating environment.

Scientist Z

Depending on identitiy of ANTA and ADEN, Scientist Z is a prime contender for the Perseus of this set's phenomena.


Advantage Oppenheimer


Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Americains: Dossier KGB No. 13676, Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern, 1996
Bombshell, Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, 1997
Dark Sun, Richard Rhodes, 1995
The FBI-KGB War, Robert J. Lamphere and Tom Shachtman, 1986
A Tale of Two Continents, Abraham Pais
From Eros to Gaia, Freeman Dyson, 1992

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:36 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set M - MAR and "D"


In The Sword and Shield (p. 117) Christopher Andrew revealed a heretofore unknown Soviet source on the Manhattan Project, codename MAR. Professor Andrew's profile on MAR is predicated, per footnote, on Mitrokhin Archive material. The elements of the MAR 'legend' from Andrew are:

1. MAR was an Amercian scientist working on plutonium research for Dupont in Newport in 1943.
2. At this same time (circa 1943) MAR was also matriculating at an educational institution in New York where he was completing a degree course.
3. In April 1943 MAR provided Manhatten Project information in a letter addressed to the Soviets. His sister-in-law delivered the letter to the Soviet Consulate General in New York.
4. In May 1943, a month later, MAR sent another letter to the Soviet Consulate through his sister-in-law. This letter contained "details on the plutonium route to the atomic bomb."
5. MAR's wife's name was Regina (codename MONA) and his sister-in-law's name was Lucia (codename OLIVIA). Lucia was an Italian nurse.
6. MAR's father-in-law was an anti-fascist Italian union leader, code or cover name "D."
7. In October of 1943 MAR transferred to the Hanford processing site in Washington state.

In addition to corroborating almost all of the information from Andrew, a second source of information (confidential but based on documents) has provided the following additional markers relating to MAR:

8. Upon completing his degree MAR received a proposal to work in the "Technical Department" of Dupont in Newport.
9. After assignment at Hanford, MAR transferred to the Chalk River reactor site in Canada.
10. In addition to being an antifascist, "D's" politics were left-wing. An association or affinity with Palmiro Togliatti is mentioned.
11. In New York, "D" and/or his family associated with the Friends of Soviet Russia organization.
12. In answer to Togliatti's call to communist political exiles in 1944, Lucia (OLIVIA) left New York and returned to Italy to rejoin her relatives.
13. Lucia was a swarthy brunette, about 25-30, and younger than Regina
14. MAR and Regina (MONA) left Canada in the middle of 1946.


Interestingly, Venona has an unidentified codename MAR - a single message, San Francisco to Moscow, No. 297 dated 2 June 1945 (02065). However, we could not find it among the Venona messages posted on the Internet by the NSA , nor have others been able to locate it in their hard copies of the Venona documents. If it is truly unavailable, is it an oversight or is it still classified? If it is still classified, is it because one or more of the principals is still living?

Very interestingly, Venona also has an unidentified "D." It occurs in message No. 619 / 620, San Francisco to Moscow, 27 November 1945. Nigel West, who dissects this message in his Venona book, makes the following comment on D, "As for the source 'D', it is likely that this is an abbreviation for his full codename which most probably appears in one of the unrecovered groups." In light of the "D" from Andrew/Mitrokhin we think you have to leave open the possibility that "D" was the complete cryptonym. There are numerous instances of the Soviets using a single letter as a codename, e.g. "X" was Joseph Katz, "A" was Anna Colloms, "K" was a Communist scientist ostensibly employed by Tube Alloys in December 1942 (Sword & Shield, p. 114), etc. Message No. 619 / 620 reported that ERNEST had received a letter from "D." ERNEST was formerly IRI ("Erie"). The what ifs: What if ERNEST is the Italian physicist Bruno Pontecorvo? What if the D associated with MAR is the same person as the D linked to ERNEST? The fact that D (from Mitrokhin) was Italian (6) and Pontecorvo was Italian provides some basis for the proposition. Another coincidence is that both unidentiffied crpytonyms, MAR and D, occur in San Franciso to Moscow messages.

Newport is probably Newport, Deleware, a city just south of Wilmington (Wilmington was and is DuPont's headquarters). DuPont has a plant/facility in Newport, DE.

From Andrew, we learn that MAR is American and "D" is an anti-fascist Italian, not an anti-fascist Italian-American. If this distinction is strictly accurate, it raises the possibility that "D" may have been a "fuorusciti," a political exile from Italy, as opposed to an immigrant seeking US citizenship. Most fuorusciti returned to Italy after the war in 1944 and 1945.

The chronology on MAR is significant and, as in the case of the reputed Perseus, imposes some significant parameters. MAR's access to top secret atomic information is apparently based on his employment with DuPont, and his first materials were delivered to the Soviet Consulate in April of 1943. This is still extremely early in the US atomic research program, but it is especially early in DuPont's involvement. DuPont did not sign a contract to do atomic work for the government until October 1942. By December 2, 1942, the date of the first reactor experiment to achieve criticality (Chicago Pile 1), DuPont had just "several of its chemists and engineerrs at Chicago to learn the new nuclear physics and radio-chemistry problems" (The Uranium People, by Leona Marshall Libby). Hanford as the plutonium processing site was not selected by General Groves and DuPont until Jan 1, 1943. Thus it would appear that MAR was a DuPont employee who was assigned to the Manhattan Project sometime during the 6 month period October 1942 to March 1943.

Related to MAR's DuPont chronology is the curious detail that, in 1942 or 1943, MAR was finishing a degree program in New York. It does not seem plausible that DuPont would assign someone who had not yet completed their undergraduate degree to such an early stage of such a frontier project. Even someone finishing a Masters degree who had no practical work experience is difficult to envision. One possible scenario to keep in mind, then, is that MAR might not have been a DuPont employee at the time DuPont took on the plutonium work in October 1942, but rather he was a scientist already involved in atomic research - at the Met Lab or possibly the Columbia Lab in NY - who shortly thereafter joined DuPont.

Palmiro Togliatti was the leader of the Italian communist party, PCI, and was exiled in Moscow during the war. In the US, the Friends of Soviet Russia organization was also known as the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship. Its head was Corliss Lamont.


There is a Manhattan Project scientist whose background offers a striking, but as yet incomplete, match with the elements of the legend on MAR. In the Theory of Fielding we have used the formulation 'Scientists X, Y and Z' to represent the composite picture of Perseus given by Vladimir Chikov (we do not believe MAR is a component of the Perseus mosaic). However, since we are missing a key fact that would provide a conclusive identification, we will use 'Scientist W' to refer to MAR.

Scientist W worked at the Met Lab in Chicago under Enrico Fermi for much of 1942.
Scientist W's PhD was announced in the 1943 Commencement program of a New York university. His degree requirements were completed subsequent to commencement in June 1942 but before January 1943. These circumstances make it very likely that Scientist W traveled back to New York to complete requirements for his degree [2].
Scientist W worked at the Hanford WA plutonium processing facility in October, 1943. He was a DuPont employee in the Technical Department [7,8].
Scientist W transferred to the Canadian Chalk River Lab in 1945 [9].
Scientist W transferred to civilian employment with a defense contractor in upstate New York in 1946 [14].
Scientist W held membership in the Progressive Citizens of America organization, an organization cited as a communist front. He came under investigation by the FBI as part of the CINRAD (Communist Infiltration Radiation Lab) case.


This set is under construction. For more on Bruno Pontecorvo and Duccio Tabet see Set M. In New York, Tabet was associated with Richard Falco. Anyone with information on Falco or Tabet, please contact the author.


Venona, The Greatest Secret of the Cold War, Nigel West, 1999
The Sword and The Shield, The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, 1999

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:36 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set L - Mission to New Mexico


Albright and Kunstel (Bombshell) posit two trips by Lona Cohen to Albuquerque in 1945 to service Ted Hall, code name MLAD.
Richard Rhodes wrote that Anatoly Yatskov claimed that Lona visited Albuquerque twice to contact "Perseus"
Pavel Sudoplatov indicated that Lona possibly made more than 2 trips to New Mexico.
Robert Lamphere, citing Anatoly Yatskov, wrote that Lona went to New Mexico 2 or 3 times.
Phillip Knightley has written that Lona made several trips to Los Alamos.
Leonid Kvasnikov clearly remembered that Lona made 2 trips to New Mexico and returned both times with espionage materials.
Anatoly Yatskov said that one of Lona's trips wasn't successful because she hadn't met the source she had been sent to see.
Michael Dobbs wrote, �According to Yatskov, Lona Cohen undertook two courier missions to Albuquerque to meet Perseus."
Vladimir Chikov described a trip by Lona to Albuquerque in 1943 to service Fielding, cover name Perseus.


To say the least, the phenomena present an unsettled matter: Two trips or three? Did Lona receive materials or didn't she? Was there a 1943 trip or not?

In his book Comment Staline, Vladimir Chikov employs 3 subchapters to describe a courier trip by Lona Cohen in the summer of 1943: �Mission to New Mexico;� �Paris is Well Worth a Mass;� �The Bomb In a Kleenex Box.� (p. 156-168) Lona�s mission was to meet and collect materials from Perseus. The trip occurred in July and August of 1943, and the rendezvous location with Perseus was Albuquerque. With respect to the truth of his account, Chikov wrote, �I interviewed both [Lona Cohen] and Anatoly Yatskov before their deaths in 1992 and 1993 respectively, and I based my account on both sources, which differed but slightly.� (CS, p. 171)

In Bombshell--Chapter 17, �Bomb in a Kleenex Box��Joe Albright and Marcia Kunstel tell a similar story. In fact, the points of agreement and conformity between the two stories indicate that they are about the same trip. Bombshell, however, ascribes it to a rendezvous between Lona Cohen and Ted Hall, displaced by exactly two years to July '45. Bombshell, published a year after Comment Staline, references Chikov and Yatskov extensively. In footnotes on page 336, the authors list their other sources which included a confidential source, Ted Hall himself and Gary Kern, the American co-author of Comment Staline. Here they point out that Kern told them that �he has reason to believe that [SVR] officials would not allow Chikov to publish the correct date,� and that Kern believes the 1943 date is incorrect.

It is an interesting situation: Chikov says Perseus in 1943; the Albrights say Hall in 1945. Even though the Albrights affirm Ted Hall, in their own analysis they identify and underscore inherent contradictions between their version and the original (Chikov). Those contradictions and other factors result in our contrarian view that Lona Cohen did go to New Mexico in July 1943, and she went with the purpose of contacting a source other than Hall. The Albrights do not give this notion a �full hearing� because they have the a priori mindset that Perseus is a KGB myth: If Perseus (a Los Alamos first-teamer by definition) is a fiction, then there is no physicist at Los Alamos to courier in 1943. Ergo, the reality must be Ted Hall, for whom there is good evidence of contact with Cohen in New Mexico in 1945. That Lona Cohen was a courier for Hall in New Mexico we credit entirely. But we have reason to believe it is not a matter of either-or.

A deeper discussion of this matter requires a quick synopsis of the two accounts.

Mission to New Mexico--Comment Staline

Condensed. Yatskov had only two meetings with Morris Cohen before Cohen shipped out for British Columbia at the end of January 1943. Then he started working with Leslie (Lona Cohen). This coincided with the residentura's planning to send an American agent to New Mexico to make contact with Perseus. Three agents were considered; Leslie was the eventual choice (See Klibi, Set R). Due to the urgency of the mission, Yatskov took the extroadinary step of accosting Leslie on her way to work. Lona was to take sick leave from work and travel to the "high mountain resort of Sandia, outside of Albuquerque." She would travel alone, using her real name and identification. From Sandia she would take the bus to Albuquerque for the meet. The appointed rendezvous time was one o'clock on Sunday. The location was a church/cathedral square. After meeting Perseus she was to return to NY by train the same day if possible. Leslie traveled from NY late in July 1943. On Sunday, July 25, she left her boarding room in Sandia and took the bus for Albuquerque. Yatskov had shown her a photograph of Perseus, a young man. Lona would have to initiate the contact since she had an idea of what Perseus looked like; Perseus did not know Lona by sight and, indeed, was not expecting a woman. Perseus was a no show on July 25.

A week later, Sunday, August 1, the same thing happened. No Perseus. At this point Lona sent a telegram to Yatskov asking for instructions. Yatskov cabled back (purportedly) to stay put, "Paris is well worth a mass." The next Sunday, August 8, she again took the bus from Sandia to Albuquerque arriving on the cathedral square at 1 pm. She spied someone, a short man, carrying a sack--part of the recognition signal--so she approached him. It wasn't Perseus and there was a bit of a scene. After this failure, Lona decided on her own that she would wait one more week and try one last time. If Perseus "failed to show up she would go directly to the train station and return home." The next Sunday, August 15, Lona left Sandia with her luggage. At Albuquerque she put it in storage at the train station and set off for the meeting place. This time as she approached she noticed an interesting little man coming from the direction of a �cafeteria.� He fit the description and was carrying the proper recognition signal, so she approached and spoke to the man. "Perseus had not expected that his contact would be a woman and hesitated." But they exchange their paroles and the meet was made. Perseus then invited Lona to walk back toward the cafeteria. Lona asked if he had brought any materials. Perseus replied, "Here is eveything I should give you." (JRO speak) He then enquired about Morris and asked when Lona planned to leave. She said, �In about an hour.�

Bomb in a Kleenex Box--Bombshell

Synopsis. Sometime after Hiroshima (July 16, 1945), Lona Cohen traveled from New York to Las Vegas NM, via Chicago. Her assignment was to meet a �young scientist� in Albuquerque on the Sunday following her arrival. On that Sunday she took a bus to Albuquerque and went to the designated rendezvous point on the University of New Mexico campus. Her contact did not show up, so Lona �had a three-hour bus ride 120 miles back to Las Vegas.� Lona returned to Albuquerque the next two Sundays without meeting her �young scientist.� Lona decided she would go a fourth and last time to try to make her meet. Morris Cohen gave the following description to a Russian intelligence historian: �So [Lona] went the fourth time, by bus, regular public transport bus, from the town where she was staying to the university town where she was to meet him. And from his dress, the materials he carried, she understood that [he] was the one she wanted. They met. He spoke as if a mistake had been made by someone else, not by him. Well, they patched it up, and he gave her the material.� Lona returned to her boarding house in Las Vegas (by bus). She packed up her belongings, put Ted Hall�s �paper� under tissues in a Kleenex box and went to the train station for the return to New York. At this point, the Albrights supply a version of the Kleenex Box episode told by Anatoli Yatskov in an �internal KGB newspaper.� As far as it goes (less than a page), Yatskov�s recounting of this KGB lore does not differ with the version told by Chikov, or other sources.

Tall to Short

Chikov stated that, because Lona had never met Perseus before, Anatoli Yatskov showed her a photograph of him before her trip to New Mexico. Doubtless, Yatskov supplemented that with a physical description to include age, height, weight, hair color, etc. Chikov emphasizes that Perseus was not expecting a woman and that Lona would have to initiate the contact. The narration does indicate that Lona was on the lookout for someone of a certain stature:
"Suddenly Leslie caught sight of a short man among them....It looked like he could be her man." (This quote relates to the third Sunday when Lona approached the wrong man (CS, p.160)
"As she approached she noticed an interesting little man approaching the square from the cafeteria." (This quote relates to the fourth Sunday when Lona made contact with Perseus (CS, p.162)

The above quotes are from the published book. However, the final manuscript for Comment Staline shows something different. It reads:
"Suddenly Leslie caught sight of a tall man among them....It looked like he could be her man."
"As she approached she noticed a tall and athletic man approaching the square from the cafeteria."
The Chikov manuscript therefore agrees with Bombshell--Ted Hall was tall, 5 feet, 11 and � inches (to Lona�s 5� 5 �). Lona herself corroborated �tall� in an interview with Russian historian Svetlana Chervonnaya. She said that her contact (�informant�) in Albuquerque was very young and �quite tall.� (B, p,155-6)

The obvious inference is that Chikov and his SVR minders, in the final analysis, thought it not advisable to reveal a true physical attribute of Perseus. (To be thorough and consistent, they went back and changed the height of the wrong guy too!)


In the Introduction to Comment Staline, Vladimir Chikov informs readers that classified information was witheld from the Cohen story, and that liberties were taken in the creation of dialogs used in the narrative. We also believe certain details such as names, dates and places were modified to preserve State secrets. Notwithstanding Chikov's declarations, we regard minor attribute and factual changes as a form of disinformation, even though the essence of the event might be true. The change from tall to short is an example; there are others. Indeed, it has been said that the Perseus story is a complete fabrication; the same has been alleged, by characterization or extension, about Mission to New Mexico, which contains an extroadinary amount of detail and gratuitous collateral. If Mission is fundamentally disinformation then it must be considered a textbook example, and Chikov a master of the genre. On the other hand, if it is not considered wholesale disinformation then conclusive judgment on it�s thesis, 1943 and Perseus, should be withheld.

1. Chikov wrote that Lona sent a telegram to Yatskov after the second �no show� by Perseus. Yatskov cabled back instructing Lona to keep waiting because "Paris is well worth a Mass." (A quotation from French Literature's Henri IV of Navarre.) Here Chikov serves up a clever double entendre: Paris with a capital P signifying Perseus, and Mass relating to the Sunday rendezvous at a Catholic church. Do readers find it unusual that Yatskov would quote from French Literature to reply cryptically to Lona? Not in the least, because several pages earlier Chikov providently informed that Yatskov had "studied French."

2. Chikov recounted an interesting vignette about Harry Gold. When a third week went by with no report from Lona the rezidentura formulated plans to send Harry Gold out to New Mexico. Gold would seek Perseus out in the guise of an old school buddy looking for a job. Comment Staline: �Kvasnikov asked Yatskov to prepare a coded telegram to Moscow requesting permission to embark on this radical venture.� Chikov said the plan never hatched because Lona returned with the goods. (CS, p.168). Using Gold in 1943 is conceivable. But in 1945 Gold had just returned (June) from meeting Fuchs in Santa Fe and was slated to go back to in September; sending Gold back at this point to �buttonhole� another Los Alamos physicist is a non-starter.

3. When Mass was over (1 PM) on Lona�s third attempt to hook up with Perseus, she sees a short man, about 40 years old, carrying a sack. She's anxious so she initiates conversation using her recognition parole. The man doesn't respond. Lona looks to confirm that a fish is sticking out of the sack. No fish. She realizes she has made a mistake. The stranger, however, asks her to lunch, complements her on her hair, tries to pick her up (right after mass, too). Lona tells him to 'get lost' and goes back to Sandia, where she went straight to her room and got into bed without undressing.

4. Chikov wrote (pre-Venona) that the KGB's cover name for Los Alamos was the Reservation. It happens that Venona message No. 779 of 26 May 1945 (declassified February 27, 1996) confirms this to be true. In this instance, Chikov disclosed factual, sensitive information from KGB archives. There are other examples.

5. Chikov wrote that Lona succeeded in making contact with Perseus on the 4th Sunday, August 15. He further established the date by stating, "two days after Leslie carried the Los Alamos secrets out of New Mexico, President Roosevelt met with Prime Minister Churchill in Quebec." (CS, p. 172). The Quebec Conference between Roosevelt and Churchill began on 17 August. A calendar of August 1943 shows that August 17 was a Tuesday, two days after Sunday, August 15.

6. At the beginning of his story about Lona�s mission, Chikov claims that three agents were evaluated for the job--Klibi, Pylos and Leslie. (See Klibi, Set R) As the mission was urgent, Yatskov took the risky step of accosting Lona on her way to work. Lona was told to go to a doctor, complain of a persistent sore throat and get the doctor to write a recommendation/prescription that she be granted leave from work to go to a health resort. In her tenure as a KGB agent, Lona was not always employed. But she was in the summer of 1943.

Assuming disinformation, one can appreciate the job turned in by Mr. Chikov. It would be a piece of work, evincing complexity, integration, attention to detail, consistency, creativity, displaced references, innuendo, etc. However, it would also stand in stark contrast to other authorship by Mr. Chikov, namely when he wrote that Fielding had the prospect of employment at Los Alamos in April 1942�a whole year before Los Alamos existed! In point of fact, Gary Kern (co-author of Comment Staline) has indicated he believes that much of the window dressing detail in Mission to NM did come out of the Cohens' KGB dossier. We agree. Ockham's Razor (non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem) is operative for us on this issue.


The core assertion of Comment Staline is that Morris Cohen recruited an atomic physicist in 1942, and subsequently that physicist went to Los Alamos in early 1943. (CS, p.149)

From Comment Staline: �Perseus therefore proposed meeting once a year on the East Coast during his vacation. For Soviet intelligence this proposal was unacceptable. It recommended instead meeting once every three months on the last Sunday of the last month, within the general vicinity of Los Alamos.� (CS, p.151) Anybody can write anything. But if the KGB did recruit a physicist who for all practical purposes was a �first teamer,� then a timely courier attempt to service that source would be an intelligence imperative. Chikov describes just such an attempt in July 1943. (It is interesting to note that Chicov�s next mention of Perseus after the New Mexico episode is that he was present at Trinity, July 16, 1945�a gap of 2 years. No courier runs for Perseus are mentioned after Trinity either.)

Comment Staline contains 3 separate references to Lona's loosing her job with a munitions company because she did not return on time from her sick leave. One of these references occurs during the Cohens' summer trip to Paris in 1947. The dialogue is, "That same scientist at Los Alamos who caused me to lose my job came recently to see his relatives in New York." Cohen�s FBI file reflects that in 1942 she was employed at Publix Metal Goods Corp. in New York and that by the Fall of 1943 (November or before) her employment changed to Aircraft Screw Products Company. (B, p.315) Publix Metal Corp. was a war-time manufacturer of shell casings, a munition component. There is no record of employment in 1945.

Chikov wrote that when the rezidentura had not heard from Lona after the third week they hatched a plan to send Harry Gold to NM to seek out Perseus. In 1943 Gold was not assigned as courier for Klaus Fuchs, who was still in England. So technically Gold was available for such a mission. However, in June of 1945 he traveled to New Mexico to collect materials from Fuchs; and earlier in 1945 the KGB had broken the rules of compartmentalization by sending Gold to Greenglass� residence in Albuquerque. If this anecdote is applied to 1945 then the Soviets would have been prepared to expose Gold to yet a third atomic spy in New Mexico. We can't accept that, and a Venona message (13124) indicates that in principle neither could the Center.

Santa Fe

In 1992 the SVR (KGB) embarked on a public relations campaign to improve its image and bolster its legitimacy as a government agency going forward. To do this they decided to reveal past foreign espionage successes, the major one being the atomic bomb. This policy initiative resulted in the book Comment Staline and the story of Perseus. Vladimir Chikov, the author, stated up front that names, dates and places would be be withheld or changed to preserve state secrets. We believe the key piece of information altered in Mission to New Mexico was Lona�s destination. Chikov said it was Albuquerque, we say it was Santa Fe (in 1943).

According to Chikov, Perseus was initially recruited by the KGB in 1942 and then was one of the original cadre of scientists to arrive at Los Alamos during the period March through May, 1943. (�...early in 1943, Fielding, together with others from the Met Lab [dezi], was asked by Robert Oppenheimer to come to Los Alamos.� CS, p.149) The object of Lona�s mission to New Mexico was Arthur Fielding (Perseus). Before Fielding's departure for Los Alamos, there could be no certainty that he would be able to readily travel the 100+ miles (driving) to Albuquerque. On the other hand, in recruiting the civilian scientific staff, Oppenheimer gave assurances that Los Alamos would not be an enforced isolation situation, and that annual vacation and weekend passes for sightseeing and recreation would be available. Santa Fe was mentioned as an attraction.

Chikov and his disinformation editor slipped up. Yatskov wanted Lona to travel to New Mexico in 2 separate stages, the first leg to Chicago, the second leg to New Mexico. His instructions to Lona in Comment Staline were: "So as not to attract the attention of the FBI, purchase your ticket not direct to Santa Fe, but rather to Chicago. Stay over a full day in Chicago and then get a second ticket to Albuquerque." (CS, p.158) The reference to Santa Fe makes no sense in context, is never repeated, and is a revealing misspeak.

It is widely agreed that Lona made at least two trips to New Mexico, and stayed in Las Vegas during at least one of them (Bombshell asserts this). Because of distance, Las Vegas is very unsuitable for meeting an agent in Albuqurque. But it would be an acceptable solution for a rendezvous in Santa Fe. Las Vegas is 50 miles (driving) from Santa Fe, about the same distance as Los Alamos from Santa Fe. Both train and bus could be used to travel between Las Vegas and Santa Fe.

As quoted above, Morris Cohen said that on her fourth attempt Lona used �regular public transport bus" to get from the town where she was staying to the town where the meeting was to occur. We do not believe there was a "public" bus (as distinguished from Greyhound service) between Las Vegas and Albuquerque (over 100 miles driving). But there was daily bus service between Lamy and Santa Fe. This is in fact how Harry Gold traveled to Santa Fe to meet Fuchs--train to Lamy, then bus to Santa Fe.

Chikov initially describes the rendezvous point as a church, but in 4 later instances the word "cathedral" is used. A cathedral is the church and residence of a bishop. There was only one cathedral in New Mexico in 1943 and that was Saint Francis Cathedral at 131 Cathedral Place, Santa Fe. None of the mission churches in Albuquerque fit the loose definition of a cathedral--a large, imposing church. One author characterized the cathedral that Lona walked to as �visible from all directions.� This was eminently true of Saint Francis in the 1940�s.

Chikov makes reference to a "church square" and a "cathedral square". An aerial photograph of Santa Fe shows that St. Francis sits on a full square block of the city. Also, near its entrance, St. Francis has a �Campo Santo� or burial square.

Chikov wrote: "[Lona] walked closer to the cathedral....crossing over to the other side of the street, where a beautiful building with Mexican folk motifs was baking in the sun." Directly across the street from Cathedral Square is the Institute of Indian Arts Museum, formerly the old Federal Building (108 Cathedral Place). Readers can view for themselves this building's period architectural detailing. We do not find a similar building circumstance for a church in Albuquerque.

Chikov wrote that the church was near the train station and very prominent. The train station in Santa Fe is about 8 blocks away (1/2 mile) from Saint Francis Cathedral. We find no churches occupying a square in Albuquerque that would qualify as being "near" the train station. The closest, the mission church of San Felipe de Neri, is about two miles away. Saint Francis Cathedral was distinctly visible from the Santa Fe train depot.

Chikov�s Mission to New Mexico passage contains the word cafeteria--twice. The references are: 1. Lona noticed a tall man approaching the church square from the direction of the "cafeteria;" 2. After making contact Perseus suggested to Lona that they "go back toward the cafeteria." (CS, p.162-3) The 1943 Santa Fe City Directory lists most eating establishments under "Restaurants." The closest public restaurant to Saint Francis Cathedral was the Mayflower Cafe at 64 E. San Francisco Avenue, a block and a half away. The Mayflower Cafe was directly across the street from the Plaza, situated on San Francisco between Capital Pharmacy (#82) and Zook's Pharmacy (#56). Chikov said the rendezvous point with Perseus was in front of the church after 12 pm mass on Sunday. Persons who walked to St. Francis from the direction of the Plaza and who then wanted to go to the Mayflower Cafe would head "back" down San Francisco Ave. Both the name and location of the Mayflower Cafe are consistent with Chikov's description of Lona's meeting with Perseus.

Finally, the KGB was not risk-averse to meeting its Los Alamos physicists in Santa Fe. Harry Gold met Fuchs there twice. And, in fact, Gold followed the same travel regimen prescribed above by Chikov (carelessly) for Lona Cohen: Train to Chicago, stopover; train to Albuquerque, stopover; train & bus back up to Santa Fe, the rendezvous location.

Comment to Bomb

On the subject of Lona Cohen going to New Mexico, Bombshell is derivative of Comment Staline; particulars: a doctor�s prescription, July date, Albuquerque, 3 missed meetings, Kleenex box episode, etc. If Comment Staline had not been available, the Albrights would have had little to offer on the question of how the KGB got materials from Hall in NM. We think what closed the deal was that Venona conclusively linked cover name MLAD with Hall. In their judgment this proved the lie about Perseus, whose first cover name Chikov had said was MLAD. Not an illogical proposition, and it opened the door for transmuting Perseus-1943 to Hall-1945. The authors were not disabused of this notion, either, by their post-Venona, post-Special Tasks contacts in Moscow.

However, having formulated the espionage case against Hall, Albright and Kunstel recognized not all was according to hoyle. Thankfully, they did not shy away from pointing out the many problems and unknowns. From Bombshell:

Ted Hall never publicly acknowledged that he met Lona Cohen in Albuquerque
Hall did not remember being three weeks tardy in meeting Lona
There are sharply conflicting recollections about the papers Lona Cohen smuggled from New Mexico. Hall only recalled 5 or 6 hand-written sheets. Hall felt his material (primarily about the Ra-La tests) was redundant to what he had passed previously to Sax, in December 1944, per Bombshell. (We believe this material was passed in February, 1945. Set U refers.)
Hall expressed the belief that the Soviets had another source at Los Alamos based on the fact that he never had access to the information he understood the Russians to have received.
Leonid Kvasnikov acknowledged that Fuchs was not the only scientist in Los Alamos supplying the Soviets. This other source, a physicist, provided data on the �entire construction of the atomic bomb.� (an intelligence description disavowed by Hall)
Lona Cohen�s information was so detailed that it allowed Kurchatov to build the plant immediately, bypassing the stage of experiment production.� (�plant� undoubtedly refers to Oak Ridge)
Colonel Vladimir Barkowsky said the material received from Fuchs �matched page to page� to the material delivered by Lona Cohen. (intelligence materials disavowed by Hall)
Sudoplatov claimed that Lona Cohen received from Mlad a 33 page design of the bomb that matched a design received from Fuchs.
KVANT and PERS remain unidentified atomic spies in the Venona messages.


Chikov set the date of Lona�s mission to NM as July 1943. This is consistent with the premise of his book, that the KGB recruited an atomic physicist who subsequently went to Los Alamos in early 1943. We find the case compelling that (1) Lona traveled to New Mexico in 1943, (2) she stayed in Las Vegas, NM, (3) her rendezvous destination was Saint Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe, and (4) her mission was to meet Perseus. We also think there is strong evidence that Lona made an additional trip or trips to New Mexico. The dates and exact circumstances of such trips are unclear. Undoubtedly, at least one occurred in 1945 and involved meeting and receiving materials from Ted Hall.

Bombshell discounts, if not ignores, a pivotal element in Pavel Sudoplatov's testimony on atomic espionage--the ad hoc illegal line set up by Lev Vassilevsky and the Zarubins to run junior scientists connected to Oppenheimer, Fermi and Szilard. By fiat of Beria, this line/operation was completely separated from the KGB's First Chief Directorate, Foreign Intelligence Service (INO). There is trace evidence of this manipulation in Comment Staline, Venona messages, and documents contained in Sacred Secrets and The Haunted Wood. Also included in Special Tasks was the assertion that Oppenhiemer and Fermi were jointly known as Star; and Pontecorvo, who was aligned with Fermi, was known as Mlad. Sudoplatov further stated: "STAR was used as the code name not only for Oppenhiemer, but also for other physicists and scientists in the Manhattan Project with whom we had contact but who were not formally recruited agents." If Star was used in such fashion, why not Mlad? Indeed, Vladimir Chikov wrote in Comment Staline that Fielding's first cover name was Mlad. We conclude that the use of Star and Mlad in late 1944 for Sax and Hall--two unvetted (i.e. not formally recruited) agents--does not rule out the possibility that Perseus, nee Fielding, was initially referred to as Mlad. (Set S, Star & Mlad refers)

Scientist Z
Chikov�s account of Lona�s mission to New Mexico includes two distinguishing factors about Perseus. These were that he was �tall� and that he had relatives in New York. In Chikov's original piece about Perseus, How the Soviet Intelligence Service "split" the American Atom, he stated that the relatives were parents ("He has come to New York to look up his sick parents and will stay for about a fortnight here." -New Times magazine). It so happens that Ted Hall shares these two attributes with Perseus. Hall was close to 6� and his parents lived in New York. But another Los Alamos physicist, Scientist Z, shares these attributes with both Hall and Perseus. Scientist Z was the same height as Ted Hall and he had parents in New York. However, Scientist Z was at Los Alamos in July 1943, and Hall was not. Scientist Z and Perseus were tall, had parents in New York and were at Los Alamos in July 1943.

A quick and dirty review:
Chikov wrote that Morris Cohen recruited physicist Arthur Fielding circa April 1942
Chikov wrote that Anatoli Yatskov was Cohen's control officer before he went in the US Army in July 1942
Chikov wrote that Oppenheimer invited Fielding to go to Los Alamos early in 1943.
Chikov wrote that the Cohens gave Fielding the 'field' covername of Perseus
Venona contains two Soviet atomic sources�KVANT and PERS�that are unidentified.
The random occurrence in the 1940's of two Russian words beginning p, e, r, s, is roughly 1 in 4 million
Venona shows that PERS� first cover name was FOGEL, as in Fielding, as in Scientist Z

We conclude that, mathematically, factually, alphabetically and circumstantially, Perseus = PERS = FOGEL = Fielding = Scientist Z. Pavel Sudoplatov, in footnote, advised readers on this matter as follows: �It should not be excluded that Perseus is a creation by Yatskov or his colleagues to cover the real names of the sources.� (ST, p.189) The old fox knew full well there was a source of a lifetime behind the name Perseus.

Virtual Rendezvous

It might be both entertaining and useful to go over the ground covered by Lona and Perseus. Consistent with our conclusion, Santa Fe replaces Albuquerque and Las Vegas replaces Sandia. Literary license will be neon obvious.


Early on Sunday morning, August 15, 1943, Lona packed up and checked out of her boarding house in Las Vegas, NM. This would be her fourth and last attempt to make a meet with Perseus in Santa Fe. If it did not come off she planned to leave Santa Fe on the afternoon train for a return trip to Chicago and New York. At the train station in Las Vegas Lona boarded an 8:30 am train bound for Albuquerque. However she disembarked when the train stopped at Lamy, NM, a little town 18 miles south of Santa Fe. At the Lamy station she transferred to the Santa Fe Southern short line train that transited between Lamy and Santa Fe several times a day. The train�s Santa Fe terminus was the Train Depot at 410 S. Guadalupe Street.

Lona's train pulled into Santa Fe at 11:30 am. She secured her luggage in a station locker, went out the entrance and began walking up Guadalupe street (lower left, #14, Santa Fe map). A block up she turned right on Montezuma Ave and cut over to Galisteo Street. Lona's stride was not a Sunday amble. She walked four blocks up Galisteo to San Francisco Ave and turned right (i.e. east). Now she began to relax a bit--she was ahead of schedule and her destination was in clear sight. As she lmoved along San Francisco toward the Plaza she could see the two massive towers of St. Francis Cathedral centered at the end of the street.

Having already made this trip three times before, Lona was familiar with the town, the Plaza, its surrounding shops and businesses, etc. On a previous occasion, after a no show by Perseus, she had gotten a bite to eat at the Mayflower Caf�. This time, however, she decided on a quick snack before the rendezvous at the fountain in Zooks Pharmacy. Sitting at the counter she watched the clock like a hawk, and at 12:30 was out the door. Per instructions from Yatskov, she planned to arrive at Cathedral Square at least 15 minutes early in order to build her cover as an out of town tourist and to baseline in her mind the current circumstances at the location. The residentura had provided an inexpensive camera to support her tourist role and also to acquire valuable information for future trips. At the corner, in front of Capital Pharmacy, she paused. This was a great spot to take a picture of the Cathedral at the head of the street framed on either side by Santa Fe architecture. Lona briefly stepped off the curb and snapped a picture.

Then she crossed The Santa Te Trail and walked by the La Fonda. About 50 yards from the rendezvous point, Lona started concentrating on the men who came into view. She reached Cathedral Place (map, nos. 11 & 12) and crossed the street to a position in front of the church. She looked at her watch--it was a quarter to 1. The pueblo architecture continued to capture her interest so she walked up Cathedral Place a bit to get a closer view of the Federal (WPA) Post Office building and its �beautiful Mexican folk motifs� (CS, p.159). Then, checking her watch again, she saw it was almost 1 pm. She headed back to the front of the church.


The appointed time and place was 1 pm on Sunday in front of Saint Francis Cathedral, Santa Fe, NM. Los Alamos is 40 miles northwest of Santa Fe. Perseus had been at Los Alamos for a little over 4 months. On Sunday morning, August 15, 1943, he took a scheduled military bus from the �Reservation� (as it was called by the scientists) to Santa Fe. The highway from the north was called the Old Taos Highway (Rt. 64/205). It is now Route 84/285. Current maps show that Old Taos Highway ends when it meets Paseo de Peralta in Santa Fe (top center, Santa Fe map).

The Los Alamos bus turned left at Paseo de Peralta, went one block to Washington Ave and turned right. On Washington, it journeyed south four blocks to E. Palace Ave. (white cross hairs, center right, Santa Fe aerial photo) This intersection was the transport�s terminus in Santa Fe. For passengers on business the Manhattan Project �in-town� office was 25 yards to the left down Palace Ave at 109 E. Palace [#1]. The wooden sign beside the entrance said "U.S. Engrs." For folks on pleasure the Town Plaza was directly in front of them.

Perseus was on business, but not his country�s business. Even though it was Sunday and the project office was closed, he gave 109 E. Palace [#2] a wide berth. He stepped off the bus and crossed Palace Ave to the Plaza. It was about 11:30 am. This was not his first visit to Santa Fe, and he was familiar with the Plaza area. As would befit a weekend visitor, he strolled down Washington on the Plaza side until he came to the park�s southeast corner. There he paused to take in the End of the Santa Fe Trail Marker placed by the Daughters of American Revolution in 1911. Pretty interesting stuff for a New York kid, he thought.

Perseus then crossed San Francisco Ave and went into Capital Pharmacy on the corner. He bought Saturday�s newspaper and also a magazine (as instructed). While in the drugstore he greeted Morris Yashvin, the pharmacist and manager. Yashvin was an acquaintance of the Oppenheimers, and Perseus had met him before. Coming out of Capital he turned left and walked up the block towards Woolworths Five and Dime. It was sunny and warm (90 degrees), and he wanted to buy a hat. As he walked he glanced over to the center of the Plaza to view the Soldier�s Monument (Civil War) where folks liked to congregate on Sunday.

At Woolworths Perseus picked out a hat as well as a few other items. Along with his purchases, he acquired a brown shopping bag (as planned). Then he went next door to the Mayflower Caf� to have lunch. As he ate and read the paper, he was heartened to see that the Allies were routing the Nazi�s out of Sicily. At about 12:57 he paid his bill, went out to the sidewalk and headed east on San Francisco toward the Cathedral, clearly visible a block and a half away. Passing again in front of Capital Pharmacy, he approached the corner curb. He was looking across the street at the La Fonda Hotel when he glanced up at a street sign that said Old Santa Fe Trail. Normally, Perseus wasn�t given to introspection. But remembering the documents he had on his person, he contemplated that for him The Trail was tantamount to Caesar�s Rubicon. Unfazed, perhaps even relishing the notion, he checked for traffic and crossed.

As he walked past the La Fonda Perseus adjusted the shopping bag so that Life Magazine was sticking above the top. (His KGB contact had instructed that, for recognition purposes, he should have a brown paper bag with a magazine showing from it.) Perseus did not know whom he would be meeting. He assumed it would be a man, but knew with quantum certainty that it would not be Morris Cohen. As he neared the intersection at Cathedral Place, Perseus started examining people, observing their faces and body language.


As the minutes elapsed, Lona wondered, �Why hasn�t he come?� Then she noticed a different sort of man approaching from the direction of the �cafeteria. He wore a straw hat, a white sport shirt and white sandals.� (CS, p.162) She quickly processed her major points of identification: tall, young, brown bag with a magazine sticking out of it. �Perseus,� her lips formed involuntarily.


Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Americains: Dossier KGB No. 13676, Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern, 1996
Bombshell, Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, 1997
The FBI-KGB Wars, Robert Lamphere and Tom Shachtman, 1995
Special Tasks, Pavel and Anatoli Sudoplatov, 1994, 1995
How Soviets Stole US Atomic Secrets, The Washington Post, October 4, 1992, Michael Dobbs
Dark Sun, Richard Rhodes, 1995 (p. 245)
How the Soveit Intelligence Service "split" the American Atom, New Times, Nos. 16 & 17, Vladimir Chikov, 1991

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:35 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set K - MLAD's Report

Ted Hall volunteered to spy for the Soviets in November 1944, when he was in New York on a two week furlough from Los Alamos. He was assigned the codename MLAD (Young); his confidant and courier Saville Sax was given the codename STAR (Old). During his initial contact with Soviet intelligence Hall provided information in the form of a written report and answered questions. Hall�s report is mentioned or inferred in several Venona messages.

Message No. 1585

No.1585, New York to Moscow, 12 November 1944, reads in part: "...H. [Hall] handed over to BEK a report about the Camp and named the key personnel employed on Enormoz. With the aim of hastening a meeting with a competent person, [Hall] on the following day sent a copy of the report by [Sax] to the [consulate]. ALEKSEJ [Anatoli Yatskov] received [Sax]...We consider it expedient to maintain liaison with [Hall]...MAY [Stepan Apresyan] has no objection to this. We shall send the details by post. [signature missing]"

BEK was Sergei Kurnakov, an �migr� Russian and KGB operative in New York. Kurnakov was agentura vice residentura, and perhaps controlled through an illegal at Amtorg or by Vladimir Pravdin at the consulate. According to Chikov in Comment Staline, Anatoli Yatskov came to the US under diplomatic cover in 1942 as a replacement for Semyonov. At some point prior to July 1942 control of Morris Cohen was transferred from Semyonov to Yatskov. "Evidently the NKVD continued to worry about [Alexander] Orlov's last recruitment [Cohen], made so close to his unscheduled departure [from Spain], so that in the summer of 1942, prior to his induction into the United States Army, Morris Cohen was asked by Anatoly Yatskov, then his Soviet control officer, to write up his account of the event." (CS, p.116) This message gives the sense that Hall possibly verbally named the Enormoz scientists and BEK copied them down.

Message No. 1699

No. 1699, New York to Moscow, 2 December 1944, reads in part: "Enumerates scientists who are working on the problem - Hans Bethe, Niels Bohr, Enrico Fermi, John Newman, Bruno Rossi, George Kistiakovski, Emilio Segre, G. I. Taylor, William Penny, Arthur Compton, Ernest Lawrence, Harold Urey, Hans Stanarm, Edward Teller, Percy Bridgeman, Werner Eisenberg, Strassenman....[7 groups unrecoverable]....our country addressed himself to Napoli and the latter, not wanting to listen to him, sent him to [Bek] as military commentator of the paper. [Signed] ANTON" [Leonid Kvasnikov]

Message No. 1699 (discussed in Bombshell on page 108) is an almost inclusive list of senior scientists working on the development of an atomic weapon ("the problem"). American cryptanalysts evidently attributed the list to MLAD (Ted Hall), but Bombshell's authors reserve judgment and make some interesting observations. Considering it significant that the source of the list was privy to the involvement of Percy Bridgeman, Werner Heisenberg, and Fritz Strassenman, the Albrights suggest that the information might have been provided to the Soviets by "yet another friend in Los Alamos who has never been discovered." As enamored as we are of the possible existence of another Soviet source at Los Alamos we too are inclined to attribute the list of 'enumerated scientists' to Ted Hall (MLAD). Message No. 1773 (below) contains the wording, "Oppenheim from California and Kistiakowski (MLAD's report mention the latter)," and indeed No. 1699 does not contain Oppenheimer and does mention Kistiakovski. Solid inference that the names were provided by Ted Hall. In addition to JRO's absense from the list, a perhaps more stirking incongruity, as pointed out by Bombshell's authors, is the inclusion of Heisenberg and Fritz Strassman--two German physicists most definitely not working on the Manhattan Project.

A number of commentators, ourselves and Bombshell's authors included, have found the omission of Oppenheimer from message No. 1699 to be puzzling and begging of explanation. Indeed, a number of theories have been tendered at the Readers' Rendezvous. We offer another. It begins by making a distinction between the message containing the scientists' names and the report from Hall (ostensibly) which gave them. It seems quite clear that Oppenheimer was not included in the former, but what about the latter? Given all the other names in the message, it defies logic that Ted Hall would fail to mention Robert Oppenheimer, the Director of his own lab. We hypothesize that JRO was in fact listed, but his name was omitted by Yatskov from the information given to Kvasnikov. And thus, Oppenheimer was not included in message No. 1699 signed by Kvasinkov.

The basis for this hypothetical is found in part in a fascinating and telling passage titled The Backup Plan in Comment Staline: "Early in 1943 Leonid Kvasnikov was sent to America to direct the Soviet operation in atomic espionage, which received the code name Enormoz (Kvasnikov arrived in the U.S. in March 1943. Bombshell, p.76). Lev Vasilevsky took over his duties in the scientific and technical department in Moscow....Despite Kurchatov's enthusiasm [for the espionage materials the KGB was supplying], Beria remained on guard. He wanted additional confirmation of the materials supplied from abroad. This desire was intensified by his feelings toward Leonid Kvasnikov, directing atomic espionage in America. Although he had approved the appointment on the basis of Kvasnikov's qualifications, Beria never trusted the resident.....However [Beria] found a way around [Kvasnikov]. It happened in a discussion with Fitin and Vasilevsky about Perseus. Beria asked if Kvasnikov had been instructed to find out how [Perseus] got his information and Vasilevsky answered no. They had to protect their agent. Beria retorted that in that case they should question Perseus directly, to which Vasilevsky objected that such an inquiry might upset the scientist. Beria began to lose his temper but Fitin came up with a saving idea. Fitin's idea had the mark of genius, because it used one agent [Fuchs] to check up on another without either knowing the other was involved. Beria approved the plan, thereby circumventing Kvasnikov." (CS, p.152)

Theory on absense of Oppenheimer in No. 1699: Morris Cohen recruited Arthur Fielding cum Perseus in the Spring of 1942. Semyonov and Yatskov were Cohen�s controllers during this period, and therefore had knowledge of this source. TOF, Oppenheimer and one of his close associates (�inner circle�) are intrinsic to the Fielding story from V. Chikov. Such rationale is abetted by statements from Sudoplatov in Special Tasks: "Eitingon and I also instructed Kheifetz and Semyonov to turn over to our old moles all their confidential contacts with friendly sources around Oppenheimer in California. Vasilevsky took part in this operation. Under Beria's direct orders we forbade Kheifetz and Semyonov to tell anybody from the American Section of the Foreign Directorate about this transfer of contacts" (ST, p.187). We therefore surmise that Beria�s strict compartmentalization of the illegal line (dedicated to high profile atomic sources) and his antipathy toward Kvasnikov resulted in Kvasnikov�s being kept in the dark (�circumvented�) on certain operations. Put another way, what do Semyonov and Yatskov do with intelligence information pertaining to Oppenheimer given their knowledge of (1) Beria's edict transferring all Oppenheimer related operations to an illegal line, (2) Beria's proscription against the Center's American Section, and (3) Beria's personal antagonism toward Kvasnikov? We think the safest course would be to pouch original source materials directly to the Center and appropriately 'sanitize' the information given to the technical officer responsible for atomic intelligence. We further speculate that Semyonov might have been the author of 'unsigned' message No. 1585.

Message No. 1773

No. 1773, New York to Moscow, 16 December 1944: "KALIBER [Greenglass] also reports: Oppenheim from California and Kistiakowski (MLAD's report mention the latter) are at present working at the camp....Advise whether you have information on these two professors. [Signed] ANTON" [Kvasnikov]

The �Backup Plan� might help explain message No. 1773, which is also a puzzler. In this message we note that Oppenheimer's name pops up from a different direction - Feklisov's Rosenberg network. Curiously, Kvasnikov transmits Oppenheimer's name in the clear and, although it is almost 1945, appears to have little or no knowledge of him. How can it be that the KGB officer responsible for atomic espionage in the United States (and previously Chief of the Center's science and technology section) seems ignorant on Oppenheimer, Director of Los Alamos. Going back to 1941, KGB operatives that would have filed reports on Oppenheimer include Steve Nelson, Gregory Kheifetz, Margareta Konenkova, and Vassily Zarubin. Though perhaps coincidental, it is nonetheless interesting that Venona message traffic subsequent to message 1773 assigns the codename VEKSEL to Oppenheimer. Does this reflect the Center's discomfort with even an innocuous reference (by Kvasnikov) to such a source?

Another view on this message is offered by Romerstein and Breindel in their The Venona Secrets (p. 273). Their opinion is that "Oppenheim" in this message refers "to Frank Oppenheimer, since brother Robert was the director at Los Alamos." This certainly seems a possibility. However, just several paragraphs previous they indicate that Frank Oppenheimer didn't come to Los Alamos until 1945. And indeed Los Alamos records show that Frank Oppenheimer arrived as a visitor from Berkeley on June 9, 1945, to work with Bainbridge and the Trinity Group. Conversely, the same Los Alamos records do not reflect that Frank visited or was at Los Alamos in 1944, the date of the message.


The omission of Oppenheimer from message No. 1699 is conspicuous and seems to be another missed opportunity for Oppenheimer to receive equal, exculpatory treatment in Soviet KGB message traffic (Set G, VEKSEL, refers). The possibility that Semyonov, Morris Cohen's controller, might have had a connection to Oppenheimer or one of his associates offers tantalizing support for the Theory of Fielding.

The Backup Plan anecdote from Chikov contains yet another version of events to hold up against Perseus Myth thesis in Bombshell, i.e. the espionage of Ted Hall is the only factual basis for Perseus. If that were true it would make the Beria-Fitin-Vasilevsky story totally gratuitous disinformation. Be that as it may, one thing is certain: the Perseus of Beria's attention is not Ted Hall (MLAD): Far from being circumvented, Kvasnikov was in the loop on Hall, as Venona clearly shows.


Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Americains: Dossier KGB No. 13676, Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern, 1996
Bombshell, Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, 1997
Special Tasks, Pavel and Anatoli Sudoplatov with Jerrold L. and Leona P. Schecter, 1995
Klaus Fuchs, Atom Spy, Robert Chadwell Williams, 1987.
The Venona Secrets, Herbert Romerstein and Eric Breindel, 2000

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:34 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set J - September 1941


1. Anatoly Yatskov (1992) wrote: " The first data that the Americans and English were embarking on work to create an atomic weapon were received not in March 1945, but in September 1941. In New York one source of information reported that his physicist friend was invited to secret works on creating a bomb founded on the exploitation of atomic energy. By another channel came information on the trip to England of the American physicists G. Urey (?) and Geo. Pegram in order to coordinate the work on the atomic weapon." The Atom and Intelligence. Problems in the History of Science and Technology, 1992, Page 103.

2. Vladimir Chikov (1996) wrote: "At this same time [circa September 1941] a couple of interesting dispatches arrived from America. The source in both cases was a native informant, a friend of the Soviet Union. The first related that an acquaintance of his had been invited to take part in secret work to build a bomb based on atomic energy. The second said that a friend of his, a physicist, was joining a scientific delegation headed to England to coordinate work on an atomic bomb." Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Americains: Dossier KGB 13676, Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern, 1996.

3. Richard Rhodes (1995) wrote: "September 1941 was a banner month for Soviet nuclear espionage. While Vadim was reporting from London, Morris Cohen weighed in from New York." "Now Cohen reported a remarkable development. An American physicist whom he knew from Spanish Civil War days had contacted him for an introduction to Amtorg, the Soviet trading corporation in New York that clandestinely organized North American espionage. The physicist told Cohen he had been invited to work on a secret project to develop an American atomic bomb." Dark Sun, The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb, 1995, Pages 53 and 54.


It would appear that September 1941 was an auspicious month in the history of Soviet atomic espionage. Here we have three different writers describing a significant espionage event and framing, in the bargain, an interesting mini-mystery within a mystery.

The quotes from Yatskov and Chikov, 4 years apart, are obviously describing the same events. Neither has a trace of Cohen. In his book, Chikov's "interesting dispatches from America" comes well in advance of the introduction of his main character, Morris Cohen. However Rhodes associates Cohen with events of September 1941. In his Notes on Dark Sun, Rhodes gives the basis for this association as Yatskov (1992) and Chikov (1991) - not Chikov (1996) above. Chikov (1991), readers may recall, is the two part article in the Russian New Times which first described the initial contact between Cohen and Fielding (Set D refers). Even though Rhodes offers a caveat on Chikov in his note he nonetheless proceeds to equate Yatskov's September 1941 atomic reference point with the initial Cohen-Fielding contact.

Thus, Rhodes' interpretation of Yatskov (1992) is, "In New York one source of information [Cohen] reported that his physicist friend [Fielding] was invited to secret works on creating a bomb founded on the exploitation of atomic energy." We don't mind Richard Rhodes carrying some water for the existence of Fielding, which his affirmation of an atomic recruitment by Cohen does, but Cohen-Fielding in September 1941 does not fit easily with some of the phenomena. For instance, in September 1941 there effectively was no government atomic weapon project with which one could have had the "prospect of employment." (But that changes qualitatively just months later after the December 6 Cosmos Club luncheon and even more so after the formal establishment of the Met Lab in the first months of 1942.)

Alternatively, there is another scenario for September 1941 which, as it happens, can also be predicated on work by Mr. Rhodes. Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atom Bomb:
"It was a cool September [1941] evening, Arthur Compton remembers. My wife greeted Conant and Lawrence as they came into our home and gave each of us a cup of coffee as we gathered around the fireplace." (Page 375)
"Conant had scolded Lawrence at Compton's fireside when he learned that Lawrence had asked Oppenheimer, still an outsider, for help with theory, but now Lawrence's request [that Oppeheimer be invited to Compton's October 21 Schenectady conference] was granted" (Page 381).

The foregoing confirms that Oppenheimer was aware in September 1941 that government research into the weapon possibilities of nuclear fission was being conducted and that E. O. Lawrence was involved in high level secret discussions on the subject. Another interpretation, then, of Yatskov (1992) is, "In New York one source of information [Oppenheimer] reported that his physicist friend [E. O. Lawrence] was invited to secret works on creating a bomb founded on the exploitation of atomic energy." To whom might Oppenheimer have reported such information? Not surprisingly, some possible answers come from a fourth writer, Pavel Sudoplatov.

In a letter to the Washington Post Book World in response to critics of Special Tasks, Sudoplatov wrote: "Elizabeth Zarubina and Sam Semyonov were the first to establish friendly contacts with the American scientific community and influence them to cooperate with antifascist scientists. Liza Zarubina and a colleague, the Soviet vice consul in New York Pastelniak, handled our veteran agent Margareta Konenkova (code name Lukas), the wife of the famous Russian sculptor Sergei Konenkov, who was working in Princeton on a bust of Einstein, to influence Oppenheimer and other prominent American scientists whom she frequently met in Princeton from 1943 to 1945. There are photographs of Margareta with Oppenheimer and Einstein in the Konenkov's family museum in Moscow [Konenkov Memorial Studio, Tverskaya ul., 17]." It would be interesting to know the dates and settings of these photographs since we don't think Oppenheimer was available for such picture taking after 1942 (he opened Los Alamos in March 1943).

A second piece of testimony from Sudoplatov undermines the date of September 1941 (not critical) as well as the location of New York from Yatskov (problematic), but leaves no doubt about the essential premise: "Kheifetz advised us by cable, sent in code from our embassy in Washington, of a piece of information that changed Moscow's skeptical attitude about the atomic project. Kheifetz and Robert Oppenheimer, a brilliant American physicist at the University of California, had met in December 1941, and Kheifetz reported that the outstanding physicists in the Allied world including Nobel Prize winners [Oppenheimer's Berkeley associate, E. O. Lawrence?] and giants like Albert Einstein, were involved in a secret project. The concentration of such eminent scientists could not be accidental nor of no practical significance." Sudoplatov's characterization as seminal of this 'scoop' from Oppenheimer seems to resonate with the spin from Yatskov and Chikov.


We think this alternative scenario for September 1941, Oppenheimer-Lawrence, has more plausibility than Cohen-Fielding. In light of Sudoplatov, we find merit in Konenkova as a possible communication channel of such early atomic intelligence 'gossip'. We can even pose the further question: Did Konenkova, later in 1941 or 1942 under direction from Semyonov (Cohen's boss), somehow 'facilitate' a meeting between Fielding and Morris Cohen? In 1941 and 1942 Margareta Konenkova lived with her husband in the Washington Square area of New York City.


The Atom and Intelligence, Problems in the History of Science and Technology, Anatoli Yatskov, 1992
Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Americains: Dossier KGB No. 13676, Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern
Dark Sun, The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb, Richard Rhodes, 1995
How Soviet intelligence service "split" the American atom, New Times, 16 &17, Vladimir Chikov, 1991
The Making of the Atom Bomb, Richard Rhodes, 1986
Special Tasks, The Memoirs of an Unwanted Witness - A Soviet Spymaster, Pavel Sudoplatov and Anatoli Sudoplatov, Updated Edition, 1995

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:33 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set I - RELE-SERB


RELE (Relay) and SERB (Serbian) are unidentified codenames found in the NSA's Venona messages. There are 3 messages containing RELE and 2 containing SERB. However, one of the messages (02094) is a codename change - from RELE to SERB. Thus, RELE and SERB are the same person and there are a total of only 4 messages on him. All of the RELE/SERB messages are New York to Moscow.

The RELE/SERB messages:
No. 943, NY to Moscow, 4 July 1944 (RELE)
No. 550, NY to Moscow, 11 July 1944 (RELE)
No. 1251, NY to Moscow, 2 September 1944 (RELE changed to SERB)
No. 32, NY to Moscow, 11 January 1945 (SERB)

These messages provide two very explicit identity markers on RELE (Relay): In mid-1944 RELE was residing in the Philadelphia area and he had a severe leg disability: "RELE is disabled [and] has an artificial leg [viii]. Frequent trips are difficult for him. He lives in the Philadelphia area." (04074) With regard to the "artificial leg" detail, readers should not automatically assume that RELE was an amputee who used a prosthesis. A noted espionage writer who has researched this attribute advised the following: "Calipers and leg braces were virtually unknown in Russia. Furthermore, the Russian word for 'artificial leg' is actually 'prosthesis', and applies equally to dentures, false eyes, limbs, etc. In other words, the Russian word translated by Meredith Gardner, could mean artificial limb, but could equally be 'caliper' [or leg brace], for which there is no separate word."

Although very nebulous, there seems to be a trace or context of atomic espionage regarding RELE-SERB:

RELE is made "group leader" of Enos Wicher, codename RYBOLOV, a physicist in New York (04074).

RELE is not just a controller/courier akin to the Cohens, but is a source of "materials" in his own right. RELE's materials are evidently voluminous and must be "hand[ed] back" to him (presumably for return to the controlling authority) - twin reasons why RELE needs to be provided a camera along with Julius Rosenberg (11074).

Considering that Greenglass was chosen to work on the Manhattan Project in July 1944, is it just happenstance that when codenames are changed, RYBOLOV, RELE and ANTENNA (Rosenberg) are grouped together, suggesting a logical connection in the drafter's mind (02094)?

In some fashion RELE seems under the penumbra of Semyonov, who at the time was the KGB illegal in charge of atomic espionage operations (04074).

Christopher Andrew adds SERB to the Volunteer Group, in the company of ADEN, MLAD and SILVER. (ST, p.148) The Volunteer Group, ADEN and MLAD have all been implicated in atomic espionage (phenomena below).

As Haynes and Klehr point out in their book Venona, SERB seems to have contact with Leonid Kvasnikov whom the Center sent to New York principally because of his ability to do technical screening of atomic intelligence.

SERB somehow knows VOLONTER (Morris Cohen), who, according to Vladimir Chikov and others, played a decisive role in Soviet atomic espionage (11015).

SERB mistakenly informed the KGB that Morris Cohen had been killed in Europe (11015). Since for all practical purposes Cohen was out of circulation after July 1942 and then gone from the country after January 1943, SERB's acquaintance with Cohen would seem to pre-date July 1942. This raises the possibility that SERB could have been an early Volunteer (Set Y refers) with a connection to Steve Nelson and the Spanish Civil War.

What government work, projects or locations might have afforded SERB access to atomic related material as well as to casualty reports from the European theater? One possibility is the Army's ALSOS project run out of General Groves office in the War Department in Washington, D.C. Would General Groves have consulted with Oppenheimer when looking for atomic talent to staff the ALSOS Mission? The historical evidence is that Groves didn't make any senior level civilian personnel moves without the advice and consent of JRO.

The first RELE-SERB message is July 4, 1944, the last is January 11, 1945 - a period of only six months. Thus, in the middle of the Manhattan Project, RELE-SERB walks onto the Venona stage for six months and then walks off. Is this just the vagaries of message capture and decryption by American code breakers or is there another explanation? Perhaps SERB was transferred to another lab and/or another intelligence line?

In addition to the above (from Venona and Andrew), other profile information on RELE-SERB has been obtained from a confidential source (CS):

SERB -- was a secret member of the US Communist Party
SERB -- participated in the Spanish Civil War in the International Brigade
SERB -- was a radio engineer and tested equipment and radars of battleships
SERB -- was recruited "on an ideological basis" by Morris Cohen in 1942. The recruitment took place at Amtorg
SERB -- At different periods SERB was contacted by Luis (Morris Cohen) Leslie (Lona), TVEN (Semyonov), Kalistrat (Feklisov), and Aleksei (Yatskov)
SERB -- Lesli "took trips south" to pick up his materials [south to Philly or D.C.?]
SERB -- was one of the Volunteers, along with LUIS, LESLIE, SIL'VER, YURBA, KLIBI, MLAD, STAR, ANTA, and ALEN.
SERB -- In 1946 (or 1948) SERB moved to the Pacific Coast.
SERB -- took pictures of all the documents himself in his apartment.
SERB -- prepared 19 films with information about sonar's and radars but went for more than a year without being contacted. Fearing for his security, he destroyed the films.
SERB -- Concluding that Soviet Intelligence did not need him anymore, SERB went into the refrigerator business.

This information on SERB is subject to a strong caveat for disinformation. It is intriguing to note, however, the similarities among the independent sources on RELE-SERB: a connection to Morris Cohen, inclusion in the Volunteer Group, the use of a camera (Venona No. 550) and the mention of covername SIL'VER (Andrew and CS). It is common Russian linguistic practice to indicate the correct pronunciation of an L by placing, or not placing, a soft sign after it. The apostrophe after the L in SIL'VER is the conventional Latin character used to indicate the Russian "soft sign." For example, FOGEL' is rendered with the soft sign in NSA's Venona decryptions. SIL'VER is almost certainly the Russian spelling of the English word and not a transliteration of a slavic word (the word for silver in Russian is serebro). The authentic use of the soft sign in SIL'VER confers a measure of credibility on its source.

That source listed-out the Volunteer Group as LUIS, LESLIE, SERB, SIL'VER, YURBA, KLIBI, MLAD, STAR, ANTA and ADEN. Four of these covernames (LESLIE,SERB, MLAD, STAR) are found in Venona. LESLIE, YURBA and ANTA are women. LUIS/LESLI and ANTA/ADEN (Set Z) are husband and wife teams. Andrew-Mitrokhin designates MLAD, ADEN, SERB and SILVER as agent sources. The Volunteer Group has been described by several independent writers as targeted on atomic espionage, most recently by Alexander Feklisov in Man Behind the Rosenbergs: "I didn't know it at the time but my friend Yatskov and our boss Kvasnikov directed the most imnportant network - actually the only network - dedicated to atomic espionage."

The Volunteer network evidently started out as one thing and evolved into something larger. Christopher Andrew wrote, "The VOLUNTEER network expanded to include, in addition to MLAD, three other agents: ADEN, SERB and SILVER." We know that the New York rezidentura's portfolio with respect to ENORMOZ was enlarged when Klaus Fuchs arrived in New York at the beginning of 1944. His courier was Harry Gold and their first rendezvous (in NY) was on 5 February 1944. Anatoli Yatskov was Gold's controller; in October 1944 Gold's covername was changed, from GUS to ARNO. Based on logic as well as Feklisov's statement, it is conceivable that Gold would be considered part of the Volunteer network. The Gouzenko defection in September 1945 and the arrest of atomic physicist Alan Nunn May shortly thereafter caused Moscow to change many covernames. Given the Center's penchant for covername association, Gold possibly became SIL'VER. On the other hand, Andrew categorizes MLAD, ADEN, SERB and SILVER as agents, not couriers. If that is the case, it is not out of the realm of possibility that FOGEL'/PERS was re-named after Gouzenko to SILVER.

Along these same lines, we see rationale for Julius Rosenberg to also have been viewed (at the Kvasnikov and Moscow level) as part of the Volunteer network. Thus in Set R we speculate that covername KLIBI refers to Rosenberg. Continuing the husband-wife paradigm, maybe YURBA was Ethel Rosenberg.


Tatyana Samolis (SVR official) wrote: "the Volunteer group�.were able to guarantee the transmittal to the Center of super secret information concerning the development of the American atomic bomb."

Christopher Andrew wrote: "The VOLUNTEER network expanded to include, in addition to MLAD, three other agents: ADEN, SERB and SILVER."

Venona message: No. 32 of 11 January 1945 (11015): "SERB has advised that VOLUNTEER [Morris Cohen] has died at the front in Europe. The last meeting with LESLEY was by TVEN [Semyonov] about six months ago."

Authors Albright and Kunstel wrote: "As a green recruit who arrived in Spain in mid-August 1937, it is very doubtful if [Morris Cohen] even met Steve Nelson before Nelson left Spain. But we do know that Cohen knew Nelson at least slightly back in the United States."

Steve Nelson wrote: "Soon after arriving [1939] on the [West] coast, I [Nelson]made the acquaintance of a very amazing man, J. Robert Oppenheimer �.Oppenheimer invited me to his home to get together with some of his friends from the academic community who wanted to meet some one who had been in Spain�. I also saw Oppenheimer at Berkeley now and then because I was responsible for working with people from the university�.[a] number of Oppenheimer's graduate students in the field of physics were quite active."

Pavel Sudoplatov wrote: "Oppenheimer, together with Fermi and Szilard helped us place moles in Tennessee, Los Alamos and Chicago [Met Lab] as assistants in those three labs."

Vladimir Chikov wrote: "However, I am at liberty to state that Fielding [Perseus] at that time was a young nuclear physicist working at the Met Lab of Chicago University�. The news [that Fielding had contacted Cohen] went from Cohen to Semyonov, who passed it on to [Zarubin]...."

Pavel Sudoplatov wrote: "Eitingon and I also instructed Kheifetz and Semyonov to turn over to our old moles all their confidential contacts with friendly sources [ Perseus] around Oppenheimer..."


Conflating the above, the following chain of relation (if not action) can be apprehended: Volunteer Group >>> SERB >>> Morris Cohen >>> Steve Nelson >>> Robert Oppenheimer >>> Met Lab >>> Semyon Semyonov >>> Perseus ??? RELE-SERB

Almost all commentators agree that Vladimir Chikov constructed his Perseus legend from the espionage activities of two or more KGB sources on the Manhattan Project. Based on the above conflation, an alternative profile for Perseus might be: a Manhattan Project physicist who was acquainted with Steve Nelson; who was an associate of Robert Oppenheimer; who worked at the Met Lab in 1942; and whose career reflects employment in the Philadelphia area in mid-1944.

The 1944 Philadelphia phone directory has a listing for a name that is the same as a Manhattan Project physicist who meets these criteria. Hilariously, the person's phone number is a BELgrade exchange -- BELgrade as in the capital of SERBia. Furthermore, the National Archives contains a personnel/employment recommendation form on Metallurgical Lab letterhead that appears to be in reference to this same person. The form is completed and signed by J. Robert Oppenheimer. All indications are that it is dated April 22, 1942, the significance of which date should be lost on no one.

Following suit with commentators who believe that Perseus is a composite literary 'straw man' from Chikov, and composing him abstractly as Scientists X, Y and Z, we postulate that Scientist X might be RELE-SERB.


Venona Project, NSA, 1995 (
Venona, Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, 1999
Veterany Vneshnei Razvedki Rossii, T. V. Samolis, Editor, SVR Press, 1995
Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Ameicains: Dossier KGB No. 13676, Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern, 1996
The Sword and The Shield, The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, 1999
Steve Nelson, American Radical, Steve Nelson, James R. Barrett and Rob Ruck, 1981
Special Tasks, Pavel and Anatoli Sudoplatov with Jerrold L. and Leona P. Schecter, 1995

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:32 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set H - Hero of Russia


Morris and Leontina Cohen were posthumously awarded the highest honor that post-Soviet Russia can bestow, the Hero of Russia Medal (formerly Hero of the Soviet Union).


Bombshell provides a very comprehensive and authoritative account of both Cohens' espionage careers. The Cohens' contributions as intelligence agents on behalf of the Soviet Union were extremely valuable. There is certainly no question of that. However, it is not at all clear how their service to the Soviet Union rises to the level required for conferment of the Hero of Russia award. We can perhaps better appreciate the significance and criteria for this award by looking at the careers of two other Soviet intelligence agents, Viktor Liagin and Kim Philby.

Viktor Liagin was a Russian NKVD agent and Gregory Kheifetz's deputy in the Soviet consular office in San Francisco in 1940. His assignment was to obtain technological information on the West Coast. He was recalled to Moscow and later sent to the Black Sea naval base in Nikolayev as an illegal during its occupation by the Germans. He conducted sabotage while befriending the German head of the naval base. When the Germans discovered his actions, he was arrested by the Gestapo and executed. In 1945 Liagin was designated a Hero of the Soviet Union for giving his life for the motherland.

Kim Philby was an Englishman recruited by the NKVD in the 1930's. His espionage career for over 5 decades on behalf of the Soviet Union is legend. Books have been written by authors who know the facts. From The Philby Files, quoting Philby: "In the mid-thirties, as you know, I often traveled to Berlin, staying and working there for long periods both as an active member of the Anglo-German Fellowship and writer for the Anglo-German magazine, and as a Moscow agent. Once when I was in Berlin, I think it was in 1936, Hitler had just issued a decree that the only sentence for cases involving foreign spies in Germany would be execution by ax. I remember this decree almost put me in a state of shock." That was in the beginning of his career and illustrates the personal risks he took for the Soviets. Philby has been variously dubbed "the Spy of the Century," "the best spy the Russians ever had," "the best intelligence officer this century" and "the Soviet Master Spy". But his risks and successes have not been deemed sufficient for him to receive the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

Morris and Lona Cohen stand alone as foreign agents of the Soviet Union who have attained the rank of Hero of Russia. Morris Cohen's espionage service has 3 distinct periods: 1939 - 1942, in NY before going into the Army; 1947 - 1950, in NY after the Gouzenko freeze; 1954 - 1961, in London (as Peter Kroger) ending with arrest and imprisonment. From this chronology we can observe that if Cohen did not recruit a physicist in 1942 then any involvement in atomic espionage would have to have occurred in 1947, at which time the Soviets already 'had' the fission bomb. What did Cohen do between 1947 and 1950 that would merit distinction as a Hero of Russia? Did he recruit a new source that provided the keys to the hydrogen bomb? Did he courier for Ted Hall who 'gave' the hydrogen bomb to the Soviets? Bombshell certainly offers no evidence that Morris Cohen received hydrogen bomb secrets from Hall (see Set P) or any other source. Mr. Sax's recent post, "Hall denies involvement with H-bomb," bears on this subject.


Based on the known facts and notwithstanding 7 years in British prison without confessing, Morris Cohen's espionage contributions do not supersede Philby's laurels. Furthermore, the precise reasons for both Cohens' elevation to the Hero of Russia pantheon are undisclosed and still classified as state secrets by the Russian government. This fact itself underscores the mystery.

Be that as it may, Hero of Russia does make absolute sense if Cohen recruited a physicist in 1942 and that physicist was J. Robert Oppenheimer. If you reel in the future Director of Los Alamos and history proves, by that seminal undertaking, you ensured the security of the Soviet State at a perilous juncture, you get the medal. Did Morris Cohen have the stature of Oppenheimer in mind when he said in an interview, "I assume even in 100 years his last name won't be exposed."


Bombshell, Marcia Kunstel and Joseph Albright
Special Tasks, Pavel and Anatoli Sudoplatov
The Philby Files, Genrikh Borovik

PS. The phenomena of this set would seem particularly ironic and unfair to Kim Philby if indeed the Soviets awarded their highest honor to the Cohens just on the basis of what is known. Beginning in August 1949 Philby was able to educate the Soviets on the impending extreme vulnerability of their US assets due to the British and American Venona codebreaking project. The KGB would have been loath to dismantle these networks unless they were utterly convinced of the threat. That they did shut down numerous nets warrants the case that, but for Philby, the Cohens would have been caught by the FBI and suffered the same fate as the Rosenbergs. More succinctly, he saved their asses but they got the kudos.

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:30 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set G - VEKSEL, KVANT, IRI-ERNEST, GURON


Was Pontecorvo KVANT?
Was KVANT changed to IRI?
Was Pontecorvo IRI-ERNEST?
Was Nunn May GURON?



A. There are two Venona messages that contain the code name VEKSEL. Both have a NSA footnote stating that VEKSEL is possibly J. Robert Oppenheimer. "The role played by the person covernamed VEKSEL remains uncertain but troubling" - The NSA Venona Project.
B. Pavel Sudoplatov wrote that Oppenheimer and Fermi were assigned codenames as sources of information, STAR and EDITOR respectively, and that they were also jointly codenamed STAR.

The VEKSEL Messages
1. Venona, New York to Moscow, No. 799, dated 26 May 1945.
This message is an inclusive list provided by Ted Hall (MLAD) of 8 Manhattan Project locations. The directors of 5 locations are identified: four by their real names, the fifth by a code name, VEKSEL. VEKSEL is the codename assigned to the director of "the RESERVATION, the main practical research work [location] on Enormous."
2. Venona, Moscow to New York, No. 259, dated 21 March 1945.
"In our Nos. 5823 [not available] of 9 December 1944, 309 [not available] of 17 January 1945 and 606 [not available] of 1 February 1945 instructions were given to send GURON [i.e. HURON; unidentified covername] to CHICAGO to re-establish contact with VEKSEL [possibly Dr. Julius Robert Oppenheimer]. Carry these out as soon as possible."


Message No. 799 is purely informational, a message passing intelligence back to the Center. A NSA comment on this message is that RESERVATION (ZAPOVEDNIK in the original Russian message) possibly refers to Los Alamos. There shouldn't be much doubt. There is another Venona message, No. 185 dated 27 February 1945, stating that Klaus Fuchs was working at a site codenamed RESERVATION. Fuchs was at Los Alamos in Feb 1945. Vladimir Chikov also wrote that the KGB referred to Los Alamos as the RESERVATION. The American scientists corralled at Los Alamos during the war nicknamed their location the Reservation, no doubt due to the fact that Los Alamos is right next door to an Indian reservation and, like the indians, they felt confined by the government. Amazing that the Soviets were so well plugged-in that they adopted (ill-advisedly) the slang used by their Los Alamos sources.

It is important to note that, in contrast to message No. 799, the nature of message No. 259, Moscow to New York, is operational: Guron is directed to travel to Chicago in order to re-establish contact with VEKSEL. If VEKSEL is the Director of Los Alamos, how is this contact to be effected? One method of communication with the Director of Los Alamos would be through the auspices of a Chicago-based intermediary, a scientist at the Met Lab who either made periodic visits to Los Alamos or could access the special courier/teletype links between the two labs. Such unknown person, in other words, would function as a relay. Interestingly, Venona has such a codename, RELE (Relay, later SERB, Set I refers). Another area of interest in No. 259 is that GURON is further directed to re-establish contact with a second scientist at the Met Lab whose name has been redacted. We have probably looked at this message 5 or 6 times and each time concluded along with others that the scientist in question was Hyman H. Goldsmith. The presumption on Goldsmith, however, could possibly be called into question due to the message's inconsistent redactions. We explore this conundrum at Set X, Goldsmith

Another scenario involves Sudoplatov's assertion that Oppenheimer and Fermi shared the codename STAR. But this is a major problem because we know from Venona that Saville Sax, Ted Hall's courier, was codenamed STAR. Assume, however, that Sudoplatov misremembered their joint codename, and it was VEKSEL not STAR. Venona 799 works for Oppenheimer, but it could also work for Enrico Fermi, in as much as Fermi's role at Los Alamos was tantamount to Co-director (or so it has been written).


The circumspection of the NSA is not warranted. The RESERVATION was Los Alamos, its director was Robert Oppenheimer, and VEKSEL refers to him. Robert Oppenheimer had a KGB codename and it was used in an operational context in a directive from Moscow. There is no benign explanation for these facts. In some sense or fashion Oppenheimer had a clandestine relationship with Soviet intelligence. General Sudoplatov's "unwanted" testimony should be given more consideration.


Bruno Pontecorvo and Alan Nunn May were atomic spies (certified). It is a noteworthy fact that neither has been connected to a Venona covername. On the other hand, KVANT, IRI, ERNEST, and GURON are all Venona covernames with an association to atomic espionage, and they remain unidentified. We advance the tripartite proposition that: (1) Italian physicist Bruno Pontercorvo was the atomic source KVANT, (2) KVANT was later changed to IRI, which later became ERNEST, and (3) British physicist Alan Nunn May was the agent codenamed GURON (Part III).

Primer on Bruno Pontecorvo

Bruno Pontecorvo (with cane on left, son Tito behind) was born in Pisa, Italy, on 22 August 1913, to a prominent Jewish family in the textile business. His parents were Massimo and Maria. There were eight children: Guido, Giuliana, Giovanni, Anna, Laura, Paul, Gilberto and Bruno. Pontecorvo obtained his undergraduate education in Pisa, and his doctorate with Enrico Fermi in Rome in 1934. Under the leadership of Fermi he was one of the discoverers of the effectiveness of slow neutrons in producing nuclear reactions. In 1936, Pontecrovo was awarded a fellowship to the College de France in Paris, where he worked with the Joliot-Curies and did significant nuclear physics research for which he received a prestigious prize. On 9 January 1940 he married Helene Marianne Nordblom, with whom he had had a son (Gil) in July 1938. In France, Pontecorvo was politically active in anti-fascist, anti-nazi and pro-communist affairs, particularly in connection with the Spanish Civil War.

Well Surveys
The Pontecorvos remained in France following the German attack; but on June 29th, after Petain sought an armistice with Germany, Pontecorvo applied for an entry visa to the United States. He had been offered a position by Well Surveys Corporation in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Originally, Emilio Segre had been referred to Well Surveys by Ernest Lawrence. Segre spent a week in Tulsa in May 1940 interviewing with one of the firm's principals, S. Scherbatskoy, a Russian emigre. When Segre turned the job down Scherbatskoy asked him about Bruno Pontecorvo. Segre strongly recommended Pontecorvo, and the company cabled him in Paris with an offer (AMAIM, p. 159-60). The Pontecorvo family fled south to Spain and were joined enroute by Bruno's older sister, Giuliana, and her husband, Duccio Tabet. The two families boarded the SS Quanza in Lisbon, Portugal, on August 9, and arrived in New York on August 20, 1940.

Shortly after arriving in New York Pontecorvo visited Enrico Fermi, his former teacher, mentor, colleague and business partner. Fermi was then head of the atomic laboratory at Columbia University, the lead atomic research facility in the United states. Later in 1940 the family moved to Tulsa. In August 1942, FBI Headquarters granted a request from the Oklahoma City Field Office to conduct an investigation of Bruno Pontercorvo under the Alien Enemy Control Act. The precise predicate for this investigation is redacted in the FBI FOIA file on Pontecorvo. Pursuant to that request, however, a spot check of Pontecorvo's residence in Tulsa was conducted on September 25, 1942. Pontecorvo was not at home but his wife was. The investigation reported, "No articles of contraband were found. However, numerous (25 or 30) books and pamphlets on Communism were found on the premises."

Following the MAUD report in 1941 the British government reorganized their atomic research program. To coordinate and oversee all efforts a new division, the Directorate of Tube Alloys, was created within the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR). Wallace A. Akers was chosen as Tube Alloys' Director. Akers, theretofore, had been the research director of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), analogue to the DuPont Corporation in the United States. Official collaboration between Britiain and America on atomic enegry ground to a virtual halt in 1942 when the U.S. program was placed under the aegis of the Army. Akers came to the US to lead the British atomic mission in an attempt to get the joint British-American effort back on track. As that situation became more problematic and doubtful the British government negotiated a joint development program with the Canadian government; the deal was finalized in October-November 1942. In managing these affairs Akers traveled frequently between Ottawa, New York and Washington DC. When in New York he worked out of the ICI's New York offices. It was under the auspices of Wallace Akers and the Tube Alloys office that Pontecorvo was pursued and hired at the end of 1942 for the UK-Canadian atomic energy program.

The Pontecorvos left Tulsa either in December 1942 or January 1943. The FBI investigation was closed on March 1, 1943, for two reasons: (1) the investigation at Tulsa failed to show Pontecrovo connected with any subversive activities, and (2) it was determined that by February 1943 he had left Tulsa to go to Canada to "do useful research work in connection with the Scientific and Industrial Research Mission for the British Government." It is worth noting that this declaration by Pontecorvo, on a January 1943 application for a re-entry permit to his U.S. visa (thus allowing him to re-enter the U.S. at will), meant nothing to the FBI in terms of a classified atomic program. The FBI's first knowledge of the Manhattan Project came during a wiretap operation of Steve Nelson's residence in Berkeley, CA., in April 1943.

On his way to Canada to begin his new job Pontecorvo stopped in Chicago to visit the Fermi's who had not yet moved to Los Alamos (AITF, p. 254). An organization chart from Canadian archives dated 6 April 1943 lists Pontecorvo as a member of the "UK Staff Special Committee on Radiological Research in Montreal." He was assigned to the Physics Division along with Alan Nunn May under Dr. P. V. Auger. A year or so later, in the middle of 1944, Pontecorvo moved to Deep River, Ontario, to work at the Chalk River Lab where a large heavy-water-moderated reactor was being built. When the war was over Pontecorvo was asked to stay on at Chalk River as a member of the British Ministry of Supply. In February 1948, after 5 years of residency in Canada, he became a British subject. While in Canada the Pontecorvo's had two more sons, Tito and Antonio. In January 1949 Pontecorvo accepted a senior scientist position at the British Atomic Energy Research center at Harwell, England. Harwell was where Klaus Fuchs worked since his return from Los Alamos in 1946.

Before moving to Montreal, Pontecorvo spent a period in New York (TT, p. 180) where the British Atomic Mission ((Wallace Akers) had offices. He no doubt visited his sister Giuliana and brother-in-law Duccio Tabet (Tabet resided in New York at 300 Riverside Drive). Like Bruno, Duccio and Giuliana were ardent anti-fascists and active communists. Pontecorvo's Italian biographer, Miriam Mafai, wrote: "...Giuliana e Duccio... due sono militanti comunisti" (Giuliana and Duccio were militant communists. ILF, p. 34). While in America Tabet worked as a censor at a New York radio station and in 1943 was called to testify before a U.S. congressional committee (in New York) which was conducting hearings on activities of the Federal Communications Commission. Tabet's communist activism apparently did not lie fallow during his refuge in the States. The 1973 History of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) by Paolo Spriano contains the following statement (translated): "The Italian Communists who operated in North America were, from Betti and Donini - with the help of Eugenio Falco and Duccio Tabet - in the USA, to Ennio Gnudi located in Canada, to Montagnana and Vidali who were in Mexico." The Tabets left the U.S. and returned to Italy after the war in 1944.

Klaus Fuchs
In June 1949, based on a decrypted Soviet message (Venona 195), the FBI launched an investigation to identify atomic espionage source REST. The identification of Klaus Fuchs as REST, a member of the British atomic mission, was completed by September 1949. Within weeks of the conclusive identification of Fuchs, the FBI officially notified British intelligence by letter through their liaison office at the British embassy. (See SOVME-Fuchs) On 12 October 1949 Fuchs met with Henry Arnold, the security officer at Harwell. It is noteworthy that Fuchs initiated the meeting. In the meeting Fuchs told Arnold that his father was going to move to East Germany (behind the Iron Curtain) and this might compromise his position at Harwell. Fuchs was next interviewed in his office at Harwell on 21 December (a hiatus of over two months) by William Skardon, a MI5 counter-intelligence officer. The meeting was ostensibly about Fuchs' father. During the four hour interview Fuchs reviewed his life story with Skardon. Following Fuchs' presentation, Skardon matter of factly informed him that he was suspected of espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union. Fuchs expressed surprise and denied the allegation. Fuchs next met Skardon at Harwell on 13 January 1950, this time in Henry Arnold's office. It was a lengthy meeting and extended past lunch. After lunch, Fuchs confessed to Skardon that he had given secret materials on the atom bomb to the Russians (KFAS, p. 1-2).

The Fuchs case is mentioned here because of its cause and effect relationship with events surrounding Bruno Pontecorvo. The FBI's Fuchs investigation entailed leads set out to numerous other federal agencies, such as the AEC, INS, and the U.S. State Department. This stirred the pot on atomic personnel and espionage. In January 1950 FBI Headquarters received information from the State Department concerning Bruno Pontecorvo. The State Department did not reveal its source to the FBI but reported the information as "obtained from a confidential informant described as reliable." The substance of the State Department tip is redacted in the FBI FOIA file. However, based on the information, the Bureau immediately opened a new investigation into Pontecorvo with a directive to the New York and other field offices on 18 January 1950 (NY was designated office of origin).

In England, the Fuchs investigation caused new security initiatives at Harwell. In February 1950 Henry Arnold distributed a security questionnaire to Bruno Pontecorvo and others. Instead of completing the questionnaire, Pontecorvo requested a personal meeting with Arnold (just like Fuchs had done). In their meeting Pontecorvo told Arnold that his brother, Gilberto, was a Communist. With the spectre of Fuchs in mind, British Intelligence opened an investigation into Pontecorvo. In March 1950 they received a report from Sweden which made it clear that not only Pontecorvo but his wife Marianne as well were communists. Later, on 10 July 1950, the FBI officially notified British intelligence, through their embassy liaison office in Washington (Philby), of the basis for an enquiry into Pontecorvo, and requested information on Pontecorvo's present employment and any past or present Communist activities. On July 25, 1950, Pontecorvo and his family left England by car, for an extended summer holiday to the Continent. Their departure marks the beginning of Pontecorvo's defection to the Soviet Union - they never returned to England. Sequence of relevant events:

July 25 - Pontecorvo family departed England on summer vacation
August 12 - Pontecorvo family arrived in Milan to visit parents
August 22 - family encamped at Circeo, a beach resort about an hours drive from Rome. Visited by brother Gilberto.
August 27 - in Rome, at residence of sister Giuliana and her husband, Duccio Tabet
August 29- booked tickets in Rome for flight to Stockholm for whole family
September 1 - flew from Rome to Stockholm
September 2 - flew from Stockholm to Helsinki, Finland. Disappeared behind the Iron Curtain.
September 21 - formal enquiries began in England after Pontecorvo did not show up for Physics conference.
October 20 - Pontecorvo's disappearance first reported in press

When authorities interviewed Giuliana Tabet after her brother's disappearance she said that he had left Rome by car on September 6. She clearly gave false information. Pontecorvo had stayed at the Tabet residence during the 5 days immediately preceding his flight to Stockholm on Sept 1 (TT, p. 187-195). Bruno Pontecorvo died at Dubna, Russia, on 24 September 1993.

Miscellany from Pontecorvo FOIA File
Pontecorvo's sponsor in 1940 for entering the US is redacted information in his FOIA file. The FBI also pursued a newspaper report that Pontecorvo, when in France, had been invited to the United States by the U. S. Secretary of State (Cordell Hull, at the time). Results on that lead are not seen in the file.
Pontecorvo's FBI FOIA file reflects a visit to the Chicago Met Lab in January 1944 and one or more visits to the San Francisco area in connection with atomic projects (dates are redacted). Leads were also set out to the Knoxville, TN, field office; they infer that Pontecorvo may have visited Oak Ridge (Camp 1).
In Rome in 1950, Duccio Tabet served as a member of the Italian Communist Party's Agrarian Commission.

Was Pontecorvo KVANT ?

The KVANT messages:
No. 961, NY to Moscow, 21 June 1943
No. 972, NY to Moscow, 22-23 June 1943
No. 1405, NY to Moscow, 27 August 1943

The first KVANT message, No. 961, associates KVANT with TVEN; TVEN was the covername of Semyon Semyonov. In Special Tasks, Pavel Sudoplatov linked Semyonov with Pontecorvo: "At the end of January 1943 we received through Sam Semyonov, a report on the first nuclear chain reaction from Bruno Pontecorvo, describing Enrico Fermi's experiment in Chicago on December 2, 1942." Pontecorvo's FBI FOIA file shows that he resigned from Well Surveys and left Tulsa in January 1943. In her book, Atoms in the Family, Laura Fermi wrote, "[Pontecorvo] came to see us in Chicago on his way to Canada." >> KVANT, Semyonov, Pontecorvo

In their book, The Haunted Wood, Weinstein and Vassiliev provide the following footnote about KVANT: "[KGB] File 40594, Vol. 6, pp.43-44. Semyonov had another source in New York, code-named "Kvant" (Quantum) who delivered information on "Enormoz" but expected from Soviet intelligence 'recompense for his labor - in form of a financial reward,' for which Semyonov 'was given 300 dollars' for Quantum" (THW, p. 360, fn #15). This information places KVANT in New York where Semyonov (TVEN) was based. Pontecorvo was often in New York for extended periods: on his initial arrival in August 1940; interviewing with Tube Alloys for the Canadian position; visiting family living in the New York area (in 1943 his brother-in-law, Duccio Tabet, resided at 300 Riverside Drive in Manhattan); after leaving Tulsa in January 1943, the Pontecorvo family stayed in New York for a period before moving to Montreal (TT, p. 180). >> KVANT, Semyonov, New York, Pontecorvo

KVANT message No. 961, dated 21 June 1943, describes a meeting on June 14 between KVANT and Soviet consular officials in Washington DC. Venona message No .954, also dated 21 June 1943, requests expedited approval for Semyonov (TVEN) to travel to Canada in order to "re-establish liaison." Semyonov's travel to Canada roughly coincides with Pontecorvo's settlement in Canada. >> KVANT, Semyonov, Canada, Pontecorvo

The Soviets routinely used associations in choosing codenames. KVANT, meaning Quantum, is very appropo of Bruno Pontecorvo who in 1943 not only was a leader in quantum nuclear physics but a member of the Fermi scientific group that held a patent on the "process of producing artificial radioactivity by neutron bombardment." >> KVANT, Quantum Mechanics, Pontecorvo

Venona 961 reported that KVANT met Soviet officials in Washington DC on 14 June 1943. Subsequent to the original posting of Set G at Bombshell's Readers Rendezvous, author John Earl Haynes submitted a post indicating that he had been told by sources that Pontecorvo was in Washington DC in the time frame specified in the message. These sources, Haynes caveated, provided no citable evidence for their claim. Tube Alloy's main Administrative, Logistics and Personnel support office in the U.S. was the British Supply Council located at 1735 DeSalles Street, NW, Washington DC. Virtually all members of the British Atomic Mission checked in at this office either on their arrival or later (Peierls, Fuchs, Rotblat, etc). >> KVANT, Washington DC, British Atomic Mission, Pontecorvo

There were only 3 messages on KVANT; they all occurred during the 3 month period June to August 1943. The U.S. effort to collect Soviet messages (Venona) extended for another two years but covername KVANT does not turn up again, particularly not in September and October 1944 when Moscow changed every codename in their American playbook (Venona 1251 of 2 Sep 44, and Venona 1403 below). The Royal Commission Report on the Gouzenko defection records that, as a matter of Soviet compartmentalization practice, an agent's covername changed if he was transferred to a different cell or moved to a different country. Both of these conditions (country and cell) correlate chronologically and materially with Pontecorvo's circumstances when he moved to Canada in 1943. Stated another way, if Pontecorvo was KVANT, it is to be expected that covername KVANT would disappear in KGB message traffic after 1943. >> Pontecorvo, Canada, 1943, KVANT disappears from Venona

Was KVANT changed to IRI ?

The IRI / ERNEST messages:
No. 912, NY to Moscow, 27 June 1944 (IRI)
No. 1403, NY to Moscow, 5 October 1944 (IRI changed to GEORGE/S)
No. 164, Moscow to NY, 20 February 1945 (IRI amended to ERNEST)
No. 989, NY to Moscow, 26 June 1945 (ERNEST) *
No. 619, San Francisco to Moscow, 27 November 1945 (ERNEST)

The last KVANT message in Venona is dated 27 August 1943. The first IRI message is No. 912 dated 27 June 1944. The KVANT messages are chronologically separate from the IRI-ERNEST messages, i.e. there is no overlap. Thus, it is at least theoretically possible that KVANT and IRI-ERNEST are the same individual.

The KVANT messages reveal that KVANT was an atomic source. Three out of the five IRI-ERNEST messages have a connection to atomic espionage (the other two are exclusively covername changes). Atomic espionage, is therefore a common attribute between KVANT and IRI-ERNEST. >> KVANT, Atomic Energy, IRI-ERNEST

The Mironov-Zarubin affair in 1944 resulted in blanket covername changes - about 50 sources and agents were renamed: REST was changed to CHARLES, ANTENNA to LIBERAL, RELE to SERB, FOGEL to PERS, GUS to ARNO, etc. However, there was no change for covername KVANT - an anomaly that begs explanation. One possibility is that covername KVANT had been changed previously during the period August 1943 (the last KVANT message) to September 1944; and KVANT's new covername was one of the unidentified atomic sources in Venona 1251 or Venona 1403. These unidentified sources are IRI-ERNEST, GURON, and FOGEL-PERS. Since we link GURON to Alan Nunn May (below), and draft FOGEL-PERS for Scientist Z (Set F), that leaves IRI-ERNEST as the 'remainder man' for the former KVANT.

Was Pontecorvo IRI-ERNEST ?

IRI was translated into English as ERIE by the NSA. The covername ERIE, in conjunction with HURON, suggests an association with Canada.The ERIE-ERNEST messages leave little doubt that ERIE-ERNEST was an atomic scientist. Pontecorvo was an atomic scientist who worked in Canada. >> ERIE-ERNEST, Canada, Pontecorvo

The San Francisco origin as well as the text of Venona 619 suggest that ERNEST was in the San Francisco area in the Fall of 1945. Pontecorvo's FOIA file reflects that he visited the San Francisco area in connection with atomic work. Specific dates are redacted, but it was before the end of 1946. >> ERNEST, San Francisco, Pontecorvo

Venona 619, dated 27 November 1945, states that ERNEST had recently received a "letter" from "D" (unidentified). A letter (U.S. mail) suggests the relationship between D and ERNEST was friend or family. "D" could have been either a simple name abbreviation or a covername. The Soviets did use single alphabet letters as covernames ("A" was Anna Collums, "K" was an unidentified atomic scientist in Britain in 1942, "X" was Joseph Katz, etc.) It is very plausible that "D" refers to Duccio Tabet, Pontecorvo's brother-in-law. Tabet was a communist in Italy before the war, remained so while a refugee in the U.S., and was a PCI official after the war. In November 1945 Tabet was back in Italy. >> ERNEST, letter from 'D', Duccio Tabet, Pontecorvo

In The Sword and Shield, Christopher Andrew provides information from Mitrokhin's archive concerning American scientist MAR, who passed atomic information to the Soviets. MAR's father-in-law was identified with a single initial, "D." Message No. 619 mentions that ERNEST had received a letter from D. Pontecorvo and "D" were both Italian nationals, and both are associated with atomic espionage. >> MAR -- D, Italian with connection to Atomic espionage -- Pontecorvo

IRI was rendered ERIE by Venona analysts. Buffalo, NY, sits on Lake Erie. Andrei Savchenko was a KGB illegal stationed in Buffalo, NY. His cover, analogous to Semyonov in New York, was that of an Amtorg engineer. He was exposed to the FBI in the August 1943 letter from Mironov to Hoover (The Anonymous Letter). The Pontecorvo FOIA file indicates that the FBI investigation on Pontecorvo begun in January 1950 extended to the Buffalo Field Office. The reason was redacted. Buffalo sits on Lake Eire. >> IRI -- ERIE -- Buffalo NY -- KGB -- Pontecorvo

The Venona messages reflect two Soviet agents, IRI and GURON, who, more probably than not, were atomic scientists working in Canada. Pontecorvo was an atomic scientist who worked in Canada. We make the argument below that GURON was Nunn May. If true, that would make Pontecorvo the remainder man.


Bruno Pontecorvo was a Soviet spy for 6 years (1943-49) in the U.S. and Canada, and for one year in England (1949-50). His espionage career rivals that of Klaus Fuchs (REST, CHARLES). During his stint in North America, Pontecorvo obviously had at least one covername. Notwithstanding Sudoplatov's reference to Pontecorvo as MLAD (debunked by most), no covername for him has ever been established or proposed. Although purely circumstantial, the data and analysis above, when aggregated, provide a modicum of basis for the proposition that Pontecorvo was atomic agent KVANT and/or IRI-ERNEST.


Bruno Pontecorvo and Alan Nunn May were atomic spies; neither has been connected to a Venona covername. KVANT, IRI, ERNEST, and GURON are unidentified Venona covernames that are associated with atomic espionage. We propose that GURON was the KGB covername of British physicist Alan Nunn May.

Primer on A. Nunn May

British physicist Dr. Alan Nunn May first became involved in atomic energy as an academic researcher engaged in Maud work at the University of Bristol in 1940-41 (BAAE, p. 52). After the Tube Alloys program was organized he became a government employee at Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory in April 1942. At the end of 1942 he accepted a position to work on the Anglo-Canadian atomic project in Montreal, Canada. He arrived at the Montreal Lab with others of the "Halban team" in January 1943. In mid-1944 May was assigned work at the Chalk River reactor site in Ontario Province; he maintained his apartment residence in Montreal, however, because he continued to have responsibilities at the Montreal lab.

Igor Gouzenko, a GRU cipher clerk in the Soviet embassy in Ottawa, defected on 5 September 1945. Nunn May was one of the many agents he exposed. May was arrested in March 1946, and charged with violating Britain's Official Secrets Act for passing atomic energy information to the Soviet Union. May informed the Soviets of the Trinity and Hiroshima bombs, the U-235 output of the plant at Oak Ridge and of Pu-249 at Hanford, and passed a small sample of U-235 to them. The Canadian Royal Commission Report (RCR) on Gouzenko indicated that Nunn May made as many as four visits to the Met Lab in Chicago. However, May only confessed to espionage activities beginning in 1945. At his trial in May 1946, he pled guilty and received a ten-year sentence, of which he served 6 years. Nunn May was born on May 2, 1911, at Kings Norton in Worcestershire, England; he passed away on January 12, 2003, in Cambridge, England.

It is known with certainty that Nunn May was a committed and active member of the Communist Party prior to 1942. Notwithstanding his confession, it is an unsettled matter as to precisely when he began spying for the Soviets. We subscribe to the view given by Andrew and Gordievsky in KGB, The Inside Story: "Alan Nunn May, a secret Communist who had been a contemporary of Donald Maclean at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, had begun work on the Tube Alloys project in [April] 1942, and had made contact with the GRU soon afterward" (KGB, p. 316). In other words, Nunn May was an agent-source for the GRU before leaving England.

Once in Canada, we believe that 'control' of Nunn May was not the exclusive province of the GRU and that the KGB was also involved. Authors such as Weinstein and Vassiliev, Romerstein and Breindel, and Pavel Sudoplatov have indicated as much. In Special Tasks, Sudoplatov wrote: "I set up a network of illegals who convinced Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, Leo Szilard, Bruno Pontecorvo, Alan Nunn May, Klaus Fuchs, and other scientists in America and Great Britiain to share atomic secrets with us." On the subject of control, there is the precedent of Klaus Fuchs to consider. Like Nunn May, Fuchs was originally recruited by the GRU in England. However, when Fuchs came to New York in December 1943, his control was switched from GRU to KGB. Vasili Zarubin had final responsibility for Fuchs; he ran him first through Semyon Semyonov, then through Anatoli Yatskov (both used Harry Gold as their courier).

Parallel Espionage Networks
Igor Gouzenko arrived in Canada in June 1943 in the company of his boss, GRU Colonel Nikolai Zabotin. Zabotin was detailed to Ottawa under the cover of being the embassy Military Attache. Up to then, GRU intelligence operations in Canada had been directed principally by a Major Sokolov. By June 1943, Sokolov's group of agents was extensive - Fred Rose, Sam Carr, Eric Adams, F. W. Poland, J. S. Benning and others. Significantly, however, Nunn May was not one of them (RCR, p. 15). This fact begs the question, did Soviet intelligence let six months (or more) go by without re-establishing contact with May in Canada? The answer would seem to be: not if their modus operandi with May was the same as that for Fuchs. Prior to leaving England, Fuchs was briefed by his GRU control, "Sonia," on contact procedures in the U.S and he was contacted by Harry Gold within three months of arriving in New York. The next question is, if Sokolov didn't effect contact with May, who did? The choices may be several: (1) another GRU system separate from Sokolov's network; (2) a 'legal' KGB officer in the Ottawa embassy; (3) an illegal line run by Zarubin and Vasilevsky as put forward by Pavel Sudoplatov.

Both the Royal Commission Report and Special Tasks reflect that other Soviet intelligence assets existed in Canada in 1943:
RCR: "It seems, however, that several parallel under-cover systems, or networks, existed in Canada under the direction of members of the Soviet Embassy but independent and distinct from Zabotin's (GRU) organization." (RCR, p. 19)
RCR: Gouzneko testified that military intelligence in Canada had another network in operation, distinct from Sokolov's or Zabotin's. "This system was apparently also directed by the GRU Headquarters in Moscow, but not through Col. Zabotin. Gouzenko testified that it was only by accident that Zabotin learned of its existence in Canada, although Zabotin and his immediate colleagues had always been quite aware of the existence of some of the other parallel networks operating in Canada including that of the KGB directed by Pavlov" (RCR, p. 20-21). Vadim Pavlov was Zarubin's representative in Canada and was so identified by Mironov in his anonymous letter to J. Edgar Hoover in August 1943.
Special Tasks: "Early in 1943 Pontecorvo met Lev Vasilevsky, Tarasov, traveling as an elegantly dressed Soviet diplomat in Canada and New York...." (ST, p. 182). As claimed by Pavel Sudoplatov, Vasilevsky's purpose in Canada in 1943 was to establish an illegal line to support atomic espionage, which line would be directed by himself in Mexico City and Zarubin in Washington, D.C. We speculate that Sudoplatov did not elaborate (in 1994) on Nunn May because he was still alive, whereas Pontecorvo was deceased.

KGB Primacy
By 1944 the KGB had become the dominant Soviet intelligence service. In their monograph Venona, Benson and Wagner document the chronology of this policy shift:
"During the latter part of the war, the KGB gradually took over assets and networks originally established by the GRU and the Comintern." (p.xi)
"One measure of the KGB's growing pre-eminence in the United States can be glimpsed in the message counts from the KGB and GRU rezidencies in New York. In 1940 the GRU New York rezidency sent three messages for every one sent by its KGB counterpart; in 1941 that ratio was reversed, and the KGB total remained higher from then on." (p. xi)
"All but two of [Venona's] 49 [atomic espionage] messages were KGB traffic; one is a GRU and one a Soviet diplomatic message." (p. 456)
"Gouzenko stated in his evidence that the KGB network was more extensive than that of Colonel Zabotin; that it had been operating much longer in Canada, and that it had several agents among members of the staff of the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa, and was headed by Pavlov." As Second Secretary of the Embassy as well as KGB Rezident in Ottawa, Vladimir Pavlov was senior in rank and authority to Zabotin. It is worth noting that it was Pavlov who headed a four-man team that went to Gouzenko's apartment after his defection to physically capture him if possible (Zabotin was not present).

"Enormoz" was the covername for the KGB operation against the Manhattan Project, undoubtedly the Centre's highest intelligence priority throughout the war. Given the primacy of the KGB, the scope and importance of Enormoz, Moscow would brook no turf battles, miscommunications or cross-purposes in the handling of atomic sources. During 1943 and 1944, Nunn May made 4 trips to the Met Lab and the Argonne Lab in Chicago. A fifth was planned for the spring of 1945 (TT, p. 25). It cannot be the case that the KGB would be completely out of the loop on trips by Nunn May to visit atomic facilities in the U.S. Whether for purposes of information, coordination or direction, there perforce would be communication among the Centre, KGB and GRU regarding such activities. It follows that Nunn May was the subject of KGB message traffic and that, in accordance with strict compartmentalization practice (Soviet standard), he had a KGB covername distinct from any used by the GRU.

Was Alan Nunn May GURON ?

The GURON messages:
No. 912, NY to Moscow, 27 June 1944 (GURON)
No. 1403, NY to Moscow, 5 October 1944 (GURON to ERNEST)
No. 1429, NY to Moscow, 9 October 1944 (GURON)
No. 210, NY to Moscow, 10 February 1945 (ERNEST * )
No. 164, Moscow to NY, 20 February 1945 (GURON back to GURON)
No. 259, Moscow to NY, 21 March 1945 (GURON)

Venona 259 directs GURON to travel to Chicago and to reestablish contact with codename VEKSEL and a second scientist whose name is redacted. Gregory Breit and Hyman H. Goldsmith, both physicists at the Met Lab, are named in the message. Venona 912 contains the word "canalisation," a technical reactor design term; the sentence immediately following "canalisation" discusses the handling of agents IRI and GURON. Both Venona 259 and Venona 912 link GURON to atomic energy, and Nunn May was an atomic physicist. >>> GURON, Atomic Energy, Nunn May

In Bombshell, authors Albright and Kunstel wrote: "The Soviets often used remarkably transparent codenames. GURON is almost certainly a reference to Lake Huron, and Pontecorvo was stationed at that point at the Chalk River lab in Canada, which is not far from the shores of Lake Huron." That GURON is a reference to Lake Huron is supported by comments by Meredith Gardner in a 1947 Top Secret Cream report dealing with covername analysis. Under the heading "Families of covernames" Gardner wrote: "In New York message 798 [1403] appended below, we find Erie immediately followed by Huron (in fact, Erie gave the clue for the identification of Huron)" (V-B&W;, p. 95). We take Gardner to mean, not a personal identification, but rather the covername solution on GURON, to wit: IRI, essentially a two letter decryption problem (I,R) at the letter table step was solved first (see V-H&K;, p. 25); not being a Russian word, IRI's phonetic equivalent in English, Erie, suggested itself; when the following 5 letter word started to break (lets say, with an R and a N in the right positions) the other Great Lake, Huron, was thought of and facilitated the full decryption. We agree with the Albrights on the liklihood of an association between HURON and a source located in Canada. In the second half of 1943 both Pontecorvo and May moved from Montreal to the Chalk River reactor site in Ontario, Canada. The Albrights' point applies equally to May, who "was Canada....not far from...Lake Huron." >>. GURON, Lake HURON, Chalk River, Nunn May

Venona 259, dated 21 March 1945, gives repeat instructions to the New York rezidency: "....send GURON to Chicago to re-establish contact with VEKSEL. Carry these out as soon as possible. GURON should also make use of his stay in Chicago to renew his acquaintance with [name redacted], who is known to you and who is taking part in the work on ENORMOUS." General Leslie Groves in a letter to Senator Hickenlooper about the Nunn May espionage case stated the following about a proposed Nunn May visit to Chicago: "By this time [October 1944] May had spent more to me and acquired more knowledge at the Argonne than any other British physicist. Although I had absolutely no reason to suspect him, I did not like to have him acquire such a wide knowledge of later developments. It is for that reason that in the spring of 1945 I declined to approve a proposed fourth visit of one month's duration" [TT, p. 25]. The timing of the proposed visit by Nunn May to Chicago in the "spring of 1945" correlates virtually exactly with the date of Venona 259 directing that GURON be sent to Chicago. >>. GURON, Chicago, Spring 1945, Nunn May

Venona 1403 (NY to M) changed GURON to ERNEST. Approximately 5 months later, Venona 164 ( M to NY) changed ERNEST back to GURON. Such covername reversal is highly unusual and its timing may be significant. The initial covername change was in reaction to the Mironov-Zarubin incident. During the period bracketed by Venona 1403 and Venona 164 Semyonov and Zarubin were recalled to Moscow, investigated and exonerated. It is conceivable that the restoration of covername GURON was a result of the discredit of Mironov's allegations coupled with a strong bias for the old covername. Obviously, some authority at the Centre found sufficient reason to re-instate GURON after 5 months time. Why; particularly? One explanation might involve the alphabetic similarity between GURON and GRU. The Soviets used Russian letter G for the 'H' in Huron instead of the more appropriate translitteral choice of X (pronounced h as in house). We propose that GURON was primarily the asset of the GRU and that his KGB covername had been originally selected to signify such relationship. Once the reason (Mironov's charges) for the change from GURON to ERNEST had been determined to be baseless, it was deemed expedient to recover/retain the GRU association in the covername. Nunn May was principally the asset of the GRU. >>> GURON, GRU, Nunn May

Venona 912 states: "Connected with us in the Khu line is SMART. We propose to transfer ERIE and HURON to him." This "transfer" of IRI and GURON to SMART in the summer of 1944 was likely due to the impending recall of Semyonov to Moscow. This message demonstrates that GURON was under the auspices or cognizance of the KGB. Venona 1370, dated 27 September 1944, gives instructions for a meeting between SMART and a KGB "neighbor" (see footnote on SMART * ). In most cases, a neighbor to the KGB was a GRU agent. This messages demonstrates that, when circumstances warranted, the KGB and the GRU joined forces. Such joint effort in the case of GURON is possible, and may have been especially called-for in view of the connection to atomic espionage. >>> GURON, KGB, GRU, Nunn May

Nunn May's covername, "Alek," was learned from a GRU document dated 7July 1945 provided by Igor Gouzenko. "Alek" is not found in the NSA's Index of Venona Covernames, nor has the NSA linked any other Venona covername to Nunn May. The GRU and the KGB used completely separate cryptographic systems: different codebooks and spell tables, different one-time pads (additive), different cipher clerks, and separate cipher offices ("In rooms of this secret wing the cipher clerks of the various branches of the Soviet Mission in Ottawa were located. They numbered five in all: the KGB, the Embassy proper, the Political Section, the Commercial Section, and the Military" RCR, Vol. 1). This policy of broad compartmentalization means that Gouzenko would not be privy to KGB traffic and, therefore, would not be aware of a KGB covername for May. A connection between Nunn May and the KGB cannot be dismissed simply because Gouzenko only provided evidence of a GRU relationship.

In The Haunted Wood authors Weinstein and Vasiliev make the following interesting statement: "At a subsequent December [1944] meeting with Mrs. [Kristel] Heineman, Gold gave her a small piece of paper with the telephone number of a Yatskov agent codenamed 'GURON' whom Fuchs should phone." The footnote on this statement references a KGB archive file to which the authors had access. Fuchs and May were both members of the Tube Alloys program in Britain in 1942. There can hardly be any doubt that the two physicists were acquainted, and that Fuchs would know that May had been detailed to Canada.


Under Lavrenti Beria, the KGB exercised ultimate authority over atomic espionage against the U.S. Manhattan Project. The GRU was involved throughout but in a subordinated role. The Venona program captured KGB as well as GRU messages. The absence of a Venona covername for May is conspicuous, perhaps to the point of improbability. Until and unless the identity of GURON is otherwise established, a theory that Alan Nunn May was GURON is plausible and rationalizes an anomaly.


Footnote on ERNEST messages
Five IRI-ERNEST messages are listed above. The Index of KGB Covernames at the NSA's Venona website lists a sixth message. It is entered by hand and difficult to read - No. 210 of 10015(?). We do not list it above as an ERNEST message because, in theory, it refers to agent GURON. See GURON messages below. Venona 989 is identified in Haynes and Klehr's Venona (p. 450, fn. 95) as an 'ERNEST message.' However, Venona 989 is not a listed message for covername ERNEST in NSA's covername index, nor is it at present available on NSA's Venona website. We have been advised that little of 989 was decrypted (3 sentences) but what was broken appears to be a parole for phone contact between ERNEST and another agent.

Footnote on TVEN messages
The Index of KGB Covernames lists 24 messages containing the codename TVEN. Four are not found on NSA's website (at least by us) including the very first one, No. 315, Moscow to New York, dated 15 May 1942. In an "adverse determination" to a FOIA request for a copy of No. 315 of 15052, the NSA has indicated that the translation of this message remains classified. The NSA Comments section of Venona 1054 of 5 July 1945 states the following on TVEN: "Semen Markovich Semenov, in U.S.A. 1938-1940 and from 20 March 1941 until 29 September 1944."

Footnote on GURON messages
Message No. 1403, dated 5 Oct 44, changed covername GURON to ERNEST; however a little over four months later,Venona 164 dated 20 Feb 45 instructed New York to "leave covername GURON unchanged; amend IRI to ERNEST." Thus, as of 20 February 1945 the former GURON becomes GURON again and IRI then becomes ERNEST. Technically, therefore, any ERNEST message (such as Venona 210 of 10 Feb 45 per NSA Index of Covernames) during the period 5 Oct 44 through 20 Feb 45, is really a message relating to the agent GURON. Unexplainablly, Venona 210 as shown on NSA's website contains no mention of ERNEST; however, a NSA comment on 210 indicates that there were other parts to the message that are "not available." The options seem to be either (1) that listing Venona 210 as an 'ERNEST' message in the Index was a clerical mistake, or (2) covername ERNEST was reflected in "other parts" of the message recovered subsequent to the issue of the message on the NSA website.

Footnote on SMART messages
There are four SMART messages in Venona; he is unidentified in NSA footnotes. In their book Venona (p. 366), Haynes and Klehr capsulize SMART this way: "SMART: asset of the New York KGB who worked on technical intelligence in 1944. Not clear whether Smart was an American or a Soviet. The KGB also arranged for Smart to make contact with the GRU [Venona 1370, dated 27 Sep 44]."


The Venona Project, July 1995
The Report of the Royal Commission, June 27, 1946
A Mind Always in Motion, Emilio Segre, 1993
The FBI - KGB War, Robert Lamphere, 1986
Klaus Fuchs, Atom Spy, 1987
Britain and Atomic Energy 1939 - 1945, Margaret Gowing, 1964
The Traitors, Alan Moorehead, 1952
FBI FOIA File # 100-162370, Bruno Pontecorvo
KGB, Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, 1990
The Sword and Shield, Christopher Andrew and Vassili Mitrokhin, 1999
The Haunted Wood, Allen Weinstein & Alexander Vassiliev, 1999
Venona, Robert Louis Benson and Michael Wagner, 1996
Special Tasks, Pavel and Anatoli Sudoplatov, with Jerrold and Leona Schecter, 1994, 1995
Atoms in the Family, Laura Fermi, 1954
Storia del Partitio communista italiano, Paolo Spriano, 1973
Il Lungo Freddo, Storia di Bruno Pontecorvo, Miriam Mafai, 1992
Venona, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, 1999

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:29 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set F - Prodigy, Prankster, Scientist, Spy


Christopher Andrew wrote: "Gayk Ovakimyan was probably also the first to suggest using an INO officer, under cover as an exchange student, to penetrate the Massachussetts Institute of Technology. The first such "student," Semyon Markovich Semyonov (codenamed TVEN), entered MIT in 1938. The scientific contacts he made over the next two years, before changing his cover in 1940 to that of an Amtorg engineer, helped to lay the basis for the remarkable war time expansion of S&T; collection in the United States." (The Sword and Shield, page 107)

Pavel Sudoplatov wrote: "Elizabeth (Liza) Zarubina and Sam Semyonov were the first to establish friendly contacts with the American scientific community and influence them to cooperate with antifascist scientists." "Oppenheimer, together with Fermi and Szilard helped us place moles ["junior scientists"] in Tennessee, Los Alamos and Chicago [Met Lab] as assistants in those three labs." (Special Tasks, pages 493 and 190, respectively)

Alexander Feklisov wrote: "Another way of limiting the risk of exposure in recruitment is to have a local citizen make the approach." (The Man Behind the Rosenbergs, p. 75).

John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr quoted the following from a Vladimir Chikov article in the Soviet periodical New Times under the heading "Luis Reports": "We propose to recruit [Fielding] through 'Louis' [Morris Cohen]. 'Louis' has already carried out a similar task, and very successfully." (Venona, p. 319)

Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev wrote: "NKGB officials in Moscow became increasingly concerned with their lack of knowledge regarding the American atomic research program. 'We attach great importance to the problem of Uranium- 235 (we call it 'ENORMOZ),' began one Novermber 26, 1942 cable." (The Haunted Wood, p. 181)

Hypothesis #1

In 1942, Morris Cohen worked at the Amtorg Trading Company in New York. Semyon Semyonov was his KGB controller. One possible interpretation of the "Luis Reports" passage from Chikov: The New York Rezidentura proposes a plan to the Center to recruit atomic scientist Arthur Fielding using Morris Cohen - Cohen had previously carried out a successful approach to another scientist, someone targeted by Semyonov based on his MIT assignment.

Hypothesis #2

In later 1942, Semyon Semyonov was assigned control of Julius Rosenberg and his network. At about the same time the Rezidentura received instructions form the center to make a concerted effort to develop sources on the American atomic bomb project. Semyonov instructed Rosenberg on this high priority intelligence requirement and directed him in an approach to an atomic scientist known to be working on uranium matters.

Pure Hypothesis

The targeted scientist was receptive to the Soviet Union's request for help and was originally codenamed FOGEL', later changed to PERS. Control of this pre-Fielding source, who later became a Los Alamos 'first-teamer,' remained initially with the New York Residentura. This individual was not, in 1942, one of the "friendly soucres around Oppenheimer" who was turned over to the illegal line run by Vasilevsky (per Sudoplatov testimony - Set S). However, a transfer of control may have occured later after a blown trip by Lona Cohen to New Mexico in mid-summer of 1943 (Set J refers); this scenario is enhanced if Beria's paranoia and machinations relative to Kvasnikov are factored (Set K refers).


Christopher Andrew and others have written that it was a KGB tactic to send agents and illegals to American universities in order for them to learn about research, identify important people and make connections in the scientific community. Semyonov went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and, as Sudoplatov indicates, evidently made good on the Center's investment. A number of MIT alumni wound up at Los Alamos, including Scientist Z. Semyonov would have been derelict or incompetent not to have put feelers out to such persons. He was neither. It absolutely cannot be the case that Scientist Z was not approached. The only questions are, who did Semyonov send and what was the response of Scientist Z? We have seen no public evidence that he ever reported it to authorities.

Happenstance and Coincidence

MIT- FAS - Abel and Brazil - Japan - California - Shelter Island - Sarant - ANTA and ADEN - IPP - Berkeley - Oak Ridge - Passport - $5,000 - Yatskov - Feklisov -JCAE - Two Continents - Doppelganger - Rocket Scientist - 1942 - "quite tall" - Parents-NY - camisa blanca - "the physicist"


"Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action" - Ian Fleming. We are in surplus by order of magnitude with Scientist Z.


The Man Behind the Rosenbergs, Alexander Feklisov and Sergei Kostin, 2001
Venona, Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, 1999
The Sword and The Shield, The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, 1999
Special Tasks, Pavel and Anatoli Sudoplatov with Jerrold L. and Leona P. Schecter, 1995
The Haunted Wood, Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, 1999

(Under Construction)

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:28 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set E - The Eltenton-Chevalier Incident
O-04/11/03; R-06/15/03


"It is not clear today whether the account Dr. Oppenheimer gave to Colonel Pash in 1943 concerning the Chevalier incident or the story he told the Gray Board last month is the true version."

"Was Robert Oppenheimer a spy?"
An important book, Brotherhood of the Bomb, has been published regarding J. Robert Oppenheimer and the U.S. atomic weapon program from 1941 to 1954. The author is Gregg Herken, a senior historian and curator at the Smithsonian Institution. The book is welcome for two reasons. First, it is 'one-stop shopping' on the subject of Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project. Before Brotherhood, you would have to assimilate in excess of 10 other works to gain a comprehensive understanding of the man and these events. Second, when analyzed in conjunction with material from Russian archives, post-USSR testimony from Soviet participants, and U.S. government disclosures such as Venona, Brotherhood brings into sharper focus than ever before the question officially tabled in 1954, "Was Robert Oppenheimer a spy?"

Ten years ago, the question would be, Was Oppenheimer a communist; or maybe the more pointed, Was Oppenheimer actually a member of the Communist Party? Orthodoxy then was that he was only a so-called fellow traveler--briefly though intensely, as he himself admitted. Herken's book and reviews of it by other writers indicate that you would not now be a radical historian if you concluded that Robert Oppenheimer had in fact been a fervent, active and de facto member of the Communist Party (a Stalinist to boot). Indeed, based on Herken's new information, Oppenheimer could legitimately be described today as a 'party operative' from 1938 to 1942. The worm is thus turning.

To be clear, Mr. Herken makes no such assertions in Brotherhood; nor does he take on the question of espionage by Oppenheimer in any significant way. Special Tasks, which is unambiguous about Oppenheimer's witting assistance to the Soviets, is part of the book's bibliography but is not dissected or reviewed. Sacred Secrets, which is even more definitive about Oppenheimer's complicity in espionage, is only mentioned in footnote (p. 93). Although Brotherhood itself does not confront these issues, Mr. Herken does pose the categorical question, "Was Robert Oppenheimer a spy?" at the book's website. His answer is that Oppenheimer "was both a member of a secret communist organization and a patriot who rejected appeals that he pass atomic secrets to the U.S.S.R." Notwithstanding that such twin realities would normally be considered mutually exclusive, Mr. Herken provides no rationale or evidence to support such a conflicted premise.

We see a defect in Mr. Herken's position on Oppenheimer, one that slowly but surely becomes manifest in the book. The essence of the defect was articulated by J. Edgar Hoover in March 1947 after an exhaustive re-investigation of Oppenheimer for the AEC. Upon reviewing JRO's file, what stuck in Hoover's craw was the fundamental inconsistency between the actions of a would-be patriot and Oppenheimer's "failure to report promptly and accurately what must have seemed to him an attempt at espionage at Berkeley." This gut feeling was the nut that Hoover, and others, could not digest. The nutshell was the Eltenton-Chevalier Incident.

Brotherhood of the Bomb provides the most comprehensive explication of this seminal event that we have found in the literature. It reads almost like a novel. As Herken shows, the Chevalier Incident was much more than a major but isolated bump in the road for Oppenheimer. It was an early misstep that returned again and again over an 11 year period to plague him. The affair finally resulted in the only concrerte facts that the Personnel Security Board could find, and the AEC could use ("as to character"), to deny him a Q clearance and thus terminate his involvement in the United State's atomic energy program.

From Hoover's point of view a patriot would have reported the Eltenton-Chevalier approaches immediately when they first occurred. Even so, if Oppenheimer had been completely forthcoming when he first gave his story to Army Security (Pash Interview) about the security breach that had occurred 7 or 8 months previous, he undoubtedly would have been able to blunt the concerns of Hoover and others, and stay out of harms way. Instead he undertook a pattern of lying and dissembling that continued right through his PSB. This behavior became the bedrock issue for the Board. At the end, with some exasperation, the Board asked Oppenheimer why he had perpetuated a "cock and bull story?" His unsatisfying answer was that it was "most difficult to explain." Herken characterized this response, fairly, as "again dodging the question."

Difficult to explain is not the same as unexplainable. We think there is an explanation and that it relates to the many Communist Party and Manhattan Project relationships Oppenheimer was juggling (whether he was personally aware of each or not). The metaphor of a highly fissionable atomic nucleus seems apt. The protons and neutrons of the Oppenheimer nucleus consisted of such persons as: Bill Schneiderman, David Bohm, Peer de Silva, Eldred Nelson, John Lansdale, Boris Pash, Ernest Lawrence, Kitty Oppenheimer, Jean Tatlock, Issac Folkoff, J. Edgar Hoover, Gregori Kheifetz, Steve Nelson, Frank Oppenheimer, George Eltenton, Earl Browder, Haakon Chevalier, Robert King, Robert Serber, Elizabeth Zarubina, Philip Morrison, Leslie Groves, Joseph Weinberg, Pavel Mikhailev, Rossi Lomanitz, Max Friedman, Paul Crouch, Bernadette Doyle, Lyall Johnson, Louise Bransten, Kitty Harris, Bernard Peters, CHESS PLAYER, Hannah Peters, Charlotte Serber, William Branigan, Stanley Frankel, David Hawkins, Rudy Lambert, Margarita Konenkova, etc. This is obviously a large and unstable mass.

Sometime in 1943 -- before August 26 -- we theorize that a free, 'high energy particle' impacted the Oppenheimer nucleus. The exact nature of this particle (person, event, circumstance) is not clear. The result, however, was that the Oppenheimer nucleus fissioned. The neutrons expelled were Eltenton and 'the Berkeley professor' (Chevalier). They started a chain reaction that finally ended with Oppenheimer's professional demise in 1954. The reason we view the Eltenton-Chevalier Incident in these terms is because of the circumstances of his August 1943 trip to Berkeley: There was no cogent Project reason for him to go to Berkeley at that time. What really caused Oppenheimer to make that trip, we think, is no small part of the explanation for the continuing puzzle that is the Eltenton-Chevalier Incident. We prefer to call it the Eltenton-Chevalier Incident, instead of just the Chevalier Incident, because the precise beginning of JRO's denouement was August 25, 1943, when he threw George Eltenton over the security fence to Army Officer Lyall Johnson.

(At his website for Brotherhood of the Bomb, Mr. Herken provides a "Full Version" of the book's Endnotes. They are organized by chapter and are often as illuminating to read as the narrative -- in a couple of cases, more so.)


Chronology of the Eltenton-Chevalier Incident
The Eltenton-Chevalier Incident in a Nutshell
Events leading up to the Pash Interview
The Lansdale Interviews with Robert and Kitty Oppenheimer
The Pash Interview
The de Silva Memorandum
Remaining Questions
Slips, Slides and Lies

Chronology of the Eltenton-Chevalier Incident

Paraphrased and abstracted from several sources, principally Brotherhood of the Bomb

October : A FBI wiretap in Steve Nelson's residence picked up Giovanni Lomanitz telling Nelson about a secret weapons project being worked on at the Rad Lab. "Nelson indicated prior knowledge of the project." (Venona, Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, p. 325)
December : Peter Ivanov, an associate of Gregory Kheifetz at the Soviet Consulate in San Francisco, visited George Eltenton at his home ("late in 1942"). Ivanov broached the subject of the atomic work taking place at the Rad Lab and proposed an approach to Robert Oppenheimer through Haakon Chevalier. Chevalier came back almost immediately with a rejection from Oppeneheirmer. (In a September 12, 1943, interview with Lt. Col. Lansdale, JRO provided corroboration for this dating: " was some time maybe before Christmas of last year...", p. 875, ITMOJRO)

August 23 : Oppenheimer arives in Berkeley from Los Alamos on Monday, 23 August, ostensibly to recruit personnel for the Los Alamos Lab. He is followed 24x7 by Army CIC.
August 25 : Oppenheimer visited the Rad Lab security office of Lieutenant Lyall Johnson. He asked Johnson's permission to meet with Romani Lomanitz, and he mentioned to Johnson that the Army might want to watch George Eltenton in connection with Rad Lab security. Johnson immediately called his superior, Boris Pash, with this information.
August 26 : Boris Pash interviewed Oppenheimer at Berkeley (the conversation was recorded and lasted 45 minutes). Pash brought up the subject of Eltenton referencing Oppenheimer's comment about Eltenton to Johnson the previous day. Oppenheimer told Pash the following story: Several months earlier he had been contacted by "intermediaries" who were in touch with an unidentified official at the Soviet Consulate. One of these "intermediaries" had talked about passing along information on the project at Berkeley. Oppenheimer further admitted to knowing of subsequent approaches to other people "who were troubled by them and sometimes came and discussed them with me." The other people were 3 in number; two currently at Los Alamos, one scheduled to be sent to Oak Ridge. Oppenheimer identified Eltenton to Pash as the intermediary who approached him. Oppenheimer would not divulge the name of the intermediary who contacted the 3 "other persons." Oppenheimer said this intermediary was a friend of his, a Berkeley faculty member who had since left town (Berkeley). The Pash Interview, taken from transcript in ITMOJRO.
September (early) : Oppenheimer shared a train to Chicago with General Groves and Lt. Colonel John Lansdale. Groves and Oppenheimer discussed his interview with Pash as well as his meetings in Berkeley (August) with Lomanitz, Weinberg and Bohm. Oppenheimer said that no further approaches had been made and no secrets had been lost. Oppenheimer offered to identify the professor who had been Eltenton's intermediary if so ordered by Groves. Groves did not give that order. Lansdale later wrote a summary memorandum for the file (ITMOJRO, p. 277, 14 September) on the train discussions.
12 September : Recorded interview between Lansdale and Oppenheimer in Groves' offices in Washington DC. Oppenheimer refused to identify Eltenton's intermediary (the falculty professor) or the project persons that were contacted. Lansdale asked Oppenheimer to name those on the project he knew to be Communists. Oppenheimer said that he had only learned for certain that Weinberg and Lomanitz were Party members during his August trip to Berkeley. (Later proved to be a lie)
December (early) : Groves flew to Los Alamos and ordered Oppenheimer to divulge the identity of the intermediary between Eltenton and the scientists on the project. Oppenheimer readily identified Haakon Chevalier as the Berkeley faculty professor. Groves also asked Oppenheimer to identify the three scientists. Oppenheimer said he would on condition that Groves not give the names to the FBI. Groves agreed. Oppenheimer then said that there were not three people contacted by Chevalier but only one, his brother Frank Oppenheimer. The contact had occurred several months earlier.
December 10 or 11 : On returning to Washington, Groves told Lansdale and Army Major William Consodine (his staff lawyer) that Chevalier was the intermediarly and Frank Oppenheimer was the individual contacted by Chevalier. Groves told Kenneth Nichols, MED Director, about Chevalier's role but did not tell Nichols that Frank was the one contacted and that the "3 contacts" referenced in the Pash interview was bogus.
December 13: Nichols cabled Lyall Johnson at Berkeley with the information that Chevalier was the intermediary to the three scientists (also de Silva at Los Alamos and Calvert at Oak Ridge). Lansdale verbally informed the FBI of this new information (Chevalier and Frank Oppenheimer), probably without Groves' approval or knowledge.

March 5 : The Igor Gouzenko defection and the arrest of Alan Nunn May caused new concerns about atomic espionage and renewed focus on past security matters such as Oppenenheimer, Eltenton and Chevalier. J. Edgar Hoover again asked Groves for the details related to the Pash interview. Groves refused. Nor would Groves discuss his meeting with Oppenheimer in December 1943, the details of which Hoover had heard from Lansdale.
June 21 : Groves declined another request from Hoover regarding information reported to him by JRO.
June 26 : Eltenton and Chevalier were interviewed separately (Wednesday, 26 June) by FBI agents on Hoover's orders. Chevalier said he had approached only Oppenheimer at Eltenton's suggestion and had been rebuffed. Eltenton corroborated Chevalier but added details about microfilm and the Soviet consulate in San Francisco.
June 29 : At a cocktail party at the Oppenheimers' Eagle Hill residence Chevalier informed JRO of his interview by the FBI. Chevalier remarked to JRO that he had been puzzled by the agents' repeated questions about three unnamed scientists. JRO made no reply but appeared "extremely nervous and tense."
September 18 : Report of interview of Oppenheimer by FBI agents Branigan and Cassidy. Oppenheimer admitted that the story he told Pash in 1943 was a "fabrication" and that only he (not Frank, and not 3 others) had been contacted by Chevalier. Contrary to his statements in 1943 to Lansdale, Oppenheimer feigned surprise when informed that Weinberg was a Communist. He also said he had never been approached by Steve Nelson about the bomb project which contradicted the recorded telephone conversation between Nelson and Weinberg.
November 19 : Hoover forwarded report on Oppenheimer to Attorney General Thomas Clark which mentioned the Chevalier Incident for the first time. Justice would not authorize a prosecution.

January 1 : Effective this date, the Atomic Energy Commission (created by McMahon Act, July 1946) is in charge of U.S. atomic energy program. Security clearances for all AEC personnel are reinvestigated by the FBI.
August 11 : Oppenheimer was granted a Q clearance by the AEC over objections by Hoover who had personally interceded with Lilianthal and the White House. Hoover claimed (April 1947) to have "new and even more damaging evidence against Oppenheimer." The exact nature of the new evidence is unclear but Hoover's general intransigence was based on information related to the Chevalier incident. A Hoover aide reported that the FBI Director "insisted with some emphasis that he was still not completely satisfied in view of J. Robert's failure to report promptly and accurately what must have seemed to him an attempt at espionage at Berkeley."

November 4 : Groves sent a letter to Strauss regarding the rekindled investigation of Oppenheimer and the Chevalier Incident. The new investigation was incident to 3 major recent events: (1) The Soviets detonated their first atomic bomb on or about 7 September 1949; (2) Klaus Fuchs was identified as a Soviet espionage agent in September 1949, and it was quickly determined that he had been privy to classified information on the hydrogen bomb; (3) in a majority report signed by Oppenheimer on October 30, 1949 the GAC recommended against any U.S. program to develop the hydrogen bomb.

May : Paul and Sylvia Crouch, Communist Party organizers in the Bay area in the early 1940's testified before the Tenney Committee in California that they had attended a secret meeting of the Party's professional section at Oppenheimer's residence (10 Kennilworth Court) during the summer of 1941. Oppenheimer denied knowing the Crouches or ever attending/hosting such a meeting. An extensive FBI investigation was not able to prove the Crouchs' allegations. This incident, however, again served to highlight the unresolved issues of the Chevalier Incident.
November 20: William Borden, Executive Director of the Congress' Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, requested Oppenheimer's FBI file from Hoover. Borden was interested in the Chevalier incident and the alleged Kennilworth Court meeting.

November 7 : Borden wrote letter to Hoover listing 21 factors for his conclusion that Oppenheimer "is an agent of the Soveit Union."
December 3 : Lewis Strauss was summoned to the White House to attend a meeting that had been called by President Eisenhower to discuss the Borden letter. Eisenhower directed the immediate suspension of JRO's clearance.
December 3 : Allardice, Borden's replacement on the JCAE Staff, went to FBI Headquarters and told the FBI a new version of the Chevalier incident. He said that a reliable source had advised him that in December 1943 Oppenheimer had told Groves, during Groves' visit to Los Alamos, that "his contact in the Eltenton-Chevalier espionage apparatus had been his own brother, Frank Oppenheimer."
December 14 : The AEC's general counsel drafted a statement of charges against Oppenheimer that included an additional seven regarding Oppenheimer's deliberate effort to thwart the U.S. H-bomb program.
December 15-16 : William Consodine and John Lansdale are interviewed by FBI regarding Alladice's version of Oppenheimer's 1943 admission to Groves, and Groves' subsequent revelation to Lansdale and Consodine in DC on 10 December 1943.
December 17 & 21 : Groves interviewed by FBI regarding Allardice' version of Oppenheimer's admission to Groves in 1943.
December 29 : FBI interviewed Frank Oppenheimer. Frank Oppenheimer denied ever being approached by Chevalier or anyone else for information on the Manhattan Project.

April 12 : Oppenheimer PSB hearings began in Building T-3 across Constitution Avenue from AEC headquarters. Members of the board were Gray, Evans and Thomas. Under direct examination about Frank Oppenheimer's connection to an approach by Chevalier, Oppenheimer answered: "I am very clear on this. I have a vivid and I think certanily not fallible memory. [Frank] had nothing whatever to do with it." Asked to retell from the beginning the Eltenton-Chevalier incident Oppenheimer told the version he gave to the FBI in 1946 -- he had been the only one approached by Chevalier. Oppenheimer told the Board that he had made up the "cock and bull story" about the three contacts in order to protect Chevalier. Oppenheimer was confronted with the illogic of this explanation (it only served to further incriminate Chevalier) as well as the embarrassing fact that he had recently visitied Chevalier in Paris.
May 23 : By 2 to 1 vote the PSB found that Oppenheimer was a securtiy risk and recommended the removal of his security clearance. The decision was squarely based on Oppenheimer's record of lying about the Eltenton-Chevalier incident.
December 13 : Letter from Chevalier to Oppenheimer stating: "Do what we may, by your unfathomable folly, you and I are linked together in a cloudy legend, which nothing, no fact, no explanation, no truth will ever unmake or unravel."

The Eltenton-Chevalier Incident in a nutshell

Findings and recommendation of the Personnel Security Board in the case of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, UNITED STATES ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION, Washington, D. C., May 27,1954.

"It was reported that prior to March 1, 1943 possibly 3 months prior, Peter Ivanov, secretary at the Soviet Consulate, San Francisco, approached George Charles Eltenton for the purpose of obtaining information regarding work being done at the Radiation Laboratory for the use of Soviet scientists; that George Charles Eltenton subsequently requested Haakon Chevalier to approach you concerning this matter; that Haakon Chevalier thereupon approached you, either directly or through your brother, Frank Friedman Oppenheimer, in connection with this matter; and that Haakon Chevalier finally advised George Charles Eltenton that there was no chance whatsoever of obtaining the information. It was further reported that you did not report this episode to the appropriate authorities until several months after its occurrence; that when you initially discussed this matter with the appropriate authorities on August 26, 1943, you did not identify yourself as the person who had been approached, and you refused to identify Haakon Chevalier as the individual who had made the approach on behalf of George Charles Eltenton; and that it was not until several months later, when you were ordered by a superior to do so, that you so identified Haakon Chevalier. It was further reported that upon your return to Berkeley following your separation from the Los Alamos project, you were 'visited by the Chevaliers on several occasions; and that your wife was in contact with Haakon and Barbara Chevalier in 1946 and 1947."

Events leading up to Pash Interview

Paraphrased and abstracted from several sources, principally Brotherhood of the Bomb

February 10 : FBI San Francisco SAC, N. J. L. Pieper sent 18 page report on Robert Oppenheimer to Hoover and Lieutenant Colonel Boris Pash
March : Oppenheimer has 'hasta la vista' lunch with Steve Nelson
March : Oppenheimer bids farewell to Haakon Chevalier. Complained to Chevalier that he was still without a security clearance.
March16 : Robert and Kitty Oppenheimer depart Berkeley by train for Los Alamos. (BotB, p. 78)
March 29 : FBI technical surveillance on Steve Nelson's residence records conversation with "Joe" about the atomic project at the Radiation Lab and "Joe's" relocation to a remote site (Los Alamos). Nelson indicated he had prior knowledge of the project from Oppenheimer. (BotB, p. 96-97)
April : Los Alamos Primer lecture delivered by Robert Serber to 30+ scientists
April 1 : FBI records Nelson phone call to Peter Ivanov at Soviet Consulate
April 6 : FBI observes meeting between Nelson and Ivanov at St. Joseph's Hospital, San Francisco
April 6 : In Washington, FBI briefed by Groves and Lansdale on existence/nature of Manhattan Project
April 10 : FBI records meeting between Nelson and Vassili Zarubin in Nelson's home. The recorded conversation documents the turf war over atomic espionage that had developed between CPUSA and KGB.
May : Peter Ivanov recalled to Moscow
May 7 : Hoover letter to FDR aide Harry Hopkins outlining the Nelson-Zarubin conversation recorded 10 April in Nelson's home. (See Harry Hopkins -- Soviet Spy, p. 210, The Venona Secrets by Romerstein and Breindel.)
June : Vassilli Zarubin recommneded to Moscow the severing of contacts between CPUSA representatives and Oppenheimer. (Sacred Secrets, p. 51; Russian Intelligence Archives)
June 9 : Joseph Weinberg identified as "Joe," the visitor to Nelson's home on Mar 29.
June 12 : Oppenheimer arrives in Berkeley on surprise visit. Surveilled 24x7 by Army CIB (Pash). The ostensible purpose of visit was to recruit David Hawkins as his personal assistant at Los Alamos. His real purpose was to visit Jean Tatlock who had sent word to him that she needed to see him.
July 20 : Groves ordered the district engineer to issue Oppenheimer's security clearance "without delay, irrespective of the imformation which you have concerning Mr. Oppenheimer." However, the clearance may not actually have been issued until August or later.
August 7 : J. Edgar Hoover receives Anonymous Letter exposing KGB infrastructure in the U.S.
August 12 : Lansdale returned from Los Alamos and reported to Groves on his several interviews with Oppenheimer and his wife, Kitty.
August 12 : GRU message to Moscow about a progressive professor working at the Radiation Laboratory. (Venona No. 1328)
August 15 : The purported date Lona Cohen received materials from Perseus in New Mexico (Set J, Part I, Para 6)
August 23 : Oppenheimer arrives in Berkeley for reasons unclear.
August 25 : Oppenheimer told Lyall Johnson that he had good reason to suspect that the Soviet Union was attempting to secure information about the project and named Eltenton as acting on behalf of the Soviet Consulate in San Francisco.
August 26 : The Pash Interview

The Lansdale Interviews with Robert and Kitty Oppenheimer

Lansdale's ITMOJRO Testimony
The Lansdale interviews of Robert and Kitty Oppenheimer, noted in the chronology above, took place at Los Alamos in the first weeks of August 1943 (the date of 12 August is that of Lansdale's report to Groves upon his return to Washington). In his testimony at Oppenheimer's PSB (1954), Lansdale indicated that the reason he traveled to Los Alamos at that particular juncture was to conduct interviews in connection with the Weinberg investigation, the Lomanitz matter and other "difficulties" related to the FAECT organization.

"I went out to Los Alamos to talk to Dr. Oppenheimer so that there would be no pressure upon the part of him or his people to bring these persons [e.g. Joseph Weinberg] out there. At that time I told Dr. Oppenheimer something of our difficulties in Berkeley. How much I cannot not recall except that I would have told him as little as I thought I needed too.....It was subsequent to that conversation that Dr. Oppenheimer then, I assume realizing the seriousness of the situation, advised our people on the west coast of this attempt coming out of the FAECT, because Eltenton was well known to us as a Communist...and a member...of FAECT." (ITMOJRO, p. 263)

Q. -- You were satisfied that Mrs. Oppenheimer was a loyal American citizen?
A. -- Yes, in a different sense [relative to JRO]. Mrs. Oppenheimer, I believed then had unquestionably been either a member of the Communist Party or so close to it as to substantially the same thing. Her first husband had been Joe Dallet....Her background was not good. For that reason I took as many occasions as I could to talk to Mrs. Oppenheimer....Mrs. Oppenheimer impressed me as a strong woman with strong convictions. She impressed me as the type of person who could have been, and I could see she certainly was, a Communist. It requires a very strong person to be a real Communist.....I formed the conviction over many interviews with her and many discussions with her that she had formed the conviction that Dr. Oppenheimer was the most important thing in her life and that his future required that he stay away from Communist associations and associations with people of that ilk....It was my belief that her strength of character--I think strength of character is the wrong word--her strength of will was a powerful influence in keeping Dr. Oppenheimer away from what we would regard as dangerous associations. (ITMOJRO, p. 266)

Q. -- Did you receive reports from the security officers at Los Alamos and Berkeley?
A. -- I undoubtedly received many reports from them. Let me say this. Our organization administratively was that all of those reports went to Oak Ridge which was the district engineer's office -- first to New York and then when they moved to Oak Ridge, there. All of those reports did not come up to me. However, from Los Alamos they all came directly to me because we held that more or less outside of the ordinary course of administration. (ITMOJRO, p. 270)

Lansdale's Report to Groves
The Lansdale-Oppenheimer interviews in Los Alamos were not recorded, so no verbatim transcript is available. However Lansdale's written report to Groves on 12 August is included with his testimony in ITMOJRO.

"4. This officer [Lansdale] told Dr. Oppenheimer that it was believed to be necessary to avoid making any further requests for deferment for Lomanitiz because he had been guilty of indiscretions which could not be overlooked or condoned. This officer stated that these had nothing to do with any political activity. Oppenheimer was further told, however, that since the occurrence of the indiscretion upon which action was based, steps have been taken to determine rather completely Lomanitz's activities, ant that it could be said that in the course of this investigation it had been learned that Lomanitz had not ceased his political activities. Oppenheimer said 'that makes me mad.' (ITMOJRO, p. 276)

"Note: J. R. Oppenheimer gave every appearance of sincerity in this discussion. He was, however, extremely subtle in his allusions, and there was good deal of delicacy evidenced both by this officer and by Dr. Oppenheimer in pursuing this discussion. Upon reviewing the discussion after leaving Dr. Oppenheimer, this officer came to the conclusion that what Dr. Oppenheimer was trying to convey was, in the case of Lomanitz, that Lomanitz had been worried about his obligations to the party, and that Oppenheimer had told him that he must give up the party if he came on the project. This officer also had the definite impression that Oppenheimer was trying to indicate that he had been a member of the party, and had definitely severed his connections upon engaging in this work. On the whole, it seem that Oppenheimer, in a rather subtle way, was anxious to indicate to this officer his position in that regard." (ITMOJRO, p. 276)

The Pash Interview

The following is an abstract of J. Robert Oppenheimer's interview with Lieutenant Colonel Boris Pash on Thursday, August 26, 1943 at Berkeley (Lyall Johnson participated; the meeting was recorded). The statements of JRO given below are not verbatim quotes but are paraphrased from the transcript found in In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer. They are presented in the order stated during the interview and were made under leading questions from Pash. (ITMOJRO, p.845)

The Cast
- J. Robert Oppenheimer (JRO), Director of the Los Alamos Lab
- Man attached to the Soviet consulate in San Francisco
- First intermediary, Eltenton, who was the emmissary of the man from Soviet consulate.
- Second intermediary, member of Berkeley Faculty, who was approached by Eltenton and then approached other project scientists.
- Project scientists (3) who were approached by Berkeley faculty member and who then told JRO about the contacts.

- A man, whose name I don't know, but who was attached to the Soviet consulate contacted "intermediary people" working on the project. He indicated that he could transmit to Russia, without risk, any information these project personnel would be willing to provide.
- These approaches were always to other people, members of the project, who were troubled by them and sometimes came to me to discuss the approaches.
- The persons who had been contacted mentioned to me that the contact was through an intermediary person. Although the persons contacted mentioned the intermediary's name to me, I had no personal or direct knowledge of the approaches. The name of the intermediary was Eltenton.
- Eltenton was "probably" asked by the Soviet consulate person to provide information on the project. Eltenton approached a friend who in turn was acquainted with "one" of the men on the project.
- Again, I do not know the name of the man attached to the Soviet consulate. These incidents happened about 5, 6 or 7 months ago [i.e. Jan, Feb or Mar 1943].
- I knew of 2 or 3 contacts. Two of the men were at Los Alamos and very close to me.
- These individuals were contacted for the purpose of providing project information to Russia. The justification given to them by the intermediary was that Russia was an ally fighting for its life but was not getting what it was entitled to because of politics in Washington DC.
- Of course, the passing of secret military information to Russia would be treasonable.
- The nature of the approach was that an interview would be arranged between Eltenton and the project person. Eltenton would pass the material to the man attached to the Soviet consulate who was experienced in the use of "microfilm". (ITMOJRO, p. 846)
- The two scientists currently at Los Alamos with me had not been contacted by Eltenton directly but through another party. Eltenton is probably a member of the FAECT, a CIO union.
- The second intermediary, Eltenton's friend who contacted the project personnel was not a "member of the project" but a member of the faculty at Berkeley.
- I do not want to tell you the name of the faculty member. I do not consider him in the same light as Eltenton who is probably acting in a way that is dangerous to this country. The same goes with the other cases, the project members who were contacted. I feel that the way in which they handled the approaches, bringing them to my attention, etc., shows that they thought it would be "bad business" to cooperate.
- I do not feel Eltenton and the faculty intermediary will continue to work together to make other contacts. They probably just ran into each other at a party and Eltenton said. "Do you suppose you could help me?" "Would you see if any of those guys [on the project} are willing to help us?"
- Two of the project persons now at Los Alamos were contacted within a week of each other, but not in each other's presence. I also heard from another person who was contacted. This person is here in Berkeley.
- It is my duty not to implicate the project members who were contacted and who are acquaintances or colleagues of mine. I am absolutely certain of their loyalty. They have signed the Espionage Act.
- Two of the persons contacted are at Los Alamos and the third is here in Berkeley and is scheduled to go or may have already gone to Oak Ridge.
- Eltenton is a sort of chemical engineer with the Shell Development Research Laboratories. As an intemediary "he wouldn't be a bad choice" by the Soviets. He had some kind of chemical engineering job in Russia. He was trained in England and was in Russia for 3 or 5 years. I don't know if he speaks Russian.
- I mentioned "this business" to Colonel Lansdale.
- If I have reason to believe that "some technical men" are involved with security leaks I would certainly tell you.
- I can't give you more infomration on the persons contacted because they were simply approached and they did not cooperate.
- I doubt the faculty intermediary has contacted anyone else but I am not absolutely sure.
- I suggest you "check up on the consulate" because that is the only contact of Eltenton. I have never heard the name of the man at the consulate mentioned or I may have been told but it made no impression. Maybe he is a military attache but I don't know anything about him and never have.
- I am sorry I can't give you more information about the faculty member. I am conflicted about doing so as well as "the fact that I did not raise this question for a long time. "
- It wouldn't hurt to place a man, infiltrate someone, at FAECT to see what he can pick up
- I feel responsible for any possible subversive activity that may be going on at Los Alamos, and I think I can state that everything is 100% ok now. I cannot say that about matters at the Rad Lab. I would be willing to be shot if I had done anything wrong in protecting secrets at Los Alamos.
- With regard to the FAECT, I have heard that David Fox is President of it, and that he could be a threat to this project.
- I will not discuss any of these matters with anyone and "if I seem uncooperative I think that you can understand that it is because of my insistence in not getting people into trouble."

The de Silva Memorandum

Captain Peer de Silva was in charge of Army Security at Los Alamos in 1943. After receiving and reviewing the transcript of Pash's meeting with Oppenheimer he forwarded his own thoughts and analysis to his boss (Pash).

"Memorandum for Lt. Col B. T. Pash, September 2, 1943,
Subject: J. R. Oppenheimer,
1. With regard to recent developments in the espionage case centering about the DSM project, the part played by J. R. Oppenheimer is believed to take on a more vital significance than has heretofore been apparent. Briefly, it may be said that the subject has just recently brought himself to the fore by volunteering scraps of information which are of vital interest to the investigation being conducted by this Office. In conversation with Lt. L. E. Johnson, he had said that he had good reason to suspect that the Soviet Union was attempting to secure information about the project. In a subsequent conversation with Lt. Col. Pash, subject elaborated on the matter and disclosed that about 4 months ago, a Shell Development employee, one Eltenton, on behalf of a Soviet consular attach?, had contacted a U.C. professor who in turn had attempted, on at least three occasions, to secure sources of information within the project who would transmit the information to Eltenton, who in turn would supply it to the Soviet consular agent, all to be done informally in order to circumvent a State Department policy of not cooperating with the Soviet Union, which policy is influenced by certain unnamed State Department officials who were suppose to be anti-Soviet and who would not allow such action to be taken openly. Oppenheimer claims he does not condone such methods, and is satisfied that no information was passed by those channels. He did not disclose the name of the professor, as he thought that such an action would be unethical and would merely disturb some associates who were in no way guilty of any wrongdoing. Roughly, the above has been the extent of Oppenheimer's most recent activity.
"2. The writer wishes to go on record as saying that J. R. Oppenheimer is playing a key part in the attempts of the Soviet Union to secure, by espionage, highly secret information which is vital to the security of the United States. An attempt will be made to show the reasons for the above statement. It has been known, since March 29, 1943, that an overt act of espionage was committed by the Soviet Union. Subject's statements indicate that another attempt has been made, through Eltenton. Oppenheimer himself having a rather lengthy record of Communist sympathy and activity, has actively engaged in the development of a secret project. Most of his friends and professional associates are Communist or Communist sympathizers. He himself has gone on record as saying on two occasions, to Lieutenant Colonel Lansdale and to Lieutenant Colonel Pash, that Communist activity on the part of a project employee is not compatible with the security necessary to the project. To quote him, 'and that is the reason I feel quite strongly that association with the Commumunist movement is not compatible with the job on a secret war project, it is just that two loyalties cannot go.' To Lieutenant Colonel Lansdale, he said that he knew that two Los Alamos employees had at one time been Communists, but that he was satisfied that they no longer were. Yet during the long period during which he has been in charge of he the project, and in spite of the fact that he is perfectly competent to recognize the Communist attitude and philosophy, and further in spite of the fact that he, by choice as well as by professional necessity, is close to his key associates, and again in spite of the fact that he claims in effect, not to feel confident of the loyalty of a Communist--in spite of all this, Oppenheimer has allowed a tight clique of known Communists or Communist sympathizers to grow up about him within the project, until they comprise a large proportion of the key personnel in whose hands the success and security of the project is entrusted. In the opinion of this officer, Oppenheimer either must be incredibly naive and almost childlike in his sense of reality, or he himself is extremely clever and disloyal. The former possibility is not borne out in the opinion of officers who have spoken with him at length.
"3. To go further, the supposition will be raised that the subject has acted reasonably, according to his own viewpoint, and has voluntarily come forward and proffered valuable information (Eltenton, etc.). To examine the background for such an action we find several incidents which may have had an influence on his action. First, the news of Lomanitz's cancellation of deferment was made know to Oppenheimer, together with the surmise, on Lomanitz's part, that his (Lomanitz's) radical activities had been investigated. Shortly thereafter, an officer from the Military Intelligence Service, War Department, called on him at Los Alamos [Lansdale]. Both of the above actions were necessary and desirable, but nevertheless they could not avoid indicating to Oppenheimer that, very probably, some sort of a general investigation, more extensive than a routine security check, was under way. If he is disloyal, as believed by the writer, the most obvious and natural move would have been exactly what he actually did do--on his next trip to Berkeley he let it drop to Lieutenant Johnson the piece of information indicating knowledge of an attempt at espionage, knowing that he would subsequently be contacted for further details by someone probably connected with the investigation. As it was absolutely necessary and such contact was make, whereupon subject elaborated on the incident, but in such a manner as to indicate that there was noting seriously wrong, and never once indicating that espionage might have been involved.
"Although he had every opportunity to do so, he did not mention the fact that Steve Nelson visited him and solicited cooperation; instead, he revealed the channel of communication in which Eltenton played a part. He declined to name the professor involved, possibly intending to dole out that bit of information at a later date. He determined very definitely that Military Intelligence was conducting an investigation, and chose to cooperate to a certain extent, disclosing only what he desired to a and relying on this apparent spirit of cooperation, together with his importance to the project, to protect himself. It is not inconceivable that he could, by intelligent manipulation, actually exercise a strong control over the extent and direction of the investigation. Add to the above proposition the fact that Oppenheimer, until alerted to the fact that an investigation was in progress, made absolutely no attempt to inform any responsible authority of the incidents which he definitely knew to have occurred and which he claims, he did not approve. To go further, he apparently made not attempt to resolve, for his own conscience and satisfaction, any doubts concerning the Communist affiliations of some of his employees whom he knew to have been so affiliated at one time. At no time, to the knowledge of this officer, has Oppenheimer attempted, in any way to report any such affiliation, known or suspected, for the information of the Army, nor has he taken anyone into his confidence concerning his views on the subject. None of this was done until it became obvious to him that an investigation was being conducted, and that unless he made the first move, he would ultimately be questioned, and would not be in the favorable position of having offered the information.
"4. It is the opinion of this officer that Oppenheimer is deeply concerned with gaining a worldwide reputation as a scientist, and a place in history, as a result of the DSM project. It is also believed that the Army is in the position of being able to allow him to do so or to destroy his name, reputation, and career, if it should choose to do so. Such a possibility, if strongly presented to him, would possibly give him a different view of his position with respect to the Army, which has been, heretofore, one in which he has been dominant because of his supposed essentiality. If his attitude should be changed by such an action, a more wholesome and loyal attitude might, in turn, be injected into the lower echelons of employees. It is not impossible that a thorough review of the general opinion holding Oppenheimer irreplaceable might result in lending strength to the argument that he is a citizen working for the United States, in this case represented by the War Department, and not an individual who cannot be held or restricted, while continuing independent scientific endeavor, to the normal definition of loyalty to his country.
(Signed) P. de S." (ITMOJRO, p. 273)


In December 1942, Haakon Chevalier approached Oppenheimer for information on the Manhattan Project. Thereafter Oppenheimer had innumerable opportunities to act like a loyal American by bringing the matter to the attention of Groves or his security officials. He didn't. Even late in the game (8 months after the fact), he could have unburdened a conflicted self during one of his many interviews with Lansdale or de Silva at Los Alamos. He didn't. Instead he absorbed information concerning an underway investigation involving Romani Lomanitz and others, deduced it's potential threat to himself and decided the best defense was an offense. He conjured-up a trip to Berkeley that, as Director of Los Alamos, he didn't have to justify or have approved. It has been billed as a recruiting trip. But he did not meet with anyone whose background and capabilities he was not intimately familiar with--most were already working on the project and slated to go to Los Alamos or Oak Ridge. As far as the Project was concerned, this was a bogus trip.

The foregoing is not new or original thinking. It was the conclusion of Captain Peer de Silva, the Los Alamos Security Officer, who articulated this view in real time. We consider de Silva's memorandum on Oppenheimer an astute piece of analysis. The only addendum we would offer is the role played by Kitty Oppenheimer. We believe she was more probably than not the prime mover of the Berkeley trip and the initiative on Eltenton. In addition to Lansdale's assessment of her (above), many contemporaries of the Oppenheimers have commented on her dominance in their relationship. The only question remaining would be motivation: was it simply to protect JRO's career, as de Silva suggests, or was it a tactic to direct counter-intelligence away from an illegal KGB line that had been organized through Elizabeth Zarubina. Perhaps a relic of Kitty's involvement in the Eltenton-Chevalier incident is found in Brotherhood. Back home in Princeton immediately following the PSB's negative verdict, the FBI's wiretaps reported, "[Oppenheimer]....has been ill-tempered with his wife." (BOB, p. 296)

Additional perspectives:
1. Biographical Memoir by Hans A. Bethe on J. Robert Oppenheimer
2. Oppenheimer and History According to Television by Lawrence H. Suid

Unanswered Questions

1. What evidence or information does the FBI have to disprove or at least blunt the question, "Was Robert Oppenheimer a spy?"

2. When did the FBI receive a copy of decrypted Venona message #799 -- which message strongly indicates that Robert Oppenheimer had a KGB covername?

3. In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, did the Personnel Security Board (PSB) or the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) receive classified information based on VENONA?

4. Was Peter Ivanov a KGB officer or a GRU officer?

5. Was Gregori Kheifetz aware that Peter Ivanov was making an approach to Robert Oppenheimer through Eltenton and Chevalier?

6. Why are the machinations of Ivanov, Eltenton and Chevalier not reflected in a February 1944 report to KGB Chairman Vselovod Merkulov?

12. When did Oppenheimer actually receive his Manhattan Project security clearance?

8. What was Haakon Chevalier so surprised and miffed about in December 1954?

9. Was Robert Oppenheimer a member of the Communist Party?

10. Was Oppenheimer an agent of the Soviet Union?

1. What evidence or information does the FBI have to disprove or at least blunt the question, "Was Robert Oppenheimer a spy?"

In Specail Tasks, published in 1994, Pavel Sudoplatov alleged that Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi and Leo Szilard had participated in a scheme to deliver vital information on the atomic bomb to the Soviets. In response to Special Tasks FBI Director Louis Freeh wrote Les Aspin, Chairman of the president's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, stating that: "The FBI has classified information available that argues against the conclusions reached by the author of 'Special Tasks.' The FBI, therefore, considers such allegations to be unfounded." (The New York Times, May 3, 1995) However, Sudoplatov's allegations are essentially the same as those of William Borden, whose 1953 letter to Hoover concluded, "more probably than not J. Robert Oppenheimer is an agent of the Soviet Union." Oppenheimer's security hearing (PSB) was fundamentally based on Borden's accusation. An extremely fair question then seems to be, what does the FBI now know that precludes the strong convictions of Borden and Hoover in 1953?

In Brotherhood of the Bomb, Mr. Herken documents conclusively that in the years leading up to 1953 J. Edgar Hoover would have found Sudoplatov's allegations totally credible.

2. When did the FBI receive a copy of decrypted Venona message #799 -- which message strongly indicates that Robert Oppenheimer had a KGB covername?

The operative part of Venona #799 of 26 May 1945 is subparagraph 6 which reads, "The RESERVATION, the main practical research work on Enormous. Director VEKSEL." Within the context of Venona No. 799, it is virtually undeniable that the RESERVATION is Los Alamos and VEKSEL refers to Robert Oppenheimer, who was it's Director. Although 8 other Manhattan Project labs are identified in the message only Los Alamos and Oppenheimer are disguised with covernames. NSA declassified No. 799 in July 1995. As shown on their Venona website, this message reflects NSA dating of 17/10/1952, more than a year before Borden's letter and Oppenheimer's security hearing. This dating suggests the message was fully decrypted in 1952 (there are no unrecoverable groups). Another attribute of this message to be kept in mind is that it transmits information obtained from MLAD, Ted Hall.

For all intents and purposes, Venona # 799 has a sister message, Venona #1699 of 2 December 1944. Like No. 799, Venona 1699 carries a NSA dating of 1952, is associated with MLAD and contains the names in English of scientists involved in the Manhattan Project. Interesting then, that Venona 1699 is highlighted by Robert Louis Benson in his 1996 monograph, Venona, to wit: "After the war, the "Russian Section" at Arlington Hall [Army Security Agency, ASA] expanded. Work on diplomatic messages benefited from additional technical personnel and new analysts -- among them Samuel Chew, who had focused on Japan, and linguist Meredith Gardner, who had worked on both German and Japanese messages....Gardner and his colleagues began analytically reconstructing the KGB codebooks. Late in 1946, Gardner broke the codebook's 'spell table' for encoding English letters. With the solution of this spell table, ASA could read significant portions of messages that included English names and phrases. Gardner soon found himself reading a 1944 message listing prominent atomic scientists, including several with the Manhattan Project.... (NY 1699 to Moscow, 2 December 1944, Translation 74)"

The inescapable conclusion from the above is that if Venona 1699 was decrpyted in 1946/7, then certainly Venona 799 was decrypted by 1952 or earlier. Was this message provided to Hoover? If so, when? Did Hoover ever provide it to the AEC, the Attorney General or the President? We suggest the answer is Yes. A bit of evidence for this is embedded in the issue raised by Phillip M. Stern in his Forward to the MIT Press printing of In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer: Transcript of Hearing before Personnel Security Board (1970). Mr. Stern pointed out that Oppenheimer was not reappointed to the GAC in 1952 and his consultant contract with the AEC was shortly due to expire in June, 1954. So why the witch hunt against Oppenheimer with a graceful parting only months away? In Stern's words, "the zeal with which the government pursued his official banishment through this security proceeding is one of the remarkable, mysterious, and disturbing elements of this whole affair." Valid point.

A second, more pointed, bit of evidence that Venona was at the core of the Oppenheimer Personal Security Board is reflected in statements by the Schecters in Sacred Secrets: "Truman's unerring political instinct told him that knowing about Soviet espionage on American soil, especially with the cooperation of American agents, would be a huge liability for the Democrats in the coming year's congressional elections.....He could not have been in a hurry for Army Intelligence to reveal the identities of American spies or secret 'friendly sources' with klichkas, Russian code names." This quote is found in the chapter titled, Truman Wrestles An Ogre Named Venona (a chapter rich in subterranean historical import). The clear inference being that Truman had been advised about a possible Venona-Oppenheimer issue and had taken steps to squelch it.

In summary, given the implications of Venona 799 (not to mention the Eltenton-Chevalier affair and the thoroughly documented record of JRO's association with the Communist Party) it would be prudent and expected for government authority to have the agenda (hidden in this case due to VENONA policy) of precluding forever any future involvement by Oppenheimer in U.S. atomic weapons matters.

3. In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, did the Personnel Security Board (PSB) or the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) receive classified information based on VENONA?

This relates to the previous question about Venona # 799. It is also a question raised by Nigel West in a critique of the recent book by Richard Polenberg, In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer: The Security Clearance Hearing (2002). In his critique West asked, "Were the members of the PSB briefed on Venona?"

With respect to the PSB our categorical answer would be no. Otherwise, this would entail a conspiracy by the three Board members (Gordon Gray, Thomas A. Morgan and Ward V. Evans) to withhold information from Oppenheimer's counsel (3 attorneys). In support of Oppenheimer, Evans wrote a minority opinion recommending for the reinstatement of JRO's security clearance (lifted by the AEC in December, 1953). In his minority opinion Evans wrote: "The Board, appointed by the Commission, has worked long and arduously on the Oppenheimer case. We have heard 40 witnesses and have taken some 3,000 pages of testimony in addition to having read a similar number of pages of file material. We have examined carefully the notification letter to Dr. Oppenheimer from Mr. Nichols of December 23, 1953, and all other relevant material." Since Evans was in disagreement with the majority, it does not seem possible that he would have participated in such a conspiracy.

Given the sacrosanctity of the Venona program, as evidenced by the cases that were stillborn, jeopardized or lost due to the government's decision not to use Venona evidence in court (Judith Coplin, Harry Gold, Ted Hall, Greenglass, the Rosenbergs, Klaus Fuchs, G. N. Silvermaster, William Weisband), it is hard to believe that the AEC Commissioners (as a group) were given access to this material. Again, since Henry de Wolf Smyth dissented in the AEC's decision to accept the PSB's findings, one could expect Smyth to have attacked such secret evidence if he had seen it.

Notwithstanding the foregoing argument, we do think it is conceivable that Lewis L. Strauss, AEC Chairman, was made privy --personally and privately -- to additional incriminating information on Oppenheimer held by the government. One of the informative aspects of Brotherhood of the Bomb is it's development of Strauss' complete about-face in attitude toward Oppenheimer. Herken does not declare to readers the exact time, circumstance or cause of this sea change. But virtually overnight, Strauss seemed to go from being JRO's biggest backer (responsible for bringing him to the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton in 1946) to becoming his primary nemesis in 1949. A sharing by Hoover of top secret information on JRO could explain it, and Herken provides some striking evidence for that.

Herken reports that Strauss, as an AEC commissioner, was informed about the Klaus Fuchs investigation by SA Charles Bates "two weeks before the General Advisory Committee (GAC) meeting" held on October 30, 1949. The exact date SA Bates informed Strauss is not given, but Herken reports that on October 13, 1949, Strauss called General Groves to discuss the "British Mission at Los Alamos." Most significant, however, is the assertion that Bates also revealed to Strauss that the Fuchs matter was based on decrypted Soviet messages and that there was evidence [in the messages] of other spies at Los Alamos. A few days later Strauss met with J. Edgar Hoover, and then called Groves for a second time: "His queries this time concerned not only British scientists at the lab but some American ones as well--specifically, Frank and Robert Oppenheimer." (BotB, p.213) The following seem reasonable assumptions: (1) SA Bates was authorized (by Hoover) to make these disclosures to Strauss; (2) a significant amount of Venona was shared with Strauss; (3) more probably than not, Venona was an undisclosed predicate in the effort to remove Oppenheimer's security clearance in 1954.

4. Was Peter Ivanov a KGB officer or a GRU officer?

The import of this question is that it relates to whether or not Gregori Kheifetz, KGB rezident in San Francisco, might have known about or even approved Ivanov's approach toward Opppenheimer. If Ivanov was KGB, as written by some, then he was subordinate to Kheifetz, and Kheifetz would almost certainly have authorized the attempt to recruit Oppenheimer. This in turn would raise serious questions with other reporting, such as that Kheifetz himself had a direct and prior relationship with Oppenheimer, or that Elizabeth Zarubina had built a channel to Oppenheimer through his wife Kitty, etc.

Perspective on this matter is provided by Herken in his account of the many contacts between Eltenton, Kheifetz and Ivanov. (BOTB, p. 91-92) The account is based on FBI interviews with Eltenton in 1946. Eltenton's meetings with both Kheifetz and Ivanov were extensive and began in late 1941:

..... Eltenton first met Kheifetz and Ivanov, together, on the Berkeley campus in November 1941
..... Eltenton ran into both men again a couple of weeks later at a Berkeley cocktail party
..... Eltenton met both men again shortly thereafter at abenefit for Russian War Relief at Chevalier's house
..... Eltenton invited both men to his own holiday party in December 1941
..... Kheifetz asked Eltenton at a social gathering in late Spring 1942 for the names of prominent American scientists who might be candidates for honorary membership in the Soviet Academy of Sciences
..... Eltenton raised the issue with JRO who nominated Vannevar Bush and the Compton brothers
..... Eltenton passed this information back to Kheifetz and that was his last contact with him
..... Ivanov came alone to the Eltenton home late in 1942
..... Ivanov told Eltenton that the work at the Rad Labt was of military value and connected to atomic energy
..... Ivanov sounded-out Eltenton specifically on the possible receptivity of JRO to providing informantion
..... Eltenton proposed to Ivanov the idea of approaching JRO through Chevalier.

Notwithstanding the appearance that Kheifetz and Ivanov worked closely together, the preponderance of evidence is that Ivanov was a GRU officer. A 1948 CIA document seems to be the most authoritative reference on Peter Ivanov: "Steve Nelson was also in contact, at least in the Spring of 1943, with what appeared to be a separate and distinct Soviet Intelligence operation headed by Peter Ivanov .... the speculation has been advanced that Peter Ivanov was a GRU official, whereas it will be recalled that [Zarubin] and his assistants were officials of the KGB .... Ivanov departed the U.S. shortly after his series of contacts with Nelson [c. April 6, 1943] ....The full scope of Ivanov's activities and operations was never definitely ascertained." (Venona, B&W;, p. 113)

Unless Moscow Center structured their working arrangement differently, Kheifetz and Ivanov were peers representing autonomous intelligence services. Compartmentalization would have been the order of the day.

5. Was Gregori Kheifetz aware that Peter Ivanov was making an approach to Robert Oppenheimer through Eltenton and Chevalier?

In Sacred Secrets the Schecters write that Kheifetz met Robert Oppenheimer at a Spanish War Relief party hosted by Louise Bransten. It was December 6, 1941. According to the authors, the two subsequently met for lunch where Oppenheimer told Kheifetz about the Einstein-Szilard letter to Roosevelt and provided details on the current status of the US atomic research program. (SS, p. 47-49) This is essentially the same assertion made by Pavel Sudoplatov in Special Tasks. Neither author has been widely credited about these events.

The Schecters, however, supply a document as evidence of a link between Kheifetz and Opppenheimer. The document is a memo from Vselovod Merkulov to Lavrenti Beria dated October 2, 1944: "In the period 1941-1943 important data on the start of research and work in the USA on this problem [uranium] was received from our foreign agent network using the contacts of Comrades Zarubin and Kheifetz in thieir execution of important tasks in line with the Executive Committee of the Comintern. In 1942 one of the leaders of scientific work on uranium in the USA professor Oppenheimer unlisted member of the apparrat of Comrade Browder informed us about the beginning of work." (SS, p.316)

The association of 'foreign agents' with Comintern in this statement is undoubtedly a reference to individuals such as Steve Nelson and Louise Bransten. Zarubin was wiretapped by the FBI in Nelson's home, and Kheifetz was wiretapped in Bransten's home. By the end of 1942, Zarubin and Kheifetz had at least two excellent avenues of approach to Oppenheimer. Question: Is it really conceivable that they would sanction a third, using amateurs such as Eltenton and Chevalier? Answer: Never. Tradecraft-wise, it is insane (suicide-if you are in Beria's KGB).

Peter Ivanov was an officer of the GRU. More probably than not, he was GRU resident in San Francisco. As such, he was nominally equal in rank to Kheifetz. Not only was he not subordinate to Kheifetz, but the two intelligence services practiced strict compartmentalization. Thus, we do not believe that Kheifetz had prior knowledge of Ivanov's approach to Oppenheimer (and vice versa). Even less do we believe that the KGB authorized or directed it. In point of fact, we see cause and effect in Ivanov's recall (without ostensible replacement) in May-June, 1943.

6. Why are the machinations of Ivanov, Eltenton and Chevalier not reflected in a February 1944 report to KGB Chairman Vselovod Merkulov?

In The Haunted Wood, authors Weinstein and Vassiliev give a detailed account of an internal KGB report on Robert Oppenheimer. (The Elusive Oppenheimer, p.183) The document in question is from SVR archives and appears to be a summary memo from Pavel Fitin (head of KGB Foreign Intelligence) to his boss, Vselovod Merkulov (then head of the KGB). The date given is February 1944. As summarized by the authors, the report states:
that Oppenheimer is a professor at the University of California;
that he works on Enormoz and is under special government surveillance;
that the CPUSA cell to which JRO belonged had received orders to terminate contact with him;
that Oppenheimer had "been cultivated" by the GRU since June 1942;
that if the GRU recruited him he should be turned over to the KGB;
that in the event the GRU was unsuccessful in recruiting him the KGB should be given the assignment because it had a channel to Oppenheimer through his brother Frank, also a professor at the University of California and a member of the CPUSA.

Robert and Kitty Oppenheimer left Berkeley for Los Alamos in early March 1943. Eltenton and Chevalier, and therefore Ivanov and the GRU, were certainly aware of the sudden absence of the Oppenheimers from Berkeley. As the report to Merkulov shows, the KGB is unable to report, a year after the fact, that JRO is no longer a professor at Berkeley. The KGB is also unaware that their 'neighbor' ran into a blank wall with Oppenhiemer, a fact they obviously would have relished to report. While the absence of this information is evidence of compartmentalization and autonomy between the KGB and GRU, it doesn't explain the real riddle of the report. (A riddle replicated, in our opinion, in Venona message No. 1773, 16 December 1944. Set K refers)

The real problem with the report to Merkulov is the complete absence of information known to Vassili Zarubin and Gregori Kheifetz, two senior KGB officers who had Steve Nelson and Louise Bransten as agents, not to mention the illegal line set up by Vassilevsky (allegedly). Are we to believe that at no time in 1943 did either Nelson or Bransten disclose that Oppenheimer had departed Berkeley for war work at another location? The same Steve Nelson who wrote, "Oppenheimer called me up and said that he was going away and would like to meet for lunch." The Louise Bransten, who was Kheifetz' mistress?

What a difference 8 months makes. In the report from Boris Merkulov to Lavrenti Beria in October 1944, quoted previously, the work of Zarubin-Kheifetz on atomic energy and JRO is 'outed.' In the face of the investigation into Mironov's letter to Stalin, some facts had to come out about Beria's super-secret Special Tasks operation: "Under Beria's direct orders we forbade Kheifetz and Semyonov to tell anybody from the American Section of the Foreign Directorate about this transfer of contacts." (ST, p. 188) The picture seems clear. As reported by Sudoplatov, Beria's ad hoc atomic group marginalized the GRU, sidelined the CPUSA and subverted their own Foreign Intelligence Directorate. During the period 1942-1943 Beria and his Special Tasks Directorate purged all the other actors who were fouling their range on Oppenheimer.

The Brotherhood of the Bomb website frames the above issue (contradiction between the document provided by the Weinstein and Vassiliev and the document provided by the Schecters) very well with analysis from Greg Herken. We note however, that Nigel West has seen fit to weigh in on the essential contradiction of the dueling Merkulov memos in a piece for Insight Magazine titled Treason Still Shadows J. R. Oppenheimer (evidently reissued from 10/09/02). West seems more at our position than Herken's. On the more general question, Was Oppenheimer a Communist?, Mr. Herken provides 5 very interesting archival documents that readers can evaluate and come to their own conclusion/s. One of the documents is a reply from JRO to Chevalier in which he categorically denies being a member of a Communist cell in Berkeley (as charged by Chevalier). We believe this denial flowed from his pen freely, so to speak, because he knew he was really a secret member of Browder's New York Party organization (probably signed up by his wife, Kitty, a personal friend of Browder).

8. What was Haakon Chevalier so surprised and miffed about in December 1954?

Brotherhood of the Bomb contains a curious excerpt from a December 13, 1954, letter from Chevalier to Oppenheimer: "Do what we may, by your unfathomable folly, you and I are linked together in a cloudy legend, which nothing, no fact, no explanation, no truth will ever unmake or unravel." (BotB, footnote 27, p. 415) This seems a completely incongruous stance for Chevalier in 1954.

Since Chevalier was a principal in this affair, what, at this late date, is so "unfathomable" or ambiguous to him? Chevalier admitted to the FBI that he had approached Oppenheimer for atomic information. Eltenton admitted to the FBI that he had asked Chevalier to approach Oppenheimer. After Los Alamos, in 1946, Chevalier and Oppenheimer got together socially and compared notes about the matter (BotB, p. 161). In the summer of 1949, the Oppenheimers spent the weekend at Chevalier's beach house. (BotB, p.197) In 1953 just months before his security hearing Oppenhiemer had dinner with Chevalier in his apartment in Paris, and should have explained any remaining questions.

We believe the reason Chevalier is 'not amused' is that he had recently obtained a copy of the transcript, In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, and now realizes for the very first time that the whole affair was self-inflicted. Robert Oppenheimer, acting without any ostensible external pressure or catalyst, walked into the Rad Lab security office and 'ratted-out' Eltenton. Thus, Chevalier to JRO: Why? What in the hell were you thinking of? Fair question.

Not only was this question never answered to Chevalier's satisfaction, but apparently his resentment and disenchantment with Oppenheimer only increased over time. In an interview in the 1960's with journalist Mario Profaca in Yugoslavia he lost the discipline he exercised over the subject of Oppenheimer. When Profaca informed him that JRO had publicly disdained his book, Story of a Friendshhip, Chevalier erupted, "He lied as he has always telling lies!"

9. Was Robert Oppenheimer a member of the Communist Party?
O - 02/02/04

In November 2003 the Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) hosted a roundtable discussion on the question, Was Oppenheimer a Soviet Spy? Among the discussants were Jerrold Schecter, Greg Herken and Hayden Peake. Exhibit A during the meeting was the October 1944 Merkulov letter to Beria. It was generally agreed that if the information in the letter about Oppenheimer was true, then Oppenheimer would be guilty of espionage. The provenance of the letter was not challenged. It was accepted as genuine in the sense that it really was a letter written by Merkulov to Beria in October 1944. Nor did any of the participants suggest that Merkulov was lying to Beria, i.e. that he knew the information in the letter to be false.

Thus, Herken correctly framed the issue as devolving to the veracity of the "source" of the information about JRO. For Mr. Herken that source is the person of Gregory Kheifitz--and only Kheifitz. Herken's position is that Kheifitz fabricated the story about his recruitment of JRO and JRO's subsequent assistance to Soviet intelligence. This doesn't stand inspection for a simple reason: Prima facie, the basis of the information in the Merkulov-Beria letter cannot only be Kheifitz.

- The Merkulov-Beria letter is a response to a directive from Beria dated 29 September 1944. Merkulov's letter forwards information to Beria resulting from an investigation of the Mironov affair. Gregory Kheifitz and Vassili Zarubin, intelligence officers of the Foreign Intelligence Directorate (the First Directorate), were parties to that investigation. Zarubin, a KGB General, was the Resident for North America and Kheifitz' superior--Kheifitiz met him at the dock when he arrived in San Francisco at the end of 1941. Merkulov to Beria, 2 October 1944: "In the period 1942-1943 important data on the start of work in the [USA] on this problem [uranium] was received from our foreign agent network using the contacts of Comrade Zarubin and Kheifitz ..... In 1942 one of the leaders of scientific work on [uranium] in the USA, Porfessor Oppenheimer while being an unlisted member of the apparat of Comrade Browder informed us about the beginning of work." Vasilli Zarubin is integral to the Merkulov-Beria letter. Thus, with Herken's proposition you get three choices: (1) Zarubin too was hoodwinked by Kheifitz about Oppenheimer; (2) Zarubin is a co-conspirator with Kheifitz in the fabrication on Oppenheimer; or (3) Zarubin is an assenting party to the information being sent to Beria.

- Pavel Fitin, Head of the Foreign Intelligence (First) Directorate (1939-1946), reported directly to KGB Chairman Vsevolod Merkulov (1943-6). Since several of his senior officers (Zarubin, Zarubina, Kheifitz, Vassilevsky, et al) had been recalled under suspicion of being foreign agents, Fitin himself was a party to the Mironov investigation. Moreover, the Merkulov-Beria letter is a complete reversal of a previous memorandum sent to Merkulov by the First Directorate in February 1944. (This is the hearsay document from Weinstein and Vassiliev (THW, p.184), undoubtedly real however, and further evidence of the atomic illegal line ordered by Beria. We digress.) Virtually by definition, the Kheifitz-Oppenheimer information in the Merkulov-Berial letter had to have Fitin's concurrence. As with Zarubin, the same three choices obtain.

- The Merkulov-Beria letter states that Kheifitz' approach to Oppenheimer was "confirmed by" Earl Browder, Head of the CPUSA. Did that significant detail go into the Merkulov-Beria letter just on the 'say so' of Kheifitz? Would it not entail at least the tacit assent of both Fitin and Zarubin? Would Merkulov report such a thing to Beria without bullet proof substantiation? No. The Browder confirmation on Oppenheimer is independent of Kheifitz.

- In point of fact, the Merkulov-Beria letter is essentially a repeat of the testimony of Pavel Sudoplatov in Special Tasks. (Kheifitz had lunch with JRO in December 1941, etc. ST, p.175) Sudoplatov described a meeting between Elizabeth Zarubina and Kitty Oppenheimer that was a result of the offices of Kheifitz. Therefore, a Kheifitz fabrication about a relationship with Oppenheimer necessarily implies a similar fabrication by Sudoplatov.

Fundamentally, then, Mr. Herken's analysis and position rests on the notion that Zarubin, Fitin, Browder, Sudoplatov (and undoubtedly others) all joined Kheifitz in a conspiracy to deceive Merkulov and Beria. Heretofore, we have not been aware of such a widespread death wish at the Lubyanka.

Concurrent with the debate over the Merkulov-Beria letter, Mr. Herken is vigorously repelling all dissenters on his research and conclusion that JRO was a de facto member of the Communist Party. To this end, he has reported new information not included in Brotherhood of the Bomb. We thus find it contradictory that on the one hand Mr. Herken is the leading proponent of JRO's actual membership in the Party (which is doubted or scoffed by many others), while on the other hand he is not more circumspect or at least agnostic about the logical possibility that Oppenheimer provided assistance to the Soviet Union ("Cradle of Communism") in its quest to become an atomic power. One would think the more reasonable position for Mr. Herken would be: OK, the Merkulov letter is portentous but, at best, it is only collateral; show me more.

10. Was Oppenheimer an agent of the Soviet Union?

There has been another book on Oppenheimer published this year. The title is Oppenheimer, Portrait of an Enigma; the author is Jeremy Bernstein. Mr. Bernstein is a pysicist and writer for The New Yorker magazine. In addition to the author's physics expertise, the book is particularly welcome because he was personally acquainted with Oppenheimer, as well as many Oppenhiemer associates. For example, Mr. Bernstein studied at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton when Oppenheimer was its Director. In terms of a personal and psychological profile, Bernstein's Oppenheimer might be the definitive reference. He did not sugarcoat this aspect of Oppenheimer (it was most damning, although Bernstein would not view it as such.) Nor did Mr. Bernstein shy away from currently topical questions about JRO: Was his Personnel Security Borard and its outcome unfair? Was he member of the Communist Party? Was he an agent of the Soviet Union? Notwithstanding that Mr. Bernstein brings balance and facts to bear on these questions, in the end he can't shed the subjectivity of his personal history and relationship with the man. We think his answers to the first two questions should have been, "more probably than not, yes." We think his answer to the third question could reasonably have been, "if you use Webster's definition of agent, one who achieves a result for another, it's a valid question."

Was the lifting of Oppenheimer's Q clearance in 1953 justified?

Mr. Bernstein answers, No. His reasoning is that, in 1953, there was no new, compelling, derogatory information on JRO since his last security review in 1947. In January 1947, when the newly created AEC assumed responsibility for the country's atomic energy program all personnel were subjected to new security reviews. Since the atomic energy program was back under civilian control (from the Army), the FBI was the lead investigative agency for conducting national security background checks. Hoover sent the AEC commissioners a large file on JRO reflecting his past communist associations. The commissioners were unpleasantly surprised by the material but granted the necessary Q clearance. They did so using Mr. Bernstein's line of thought: JRO had been no less the Director of Los Alamos with those facts known and there was no new adverse information. Mr. Bernstein gives a review of the Oppenheimer situation between 1947 and 1953. Interesting stuff. He concludes that there was no new 'smoking gun' against Oppenheimer, but there was concern and consternation about his opposition to development of the hydrogen bomb. JRO strongly opposed the Super and the GAC (of which he was Chairman) in a letter to the AEC dated 30 October 1949 unanimously recommended against it. We don't quibble with Bernstein's position that the GAC decision was properly grounded in the existing science (no theoretical solution) and current military exigencies. (Truman overruled the AEC (GAC) on January 31, 1950, and made pursuit of the hydrogen bomb U.S. government policy.) But it is not as simple as that. In different quarters for different reasons there was significant disparagement of JRO over his actions on the Super. The proximate cause of the PSB on Oppenheimer was a November 2, 1953, letter from William L. Borden to J. Edgar Hoover. The letter is essentially a summary abstract of Oppenheimer's FBI file, with concerns about the hydrogen bomb added in. The Borden letter can be fairly characterized as serious and substantive--and not a pretty picture.

The key decision makers in the Oppenheimer affair were President Eisenhower, J. Edgar Hoover and Lewis Strauss (Chairman of the AEC, 1953). "On December 3, Strauss was summoned to the White House to attend a meeting that had been called by President Eisenhower to discuss the Borden letter [sent to the White House by Hoover]." (O, p,149) To understand the suspension of JRO's clearance you have to recall the other contextual events surrounding the Borden letter:
- In August of 1949 the Soviet Union exploded an atomic device, several years at minimum before they were thought capable of doing so.
- In September of 1949 Klaus Fuchs was identified as a Soviet agent.The investigation revealed his Tube Alloys work in Birmingham, his work on diffusion in New York, his work on the implosion weapon at Los Alamos, his exposure to research on the Super (hydogen bomb) at Los Alamos, his post-war employment in the British atomic energy program allowing him continued access to US information, etc. It was mind boggling: Fuchs was in a position to give the Soviets virtually everything. As Director at Los Alamos, Oppenheimer had a role and responsibility in Fuchs' being in the lab's most sensitive area, the Theoretical Division. On a visit to England in 1948 Oppenhiemer and Fuchs had dinner together.
- The Iron Curtain and the Cold War
- The atomic espionage of Greenglass and the Rosenbergs
- The McCarthy anti-communist hearings

We would argue, that if you stop consideration at this point, and reflect that a security clearance is not a personal right, and government has the duty to act with an abundance of caution, the removal of Oppenhiemer's security clearance was 100% justified. But there is another straw that has to break the back of even the most conflicted on this question. A decrypted KGB message (Venona) listed the heads of the major U.S atomic facilities. The head of Los Alamos was given a codename (VEKSEL) while all of the other directors were identified with their real names. (more) This very troubling Venona message was available to the decision makers named above and we think it is an unaccounted for 'smoking gun' in the matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer.

Was Oppenheimer a member of the Communist Party?

Mr. Bernstein is fully knowledgeable on all the information related to this question. That would include the Borden letter, JRO's FBI file (e.g. Paul Crouch), the findings of the 1953 PSB, etc. It would also include the treatment of this subject by Greg Herken in the recent Brotherhood of the Bomb, and even the "new evidence" on the Brotherhood website, e.g. the memoirs of Barbara Chevalier and Berkeley professor Gordon Griffiths. With all of that data in his head Mr. Bernstein moves to the "question [he] has been sidestepping: Was Oppenheimer himself a member of the Communist Party? In doing so, Mr. Bernstein credits that a number of people including Chevalier have said that "they attended meetings of a closed unit of the Communist party at which Oppenheimer was present." In 1964, Bernstein relates, Oppenheimer received a letter from Chevalier informing him about a book he had in the works that would give his account of the so called "Chevalier incident." Seems natural enough. After all, the notorious faux paux has his name on it; its ten years after the PSB; Oppenheimer has been rehabilitated with the Fermi Award; life has gone on. In the letter Chevalier essentially asks for permission to "include the 'fact' that between 1938 and 1942 he and Oppenheimer were members of the same closed Communist party unit." (O, p.133) After consulting lawyers Oppenheimer wrote back that he did indeed object, that he had never been a member of the Communist Party, that surely Haakon must have known that. He attended these meetings only out of curiosity.

There are several things about this episode from Bernstein that don't make sense. The first is Mr. Bernstein's characterization of Chevalier's letter as accusatory, perhaps malicious. Clearly, it is not. Its permissive, amicable, consensual, and extremely naive. The book in question, Oppenheimer, The Story of a Friendship, was published in 1965. It does not contain an assertion of CP meetings attendance by JRO. Obviously, Chevalier acceded to JRO's objection. Why? The answer is in the title, friendship. Chevalier did not include the information in the book because it wasn't true, but because for some inexplicable reason he still wanted to maintain a cordial, amicable relationship with Oppenheimer. Sometime after Story of a Friendship was published Chevalier gave an interview to a journalist by the name of Mario Profaca. The interview as described by Profaca fully supports the notion that Chevalier was telling truth in his letter to JRO. Other head scratches: The party meetings are consistently referred to as that of a "closed" unit or cell--doesn't that suggest, members only? Furthermore, how many meetings are we talking about here if the time span is 1938 to 1942? How many meetings does it take for the smartest man in the world to satisfy his curiosity? As Mr. Bernstein's book amply demonstrates, prevarication was not one of Robert Oppenheimer's lesser endowments.

Mr. Bernstein leaves the CP question by saying, "I believe Oppenheimer, and until someone comes up with real evidence, I will continue to do so." This is the book's only disappointment, the author's stubborn resistance to accumulating evidence.

Was Oppenheimer an agent of the Soviet Union?

As mentioned at the top, Mr. Bernstein certainly doesn't think so. Of course, the 'Theory of Fielding' is not so sure. We found a very interesting circumstance in Bernstein's book that does nothing to dismiss the doubt. Mr. Bernstein interviewed I. I. Rabi about JRO in the early 1970's. In the interview with Bernstein, Rabi related a meeting he once had with Oppenheimer: "Rabi recalled, 'Oppenheimer and I met frequently and discussed these questions thoroughly [an open world with a free exchange of atomic information]. I remember one meeting with him, on Christmas day of 1945, in my apartment." (O, p.100)

Our interest stems from the fact that Oppenheimer was in New York over the 1945 Christmas holidays. The reason for the interest relates to the testimony of Harry Gold during his 1951 trial (Gold was Klaus Fuchs' courier in New York). Here is the trial excerpt:

"Question [to witness Gold]. Now, in January 1946 did you have a conversation with Yakovlev [KGB officer Anatoli Yatskov, Gold's Soviet controller]?
Answer . Yes, I did.
Question. Where did this conversation take place?
Answer. This conversation took place in New York City.
Question. What was the conversation?
Answer. Yakovlev at this time told me that I should be very careful, much more careful than ever before. He related to me an incident which had taken place toward the end of 1945. He said that a very important person who had upon him information on the atom bomb had come to New York at the end of 1945 and that he, Yakovlev, had tried to get in touch with that person over a period of time, a period of a few days, but that the man had been trailed by Intelligence men continually, so that Yakovlev had to give up the idea of getting in touch with this source of information." (From the congressional record of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy (JCAE), Soviet Atomic Espionage, 1953)

Summary: The Gold-Yatskov meeting took place in January 1946.The incident took place at the end of 1945. The incident involved a very important person. The sense is that this individual is not just a very important person to Soviet intelligence, but is a very important person in general, in his own right. Oppenheimer by any standard was such a "very important person." Robert Oppenheimer was in New York at the end of 1945. If anyone connected with the atomic bomb qualified for blanket surveillance by counter-intelligence, it was Robert Oppenheimer.

Comment: This piece of information came to light at Gold's trial in 1951, six years after the incident took place. It seems reasaonable to expect that the FBI took notice of it either at the time or later during the JCAE proceedings. It seems reasonable to believe they would make an attempt to find out who was conducting surveillance on an atomic energy official in New York in December 1945. It seems reasonable to expect that the records and people connected with any such surveillance would still be around. If investigation into this incident showed that only one person was being closely followed in NY, and that person was ...... well, you get the drift.

11. What caused JRO to finally report a 7 month-old security breach to U.S. Army Counterintelligence?


The person in charge of U.S. atomic research at the beginning of 1942 was Dr. Vannevar Bush, Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD). In June 1942, President Roosevelt approved Bush's proposal to give the US Army the responsibility for development, testing and production of an atomic weapon. Bush assigned the task to the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps quickly set up an office in New York called the Manhattan Engineer District (MED) under the command of Colonel James C. Marshall. The project was called Development of Substitute Materials, DSM, and was analogue to the British Tube Alloys program.

After several months, Bush and the Army were dissatisfied with progress on DSM. In September 1942, the Army decided that the project required the authority of a General officer. With the concurrence of Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall, the Corp of Engineers picked Colonel Leslie Groves to take charge. Groves was serving as Deputy Chief of Construction for the Corp of Engineers, and had just finished construction on the Pentagon. But for several months he had also been providing support to Marshall in the area of land and materials acquisition. Thus, in addition to a track record of driving very large, high priority construction jobs to completion, Groves came to DSM with an understanding of the basic nature and status of the atomic project. At his request, Groves� official assumption of command was delayed several days pending his promotion to Brigadier General. A decision was also made at this time to rename the project from DSM to Manhattan District.

As commanding general of the MED, Groves reported to the Military Policy Committee and the Secretary of War. For both security and bureaucratic reasons, Groves decided to run the MED from an office in Washington, D.C. James Marshall remained in New York as the District Engineer, titular head of the MED. Groves hired Lt. Colonel Kenneth D. Nichols from Marshall's staff to come to Washington to be his No. 2. The MED office in New York was essentially a staff and support organization. In the late summer of 1943 Ken Nichols replaced James Marshall as Distirict Engineer and then in 1944 the MED was relocated to Oak Ridge. Notwithstanding the geographical separation, all DSM/Manhattan District policy and executive decisions emanated from Groves' office in Washington.

Radiation Lab Security Violation

In late December 1942 or early January 1943 a security incident related to the Berkeley Rad Lab occurred. It began on an evening when Haakon Chevalier and his wife visited Robert and Kitty Oppenheimer for dinner at their Eagle Hill residence. When Chevalier and JRO were alone in the kitchen Chevalier broached the idea of passing atomic secrets to the Soviets using George Eltenton. Eltenton had approached Chevalier with this proposal and Oppenheimer was acquainted with Eltenton, as Chevalier knew. Oppenheimer purportedly rejected the suggestion out of hand. But he never reported the Eltenton-Chevalier espionage overture to Army Security when it happened or reasonably thereafter. It is completely obvious that he never intended to divulge the incident at all. What then caused him to do so approximately seven months later on 25 August 1943?

In the summer of 1943 Oppenheimer was facing a problem that jeopardized his position: Amazingly, he did not yet have a security clearance issued under the MED�s aegis of the project. This had been a vexing problem for him since his appointment as Los Alamos Director (January 1943). Herken in Brotherhood reported that early in 1943, prior to moving to Los Alamos, Oppenheimer had complained to Chevalier about not having his clearance. (BOTB, p. 79) Five months later the matter was still unresolved and coming to a head.

Lieutenant Colonel John Lansdale, Jr.

Throughout 1943 there was strong and continuing resistance from the field to clearing Robert Oppenheimer. The security official principally involved was Lt. Colonel John Lansdale Jr., MED Chief of Security. He worked in Washington and reported directly to Groves. A Field Artillery Officer by virtue of graduation from VMI, Lansdale had gone on to Law School at Harvard and then wound up being assigned to the Military Intelligence Sevice at the Pentagon. In early 1942 he had been tapped to go out to Berkeley to make an on-site security evaluation of the Rad Lab; his involvement in DSM continued after that. Groves requested Lansdale�s services when he took over, and Lansdale joined Groves� office as a Temporary Additional Duty (TAD) assignment. From Lansdale�s testimony at JRO�s 1954 Personnel Security Board (PSB):

- �I was in the so-called Counterintelligence Branch of the Office of Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, War Department General Staff.
- �I, myself, never was until fairly late in the game transferred to the Manhattan District. I remained with G-2 and performed my duties as a supervisory matter along with my other duties in G-2. Lieutenant Calvert was assigned to the Manhattan District as the security officer and he conducted the clearance program.
- �As I recall, the recommendations of the [MED] security organization headed up by Captain Calvert were adverse to Dr. Oppenheimer. They recommended against clearance.
- �But my job in the War Department and up until the time I officially moved over to the atomic bomb project and severed all connections with the War Department in January 1944, was primarily concerned with the formation of judgment as to who were or were not communists in the loyalty sense in the Army.
- �Our organization administratively was that all of those reports went to Oak Ridge which was the district engineer�s office�first to New York and then when they moved to Oak Ridge, there. All of those reports did not come up to me. However, from Los Alamos they all came directly to me because we held that more or less outside of the ordinary course of administration.� (ITMOJRO, p. 259, 260, 266, 270)
In an endnote to Chapter 5 of Brotherhood of the Bomb, Herken gives the following synopsis of a 6 July letter from Lansdale, MED Chief of Security, to General Groves:
�Lansdale recommended that the Army in effect make a deal with the scientist: offering to keep Oppenheimer on as director at Los Alamos on the condition that he agree to fire all known and suspected Communists at the lab. Lansdale also suggested��if the opportunity arises�--that Oppie be asked to name those he personally knew to be Communists, �for the purpose of seeing what, if any, associations he will attempt to conceal.� Lansdale to Groves, July 6, 1943, entry 8, box 99, MED/NARA. On plans to replace Oppenheimer, see also Pieper to Hoover, June 30, 1943, section 4, CINRAD file, FBI. Chapter 5 #128�
This was an interesting ploy on Lansdale�s part. He was aware at the time that two of JRO�s former students, Rossi Lomanitz and Joseph Weinberg, had compromised Rad Lab security by making unauthorized disclosures to Steve Nelson (Nelson was a high level CPUSA functionary located in Oakland). Oppenheimer had been responsible for bringing Lomanitz and Weinberg into the work at the Rad Lab. Both Lomanitz and Weinberg were known by local Army Counterintelligence and Lansdale to be Communists. Given the dossier on JRO�s own party affiliations Lansdale had every reason to believe that Oppenheimer was familiar with the communist backgrounds of his two associates. Thus, with respect to Oppenheimer�s own reliability and the contested issue of his clearance, Lansdale thought it would be revealing to see if JRO would be forthcoming about the Communist backgrounds of Lomanitz and Weinberg. As will be shown later, Groves concurred in this strategy.

Notwithstanding Lansdale's 6 July letter, General Groves on 20 July ordered the MED to issue Oppenheimer's security clearance "without delay, irrespective of the information which you have concerning Mr. Oppenheimer." (BOTB, p.102) However, according to Herken's endnotes, there may again have been delay: "Groves may have decided to wait upon clearing Oppenheimer until his former deputy, Ken Nichols, became MED District Engineer. Nichols assumed that title on July 20, but Marshall evidently did not vacate the post until mid-August." Another factor at play is that the MED G-2 had a dotted line relationship to the Military Intelligence Command (G-2, Army War Department), and it was a component of this organization, the Army Investigations Division at the Presidio in San Francisco, which had earlier refused to clear Oppenheimer. (N.27, Ch.4, BOTB) Just a week after Groves ordered Oppenheimer cleared, Lansdale and Boris Pash (Chief of Counterintelligence, Army Western Defense Command) told Lish Whitson of the FBI that the Bureau should arrest any individual caught passing information on the project to the Soviets, �even though one of the persons involved was Professor Julius Robert Opppenheimer, the head of the project.� (Welch to Ladd, July 28, 1943, section 4, CINRAD file, FBI.) Thus, heading into August, the realities of this situation were that Marshall was not going to rubber stamp Groves� directive, Groves had to be exceedingly prudent, and Oppenheimer was far from secure at Los Alamos.

Lansdale Visit to Los Alamos, August 1943

In early August 1943, Lansdale traveled to Los Alamos ostensibly to just �quiet people down about Lomanitz.� (ITMOJRO, p.272) However, in view of his 6 July letter to Groves, the trip was undoubtedly also an effort to untie the Gordian knot on Oppenheimer�s reliability. During this visit Lansdale interviewed both Robert Oppenheimer and his wife Kitty. When he returned to Washington, Lansdale submitted a report dated 12 August to Groves. (This report was placed in the record of JRO�s 1954 Security Board. See ITMOJRO, p.275) The subject of Rossi Lomanitz was a major part of Lansdale�s meeting with Oppenheimer. Lomanitz had been drafted into the Army and both Ernest Lawrence and Oppenheimer were greatly exercised over his loss to the project. JRO in fact sent a telegram directly to Colonel Marshall trying to intercede in the matter. During their discussions at Los Alamos, Lansdale advised Oppenheimer that the MED would not seek a deferment for Lomanitz. (At JRO�s Security Board, eleven years later, Lansdale presumed that neither JRO nor EOL were aware at the time that the MED had in fact orchestrated his induction.)

In his 12 August report to Groves, Lansdale wrote in detail on his discussion with Oppenheimer about Lomanitz. He advised Groves that Oppenheimer had recounted how he knew that Lomanitz �had been very much of a Red as a boy when he first came to the University of California,� that as a condition of bringing him on to the project Oppenheimer had told Lomanitz that he had to �forgo all political activity,� and that Oppenheimer had put this to Lomanitz �very strongly.� Lansdale told Groves that, in turn, he had advised Oppenheimer that Lomanitz had been guilty of security �indiscretions that could not be overlooked or condoned,� that these indiscretions had nothing to do with political activity and that steps had been taken�an investigation�to determine the full extent of Lomanitz� activities. (ITMOJRO, p.276) The indiscretion in question was a FBI recorded phone conversation between Lomanitz and Steve Nelson, the West Coast head of the CPUSA�s Secret Apparatus (Set V refers), in which Lomanitz told Nelson that he was working on a highly secret weapon. In the conversation Nelson indicated he was already familiar with the project and �advised Lomanitz to be discrete and to consider himself a undercover member of the party.� (V, DSEIA, p.325)

In his report to Groves, Lansdale did not mention discussing with JRO other problem individuals such as Weinberg. However Oppenheimer in a 5 March 1954 letter to his PSB indicated that concerns about the FAECT union were brought up by Lansdale: �During the summer of 1943, Colonel Lansdale, the intelligence officer of the Manhattan District, came to Los Alamos and told me the he was worried about the security situation in Berkeley because of the activities of the Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists, and Technicians. This recalled to my mind that Eltenton was a member and probably a promoter of the FAECT.� Given this testimony, and in view of events, it is worth observing that the discussion of the FAECT at Los Alamos would have been the appropriate, logical opportunity for Oppenheimer to bring forward his information about Eltenton. Why didn�t he?

It is further interesting to appreciate that when Lansdale went to Los Alamos in August 1943, he was already knowledgeable about George Eltenton. From Lansdale�s testimony at JRO�s Security Board:
�It was subsequent to that conversation [at Los Alamos in August] that Dr. Oppenheimer then, I assume, realizing the seriousness of the situation, advised our people on the west coast [Berkeley] of this attempt coming out of the FAECT, because Eltenton was well known to us as a Communist, active in the Communist apparatus on the west coast, and a member of this laboratory group [union], this FAECT.�
With this information in mind, recall the game plan that Lansdale had put in writing to Groves: �Lansdale also suggested��if the opportunity arises�--that Oppie be asked to name those he personally knew to be Communists, �for the purpose of seeing what, if any, associations he will attempt to conceal.�� In point of fact, Lansdale's trip report to Groves shows that he had that exact purpose in mind in going to Los Alamos. Furthermore, his report shows that Groves was aware of Lansdale�s plan to put Oppenheimer on the spot: Subparagraph 7a, Lansdale to Groves, 12 August 1943: �The opportunity to secure the names of the former members of the party known to Oppenheimer did not present itself, due to the entrance of a third party.� In other words, Lansdale makes mention of this in his report because Groves expected to hear something on it. One can only wonder, then, if Lansdale's meeting with Oppenheimer had not been interrupted and Lansdale had asked JRO for the names of Communists, would Oppenheimer have warned him about Eltenton? Would the history of the Eltenton-Chevalier incident be any different?

Two weeks after Lansdale and JRO met at Los Alamos, Oppenheimer went to Berkeley. The exact reason for the trip has never been fully explained. He had been to Berkeley as recently as June. (The Los Alamos travel log shows that the purpose of this trip was to �consult with Dr. Latimer and Dr. Thomas.� In reality he went there to visit Jean Tatlock, who had requested to see him.) Regarding August, the Los Alamos travel log shows JRO�s travel dates as Sunday, 22 August, to Saturday, 28 August; the stated purpose was �consultation with Dr Lawrence.� In Brotherhood, Herken wrote that the ostensible purpose was �another recruiting drive,� but in an endnote he intimated that the trip was probably connected to the information on Lomanitz from Lansdale. We concur�that was a major part of it. He met with Lomanitz in Ernest Lawrence�s office at the Rad Lab on Wednesday, 25 August. That same night Oppenheimer had dinner with Robert Bacher, and his surveillance team overheard him tell Bacher that he �gave EOL hell� about security at the Lab (BOB, p.107). (As Lansdale testified, JRO was certainly aware that he was under 24-hour surveillance whenever he left Los Alamos. ITMOJRO, p.264)


Oppenheimer�s trip to Berkeley closely followed Lansdale�s visit to Los Alamos; the majority of JRO�s time was spent on security related matters. As he testified at his 1954 PSB, he met with Lomanitiz in order to persuade him to �get straight with the security people� (ITMOJRO, p.128). All of the facts and circumstances indicate that, more probably than not, Robert Oppenheimer went to Berkeley to do damage control and to get himself straight with security. The argument for this is particularly compelling if before he went to Berkeley he still didn't have his security clearance. Upbraiding Lomanitz, giving EOL hell, dropping Eltenton�s name, were all stage-managed efforts to shore-up his �security� bona fides in the face of mounting threats to himself.

12. When did Oppenheimer actually receive his Manhattan Project security clearance?

In Brotherhood readers learn that on 20 July 1943 General Groves directed James Marshall, MED District Engineer, to issue JRO�s security clearance. If Groves� instruction was not complied with by 22 August, when JRO went to Berkeley, it should have happened in another week or two. The literature is silent, however, on the fact of a clearance at this time. It would be informative to know precisely when Oppenheimer received his clearance. If it was before he went to Berkeley that would undercut a theory that JRO�s �outing� of Eltenton was a premeditated act intended to improve his standing with project security. On the other hand, if JRO was not cleared by 25 August (the date of the Pash interview) it is hard to see how his clearance could have proceeded in the wake of his spanner-in-the-spokes revelation about Eltenton. Such would be an ironic turn of events�you do something planned to improve your situation and instead you put yourself really behind the eight ball.

The problem, of course, was that JRO did not tell a clean or complete story. He initially refused to identify 4 people�the 3 project scientists, and the friend of Eltenton who was the intermediary. In September, Oppenheimer told Lansdale that if required by Groves to name names he would do so. For whatever reason, Groves did not immediately force the issue. Meanwhile Boris Pash was agressively investigating the matter and compiling a list of persons who might be the unnamed intermediary, a Berkeley professor. In late November Pash was picked by Groves to head the ALSOS Mission, a separate intelligence operation under the auspices of the Manhattan Engineer District whose purpose was to determine the status of the German atomic bomb program. Herken, perhaps perceptively, expressed it this way: "On Thanksgiving Day 1943, Groves gave Pash a new assignment overseas, thereby removing the man who had been a persistent thorn in his side concerning Oppenheimer." (BOB, p.112) As related in Brotherhood, sometime in the first 12 days of December Groves flew to Los Alamos to confront JRO about the Eltenton matter and demand that he identify the others involved. The story Oppenheimer then told Groves changed radically from the one he had told Pash. He now admitted that there were not 3 project scientists who had been approached, but just one; the one was Frank Oppenheimer, his brother (who worked at the Rad Lab); and the intermediary who had contacted Frank on behalf of Eltenton, was Haakon Chevalier, a French professor at Berkeley. Groves returned to Washington and informed Lansdale and Ken Nichols (now District Engineer, having replaced Marshall). On 13 December, Nichols wired Lyall Johnson at Berkeley, Peer de Silva at Los Alamos and Horace Calvert at Oak Ridge that the unidentified intermediary in the Oppenheimer story was Chevalier. For reasons not fully understood, Nichols did not inform these security officers that Oppenheimer had recanted on �three project contacts� and now claimed that there had only been one, Frank Oppenheimer. (BOB, p.113-115)

These December events seem almost as bizarre as the Eltenton-Chevalier matter itself. For one thing the Los Alamos travel log shows that Oppenheimer left Los Alamos on 2 December and returned on 9 December from visits to Chicago and Knoxville. The stated purpose of the travel was, �Conference with Gen. Groves and Consultation.� (It was during this time that the first contingent of the British Mission was arriving in the U.S. Groves met them in Washington on 4 December.) The obvious question is, if Groves and Oppenheimer met sometime during this period, why didn�t Groves bring up Eltenton then? Why a special trip to Los Alamos on or after the 9th (with return by the 13th)? It is also observed that the travel log does not reflect a visit to Los Alamos at this time by Groves�as it does for many of his other visits (maybe because it was over a weekend?). On Monday, 13 December, Groves was back in Washington, and Nichols wired the field with the partial account of JRO�s disclosure (Chevalier was the intermediary; nothing about Frank Oppenheimer). Herken put it this way: �Remarkably, Groves chose not to let his own former deputy, the MED district engineer, Kenneth Nichols, in on the secret.� We suggest Groves withheld this information because he realized that Nichols would delay JRO�s clearance pending further investigation, and also probably kick Frank Oppenheimer off the project. Given Groves� investment in Oppenheimer, both of these possibilities were non-starters.

Oppenheimer�s belated, incomplete and alarming confession about attempted espionage by the Soviet consulate put Manhattan Project security officials in a tizzy. His Eltenton revelation undoubtedly put the skids to the wheels that were turning to finally grant him his clearance. Identifying Chevalier, however, evidently put the matter back on track. It would be our guess that Oppenheimer didn�t get a security clearance until sometime in the first quarter of 1944. We would certainly like to see confirmation of that, however.

Slips, Slides and Lies

Example #1
At Oppenheimer�s PSB in 1954 John Lansdale gave the following testimony: �Dr. Oppenheimer stated that he did not want anybody working for him on the project that was a member of the Communist Party. He stated that the reason for that was that one always had a question of divided loyalty.� This statement by Oppenheimer to Lansdale was a lie. Official government records show that Robert Oppenheimer was responsible for the Manhattan Project employment of the following people: Robert and Charlotte Serber, Frank Oppenheimer, Rossi Lomanitz, Joseph Weinberg, David and Francis Hawkins, Bernard Peters, Philip and Emily Morrison, David Bohm, Al Friedman, Shirley Barrett (secretary at Los Alamos) Ruby Sherr and Robert Davis. Government documents and other material show that all of these people were members of the Communist Party, and that JRO knew that to be the case.

Example #2
Oppenheimer told the Personal Security Board that he thought membership or �association� with the Communist movement was not compatible with employment on a secret war project (ITMOJRO, p.147). In regard to this view, Oppenheimer was questioned closely about Phillip Morrison, who in previous public testimony (Jenner Subcomittee, 7 May 1953) had admitted to being a member of the Communist Party while a graduate student at Berkeley. About Morrison, JRO testified to the Board as follows:
B. Was Morrison a Communist?
O. I think it probable.
B. Did he go to work on the project?
O. He did.
B. With your approval?
O. With no relation to me. (ITMOJRO, p.196)
A document in the National Archives tells a different story. It is dated April 22, 1942, and is on the letterhead of the University of Chicago, Metallurgical Laboratory. It is a personnel recommendation form with 6 questions. It relates to Phillip Morrison, and is completed and signed by Robert Oppenheimer:
�1. How long and how well have you known him? 6 � 7 years; student, scientific work
�2. If employed by you, was his service record while under your supervision entirely satisfactory? Yes, in every way
�3. Do you know of anything which would tend to reflect unfavorably on his honesty, moral character, personal habits or class of associates? No
�4. Has he expressed or shown sympathy toward any un-American organization? No
�5. Any question of loyalty to the United States? No
�6. Is there any reason you know of why he should not be assigned to confidential work? No
In fact, Oppenheimer was completely responsible for bringing Morrison into the project intially, as well as to Los Alamos later (1944).

Example #3
The transcript of Oppenheimer�s interview with Boris Pash on 26 August 1943 reflects the following statement by JRO: �I would feel friendly to the idea of the Commander in Chief informing the Russians who are working on this problem [the atom bomb].� The Board found this somewhat startling: How did JRO know in 1943 that the Russians were also working on the atomic bomb? Oppenheimer decamped, claiming it was a misstatement, that he had no idea the Russians were working on the bomb when he said this to Pash. (ITMOJRO, p.144)

Example #4
In an opening statement before his 1954 Security Board Oppenheimer gave the following testimony: "Steve Nelson came a few times with his family to visit; he had befriended my wife in Paris at the time of her husband's death in Spain in 1937. Neither of us has seen him since 1941 or 1942." Apparently, stories did not get 100% synched up. Nelson, from his memoir, Steve Nelson, American Radical: "He [Oppenheimer] called me up and said that he was going away and would like to meet for lunch. We met at a restaurant on the main strip in Berkeley, and he appeared excited to the point of nervousness. He couldn't discuss where he was going, but would only say that it had to do with the war effort. We chatted, mostly about Spain and the war, and exchanged good-byes. His last comment was that it was too bad that the Spanish Loyalists had not been able to hold out a little longer so that we could have buried Franco and Hitler in the same grave." (SNAR, p. 269) Oppenheimer was not sure of the timing of his move to Los Alamos until 1943.

Example #5
In an opening statement before his Security Board in 1954 Oppenheimer gave the following testimony: "Because of the associations that I have described, and the contributions mentioned earlier, I might well have appeared at the time as quite close to the Communist Party--perhaps even to some people as belonging to it. As I have said, some of its declared objectives seemed to me desirable. But I never was a member of the Communist Party. I never accepted Communist dogma or theory; in fact, it never made sense to me. I had no clearly formulated political views." (ITMOJRO, p. 10)
A. Gregg Herken, author of Brotherhood of the Bomb, has developed new evidence that proves beyond a shadow of doubt that Oppenheimer was a member of the Communist Party. The new evidence is several documents received post-publication and now available at the Brotherhood book website. The most definitive is a an excerpt from an unpublished memoir by Gordon Griffiths, a Party member who functioned as a liaison to Oppenheimer's Party unit (the College Faculties Committee of the Communist Party of California). As a member of this unit Oppenheimer wrote and published a number of pamphlets titled Report to Our Colleagues. These were characterized by Griffiths as "stylistically elegant and intellectually cogent." Readers can review Report: I and judge for themselves whether or not Robert Oppenheimer was telling the truth or lying when he wrote, "I never accepted Communist dogma or never made sense to me....I had no clearly formulated political views."
B. Steve Nelson also gave a contrary account to JRO's disclaimer. Nelson wrote: "Oppenheimer took along Marx's three volumes of Das Kapital for a three day train ride to New York City. When he got off the train, he was through all three volumes and had found them quite logical." (SNAR, p.269) Both Haakon and Barbara Chevalier recounted this same anecdote.

Example #6
The transcript of the Pash-Oppenheimer interview on 26 August 1943 shows that Boris Pash questioned JRO closely regarding his statement that Eltenton's contact was someone connected to the Soviet Consulate in San Francisco. The following exchange occurred:
P. "You say this man is not employed in the consulate?
O. "I have never been introduced to him.
P. "Have you ever heard his name mentioned?
O. "I have never heard his name mentioned but I have been given to understand that he is attached to the consulate." (ITMOJRO, p.149)

Eltenton's Soviet contact was Pyotr Ivanov, a GRU officer assigned to the consulate as military attache. As far as is known, there was no contact between Ivanov and Oppenheimer. JRO's disclaimer on never being introduced to Eltenton's Soviet contact, therefore, is probably technically true. But there is credible information that in 1941 and 1942 Oppenheimer did have personal contact with the Gregori Kheifetz, the KGB resident in San Francisco. It is known that Kheifetz and Ivanov, working together, had numerous meetings with both Eltenton and Chevalier, including visits to their homes in Berkeley. (BOTB, p. 91-2)

Pavel Sudoplatov in Special Tasks asserted several meetings between Kheifetz and Oppenheimer. Alexander Feklisov in The Man Behind the Rosenbergs made a similar statement: "At this time [1943], Grigory Heifetz, the Soviet vice consul and INO Rezident on the west coast of the United States, was about to infiltrate the Los Alamos center where a brilliant team of world-renowned physicists was putting together the atomic bomb. Heifetz personally knew J. Robert Oppenheimer, who was the scientific director of the Manhattan Project." (TMBTR, p. 105) In Sacred Secrets the Schecters produced a document from KGB archives that showed a connection between Oppenheimer and Kheifetz (1944 Merkulov letter to Beria). FBI records show that Oppenheimer was acquainted and socialized with Louise Bransten, a Communist dilletante in San Franciso; Louise Bransten was Kheifetz's mistress.

It is a virtual certainty that Robert Oppenheimer and Grigori Kheifetz were personally acquainted. As a security matter, Oppenheimer was duty bound to reveal any and all contact with members of the Soviet Consulate. He never told Pash, Groves or Lansdale about Kheifetz.


Letter from William L. Borden to J. Edgar Hoover, November 2, 1953

November 2, 1953

Mr. J. Edgar Hoover
Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. Hoover:

This letter concerns J. Robert Oppenheimer.

As you know, he has for some years enjoyed access to various critical activities of the National Security Council, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Army, Navy and Air Force, the Research and Development Board, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Resources Board, and the National Sciences Foundation. His access covers most new weapons being developed by the Armed Forces, war plans at least in comprehensive outline, complete details as to atomic and hydrogen weapons and stockpile data, the evidence on which some of the principal CIA Intelligence estimates is based, United States participation in the United Nations and NATO and many other areas of high security sensitivity.

Because the scope of his access may well be unique, because he has had custody of an immense collection of classified papers covering military, intelligence, and diplomatic as well as atomic energy matters, and because he also possesses a scientific background enabling him to grasp the significance of classified data of a technical nature, it seems reasonable to estimate that he is and for some years has been in a position to compromise more vital and detailed information affecting the national defense and security than any other individual in he United States.

While J. Robert Oppenheimer has not made major contributions to the advancement of science, he holds a respected professional standing among the second rank of American physicists. In terms of his mastery of Government affairs, his close liaison with ranking officials, and his ability to influence high level thinking, he surely stands in the first rank, not merely among scientists but among all those who have shaped postwar decisions in the military, atomic energy, intelligence, and diplomatic fields. As chairman or as an official on unofficial member of more than 35 important Government committees, panels, study groups, and projects, he has oriented or dominated key policies involving every principal United States security department and agency except the FBI.

The purpose of this letter is to state my own exhaustively considered opinion, based upon years of study, of the available classified evidence that more probably than not J. Robert Oppenheimer is an agent of the Soviet Union.

1. This opinion considers the following factors, among others:
(a) He was contributing substantial monthly sums to the Communist Party;
(b) His ties with communism had survive the Nazi-Soviet Pact and the Soviet attack upon Finland;
(c) His wife and younger brother were Communists;
(d) He had no close friends except Communists;
(e) He had at least one Communist mistress;
(f) He belonged only to Communist organizations, apart from professional affiliations;
(g) The people whom he recruited into the early wartime Berkeley atom project were exclusively Communists;
(h) He had been instrumental in securing recruits for the Communist Party, and
(i) He was in frequent contact with Soviet Espionage agents. [e.g. Steve Nelson, Louise Bransten].

2. The evidence indicating that:
(a) In May 1942, he either stopped contributing funds to the Communist Party or else made his contributions though a new channel not yet discovered;
(b) In April 1943 his name was formally submitted for security clearance;
(c) He himself was aware at the time that his name had been so submitted and
(d) He thereafter repeatedly gave false information to General Groves, Manhattan District, and the FBI concerning the 1939-April 1942 period.

3. The evidence indicating that:
(a) HE was responsible for employing a number of Communists, some of them not technical, at wartime Los Alamos;
(b) He selected one such individual to write the official Los Alamos history;
(c) He was a vigorous supporter of the H-bomb program until August 6, 1945, (Hiroshima), on which day he personally urged each senior individual working in this field to desist; and
(d) He was an enthusiastic sponsor of the A-bomb program until the war ended, when he immediately and outspokenly advocated the Los Alamos Laboratory be disbanded.

4. The evidence indicating that:
(a) He was remarkably instrumental in influencing the military authorities and the Atomic Energy Commission essentially to suspend H-bomb development from mid-1946 through January 31, 1950.
(b) He has worked tirelessly, from January 31, 1950, onward to retard the United States H-bomb program;
(c) He has used his potent influence against every postwar effort to expand capacity for producing A-bomb material;
(d) He has used his potent influence against every postwar effort directed at obtaining larger supplies of uranium raw material; and
(e) He has used his potent influence against every major postwar effort toward atomic power development, including the nuclear-powered submarine and aircraft programs as well as industrial power projects.

From such evidence, considered in detail, the following conclusions are justified:
1. Between 1939 and mid-1942, more probably than not, J. Robert Oppenheimer was sufficiently hardened Communist that he either volunteered espionage information to the Soviets or complied with a request for such information. (This includes the possibility that when he singled out the weapons aspect of atomic development as his personal specialty, he was acting under Soviet instructions.)
2. More probably than not, he has since been functioning as an espionage agent; and
3. More probably than not, he has since acted under a Soviet directive in influencing United States military, atomic energy, intelligence, and diplomatic policy.

It is to be noted that these conclusions correlate with information furnished by Klaus Fuchs, indicating the Soviets had acquired an agent in Berkeley who informed them about electromagnetic separation research during 1942 or earlier.

Needless to say, I appreciate the probabilities identifiable from existing evidence might, with review of future acquired evidence, be reduced to possibilities or they might also be increased to certainties. The central problem is not whether J. Robert Oppenheimer was ever a Communist; for the existing evidence makes abundantly clear that he was. Even an Atomic Energy Commission analysis prepared in early 1947 reflects this conclusion, although some of the most significant derogatory data had yet to become available. The central problem is assessing the degree of likelihood that he in fact did what a Communist in his circumstances at Berkeley, would logically have done during the crucial 1939-1942 period�that is, whether he became an actual espionage and policy instrument of the Soviets. Thus, as to this central problem, my opinion is that, more probably than not, the worst is in fact truth.

I am profoundly aware of the grave nature of these comments. The matter is detestable to me. Having lived with the Oppenheimer case for years, having studied and restudied all data concerning him that your agency made available to the Atomic Energy Commission through May 1953, having endeavored to factor in a mass of additional data assembled from numerous other sources, and looking back upon the case from a perspective in private life, I feel a duty simply to state to the responsible head of the security agency most concerned the conclusions which I have painfully crystallized and which I believe any fair-minded man thoroughly familiar with the evidence must also be driven to accept.

The writing of this letter, to me a solemn step, is exclusively on my own personal initiative and responsibility.

Very truly yours,

(signed) William L. Borden
(typed) William L. Borden

Authors Note: Two of Borden's conclusions may be questionable in view of current information.

1. Borden suggested that JRO became an espionage agent as early as 1939. However, we believe Oppenheimer's initial contact with Soviet intelligence was when Pavel Sudoplatov said it was--in December 1941, when he met Gregori Kheifitz (socially) and revealed sensitive atomic energy information. (ST, p.174) Several months later, the relationship became formalized through the efforts of Elizabeth Zarubina. ("In developing Oppenheimer as a source, Vassili Zarubin's wife, Elizabeth, was essetntial." ST, p.189-90).

2. Borden wrote that Klaus Fuchs had stated that the Soviets had an agent in Berkeley supplying information on the electro-magnetic method; Borden further suggested that the agent was Oppenheimer. If the basis for Borden's statement is Fuchs' confession to Dr. Michael W. Perrin on 30 Jan 1950, it needs to be pointed out that Fuchs did not mention Berkeley (KF- AS, p.189). In 1942 electro-magnetic separation research was being conducted in two locations, Berkeley and Princeton. Two of Oppenheimer's Berkeley graduate students have been implicated in espionage, Rossi Lomanitz and Joseph Weinberg. Of the two, Lomanitz would be the more likely candidate, along with Oppenheimer. (BOB, p.61-62) But it is also entirely possible that the Soviet's source on this research was at the Princeton atomic lab. (more)


Brotherhood of the Bomb, Gregg Herken, 2002
In The Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Atomic Energy Commission, 1954

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:27 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set D - Drugstore Safehouse


In Special Tasks, page 192, Pavel Sudoplatov wrote: "In 1940, on Beria's orders, I had sent Joseph Grigulevich to Mexico to assist Eitingon in assassinating Trotsky....Grigulevich's assignment in Mexico was to organize a parallel illegal network....while organizing this group Grigulevich opened a drugstore in New Mexico...his father was a successful pharmacist [in Argentina]...before leaving the United States in 1941, he transferred ownership of the pharmacy to one of his was simply good luck that a previous mission left us with a safe house in Santa Fe."

The abstract elements of this story are: a newcomer to Santa Fe with formal pharmaceutical credentials (per New Mexico regulations) opened a drugstore in 1940; a short time later in 1941 this person left the United States; before leaving the US this person transferred the business to another individual. Distilled even further, a pharmacy business with a founder and second owner between 1940 and 1942.


After significant research into three Santa Fe businesses we could not develop a candidate for the safe house described by Sudoplatov. We are persuaded that Sudoplatov disinformed (lied) about the location (Santa Fe) or possibly the nature of the front (a drugstore). On reflection we feel that 1940 Santa Fe, a small town and not on a thru rail line, would have been a poor choice for an E&E; station in support of the Trotsky operation. In view of events, it might even have been more of a curse than a blessing - Santa Fe crawled with Army CIC during the war. Albuquerque, New Mexico, would seem a more logical choice, being the railroad "Y" junction between Washington DC on the East Coast, Mexico City, and San Francisco on the West Coast.

ARTUR and APTEKA. There are 13 Venona messages containing the codename ARTUR (Arthur); they are dated between 1942 and 1944. On page 99 of The Sword and The Shield Christopher Andrew identifies ARTUR as Joseph Romualdovich Grigulevich. Sword and Shield provides much interesting detail on Grigulevich's notable KGB career, to include a meeting with Rudolf Abel in New York in November, 1948 (Plan B above?). As told by Professor Andrew, Grigulevich's assignment during this period was that of illegal resident for all of South America, and the ARTUR messages in Venona reflect operations in South America. Additionally and interestingly, Venona also contains a message with codename APTEKA (DRUGSTORE), dated 6 June 1945. Although the sparseness of the decryption does not afford identification or further insight into this entity, it is interesting to note that DRUGSTORE appears connected to the signing of contracts [KONTRAXTATsIYa]. This could be related to a "transfer of ownership" matter, such as described by Sudoplatov.

In Special Tasks, Sudoplatov makes a second reference to the Santa Fe drugstore, a reference which we feel is overlooked but has great potential significance: "The mole in Tennessee [Oak Ridge] was connected with the illegal station at the Santa Fe drugstore, from which material was sent by courier to Mexico." It is curious that the Centre decided to use the illegal line to courier the mole in Oak Ridge; control provided out of New York or Washington arguably would have been more expedient. In the espionage business, there are almost always good and sufficient reasons for such decisions. The illegal line, run out of Mexico City, was established on Beria's orders (per Sudoplatov) to provide special compartmentalization for Oppenheimer. Indeed, it was no doubt organized because Beria knew in late 1942 that Oppenheimer and Los Alamos were going to be where the action was. That makes the identity of the mole at Oak Ridge, possibly FOGEL/PERS, the more interesting.

Capital Pharmacy

Previous research into the purported Santa Fe drugstore safehouse focused on the sense that it was a new business in 1940. However, information in Sacred Secrets by Jerrold and Leona Schecter suggests that an existing pharmacy might have been purchased or bought into. Sacred Secrets also states that the drugstore was located on The Plaza in downtown Santa Fe (the Schecters provide no sourcing for these new attributes of a Santa Fe safe house). In 1940, there were 4 drugstores within a stones throw of the Plaza, but technically only two were "on the Plaza," i.e. the Plaza was directly across the street from their front doors. One of them was The Capital Pharmacy, at 82 E. San Francisco Street. In the early 1940's Capital was operated by Morris Yashvin, a first generation Russian-American whose parents emigrated to the U.S. from Vilna, the capital of Lithuania. Lithuania is where Joseph Grigulevich was from.

New security charges against Robert Oppenheimer surfaced in 1950. A former Communist Party organizer in the Bay Area (Paul Crouch) claimed that Oppenheimer had attended, along with Joseph Weinberg, a high level, secret meeting in Berkeley of the Party's professional section in the summer of 1941. Weinberg had been a former student of Oppenheimer's, and had been wiretapped in Steve Nelson's home while passing atomic information obtained from the Rad Lab where he worked. In trying to determine Oppenheimer's exact whereabouts in July-August 1941, the FBI conducted extensive interviews in Santa Fe, NM, in 1952. One of the persons interviewed, in connection with 2 prescriptions filled for the Oppenheimers at the Capital Pharmacy, was Morris Yashvin.

The FBI report on this matter reads as follows:
"Mr. Forrest Jones, Pharmacist, Capitol Pharmacy, made available copies of prescriptions filled by the Capitol Pharmacy during 1941. The writer checked tis file and found that prescripition #2100738 for Mrs. V. Oppenheimer was filled on July 14, 1941. This prescription was for nunbutol Gr. 1 1/2 and the doctor's name was shown as Hannah Peters, M.D. The directions were given as '1 as needed for sleep.'

"Prescription #210739 was filled for Robert Oppenheimer on July 14, 1941. This prescription was for elix phonobarbitol, oz. V III. The doctor's name was M. Jacobs, M.D. The directions were given as '1 teaspoonfull 3 times a day, one half hour before meals.'

"Mr. Morris Yashvin, owner, Capitol Pharmacy, advised that he had known Robert Oppenheimer for approximately 25 years as a customer in his drug store. He stated that he had had no contact with Robert Oppenheimer other than his store. Yashvin examined the 2 prescription blanks described abovve and noted that the penciled initiatials W/Y appeared on these 2 prescriptions. He stated that this indicated that the prescriptions had been filled by Mr. Wisher who is no longer employed in the store and had been checked by himself. He stated, however, that he could recall nothing about the person who had these prescriptions filled. It was his opinion that the person filling these prescriptions had requested that the prescription be returned to them in order that they might have it refilled later and that this was the reason why his files contained a typewritten copy of the prescription.

"Yashvin stated that he had been in the pharmacy business in Santa Fe, New Mexico, since 1924 and that he was sure that doctors Hannah Peters and Dr. M. Jacobs had never practiced medicine in Santa Fe.

Yashvin stated that he knew of no close friends of Oppenheimer around Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the early 1940's except Mrs. Katherine Page Kavanaugh. He stated that during the time Robert Oppenheimer was a Los Alamos, there was one couple that nearly always came to the drugstore with them. He remembered the last name of these people as being Serber. He was asked if this was Robert and Charlotte Serber. He stated that he did not remember the name Robert but that he was sure that the woman's name was Charlotte."

In 1940 the Capital Pharmacy was owned (majority shareholder) by Martin Gardesky. Gardesky passed away in December 1940 and ownership of the business passed to Morris Yashvin and Freeman Frazer. Although the FBI writer of this report referred to Yashvin's drugstore as the Capitol Pharmacy, corporation records and business directory listings show it as Capital Pharmacy.

Zook's Pharmacy

The other drugstore on the Plaza in 1940 was Zook's Pharmacy. Its history is a little convoluted: In 1906 John Zook and James Caruthers purchased Ireland's Pharmacy in Santa Fe. At some point, they renamed Ireland's to Capital Pharmacy. Circa 1909 Zook resigned from Capital and opened his own store. In 1913 Zook incorporated his business and moved Zook's Pharmacy to 56 E. San Francisco Street, just several doors to the east of Capital. John Zook passed away in 1950 but his wife and daughter continued to operate the business until 1965 when Lyman Quick purchased it.

Shortly after Sacred Secrets came out, Ronald Radosh (co-author of the The Rosenberg File), reviewed the book for the Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review. In his review Radosh identified the KGB drugstore safehouse as Zuck's Pharmacy in Santa Fe: "Much of the atomic espionage - details of which are not to be found in Venona - took place through Soviet residents and from couriers working through a Soviet safe house for illegals, operated out of Zuck's Drugstore in Santa Fe. Run by Kitty Harris, a courier for atomic secrets, Zuck's was purchased by the NKVD as a support center to arrange Leon Trotsky's assassination in 1940."

This statement by Radosh is somewhat surprising since neither Zuck's nor Zook's is mentioned in Sacred Secrets, the book under review. So there is zero basis/sourcing behind the freelanced, camouflaged identification of Zooks. Be that as it may, we assume a little bird has whispered in Mr. Radosh's ear and all will be revealed at some future date and venue.

Additional Phenomena

"Katherine Oppenheimer was not mentioned by name in the reports, but we worked through a woman close to Oppenheimer, and it was my understanding then and is now that the woman was his wife." Special Tasks, page 190.

"The dentist's wife (CHESS PLARYER's wife) became a close friend of the Oppenheimer family, and they were our clandestine contacts with Oppenheimer and his friends, contacts that went undetected by the FBI." Special Tasks, page 190.

"Kitty Harris was put in charge of finding the two old illegal assets in California, one a dentist, the other a retail businessman......CHESS PLAYER and his wife were friends of the Oppenheimers and introduced Elizabeth [Zarubin] to them. They were active assets in Elizabeth's assignment to set up a ring of satellite agents around Robert Oppenheimer......In early 1943, Kitty arrived in Mexico City where Vasilevsky was the rezident.....The Mexico-based courier line operated out of a drug store on the Plaza in Santa Fe and was run with illegals who do not appear in the decoded Venona traffic.....Kitty [Harris] was to serve as the [Mexico City] rezidentura's chief courier...." Sacred Secrets, pages 62-63.


Presently, the only sort of corroboration of Sudoplatov & Schecter on the subject of the Santa Fe drugstore is the Kitty Harris book. If true, however, its significance regarding atomic espionage would be hard to overstate. The picture that would emerge is a so-called "channel" made up of Kitty Oppenheimer, Charlotte Serber, CHESS PLAYER's wife, Kitty Harris and others.

The Los Alamos Lab was opened by the Army in March 1943. The Oppenheimers and Serbers arrived on or before March 16. According to Sacred Secrets, the illegal channel incorporating the Santa Fe safehouse was being organized and brought on line during this same time frame. Events chronologically proximate to the inception of Los Alamos were the visit of Vassili Zarubin to San Francisco (Steve Nelson) in April 1943, the identification of Joseph Weinberg in June 1943, the interviews of Kitty and Robert Oppenheimer by John Lansdale in mid-July 1943 and then the Eltenton-Chevalier incident (Pash interview) on 26 August 1943. We see opportunity and rationale for cause and effect between the so-called Chevalier Incident and prior events.

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:26 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set C - FOGEL' / PERS

O-07/21/03; R-08/27/03; U-11/13/03


�Pers� was well-known to �Stanley� from their study together in college. He agreed to collaborate with us on the basis of his close ideological position. This source worked as an engineer and was involved in the construction of chemical companies in the USA and many other countries of the world. In particular, his firm put together an important part of the factory where the isotope U-235 needed for the atomic bomb, was extracted into separation units. Before constructing a full-scale active factory, the Americans constructed a small experimental factory in another state where practically all the technology for obtaining U-235 was worked out. -- Unpublished manuscript, Za Okeanom I Na Ostrove (On the Island and Across the Ocean), Alexander Feklisov (pre-1994)


Pers became Monti

A footnote in the book Bombshell by Albright and Kunstel begins with the heading, "Disappearing code names in Feklisov's manuscript." The footnote states that a manuscript for Za Okeanom contained a list of four agents, one of whom was named "Pers." The footnote also mentions there were two pages of information on Pers. (B, p.363) The phenomena quote above is part of this material, and it suggests Pers was an atomic source. For example, the reference to Pers' firm and an isotope separation factory for U-235 are almost certainly Kellex and Oak Ridge, respectively. A copy of the manuscript obtained by Albright and Kunstel indicated that Pers and the 3 other agents were recruits of "Stanley." Most importantly, the manuscript showed every instance of "Pers" crossed out and the name "Monti" substituted.

Stanley became Lastochkin

When Za Okeanom was published in 1994 it reflected the changes to the manuscript--Pers was expunged and replaced by Monti. Feklisov also made other significant changes. Chief among them was that the recruiter of Monti, who had been Stanley, was now someone called "Pyotr Lastochkin," an obvious alias. Also missing from the Monti (nee Pers) account was the claim that 'Stanley' knew Monti from college. In other words, a college association between Monti and Lastochkin was not stated. However Stanley was not completely eliminated from Za Okeanom. He remained as the recruiter of the other three agents mentioned in the manuscript.

Stanley became Rosenberg

Then, in 2001 Alexander Feklisov published an expanded edition of Za Okeanom in English. The book was re-titled The Man Behind the Rosenbergs. In it the pseudonym "Stanley" totally disappeared and was replaced with the person of Julius Rosenberg, the recruiter and leader of a technical espionage ring. Instead of the alias Stanley, Feklisov informs readers what they already know from Venona: Rosenberg's real cover names were ANTENNA and LIBERAL, and he was the recruiter/courier of the 3 agents, Joel Barr, Morton Sobell and William Perl. Monti is also present in Man Behind, and his legend is basically unchanged from both Za Okeanom and its antecedent manuscript: Monti was a chemical engineer who worked for Kellex and gave blueprints on the plant at Oak Ridge to the Soviets.

Enter Venona

All of the above would be standard fare for a spy memoir except for the fact that Pers happens to be a real Soviet cover name. There are five Venona messages that reference a Soviet agent with cover name PERS. (PERS� first Soviet cover name was FOGEL, changed to PERS in September 1944) Moreover, �PERS� is an atomic source who appears to be associated with �Camp-1,� the KGB�s designation for Oak Ridge.

Enter The Haunted Wood

The first espionage authors to provide identifying information about FOGEL-PERS were Weinstein and Vassiliev in The Haunted Wood (1999). Based on KGB archive records, the authors provide the following detailed description of this agent:

�[PERS] was a young U.S. engineer and Communist Party member whose father was a close friend of Earl Browder�s. Seeking employment that would benefit the party during the war, he consulted a CP member who, in turn, talked to Semyon Semyonov. Semyonov urged [PERS] to apply for a job at the Kellogg Construction Company, which was a major object of KGB interest because of its work on �Enormoz.� [PERS] found a job with a Kellog subcontractor, Kellex, and began to deliver information on the plant structure and equipment being used in the �Enormoz� project's New York facilities.� (THW, p. 190-192)

The Man Behind the Rosenbergs

The Man Behind The Rosenbergs is a full memoir covering Mr. Feklisov�s interesting life and remarkable career in intelligence. In the chapter immediately preceding the segment on the Rosenbergs, Feklisov devotes several pages to the agent "Monti." There are just three actors: Monti, an American source working on the atomic bomb project; Pyotr Lastochkin, the recruiter of Monti; and Feklisov, their case officer.

Feklisov begins his Monti account in the summer of 1942 when he is visited at the Soviet Consulate by Pyotr Lastochkin. Lastochkin is a Russian, like Feklisov. Curiously, it is left unsaid whether or how the two might have been acquainted prior to the consulate visit. Despite a significant age difference, Lastochkin and Feklisov have a lot in common and a friendship develops. (They meet to play chess, go to the movies, etc.) As presented by Feklisov, Lastochkin is a communist and sympathetic to the Soviet Union--then at war with Germany. Feklisov decided to recruit Lastochkin. He told Lastochkin that he was a KGB officer and �gave� him the Center�s orders to obtain information on the American atomic bomb project. Amazingly, Lastochkin was already aware of the atomic bomb due to conversations with an American communist (�American counterpart�)! Lastochkin readily accepted Feklisov�s charge to obtain atomic intelligence from his CPUSA contact, Monti. In running Monti, Feklisov used Lastochkin as a �cutout.� Feklisov said he never met or even saw Monti.

The Lastochkin and Monti Legends

The following are the Lastochkin and Monti legends from Feklisov (TMBTR, p. 96-100):
1. Lastochkin was Russian
2. Lastochkin's real name is secret because it would be easy to identify Monti since the two met openly
3. Lastochkin had worked at Amtorg for ten months before the war (Barbarossa, 22 June 1941)
4. Lastochkin met Monti during his first tour in America
5. Lastochkin was sent back to the USSR in Nov 1940 when the US ended trade relations with USSR
6. Lastochkin came to see Feklisov at the Soviet Consulate during the summer of 1942
7. Lastochkin was returning to the US as a Chemical Engineer attached to the Purchasing Commission
8. Lastochkin's brother was at the front and had been Feklisov's classmate at University
9. Lastochkin and Feklisov played chess together at the Manhattan Chess Club
10. Lastochkin was much older than Feklisov
11. Lastochkin and Feklisov loved to reminisce about Moscow
12. Lastochkin and Feklisov were on the best of terms, which helped Feklisov retain the control of Monti
13. Lastochkin was very enthusiastic about his job
14. Lastochkin spoke English well and was constantly improving it
15. Lastochkin spent time in libraries reading specialized publications
16. Lastochkin attended lectures at universities or scientific societies
17. Lastochkin had an impressive circle of contacts among his American counterparts
18. Lastochkin's circle of American counterparts included Monti
19. Lastochkin understood the importance of the Enormoz project because of his conversations with Monti
20. Lastochkin was counselled by Feklisov to approach Monti by not asking direct questions about Oak Ridge
21. Lastochkin thought Monti would give money to the Russians for the war effort
22. Lastochkin and Monti met irregularly because the engineer traveled to Brazil, Mexico and Canada
23. Lastochkin had to return to Moscow in the summer of 1945

24. Monti has never been identified nor mentioned in the decrypted Venona messages
25. Monti's real code name is useless to researchers, whether they are historians or spy hunters
26. Monti was a rich man who was so eager to help us that we never offered him any compensation
27. Monti worked for Kellex, which was completing the construction of a top-secret pilot factory in Oak Ridge
28. Monti was in charge of a team of engineers who were building chemical plants in the US and overseas
29. Monti lived in a beautiful house in the Manhattan suburbs
30. Monti volunteered specifics about Oak Ridge whereupon Lastochkin asked him to write a little report
31. Monti was told by Lastochkin that the report would be forwarded to the Academy of Sciences in the USSR
32. Monti showed up at the next meeting with Lastochkin with technical blueprints for Oak Ridge
33. Monti agreed to answer other questions from the 'Academy'
34. Monti was overseas so Lastochkin wrote him a letter saying goodbye and introducing his replacement
35. Monti was never formally recruited but understood that Lastochkin was Soviet intelligence
36. Monti provided material that was always priceless
37. Monti agreed to meet with his new contact without reservation

Lastochkin becomes Akhmerov
Monti becomes Brothman

Iskhak Akhmerov (1901-1975) of Tartar descent; joined the Party in 1919; joined the KGB in 1930; entered the US on false passport in 1935 and acted as head of the illegal rezidentura in US from 1942 to 1945; attained the rank of Colonel; awarded Order of the Red Banner and Honored Chekist.
Abraham Brothman (1913-1980), Native American, New Yorker, chemist, business man, and long-time KGB asset engaged in industrial espionage. (V,DSEIA, p.391, 344)

1. Lastochkin was Russian. Akhmerov was born in Russia (Tartar descent)

4. Lastochkin met Monti during his first tour in America. Akhmerov came to the U.S. in 1934 and matriculated at Columbia University where Brothman was a student.

5. Lastochkin was sent back to the USSR in Nov 1940 when the US ended trade relations with USSR. Akhmerov was recalled to Moscow in December 1939 (THW, p. 235)

6. Lastochkin came to see Feklisov at the Soviet Consulate during the summer of 1942. Akhmerov returned to the US in April 1942 (THW, p. 235)

10. Lastochkin was much older than Feklisov. Akhmerov was born in 1901, Feklisov in 1914

12. Lastochkin approved of Feklisov. Akhmerov trained Feklisov in Moscow before Feklisov came to America. (TMBTR, p. 15)

13. Lastochkin was very enthusiastic about his job. Akhmerov �was dark an stocky, with broad lips and a ready smile. His English was good; his manner was affable and easy. He seemed to be enjoying his life in America.� (TS&TS;, p.105)

14. Lastochkin spoke English well and was constantly improving it. Akhmerov ��..had a special disarming charisma, and spoke English better than Russian.� (TMBTR, p. 15)

17. Lastochkin had an impressive circle of contacts among his American counterparts. Akhmerov ran the network �under what [he] termed the Communist Party flag. Informants regarded themselves as helping the CPUSA, which would in turn assist its Soviet comrades.� (TS&TS;, p. 110).

18. Lastochkin's circle of American counterparts included Monti. Akhmerov �was the control officer of Jacob Golos, the chief organizer of espionage activities through the American Communist Party.� (ST, p. 217) Until his death in November 1943, Golos controlled the Party cell that Abraham Brothman belonged to. (For example, FBI Rosenberg file, p.157: �In approximately May of 1940 Golos introduced [Elizabeth Bentley] to Abe Brothman.�)

23. Lastochkin had to return to Moscow in the summer of 1945. Akhmerov was recalled to the USSR in December, 1945.

26. Monti was a rich man who was so eager to help us that we never offered him any compensation. Brothman had become affluent by the early 1940�s.

28. Monti was in charge of a team of engineers who were building chemical plants in the US and overseas. Brothman had his own company, Brothman and Associates, which was engaged in such work. Brothman�s Venona cover name was CONSTRUCTOR.

29. Monti lived in a beautiful house in the Manhattan suburbs. Brothman lived in an upscale house in Nassau County outside of Manhattan in 1940.

36. Monti provided material that was always priceless. Brothman was a central figure in the Akhmerov-Golos espionage network. �Brothman�.had been described by Bentley as one of the stalwarts of the�.industrial espionage ring run by Jacob Golos.� (TRF, p.153) �[Thomas] Black was prepared to testify that he had visited Brothman�s lab on at least six occasions beginning in 1942 and heard numerous discussions of information Brothman was providing to the Russians.�(TRF, p.155)

Enter the FBI

Robert Lamphere was the head of the FBI�s Soviet Message Unit (SOVME) and was responsible for liaison with the Army Security Agency at Arlington Hall. In June of 1949 Lamphere returned to Bureau Headquarters with a 'slew' of partially decrypted Soviet messages. One of these messages reported that an agent with cover name REST had provided information on the British Mission of the Manhattan Project (Venona #645, 08054); another message showed that Soviet intelligence had received a top secret atomic report designated MSN-12 from REST (Venona #850, 15064). In addition, several other decryptions linked REST to a second agent with the cover name GUS. Within a matter of weeks, REST was tentatively identified as Klaus Fuchs. On September 26, 1949, Lamphere reported back to Gardner on the status of the REST-GUS investigation�it had led to Abe Brothman. The Lamphere memo to Gardner provides intriguing possibilities for the idea that Brothman is part of the Monti legend, to wit:

"You will also recall, Gus, who has not been identified was also a contact of Abraham Brothman, a Consulting Engineer in New York City who furnished espionage information to Elizabeth Bentley in 1940. It is thought that Gus may be identical with Arthur Phineas Weber, who is presently an employee of the Kellex Corporation, which is engaged in work under the Atomic Energy Commission. Weber was born March 10, 1920, in Brooklyn, New York and is a chemical engineer. From 1941 to 1942 he worked with Brothman for the Henderick Manufacturing Company. From June 1942 to July 1944, he worked with Brothman in the Chemurgy Design Corporation, and according to some information during a part of this period he was also working for the Kellex Corporation. Weber lists employment with Kellex Corporation as a chemical engineer from July 1944 to March 29, 1946, and again from April 8, 1946 to the present. It should be noted that the Kellex Corporation was closely working in 1944 with the British Scientist group which included Fuchs." (V,SEATAR, p.143) GUS was later identified as Harry Gold, and arrested in May 1950.

The Stanley and Pers Legends

The following are the legends on Stanley and Pers, extracted and disaggregated from the Za Okeanom manuscript (38-42) and The Haunted Wood (43-62).

38. Stanley knew Pers from their being in college together
39. Stanley remained the courier for Pers after his other sources were transferred to another line
40. Pers agreed to collaborate with Stanley and the Soviets because of his communist ideals
41. Pers worked as an engineer in the construction of chemical plants in the USA and other countries
42. Pers� employer built part of the factory that separated the isotope U-235

43. PERS was a young, US engineer
44. PERS was a Communist Party Member
45. PERS� father was a friend of Earl Browder (Head of CPUSA)
46. PERS consulted a member of the CP about finding employment that would benefit the Party
47. PERS' fellow communist contacted Semyon Semyonov, who suggested the Kellogg Constuction Company
48. PERS gained employment with Kellex, a subcontractor to Kellogg
49. PERS delivered information on plant structure & equipment used in the "Enormoz" project's NY facilities
50. PERS understood that he was spying for the USSR
51. PERS proved to be an able and resourceful agent
52. PERS was initially controlled by Semyonov, then transferred to Feklisov
53. PERS had a wife, small child, and lived in a comfortable apartment
54. PERS' production fell off because his work was on the periphery of the Manhattan Project
55. PERS' production also fell off because of family pressures and fear of exposure
56. PERS declined a transfer in February 1945 to an atomic camp as a construction engineer
57. PERS had begun a new business with another Communist and had invested $20,000.
58. PERS was pressed by Feklisov to change his mind and to become more committed to the Party cause
59. PERS declined a cash payment if he would put a relative in charge of his business and travel West
60. PERS met with Anatoly Yatskov on March 11, 1945, at which time his wife was ill
61. PERS only delivered some drawings and plans to the Soviets in May 1945 that were directly linked to "Enormoz."
62. PERS was characterized in a 5 November 1944 report by Pavel Fitin as "not having great possibilities"

Pers remains unidentified

The identity of FOGEL-PERS is an unsolved mystery. Several authors with conflicting theories have served to deepen the mystery. More than a year ago, we surveyed the state of conjecture on PERS under the heading Pers Morass. That effort did not give a coherent picture, and does not figure in the present analysis. Conversely, however, the present analysis does not resolve a number of issues raised under Pers Morass. Until FOGEL-PERS is conclusively identified, Pers Morass may still have relevancy. It can be reviewed at Set X.

As noted above, Arthur Phineas Weber was a person of interest in the Lamphere report to Gardner. He is also named in Venona message. No. 1390, New York to Moscow, of 1 October 1944. This message contained information obtained from Harry Gold (GUS) about Abe Brothman's business affairs: "According to GUS' latest advice CONSTRUCTOR [Brothman] has stopped working at the Chemurgy Design Company where jointly with Henry Golwinne and Art Weber he was working on the production of Buna-5." On the face of it, it is hard to fathom why the Residentura should be apprising the Center on Weber and Golwinne, or indeed why the Center might already be familiar with these individuals. Weber was born in 1920; graduated CCNY in 1941 with a degree in Chemical Engineering; married in 1942 and had a son shortly thereafter. Beyond the fact of his inclusion in a Soviet message, there are other intriquing circumstances about Weber; such as, his possible involvement as a business partner with Brothman at Chemurgy, his possible employment at Kellex before 1944, etc. Relative to information in The Haunted Wood, Weber's background is such that one wonders if the SVR appropriated it to create a false trail on FOGEL-PERS?

Nagging Difficulties

In late 1944 Rosenberg had knowledge of the gun design for an atomic bomb. This knowledge did not come from David Greenglass. It seems very improbable that a chemical/construction engineer at Kellex would have access to such information.

In their definitive monograph on Venona, Benson and Warner suggest that FOGEL-PERS worked at Los Alamos. If this was a fully considered comment, it must be based on information not available to the public. Many Venona messages are still classified; apparently PERS message, No. 127 of 10 February 1945, is one of them. As it stands, this association of FOGEL-PERS with Los Alamos cannot be completely discounted.

It has been claimed that PERS was recruited as a spy in part because he felt he had been tricked into working on the bomb by being told that Germany was developing its own bomb. This is at variance with the motivation given for Monti, to wit, that he gave secrets to the USSR because they were an ally and he wanted to ensure the future of communism--which he believed in. (This is the same rationale attributed to Rosenberg by Feklisov and others.)

Feklisov made the assertion that Monti was never mentioned in the Venona messages and that his real code name was "useless to researchers and spy hunters." This would obviosly not be the case for FOGEL-PERS. (Feklisov knew that these cover names were in Venona--Man Behind footnotes Bombshell which mentions the unidentified Venona cover name PERS) If Feklisov's assertion is disinformation, it is uncharacteristically artless. On the other hand, if true it points up a conunundrum.

One of the possibilities raised in this set is that FOGEL-PERS, as explicated by Weinstein and Vassiliev, is represented or at least subsumed in the agent "Monti" from Feklisov. But a comparison of the profile of PERS and the legend on Monti reflects much variance: Semyonov was PERS' first controller not Feklisov (52<>30); Feklisov never met Monti but Yatskov did (60); the inherent contradiction between �priceless materials� and �not having great possibilities" (62<>36); Monti was never formally recruited, but PERS appears to have been (51<>35); there is no suggestion from Feklisov about problems or frustrations with Monti, but PERS required much hand holding and motivating (58<>37); etc. Even accounting for disinformation, it does not compute�two different agents seem to be involved.

In August 1946 Alexander Feklisov returned to the USSR with his wife and daughter aboard a Soviet cargo ship. Upon arrival in Moscow, he prepared a briefing for his superiors on his activities in America. His description of this report includes statistics on the production of Rosenberg, Barr, Sarant, Perl, and Sobell. (Chapter 18, p.160) Atomic source Monti is not mentioned in relation to the briefing. Moreover, Feklisov concludes by stating, "In a somewhat indirect way I had also participated in the top priority target of scientific information gathering of that period: the Manhattan Project, the program to create the atomic bomb. My part, however, had been very small and I only transmitted documents already received." What then of Lastochkin and Monti? Feklisov's claims about these two agents (Chapter 10) speak to the quality, quantity and value of Monti's information. ("Every piece of information [Monti] passed on to us was priceless." page 99) Then, in a reference to Monti in Chapter 23 Feklisov writes: "The isotope separation from uranium took place in a gas plant in a location that remained secret, even to Klaus [Fuchs] himself. In fact, it was run by the Kellex Corporation at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where my generous agent Monti was employed." Feklisov's failure to include Monti in his account of his debrief is a significant omission; his disclaimer on involvement in atomic espionage is contradictory and disengenuous. In August 1947, a year later, Feklisov was sent to London to be the control officer of Klaus Fuchs. In point of fact we believe that his selection for this assignment was largely based on his handling of Monti in the United States. Monti's material related to Fuchs's specialty, isotope separation.


The SVR (KGB) retains many secrets about atomic espionage during the 1940's. In his 1994 Russian book Alexander Feklisov used aliases and disinformation to keep such secrets. But the release of Venona in 1995 eroded the rationale for continued secrecy. Due to his belief that the Rosenbergs were improperly executed and the realization that Venona proved their conspiracy in espionage, Feklisov decided to be more candid in Man Behind The Rosenbergs. His former employer needn't be too upset. The book is only confirmatory not revelatory, and it is incomplete. Yes, Rosenberg, Barr, Sobel, Sarant and Perl were 'certified' by Feklisov, but other Soviet agents, such as Monti, remained covered.

In this set we have disaggregated Feklisov's legends on Lastochkin and Monti. Trying to divine truth from disinformation is a wholly subjective exercise (some would say pointless). Be that as it may, we think Akhmerov is a good fit for Lastochkin, primarily because of the agreement with Akhmerov�s known postings to and from America. Since there was absolutely nothing �young� about Feklisov's Monti legend, a junior engineer aligned with Brothman offered a model that might mesh with The Haunted Wood (almost a necessity). In Lamphere's report to Gardner we found a prototype example, Arthur Weber; plus, Brothman had proven ties to Golos and, by extension, Akhmerov.

Originally Monti was Pers, and he was connected to "Stanley." Julius Rosenberg was Stanley. The Venona messages provide evidence of a possible connection between Rosenberg and FOGEL-PERS. (Set R, Part II, refers) One technique of disinformation is to collapse the actions of two or more agents into a single persona. (It has been suggested, for example, that Vladimir Chikov used this technique in his book about Morris Cohen and the atomic spy Perseus.) It is conceivable, even likely, that Feklisov did this with Monti. Feklisov did not want to link Rosenberg with another, hitherto unknown, atomic spy, so he 'uncoupled' Pers from Stanley.

At the edge of speculation is the possibility that Feklisov's original "Stanley" character (manuscript) is a composite of Rosenberg and another actor. Who might this additive be? We suggest that it was Rosenberg's first KGB controller, Semyon Semyonov. At the top of the set ("Pers became Monti") we said that the Za Okeanom manuscript indicated that Pers and the other 3 agents were recruits of Stanley. With respect to his network, Rosenberg's role was primarily that of a spotter and courier. It was Semyonov who conducted the formal recruitment of Barr, Sobell and Perl. Additionally, 'Semyonov as Stanley' would infuse more meaning into the statement that "Pers was well-known to Stanley from their study together in college." As we know, Semyonov attended MIT for the express purpose of schmoozing with American scientists, several of whom ended up at Los Alamos.

Finally, there are the persistent difficulties which suggest that FOGEL-PERS might not be the purported Kellex engineer who was a KGB source. We rate the possibility that FOGEL-PERS (Venona) and the Kellex engineer (THW) are not the same person at 30% or less.

As time passes, the identity of PERS becomes more interesting and puzzling.

Author's Notes

Another writer who did a careful analysis of both the �leaked� manuscript and Feklisov�s books was responsible for the idea that Lastochkin was Stanley, that Stanley was Julius Rosenberg and that Monti �was dissociated from Stanley.� In reviewing that work along with Man Behind we did not feel, even allowing for heavy disinformation, that Lastochkin could be Rosenberg. After reading Lamphere�s report to Gardner, etc., we saw another solution (Akhmerov, Brothman).

Feklisov published a French edition of Za Okeanom in 1999, titled Confession d�un agent sovietique. It is virtually the same as Man Behind the Rosenbergs (ie., revealed Rosenberg as �Stanley,� etc.) so it was not introduced into this set.

A particulary piquant circumstance--if we are right about Lastochkin--is Akhmerov�s relationship with Feklisov. One of Akhmerov�s duties during his 1940 hiatus in Moscow was to train a fledgling KGB officer destined for America, Alexander Feklisov. He spent some months working with Feklisov, preparing him for his assignment in the U.S. It�s an ironic turn of events--obviously relished by Mr. Feklisov--that a couple of years later they were running an agent together. (TMBTR, p. 15)

The profile (legend) on FOGEL-PERS in this set is taken from The Haunted Wood. Footnotes in the book identify numbered KGB files that were the source/basis of the FOGEL-PERS information. In their Introduction the authors explain that they were allowed to make summaries of KGB archive files or, in some cases, verbatim transcripts. These summaries and transcripts were then reviewed and approved by the SVR. Only a fraction of the data on FOGEL-PERS in The Haunted Wood is verbatim (quoted) material. Thus, the bulk is paraphrased directly from the KGB files or from the authors' initial summaries. In turn, we have paraphrased Weinstein and Vassiliev for brevity and succinctness. Caveat: It is therefore possible that either fact or nuance has been altered in this process.


Venona, Soviet Espionage and the American Response, Robert Louis Benson and Michael Warner, Editors, 1996
The Haunted Wood, Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, 1999
The Man Behind the Rosenbergs, Alexander Feklisov and Sergei Kostin, 2001
Bombshell, Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, 1997
Za Okeanom I Na Ostrove, Alexander Feklisov, 1944
Special Tasks, Pavel and Anatoli Sudoplatov, 1994, 1995
The Rosenberg File, Ronald Radosh and Joyce Milton, 1997
The Sword and The Shield, The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, 1999

Set A Set B Set C Set D Set E Set F Set G Set H Set I Set J Set K Set L Set M Set N Set O Set P Set Q Set R Set S Set T Set U Set V Set W Set X Set Y Set Z

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posted by Humphrey Laes 7:26 PM [edit]

Theory of Fielding - Set B - The Spanish Civil War


Vladimir Chikov wrote that Fielding (Perseus) was a Spanish Civil War acquaintance of Morris Cohen, and that Fielding knew that Cohen worked at Amtorg.


Katherine ("Kitty") Puening
Kitty Puening was born August 8, 1910, in Germany. She came to the U.S. in 1913 with her father, Franz Puening, and her mother Kathe Vissering Puening. On her mother's side, Kitty was a cousin once removed of General Wilhelm Keitel, Chief of Staff of the German Army under Hitler (later convicted at Nuremberg and hanged in 1946). While in college at the University of Wisconsin in 1933, Kitty went to Pittsburg during the Christmas Holidays to stay with family friends. At a New Years Eve party she was introduced to Joe Dallet by her friend Selma Baker. Kitty returned to Wisconsin to finish the semester and then joined Joe in Youngstown, Ohio, in February 1934. Kitty Puening became the common law wife of Joe Dallet (a previous 8 month marriage to Frank Ramseyer of Boston had been annulled). As a consequence of her relationship with Joe Dallet, Kitty joined the Communist Party in Youngstown and became involved in Party activities. Over the next two years, Kitty Dallet became acquainted with Earl Browder, Gus Hall, John Gates, John Stueben, John Williamson and Steve Nelson--all activists and leaders of the U.S. Communist Party (Browder, who later became Chairman of the American Communist Party, had been a dinner guest in her home).

Steve Nelson and Joe Dallet
In the early 1930's Steve Nelson and Joe Dallet were both up-and-coming Communist Party labor organizers in Pittsburg, PA, and Youngstown, Ohio. Steve Nelson, born Stjepan Mesaros c.1903 in Yugoslavia, entered the US as an illegal immigrant in the early 1920's. By 1933 he was an experienced communist operative, having graduated the Lenin Institute in Moscow and been given Comintern assignments in Europe and China. Joe Dallet, born 1907, was from an affluent family on Long Island. He dropped out of Dartmouth after two years, worked on Wall Street for a short period and subsequently became infatuated with communism. In 1934 he met and married Kitty Puening. Their marriage encountered problems and the couple separated in 1936. Kitty Dallet then joined her parents in England where her father (a chemical engineer) worked as a representative of the Koppers Company, an American firm based in Pittsburgh.

In early 1937, Steve Nelson and Joe Dallet sailed on the Queen Mary for Europe to fight in Spain as Loyalists on the side of the Republican government. When the ship arrived in Cherbourg, France, in March Kitty Dallet was on the dock to meet her husband and Nelson. Kitty and Joe had corresponded and reconciled their marital differences, and Kitty intended to go to Spain with Joe. However, entry into Spain had become problematic, especially for wives; after approximately 10 days of processing and final R&R; in Paris, Dallet and Nelson headed to Spain without Kitty. (ITMOJRO, p.573) She returned to England with the understanding that Joe would assess the situation, including a role for her in the war, and then send for her. On arrival in Spain, Nelson and Dallet were both assigned to the Fifteenth Brigade--Nelson as Political Commissar of the Lincoln Battalion, and Dallet as Political Commissar of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion. The headquarters of the XV Brigade was in the town of Albacete, about 200 miles southeast of Barcelona and 60 miles southwest of Madrid. Several months later, after the Brunete campaign, Nelson received a field promotion to Political Commissar for the entire Fifteenth Brigade. It is reported that while in Spain, Nelson also had assigned duties as an "NKVD agent." (V, p.106)

Marion Merriman
Marion Stone and Robert Hale Merriman met one another and became college sweet hearts at the University of Nevada, Reno. They were married on their mutual graduation day, May 9, 1932. Robert Merriman then pursued graduate studies in his field, Economics, at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1934 he was awarded a fellowship to study in Russia; the Merrimans left for Moscow in January 1935. In the Soviet Union, Merriman developed a commitment to the Loyalist cause in Spain and joined the International Brigades in January 1937. He was wounded at the battle of Jarma; Marion got a cable on March 2, 1937: "Wounded. Come at once." (ACIS, p.75) She left Moscow 5 days later and arrived in Paris around March 10. She spent 7 days in Paris trying to figure out how to get around the legal impediments for going to Spain. She was resourceful: "I made up my mind that if I could not arrange legal travel, I would somehow find the Americans who were filtering into Spain, and I too would find my way through the treacherous mountain passes, whatever the weather. But I would go to Spain. I would find Bob Merriman." (ACIS, p.4) Other Americans who were in Paris at this exact same time were Steve Nelson, Joe Dallet and Kitty Dallet. But Marion caught a break. The French relented and gave her a visa. She took a train to Perpignan on the Mediterranean in southeast France close to the Spanish border. From there she took a plane to Barcelona and then a flight to Valencia. By about March 20, Marion had reached her destination in Spain and was soon reunited with her husband. She wasn't going to leave, either. She became the only woman to become a full member of the Abraham Lincoln Battalion, serving as Fifteenth Brigade administrative officer in Albacete. Interestingly, Robert Hale Merriman became the highest ranking American in the Spanish Civil War and also the prototype for the fictional hero, Robert Jordan, in Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls.

The Aragon Front
During the summer and fall of 1937 the Fifteenth Brigade was involved in a number of decisive engagements along the Aragon front. Roughly, the Aragon front was a north-south axis running through the major town of Zargoza about 150 miles due west of Barcelona on the Mediterranean. Major actions occurred around the towns of Mediana, Quinto, Belchite and Fuentes de Ebro. On September 6, after several days of street fighting, the Republicans, spearheaded by the Lincoln Battalion, took the ancient walled city of Belchite. Nelson was wounded, shot in the head (cheek) and groin, and evacuated to a special hospital reserved for head and abdominal injuries. His wounds were not life threatening but prevented him from quickly returning to the front. After about two weeks of recovery in the hospital, he was assigned escort duty: I took on minor duties for the next six weeks. I escorted Congressman John Bernard through Republican territory; and when Lillian Hellman and Dorothy Parker, then writing for the New Masses, came to Spain, I served as their guide for a few days in Valencia. (SNAR, p. 232) At some point during his escort assignments, Nelson was tapped to travel to the Soviet Union to represent the Fifteeenth Brigade on the twentieth anniversary of the Russian Revolution.

Fuentes de Ebro
On October 13, 1937, the Mackenzie-Papineau (Mac-Pap) Battalion went into action at Fuentes de Ebro. Dallet was killed on the first day of this two-day battle. Steve Nelson has written that he was in Paris en route to Moscow when he checked in at Brigade headquarters and was informed of Dallet's death; he then had the unhappy task of breaking the news to Kitty Dallet who was due to arrive shortly. After a week of waiting in Paris for his travel visa to arrive Nelson received a cable from Earl Browder, the secretary of the American Communist Party, directing him "to forget about Moscow and catch the next ship home." Nelson boarded a steamer the next day and arrived in New York City in time to give a report on Spain at a CPUSA National Committee meeting. (SNAR, p.233) A lengthy biographical sketch on Nelson appeared in the Daily Worker, the official organ of the U.S. Communist Party, on November 10, 1937; and he was given a welcome home celebration by the miner's local in Wilkes-Barre, PA, on Saturday, November 13.

Morris Cohen
Morris Cohen, also an American Communist Party organizer, arrived in Spain in late summer 1937. He traveled to Europe and joined the Brigades under the alias Israel Altman. He was assigned to the Mac-Pap Battalion as political cadre under the leadership of Joe Dallet. Although not shot fatally as Dallet, Cohen was seriously wounded at Fuentes de Ebro on October 13. He spent several months in a Barcelona hospital recovering from leg wounds. When he had recovered sufficiently, he was recruited to attend a special intelligence school run by the KGB in Barcelona. It has been reported that his recruiter was Alexander Orlov, who almost immediately thereafter defected rather than be recalled to Moscow and purged (Kremlin PC for a summary bullet to the head).

New York
Kitty Dallet returned to New York sometime in November 1937 (according to FBI report). For a period of time she stayed with Steve Nelson and his wife at their apartment on Third Avenue and saw a good many Communist Party friends of Joe Dallet, including his father, Joe Dallet Sr., who lived on Long Island. (SNAR, p.240; ITMOJRO, p. 574) In 1938, Kitty gave Steve Nelson her personal war-time letters from Dallet. Nelson had them published as a booklet, Letters from Spain, in tribute to his "best friend and comrade." In January 1938 Kitty matriculated (as Katherine Puening) at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Part of the decision to attend Penn was that Selma Baker, the friend who introduced Kitty to Joe Dallet in Pittsburgh in 1933, was now living in Philadelphia. At the University of Pennsylvania Kitty renewed a relationship with Richard Stewart Harrison, an English physician whom she had met in England. Harrison, who had been in the U.S. working as a radiologist under Charles Lauritsen at Caltech, had come to the University of Pennsylvania to do a residency as a prerequisite to becoming an MD in the U.S. Before leaving California for his residency he sold his car to Robert Serber, an Oppenheimer prot�g�. In September 1938 on a visit home to Philadelphia, Robert and Charlotte Serber met a young lady by the name of Kitty Puening who was visiting the home of Charlotte's father, Dr. Morris V. Leof. They were amused to learn that the lady was engaged to marry their Caltech friend, whose car they had just parked outside the house. (P&W;, p. 51-52) Thus, the Serbers had met Kitty before Oppenheimer. Harrison and Kitty were married on November 23, 1938. Kitty graduated from the University of Pennsylvania on June 14, 1939--a BA degree with major honors in botany. After graduation she moved to Pasadena to join her new husband, who had already returned to a teaching position at Caltech.

On November 5,1937, Bob Merriman informed his wife "about a plan for [her] to return to the United States and go on a six-week speaking tour." (ACIS. p.180) The person or agency behind the plan is not mentioned. But at about this same time, Steve Nelson was also recalled to the United States for a speaking tour on behalf of the war. His instructions came from Earl Browder, General Secretary of the U.S. Communist Party. Marion Merriman returned to the U.S. aboard the SS Manhattan in December. American Commander has a photograph of Marion and Martha Dodd, daughter of the American ambassador to Germany, on the deck of the Manhattan during the trip. The ship docked in New York on December 21, 1937.

Morris Cohen, along with over 300 other International Brigades volunteers, returned to New York on the Ausonia on December 20, 1938. The New York Times reported that over a thousand people met the ship and marched with the returning veterans to Union Square for a wreath-laying ceremony. The Daily Worker reported that Steve Nelson met the Ausonia veterans at the pier and delivered a welcome home speech at Union Square. Back in New York after Spain, Morris Cohen continued to serve the Party as a full-time operative. He was later recruited by the KGB and began working covertly as a Soviet agent under the control of Semyon Semyonov at Amtorg.

In 1938 and 1939 Nelson was deployed as the CPUSA poster boy for the Spanish Civil War, traveling and speechifying about the fight against fascism. In this capacity Nelson worked out of the national office of the American League for Peace and Democracy in New York. He was also promoted to a seat on the Party's National Committee. In the Spring of 1939, he was asked by the Party to transfer to the West Coast, initially to Los Angeles. His apparent mission was to build the Party's presence in the union movement of California's aircraft and agriculture industries.

Robert Oppenheimer
Beginning about 1929 Robert Oppenheimer held concurrent teaching appointments at CalTech and the University of California at Berkeley. Berkeley had an off-beat academic year--the first semester starting in August and ending before Christmas, the second semester running from January to April. This allowed Oppenheimer to teach at Caltech in Pasadena during its fourth quarter before the summer break. At the end of summer in 1939 Oppenheimer met Kitty Harrison at a cocktail party at the home of Richard Tolman, Chaiman of the Caltech physics department. (BOTB, p.52) A romance ensued and in latter 1940 Kitty spent 6 weeks at a dude ranch near Reno to establish Nevada residency. On November 1, 1940, Katherine Puening Dallet Harrison divorced Stewart Harrison in Reno in the morning, and married Robert Oppenheimer in Nevada City in the afternoon.

Sometime in 1940 Robert Oppenheimer met Steve Nelson. As described by Nelson in American Radical: "I had gone up to Berkeley to speak about Spain and help raise funds for the Spanish refugees. Oppenheimer, whom I had never heard of before, was the main speaker and gave a good talk about the significance of the Spanish fight. After the session he came up to me and with a smile, exclaimed, 'I'm going to marry a friend of yours, Steve.' I couldn't for the world think who that could be, so he went on, 'I'm going to marry Kitty.' Kitty Dallet." (SNAR, p.268)

From the late 1930's until December 1941 the Spanish Civil War was Robert Oppenheimer's passionate political cause. From his testimony before the AEC Personnel Security Board, 1954: "I contributed to the various committees and organizations which were intended to help the Spanish Loyalist cause....The matter which most engaged my sympathies and interests was the war in Spain.....I went to, and helped with, many parties, bazaars, and the like. Even when the war in Spain was manifestly lost, these activities continued�I remember that the end of the war and the defeat of the Loyalists caused me sorrow almost like a personal bereavement�.I went to a big Spanish relief party the night before Pearl Harbor [December 6, 1941]."

San Francisco - Berkeley
In early 1938, Marion Merriman took up residence in San Francisco. She continued spanish relief activities and awaited developments for her to return to Spain. In March, the Loyalists lost a 'back-breaker' engagement at Teruel. As a result the commander of the Fifteenth Brigade, Vladimir Copic, was relieved and replaced by Robert Merriman. With little delay, Franco's troops continued to push the Loyalist forces east, toward their strongholds in Barcelona and Valencia. In the ensuing retreat actions Robert Merriman became missing-in-action in the vacinity of Corbera. In San Francisco, Marion had taken a job with the Friends of the Medical Bureau to Aid the Spanish Democracy and "continued speaking throughout the Bay Area. [She] spoke at large labor rallies, before business organizations, and to smaller groups that gathered in professors' homes or on the campuses." (ACIS, p.202) But by April 1938, with events rapidly deteriorating in Spain, Marion knew she would not be going back. Her most immediate and frantic concern was to determine the fate of her husband. However, Robert Merriman was never heard from again, and Marion never learned the exact circumstances of his death.

Sometime in late 1939 or early 1940 Steve Nelson moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco. There he was elected chairman of the California Party's San Francisco District and continued with spanish relief efforts, labor union organizing and college campus recruiting. Nelson did not confine himself to traditional Party building, however. As a Moscow-trained intelligence operative and the West Coast leader of the CPUSA's Secret Apparatus, he was covertly involved in much subversive activity. (Set V refers) He remained a member of the National Committee and returned to New York on a regular basis for Committee meetings. One such meeting was on December 7, 1941, the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. Cutting his trip short, Nelson immediately returned home to Oakland. A few weeks later Robert and Kitty Oppenheimer traveled back to the east coast for a visit over the Christmas holidays. On the return leg, Robert Oppenheimer detoured to Urbana, IL, and recruited Robert Serber for the atomic research being conducted at the Metallurgical Lab of the University of Chicago. Oppenheimer's own first involvement in the U.S. atomic project had begun just 3 months earlier as an unscheduled invitee to the Schenectady Conference. It was now the end of 1941. His current status was that of unpaid, ad hoc advisor to Arthur Compton, the director of the Met Lab. In view of his unofficial status and the condifentiality of the work, it seems unaccountable and improper that Oppenheimer would begin the placement of his people. (Set A refers)

Early in 1942 Steve Nelson moved across the bay to Oakland. He described the decision this way: "The section organizer in Oakland, Bob Cole, was [drafted]. Paul Crouch (who later turned out to be stool pigeon) replaced him but proved incompetent. When we discussed how to deal with the Oakland situation in the State Committee, I suggested that I go there to fill in." (SNAR, p.262) In reality, this demotion in responsibility was undoubtedly a strategic move mandated by new intelligence requirements involving the Radiation Lab at Berkeley. With the approval of Earl Browder, Nelson's Secret Apparatus portfolio was expanded to include direct liaison with Soviet intelligence--both the KGB and GRU. The KGB recruitment took place in 1942 under the auspices of Vasili Zarubin, the KGB resident for all of North America. In a conversation between Nelson and Zarubin recorded by the FBI in 1943 it was revealed that Nelson had been contacted for this purpose late in 1942 by "a man from Moscow." (V, p.106) We speculate that the man from Moscow was Lev Vasilevsky who traveled in the U.S.and Canada during this period under the alias Leonid A. Tarasov. Vasilevsky had been a NKVD agent in Spain where he undoubtedly crossed-paths with Nelson. In 1943 or before, Tarasov was posted to the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City where it is reported he ran an illegal line dedicated to atomic intelligence.

Steve Nelson and the Oppenheimers saw much of one another in Berkeley. When they socialized, Oppenheimer once noted, Steve and Kitty talked not about Communism but about Joe Dallet; a fact also reflected in his statement that he "found in [his wife] a deep loyalty to her former husband." Up until Pearl Harbor, Robert Oppenheimer's major political cause had been the Spanish Civil War. In Berkeley, he had attended numerous affairs on Spanish Relief, such as the ones arranged by Marion Merriman and Nelson. In fact, in 1938, Oppenheimer encouraged Charlotte Serber to organize a chapter of the Medical Aid Bureau in Berkeley--her father, Dr. Morris Leof, was head of the chapter in Philadelphia (P&W;, p.47) By November 1940 Kitty was ensconced in Berkeley as Mrs. J. Robert Oppenheimer. A reunion among Steve, Marion and Kitty would seem a foregone conclusion. Remarkably, the relationship between Steve Nelson and Robert Oppenheimer grew to be such that shortly before leaving Berkeley for Los Alamos, in March 1943, Oppenheimer made a point of arranging a good-bye lunch with Nelson!

Was Kitty in Spain?

There are several different versions of how Kitty Dallet first received the news of her husband's death. Most are connected with her desire to join Joe Dallet in Spain. Kitty herself gave two differing accounts, one to the FBI in 1952, the other to the Personnel Security Board on J. Robert Oppenheimer in 1954. In addition, there is Steve Nelson's version in his book American Radical (1981); a fragmentary version embedded in letters written by Joe Dallet from Spain; a 'missing version' from Marion Merriman in her book American Commander; and a version by an anonymous author on the Internet.

Kitty to the PSB
Kitty's most detailed version is found in her testimony during the Personnel Security Board in the matter of J. Robert Oppenhiemer. Kitty told the Board that she was in England waiting for instructions from Joe on going to Spain. From the ITMOJRO transcript:

Q. -- Did you try to do anything about joining Joe?
A. -- Yes, I wanted to very much.
Q. -- What was your plan as to how you would join Joe?
A. -- I was told that they would try to see if it were possible, and if it were, I would hear from someone in Paris, and be told how to get there [Spain].
Q. -- Were you ultimately told that it was possible [to go to Spain]?
A. -- I got a letter from Joe saying that he found me a job in Albacete.
Q. -- Did you then go to Paris?
A. -- First I stayed in England and waited quite a while, until October.
Q. -- What year was this?
A. -- 1937. I then got a wire saying I should come to Paris, and I went.
Q. -- What happened when you got to Paris?
A. -- When I got to Paris, I was shown a telegram saying that Joe had been killed in action.
Q. -- What did you do then?
A. -- I was also told that Steve Nelson was coming back from Spain in a day or two, and I might want to wait and see what Steve had to say. He had a lot to tell me about Joe.
Q. -- Will you tell us what that discussion [with Steve Nelson in Paris] was?
A. -- For a little while I had some notion of going on to Spain anyway.
Q. -- Why?
A. -- I was emotionally involved in the Spanish cause.
Q. -- Did Joe's death have something to do with your wanting to go on [to Spain] anyhow?
A. -- Yes, as well as if alive he would have.
Q. -- Did you discuss this with Steve?
A. -- I did, but Steve discouraged me. He thought I would be out of place and in the way. I then decided that I would go back to the United States and resume my university career. I would like to make it clear that I always felt very friendly to Steve Nelson after he returned from Spain and spent a week with me in Paris.

Comment & Analysis
In this testimony Kitty mentions two telegrams; one received in England instructing her to come to Paris for follow-on arrangements to Spain, the other given to her in Paris confirming Dallet's death. The above testimony was under oath.

Kitty to the FBI
In 1952 Kitty was interviewed by the FBI in Princeton, NJ. The occasion of the interivew was a security review of her husband. At his request, Robert Oppenheimer was present. From FBI Interview Report, 23 April 1952, Princeton, NJ:

"[Mrs. Oppenheimer] recalls that she spent a short time, approximately a week or ten days with Dallet and wanted to go to Spain with him. She thought perhaps she could do hospital work or drive an ambulance; however, Dallet refused to let her go. She then returned to England, where she resided with her parents.
"In about 1937, she is not certain of the time, she again went to Paris where she met Steve Nelson. Prior to going there, she had been informed that Joseph Dallet had been killed fighting in Spain. At this time she tried to persuade Nelson to make arrangements for her to go to Spain to serve as a hospital worker but Nelson discouraged her. She did this because she was upset over the death of Dallet. Nelson consoled her and assisted her in making arrangements for return to the U.S.
"During one of these visits to France, she was not certain whether it was the first or second visit, she went to Germany to see relatives and while there was operated on for appendicitis."

Comment & Analysis
A material discrepancy between the two versions from Kitty involves her whereabouts when she got the news of Dallet's death: She told the PSB that she was in Paris; she told the FBI that she got the news prior to arriving in Paris. An appendicitis was not mentioned to the PSB.

Steve Nelson
Steve Nelson's version is told in his book American Radical: In order to attend events commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the Russian Revolution being held in Moscow, he left Spain and headed to Paris to get a travel visa to the Soviet Union. The logistics of his travel to Paris are worth noting: he took a plane from Barcelona to Marseilles (200 miles), then a train from Marseilles to Paris (estimated travel time is 3 days). After checking in with [International] Brigade headquarters he got the news that Dallet had been killed on the Aragon front. The man who gave me this news also told me that Joe's wife Kitty was on her way to Paris from England and due to arrive the next day. She didn't know about Joe..... Joe had written her that I was going to be in Paris on my way to Moscow, and Kitty decided to come and visit with me. I was the one to tell her about Joe." (SNAR, p. 232-3)

Comment & Analysis
There are important differences between the accounts of Kitty and Steve Nelson: (1) Kitty said she was in Paris when Nelson arrived, Nelson claimed that he was in Paris when Kitty arrived; (2) Kitty said someone, not Nelson (PSB), showed her a telegram stating Dallet had been killed, Nelson said that he was the first to tell her. Also discordant is Nelson's explanation that Kitty's purpose in coming to Paris was to see him, not to travel to Spain to join Joe. It is common sense that Kitty�s memory of when, where and how she first heard about Joe�s death would be absolutely clear. Indeed, Steve Nelson is part of her story of this traumatic event. Why would Kitty not say that it was Nelson in Paris who first told her about Joe?

In a 1946 interview with the FBI, Robert Oppenheimer appears to have split the difference: Oppenheimer corroborated "that it was Steve Nelson who brought to his wife the news of her former husband's death, and consoled her and assisted her in making arrangements to return to the United States, and he advised, that this occurred in Paris, France, where his wife was staying at that time." (FBI Report, J. Robert Oppenheimer, December 3, 1951)

Marion Merriman was responsible for reporting on the Fifteenth Brigade's dead and wounded. She had done so for the battles at Quinto and Belchite. (ACIS, p.173) Dallet was killed on October 13. She received a letter from her husband dated October 16 which first notifed her of Dallet's death. She also saw her husband the next day when he returned to Albacete. (ACIS, p.175) October 17 and 18 then, are the probable dates that word of Dallet's death was officially sent to the Ministry of War in Valencia, and possibly wired to IB Headquarters in Paris. If Nelson didn't learn about Dallet until he reached Paris, then he left Spain before the 17th or 18th. Along these same lines, the very earliest someone in Paris (such as Kitty or Nelson) might have been shown a telegram about Dallet would also have been the 17th or 18th. Based on a New York Times story on October 23, Dallet's father, Joe Sr., in Woodmere, Long Island, had been notified on October 21 of his son's death by Phil Bard, secretary of the Friends of the Abraham Lincoln Battalion in New York City. This implies that the latest Kitty or Nelson--in Paris and in daily communication with IB Headquarters--would have seen such a telegram is the 20th or 21st.

The foregoing deconstruction, and some additional information, show that Nelson's story of this episode is problematical. He was shot in the face and groin area by a sniper at Belchite on September 5 or 6 (reported). Unconscious, he was evacuated to a field hospital in the Aragon combat zone. Although his gun shots were serious, and he lost a lot of blood, the injuries were not life threatening. Within about two weeks, despite still infected wounds, he was able to leave hospital and take on escort duties for the next "six weeks." If this account is basically accurate then an estimate of the time between his being shot at Belchite and flying out of Barcelona is approximately 8 weeks. The most conservative estimate would be 7 weeks. Seven weeks from Sept 5/6 is October 17/18; eight weeks would be October 24/25. In either case, more probably than not, Nelson was still in Spain when he heard about Dallet.

Other information substantiates aspects of Nelson's story. Refreshing from his book, I took on minor duties for the next six weeks. I escorted Congressman John Bernard through Republican territory.....after a week [in Paris] I received a cable from Earl Browder to forget about Moscow and catch the next ship home. I boarded a steamer the next day and arrived in New York City in time to give a report on Spain at a CPUSA National Committee meeting. It was November 1937." (SNAR, p.233) Articles in the New York Times corroborate this:
NYT article, dated October 18, 1937: "Albacete, Spain, October 17 (AP).--The first United States Congressmen to visit war-torn Spain today watched the International Brigade celebrate its first anniversary and pledged to work in Washington for the Spanish Cause. Jerry O'Connell, Montana Democrat, and John T. Bernard, Minnesota Farmer Laborite, spent the day watching the brigade's first parade and later visiting a near-by training camp [Tarrazona] where Americans, Canadians, Britons and Spaniards were being put in condition by American Officers."
NYT article, dated November 9, 1937: "Returning yesterday aboard the Normandie after a two-week visit in Loyalist Spain, Representatives Jerry J. O'Connell of Montana and John T. Bernard of Minnesota declared that they would urge upon President Roosevelt the end of the present Neutrality Act provisions as applied to Spain."

These articles show that Congressman Bernard did not arrive in Loyalist Spain until a day or two before October 17, the day he was in Albacete. To wit: If the Normandie arrived in New York on November 8, she likely left Le Havre, her home port, on November 3 (Following a propeller refit earlier in 1937, Normandie recaptured the Blue Riband from Queen Mary. At 31+ knots, she crossed the Atlantic in a little over 4 days). Therefore, if a couple days previous to November 3 roughly marks the end of Bernard's "two week visit in Loyalist Spain," then the beginning ot that visit would be about October 17, as is reflected by the New York Times.

Congressman Bernard arrived in Loyalist Spain, Valencia, the seat of the Republican Government, on or about 15 October (Daily Worker). Using Nelson's own phraseology, he escorted Bernard "through Republican territory." Therefore, if Nelson first met Bernard in Valencia and escorted him beyond the city limits, then he must have accompanied Bernard to Albacete a day or two after the 15th. Marion Merriman, in Albacete, heard the news about Dallet from her husband on October 16. Her husband arrived the next day, the 17th, the same day Bernard was in Albacete. Obviously, if Nelson was with Bernard in Albacete, he heard about Dallet. If he 'picked-up' Bernard at some point after the 17th, then he was in Spain on October 18 and beyond. In which case, obviously also, he heard about Dallet while still in country. Not in Paris.

Further, Nelson said he got back to New York in time to make a report on Spain to the CPUSA National Committee. The Committee had assembled in New York during the week of November 8 prior to the Party's gala celebration of the USSR's Twentieth Anniversary to be held Saturday, November 13, at Madison Square Garden. As the NYT article shows, the Normandie with Congressman Bernard aboard docked in New York on November 8. Thus, it is feasible that Nelson could have chaperoned Bernard during his whole visit to Loyalist Spain and made it back to New York in time for the aforementioned report. It just depends on what ship he caught. In any case, the timings are such that Nelson's "steamer" seems to have docked virtually the same day as the Normandie. The Daily Worker ran a major article about Nelson on November 10, and reported later that he visited Wilkes-Barre, PA on November 13. As recounted earlier, both Kitty and Robert Oppenheimer remarked that Nelson helped Kitty in making arrangements to return to the U.S. If our innuendo is the reality, perhaps Kitty too was on the Normandie.

Letters from Spain
In 1938 Steve Nelson prevailed on Kitty to publish Joe Dallet's wartime letters to her from Spain. The resulting booklet was titled Letters from Spain; it should be assumed that the letters are selected and possibly abridged. In his introduction, Nelson states that the letters were written between March and September 19, 1937. For most of these letters Joe was in Tarazona de la Mancha, the Fifteenth Brigade's training area 10 miles north of Albacete. Excerpts:

- July 19 "Wonderful news. You can come. Get in touch with Jack in Paris, for whom I enclose a note, and he will put you through." --Joe

- July 25 "Marion promises to do everything possible for you if and when she sees you. I assume that you got my last letter in which I said that the answer finally is 'Yes' and enclosed a note to Jack. I am overjoyed, even though I did not go into details about that in the last letter, and I can't wait to hear your plans." --Joe

- August 1 "I'm terribly worried about your appendix, dearest. Why in god's name does it have to pop now? Please have it fixed up immediately so you can start your trip here." --Joe

- August 17 "Bob Merriman has been promoted to a leading position in the brigade staff and Marion has gone back to work in Albacete. That is where you will find her, and it would be best to send her a wire from Paris telling when to expect you, just before you leave. Take care of yourself--good luck in the operation--all my love." --Joe

- Sept. 3 "Just a line to say that all goes well -- got several letters and cards which you sent from Paris and which made me very happy. I hope you're recovering quickly and that things will work out so that we'll see each other soon." --Joe

- Sept. 15 "I haven't written much lately for several reasons: I hope to be seeing you soon and that makes writing seem rather unnecessary." "We are now up wth the brigade which is resting after doing a brilliant job at Quinto and Belchite." "I'll be glad when I get a letter which assures me that your are well and getting ready for the trip. Marion promised to write you telling you what to bring." --Joe

- No date "I've been a louse about writing but there was no sure way to reach you .... by the time you get this we'll be in action....I hope that by the time we get out of the lines you'll be in the country to spend a few days' leave with me." --Joe

Comment & Analysis
The Dallet letters give a portrayal of events that is distinctly different from that of either Kitty or Nelson. But the parties are all consistent in that Kitty was in England at the start of the episode. In her ITMOJRO testimony, Kitty stated she got a letter from Joe saying that he had found her a job in Albacete. Several of Joe's Letters corroborate this. The process began with Joe's letter dated July 19 advising Kitty to contact "Jack in Paris." Jack was Jack Reid, whose real name was Arnold Reisky. Reisky was "the head of the American section of the secret Communist apparatus in Paris that organized the supply of troops to the International Brigades." (TVS, p. 270) The essence of this letter is that Kitty is to proceed to Paris, contact Jack Reid and give him a note from Joe; Jack will then make the necessary arrangements. Contrary to Nelson's account, none of Dallet's letters mention Steve Nelson in Paris; and neither Dallet's letters nor Kitty's testimony indicate that Nelson's being in Paris was the predicate for her trip there from England.

Letters dated July 25 and August 17 show that Marion Merriman is Kitty's point of contact in Ablacete and a key part of her travel plan. Marion Merriman was the wife of Robert Merriman who at the time was Chief of Staff for the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion. In ITMOJRO testimony, Kitty stated that she remained in England quite a while and did not go to France until October. However, Dallet's letters of August 17 and September 3 show this to be false. The letter dated August 17 shows that Kitty is either in Paris or soon will be; and further, that Kitty should send a wire to Marion prior to leaving Paris for Spain. The letter dated September 3 is more definitive. It states that Joe received mail from Kitty that had been "sent from Paris." These letters virtually prove that Kitty was in Paris by August 1937 -- not October.

Further evidence comes from the 1952 FBI interview in which Kitty mentioned being operated on for an appendicitis in Germany. She was evasive with the agent on whether this had occurred on her first (March 1937) or second visit to France. Dallet's letter dated August 1 clearly shows that it happened on the second, when she was on the Continent preparing to go to Spain. Kitty does not mention her appendicitis at all in her ITMOJRO testimony, perhaps because it might have exposed her lie about October. It is not tenable that Kitty would forget a life-threatening medical situation, one requiring surgery that impacted her plans