Soviet Spies


The Center for the Study of Intelligence Bulletin, 8 (Spring 1998), reports that GCHQ has released decrypted intercepts of Comintern clandestine radio communications from 1934 to 1937. The decrypts from the MASK project are available at the British Public Records Office and NSA's National Cryptologic Museum. Most of the communications were between Moscow and Communist parties in in Europe and China, but "several hundred messages between Moscow and the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) also are included."

Braun, Otto. A Comintern Agent in China, 1932-1939. Tr., Jeanne Moore. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1982. London: Hurst, 1982.

Brown, Anthony Cave, and Charles B. MacDonald. On a Field of Red: The Communist International and the Coming of World War II. New York: Putnam's, 1981.

Center for the Study of Intelligence Bulletin. Editors. "British Intelligence and the 'Zinoviev Letter.'" 8 (Spring 1998): 3-4.

This article reports the release by British intelligence in August 1997 of documents bearing on the Comintern's aspirations and activities in the United Kingdom in the 1920s. The new documents suggest that the British were getting verbatim transcripts from Soviet Politburo meetings, and that the "letter" was a fabrication by British intelligence based on the actual thrust of Moscow's intentions.

Dobbs, Michael. "Soviet Files Show Kremlin Aid to U.S. Comrades Dates to 1920 Funds for Founder John Reed." Washington Post, 12 Apr. 1995, A6.

Klehr, Harvey, John Earl Haynes, and Fridrikh I. Firsov. Russian documents tr. Timothy D. Sergay. The Secret World of American Communism. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.

Koch, Stephen. Double Lives: Spies and Writers in the Secret Soviet War of Ideas Against the West. New York: Free Press, 1993. Double Lives: Stalin, Willi Münzenberg and the Seduction of the Intellectuals. London: HarperCollins, 1994. Rev. ed. New York: Enigma Books, 2004.

Miles, Jonathan. The Dangerous Otto Katz: The Many Lives of a Soviet Spy. London & New York: Bloomsbury, 2010.

Goulden, Washington Times, 8 Feb. 2011, and Intelligencer 18.2 (Winter-Spring 2011), calls this "biography at its readable best: characters who were rogues and charlatans but unfailingly interesting." As a figure on the post-World War I European arts scene, Katz joined forces with Willi Munzenberg to whom the Soviets had "essentially turned over their Western propaganda campaign.... As a Comintern agent, Katz flitted from country to country, using a host of aliases, starting scores of communist-oriented journals, publishing books and providing tainted 'news' to publications and wire services.... But it was in 1930s Hollywood that Katz made his major contribution to world communism." Using the name of Rudolph (or Rudolf) Breda and billing himself as an "anti-fascist freedom fighter," Katz/Breda "exerted a political influence" on a number of Hollywood luminaries. Back in his native Czechoslovakis following World War II, "Katz was among the 11 men hanged at the conclusion" of the show trial of the so-called "Slansky group."

For Peake, Studies 55.1 (Mar. 2011), the author "fills in the colorful details of this extraordinary agent of influence who figured prominently in the promotion of communism in much of the Western world." The book "is a stirring tale of dedicated service that reveals the realities of Soviet espionage."

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