Pavel Sudoplatov on the Atomic Spies who helped Russia get the bomb - Peter Myers, September 12, 2001; update May 4, 2006. My comments are shown {thus}.

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Pavel Sudoplatov knew nothing of the Baruch Plan for World Government of 1946: atomic-spies.html.

But he reveals that several of the International Scientists promoting it (see one-world-or-none.html) had passed on atomic secrets to Soviet Russia.

He writes (p. 195 below), "Since Oppenheimer, Bohr, and Fermi were fierce opponents of violence, they would seek to prevent a nuclear war, creating a balance of power through sharing the secrets of atomic energy."

(1) Sudoplatov on the Atomic Spies (2) Harry Hopkins a Soviet spy

(1) Sudoplatov on the Atomic Spies



Pavel Sudoplatov and Anatoli Sudoplatov

with Jerrold L. and Leona P. Schecter

Foreword by Robert Conquest

Little, Brown and Company

New York 1994, 1995.

The paperback edition (1995), with addenda to the Foreword & Introduction:

see the front cover: special-tasks-front-cover.jpg

and the back cover: special-tasks-back-cover.jpg.

{p. i} International Reaction to SPECIAL TASKS

"Historians will put the details of this autobiography through the meat grinder for years before accepting or rejecting them. But as a portrait of a mental and political climate it has rarely been surpassed. Here is a thoughtful Stalinist who understood the manoeuvres of the 1940s and who did dastardly deeds in Stalin's name." - Robert Service, New Statesman

"Sudoplatov's account of atomic espionage has drawn the most fire from the intellectual community, despite the fact that it is only one of thirteen chapters and by no means the most interesting.... Sudoplatov's many critics have already pointed out several flaws in his story, but many of their objections concern only minor details that scarcely affect the substance of the book's contentions. Furthermore, Sudoplatov never claims, as some of his detractors seem to believe, that these stellar physicists were actual Soviet spies. Indeed, he is careful to stress that this was not the case: Oppenheimer and the others 'were best approached as friends, not as agents.' . . . This is more plausible than many would care to admit. Several of the atomic scientists believed they inhabited a different moral universe from that of the rest of humankind; as members of a world community of science, they disdained mere considerations of national interest and security as being beneath them, the concern of lesser mortals. Furthermore, they were understandably sympathetic to the Soviet Union as an ally and victim of Nazi aggression. It was a peculiar mixture of hubris and sympathy for the underdog." - Steven Merritt Miner, Times Literary Supplement

{p. ii} "The book Special Tasks is very attractive and in its totality appears to be reliable. If there were legends in the intelligence service, Pavel A. Sudoplatov would have been the hero. But the traditions of the intelligence service are not to reminisce. The more important the case, the narrower is the list of people who know about it, and these people are accustomed to keeping silent.

"Now [fifty years later] the archives are stolen and the enemies of Russia exploit the secrets of the country in their interests. Here comes a remarkable and surprising event in the midst of these unjust judgments, where false witnesses dominate the scene and where the judges pursue their own goals. Here comes a witness who is alive and who tries to speak the truth about the events of many years ago." - Leonid Vladimirovich Shebarshin, head of KGB First Chief Directorate (foreign operations), 1988-1991, Yuridichiskaya Cazeta (Juridical Newspaper)

"Sudoplatov's information on the cooperation of outstanding American physicists with Soviet intelligence is quite reliable. There are agents about whom the intelligence officer does not report to his superiors." - Yuri I. Drozdov, chief of KGB Illegal Operations, 1980-1991, Yuridichiskaya Gazeta

For more reactions, turn to page 525. {see p. 525 below}

{p. ix} FOREWORD {by} Robert Conquest

This is the most sensational, the most devastating, and in many ways the most informative autobiography ever to emerge from the Stalinist milieu.

It is perhaps the most important single contribution to our knowledge since Khrushchev's Secret Speech.

It is not quite true that Pavel Sudoplatov's name is little known, at least to historians. His role as organizer of the Trotsky murder had been established in a general way for some years. But full knowledge was indeed lacking even on this operation; and the rest of his multifarious career was obscure. A year or two ago the Moscow press printed some of his letters from prison, detailing the circumstances of the comparatively minor crimes for which he had actually been sentenced under Stalin's successors, and asking for amnesty. A hitherto secret list of the orders and medals awarded to those, including Sudoplatov, who carried out an unspecified "special task" - i.e., the murder of Trotsky - was also published at this time. And a couple of pieces appeared on his role in organizing operations in German-occupied territory during the war.

Later General Dmitri Volkogonov visited Sudoplatov with a view to arranging a full-scale interview. Sudoplatov refused; and Volkogonov published a not very informative account of the meeting, giving only the initial "S." (This was followed by a less inhibited, but also unsuccessful, try by an Italian paper.) Though nothing solid emerged at this stage,

{p. x} Volkogonov left Sudoplatov with the suggestion that he write his memoirs.

{p. xiii} On the patches of imperfect knowledge and imperfect deduction in the period of his own experience, he {Sudoplatov} did not, for example, know of the secret protocols of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, and we may note his assertion

{p. xiv} that there were no plans to deport Jews in 1953. He bases this on the apparent absence of the transport plans necessary to such an operation. But the letter to Stalin, signed under heavy pressure, from leading Jews asking for their people to be deported is well attested; and all one can safely conclude is that the operational order had not been issued.

Such points need to be noted. But it will be seen that they are of little consequence compared with the solid substance Sudoplatov offers us. It is most fortunate that he changed his mind about recounting his career: the result is a unique document. He emerges, in fact, as one of the most valuable of all possible sources for important matters over the whole period of High Stalinism. - R.C., 1994


It will be seen that this book conveys a great amount of new information on the Stalin age. Le Monde, in Paris, one of a number of journals agreeing with my assessment, indeed went further by saying it was the most important new material to emerge "since the death of Stalin."

Already thus seen as striking testimony in a broad perspective, its publication in America aroused protests, becoming something of a cause celebre. Without exception these only mentioned, and complained of, Chapter Seven, on the Soviet atomic espionage effort in the United States.

Readers will note that in my foreword, above, I devote no more than a few lines to this story, though saying that many readers would find it particularly striking and informative. My main interest, as a historian, as I think it would be of most historians, lay in Sudoplatov's almost definitive account of the Trotsky murder, his major contact with and information about high political and police matters in the late Stalin period, and to a lesser degree his personal experiences after his arrest in 1953.

But though his atomic chapter may be of minor historical interest - the general effectiveness of the Soviet espionage effort in America being long since known - it was of major emotional interest in a certain American context. For nearly half a century, a now rather elderly section of the American left has pursued a feud against anyone accusing anyone of being a Soviet agent, or of in any way aiding Stalin and Stalinism in the crucial period. Until quite recently, rather in the same way that Sta-

{p. xv} linist responsihility for Katyn was denied until the Russians confirmed it a few years ago, the Rosenbergs, whose record in Soviet espionage has long since heen confirmed hy Moscow, were held to be innocent by many, as was Alger Hiss.

And now Sudoplatov was suggesting that major American and other scientists were, not indeed Soviet "agents," but "sources" leaking secret material to those who were. Anger, in part of the periodical press and on television, was immediate and loud, though largely off target (And there was a parallel fuss in Moscow, mainly hy Soviet scientists pressing their claims to independent discovery, and KGB officials in effect contradicting that Sudoplatov had stolen a march on them!).

As my foreword indicates, Sudoplatov is by no means immune from error; and serious criticism of what he says, even in areas of which he has firsthand knowledge, is both- possihle and desirable.

The passages objected to are where he claims that Oppenheimer, Szilard, and Fermi were sources from whom secret representatives of Moscow ohtained secret material, and that Niels Bohr, though not part of the Anglo-American nuclear program, gave what information he had to Soviet envoys.

Sudoplatov was instantly accused of inventing these stories. So first it must he said that his claims, true or false, had been presented by him to the Soviet authorities in July 1982 and were clearly what he, and Soviet intelligence, believed to be the facts; that is, they were not invented for sensationalist reasons.

As to whether they were true, and how true, we must begin by discriminating among the "sources." There are several reasons for believing that if Moscow thought Fermi was in any sense knowingly letting information reach them, they were probably wrong. They may have been misled (as I have pointed out elsewhere) by exaggerated claims on the part of their agent on the spot; or, another cause of confusion, because Fermi and Oppenheimer at one point shared the same code name in Soviet files. That Fermi may have spoken indiscreetly on some occasion to his old pupil and colleague Pontecorvo is, on the other hand, far from implausible.

As to Oppenheimer, it is impossible to understand how anyone who has read the original American investigations which led to his losing his security clearance can doubt that he maintained very close and inappropriate connections with those whose allegiance was to the USSR, and that he let unauthorized people see secret material. One's feeling is, nevertheless, not so much that he favored the Soviet Union as that he

{p. xvi} felt himself, and his decisions, to be above, and superior to, any government. That these decisions amounted to leaking the facts certainly followed.

Sudoplatov was also attacked for supposedly falsifying his account of the meetings of Soviet representatives with Niels Bohr in 1945 (see pages 206-207). A top-secret report to Stalin which has just been published from the Russian State Archive substantially confirms Sudoplatov's version of these meetings, even though he has to some extent misremembered, misunderstood, or exaggerated their technical significance.

The attacks were seldom made in a serious manner. They mostly sought to prove that these memoirs were falsified, or at least that the atomic chapter was. Their argument was twofold. First (particularly from some of the American scientific establishment) that the supposedly maligned physicists were honorable men and great minds. But the argument that, in effect, good scientists cannot behave as Sudoplatov claims is absurd. Some of the scientists on the atomic project - Fuchs, Nunn, May - were certainly spies, while Pontecorvo's Stalinism is presumably undisputed. Other scientists have had awful political records. Nobel Prize physicist Philipp Lenard and Johannes Stark were crude Nazis; Joseph Needham assisted the Maoist germ-warfare hoax. Nor is it perhaps irrelevant to note that when the anthropologist Mark Zborowski was arrested as a Soviet spy, the anthropological community here was loud in its - as it turned out - wholly misplaced defense of him.

But if we want to understand the period, we find first that it was one of huge pro-Soviet euphoria, and that almost all these scientists in any case held strongly, and argued to their governments, that world peace would be served by sharing the secrets with Stalin. It would hardly be surprising if, at some point, in some cases, their moral commitment to peace overcame their accepted duty to the government employing them. Thus everyone concerned acted in what they believed to be the best interests of humanity. Their fault was not moral but intellectual. They were wrong and their governments were right.

Then, on the other side, the critics maintained that Sudoplatov or his editors were disreputable villains who had maligned these paragons for base reasons in an "unsubstantiated" manner. Well, naturally the first testimony on a given matter is "unsubstantiated," though substantiation on some points is now becoming available. And, certainly, Sudoplatov's career has included hair-raising crimes. But otherwise the argument carries little weight.

{p. xvii} A further phase of the attack consisted of listing mistakes made by Sudoplatov - mainly of the kind I note above in my original foreword. In the atomic sphere, these can generally be shown to be either trivial, or peripheral, or nonexistent. Naturally this does not prove Sudoplatov's account to be wholly correct. It would be surprising if it were. These are memoirs, with (a reservation I make clearly on pages xii-xiii) all the limitations implied. In the nuclear context, too, the combination of good firsthand with more muddled indirect information applies, together with a possible entropy of memory over certain points. We might compare, for example, Khrushchev Remembers, where the "original material" (Strobe Talbott tells us in his editor-translator's note) was "quite disorganized" when it came into his hands; and which is full of misremembered detail - muddling up different plenums, confusing Lominadze's suicide with that of Ordzhonikidze three years later, et cetera, et cetera, while remaining, in Talbott's words, "devastating and authoritative."

This is not to say that Sudoplatov has done more, in the nuclear context, than add his doubtless not always complete or accurate recollections, though from an important observation point, to our consideration of Soviet espionage. But it is serious testimony, not to be shrugged off or shouted down. On certain important points we must of course reserve judgment pending further information, but we are not in a position simply to reject his report in toto on merely rhetorical grounds.

It was all half a century ago; and surely it is time to treat the evidence in an unpartisan spirit. For my part, I have no parti pris in these matters, and would simply wish this small corner of history set straight. In these cases, sooner or later, the polemical and emotional dust does settle. We should be sorry that so much energy, and so little critical thought, have been put into this not yet wholly (so far) resolvable issue. Unfortunately, this controversy, if that is the right word, has been (so far) the main afterproduct of the book's publication.

Interest in the theme is natural enough. But it would be a matter for regret if it distracted readers from the substantial contributions to our understanding of Stalinism to be found in the other chapters. - R.C., 1995

{p. xix} INTRODUCTION {by} Jerrold L. and Leona P. Schecter

The intelligence career of Pavel Anatolievich Sudoplatov coincided almost exactly with Stalin's thirty-year reign in the Soviet Union. For long years Sudoplatov worked in the Administration for Special Tasks, an elite unit of the Soviet intelligence service, becoming its wartime director. He defined the meaning of the word "special" with blood, poison, and terrorism. He and his colleagues forever after referred to their jobs as Special Tasks. In telling us his life story, he was torn between ingrained habits of secrecy and the desire to justify his operations within the ideological rationale of Stalin's communism.

Sudoplatov was eighty-five when we began to interview him in 1992. He had been ill with a recurring heart condition and marshaled his strength carefully; he prepared for the interviews and limited them to three-hour sessions. His back was stooped and he had lost the sight of his left eye while in prison, but his mind was alert and he spoke with the vigor and authority of a man who spent most of his life giving orders. Beneath his large head of wavy gray hair are the now wizened facial features of a handsome, even courtly man, with a strong sense of humor and keen analytical ability. He remains a believer in the dream of communism and attributes its fall to the lesser men who followed Stalin.

Pavel Anatolievich Sudoplatov's autobiography, recounting seventy years of manipulation and murder, is not an act of contrition or confession. He saw himself as "a soldier at war" in justifiable combat ...

{p. xxiii} Beria, argues Sudoplatov, was an innovator who would have brought ahout the unification of Germany in the 1950s, avoiding the crises that led to the construction of the Berlin Wall. In the few short months between Stalin's death and his arrest by Khrushchev's supporters, Beria had begun emptying the Gulag and urged that political prisoners he released. Sudoplatov rejoiced in the freeing of his friends, mostly Jews who had been purged from the intelligence service during the so-called Zionist conspiracy. Sudoplatov's Beria is part monster and part reformer, too strong for Stalin's other heirs to let him live. Khushchev successfully destroyed Beria and then created a historical image, still popularly held, that it was primarily Beria who shared with Stalin culpability for the crimes that preceded Khrushchev's leadership.

{p. xxvi} ADDENDUM {to Introduction} FOR THE PAPERBACK EDITION

For this edition we have made corrections of dates, places, and spellings, and have added two Appendices. Of importance is the change on page 172, that vital information for developing the first Soviet atomic bomb came from scientists engaged in the Manhattan Project (not scientists "at Los Alamos," as originally stated) - Oppenheimer, Fermi, and Szilard. Sudoplatov used "Los Alamos" and "Manhattan Project" interchangeably. We should have made the distinction clear, since Leo Szilard did not work at Los Alamos but did take part in the Manhattan Project.

On June 6, 1994, the State Archive of the Russian Federation released three documents that confirm and expand on Sudoplatov's account of Yakov Terletsky's meetings with Niels Bohr in Copenhagen in November 1945. The text of these documents is translated in Appendix Seven. The chief archivist, Director Sergei V. Mironenko, held a press conference in Moscow to announce the successful completion of a catalog of documents and intelligence reports made to Stalin in the years 1944-1953. When a reporter asked if there were any revelations in addition to the Bohr documents, Mironenko replied that the catalog effectively confirmed that "Sudoplatov was correct in his essential points." However, neither Mironenko's response nor the documents have beel printed in any major American newspaper, although they were made available to the New York Times and the Washington Post. The Sunday Times of London (June 26, 1994) reported the Bohr story from Moscow under the headline "KGB files show top scientist gave Stalin nuclear secrets."

When Sudoplatov reviewed the newly released documents, he recalled that in his conversation with Terletsky in 1993, Terletsky said there were three meetings with Bohr: one social encounter at the Soviet Embassy, one formal meeting at Bohr's institute, and a third, by Bohr's invitation, at which substantive scientific questions were discussed.

In answer to his critics' charges, we have included, as Appendix

{p. xxvii} Eight, Pavel Sudoplatov's letter of January 16, 1995, to Washington Post Book World, which was not printed. His letter contains additional details on the role of senior Western scientists in providing atomic information and definitively answers the undocumented allegations that Academician Igor Kurchatov, the director of the Soviet atomic project, was not informed in January 1943 that Enrico Fermi had achieved the first nuclear chain reaction in December 1942.

The battle in Moscow over Sudoplatov's memoirs continues. On one side are Russian scientists who fear the downgrading of their prestige and a threat to the medals they received for building the atomic bomb. They are joined by a KGB faction angered at Sudoplatov's preempting of their commercial book contracts with Western publishers. The scientists are heaping scorn on Sudoplatov and the other Soviet intelligence officers who a half-century ago fed them a rich harvest of atomic secrets and who now want acknowledgment of their role. The battle has spilled over into the United States. Physicists fearing the loss of their "moral authority" and government research funds have joined their Russian colleagues by misreading Sudoplatov's account, claiming that he called Oppenheimer, Fermi, and Szilard "spies." Historians and journalists have attacked Sudoplatov as a terrorist and Stalinist killer, aspects of his career which he has never denied. Their versions of the story have denigrated and denied the role of Soviet intelligence. Somewhere in Moscow, Beria's personal atomic espionage files, removed from his office when he was arrested, remain hidden. Until these documents and details of Soviet atomic espionage are churned forth by the wheel of history, Sudoplatov's account is the only living memory of the turning point in the creation of the first Soviet atomic bomb.

At this writing in February 1995, Pavel Sudoplatov, age eighty-seven, is still reminiscing with former intelligence officers and preparing to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the former Soviet Union's success in defeating Hitler in World War II.

{Sudoplatov has since died}

{p. 172} ATOMIC SPIES {Sudoplatov's text begins here}

The most vital information for developing the first Soviet atomic bomb came from scientists engaged in the Manhattan Project to build the American atomic bomb - Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, and Leo Szilard.

Oppenheimer, Fermi, Szilard, and Szilard's secretary were often quoted in the NKVD files from 1942 to 1945 as sources for information on the development of the first American atomic bomb. It is in the record that on several occasions they agreed to share information on nuclear weapons with Soviet scientists. At first they were motivated by fear of Hitler; they believed that the Germans might produce the first atomic bomb. Then the Danish physicist Niels Bohr helped strengthen their own inclinations to share nuclear secrets with the world academic community. By sharing their knowledge with the Soviet Union, the chance of beating the Germans to the bomb would be increased.

As early as 1940, a commission of Soviet scientists, upon hearing rumors of a superweapon being built in the West, investigated the possibility of creating an atomic bomb from uranium, but concluded that such a weapon was a theoretical, not a practical, possibility. The same scientific commission recommended that the government instruct intelligence services to monitor Western scientific publications ...

{p. 192} We were able to take advantage of the network of colleagues that Gamow had established. Using implied threats against Gamow's relatives in Russia, Elizabeth Zarubina pressured him into cooperating with us. In exchange for safety and material support for his relatives, Gamow provided the names of left-wing scientists who might be recruited to supply secret information. ...

Another route was from 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. The 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.

{p. 194} We received reports on the progress of the Manhattan Project from Oppenheimer and his friends in oral form, through comments and asides, and from documents transferred through clandestine methods with their full knowledge that the information they were sharing would be passed on. In all, there were five classified reports made available by Oppenheimer describing the progress of work on the atomic bomb.

{p. 195} Not only were we informed of technical developments in the atomic program, but we heard in detail the human conflicts and rivalries among the members of the team at Los Alamos. A constant theme was tension with General Groves, director of the project. We were told of Groves's conflicts with Szilard. Groves was outraged by Szilard's iconoclastic style and his refusal to accept the strictures of military discipline. The "baiting of brass hats" was Szilard's self-professed hobby. Groves believed that Szilard was a security risk and tried to prevent him from working on the Manhattan Project despite Szilard's seminal contribution to the development of the first atomic chain reaction with Fermi. ...

We knew that Oppenheimer would remain an influential person in America after the war and therefore our relations with him should not take the form of running a controlled agent. We understood that he and other members of the scientific community were best approached as friends, not as agents. Since Oppenheimer, Bohr, and Fermi were fierce opponents of violence, they would seek to prevent a nuclear war, creating a balance of power through sharing the secrets of atomic energy. This would be a crucial factor in establishing the new world order after the war, and we took advantage of this.

{p. 206} Since Bohr had turned down Kapitsa's invitation to the Soviet Union in 1943, and because of the internal conflicts in the scientific community, we decided to rely on scientists already in the project who were also intelligence officers.

There was not a big choice. The scientists suggested Professor Yakov Borisovich Zeldovich, a member of the Kurchatov team with high professional skills. But Zeldovich was not aware of all the developments in the West because his access to the information we received was limited. We had only two officers who were both physicists and fluent in English. One was Arkady N. Rylov, who was less a physicist than an intelligence officer; the other was Yakov Petrovich.

Terletsky, who had a reputation as a real researcher. Most important, he was the man who had processed and edited all the scientific information that was gathered by our intelligence networks and reported personally to the closed sessions of the scientific technical committee for the project. With the exception of Kurchatov, he was the most knowledgeable, and would be able to hold his own with Bohr. Terletsky made his own scientific analysis of intelligence materials we received. That sometimes created problems, because we received atomic information twice a day and sometimes Terletsky was late with his assessments. I would then be reprimanded for lack of discipline in my department, but I recognized that we were operating not with ordinary agent reports but with complex theoretical scientific formulations. Traditional discipline might be detrimental to the end result.

We decided that Terletsky should be sent to see Bohr in the guise of a young Soviet scientist working on a project supervised by Academicians Ioffe and Kapitsa. He was to explain the problems in activating the nuclear reactor to Bohr and to seek his advice. Terletsky could not be sent alone on such a critical assigment, so he was accompanied by Lev Vasilevsky, who had run the Fermi line from Mexico and now was my deputy director of Department S. He would lead the conversation with Bohr while Terletsky would handle the technical details. The meeting was arranged with the help of the Danish writer Martin Andersen Nexo, a friend of Zoya Rybkina.

I met with Terletsky in 1993, just before he died. He recalled that at first Bohr was nervous and his hands trembled, but he soon controlled his emotions. Bohr understood, perhaps for the first time, that the decision that he, Fermi, Oppenheimer, and Szilard had made to allow their trusted scientific proteges to share atomic secrets had led him to meet

{p. 207} agents of the Soviet government. Bohr had sent official confirmation to the Soviet Emhassy that he would meet with a delegation and now he realized that the delegation contained both a scientist and an intelligence officer.

Thus, after this first contact with Vasilevsky, Bohr preferred to speak only to Terletsky, his scientific counterpart. There was no choice but to let Terletsky meet Bohr alone with our translator. Terletsky thanked Bohr in the name of loffe, Kapitsa, and other scientists in Russia known to him, for the support from and consultations with their Western colleagues. Bohr readily explained to Terletsky the problems Fermi had at the University of Chicago putting the first nuclear reactor into operation, and he made valuable suggestions that enabled us to overcome our failures. Bohr pointed to a place on a graph Terletsky showed him and said, "That's the trouble spot." This meeting was essential to starting tht Soviet reactor, and we accomplished that feat in December 1946. (See Appendix Seven.)

My relations with Kurchatov, Alikhanov, and Kikoin became especially friendly when Terletsky returned from his meeting with Bohr in Denmark. Together with Emma we spent several weekends at a special rest house with the scientific troika and their wives. At my flat near Lubyanka I hosted lunches and cocktail parties in the Western style for them and their subordinates at the suggestion of Vasilevsky, who toyed with the idca of using Terletsky and other Soviet nuclear experts to lure Western scientists to the Soviet Union.

In Western Europe, Vasilevsky took advantage of the charms of Lubov Orlova, the famous film actress, and Grigori Aleksandrov, her husband, a film producer, as the cover for meeting Bruno Pontecorvo, Frederic Joliot-Curie, and other well-known Western scientists. Vasilevtsky also relied on professionals. He took with him three key figures: Sergei Gorshkov, an experienced case officer; Anatoli Yatskov, who handled Fuchs in the United States and Britain; and Aleksandr Semyonovich Feklisov, who took over Fuchs in Britain from 1947 to 1950.

Vasilevsky's successful trips to Denmark, Switzerland, and Italy coincided with the start of the Cold War. Beria awarded him a choice apartment and $1,000 - a cosiderable sum at that time - for his expenses abroad. After our reactor was put into operation in 1946, Beria issued orders to stop all contacts with our American sources in the Manhattan Project; the FBI was getting close to uncovering some of our agents. Beria said we should think how to use Oppenheimer, Fermi, Szilard, and others around them in the peace campaign against nuclear

{p. 208} armament. Disarmament and the inability to impose nuclear blackmail would deprive the United States of its advantage. We began a worldwide political campaign against nuclear superiority, which kept up until we exploded our own nuclear bomb, in 1949. Our goal was to preempt American power politically before the Soviet Union had its own bomb. Beria warned us not to compromise Western scientists, but to use their political influence.

Through Fuchs we planted the idea that Fermi, Oppenheimer, and Szilard oppose the hydrogen bomb. They truly believed in their positions and did not know they were being used. They started as antifascists, and became political advocates of the Soviet Union.

Beria's directive was motivated by information from Fuchs in 1946 saying there was serious disagreement among leading American physicists on the development of a hydrogen bomb. In a panel that met in April 1946, Fermi objected to the development of the superbomb, and Oppenheimer was ambivalent. Their doubts were opposed by fellow physicist Edward Teller. Fuchs, who returned to England in 1946 and declined the offer of Oppenheimer to work with him at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, continued to supply us with valuable information. From the fall of 1947 to May of 1949, Fuchs gave to Colonel Feklisov, his case officer, the principal theoretical outline for creating a hydrogen bomb and initial drafts for its development, at the stage they were being worked on in England and America in 1948.

Most valuable for us was the information Fuchs provided on the results of the test explosions at Eniwetok atoll of uranium and plutonium bombs. Fuchs met with Feklisov six times, usually every three or four months, in London. Feklisov was assisted in preparations for these clandestine meetings by three experienced MGB officers who checked for hostile surveillance. Every meeting was carefully planned and usually lasted for no more than forty minutes. Fuchs's meetings with Feklisov remained undetected by British counterintelligence. It was only after Fuchs came under suspicion and he himself offered that he might become a security risk when his father was appointed to a professorship in theology at the University of Leipzig in East Germany that he was accused of giving secret information to the Soviet Union. When he was arrested in 1950, the indictment mentioned only one meeting in 1947, and this was based on his confession.31

31. In 1949 the FBI notified British counterintelligence (MI-5) that Fuchs was a prime suspect. ...

{p. 209} The information Fuchs gave us in 1948 coincided with Maclean's reports from Washington on America's limited nuclear potential, not sufficient to wage an all-out and prolonged war. Maclean had become first secretary and acting head of chancery at the British Embassy in 1944.

Looking back, one may say that in every scientific team, both in the Soviet Union and in the United States, there were politically motivated figures, Kurchatov in the Soviet Union, Edward Teller in America. Kurchatov always kept the interests of the state first in his mind. He was less stubborn and less independent than men like Kapitsa or loffe. Beria, Pervukhin, and Stalin immediately sensed that he was different from the scientists of the older generation; they saw that he was young, ambitious, and fully prepared to subordinate academic traditions to the interests of the state. When the government wanted to speed up the test of our first atomic bomb in 1949, Kurchatov went along with copying the American design. However, parallel work continued on the Soviet-designed bomb, which was exploded in 1951. In the United States, Edward Teller assumed a similar role later, when he was put in charge of the hydrogen bomb project.

Oppenheimer reminded me very much of our classic scientists who tried to maintain their own identity, their own world, and their total internal independence. It was a peculiar independence and an illusion, because both Kurchatov and Oppenheimer were destined to be not only scientists but also directors of huge government-sponsored projects. The conflict was inevitable; we cannot judge them, because the bomb marked the opening of a new era in science, when for the first time in history scientists were required to act as statesmen. Initially neither Oppenheimer nor Kurchatov was surrounded by the scientific bureaucracies that later emerged in the 1950s. In the 1940s, neither government was in a position to control and influence scientific progress, because there was no way to progress except to rely on a group of geniuses and adjust to their needs, demands, and extravagant behavior. Nowadays no new development in science can be compared to the breakthrough into atomic energy in the 1940s. Atomic espionage was almost as valuable to us in the political and diplomatic spheres as it was in the military. When Fuchs reported the

{p. 210} unpublished design of the bomb, he also provided key data on the production of uranium 235. Fuchs revealed that American production was one hundred kilograms of U-235 a month and twenty kilos of plutonium per month. This was of the highest importance, because from this information we could calculate the number of atomic hombs possessed by the Americans. Thus, we were able to determine that the United States was not prepared for a nuclear war with us at the end of the 1940s or even in the early 1950s. This information might be compared with Colonel Oleg Penkovsky's information to the Americans during the early 1960s on the size of the Soviet ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) arsenal. Just as Fuchs enabled us to determine that the United States was not ready for nuclear war against the Soviet Union, Penkovsky told the United States that Khrushchev was not prepared for nuclear war against the United States.

Stalin pursued a tough policy of confrontation against the United States when the Cold War started; he knew he did not have to be afraid of the American nuclear threat, at least until the end of the 1940s. Only by 1955 did we estimate the stockpile of American and British nuclear weapons to be sufficient to destroy the Soviet Union.

That information helped to assure a Communist victory in China's civil war in 1947-1948. We were aware that President Harry Truman was seriously considering the use of nuclear weapons to prevent a Chinese Communist victory. Then Stalin initiated the Berlin crisis, blockading the Western-controlled sectors of the city in 1948. Western press reports indicated that Truman and Clement Attlee, the British prime minister, were prepared to use nuclear weapons to prevent Berlin's fall to communism, but we knew that the Americans did not have enough nuclear weapons to deal with both Berlin and China. The American government overestimated our threat in Berlin and lost the opportunity to use the nuclear threat to support the Chinese nationalists.

Stalin provoked the Berlin crisis deliberately to divert attention from the crucial struggle for power in China. In 1951, when we were discussing plans for military operations against American bases, Molotov told me that our position in Berlin helped the Chinese Communists. For Stalin, the Chinese Communist victory supported his policy of confrontation with America. He was preoccupied with the idea of a Sino-Soviet

{p. 211} axis against the Western world. Stalin's view of Mao Tse-tung, of course, was that he was a junior partner. I remember that when Mao came to Moscow in 1950 Stalin treated him with respect, but as a junior partner.

In August 1949 the Soviet Union exploded its first atomic device. This event, for which we had worked a decade, was not announced in the Soviet press; therefore, when the American media announced our explosion on September 23, Stalin and the Soviet security establishment were shocked. Our immediate reaction was that there had been an American agent penetration of our test; but in a week our scientists reported that nuclear explosions in the atmosphere could be easily detected by planes sampling air around Soviet borders. This scientific explanation relieved us of the burden of proving there was no mole among us.

Kurchatov and Beria were honored by the government for outstanding contributions and services in strengthening the might of the country. They received medals, monetary awards, and certificates granting them lifetime status as honored citizens. Free travel, dachas, and the right of their children to enter higher education establishments without exams were granted for life to all key scientific personnel on the project.

In assessing all the materials that were processed by Department S, we must take into account the views of Academician Yuli Khariton and Academician Anatoli P. Aleksandrov, president of the Academy of Sciences, who said that Kurchatov (1903-1960) was a genius who had made no major mistakes in the design of our first atomic bomb. They made their comments on the eighty-fifth anniversary of Kurchatov's ~birthday, in 1988. They noted that Kurchatov, having in his possession only several micrograms of artificially produced plutonium, was brave knough to suggest the immediate construction of major facilities to refine plutonium. The Soviet bomb was constructed in three years. Without the intelligence contribution, there could have been no Soviet atomic bomb that quickly. For me, Kurchatov remains a genius, the Russian Oppenheimer, but not a scientific giant like Bohr or Fermi. He was certainly helped by the intelligence we supplied, and his efforts would have been for naught without Beria's talent in mobilizing the nation's resources.

When Niels Bohr visited Moscow University in 1961 to take part student celebrations of Physicists Day, the KGB suggested that Terlet-

{p. 212} sky, then a full professor at the university and a Stalin Prize winner, should not meet with Bohr. Terletsky saw Bohr, who seemed not to recognize him. I was under arrest and Vasilevsky had been expelled from the party for "treacherous antiparty activities in Paris and in Mexico." There was no desire to remind Bohr of his past connections with Soviet intelligence.

{p. 222} I met Ambassador Konstantin Oumansky in Beria's office in December 1941, when he returned from Washington after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He told me that to defuse the opposition and give Roosevelt a stronger hand in providing us lend-lease aid, Harry Hopkins had insisted on the dissolution of the Comintern and on our rapproachement with the Orthodox Church.

{p. 226} In the summer of 1941 Harry Hopkins suggested to our ambassador in Washington, Oumansky, that they establish confidential relations.

{p. 227} Oumansky told me that President Roosevelt had directed Hopkins to make the approach to him. In December 1941 Stalin replaced Oumansky with Maksim Litvinov, and Hopkins quickly established a close personal relationship with him, to the point that Litvinov would visit Hopkins at home. Litvinov told me how he sat on Hopkins's bed to discuss problems while Hopkins was ill.

{p. 230} Originally, Soviet intentions were to participate in the Marshall Plan.

{p. 231} Then, in a sudden turn of policy ... Vyskinsky explained that they had received a cable from an agent, code-named Orphan, who was Donald McLean. ... He stated that the goal of the Marshall Plan was to ensure American economic domination in Europe. The new international economic organization to restore European productivity would be under the control of American financial capital. The source for Maclean's report was British foreign secretary Ernest Bevin.

{p. 235} The hostilities of the Cold War became dangerous in late 1946, leading to an important reorganization of Soviet intelligence structures.

{end of Sudoplatov's text}

{p. 525} More International Reaction to SPECIAL TASKS

"One of the West's most revered scientists provided an invaluable boost to early Soviet efforts to build nuclear bombs when he answered questions by agents sent from Moscow, according to documents unearthed in the archives of the former KGB.

"The top-secret documents help resolve the debate raging around Niels Bohr, a founding father of atomic physics. Recent allegations by a tormer KGB spymaster that he was one of four top Western scientists who helped Moscow develop nuclear weapons were dismissed with howls of rage by scientists and historians.

"Files that have lain undisturbed for five decades in KGB archives substantiate claims that Bohr - wittingly or not - helped Joseph Stalin down the nuclear path, a tragic irony given Bohr's warnings of the dangers of an arms race. A senior British nuclear physicist said yesterday after reading the files that the Russians would have learned a great deal about American nuclear bomb design from Bohr." - Matthew Campbell, Moscow, for London's Sunday Times

More of Sudoplatov's Special Tasks: sudoplat.html.

(2) Harry Hopkins a Soviet spy

FDR's Closest, Most Influential Advisor Was A Soviet Spy

Vasili Mitrokhin Is Dead By Notra Trulock 3-4-4 {March 3, 2004}

FDR's Closest, Most Influential Advisor Was A Soviet Spy
Vaseeli Mitrokin Is Dead
By Notra Trulock 3-4-4

The British government has announced that former Soviet KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin, 81, died from pneumonia on January 23. Mitrokhin first came to the public's attention in 1999 with the publication of The Sword and The Shield, an exposé of the KGB and its operations in the U.S. and Europe.

The book was based on notes and materials from classified KGB files, copied by Mitrokhin from 1972 until his retirement in 1984. He defected in 1992 and his materials were later spirited out of Moscow by British agents.

Accuracy in Media first reported on Mitrokhin's revelations shortly after the book's publication. Reed Irvine particularly valued the book for providing "new evidence" that Harry Hopkins, FDR's closest and most influential advisor, was a Soviet spy.

In a column published in October 1999, Irvine wrote that Mitrokhin's documents had convinced Ray Wannall, a former FBI counterintelligence expert, that Hopkins was a Soviet agent. In a recent book review, Paul J. Redmond hailed the publication of The Sword and The Shield as a "landmark event." Redmond wrote that it is "one of the most important and valuable books to date on the Cold War and espionage in general."

Redmond should know; he spent thirty years in the CIA's Directorate of Operations, all of it working against the former Soviet Union. Redmond reveals how Mitrokhin's treasures were almost lost to the West. It has been reported that Mitrokhin first approached the CIA, but was turned away. Redmond writes that, in fact, Mitrokhin twice tried to defect to the agency, but was turned down because CIA had adopted a policy that banned recruitment of Soviet/Russian intelligence officers. Redmond was told, "The KGB is dead" and that the agency wanted to "maintain the high moral ground." Mitrokhin turned to British intelligence, where his materials eventually led to the identification of several Soviet spies in both Britain and the U.S.

Among these were Melita Norwood, who admitted giving British nuclear secrets to the Soviets, and a former Scotland Yard policeman, who became the KGB's first "Romeo spy." A scandal ensued in 1999 when it was learned that the government refused to prosecute either, despite its possession of this information in the early 1990s. Mitrokhin also provided new insights into the KGB's handling of a suspected spy in the U.S. State Department, Felix Bloch. Mitrokhin's take must have been good, because Russian intelligence officials have consistently denigrated his importance. In late January, after the announcement of his death, ITAR-TASS published a Russian intelligence services' statement claiming that Mitrokhin did not have "comprehensive knowledge of KGB secrets." The statement depicted Mitrokhin as a failed spy kept on by a sympathetic KGB boss concerned about Mitrokhin's sick child. It also claimed that Mitrokhin had "emigrated to Britain" in the early 1990s.

The Russian government bought the translation rights to The Sword and The Shield, but the book is not likely to see the light of day in Moscow. Notra Trulock is the Associate Editor of the AIM Report and can be reached at

Oleg Gordievsky also claimed that Hopkins was a Soviet spy. See Christopher Andrew & Oleg Gordievsky, KGB: The Inside Story of its Foreign Relations From Lenin to Gorbachev (Sceptre edition, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1991), pp. 297-9, 341, 357.

Major Jordan's Diaries, on Harry Hopkins' role in the transfer of atomic technology from the United States to the Soviet Union during World War II:

Roland Perry claims that Lord Victor Rothschild was the Fifth Man:

Roland Perry, The Fifth Man (Pan Books, London, 1994)

{p. 154} The KGB were hoping that Rothschild could still help them as they geared up their efforts to steal Western bomb intelligence. He was secretly anti-American when it came to their drive to be the biggest military power and, like Oppenheimer, he was keen to do

{p. 155} what he could to create a 'balance of terror', where each of the superpowers had the bomb as a deterrent to each other's aggression. He also still held a strong ideological belief that Socialism should be the dominant system on earth.

One way the Russians could be sure of his help would be if they acceded to his demands about a Jewish homeland.

{endquote} perry.html.

(3) Albert Einstein

This article is from

If it's been changed, the original can be found at

Einstein, Albert (1879-1955)

... Further Reading on this matter: Bohr's Report of his Discussions with Einstein and Einstein's Reply.

As the world situation deteriorated, Einstein spent more and more effort in promoting pacifism including the establishment of a War Resisters' International Fund. In a famous exchange of letters with the Austrian psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, Einstein speculated on the psychological basis for the war and fascism he saw around him. In a discussion of epistemology with the Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore, Einstein defended basic philosophical materialist positions and in particular indicated support for the Pantheism of Spinoza.

When Hitler came to power in 1933, Einstein renounced his German citizenship and emigrated to England, moving to the U.S. in 1935 for a position at Princeton where he lived for the remainder of his life. From this time, Einstein urged Europe to arm and prepare for the inevitable war with Hitler. Most Western nations at this time regarded Hitler as a good anti-communist and Einstein's advocacy of war was given as little heed as had his pacificism.

In 1939, Niels Bohr, told Einstein of Lise Meitner's success in splitting the uranium atom, and speculated on the prospect for the creation of an atom bomb. Though Einstein was sceptical, he was persuaded to write to President Roosevelt to begin atomic-bomb research. He was not included in the team that worked at Los Alamos and did not learn that a nuclear bomb had been made until Hiroshima was razed in 1945. He then joined those scientists seeking ways to prevent any future use of the bomb, his particular and urgent plea being the establishment of a world government under a constitution drafted by the US, Britain, and Russia.

By 1937, after years of failure advocating peaceful attempts to change the world, Einstein became involved with Communism. For the remainder of his life he would be a member, sponsor, or affiliate of at least 34 Communist organisations; and chaired three Communist organisations. Einstein spoke out against capitalism, and it's concentration of power into the hands of the few, and stressed the need for a revolutionary overthrow of capitalist governments. Such ideas did not go unnoticed: the FBI began documenting his activities and speeches, and filed claims against his "communist-anarchist" politics, ammassing into a 1,427 page report by the time of his death. In 1949, Einstein's agitation gained wider attention when he wrote Why Socialism?, explaining that the only way for humanity to rid itself of the evils of capitalism is through the adoptation of Socialism. Einstein did not fully approve of Stalinist Socialism; arguing on several points in letters to Soviet scientists that freedom is necessary for Socialism to work.


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