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Comments on Vassiliev's notes on Gorsky's "Collapses in the U.S.A. (1938-48)" by John Earl Haynes The Gorsky memo is of value for several reasons. First, just the sheer volume of Soviet sources identified is impressive. Second, it allows the identification of a number of cover names found in the deciphered Venona messages that could not be connected to real names by NSA/FBI analysts. Third, it reinforces the view that Soviet espionage in the United States took a heavy blow immediately after World War II with the defection of Bentley and what followed. Fourth, the credibility of Whittaker Chambers and Elizabeth Bentley has been amply corroborated by other evidence: in Bentley's case by Venona and in Chambers' case by the documents he saved from 1938 as well as by Venona. The Gorsky memo adds just another bit of corroboration in their cases. Budenz' and Massing's stories also had corroboration but not as ample, and here the Gorsky memo, consequently, is of greater weight. The five lists of groups are preceded with the title "_ Collapses in the U.S.A. (1938-48)_ ." The groups are not precisely listings of espionage networks, although several networks such as the Silvermaster and Perlo apparatuses managed by Elizabeth Bentley and Chambers' own network are encompassed. Rather, the groups are lists of Americans who consciously cooperated with Soviet intelligence as well as the Soviet intelligence officers (each list has one or more) who worked with them who were compromised or likely compromised by a defector (Whittaker Chambers, Elizabeth Bentley, Louis Budenz, and Hede Massing) or an agent who broke under FBI interrogation (Alexander Koral). It should be noted that there would be no reason for Gorsky to list persons who were innocent contacts or unconscious sources as compromised or part of a collapsed network. Chambers, Budenz, Bentley and Massing in their work and social life met hundreds of persons who might innocently provide some information or assistance. Anatoly Gorsky as KGB station chief would have been unconcerned about now a defection would have affected such innocent contacts if he even knew of them at all. The sensitivity of the KGB for who among their sources had been compromised by a defection is also brought home by the note for Laurence Duggan in Redhead's group that he had killed himself. The KGB had lost contact with Duggan in 1945 when many of its officers were withdrawn in the wake of Bentley's defection. However, in 1948 the KGB station in the U.S. attempted to revive Duggan and approached him initially in July but received a brush-off. What the KGB did not know at that time, but learned after his death, was that Hede Massing in 1947 had identified Duggan to the FBI as one of her mid-30s recruits in Washington. The FBI then interviewed Duggan on December 11, 1948. Duggan denied that he had been a spy but gave a confused statement in which he admitted he had been approached about spying for the Soviets but could not explain why he had not informed his State Department superiors of the approach. Then on December 15th the KGB again approached Duggan and attempted to reopen contact. He killed himself five days later. Immediately, the American media, Edward R. Murrow of CBS in particular, blamed his death on FBI harassment and ant-Communist smears, but the KGB knew better, and Gorsky's note about Duggan's suicide underlines the sensitivity the KGB needed to exercise in dealing with a source who had been or might have been compromised by a defector. All of the lists include at least one "cadre colleague," meaning a Soviet intelligence officer who had been compromised by the defector. For "Buben's Group," for example, it is the KGB officer Gregory Rabinovich. "Buben's Group" is not Louis Budenz's (Buben's) espionage apparatus. In the late 1930s Rabinovich approached Budenz, then a senior CPUSA official in Chicago, to assist him in recruiting Communists for infiltration into the American Trotskyist movement. Budenz did as requested but he was largely a recruiter and did not "run" an anti-Trotsky infiltration apparatus. Those he recruited were, in fact, widely dispersed: for example Sylvia Caldwell was sent to New York while the KGB assigned Robert Menaker to anti-Trotsky work in Mexico and South America. And, of course, Budenz reported to Rabinovich, not the other way around. "Buben's Group" is not a listing of members of Louis Budenz's apparatus but rather a list of those known to Budenz to have assisted Soviet espionage and who, consequently, might have been compromised when Budenz broke with the CPUSA in 1945 and cooperated with the FBI. One name not listed in in Buben's group perhaps illustrates that unconscious sources are not the subject of Gorsky's lists. Elizabeth Bentley told the FBI in 1945 (this is also in her autobiography) that occasionally Louis Budenz would pass on to Jacob Golos tidbits Budenz had picked up from Louis Adamic, an acquaintance of Budenz who was also a consultant to the OSS regarding Yugoslav matters. There was no indication in what Bentley said that either she, Golos, or Budenz regarded Adamic as anything other than an unconscious source, and Adamic is not listed by Gorsky as someone compromised by Budenz' defection. Notice also that Gorsky in listing those compromised goes back to the late 1930s (Chamber in 1938 and Hede Massing then or soon after) although it would not be until the late 1940s that these defectors provided a full account to American authorities. Consequently, several of the lists contain names of persons who Gorsky thought were known to these late 1930s defectors as having assisted Soviet intelligence then without regard to their subsequent activities and one, Peter MacLean in Karl/Chambers' group, is listed as having been out of contact with Soviet intelligence since 1937. "Karl's Group" consists of Soviet sources Gorsky believed were known to Whittaker Chambers in the mid-1930s. Chambers did not precisely "defect" in the spring of 1938 but rather dropped-out. He provided some limited information to American authorities in the fall of 1939 and similar limited information in FBI interviews in the early 1940s. But it was not until late 1948 that he provided a comprehensive accounting of his role in Soviet espionage to American authorities. Chambers' did not at the time know to which Soviet intelligence agency his network reported. It was only in 1939 when he met Walter Krivitsky, a senior defecting KGB officer who had earlier been a senior GRU officer, that he learned that his network reported to the GRU, Soviet military intelligence. That Chambers' network was GRU was later confirmed in the late 1940s by Hede Massing, a KGB defector. Massing had learned of Chambers' GRU network when one of Chambers's network members unknowingly attempted to recruit one of her KGB sources. Chambers' dropping out of Soviet service in 1938 broke-up the network he had worked with. Fearing that Chambers' might go to U.S. authorities, Boris Bykov, the GRU officer to whom Chambers' reported, was hastily withdrawn from the United States. Joseph Peters, the chief of the CPUSA underground, with whom Chambers had worked closely, was replaced as head of the CPUSA covert apparatus and kept out of clandestine work for several years. It would have been common sense trade craft to cut contact with others members of Chambers' network for a time after telling them to lay low and do nothing until contacted. Further complicating the picture was the then ongoing Stalin purge of his security apparatus that disrupted both GRU and KGB operations in the U.S. in the late 1930s. Given the weakness of American counter-intelligence in the 1930s and once the lack of fallout of Chambers' defection was clear (there was no serious government follow-up of even the limited information he provided in the fall of 1939), then it would have been safe for Soviet intelligence to reconnect with those with whom Chambers had worked. Subsequent information from Soviet sources and Venona indicates that some of the members of Chambers' network were revived individually by the KGB in the early 1940s (White, Silverman, Glasser, for example) while others resumed GRU contact. (By that time the KGB had displaced the GRU as the chief Soviet espionage agency operating in the U.S., although the GRU retained a sizable presence and some high-level sources.) Some were probably never revived if they were no longer employed in areas of interest to Soviet intelligence or were suspected of having become ideologically disillusioned. "Redhead's Group" consists of Soviet sources Gorsky believed known to Hede Massing (Gompertz). She and her husband dropped out of Soviet service in 1938. (It is not precisely clear when the Massings dropped out. She put it at 1938 but there is some indication that the Massings retained some occasional link to Soviet intelligence into World War II.) Hede Massing did not provide an account of her role in Soviet espionage until 1947. She later testified at the Hiss trial regarding Hiss's inadvertent brush with her and her network. The Berg - Art Group was not linked to any particular espionage apparatus at all. Berg (Alexander Koral) and Art (Helen Koral) worked as couriers between a variety of American sources and KGB officers. The FBI observed Alexander Koral, a secret CPUSA member and building maintenance engineer working for the New York City public school system, meeting with several persons suspected of being Soviet sources. Confronted by the FBI in 1947, Koral admitted that from 1939 to 1945 he had worked as a clandestine courier. He attempted to conceal his Communist loyalties and explained that he had been paid $2,000 by someone known to him only as Frank to travel to different cities to pickup and deliver small packages and envelopes to different persons. Despite attempts to minimize his activities, he eventually identified a number of persons with whom he had had contact. The longest list of those compromised by a defector was that of the "Sound and Myrna Groups." Elizabeth Bentley (Myrna) turned herself in to the FBI in the fall of 1945 and quickly provided the FBI with a lengthy account of her work that identified dozens of Soviet sources. Her defection galvanized FBI focus on Soviet espionage. It also came at a time when with the end of World War II, the FBI was in a position to shift its counter-intelligence resources from concern with German, Japanese, and Italian espionage to the Soviet threat. Gorsky provided forty-four names for the "Sound and Myrna Groups," i.e., the two large networks (one headed by Victor Perlo and the other by Gregory Silvermaster) and a number of independent sources put together by Jacob Golos (Sound) drawn from secret Communist party members working for the U.S. government and covert CPUSA networks in Washington established in the 1930s. Golos's several apparatuses and independent sources were taken over after his death in 1943 by his assistant Elizabeth Bentley (Myrna). After her defection in the fall of 1945 the FBI found convincing corroborative evidence, albeit largely indirect and circumstantial, of the truth of her story of Soviet espionage. (The KGB quickly learned of Bentley's defection and immediately informed its potentially compromised sources that contact was being cut and they should cease espionage activity and destroy any incriminating evidence.) Documents from newly opened Soviet archives and, even more, the Venona decryptions released in the 1990s later provided ample documentation and direct evidence of her truthfulness. The majority of those Bentley identified as Soviet sources were directly identified as such in Venona. The Gorsky list fills in most of the rest. Of the forty-four names on the Gorsky list for the "Sound and Myrna Groups," Elizabeth Bentley discussed thirty-eight in her statement to the FBI or later testimony. The six not discussed included two KGB personnel: Vladimir Pravdin and Michael Shaliapin. Bentley in her statement discussed one Soviet officer known to her only as John that has not been clearly identified. The only four American sources on Gorsky's list that Bentley did not identify to the FBI are Eva Getzov, David Weintraub, and the Graze brothers, Stanley and Gerald. Additionally, three persons Bentley identified as working with her networks during World War II are listed by Gorsky as working in the mid-1930s for "Karl's Group." These are: Harry White, George Silverman, and Harold Glasser. She also told the FBI that one member of her network, Glasser, had for a time worked for a network she knew little about except that it was run by a man named "Hiss" at the State Department. Both Alger and Donald Hiss, both working for the State Department, are also listed under Karl's group. The Gorsky list's confirmation of Bentley's story further discredits two generations of historians who have variously ridiculed, mocked, laughed at, dismissed, or studiously ignored Bentley's story and depicted her as a paid liar, fraud, or delusional hysteric. The depiction of the role of Soviet espionage and of the CPUSA in espionage that prevailed in academic history from the late 1960s to the mid-1990 was that Soviet espionage, to the extent any existed, was a minor matter and, emphatically, the CPUSA was innocent of involvement in what little espionage that might possibly have occurred. This view was profoundly wrong. The determined refusal of leading historians to take Bentley's testimony serious was symptomatic of a broader failure of the scholastic judgment of the historical establishment of that era to understand the nature of the American Communist movement of the 1930s and 1940s and of the aggressive nature and broad scope of the Soviet espionage offensive against the United States in that era. Contemporary historians should not only now get the story right but also reflect on the ideological blinders and surrender to partisanship that led their predecessors to profoundly misunderstand the history of the period. The defection of Elizabeth Bentley in late 1945 as well as coming forward of other defectors not only compromised and rendered unusable a large number of Americans who had cooperated with Soviet espionage, it also compromised a number of Soviet intelligence officers who were hastily withdrawn from the United States and could not return. These officers had by 1945 become highly experienced in working in the United States, many spoke excellent English, and had developed a wide array of contacts. It took the KGB several years to replace this experience cadre with new officers, and most of the initial replacements lacked the language skills and cultural sophistication of those compromised by Bentley's defection. Eventually Soviet espionage would recover from these disasters, but it is well to remember that just as the Cold War got underway in the late 1940s Soviet espionage in the United States sustained a crippling blow. Additionally, Bentley's defection led to the surfacing of the mid-30s espionage of Whittaker Chambers' and those with whom he worked. Chambers dropped out of Soviet espionage in 1938 but did not defect to American authorities. In September of 1939 he gave a guarded account of his network, one that strongly hinted of espionage but was not explicit, to Assistant Secretary of State Berle. There was, however, little follow-up. It was not until Bentley testified to the House Committee on Un-American Activities and Chambers was called as a supportive witness that his story became public and resulted in Alger Hiss's indictment and conviction along with the confessions of several other members of Chambers' network. In regards to Chambers story, Gorsky's listing of "Karl's Group" provides yet additional corroboration. Of the twenty-one persons Gorsky itemized, Chambers discussed fifteen in testimony at the Hiss trial and in his autobiography Witness. The six Chambers did not discuss were Barna Bukov, Lester Hubel, V.V. Sveshchnikov, Harry Rosenthal, Harry Azizov and Peter MacLean. Bukov, a Soviet intelligence officer, may have been known by Chambers but not under that name. Additionally, Chambers referred to a number of minor participants involved with his network without providing names (which he may have forgotten or never known), and one or another of these may be among the latter six. For example, without providing names, he said that among the sources that reported to Boris Bykov, the GRU officer to whom Chambers also reported, were the head of laboratory at a steel company, someone at an arms manufacturer, and a ballistic expert at the War Department. It is likely that Harry Azizov, described as with a Chicago steel firm, Lester Hubel, described as at the Frankford Arsenal, and V.V. Sveshchnikov, described as with the War Department, are these persons. Gorsky's listing for "Redhead's Group" provides confirmation of Hede Massing's 1947 identification to the FBI of Laurence Duggan as a Soviet source she and her husband had recruited. Its listing of Franz Neumann as a recruit of the Massings is not surprising: Neumann was a member of the German neo-Marxist "Frankfurt School" as was Paul Massing. Gorsky's description of "Buben's Group" confirms Louis Budenz's story that Soviet intelligence enlisted him as a talent spotter and recruiter for its late 1930s anti-Trotsky work, a fact that should discomfort several generations of American historians to confidently dismissed Budenz as a fraud. This, of course does not mean that Budenz, particularly from the late 1940s onward, did not exaggerate, embellish and perhaps falsify on some points, but Budenz's basic story and his early statements ought to be taken seriously. John Earl Haynes