Apparatus • The cold war is unique in that it was fought as much within our borders as without • Soviets set up underground “apparatuses” • Formed in cities: New York, Washington DC, LA in 1920s and 1930s • Operating in parallel often unbeknownst to one another • Russians believe in bulk • Composite of American citizens and Soviet agents • Working directly for Moscow
Apparatus • “sleeper” apparatus, remained inactive, silent • Refrain from any espionage until activated in time of war, whenever other apparatuses were disabled or when deemed necessary by the Soviets • Members of underground indistinguishable from man or woman beside you: blended in to people • Not usually members of the (open) American Communist Party (ACP) • Actual members of Soviet underground, Comintern
Principles of Underground • Discipline- perform without question (military) • Never write anything about underground work • Separation from superiors- subordinates wait to be called, unable to trace a superior down • Techniques of meeting: • ½ to 2 hours of walking around, through crowds, subways, parks, in/out of buildings with more than one entrance before meeting in order to shake a tail • Approach one another from opposite sides of the street, then crossing only if no surveillance seen • If any hint of surveillance, then meeting aborted • Punctuality: being late = serious offense, subject to severe discipline
Principles of Underground • Forgetting and not seeing- members were not to notice street names, addresses of meetings & forget locations • Avoid any sign of recognition of fellow members, never greet or offer any sign of recognition in a chance meeting • Pseudonyms- members would live by pseudonyms Bob, Otto, Gretta, even with closest friends • Denial- if arrested, never confess guilt, always assert innocence, deny charges & divulge nothing • Money- unlike open ACP members who lived Spartan existence, underground members were to fit in with their colleagues in government: well dressed, affluent • Alcoholic abstinence was a must
Underground • Some apparatuses were “surveillance units” tracking members of other underground units to ensure compliance & administer discipline • “remember there are only two ways you can leave us, you can be shot by them or you can be shot by us.”COLONEL BORIS BYKOV TO WHITTAKER CHAMBERS • NKVD agents were not only executioners, but also one of the largest groups of victims. Most 1930s agency staff (hundreds of thousands), including all commanders, were executed • NKVD Chief, Lavrentiy Beria, ordered the execution of >22,000 Polish POWs executed in Katyne Massacre in 1940
Misconception • Unlike that portrayed in the spy movies, underground work is tedious labor to keep thrills from happening. Chambers stated “I have never known a good conspirator who enjoyed conspiracy”8
Use of Liberals • The Communist is not a liberal, but make full use of the help they afford. • While Communists make full use of liberals and the help they afford and smile in their face, in private they hold liberals in contempt3
Bela Kun • Pseudonym J. Peters, head underground of ACP • Bolshevik, led the short-lived Hungarian Revolution 1919 • Fiery reputation involved in a number of duels • Fought for Hungary in WWI, captured by Russians 1916 • Became Communist 1917 • Fought for Red Army during Civil War 1918 • Fluent in German, Russian, English
Bela Kun • Returned to Hungary to establish HCP Nov 3, 1918. Published slander against President • Involved in violent demonstrations, Kun arrested for treason by Hungarian police. He was saved when the unpopular decrees of the Western allies undermined the popularity of the Hungarian government • Turned to Kun hoping he could influence Russian support in rebelling against the allies • Ironically prisoner dictated terms to keepers • Demanded merger with Communists, formation of Hungarian Soviet Republic
Bela Kun • Hungarian Soviet Republic was second Communist government in history • After the pattern of Lenin, formed Red Army, secret police, nationalized all private property • Never very popular, Soviet Republic lasted only 133 days as West-backed Czechoslovakia and Romania fought against them. • Promised help from Russian Red Army never materialized and Romanians took Budapest, crushed Communists and handed control back to Social Democratic Party. • Kun was exiled then later served as Comintern underground under pseudonym J. Peters
BelaKun (J. Peters) • In the late 1920-1930s he became head of underground for entire ACP. • He was a lurking figure of fate in the lives of millions of Americans who did not know an “invisible empire” existed7. He had men, American citizens, placed in high levels in the State Department & Treasury Department. Hollywood was a particularly thriving underground in the 1930’s. J. Peters had access to unlimited resources such as members adept at securing fraudulent passports, birth certificates and naturalization papers.
Residentura • Soviet Embassy in New York, San Francisco and Washington DC • Embassy official was member of GRU • Liaison between Moscow and American Apparatuses • J Peters succeeded by • Col Boris Bykov until 1938
The Underground Function • Conduct espionage (acquire secret information) • Russians obtained data on the Christie tank (technically advanced design of American inventor Walter Christie) by contact with a U. S. Army officer with sympathetic ties with the Irish Republican Army (IRA). They had promised to supply arms to IRA forces via submarine in exchange for secret information regarding the tank’s design. After obtaining the documents, the promise was never fulfilled. Two Christie tanks without turrets were shipped to the USSR under the guise of ‘farm tractors’ without the prior approval of the U. S. Army or the State Department. The design was incorporated in the highly successful Soviet T-34 tank of World War II and successive Russian tanks.
Russian Tanks Were Derived Using Christie Suspension Christie Tank Successful T-34
The Underground Function • Influence Policy by infiltrating high-levels of government with underground members • Alger Hiss and Harold Ware organized one of the most extensive fifth columns in history whose influence for evil was felt long after he was dead. This included the crash of China, the Carthagian mangling of Europe. Ware perceived during the agrarian crisis before the stock market crash of 1929 that the time had come for revolutionary organization among farmers. In the early 1920s Ware went to the Soviet Union to develop collective farming after the model of the Kuzbas colony. When he returned, the Soviets had supplied him with $25,000 hidden in his belt. With these funds, he set up the Bureau of Farm Research within the Department of Agriculture. By 1935, the “Ware Group” was tightly organized with an estimated 75 men working underground in various “New Deal” agencies. The group had become too familiar with one another and had to be split up and moved (see principles 3 and 8) where they could not know one another. More importantly, there was a need to infiltrate the State Department which was much more resistant to the underground than the New Deal agencies which the Communists could penetrate almost at will12.
Underground Functions • Intelligence – provide inside information of enemy’s intensions & plans; early warning of next move. • As an extension of the NKVD intelligence directorate (GRU), the underground provided military intelligence for the USSR • Under the code name “Enormoz” Soviet atomic intelligence obtained information about Allied work on atomic weapons • As early as Nov 1941, Lavrenti Beria, head of NKVD received this from Klaus Fuchs a German physicist working in the British program which later moved to US • In March 1942, Beria presented the information to Stalin. By March 1943, the Soviets engaged in their own program under the direction of Igor Kurchatov
Soviet embassy (Rezidentura) in New York City was selected to gather intelligence on Manhattan Project • Soviets commissioned engineer Leonid Kvasnikov (ps. “Anton”) as head of project Mar 1943 - Oct 1945 • His “inside” contacts were • Donald MacLean • William Weisband
Beginning of the Atomic Race • Igor Kurchaov- • Soviet Nuclear Physicist – head of Soviet atomic bomb project “First Lightning” • Klaus Fuchs • At Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project, had access to top secret material, much of which he passed to the Soviets. The Soviet atomic bomb project was greatly aided by the information given to them. When this was discovered in 1948, Fuchs was tried and convicted in Britain in the 1950s. Fuchs served 9 years of a 14 year sentence. He then emigrated to East Germany.
Use of Front Organizations • The ACP made united fronts with any organization that would tolerate it especially the trade unions. • ACP tried to turn economic unrest into violence during the 1929 crash. • Lenin encouraged Party members to penetrate existing organizations and take them over.
Front Organizations • When Communists join organizations they work fervently as they maneuver into positions of influence. They are patient and abide the time to achieve their end. Liberal organizations are particularly vulnerable because the non-Communist and the Communist are not easily distinguished. Front organizations assist in the process of deception and provide a number of important functions: • 1. they promote objectives of value to Communists • 2. they unite a professional group such as doctors, lawyers, scientists or engineers • 3. they mobilize the sympathies of a particular interest group such as women, students, ethnic groups, youth, etc. • 4. they collect money and serve to finance the party (e.g. the movie industry was a big one in the 1930’s) • 5. they provide a contact point for recruiting new members for the Party
Mass Organizations • mass organizations are fronts operating on an international scale. They function to produce and disseminate large volumes of propaganda, provide popular support for Communist foreign policy, dupe naive non-members into supporting Party causes, and recruit and train Party members.
J Edgar Hoover Criteria of Fronts • 1. Does it espouse the cause of Soviet Russia and shift when Party line shifts? • 2. Does it feature as speakers known Party members or sympathizers (fellow travelers)? • 3. Does it sponsor causes, campaigns, literature, petitions or other activity of the Party or known Party organizations? • 4. Is it used as a sounding board or is it endorsed by known Communist trade unions? • 5. Does it have literature that follows the Party line or that is published by the Communist press? • 6. Does it receive favorable reviews in the Communist press? • 7. Does it claim to be non-partisan yet engage in political activities or consistently advocate causes favored by Communists?
J Edgar Hoover Criteria of Fronts • 8. Does it denounce American foreign policy while lauding Communist foreign policy? • 9. Does it refer to Communist countries as democracies while complaining that the US is imperialistic. Does it denounce monopoly-capital? • 10. Have outstanding leaders openly renounced affiliation with the organization? • 11. Does it attract well-known, honest patriotic liberals if it espouses liberal causes or does it denounce well-known liberals? • 12. Does it major in matters not directly related to its primary purposes and objectives?14
The Changing Face of Protest • American Peace Mobilization and Communist-led organizations, including veterans of the Spanish Civil War, opposed America’s involvement in World War II during the period of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact…….. • but then turned into hawks after Germany invaded the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa!
Why Would an American Become a Communist? • “It is the crisis that makes men communists and it is the crisis that keeps men Communists.” The growth of its membership is directly proportional to the intensity of world crisis. The Economic crisis of 1929 swept thousands into the Communist party and the preludes of World War II brought in millions more. Fully one third of the voting population of France and Italy were Communist supporters at the outset of the war. It is in the name of the will to survive the crisis that the Communist uses to justify the use of terror and tyrrany6.
the men and women in the Communist Party are dedicated revolutionaries whose allegiance is not to any country or people but to the Communist International (Comintern). They are firm believers in a cause whose faith moves them and only equal faith can overcome them in the final conflict.1 There is great danger in underestimating the force of faith that moves these revolutionaries. Among the world’s mistaken ideas about Communists is the notion that they are never swayed by simple human feelings. The Communist is a new type of man (or woman) in history: the thinking commando. Calculating and cautious, they use the utmost care and preparation to engage with swiftness and surprise in striking2
American Complacency • As Americans, we tend to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But then we are easily lulled into a false sense of security when the problems of the world are usually an ocean away. Just as the dawn of World War II was preceded by clear warning signals that should have sounded an alarm at Pearl Harbor, even so in 1948, the public was incredulous at the thought of Communist spies within our government! What is inconceivable is that this activity had been already going on for more than 20 years and that certain informers had placed the names of Americans acting a spies for the Soviets into the hands of FDR’s administrative staff (Adolf Berle) as early as 1938!!! • With the cracking of the VENONA code in World War II, intelligence was being collected daily on spies in US
Exposing the Underground • The Communists are masters of deceit & defend themselves primarily by discrediting their enemies • These smear campaigns were highly successful and individuals who were effective at revealing Soviet apparatus members lost careers, suffered lawsuits and are unpopular even to this day: • Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisc) • J Edgar Hoover (FBI) • Senator Pat McCarran (D-Nev) • When the activities of the underground were widely publicized in the late 40’s early 50’s, the media made popular phrases such as “the Red Scare” “witch hunt” etc. The actions of the House committee on Un-American Activities and others were presented in less than favorable terms. President Truman called the evidence produced on Alger Hiss a “Red herring”
Senator Joseph McCarthy • Beginning 1950, Sen McCarthy became the most public figure revealing the presence of Soviet underground in US govt • Unfortunately, his reckless tactics and inability to substantiate claims led to his censure and public doubt concerning the extent of the problem. • “McCarthyism” and “Red Scare” were coined reflecting the growing doubt. It may be his tactics did more to harm the effort to expose
McCarthy vs Truman • Smear campaign was intense: accused McCarthy of lying about his war record, receiving kick-backs from Pepsi-Cola, revising his charges and figures and even accused of being homosexual. He was at odds with the media. • Communists than to help • Accused members of FDR/Truman’s administration of aiding Soviets calling it “twenty years of treason” • Attacked George Marshall as being responsible for the loss of China • Faulted Truman for relieving MacArthur
McCarthy Censured • A close friend of the Kennedy family, McCarthy held popular support among American Catholic voters • Even though they were in opposite parties, John F. Kennedy did not support the Senate proposal to censure McCarthy. Remaining Democrats and ½ Republicans voted to censure McCarthy (67 to 22) in 1954. • He passed away in 1957 of alcoholic liver disease age 48.
Sen. Pat McCarran • Powerful anti-Communist in Senate • As chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee, established the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee • loss of mainland China in 1949 was blamed by McCarran on Soviet spies in the State Department • 1950 formulated McCarran Internal Security Act • Required Communist Party and other organizations promoting totalitarianism to register with Attorney General • Vetoed by Truman, however Congress passed bill, over-riding veto • Due to numerous hearings, delays and appeals, act was never enforced, then declared unconstitutional in 1965, 1967
House Committee on Un-American Activities • Consisted of nine representatives responsible for investigating subversive groups that attack our constitutional government • Became permanent in 1945 • Most effective members in the 1948 investigation into espionage suspect Alger Hiss were Richard M. Nixon and
House Committee on Un-American Activities • In 1960’s HCUA lost effectiveness • Came under fire from ACLU • Activists Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman co-founders of Youth International Party (Yippies) and involved in Chicago Eight conspiracy • Showed contempt for HCUA and other US govt institutions and publically made mockery of proceedings • HCUA disbanded after 1975
VENONA • However, Venona was considered so secret that the US Government was unwilling to expose it by allowing it to be used as evidence in any trial. In fact, even presidents Roosevelt and Harry Truman were unaware of Venona; when Hoover delivered intelligence reports based on Venona data, the source of the information was not named.
The Roosevelt Connection • The same year the HCUA subpoenaed leaders of the American Youth Congress consisting of a core from the Young Communist League. Eleanor Roosevelt was in attendance at the hearings and afterward invited the subpoenaed witnesses to stay at the White House while in Washington D.C. • Joseph P. Lash, who later married Trude Lash, was one of the boarders at the White House during the hearings. Another officer, Abbott Simon, staff member of the CPUSA publication, Champion, slept for two weeks in Lincoln's bed during the hearings. • In the spring of 1941, the youth members of the congress, as guests of Mrs. Roosevelt, attended a picnic on the White House lawn where they were addressed by the President Roosevelt . When the President admonished them to condemn not merely the Nazi regime but all dictatorships - he was booed by the group. Soon afterwards, many of the same youth picketed the White House as representatives of the American Peace Mobilization. • A Venona decryption from May 1943 discloses contact with Trude was maintained by AleksejSokirkin, First Secretary of the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C. for GRU. The decrypt proposes using Trude to process information on Eleanor Roosevelt (Kapitansha).
Hollywood Ten • 1950’s style protest>>>>> • Eventually, some 300 artists including Charlie Chaplin were boycotted by the industry and had to work elsewhere or under pseudonyms. • 1947 HCUA held hearings on alleged involvement of Hollywood with Communist propaganda and influence. • Ten screen writers were “blacklisted” by the industry for their involvement with the ACP and lost their jobs.
The Undeniable Evidence • Defectors came out of Communism largely because of disillusionment with Stalin’s inhumane regime: • Elizabeth Bentley • Whittaker Chambers • Many, many others never made it to FBI because the GPU got to them first: • In 1938, the GPU cut down more deserters than any other time in history. The deserter faced an uncertain dilemma that even if they exposed the conspiracy that their testimony would never be believed. • Communist agents were masters at making an assassination look like an accidental death2 • Gen. Walter Krivitsky found shot through the head in a small hotel room in Wash DC. Evidence was that he shot himself (a letter) but he was never one to stay in small hotels. A few days before he told Chambers to “never under any circumstances believe that he had committed suicide”. Thankfully he had recently come to believe that Christian faith was a necessity. • The other corroborating evidence was the breaking of the Soviet diplomatic code (“Venona”)
Elizabeth Bentley • While at Graduate school at Columbia Univ in 1933 became interested in Fascism • Went to University of Florence to study under Fascists, actually turned to Communism • Returned to NYC to join ACP 1935 • Volunteered to do espionage on Fascist propaganda bureau in NYC • NKVD agent Jacob Golos(Golosenko) assigned to be her contact and controller
Elizabeth Bentley • Operated w/ name Umnitsa “clever person” • Bentley thought she was working for ACP but when she realized it was Soviet NKVD became disenchanted • Became important go between residentura and Silvermaster group in NYC & built strong apparat under Golos who became her lover. • After Golos suffered massive heart attack & died, she determined to carry on. Residentura wanted to have direct contact with her apparat, but she knew the American contacts would not trust a Soviet agent • She was reassigned; despondent and angered she began drinking, showing up drunk at her contact meetings. Her Soviet controller advised her to emigrate to the Soviet Union but she wisely declined. • Fed up with being put down by NKVD controllers, suspecting she might actually be killed she determined to defect in November 1945.
In a series of debriefing interviews with the FBI beginning November 7, 1945, Bentley implicated close to 150 people in spying for the Soviet Union,including 37 federal employees. The FBI already suspected many of those she named. • Soviet double agents in the OSS (now CIA) promptly alerted Moscow, which immediately shut down all contact with Bentley's people, just as the FBI was beginning surveillance of them.Thus the NKVD remained one step ahead of FBI and none of those on Bentley’s list were successfully prosecuted
Whittaker Chambers • Provided the most detailed description of the underground from 1928-1938 • Disillusioned by the Great Purge, broke with the underground in 1938
“ I perceived that the Communists were much more firmly embedded in [the US] Government than I had supposed, and that any attempt to disclose or dislodge them was enormously complicated by the political situation in which they were parasitic. Every move against the Communists was felt by the Liberals as a move against themselves. If only for the sake of...[public opinions of themselves], the liberals, to protect their power, must seek as long as possible to conceal from themselves and everybody else the fact that the Government had been Communist-penetrated. Unlike the Liberals, the Communists were fully aware of their superior tactical position, and knew that they had only to shout their innocence and cry: ‘Witch hunt!’ for the Liberals to rally in all innocence to their defense.”13
On the other hand, the Conservatives are too preoccupied with preserving their affluence to be willing to sacrifice what is necessary to counter the revolution. The counter-revolutionary must be just as dedicated and self-sacrificing as the Communist is to revolution in order to succeed.
Speculation • Does any of the following implicate FDR’s involvement in conspiracy?: • Eleanor Roosevelt’s open involvement of known Communist youth organization • Deliberate suppression of information regarding Communist spies within US govt for over 10 years • Giving away of Eastern Europe to Soviets at Yalta • Recognition of USSR as legitimate in 1933 • Establishment of New Deal agencies which were easily penetrated by Communists • Provision of Lend-Lease to a government of treachery and deceit; that actually was an Axis power at the outset of WWII • His Vice President (Truman) carried on similar activities, prevented victory in Korea by “containment” policies and the firing of Gen MacArthur and veto and subsequent defusing of the McCarran Internal Security Act?