Alexander Vassiliev's Notes of Anatoly Gorsky's:
("VADIM") MARCH 5, 1945 CABLE TO MOSCOW
Translated into English and annotated by Svetlana A. Chervonnaya
p. 88 C/c from Vadim from 3/5/4
[He] Wants to be included into the Soviet delegation at the San Francisco
conference. However, [he] cannot leave the outpost in the care of any other
operative. He wants [to leave it] on [in the care of] the "Son" (Garanin F.A., "Syn"
transferred from Cuba to Washington as the Soviet Embassy attaché).
After the conference, Vadim wants to come to Moscow to report in person.
p.88 "We have talked about 'Ales' with 'Ruble' several times.
As we have
Special attention - to "Ales." Was at the Yalta confere "Ales"
then left for Mexico City and has not yet come back. Our Yalta
only key to him - "Ruble." "Ruble" himself travels on "Rubl"
business (Italy). [It is] difficult to supervise "Ales" through him.
already written, 'Ruble' gives to 'Ales' an exceptionally
reference as to the Com[munist] Party member. 'Ruble' reports
'Ales' - [is] a strong, determined man with a firm and resolute
[he] is fully aware that he is a
Communist, [and] is underground - with
resulting consequences. Unfortunately, he probably understands the rules of
security in his own way as [do] all
local Communists. As we have already
reported to you, 'Ales' 
№ 309 С
[end of jury bundle page 309 C]
[start of jury bundle page 309B]
which was connected with the neighbors. After the loss of contact with
'Carl,''Ruble' declined [to come in contact], when 'Ales' Hiss
came in contact with 'Pol'.'
He ["Ales"] himself told this to 'Ruble' a year and a half ago, when he Chem
was inviting the latter to meet with 'Pol'' to continue the work."
"Ruble" may talk to "Ales" about reestablishing the work. If he ["Ales"] does not
like [working] with "Ruble," it is possible[to work] with us.
p. 89 There is one unclear circumstance.
"About six months ago, 'Ales' told 'Ruble'
that he had met a Russian person (he did not give his name)
who immediately asked him to write a small
memo about one issue. 'Ales' asked for 'Ruble''s opinion
as to what he should do. 'Ruble' declined from giving a
direct answer, saying that 'Ales' could act at his own discretion."
p. 89 "Ales" should be approached by a Soviet representative. Either one Als of the Center's operatives, or "Sergey," or me, "Vadim." Most
convenient -at the conference in San Francisco.
"After 2-3 meetings, depending on how 'Ales' behaves, we may be
able to come down to business, referring either to the password, or to
'Ruble,' or just to the progressiveness of 'Ales.'"
[end of March 5, 1945 cable]
On jury bundle page 309B, March 5 cable is followed by Alexander Vassiliev's selection
from page 94 of the same file:
p. 94 "Ruble" -
[is an] underground countryman. Contact with him is maintained "Ruble"
through his wife "Roma," who meets with "Makar" (operative).
This translation was made in early 2005; on May 2, 2005 it was posted by David
Lowenthal on History News Network (HNN). It differs in certain details from an
earlier translation made at the U.S. Library of Congress. For the purpose of
authenticity, I am offering a verbatim translation, which retains the structure
of Vassiliev's notes. Due to
the language of the cable (incomplete sentences),
I have supplied the words missing
from the Russian text in brackets.
The first paragraph of the text seems to be in the form of
notes by Vassiliev about
the cable's first paragraph, rather than presenting a
verbatim transcript of this paragraph, since it refers to the cable's author - "Vadim" - in the third person. Beginning with the second paragraph, the text
looks more like a direct transcript of the remainder of the
cable, since it is
written in the first person plural - "we." In addition, much of the rest of
text is enclosed in quotation marks, another indication of a verbatim
transcript rather than a paraphrase.
in Russian as [A-les].
This cryptonym makes a
single appearance in Venona deciphered cable traffic [NKGB Washington to
Moscow No. 1822, 30 March 1945] It was
tentatively identified by Venona translators as "probably Alger Hiss." However,
available evidence indicates that in early 1950 when the tentative
identification of agent "Ales" as Alger Hiss was made, the NSA decryptors and
their FBI collaborators were not fully convinced about their own conclusion.
When it was made public in 1996, this cable bore the "release" date of "8
August 1969" - indicating the date when any efforts at its further decryption
and identification were abandoned. The fact that after 19 years the initial
"probable" identification of agent "Ales" as Alger Hiss had not been superceded
by a definitive declaration (as it was the case with many other Venona
identifications) suggests the never-resolved conclusions of the FBI's
'Ales' is neither a Russian name nor a Russian nickname. The only
discovered homonym is a Czech name, Ales, which is written with an inverted
circumflex over the
"s," and is pronounced [A-lesh]. Indeed, the codename
'Ales' might have been created in honor of a celebrated Czech-American
anthropologist, Professor Ales Hrdlicka, whose
name appears in both 1930s -
early 1940s correspondence of VOKS [the Soviet Society for Cultural Contacts]
and in Russian diplomatic files as a "great friend of the Soviet Union." It is
noteworthy that the name of Ales Hrdlicka was known not only to VOKS officials
and its representatives in the U.S. (operatives of both NKGB foreign
intelligence - including Gorsky - and of the GRU "doubled" as VOKS
representatives during their American postings) but also to the GRU director
back in Moscow (who from 1943 - 1947 was Fedor Kuznetsov). In June 1942,
Professor Hrdlicka sent to VOKS a pair of field binoculars for the use of a
Soviet Army commander. It was at this point that the VOKS chairman, Vladimir Kemenov,
wrote to Fedor Kuznetsov, then the deputy head of the Political Directorate of
the Red Army, commending Hrdlicka as "a great friend of the Soviet Union." In a
few days, Kuznetsov found a proper recipient for the binoculars - Major-General
Mikhail Kuteinikov, a Hero of the Soviet Union. [Kemenov to Army Commissar
Kuznetsov, GlavPUR of the Red Army, 9 June
1942; F. Kuznetsov to
Kemenov, 18 June, 1942, No 230246s. - GARF,
fund 5283, secret file keeping, description 2a, file 10, pp. 19, 20.] Ales
Hrdlicka was christened "Alois," a German and Czech form of the name
"Aloysius," which in turn derives from the French "Louis" and the German
"Ludwig," both of which mean "famous warrior." He later changed his given name
to "Ales," considering it "more patriotic" ("Ales" is a Czech and Slovene
nickname for "Alexej" or "Aleksander," Czech and Slovene forms, respectively,
of the Greek "Alexander," which means "defender." It is perhaps also noteworthy
that Professor Ales Hrdlicka died in early 1943, and the first known appearance
of the codename "Ales" in a Soviet intelligence cable dates to early 1945.
Conference of the U.S., the U.K., and the U.S.S.R., took place from February 4
to 11, 1945. The State Department party arrived in the Crimea on February
and departed for a follow-up trip to Moscow on the morning of February 12,
1945, subsequently leaving Moscow on the morning of February 14, 1945. ["Stettinius
Stay in Moscow", 14 Febr. - 15 Febr., 1945.
- AVP RF, Fund 06 (Molotov Secretariat files), description 7, Por. 44, file
688, pp. 1-15; "The Visits of officials and government delegations to the
USSR." - Fund 057 (Protocol Department), description 25, Por. 123,
file 8, pp.
reference is to the Inter-American Conference on the Problems of War and Peace,
which convened in Mexico City between February 21 and March 8, 1945, and is
also known as the Chapultepec Conference. According to the Secretary of State
R. Stettinius, Jr.'s official itinerary, his party arrived in Mexico
City on the early morning of February 20, 1945. Although Alger Hiss is on
record as back at his State Department Special Political Affairs office in
Washington, D.C. on February 22, 1945, Secretary of State Stettinius and
members of the Secretary's Office stayed on at the Chapultepec Conference for
its duration, and did not return to Washington, D.C. (via Cuba) until March 10.
[The Diaries of Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., 1943-1946. Ed. by Thomas M. Campbell
and George C. Herring. New Viewpoints: New York, 1975, pp. 266-292; NARA, RG
59, The General Files of the Department of State, "Alger Hiss files",
The "Ruble" cryptonym appears in deciphered Venona cable traffic, and was
tentatively identified by Venona decryptors as "probably Harold Glasser." (See,
specifically: NKGB New York to Moscow No. 79, January 18, 1945, discussing "Robert"'s report on an "opportunity of
obtaining from "Richard" "Ruble"'s appointment to "Richard"s post - as well as
"Robert"'s repeated suggestions "that 'Ruble' be turned over to him,"
mention of "ZhENYa" as "Ruble"'s secretary. (In identifying "ZhENYa" as Sonia
Gold, who worked at the Treasury Department from August 24, 1943 to August 21,
1947, Venona decryptors warned that if Sonia Gold was not Glasser's secretary,
"it strongly suggests that one or both identifications are incorrect.") In
fact, Sonya [sic in Treasury files] Gold was an economist, and frequently
appears in Treasury Department files as such, someone taking part in meetings
alongside Harry Dexter White and other experts from the Treasury's Division of
Monetary Research; we also see her name as an author of memoranda. [For
example, on May 9, 1944, Sonya Gold participated in White's meeting with two
Russian financial experts, Professors Smirnov and Morozov - and signed a
memorandum on the meeting; on August 28, 1944, Mrs. Gold signed a memo of her
own meeting with Czech representatives; etc. - NARA, RG 56, General Records of the Department of
Treasury, Records of the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Re: Monetary and
International Affairs, Box 21, "Memoranda of Conferences held in Harry Dexter
White's Office, Feb 1940 - Aug 1945."]
A part of
this sentence was clearly lost during an imperfect scanning. The files of David
Lowenthal have just a single scan of this document. The text on the next [309B] page in the jury bundle begins in
mid-sentence with Russian word "kotoraja"
- an equivalent of "which" or "that" in the feminine gender, indicating that
Russian noun on the previous page was also in the feminine gender
(and was most probably "gruppa," or
"group"). To all appearances, the scan of jury bundle page 309B is complete.
"A year and
a half ago" would be August 1943. According to Harold Glasser's itinerary, he
was out of the United States in North Africa from January 1943 "until September
1943" (Glasser was recalled from North Africa on September 9, 1943, and
returned to Washington, D.C. several days later). [NARA, RG 56, op. Cit., box
14, folder "Staff Memoranda of H D White, Jan. 1941 - June 1946."]
Vladimir Sergeevich Pravdin, an alias of Rolland Abbiate, a.k.a. Francois
Rossi, who was born in St. Petersburg of French descent; NKGB intelligence
operative, deputy resident in New York from October 19, 1941 to Autumn 1943;
deputy resident and then resident in New York from January 1944 to March 11,
1946, where his cover job was
TASS bureau chief. Pravdin attended the San
Francisco Conference in his TASS cover-job capacity.
The cable is clear that "Vadim" had no plans to approach "Ales" prior to the
conference to learn about American plans and preparations for it, but was
instead interested in obtaining information during the conference itself. This
is indicated both by the opening phrase of the cable, "Wants to be included
into the Soviet delegation at San Francisco conference," and by his plans for
approaching "Ales" at the conference.
Vassiliev clearly added this brief reference to "Ruble" as a supplement to his transcription of and notes on the March 5, 1945 cable.
Russian, "Nelegal - zemlyak", that is,
an underground member of the
Communist Party of the U.S. Use of the Russian "zemlyak," or "Countryman,"
characterizes "Ruble" not as a
Soviet agent, but as an "underground," or "secret," Communist.