Vassiliev's Notes of Gorsky's
MARCH 5, 1945 CABLE TO MOSCOW
into English and annotated by Svetlana A. Chervonnaya
88  C/c  from
Vadim from 3/5/45 
[He ] Wants
to be included into the Soviet delegation at the San
However, [he] cannot leave the outpost in the care
of any other
He wants [to leave it] on [in the care of] the "Son" (Garanin
F.A., "Syn" 
from Cuba to Washington as the Soviet Embassy attache).
After the conference, Vadim wants to come to
Moscow to report in person.
Special attention - to "Ales." Was
at the Yalta conference, "Ales"
then left for Mexico City and
has not yet come back.  Our Yalta
key to him - "Ruble." "Ruble" himself
travels on "Rubl"
have talked about 'Ales' with 'Ruble' several times. As
business (Italy). [It
is] difficult to supervise "Ales" through
already written, 'Ruble' gives to 'Ales' an exceptionally good
reference as to the Com[munist] Party member. 'Ruble'
'Ales' - [is] a strong, determined man with a firm and resolute personality,
[he] is fully aware that he is a Communist,
[and] is underground - with all
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
of jury bundle page 309 C]
[start of jury bundle page 309B]
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 was inviting the latter to Chem
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'
that he had met
a Russian person (he did not give his name)
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
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
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
from page 94 of the same file:
p. 94 "Ruble" - [is an]
underground countryman. Contact
is maintained through his wife "Roma, who meets with "Ruble"
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 the text is
enclosed in quotation marks, another indication of
a verbatim transcript rather than a paraphrase.
 Pronounced in Russian as [A-les].
cryptonym makes a single appearance in Venona deciphered
cable traffic [NKGB Washington to Moscow No. 1822,
30 March 1945]. As of Venona 1822's release in 1996,
the cryptonym "Ales" 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
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
"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,
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
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
"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.
 The Yalta 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 3, 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. 1-2.]
 The 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,
also known as the Chapultepec Conference. According
to the Secretary of State Edward
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", 1940-1946]
indication that as of March 5, 1945 "Ales" had
not yet come back from Mexico City is a significant
clue in determining whether Alger Hiss is a plausible
candidate for "Ales." According to State
Department files from February 22 to March 5, 1945,
Hiss is not only on record as having returned to
Washington but can be seen to have been highly visible,
making a national radio broadcast and appearing in
the newspapers as the State Department's point man
in issuing official invitations to the forthcoming
San Francisco United Nations Conference (an issue,
according to both US and Russian files, then at the
top of both American and Soviet diplomatic agendas).
Anatoly Gorsky, in his "cover" capacity
as the Soviet Embassy's Press Officer (a job involving
making daily surveys of US papers and continuous
monitoring of US radio broadcasts) had no chance
to miss Alger Hiss's arrival home - providing, of
course, that Hiss had indeed been "Ales."
 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,"
and a 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 the missing 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."]
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
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.
clearly added this brief reference to "Ruble" as
a supplement to his transcription of and notes
on the March 5, 1945 cable.
 In 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.
here to return to "The Story Behind
Vassiliev's KGB Documents."