Is Oppenheimer a great Soviet Spy? A good Roundtable Talk

Is Oppenheimer a great Soviet Spy? A good Roundtable Talk

This past year, Jerrold L. and you will Leona P. Schecter exhibited findings from their recently blogged book: Sacred Secrets: How Soviet Cleverness Surgery Altered Western Records, during the a cool War Global Records Project (CWIHP) seminarments into presentation was provided with Kai Bird (composer of an impending biography off Oppenheimer and previous Wilson Center Fellow), R. Bruce Craig (Federal Coalition to own Background), Ronald Radosh (co-publisher away from The country of spain Betrayed: The fresh Soviet Relationship regarding the Spanish Municipal War) and you may Hayden Peake (Shared Military-intelligence University)

The author of your page to Stalin is found just when you look at the 1994 from the Lieutenant general Pavel Sudoplatov within his memoir Unique Work (pp

A lot of the fresh discussion in the appointment focused on an earlier not familiar Russian file gotten by the Schecters, and this boosted the question concerning whether Robert Oppenheimer, one of the leading scientists of Manhattan Project one arranged the fresh nuclear bomb, was an effective Soviet spy.

The brand new document involved try a letter from the Merkulov in order to Lavrenti Beria, your head of one’s Soviet atomic venture, dos Oct 1944 (click to read through the new document).

The Merkulov page to Beria raises the question of whether Robert Oppenheimer is a great spy into Soviet Union for the wartime period when he directed the new Manhattan project. The fresh letter must be read inside the framework out-of Soviet cleverness surgery in the usa during World war ii. Robert Oppenheimer’s long-time membership about Communist Cluster of your own Us was made magic in 1942 since the he was being made use of since the an effective Soviet cleverness asset because of the Communist Below ground to help you let see atomic gifts. Oppenheimer had been explain to you brand new Western Communist Class and Comintern, the brand new Communist Around the world up to 1944. Soviet cleverness felt like you to definitely such as for example procedures was indeed too high-risk because of enhanced FBI monitoring out-of Communist Team operatives. During the time you to definitely Stalin acceded so you’re able to President Roosevelt’s consult and mixed the fresh Comintern during the 1943, Soviet intelligence was required to rearrange its espionage avenues in the United States. The newest letter addresses one to disease, and others.

Less than we present around three logical commentaries to the Merkulov letter:

The letter is questioned by the Gregg Herken,whowrote in Brotherhood of one’s Bomb «it is sometimes complicated understand whether this cord is actually proof of Oppenheimer’s complicity otherwise shows the fresh (understandable) interest out-of Kheifetz or other NKVD operatives to curry choose which have the workplace.» (p.93) Gregory Kheifetz are doing work below shelter since the Soviet vice consul San Francisco off later 1941 to your june away from 1944. Herken contended from inside the a change on H-Diplo: » We believe Kheifetz, who was simply appreciated so you’re able to Moscow inside the mid-1944, off ‘cushioning their resume’ by the saying that he got hired Oppenheimer. Kheifetz’s purpose is actually effortless: he was trying end execution getting inability to perform if you find yourself he had been the NKVD’s chief spy throughout the San francisco.»

Herken is misleading. Kheifetz wasn’t appreciated to possess neglecting to would neither to possess laziness. Nor try the guy sent to the brand new gulag. He was remembered since he was titled from inside the a key letter to help you Stalin because of the a keen NKVD manager from the Washington, DC rezidentura. He was implicated to be part of a band contributed by the brand new rezident Vasili Zarubin, supposedly doing work for the fresh Germans plus the Japanese. Stalin ordered everyone appreciated to Moscow to analyze the newest fees, which have been overlooked. This new manager, Lieutenant Colonel Vasili Dimitrovich Mironov, plus delivered a keen unsigned letter to J. Edgar Vacuum, introducing the fresh cleverness products of one’s Zarubins and you can Kheifetz, that your FBI called the fresh Anonymous Letter. 196-197). It’s clear on the material you to both emails in order to Vacuum and you will Stalin have been delivered from the Mironov.

For these curious, this new Anonymous Letterto Vacuum cleaner, gotten to your August 7, 1943, from the Russian brand spanking new that have English translations, can be found into the pp. 51-53 from inside the Robert Louis Benson and Michael Warner, eds, VENONA Soviet Espionage additionally the Western Impulse 1919-1957, NSA, CIA. Washington, DC. 1996.

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