"Operations of the MGB Residency at New York, 1944-45"

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Office Memorandum

DATE: November 26, 1957

TO: L. V. Boardman

FROM: A. H. Belmont


SYNOPSIS: We have brought up to date the summary entitled, “Operations of the MGB Residency at New York, 1944-45” on the basis of [Venona project] information. Revised pages have been inserted in copies maintained at the Bureau. The Appendix to this summary contains write-ups on each of the individuals who have been identified from [Venona project] information or investigation arising therefrom. A total of 206 persons have been identified as having been active in Soviet intelligence operations for the MGB in the United states and a chart breaking this figure down is set forth in this memorandum. This memorandum was initially prepared for the Director on 10-26-50 and was brought up to date every 6 months until October 1955. It was approved in April, 1956, this memorandum be brought up to date on an annual basis. It is noted that the   is also brought up to date at the same time annually and includes substantially the same information included in this summary and appendix with the exception of the   cover names. This summary includes 10 additional identifications made during the past year. Our experience has shown that the information being obtained from [Venona project] is diminishing and it is anticipated that additional identification will be made less frequently than in the past. For this reason as well as the fact that the   includes substantially the same information, it is believed that the annual process of bringing this memorandum up to date be discontinued. However, as identifications are made, individual write-ups will be prepared and inserted into this summary and appendix in order that it will be current at all times.


If you approve, in the future tha annual process of bringing up to date this summary will be discontinued and additional inserts will be prepared as identifications are made.


The   summary was originally prepared for the Director on 10-26-50 and it was designed to give an over-all view of the MGB (Soviet intelligence) based on information by [Venona project]. This source has been able to furnish us information regarding MGB operations in the 1940’s. The main limitations on this information are that in many instances it is fragmentary and further, the Soviets extensive use of code names had made identifications difficult.
Based on the investigations from [Venona project] information we have identified 206 persons involved in Soviet espionage activities who have at one time been active in the United States or which activity has had some United States ramifications. Of this number we already had received information from other sources including espionage involvement on the part of 87 of these persons. However, 119 persons were not previously known to us as being involved in espionage and have been identified through investigation in this case.

A chart explaining these figures in more detail is set out.

Total Number Involved in Soviet Espionage 206
Number Previously Known to Us from Other Information 87
Number Not Previously Known to Us 119
Soviet Officials Not Now in the United States 61
Other Persons Not Now in the United States 40
Persons Deceased 11 (Burd, Duggan, Golos,a. Ivancic, Kournakoff, Lauterbach, Malisoff, Sabatini, Staple, White,b. Briggs)
Persons Now Cooperative with Us 14 (Bentley ,c. D. Greenglass,d. R. Greenglass, Black, Elitcher, Gold,e. Menaker, Miller, Moczulski, Morros,f. Jack Soble, Myra Soble, York,  )
Persons Who Have Been Prosecuted 15 (Brothman, Coplon, Fuchs,g, Gold, Greenglass, Gubitchev,h. Moskowitz, J. Rosenberg, E. Rosenberg, Slack, Sobell, Jack Soble, Myra Soble, Perl, Hiss)
Persons Involved in Silvermaster Network 29
Persons Involved in Mocase 5
Other Persons Now in United States 43
Less Those Counted Twice, Described Below 12
a. Golos was also involved in Silvermaster Network.
b. White was also involved in Silvermaster Network.
c. Bentley was also involved in Silvermaster Network.
d. David Greenglass was also prosecuted.
e. Gold was also prosecuted.
f. Morros is also involved in Mocase.
g. Fuchs also counted in those not now in United States.
h. Gubitchev also counted as Soviet official.

In the Spring of 1954, [Venona project began furnishing data concerning the activities of the MGB in San Francisco during the 1940’s. [Venona project advised there are about 400 messages which they believe they might be able to read in whole or in part. These messages cover San Francisco-Moscow traffic and are in the 1943-1946 period. To date, we have received 172 of these messages and we are pressing [Venona project] for more material since we believe we can identify more Soviet agents who operated in the United States from this link. [Venona project] has advised this traffic is extremely difficult to read.
All phases of this matter are being closely followed and close supervision afforded to all cases in the field. Continuous research through Bureau files is being conducted to identify other agents and we are alert to the need of capitalizing on the information available to us to penetrate any presently operating Soviet espionage network.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).