2002 October 10 Thursday
New Book On J. Robert Oppenheimer and Soviet Spies

Was Julius Robert Oppenheimer a Soviet spy? A forthcoming book by Jerrold Schecter and Leona Schecter, Sacred Secrets: How Soviet Intelligence Operations Changed America provides newly discovered documents that suggest this is the case. Here is a discussion of the existing evidence what this new book adds as evidence:

It is in this atmosphere of denunciation and counteraccusation that the Schecters have turned up another smoking gun, and reproduced it in Sacred Secrets: How Soviet Intelligence Operations Changed American History. This time it is a five-paragraph memo from Merkulov to Lavrenti Beria, dated Oct. 2, 1944, on "the state of work on the problem of uranium and its development abroad using the contacts of Comrade Zarubin and Kheiffets." It confirmed that in 1942 Oppenheimer, as an unlisted member of the Communist Party, "informed us about the beginning of work" on a U.S. atomic bomb and then "he provided cooperation in access to research for several of our tested sources, including a relative of Comrade Browder."

The memo concluded with the advice that "it is expedient to immediately sever contacts of leaders and activists of the American Communist Party with scientists and specialists engaged in work on uranium," giving three reasons: the dissolution of the Comintern, operational difficulties in the United States and the "explanations of Comrade Zarubin and Kheiffets on the Vasili Mironov affair."

The author of this article is also author of The Crown Jewels: The British Secrets at the Heart of the KGB Archives. Other related books include Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America and also The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America- -The Stalin Era.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 10 01:34 AM 


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