The 1931 Village report addresses a number of areas, which had an impact on the lives of the German colonists.
It starts with a preview of counter- revolutionary activity from a political arena and the aftermath of the liquidation of the kulak class of society. Surprisingly, the report contains some confiscated letters from dissidents.
The report goes on to describe actions taken to curtail all activity for colonists attempting to emigrate. As a typical discussion in the Soviet times, the report addresses religion. Here the authorities express their fear and suspicion of religion, simply because they need to be in control. They continue to go on and relate the need to have spies embedded in all activities in the lives of the local populace.
Another surprising admission is the fact, that the government needed foreign specialists for the soviet system to function. Additionally, their interface with foreign diplomats and again embedding spies in all of these areas.
Retrieved from: The State Archive of Security Service of Ukraine (USB) – Kiev Branch Fond: 13 File 286 pages 1 – 215
Translated by Serge A.
General description of German colonies
There are total (”total” is retouched) 242 settlements on the territory of Ukraine populated by compact masses of German colonists.
The German population of the above settlements is about 327,000 people.
There are six German national districts with overwhelming majority of German residents living there – they are exactly; Karl-Liebknecht (Landau district of Odessa, now Nikolayev region), Selz (district of Odessa region), Spartak (district of Odessa region), Luxemburg (district of Zaporozhye region), Molochna (district of Zaporozhye region) and Pulin (district in Zhitomir region).
Most of German colonies are situated in areas of agricultural significance with others to be positioned in the industrial regions of Donbas and Dniepropetrovsk. These latter colonies are to be of our special attention since their population is tightly connected with both the industry itself and those engaged in it.
In particular, one should note that Petrovsky dynamite factory (Krasny-Luch, Donbas) is situated amidst German colonies which are 8-12 km distant.
As for other colonies, one has to pay attention to those disposed at borderside areas (Vohlynia, Odessa region) which are, as shown from intelligence investigation cases referred below to, objects of attention for antisoviet part of German colonies as initial points for illegal conveyance abroad and places for organization of this as well as human sourse for Polish intelligence and bases for smugglers’ activity (”as well as human sourse for Polish intelligence and bases for smugglers’ activity” is retouched).
Amongst other German colonies, Molochna national district with its numerous institutions of higher education is of a great political importance. Germans of this district, in their overwhelming majority, are Mennonites distinguishing themselves by their conservatism, irreconcilability with the soviets and nationalistic attitude of mind. Molochna district is also a centre uniting all Mennonites in Ukraine and, even after liquidation of the KFKA (abbreviation of German name of All-Union Mennonite Committee for Ecclesiastical Affairs), still strong seat of Mennonites.
In connection with the liquidation of the kulaks as a class and carrying out collectivization, for German colonies the year of 1931 is distinctive with its growing activity of counter-revolutionary and kulak elements. Winning some part of outdated colfarmers and religious individuals from poor peasantry and that of average means over to these counter-revolutionary sections’ side is also typical for this year. This is also stipulated by counter-revolutionary elements’ use of individual distortions of the party policy in the coutry side commited by local officials, as well as by singularities of German colonies where nationalistic spirit and influence of the clergy are still pronounced.
In view of this above, a number of cases has been observed when part of poor peasants and peasants of average means (corrected, it was originally typed “… when poor peasants and peasants of average means …”) responded negatively to dekulakization and exile of the kulaks and temporized as for the collectivization.
In a series of German colonies and especially in Mennonite ones class struggle is developed insufficiently. This occurrence is notable in the villages and collective farms where inhabitants very often nominate hostile and alien to us element to leading posts. This can be demonstrated by following facts:
In Alt-Nassau village soviet of Molochna district, chairman Wittner served in White Army and previously took active part in self-defence against the Reds.
The village soviet secreteary Bertmann whose father fled the district recently, is keeping in touch with kulaks and agitates among colfarmers for liquidation of property and departure to Caucases.
Secretary of farming artel Emil Walter, served in White Army and currently is being in touch with kulaks.
Accountant of farming artel Karl Edig, served in White Army, abandoned his job and recently disappeared.
Besides, it’s seen from the passed liquidation cases (it was obviously implied to be “completed cases” pertaining to dekulakization and liquidation of the kulaks) on other districts that nepotism prospered in a number of collective farms and it was created by former landlords having penetrated into there to take leading positions and carrying out their work the way to secure collapse of collective farms (districts of Pulyn, Molochna).
As a result of these anti-soviet collective farms activity and series of the power abuse from their side, attempts have taken place of mass secession from collective farms in the colony of Alt-Nassau (Molochna district) with subsequent leaving to industrial centres to get fixed up in a job.
By measures taken a considerable part (corrected ”a number …” was originally typed) of collective farms has been moped up from anti-soviet element settled in there and that resulted in discontinuance of leaving collective farms.
As stated above, individual distortions of the party policy in the coutry side stipulated the kulaks’ agitation which made a negative attitude of some poor peasants and those of average means towards collective farms and created anti-soviet moods among them.
So, Molochna RPK (abbreviation for District Committee of the Party) representative Samoilovitch all campaigns in the colony of Hoffental carried out exclusively by administrative means arresting poor peasants and humiliating colfarmers. These actions of Samoilovitch induced mass dissatisfaction of colfarmers resulted in increase of mass leaving collective farms.
In Staro-Beshev district of Stalin (Donetsk) region, due to some wrong instructions given by the RPK secretary Korzhenevitch and the RIK (abbreviation for Dictrict Executive Committee) chairman dekulakization was carried out as well as expulsion from the artel of poor peasants, peasants of average means and Red Partisans, illegal arrests of German colonists and German subjects with plundering their property.
Korzhenevitch has been dismissed with a number of persons made answerable for these instructions execution.
When taxing in Pulyn district, households of kulaks, poor peasants and peasants of average means were imposed by local authorities on an equal basis, with the well-off kulaks’ who were undertaxed. In a number of cases taxation of poor peasants’ households exceeded their real possibilities and entailed, without preliminary verification, arrests of poor peasants and their property sold.
Similar cases also took place in some other districts such as Slavuta (Kamenets-Podolsky/Chmelnitsky region), Jampil (Vinnitsa region), Emilchin (Zhitomir region) and others.
These individual distortions were over-emphasized and exaggerated by the kulaks.
At the same time with this, to distract poor and average means peasants from collective farms, kulak anti-soviet element circulates various provocational rumors as for short life of soviet power, forthcoming riots, closeness of war, famine in large industrial centres, etc. It’s noted that for anti-soviet agitation the kulaks and other counter-revolutionary elements sometimes use women sent to meetings with the aim to wreck them.
Anti-soviet element’s activity is not confined to agitation only, in some cases be displayed in terrorism over village activistrs.
So, last September in the colony of Mikhailutcky (Shepetovka district, Kamenets-Podolsky) the village soviet chairman, a member of the VKP (abbreviation for All-Union Communist Party) comrade Schwarz was killed. The killer is same village soviet secretary Nozdrovsky who was under ascendancy of local kulaks and was never tried for various crimes in the past. C. S. Nozdrovsky has been sentenced to the highest measure of social defence.
In November of 1931 in the colony of Radichy (Emilchin district) the village soviet chairman was killed by shooting from a sawn-off gun through the window. Those involved in this terroristic act commitment were proved guilty and brought to trial.
Activity of kulaks escaped from exile and hiding themselves from that is to be specially noted, these kulaks live at persons of like mind, in most cases by fake documents, and carry out their work to form counter-revolutionary alignments.
So, it is known by secret-service documents that in Pulyn, Emilchin and Cherniakhov (Zhitomir region) districts which are at the border-side area, hiding themselves kulaks Herman Merk, son of Daniel, Fraz Dagobsky, and others worked on creating a counter-revolutionary gang consisting of escaped kulaks and those hiding themselves. By still not verified information, they have succeeded in uniting 30-35 people into a group and allegedly set contacts with Poland. This group is under working out now.
In the town of Zhitomir a group of hiding kulaks has been revealed, among them Julius Nachtigal and Emil Polsfut, show a special activity, they in their time ran away from under arrest in militia, arranged escapes for several convicts and later, according to secret-service information, were involved in a number of arsons of collective farm property in Polonsky and Baranov districts, Chmelnitsky and Zhitomir regions correspondingly.
In Grishin district (Donbas) hiding kulak Johann Stamler, son of Johann has formed a kulak counter-revolutionary group which has taken key points in the country side to show indulgence towards the kulaks and humiliate poor peasants.
This group body is quite typical and consists of; Robert Rohde, chair of Shidlowo village soviet, refugee from Poland maintaining contacts with the family residing there; Otto Fundis, a former participant of a punitive detachment, a member of collective farm, son-in-law of a large-scale kulak; Woldemar Lutz, the village soviet deputy chairman, a member of collective farm, kulak, large-scale owner formerly, has contacts with his brother (former White officer, participant of a punitive detachment) who emigrated to Poland; Woldemar Roth, a member of collective farm, son of a large-scale kulak and a White Guard, and other persons, former kulaks and a puinitive detachment participants.
Teacher Gleich is also a member of this group – he is from the colony of Sukhetsk, having connections with Germany and German specialists he is an inspirer of emigratory movement.
Stamler’s son-in-law, a former secret agent of r/o “Samson” (apparently abridgement for “intelligence organization”) penetrated, according to Stamler, to the KNS (abbreviation for Committee for Poor Villagers) with the aim to disintegrate it and weaken its activity regarding the kulaks.
A secret-service case “Zazhim” (”Clutch” in English) is started on this group.
In addition to the above material, counter-revolutionary and anti-soviet activity of hiding kulaks is confirmed by a number of cases we have completed.
Anti-soviet attitude of mind instiled by counter-revolutionary element into the masses of colonists, as a result of action, is reflected in colonists’ correspondence with their relatives living abroad. During last year this correspondence has become especially lively and mostly includes description of life in the USSR in gloomy colours. From 15,200 documents up to 30% of them are of obvious negative nature. In most cases, a negative attitude to the soviets and communist party is emphasized quite vividly as well as towards collectivization, State grain procurements, dekulakization and exile of kulaks. Description of life of those banished, persecutions for religious faith, difficulties concerning foods and manufactured goods are also accentuated there. The letters end up with calls for help.
To demonstrate this, several excerpts from letters addressed abroad are to follow:
“There is something terrible happening here people are arrested at night to be thrown into prisons. It’s very hard to describe all that is going here on. Won’t Germany take care of it, doesn’t it mind that thousands of people are being killed. Only communists can live, they have the power now, they’ve now got everything.”
(Letter of unknown German residing in Molochna district).
“How long do we have to suffer like this? When is freedom going to come? There is a total famine in our country. Everything is absorbed by 5-year plan. Everything is send abroad. People are being transformed into slaves, there are only complaints and moans heard here. God allow us to be freed from slavery sooner. Our eyes are turned on you. Won’t you help us?”
(Post stamp of Dniepropetrovsk).
“State in Russia has become worse. We joined the collective “voluntarily”-forcely. People are tormented horribly there. This has become a real serfdom. We work from morning to night for free with only getting minimal food. Russians are getting desperate and commit suicides. Many people groan under a heavy yoke waiting for deliverance.”
(Letter from Donbas).
“Our life is very heavy and slave. Day after day we are to work at the artel. For the labour we get nothing. We have to work day and night and have give everything away. There is no way to get more slavery than this. Think of us and be on your guard to avoid the thing happening here.”
(Letter from Orlowo, Zaporozhye region).
“… Atrocities over the peasantry are going on in Soviet Russia. Tears and moans in houses yesterday and today again. Nothing but damnations heard outside. Everyone has the utmost fear. Five families were brought to ruin in our village two weeks ago. Everything was taken away with themselves thrown out of their houses like dogs. Leine’s wife sick with typhus has also been exiled …”.
(Letter from Molochna).
“State is becoming worse and worse. Another exile took place 5 days ago. Five thousand of people were sent to Solovky. People are being evicted from villages to unknown places. There is a big discontent among the people. If only help would come soon”.
“Arrests happen at night about 700 people are under arrest in barns and cellars crowded like sardines, without food and water. There is a great despondency slavery has been lasting for the whole year”.
(Letter from Zaporozhye).
From all checked letters of negative nature 1,482 were found to be pronounced with apparent counter-revolutionary contents.
As a result of repressions of kulak element and increase and development of collectivization, kulak and clerical levels of German colonies population started to by all means support and extend emigratory tendency.
Repressions of kulak elements, increase and development of collectivization, influence of kulak and clerical sections under the guidance of German consulates and nationalistic organizations abroad, from one hand, and from another one taking place individual distortions of the party policy commited in the provinces, stimulated and contributed to growing and development of emigratory movement.
Emigratory tendencies were easily apprehended by some part of poor peasants and peasants of average means since, as was said before, nationalistic influence is still strong in German colonies and sometimes and in some colonies no proper explanatory work of local soviet and party organizations was made opposedly to this influence.
Last year, along with attempts to solve emigration problems by means of getting permits for going abroad in accordance with generally established procedure, new ways for the emigration movement problem solution were noted. These ways are evinced in two kinds, firstly in mass striving for getting German citizenship and secondly, in attempts to emigrate crossing the border illegally by either organized group or alone. Often trips to German consulate of individual colonists and messengers on behalf of whole groups are taking place, with the aim to submit a petition as for taking out German citizenship. In spite of the fact that such petitions are mostly not satisfied by consulates, a faith in this possibility to emigrate is still going on to exist due to counter-revolutionary agitation.
Note should be taken that large influence upon inhabitants in this regard is exerted by Lutheran priesthood, exactly pastors Kludt, Seib and Meier who personally solicitated for taking out German citizenship. We have rounded up several groups and lone persons who organized emigration and agitated for such naturalization. All these cases have been investigated and close connection of the emigration organizers with German consulates was detected.
In Lisichansk district (Donbas region) kulaks Berr and Erdmann who fled banishment were arrested, they hid themselves at colonists of Messarosch and carried out actively their work on developing emigratory movement. Berr visited German consulates in Moscow, Charkov and Odessa never bringing lists of colonists wishing to emigrate. Recruitment of colonists was made by them in a number of German colonies and those trips were funded by colonists going to emigrate. Berr also had contacts with German specialists working at “Donsoda” plant (see “Bezhenets”/”Refugee” case).
In the colony of Listovka (Novo-Nikolayevka district), b/b (obviously “former bandit”) Johann Freiberg by all means supports emigratory movement and sets rumours afloat that in Mariupol region whole German colonies take out German citizenship to so secure a possibility to emigrate. Freiberg is nominated for arrest.
In Pulyn district, kulaks Zylke and Grans also escaped from banishment and hiding themselves, are having contacts with German consulate in Kiev and have organized a registration of those wishing to leave to Germany, with submiting the lists made to the consulate (“Emigrants” case).
Along with available stuff demonstrating participation of German consulates in developing emigratory movement, we also dispose of materials regarding illegal issues of national passports commited by German consulate in Kiev. So, figurant of “Initiative” case German subject Linke, Rudolf (Pulyn district) being in contact with German consulate in Kiev illegally makes official registration of some colonists’ transfer to German citizenship. It’s known that his brother-in-law Joseph Schiell, got a national passport exactly through him, Linke.
Illegal giving of national passports to colonists by Kiev consulate is also proved by investigation materials on the case of German subject Magdovsky who having links to the consulate and practicing as a barrister illegally, assisted some colonists in getting a citizenship of Germany. When arresting Magdovsky a blank of German national passport was withdrawn.
Assistance in getting contacts with the consulate rendered by colonists having German citizenship to those wishing to emigrate has been noted in a number of Donbas colonies as well (E. A. Gutjahr’s case, that of A. J. Tezlaff, etc.).
Striving for illegal emigration abroad is put into effect by colonists by means of leaving and settling at the USSR border-side areas, with the aim to subsequently cross the border. According to materials of the cases available, illegal crossings are taking place at all sectors of our border, beginning from Poland and up to China. It’s also known that there are people in port towns with whose assistance one can leave abroad illegally on foreign ships calling at our ports.
It’s established by a number of discontinued cases that anti-soviet elements and active members of religious sects in border-side areas carried out their work on uniting colonists living in border-side colonies and wishing to emigrate into groups to organize mass illegal crossing the border. In Vohlynia, a group of baptist preachers, along with three kulaks hiding from exile carried out their work organizing illegal group crossing the border to Poland by German colonists. This initiative group activity extended to the districts of Pulyn, Emilchyn, Volodarsky, Novograd-Volynsky, Jarun and Olev and had connections with German consulate in Kiev through the hiding kulaks mentioned. The group has been liquidated (“Dukhovniky”/”Confessors” case, detailed information was gotten from the OGPU before).
German subjects brothers Littke residing in Pulyn district organized a group consisting of 6 families for illegal crossing the frontier to Poland. Famous Polish agent Torgonsky, Alexander was supposed to take them across. The group was arrested during approaching the border, along with Torgonsky and brothers Littke. Shortly before this group organization, brothers Littke with Torgonsky’s assistance organized and conveyed to Poland another one, which was denied by the Poles and sent back to our territory (“Pereprava”/”Passage” case). This fact has been used to degrade emigratory tendencies.
To demonstrate how wide colonists use illegal passages to Poland with the aim of emigration, one can state that just for last 3-4 months over 60 people were detained at the border, who are Germans from various areas of Ukraine trying to cross the border either within a group or alone.
Although on a less scale, there also are cases of illegal crossing the border to Romania. It’s known that a group of 4 German young people illegally left to Romania last fall, they last worked at the “Dnieprostroi” (Tissen, Winz, Martens and Jarom). One is to add that these persons’ documents were used by Romanian intelligence service then, this fact was established when arresting a Romanian agent sent out to our territory (“Podstava”/”Set” case).
In Selidov district (Donbas) a group of 6 hiding kulaks was revealed, working at Shevchenko mines they carry out active agitation for emigration. This group is intending to illegally go abroad through Mariupol port in the nearest time, with assistance rendered by relatives of a member of the group who is connected with foreign sailors supporting illegal penetration to their ship for further emigration (“Matrosy”/”Sailors” case).
It’s also to be noted that side by side with direct attempts of illegal going abroad, among the kulaks and counter-revolutionary levels of colonists there also are tendencies of running away to other regions of the USSR. This is caused by the wish to conceal one’s real social and property status which can be easily realized in new areas, as well as by the wish to illegally cross the border at good opportunity occurred. We dispose of a number of data regarding such flights happening in almost all districts populated by Germans and what is typical there, is that most of those fleeing leave all their property to go away along with their families taking along just the necessaries. These departures to other regions makes it somewhat difficult to reveal and prevent illegal border crossings, since a comparatively long secret work is needed to make their location.
As mentioned above, religious nationalistic organizations abroad take an important place in development of emigratory movement. They try to maintain a regular correspondence with a number of persons known according to colonists emigrated abroad before, as those to be used on emigartory movement. From these organizations side, especial activity was noted of Evangelical-Lutheran Union “Brothers in Need” and Mennonite society “Mennonitenheim”.
It’s established that the Charbin committee “Brothers in Need” by all means helps German colonists to flee to China illegally, supplies them with things needed for further emigration to America and Germany and so creates an opinion of thoughtfulness displayed by foreign circles towards those fled the USSR.
Mennonite society “Mennonitenheim” has distributed appeals to a number of colonists of Molochna, Krivoy-Rog, B.-Tokmak and other districts stating that according to some treaty signed by the USSR and German government they are to be allowed to go abroad. Same letters with demanding departure documents to give out to some colonists have been gotten by a number of administrative departments.
In some Mennonite colonies a copy of declaration of Canadian mennonites’ convention was broad-spread in 1931, it was addressed to Central Executive Committee Chairman comrade Kalinin and included demands as to free going abroad for exiled kulaks and preachers.
Beside the Mennonite organizations, individual mennonites at one time emigrated exert considerable influence upon development of emigratory tendencies. So, former inhabitants of Molochna district Unruh and Krecker currently residing in Germany keep in written contact with active Mennonite figure Ediger who fled the colony and got a job at Stalin metallurgical works. Ediger gets instructions from Unruh and Krecker as for a work on emigration to carry out among Mennonites, he has close contacts with mennonite holy foreman J. G. Petkau dwelling in Selidov district. As well as Ediger, Petkau is an active figure of emigratory movement being in close touch with the German consulate where he got a copy of the Mennonite convention’s appeal to comrade Kalinin from. Ediger and Petkau are being arrested.
With a view to paralyse and completely liquidate emigratory movement, along with repressive measures such as liquidation of individual leading groups (cases “Confessors”, Refugees”, “Passage”), strengthening of operation work of our frontier units (detention of up to 60 people when attempting crossing the border), demoralization work through secret agents is being carried out as well, including the way of use a negative nature of letters gotten by series of colonists from their relatives who have emigrated.
Moreover, an appropriate explanatory and educational work is conducted by the party and soviet organizations.
As a result of arrangements made, a considerable relaxation of display of active emigratory forms is noted.
Connection with consulates, intelligence agencies and nationalistic organizations.
A number of above moments followed from political state of colonies have incited anti-soviet part of colonists to rapprochement with German consulates with the aim of solution of emigration problems and in search of protection of their interests. The consulates, in their turn, widely use this movement to conduct nationalistic and counter-revolutionary influence in colonies as well as to provide themselves with a personnel of informers.
It’s known that German consulates in Kiev and Charkov during the several last months have recruited 17 informants from German colonies of Vohlynia and Donbas. To reward most valuable informers for the work they do the consulates legalize their German citizenship illegally (Hutsch, Emil brothers Hinz, etc.).
From available secret cases on consulates’ informers, we have the case “Ptitsy”/”Birds” completed (Luxemburg district, Donbas), its figurant is Herbert Schroder, who confessed that since 1929 he has been an informer for German consulate in Charkov carrying out by its instructions counter-revolutionary emigratory work among colonists and German labourers. Schroder periodically received a monetary remuneration from the consulate.
Details regarding contacts of consulates by colonies as well as characteristics of use of informers are shown at the report on German consulates.
Secret materials available demonstrate that beside informers recruited by the consulates there are those in German colonies recruited by German intelligence services directly as well. The case on Fott, Gerhard son of David has been completed in Dniepropetrovsk. G. D. Fott confessed that in 1918 during occupation of Ukraine by German troops he, being a procurer of provision at German commandant’s office, was recruited by assistant commandant Felkenstein in Dniepropetrovsk to be since 1925 in epistolary correspondence with him informing about large-scale building projects in the USSR. For that Fott has been sentenced by the court-three to 5 years of concentration camps.
Similar occurences i.e. attempts to use those formerly connected with German commandant’s offices are seen from arrested in 1931 medical doctor Alexander Wechter-Rotz, son of Daniel who serrved at the commandant’s office in Molochansk as an interpreter. Wechter left for Germany at the Whites’ retreatment and studied there being maintained by “Union of Russian Germans”. When coming back to the USSR in 1926 he was recruited by the chairman of this organization for intelligence activity. As of now, Wechter is won over to our side.
There also are attempts noted to set connection with a number of colonists under the pretence of correspondence on German loan which are made by some former employees of German commandan’s offices. In particular, an extensive correspondence with colonies in Molochna, Zaporozhye, Dniepropetrovsk and Melitopol districts is conducted by former cashier of German commandant’s office in Melitopol F.Kuhn, residing at 22-11 Ulland St., Niedermeinhausen, Berlin.
We took into account and have been working out several persons who were in touch with German commandant’s offices in the past. A certain Klein, a seven-year-school teacher living in Dniepropetrovsk is deserving consideration. During German occupation Klein worked as an interpreter at a German commandant’s office and, according to information received, gave revolutionary-minded inhabitants of Molochna district away to Germans.
Saying about contacts of nationalistic organizations in Germany with German colonists we should observe a special activity found in this directon from the side of “Auslanddeutsche”. These contacts are established as a result of direct correspondence with colonists and participation of “Auslanddeutsche” members in delegations visiting the USSR.
“Auslanddeutsche” strives to carry out nationalistic influence by introduction of its printed editions, particularly calendars, into German colonies and schools. During one year over 1,000 calendars were mailed to Germans of just the Molochna district, the calendars were opportunely withdrawn by us. Initiator of subscription to these calendars Otto Kramer, who corresponded with Stuttgart “Auslanddeutsche Institute” has been sent to northern regions. In addition to spreading of these calendars a number of cases was noted as for distribution of various petty-bourgeois nationalistic and religious magazines.
Three members of “Auslanddeutsche” were revealed to be within a peasant delegation that visited Molochna district in November of 1931. They are Anders, Nauh and Foss who have recruited several secret correspondents in colonies of this district. These delegates took an interest in just negative aspects of the colonists’ life to elucidate in their press. Among those recruited by them there is our agent “Shtchuka”/”Pike” (for details see our special report No 138463 of 12 December 1931).
Religious movement and clergy.
Molochna district is a centre of religious joining up of all Mennonite communities in the USSR. Until recently, there was the KFKA (All-Union Mennonite Committee for Ecclesiastical Affairs or in German — Komitet fur Kirchlichen Angeleincheiten). This committee was situated in Schonsee and consisted of three residents of Molochna district who were large-scale owners in the past. As a result of repressive measures being carried out in the country-side against the kulaks, the KFKA members were arrested and the committee has actually ceased its work and disintegrated. The KFKA chairman Ediger whose farmstead was dekulakized fled the district and the place of his current residence is not yet located.
Another member of the committee, kulak Martens is dekulakized and banished.
One more member of the committee, Dick has stayed to live in the district and carries out no work so for the time being separate Mennonite communities are left to their own resources.
There were over 150 preachers in Mennonite colonies in the past but this number has considerably decreased now lately to be of 35-40 people. The others have emigrated partly with the rest banished to north regions as kulak counter-revolutionary element. Some preachers fled to industrial centres with the aim to get a job and conceal the past there.
The number of prayer houses has decreased as well they are shut down and are to be used for various economic needs.
There is no exact registration of Mennonite communities because many of them were not re-registered for several years. Nevertheless, since religious traditions are still strong among mennonites they, being connected by ties of blood and friendship, continue to gather by small groups in private houses to pray.
According to materials of secret working up “Tyloviky”/”Men serving in rear”, among German members of people’s volunteer corps in Makeyevka (Donbas) there is a group of mennonites carrying out counter-revolutionary agitation among young Germans there, the group mentioned is led by mennonite preacher Johann Penner, who enjoys authority over young people religiously set, and Jacob Martens, who is a clerk at 8th building trust. Penner often arranges religious meetings of German members of people’s volunteer corps where the Bible is studied as well as discussions are held to introduce and strengthen anti-soviet attitude of mind of Germans. This group is connected with industrial German specialists rendering translation services to them and trying to leave abroad with their assistance. Martens, has two brothers in Kiev, one of them is a teacher having close contacts with the German consulate, another one is serving in one of the RKKA (Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army) units.
Mennonites show their great interest for religious life of mennonites abroad and in particular for the Congress of Mennonites held in Germany last spring. Delegates representing the USSR mennonites attended there too, they were selected from those who emigrated at one time. We have information that one of residents of Molochna district received a copy of the congress minutes, his identity is being established. The interest to the congress shown by mennonites was caused by hopes as for getting support from Germany regarding their emigration. One has to state that our operation pressure made over kulak counter-revolutionary ruling clique in Mennonite colonies has resulted in disintegration of mennonites’ former solidarity and reserve.
German Lutherans of Ukraine are mainly concentrated in the regions of Donbas (Donetsk region), Dniepropetrovsk, Odessa, Kiev and Vohlynia. From 30 pastors serving for Lutheran communities two, exactly Schaible and Vohl were convicted last year for counter-revolutionary activity. Pastor Otto Seib, left to go abroad, probst Rott has died. Moreover, the PP OGPU SKK (North Caucasus region OGPU frontier station) arrested pastor Seib from Taganrog who served for several Lutheran communities in Donbas. In view of this a series of communities are left without pastor servises with their religious life level somewhat decresed.
At the end of 1931 an active work is noted from Kharkov probst Wurth’s side as for restoration of disintegrated communities and creation of new ones in Donetsk and Dniepropetrovsk regions. According to secret agents’ information, Wurth sent his representatives to varios places to work on organization of the “fifties” in colonies with religiously active members’ assistance. This work is carried out in strict secrecy (the colony of Elizavetovka, Donbas) to prevent the village soviet’s knowing about this before the “fifty” is set up. After making sufficient number of communities in Donbas, Wurth is going to organize a parsonage with permanent pastor in Lugansk.
According to Elizavetovka active religious person Schellenberg, some pastor visited Lugansk several times on the instructions of Wurth to organize the “fifties”. Wurth’s periodical personal trips to German colonies have also taken place lately. Our agents are getting into the “fifties” being newly set up.
As you know, Wurth has pretty close contacts with German consulate in Kharkov and is widely used by it for getting information about German colonies state. Last April during German MID (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany) official Ariand Dagobert’s visit in Kharkov, Wurth was not called to come to the consulate and a meeting took place subsequently at Wurth’s appartments, with the mentioned official attended as well as vice-consul Erdt, several pastors from outlaying districts and a representative of the Moscow clergy. This meeting was held to exchange information regarding the situation in Germany and that of German colonies in Ukraine and the members concluded that the USSR is to inevitably collapse in the nearest time.
Wurth is the consulate’s middle-person on spreading of foreign German newspapers among the clergy and anti-soviet part of colonists.
Wurth’s flat is used by the consulate as a secret address for informers coming to the consulate. So, as seen from the working out “Ptitsy”/”Birds” completed (see above), the consulate’s informer G. Schreider, when visiting Kharkov was directed by the consulate to Wurth’s flat. Moreover, the wife of convicted by us pastor Vohl is dwelling at Wurth’s flat now, she works at the consular office.
According to secret-service information Wurth has received 10,000 Roubles for church needs from the consulate. Wurth had contacts with us at one time, but this connection was disrupted because he tried to get out of work by all means. For the time being contacts with him are re-established.
From other reactinary ones, pastor Deutschmann (Hochstadt, Molochna) is to be noted who enjoys large authority among the colonists and succeeded in creating pretty firm body of church activists and carrying out large work of religious nature among colonists. In particular, Deutschmann takes a number of measures on attracting young people to the church.
Pastor Seib (Dniepropetrovsk), with the aim to gain more authority, collects means among believers to bring relief to Germans in most need.
Pastor Meier (Eigenfeld, Melitopol) is an ardent follower of Episcopalian church. He has organized a church council consisting exclusively of kulaks and anti-soviet element. Beside Lutheran communities of Melitopol district he serves for a number of communities in Crimea and corresponds with various foreign religious institutions.
Pastors Meier, Seib and Kludt (Novo-Nikolayevka district) have simultaneously started soliciting as for taking a German citizenship.
Pastor Kludt is also circulating rumours among colonists concerning an opportunity all the Germans would get soon to be naturalized in Germany and move abroad. By means of this Kludt is developing the colonists’ emigratory tendencies.
In spite of the VCS’s (All-Union Church Council) resistance regarding pastors’ leaving abroad, it’s significant that the pastors mentioned are trying to legalize their foreign citizenship to leave abroad subsequently, pastor Scheuble’s attempt to cross the border illegally as well.
This spring pastor Scheuble was arrested at the Romanian border. He explained that this attempt to go abroad was caused by his irreconcilable attitude to the soviets and craving for Germany. Scheuble had tight contacts with the German consulate in Odessa but in spite of this he was not able to legalize his German citizenship and to legally go there. Details on Scheuble’s case are elucidated in our special reports.
Separatist movement in Lutheran church.
There are three quite authoritative old pastors at the top of Separatist movement, exactly Dombres in Zhitomir (our secret agent “Verny”/”Faithful”), Luft in the colony of Prishib, former Melitopol district (secret agent “Molot”/”Hammer”) and Steinwand in former Odessa district (secret agent “Voyager”).
Beside them, kuster Bechter of former Nikolayev district (our secret agent “Scheck”) has also joined Separatist movement.
In spite of no pastor available at the parishes attended to by Bechter, he holds them well in hand all the time although the believers have nominally elected pastor Fritzler who is at the territory of SKK.
All these persons and particularly Steinwand have definitely and for ever broken off relations with the VCS taking quite firm stand of separatist movement. With the exception of Steinwand all they have been working in this direction for several years under our direct leadership. Actions of Luft and Domres are regularly controlled being preliminarily looked jointly in.
As for pastor Steinwand, although being highly recruited he later has been persuaded quite enough to recently and finally break off with the VCS. To officially break off with it Steinwand used the summons sent by bishop Meier as for his coming to Moscow where in December of 1931 when preliminarily talking to Meier and also subsequently at the meeting of the VCS’s three members, Steinwand announced his theses and motives as for moving away from the VCS and so finally made his official breaking-off with it (details are known to the OGPU). Later on we intend to strengthen Steinwand’s influence over pastors Frank and Schimke of Odessa diocesan circuit, both of them are aware of Steinwand’s breaking-off with the VCS and regard this with sympathy. Steinwand had a meeting with Frank in November where they discussed the problem of breaking-off with the VCS and although this meeting didn’t yet bring positive results it had an effect upon Frank and on parting with Steinwand he gave hope for his consent.
Although the separatist movement has quantitavely not covered many parishes (12-15) they still are a good base for developing separatist movements in Odessa, Vohlynia, Melitopol and Nikolayev districts. Furthermore, this work is also being carried out during a long period of time in a number of other parishes in the districts mentioned and in that of Dniepropetrovsk to create the ground favourable for development of separatist movement. However, one should bear in mind that owing to the force of a series of objective reasons due attention was not paid to this branch of the work and thus naturally, successes scored at one time was not exploited. To proceed our work though, as before there is a need for considerable means that we don’t have at our disposal. We inquired about the OGPU OO’s (Special Department) opinion on this as well as concerning further methods of work (letter No. 76857 dated 5 July 1931) but didn’t get any instructions yet.
For the time being we don’t have exact information as for numbers of agents available in German colonies. However, as seen from our special reports all cases, both complete and those still being established, on both colonies and consulates came into being basing upon reports gotten from old agents and those newly recruited with whom regular contacts have been established. A project of spreading agents has been planned, it is being put into effect here and there with the aim is to fully cover all objects we are interested in.
From all agents those valuable and tested are marked out, they are used as “raiders”. For the time being, some raids of these agents have brought positive results especially on colonies of Vohlynia and Donbas.
We particularly set up valuable agents of this kind such as “Liedke” (Vohlynia) and “Dubinushka”/”Club” for illegal permanent residence in Kiev (“Liedke”) and Kharkov (“Dubinushka”) to use their flats as secret addresses for colonists arriving to visit German consulates and in particular for hiding kulaks. “Liedke” and “Dubinushka” are both runaway hiding kulaks having wide contacts, first of them in Vohlynian German colonies and the latter – in Donbas colonies and mennonite colonies of Dniepropetrovsk region. Thus we are going to reach a situation when considerable part of German colonists and hiding kulaks coming to the consulates will pass through us.
Besides, we have nominated several people from most valuable agents for a made-up legend activity.
1). Residing in Odessa, agent “Knizhnik”/”Bookish-Man”, he is a scientist, geologist, a friend of the “Auslanddeutsche” famous figure Ph. D. Leibbrandt who visited the USSR in 1928 and with whom he corresponded afterwards. “Knizhnik” has a brother who is a pastor residing in Berlin and having tight contacts with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs there. “Knizhnik” also enjoys confidence at German consulate of Odessa. We are going to, after renewal of his correspondence with Leibbrandt, under plausible pretext send “Knizhnik” to Germany for making contacts with “Auslanddeutsche”.
2). Agent “Jambor” known to you by 1929 case “Jacheika”/”Cell” who travelled to Germany in 1929 to set contacts with “Auslanddeutsche” through residing in Berlin his brother ober-engineer Michael Walter. We intend, after a contact with his brother is re-established, to again send “Jambor” abroad for restoration of connection with “Auslanddeutsche”.
3). In Molochna district, our agent “Shtchuka”/”Pike” is a close friend of one of “Auslanddeutsche” employee Weiss. Also, “Pike” has close contacts with mentioned above ober-engineer Walter who is a god-father of “Pike”’s son. In November of 1931 “Pike” was recruited as a private correspondent by “Auslanddeutsche” workers during their visit to Molochna within a German delegation of peasants. For a start we propose to, by restoring “Pike”’s correspondence with these figures of “Auslanddeutsche”, establish and secure connection with them.
There are a total of 660 German specialists who arrived from Germany in 1930-1931 to be engaged in industry of Ukraine. More than half of them are those of medium level of skills – fitters, technicians, etc. and others are engineers of various specialities. The table below shows the distribution of German specialists assigned at various branches of industry.
|Field of industry||Donbas||Dniepropetrovsk region||Kharkov region|
|Military industry (Lugansk cartridge factory, Zaporozhye aircraft works)||4||13||–|
|New construction projects||39||–||6|
|Dniepr. plant project||–||15||–|
|Various enterprises and establishments||3||9||–|
In spite of the fact of coming from Germany where there is a large level of unemployment, most of German specialists express their dissatisfaction with economic conditions they are experiencing and display hightened demands in supplies. In some cases this dissatisfaction is reasonable and grounded because some works management did not give due consideration to problems of foreign specialists’ supply.
At the Petrovsky plant in Dniepropetrovsk the facts took place of distribution of foodstuffs set aside for foreign specialists among employees of the plant administration. As a result, German specialists working there made an attempt last summer of organized action with the aim to reconsider contracts and increase wages in connection with the rise of foods prices. This action was evinced in organization and calling of illegal meeting where problems were considered regarding absence of foodstuffs at the CRK (Central Committee for Distribution) and Germans’ attitude to increase of prices mentioned. This action was organized by engineers Woschinger (the case on Ekaterinoslav railroads), Schaffer (plant “Komintern”) and Allesch (K. Liebknecht works). Over one third part of German specialists working in Dniepropetrovsk attended the meeting. Engineer Rosental who is one of reactionary specialists was elected to be the meeting chairman.
The meeting was brought to a stop by measures taken. After that the Germans applied with their complaint to the German consul in Kharkov who visited Dniepropetrovsk and Zaporozhye at the end of September to clarify the Germans’ state. Special reports were sent in time to you regarding dawdling of German specialists and consul Walter’s travel mentioned.
Similar attempt of German specialists’ organized action happened also in Kharkov in September of 1931. As in Dniepropetrovsk, it was grounded on the specialists’ discontent with economic and life conditions as well as dismissal of two German specialists by the “Steel” association for their contempt of labour discipline. This action resulted in putting an application into the CKK (Central Control Committee) and the RKI (Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection).
By their attitude to labour all German specialists can be divided into two groups, smaller part – those working carefully and honestly and another, bigger one consisting of those considering their work in the USSR as just a source of getting means and therefore, working extremely carelessly. This latter one consists of nationalistic fascist element mostly having connections with Gernan consulates and negatively regarding Germans who work honestly. This negative state of opinion finds its reflection in their correspondence with foreign countries as well.
To illustrate this, several excerpts from such letters are to follow:
“Things are becoming worse and worse here. Everything here is in Jews’ hands in spite of that a Jew never can be a good communist. Good bye the country of all the working “proletariat”, I’ve learned to apprehend you. Today’s Russia led by communists is the most unfree country all over the world”.
(Letter from Kharkov).
“If I had known this before, even 10 horses couldn’t have drug me in here. Many Germans have returned since Russians don’t want to pay in hard currency, but there is no sense to work without it”.
(Letter from Donbas).
“One man from Marienheim works here, he likes Russian negligent economy very much because he is a communist himself. He will take a leave soon, open his mug to certainly lie much. They have destroyed everything here, churches have been turned into club-houses and places for meetings. Confound it, what a thing Russia has run into!”
(Letter from Zaporozhye).
Special clubs were organized in Kharkov and Dniepropetrovsk to more and in an organized way envelop foreign specialists by the party and soviet organizations. In spite of relatively satisfactory arrangement of work in clubs, it was still not possible to unite all the foreign specialists around them. This is conditioned by opposing activity of reactionary part of specialists seeking to discredit the clubs’ work.
Particularly in Dniepropetrovsk where foreign specialists at first visited the club pretty lively, activity of Rosental and Schmidt heading reactionary part of German specialists subsequently resulted in poor attendance. Rosental and Schmidt consider clubs as a mean of specialists’ becoming “bolshefied” and this interpretation is accepted by some part of young German specialists because of fear to be persecuted on their going back to Germany.
Next people from reactionary German specialists being under our active workings, are to be mentioned here:
1). Engineer Gustav Becker, has been working at the “Steel” association since 1929, zealous nationalist enjoying tremendous authority and influence among German specialists.
Has tight contacts with the German consulate and, as a prominent figure of reactionary foreign engineering circles, is admitted to Polish and Italian consulates in Kharkov which manifest a certain attention to his person.
On a plausible pretext, Becker seeks to wreck all undertakings carrying out regarding foreign specialists. In particular, Becker came out against the RKI NK’s (People’s Commissariat of Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection) proposal for organizing at the RKI local cells of active foreign specialists for assisting in a struggle for the pace of socialist building, motivating it by the fact that they have come to the USSR exclusively for earnings.
2). Engineer Max Domke, – senior tool designer of Kharkov tractor works, a son of burgomaster, several of his relatives serve in German police, Domke’s son Rudolf when corresponding with his friend Mauwald who is a police school student informed him about life in the USSR.
3). Eduard Chrisak, engineer of a tool shop at Kharkov tractor works, Austrian subject, worked at Austrian arsenals for 9 years, before coming to Kharkov for 9 years worked at a Moscow electroworks where he carried out corrupting activity among German specialists. In Kharkov Chrisak carried out analogical work disposing German specialists to make demands as for the salary increase, improving their supply, etc. and stating that since the USSR needs specialists their claims will be satisfied.
A contract with Chrisak is being broken off and on a plausible pretext he will be offered to leave abroad.
4). Friedrich Schmidt, – engineer at a Gypromez of Dniepropetrovsk, 25 years old, national-fascist, has contacts with German consulate in Kharkov, was one of initiators of calling for consul Walter during German specialists’ dawdling in Dniepropetrovsk. Contemptuous towards specialists working honestly, states that bolsheviks hired many people from Germany, but only a few of them are “real Germans”.
In his extensive correspondence with relatives in Germany and German consulate in Kharkov Schmidt critisizes soviet power quite sharply. He writes to the consulate:
“We have been deceived and we are tricked all round. It’s hard to observe when many German peasants have to leave their households because of being evicted”.
Schmidt’s attitude to labour is characterized by next excerpts from his letter:
“I want to work, but only when a getting salary to live on these funds, not at all because of just enthusiasm over socialism”.
We consider Schmidt to be the German consulate’s informant associated with German specialists in Dniepropetrovsk and informing the consulate about individual specialists’ conduct. So, having gotten to know that engineer Schaffer joined the party, Schmidt wrote an announcement on that to be published in local newspaper and charged our agent with getting three pieces of this newspaper to forward to the German consulate.
Schmidt keeps in touch with pastor Seib and other people from local German intellectuals.
Schmidt is a specialist of medium level of skills and a big self-seeker by nature.
5). Rosental, Bruno, an engineer at Petrovsky plant of Dniepropetrovsk. He is one of leaders in reactionary engineering circles, an organizer of comings out directed to wreck meaures carrying out by the party and soviet organizations among foreign specialists.
6). Hans Wiesmann,– a fitter at the building of coke furnaces in Kamenskoye. According to information gotten from our agents, he is a former officer of German army having a fascist attitude of mind. During a short time he succeeded in getting wide connections with engineers and other technical workers.
When talking to Russian specialists Wiesmann takes a great interest in a state of plants, fulfilment of the program, etc.
7). Herman Witte,– engineer at Budiony plant in Donbas. He calls himself a member of social democratic party of Germany, quite quickly made contacts with counter-revolutionary active people of German colonies situated in the plant area, supplies them with German newspapers and agitates for emigration.
Witte has a daughter of exiled kulak Pflug as a maid, when in hiding kulak Pflug dwelled at Witte’s flat for a while. To make a possibility for Pflug’s daughter to leave abroad Witte, being married and having a family in Germany, registered his marriage to her in Crimea.
Through Burkhardt residing in the colony of Dekonsky, Witte is in touch with German kulak Konton.
It is noted that for some reason Pflug often takes trips to German colonies and that Witte himself on some private business visited Lugansk where cartridge factory No. 60 is situated.
8). Johann Kusemiller, assistant head of coke shop at Rykov plant (Donbas). According to information available, he is a member of German Union of Engineers. A group of reactionary specialists often gathers at Kusemiller’s flat where they hold political discussions and sharply criticize measures of the soviets. The plant chief engineer Musienko also joins this group.
Kusemiller is in correspondence with the German consulate where from he recently got Gindenburg’s appeal as for collecting donations for those unemployed, he spreaded this appeal over other specialists.
9). Joseph Limberg,– shift engineer at Rykov plant, son of large-scale factory owner in Germany, a member of the national-socialist party and German Union of Engineers. A friend of Kusemiller, takes part in assemblages held at Kusmiller’s flat, buys up foreign currency.
10). Arthur Mertens, – technical supervisor at a coke plant in Donbas. According to investigation materials on counter-revolutionary wrecking organization in coke industry liquidated in the EKU (Economical Administration) line Mertens, along with several more German specialists of “Otto” company recruited Russian engineers and other technical workers to use in economical espionage.
Mertens is a member of German Union of Engineers, has contacts with a number of foreign specialists wirking in Donbas. He often arranges evening-parties at his home with Russian engineers invited as well.
11). Demmer – an engineer at Charkov tractor works, a great expert, according to agents’ information he is a member of the Union of German foreign specialists. His attitude to work is formal. Demmer keeps corresponding widely with large companies in Germany, he is a depositor at German and Holland banks.
Demmer maintains contacts with his brother who works at German plant producing tractors for military purposes. Demmer also has contacts with Kharkov German consulate.
12). Erwin Tepke, designer-metalworker, arrived from Berlin to Odessa in 1930. Until recently he worked at Lenin machine-building plant posing as a member of the party although having no documents identifying this membership.
According to agents’ data, Tepke is an informant of Odessa German consulate. Also, he is in touch with German “Lloyd and Deutsche Lewant Linie” agent Mowes who is suspected of espionage. It’s known that Tepke informed consul Roth about activity of international club of sailors where he calls.
Tepke assited Roth in detecting sailors striking on German ships and those who bit Roth, he promised to be a witness from Roth’s side at a court.
When talking to agents Tepke said that he is a German factory owner’s son.
Tepke has been lately working nowhere and for the time being stays at Mowes’s home as his dependant.
From German specialists engaged in military industry an attention should be paid to design engineer Erich son of Otto Hofmann working at Lugansk cartridge factory No. 60. Hofmann evinces an interest in industrial activity of the plant and when talking to our agent he said that he knows about the plant long-term program for time of war. We suspect that this information can be picked up from designer Orainovitch who has access to secret documents, he speaks German and holds long converstaions with Hofmann.
Hofmann has an affair with the plant technical director Slavnov’s wife who is a secret agent at the economical department, she gaves no information regarding Hofmann though.
Hofmann describes himself to be a correspondent of newspaper “Rote Fane” to so explain his interest to life in the USSR.
Beside Hofmann there are three more German specialists of techinical personnel of medium skills working at the factory No. 60. Two of them, Arthur Schenrock and Alfred Ercke are known to be members of German communist party, they were both recently accepted for the VKP (Communist Party of the Soviet Union).
Schenrock arrived to the USSR in 1928 and worked as a foreman at a German concession in Leningrad until 1929. Ercke worked in Germany at a plant of “AEG” company and arrived to the USSR in 1930. Neither is intending to go back to Germany and take active part in social-production life of the factory. Ercke is recruited for informing about Germans working at the factory and Hofmann in particular, he has already provided some material.
Thirteen German specialists work at Zaporozhye state aircraft works No. 29. From them are 6 German, 6 Austrian and 1 Hungarian subjects. In fact they all are highly skilled labourers – metalworkers, turners, milling-machine operators, etc. Except metalworker Gerhard Reich all of them arrived in summer of 1931 and so far we have no material compromising them.
Gerhard Reich, – German subject, has been working since November 28, 1930, according to unverified information he’s been expelled from KSM (Young Communist League). Inclined against soviet power criticizing all its arrangements.
To elucidate working up of German specialists there are sufficient number of agents in their midst such as interpreters, business contacts and that in towns from intellectuals, etc. These agents give us a possibility to follow specialists’ life and activity and study them with the aim to detect objects to be worked up as well as recruited.
For the time being we have already recruited the next German specialists:
1). “Verny”/”Faithful” – a German subject, mechanical engineer of Kharkov tractor works mechanical-assembly shop. Has been living in the USSR for 8 years, in touch with many German specialists. As an agent he is valuable.
2). “Spets”/”Specialist” – a German subject, chief foreman at the motor-car work-shops. Acquainted with a number of specialists, introduced to foreign specialists’s club for expansion of acquantances. Valuable agent, speaks Russian.
3). “Delets”/”Operator” – a German subject, 6th building trust technician. Recruited when caught trying to sell his national passport. Has vast contacts in the midst of foreign specialists. Not involved into the work yet, needs unceasing instructions.
4). Ercke – foreman-designer at the factory No. 60. Described above.
Those persuaded to be shortly recruited are:
1). Schweiger – a German subject, an engineer of Kharkov tractor works, arrived to the USSR in 1931. Has a soviet attitude of mind, takes active part in the work of foreign specialists’ club. As a sedate engineer enjoys authority among German specialists. Before leaving Germany, he allegedly delivered through the Trade Delegation to the USSR some inventions of his brother for the dye industry.
2). Straller – a German subject, an engineer working at the lab of Hyprocoke, has wide contacts with foreign specialists in Kharkov, an active member among foreign specialists rendering assistance to RKI.
3). Joseph Klisch,– ober-foreman of a blast-furnace shop at Rykov plant in Donbas, a good specialist bringing large benefit to the plant. In his letter addressed to his acquaintance residing in Dniepropetrovsk he wrote about a foreman working at Petrovsky plant as a spy sent from Germany.
Beside above persons, there are materials of positive nature on more specialists being under our persuasion as for checking out a possibility of their recruitement.
There are 24 American specialists working at the building of Dnieprostroy and Dnieprozavodstroy, 5 of them by individual contracts and others sent by the companies of “Kuper”, “General Electric” and “Newport Nussen”. Most activity is shown by the “Kuper”’s consulting office led by chief engineer Thompson of an American consulting company.
Thomson extremely takes an interest in political events and current problems of life in the USSR charging his subordinates with collecting all these facts. Utterly careful in interrelations with his associates, lets nobody get close to him, conducts wide secret correspondence with Kuper personally.
A member of “Kuper”’s consulting office economical engineer Wilkenson collects materials about a situation in the USSR intensively as well. According to information available, Wilkinson is a captain of American army and a member of military engineers’ association which entrusted him with elucidating economical and political situation in the USSR. Wilkinson offered our agent “X” to write a book about a life of various sections of the USSR population and promised to provide remuneration for this work in hard currency.
Thomson has got Sacker to work as an interpreter in his consulting agency. He is a Soviet citizen who lived in England for a long time, a son of large scale oil-industrialist, of anti-soviet attitude of mind, sly and pushful person having wide contacts in Moscow and abroad. He has relatives residing in England. There is some secret information that Sacker’s cousin Konigiser is a murderer of comrade Volodarsky.
Enjoying certain confidence of Thomson, Sacker attends to Kuper during Kuper’s trips to the USSR visiting along authorities Kuper holds business talks with.
Sacker actively executes Thomson’s assignments as for collecting every possible data charging, in his turn, others with this kind of work. According to unverified information of our agents, Sacker has been to Moscow and visited English Embassy.
We intend to recruit Sacker securing his dependence.
Until recently Americans working at Dnieprostroy were elucidated by the OO OGPU’s famous agent “X”, he has been compromised having shown himself to be a self-seeker though. By Thomson’s order “X” was dismissed from his position of interpreter without any motivation. We suppose, that Sacker who didn’t get with him is involved in this problem.
There are 133 American specialists in Kharkov, 120 of them work at Kharkov tractor works. Overwhelming majority of them originated in Russia and immigrated to America at one time. Most of them came by individual contracts made with Amtorg.
It’s noted that some Americans raise a question as for wanting to return as soon as they arrive here.
American specialist Mahgony works at a forge shop of Kharkov tractor works. His wife is a German by birth. They consider themselves to be experts on the Soviet Union since they lived in Stalingrad for one year. In an intimate circle Mahgony conducts a campaign against American specialists’ coming and staying in the USSR and recommends to “immediately run away while it’s not too late”. Mahgony agitation was provoked by unsatisfactory living conditions experienced by some foreign specialists who at first dwelled in newly built wet houses without energy, water and heating. Several cases of foreign specialists’ departure took place at the Kharkov tractor works.
American Dotton has been talking about going back since his very first day of arrival although he considers himself to be a socialist having come to the USSR by ideological motives. Before coming to the USSR Dotton worked in Detroit at Ford’s plants and, having decided to go to the USSR along with Kaleda born in Russia, they systematically stole expensive technical diamonds to deliver to soviet plants. There were diamonds collected at Kaleda’s for amount of about 8 thousand dollars. Kaleda arrived in the USSR a week before Dotton and when this latter demanded the diamonds he said that they have been either lost or stolen on the way.
It’s found by our agents that in connection with stopping payments to foreign specialists in hard currency, Polish consulate in Kharkov sells ship tickets to American subjects for soviet currency giving its letters to Polish shipping companies.
From American specialist we have following agents recruited:
1). “American” – Stepan Koval, 35 years old, American subject born in Russia, arrived to the USSR as a tourist in July of 1931 when was recruited. A labourer of the tractor works has close contacts with Americans from the works and mainly those originated in Russia, gives information on these mentioned.
2). “Episode” – Michael Jordan, son of Bernhard, born in 1896, American subject, expert in talking pictures film projectors, recruited in November of 1931. Calls at the business club foreign section where makes acquaintances with foreign specialists for making closer contacts.
Selected for recruitment:
1). Kazakov – a labourer of Kharkov tractor works, American subject born in Russia, inclined towards the soviets positively. During meetings with our secret agent, Kazakov informs him about those carrying out counter-revolutionary agitation at the works as well as about other negative facts.
Head of UkrSSR GPU SOU /Leonyuk/
Deputy Head of UVO OO and UkrSSR GPU /Dobroditsky/
Head of the OO 2nd division /Novakovsky/
FOREIGN DIPLOMATIC REPRESENTATIONS
GERMAN CONSULATE IN ODESSA
The personnel and its description.
German consul in Odessa, Paul Roth came into his duties fulfilment on 23 May 1928. Born and educated in Odessa. Got his higher education in Germany. According to secret service information he is a member of socialist-democratic party. A former officer of German army. In the past worked at the MID (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) of Germany. Had contacts with supporters of creation of “Independent Ukraine”, in particular Skoropadsky and Galician people.
According to information available he keeps in touch with leaders of the emigration press, in particular with former editor of newspaper “Rul” (“Rudder”) Gessen.
Before his assignment as the consul in Odessa, beginning in 1925 Roth was attached to German consulate in Moscow as an expert in the question of Russia. Has a good command of Russian language. Enjoys authority and esteem of colleagues.
The consulate chancellor is Wilhelm Buchgolz, born in 1893, has been working at the consulate in Odessa since 1923. Due to vacancy of the vice-consul post he acts for Roth during his missions. In charge of passports issue. Has wide contacts in Odessa and German colonies.
The consulate councillor is Karl Hahn, son of Johann, born in 1877, a German, working at the consulate since 1923, native of Kassel, Germany. Before the imperialist war served at one of Moscow prisons. During the war was arrested and banished to Siberia where he escaped from to Germany.
The consulate’s activity consists of collection and analysis of information for reports about political and economical state of the UkrSSR. Along with the examination of newspapers and press-cuttings, Hahn gets anformation from Germans working in industry and colonists. Hahn is a fixed-post spy of German intelligence service. Had direct contacts with informants involved in cases “Patriots” and “Baptist Center” we completed last summer.
A typist – Elsa Lutz, daughter of Gottlieb, born in 1893, a German, soviet citizen, working in the consulate since 1923, a pastor’s daughter. Has anti-soviet attitude of mind. Satisfied with the job to predetermine her attitude to the consulate. Recruited by us in 1923 but the very next day she talked about that to the consul.
According to latest secret information, Lutz is in intimate connection with her fiance Christian Hirsch, son of Gottlieb who works in Tsebrikovo (Hoffnungstal) as an accountant at a bank branch.
A door-keeper – Ivan Gurinov, son of Pavel, born in 1863, Russian by nationality, citizen of UkrSSR, has been working at the consulate since 1923. At the end of 1923 and in 1924 by proposal of the Ministry of Foreugn Affairs he was supposed to be dismissed but was retained owing to the consul’s urging request.
Gurinov’s son Leo, born in 1904, an engineer (involved in the case “Engineer”), prior to November of 1931 worked at the “Donsoda” factories in Donbas.
Leo Gurinov is well acquainted with the consulate employees, according to available information he was in correspondence with the consulate through his father, forwarded some receipts, etc. In spite of numerous offers to turn to another, more profitable job in other places he refused that.
With the connection to the known fact of great interest of German consulate to our chemical indistry, Gurinov’s conduct gives the grounds to suspect him in being the consulate informant.
Courier Oskar Jundt, son of Philipp, born in 1892, a German of UkrSSR citizenship, from colonists of former Cherson province, working at the consulate since 1926 as a courier.
Chauffeur Pavel Saveliev, son of Vasily, born in 1898, a Russian of UkrSSR citizenship, working at the consulate since 1928 by character reference of former director of DERUTRA (State Transport Administration) where he also served as a chauffeur.
As for other attendants such as courtyard keeper Konstantin Grinchuk, son of Kuprian born in 1882, housemaids Albine Annenkov-Kessler, daughter of Michael born in 1892, Elisabetha Kovvach, daughter of Isaak born in 1876, Margaretha Jenner, daughter of Christian born in in 1885 and domestic servants Maria Almeidinger, born in 1884 (works at Buchgolz’s) and Irene Ivanov, daughter of Ivan born in 1880, no materials of a special interest available.
All of them are the USSR citizens, religious, descended from colonists.
Last October the consulate housemaid Margaretha Jenner, daughter of Christian left the service and moved to Khabarovsk. Christina Kranzler, daughter of Jacob, born in 1884, German by nationality, citizen of the USSR, from Odessa region colonists, is accepted as a housemaid. Kranzler is accepted by recommendations of a teacher of Roth’s children and the Richter family having tight contacts with the consulate.
Kranzler’s husband, a teacher of German school formerly, was in close contact with Schulz involved in the case “Patriots” as well as with pastor Schilling, he died in 1928. According to our data available, his wife entered the consulate with the aim to make her change of citizenship and move to her daughter in Germany easier.
Activity of the consulate
During the period of 5 May to 27 July last year consul Roth spent his vacation in Germany being substituted by chancellor Buchgolz. On 20 November of the last year Roth’s wife came back from Leningrad where she visited the consul general of Germany. This trip has been her return visit to Leningrad consul Zechler who called on Roth in Odessa in August of 1930.
According to secret service information, Roth proposes to make a trip to Moscow to German Embassy in the near future.
After taking a one-and-a-half-month’s holiday in Germany chancellor Buchgolz returned on 27 August. Commercial councillor Hahn took his leave and left to Germany at the end of September to be back on 9 November. Hahn’s wife got back from abroad (Germany and Netherlands) on 23 September.
Beginning from June of last year and at different times the German consulate was visited by – German Embassy official Otto Schiller, police department officer Arian Dagobert, German subject scientist Fritz son of Felix Neuman. Neuman brough the diplomatic mail along and had meetings with Dagobert to whom he delivered a batch of letters and jointly studied the city location.
On 4 June German journalist Schirdt arrived on the ship from Crimea to depart to Kiev next day.
German consul general in Leningrad Erich Zechler stayed for two days with Roth in Odessa in August.
On 28 August in the course of his holiday journey back from Caucasus, secretary of German consulate in Kiev, Baum stopped off at the consulate as well.
During two days since 29 August von-Sauken was on a visit to Roth.
Passing through from Crimea military attache of German Embassy in Moscow Kurt Bronhof arrived to Odessa on 7 September. The USSR citizen, a painter, native of Borisov (Minsk region) Julia Savinin, daughter of Sergey came along with him. Bronhof had a separate meeting at the consulate with councillor Hahn, contents of the meeting are unknown to us. Diplomatic mail for Bronhof was brought to Odessa by the Embassy employee Turkey. On 10 September Savinin left to Moscow while Bronhof and Turkey departed abroad.
Head of the MID (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) department of law Matzheuben and correspondent of Hamburg newspaper Baum arrived from Moscow in October. Both of them were received by Roth. In connection with the strike taken on German ships and an incident with beating Roth, on 11 October they departed from Odessa, Matzheuben to Batumi and Baum to Moscow.
By the middle of October director of German Lloyd and the “Deutsche Lewant Linie” Board of Directors member Theodor Ritter came from Germany to Odessa and had repeated meetings with Roth.
Passing through Odessa on 20 October German consul in Kiev Sommer stayed with Roth. When talking to the consulate employees, Sommer expressed his indignation in regard with beating Roth by German striking sailors.
On the 21st of last November, son of the consulate door-keeper engineer Gurinov (involved in the working-out “Engineer”) arrived from Donbas to stay with his father until 6 December. Gurinov said during his conversation with our agents, that he is supposed to get a new assignment in Moscow. We are aware of Gurinov’s staying in Moscow at some E. S. Tikhonov’s at 8-a Krasno-Studenchesky Lane.
German subject Margaretha Griffenstein, born in 1891, came to visit Roth from Leningrad on 7 December. With that we received, she is a widow of Leningrad consul general and having ties of relationship with Roth came from Germany to visit Leningrad and Odessa and in particular stay with Roth.
As for relations with other foreign consulates in Odessa, German consulate continues to be a leader trying to keep them within its sphere of influence and set the fashion of actions towards the power representatives.
Roth and his employees visit consulates of Japan, Turkey, Italy and invite employees of these consulates to tea and dinner-parties that they give.
When at a banquet given at the consulate of Japan on 17 October with the presence of vice-consuls of Italy and Turkey, Roth told about late events happened on German ships and excited apprehention regarding possible repetitions of such incidents.
In his conversation held with vice-consul of Turkey Hatif concerning a problem of local authorities’ attitude to foreign consuls, Roth tried to offer him to participate in making joint complaint to NKID (People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs) comrade Litvinov about their inattentive attitude and rendering no help to consuls. Hatif tactfully refused, consuls of Japan and Italy as well.
Visits and meetings have become especially frequent between employees of consulates of Germany and Japan. Close friendly relationships have been established between Roth and consul of Japan Tanaka. It is clear that Roth has influence on Tanaka who obviously not only draws information from Roth but also seeks advices from him. It is significant that style of letters issued from Japan consulate to the NKID’s agency is quite identical to that issued from German consulate.
Tanaka introduced to German consulate Japanese captain Miato who works on probation in Odessa. In his turn, Roth introduced Tanaka to the houses visited by him e.g. to apartments of representative of German Lloyd Mowes an information on whom is to follow.
After the incident happened with striking sailors of German ships, Roth behaved defiantly for a while, so e.g. for the first time he did not attend the parade when celebrating the October revolution anniversary on 23 November. Also, presenting at the Opera House performance along with the delegation of German Red-front-line soldiers where the theatre representative delivered salutatory speech addressed to the delegation mentioned, Roth demonstratively didn’t stand up during singing of the International. He subsequently apologized to the NKID agent for this tactlessness.
A trial over pastor Koch, completion of secret-service cases “Patriots” and “Baptist Center” as well as arrests of informants of the consulate in this connection, have to a certain extent disclosed counter-revolutionary activity of the consulate and delivered a blow to its intelligence work.
Pastor Koch convicted as well as those involved in cases “Patriots” and “Baptist Center” and arrested, when trying to find a cause of their failure came to conclusion that some responsible official of the consulate got involved with the case and in their suspicions they decided in favour of the consulate councillor Hahn as the one having personal contacts with them. Taking these suspicions into account and with the aim to compromise Hahn, we used these suspicions of the arrested and furthered their strengthening when investigating the case and in a secret-service way as well.
Apparantly all this has found its interpretation at the consulate since before long after that Roth offered Hahn to move directly to the consulate building to occupy a flat alloted for him there. During several years before that Hahn had lived in a privat flat.
When talkng to our agents chancellor Buchgolz had his say that one should be quite carefull as regards to visiting the consulate. In his conversation with the agents Roth tried to make it clear that all the arrests of Germans made is none other than the demonstration aimed against the consulate.
Establishing a number of facts following these conversations as well as the consul’s wish to concentrate his staff aroung himself, we deduce that in its activity the consulate tries to be more careful and at the same time warning its contacts to be cautious it makes them secret.
In 1930 we saw pretty extensive work carried out by the consulate in the midst of German schools and young people, then during last months, as seen from our agents’ reports, the consulate stopped its connection with German schools. No doubt, arrests of individual teachers and informants of the consulate favoured this as well.
It’s established that the consulate pays a serious attention to collection of economical information. It’s seen from the materials available that Roth makes his reports to Moscow about the data gotten from well-informed source regarding production of Odessa linoleum factory “Bolshevik” and sends there pretty precise information about the factory state, prospects and export potentialities.
On this case the working-out “Document” is carried on and the figurant is German engineer Vodichka working at the “Bolshevik” and suspected in delivery of this information.
The fact is detected, not entirely proved yet but indicating of illegal defence of Austrian subjects’ interests by German consulate in Odessa. So, residing in Odessa Austrian subject Alfred Novak when talking to our agent, blabbed out that he visits the consulate and that it defends interests of Austrian subjects. This fact is being verified by us and measures have been taken as for further exposure and thorough elucidation of this kind of activity of the consulate.
A number of monetary operations made by the consulate has been noted. So, e.g. medical doctor K. J. Lement residing in Stalino remitted 350 Roubles to the consulate for transfering that to Germany. Kutz and local teacher Mazover regularly send funds in variuos amounts through the consulate to their children. Besides, the consulate complies with individual German residents’ requests as for exacting money from people living in the USSR, for instance Schulz residing in Strelicy, Germany entrusted the consulate with exacting a debt owed to her from some Grabowa dwelling in Odessa.
The consulate shows great sympathy with the fate of former pastor Koch who, as is generally known, is convicted and kept in Odessa DOPR (House for Public Forced Labour = investigation isolation ward in prison). Koch’s brother-in-law sends funds and letters to him from Berlin. Koch’s wife in a conversation held with our agents said that her brother has good contacts in MID and solicit through it for giving Koch permission to move along with his family to Germany and talks on that have been allegedly carried already on with the USSR People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs.
Attention should be also paid to becoming more frequent visits to the consulate of Tsebrikowo district pastor Schimke. When visiting the consulate in December Schimke had a conversation regarding his move to Germany but apparently this wasn’t recommended to him to do since afterwards, talking to Koch’s wife, Schimke said that pastors are reluctantly allowed to go to Germany since they are considered to be needed in the USSR.
The consulate subsidizes the Lutheran community through chancellor Buchgolz who is a secretary of the community council. Buchgolz attends almost all its meetings where he directs the council’s activity putting his influence into practice.
It’s also established that the consulate uses its diplomatic mail and takes private letters from Germany to forward to colonists within the limits of its consular circuit.
Trips of the consul and his employees to colonies have considerably reduced against last year. German colonists still come to the consulate periodically, their visits are mainly bound up with problems of moving abroad.
Following contacts from those old and newly evinced in the town are worthy of a special attention:
— Roth’s relation with representative of “Deutsche Lewant Linie” (German Lloyd) Mowes and representative of the “Druz AG” joint-stock company German subject Berndt who both under the pretence of hunting, make trips to the colonies to meet and have discussions with colonists (see details in our special report on case “Hamburgers” No. 145503 of 26 December 1931).
— Hahn’s contact with Odessa brantch of German company “Kontrolko” in the person of employee of this company Brodsky who often visits Hahn in the consulate.
— Beside these mentioned, German subjects medical doctor Gustavson, representative of “Lloyd Triestino” Kugerl and physicians Anding and Dumbadze have close links with the consulate and regularly visit it.
141 people total of those having contacts with the consulate are taken into account 12 of whom are under active consideration and working-out in the course of espionage.
State of secret agents’ activity.
To clarify about the consulate there are 5 secret agents available:
1). “Poddubny” – Oskar Jundt, son of Philipp, born in 1892, a German, subject of UkrSSR, colonist of Cherson province. Has been working at the consulate since 1926 as a courier. Recruited in 1927. A valuable agent clarifying about the consulate visitors, connections and calls. Besides, in the past “Poddubny” got some documents, in particular reports and communications of the consulate.
2). “Nemo” – Pavel Saveliev, son of Vasily, a chauffeur of the consulate, recruited in 1930. His value is of getting through him places of visit and connections after trips taken by the consul and his employees to the colonies as well as their rides within the town.
3). “Simonov” – Sergey Davydov, son of Johann, a Russian, citizen of UkrSSR, an engineer, recruited in 1928. Was often invited to the consulate and had good relations with Buchgolz and Hahn in the past, no more invitations to visit there beginning from 1931 by reasons unknown to us. Currently is used on working-out of physician Dumbadze with whom he is in friendly relationships. Dumbadze systematically calls at the consulate and has close ties with its employees and Buchgolz in particular.
4). “Knizhnik” – Georg Steinwand, son of Daniel, a German, citizen of UkrSSR, a scientist-geologist, recruited in 1927. Has three brothers, all pastors. One of them resides in Berlin. His sister is a wife of pastor Koch convicted for counter-revolutionary activity. In good acquaintance with the consul and his employees to visit under various pretexts. Besides, he has wide contacts in the midst of local German intellectuals.
5). “Konstantinov” – Dumbadze, a physician, recruited in December of 1931 from the standpoint of his utility for us in the course of his general work in the Red Cross where he is the head of medical department. Dumbadze is a medical doctor for the consulate, the consulate employees invite him to parties they arrange.
Working-out the consulate typist Lutz who was recruited but willingly disclosed herself to the consul at one time, we came across her affair having with some Christian Hirsch, son of Gottlieb, an employee, a bank branch accountant, German by nationality, Lutz’s fiancee.
After a proper working-out of Hirsch we propose to recruit him as an agent and, at favourable conditions, re-recruit Lutz through him for working on our side.