Boleslaw Gebert

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Bolesław Konstantin Gebert, also Boleslaw Konstantine Gevert, known as Bill Gebert (1895-1986) was born in the Bialystok area. His father was a peasant of German extraction, his mother a Pole. Gebert had immigrated from Poland in 1918 and found work as a miner. In 1919 he took part in the creation of the Kosciuszko League[1]. Gebert was a founding member of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA), and the editor of a Polish newspaper in which he wrote of the paradise the Russian people were living in. By the late 1930s Gebert rose to a leadership role as district organizer in Chicago and Pittsburgh. Gebert was a National Officer of the Polonia Society of International Workers Order. Louis Budenz wrote of a conflict between Gebert and Morris Childs, district organizer for Illinois, over Gebert's intrusion into Chicago and, in particular, over a "Czech comrade who was doing vital underground work for Gebert." After the formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), Gebert was able to bring many ethnic Poles into the organization.

Gebert appears in nine intercepted KGB messages between May and October 1944. Gebert is the contact of fellow Soviet agent, Oskar Lange, a Polish-American economist who was a personal emissary from President Roosevelt to Josef Stalin on the "Polish question". These decryptions refer to the postwar Polish government, to the Polish borders, and to the "betrayal" of Poland to Soviet Communism.

Another Venona message reports Gebert's demand for a $500 balance the KGB still owed him on a one thousand dollar contract to publish a Polish-language book. After World War II Gebert returned to the now Communist-dominated Poland, and was rewarded with a leading position in the state-controlled labor unions. He returned to the United States in 1950 as United Nations representative of the World Federation of Trade Unions. From 1960 to 1967 Gebert served as the Polish Ambassador to Turkey. He is the father of Konstanty Gebert.

Venona

Boleslaw Gebert cover name as assigned by Soviet intelligence and decyphered in Venona project transcripts was ATAMAN. Gebert was a contact of the mysterious unidentified KHAN (also SELIM KHAN). Gebert is referenced in the following Venona decrypts:

700 KGB New York to Moscow, 17 May 1944; 759–760 KGB New York to Moscow, 27 May 1944; 761 KGB New York to Moscow, 27 May 1944; 763 KGB New York to Moscow, 29 May 1944; 823 KGB New York to Moscow, 7 June 1944; 928 KGB New York to Moscow, 1 July 1944; 956, 957 KGB New York to Moscow, 6 July 1944; 1229 KGB New York to Moscow, 29 August 1944; 1410 KGB New York to Moscow, 6 October 1944.

Books by Boleslaw Gebert

  • Boleslaw Gebert, New Poland, New York: Polonia Society of the International Workers Order, (1945). Intro. by Arthur Upham Pope.
  • Boleslaw Gebert, Z Tykocina Za Ocean (From Tykocin Beyond the Ocean). Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1982. Autobiography by Boleslaw Gebert, Polish CPUSA leader in the 1930s and 1940s who returned to Poland after W.W.II.

Reference

  • Louis Budenz, Men Without Faces: The Communist Conspiracy In America. (New York: Harper, 1950), pgs. 55–58, 60–61, 252.
  • Harvey Klehr, The Heyday of American Communism: The Depression Decade (New York: Basic Books, 1984), 231–231.
  • John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), pgs. 234, 235, 239.
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