Charles Kramer

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This article is part of the
Venona
series.

Ware group
Secret apparatus
LaFollette Civil Liberties Committee
Perlo group

Charles Kramer, originally Charles Krevitsky was an economist for who worked for four congressional committees in his career as a Soviet spy. Kramer worked for four congressional committees while being a member of the Washington D.C. based Perlo group of Soviet spies during the 1940's.

Fellow members of the CPUSA underground assisted him in obtaining all his jobs. John Abt hired him for the Senate Civil Liberties Subcommittee (the LaFollette Committee). Nathan Witt helped him get a job within the Department of Labor National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) before World War II. Victor Perlo signed Kramer's job performance rating at the Office of Price Administration (OPA) during the war and was listed as a job reference. Kramer took time off in 1944 to work for the Democratic National Committee and in 1946 to assist the reelection campaign of California Democratic representative Ellis Patterson, who worked with the CPUSA since the 1930s. Kramer also worked for the United States Senate Subcommittee on War Mobilization (the Kilgore Committee[1]) and the Senate Subcommittee on on Wartime Health and Education during the war; and the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee after the war.

Kramer provided information to the Soviets from his position as staff member of the Senate Subcommittee on War Mobilization on a dispute among American policy makers concerning the Comité National Français, or Free French National Committee of Charles de Gaulle and an internal U.S. government investigation of German corportate links to American companies. Kramer also passed information from the Democratic National Committee about President Truman's likely appointments in the State Department and views of Truman by various Senators.

Venona

Kramer is referred to in Soviet intelligence intercepts and the Venona files as "Plumb", "Lot" and "Mole". Kramer is referenced in the following decrypts:

  • 588 KGB New York to Moscow, 29 April 1944
  • 687 KGB New York to Moscow, 13 May 1944
  • 1015 KGB New York to Moscow, 22 July 1944
  • 1163 KGB New York to Moscow, 15 August 1944

"Mole"'s reporting and Kramer's contemporaneous activity concur in an extremely tight fashion, although NSA and FBI analysts list code name "Mole" as "unidentified". "Mole" is used as a code name only after "Plumb", Kramer's previous identified cover name was no longer used in Venona transcripts.

  • 3612 KGB Washington to Moscow, 22 June 1945
  • 3640 KGB Washington to Moscow, 23 June 1945
  • 3655 KGB Washington to Moscow, 25 June 1945
  • 3706 KGB Washington to Moscow, 29 June 1945
  • 3709 KGB Washington to Moscow, 29 June 1945
  • 3710 KGB Washington to Moscow, 29 June 1945

Sources

  • John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, Yale University Press
  • Charles Kramer testimony, 6 May 1953, “Interlocking Subversion in Government Departments,” Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws, U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 83d Cong., 1st sess., part 6, 327–381.
  • Harvey Klehr, The Heyday of American Communism: The Depression Decade (New York: Basic Books, 1984), 271–272, 403.
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