Jacob Golos

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Russian-born Jake Golos (birth name Jacob Rasin or Jacob Raisen, Яков Рейзен ) (1890-November 27, 1943), born in Ukraine. He was a Bolshevik revolutionary and Soviet secret police operative in the USSR. He was also a longtime senior official of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) involved in covert work and cooperation with Soviet intelligence agencies. He changed his name to Golos because of his involvement with a pro-Bolshevik daily newspaper published in New York, Russky Golos or The Russian Voice. During World War II he developed several large espionage networks of secret Communist party members who worked for the United States Government and linked them to the Soviet intelligence. They are commonly referred to as the "Golos ring" of Soviet espionage agents.

Contents

Chekist

Murder of Juliet Poyntz

Jacob Golos was the "main pillar" of the NKVD intelligence network. He had worked with Soviet intelligence from the mid 1930s, and probably earlier. He was not merely a CPUSA official assisting the NKVD (an agent or “probationer” in Soviet intelligence parlance) but held official rank in the NKVD, and claimed to be a an oldtime Chekist. Golos headed the Central Control Commission (discipline) which planned the execution of Juliet Poyntz, an American defector from the GRU. [1]

The code name "Sound" appears in the Venona decryptions as a Soviet source and was identified as Jacob Golos. The reference to Golos in the Venona decrypts as an “illegal colleague” corroborates Elizabeth Bentley's testimony. The term “nelegal’ny sotrudnik” can be translated as “illegal colleague,” “illegal associate” or “illegal operative,” was Soviet espionage terminology for a Soviet officer or professional agent who operated without the protection of diplomatic or official status with a Soviet embassy, consulate or agency and usually with false documents. Soviet officers with the latter status were said to be “legal.” Golos worked for the Society for Technical Aid to Soviet Russia. Cover name "Zvuk" ("Sound") is from Latin "Vox", or "Voice".

Golos established a company called World Tourists with money from Earl Browder, General Secretary of the CPUSA, which posed as a travel agency was used to facilitate international travel to and from the United States by Soviet agents and CPUSA members. World Tourists was also involved in manufacturing fake passports. Golos met frequently Bernard Schuster at World Tourist. In March of 1940, Golos plead guilty to being an unregistered foreign agent and paid a $500 fine and served probation rather than a four month sentence.

Soviet intelligence did not like Golos refusal to allow Soviet contact with his sources. The NKVD suspected Golos of Trotskyism and tried to lure him to Moscow, where he could be arrested. The US government got to him first, prosecuting him in 1940 for being an unregistered foreign agent. But even then, he would not surrender his agents. After Earl Browder went to prison in 1940 Golos took over running Browder's agents.

U.S. Shipping and Service Corporation

In 1941, Golos had set up a commercial forwarding enterprise, called the U.S. Shipping and Service Corporation, with Elizabeth Bentley, his lover, as one of its officers.

In the fall of 1942, a Communist cell of engineers was turned over to Golos for Soviet espionage purposes and Julius Rosenberg was the contact between Golos and the group. Golos believed this cell, the XY Line of engineers was capable of development. The XY Line began enormous efforts to penetrate the Manhattan Project, code-named ENORMOUS (ENORMOZ).

Sometime in November of 1943, Golos met in New York with key figures of the Perlo group, a group working in several government departments and agencies in Washington, D.C. The group was already in the service of Browder. Later that same month, after a series of heart attacks over the previous two years, Golos died [2] in bed in the arms of Elizabeth Bentley, who then took over operations (thus the reference in the decrpyts to him as a “former” colleague).

See also

References

  1. Anthony Cave Brown and Charles B. MacDonald, On a Field of Red, New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1981, p. 345.
  2. FBI Silvermaster file Vol. 83, pg. 43 - 44 pdf, Scheidt to the Director, December 23, 1946. Statement by Louis Budenz that Gerhart Eisler attended funeral of Jacob Golos.

Sources

  • United States. Subversive Activities Control Board. Reports of the Subversive Activities Control Board. Washington. United States Government Printing Office. 1966. Vol. 1, pgs. 211, 275. [1] "...Golos as a resident agent of the Soviet secret police. Elizabeth Bentley, as a member of respondent (CPUSA), was designated by Golos [112] as a trusted go between..."; "Golos, was connected with a Soviet espionage agency during the period 1936-1943, and that Golos acted as the liaison for communication between Elizabeth Bentley, a member of respondent's underground, and the Soviet Secret Police ... ".
  • John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999)

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