Louise Bransten

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Louise Bransten (b. 1908) was "a wealthy San Francisco Communist" [1] formerly married to Richard Branston. Louise Branston chaired the Committee of the American Russian Institute, a communist front organization.

J. Robert Oppenheimer, who was later to head the Manhattan Project which designed and constructed the atomic bomb, first contact with Soviet intelligence occurred in the home of Louise Branston on December 6, 1941, the day before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.[2]  Branston was hosting a party to raise money for Spanish Civil War refugees.  At the time Branston was being divorced from her husband Richard, and was the mistress of the KGB West Coast Rezident Grigory Kheifetz, who met with Oppenheimer again later that month.


  1. http://books.google.com/books?id=M8p00bTFvRkC&pg=RA2-PA232&lpg=RA2-PA232&ots=0AqXBNSOjU&sig=Tkrf6gNx-rovUhdNjLRzId6WEW8#PRA2-PA232,M1
  2. Pavel Sudoplatov, Anatoli Sudoplatov, Jerrold L. Schecter, Leona P. Schecter, Special Tasks: The Memoirs of an Unwanted Witness -- A Soviet Spymaster, Little Brown, Boston (1994), p. 175.
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