Helen Lowry

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Elza Akhmerova, also Elsa Akhmerova was an American citizen born Helen Lowry. She was a niece of Earl Browder, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA). She was married to New York Illegal Rezident Iskhak Akhmerov—both were Soviet intelligence operatives.

As a native-born American and English speaker, Akhmerova was able to freely operate on behalf of Soviet intelligence. She was a full partner in her husband's espionage activity, and is referenced in several Venona project decryptions.


  • Robert Louis Benson, VENONA Historical Monograph #3: “The 1944–45 New York and Washington-Moscow KGB Messages.”
  • Haynes, John Earl and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America. Yale University Press. (2000).
  • Schecter, Jerrold and Leona, Sacred Secrets: How Soviet Intelligence Operations Changed American History. Potomac Books (2002).