Solomon Adler (or Sol Adler) was born in Britain and became a U.S. citizen in 1936, when he obtained employment in the United States Department of the Treasury. Adler also was a Soviet spy who supplied information to the Silvermaster espionage ring.
Adler served in China and shared a house with Chi Ch’ao ting and "China hand" John Service. From China, Adler sent back reports opposing President Franklin Roosevelt's gold loan program of $200 million to help the Nationalist Chinese Government stabilize its currency in 1943. Secretary Harry Dexter White and Frank Coe supported this view (to de-stabilize the anti-Communist government of Chiang Kai-Shek). Hyperinflation in China amounted to more than 1000% per year between 1943 and 1945, weakening the standing of the Nationalist government domestically in China. This helped the Communists eventually to come to power in China, delivering hundreds of millions of people into their hands.
Adler is referenced in Venona decrypts #14, 14 January 1945, New York to Moscow. His code name in Soviet intelligence and in the Venona papers is "Sachs", and directly relates to the delivery of information about China.
By 1950, Adler was the subject of a Loyalty of Government Employee investigation. Adler resigned just prior to a decision by the Civil Service Commission and Treasury Department. Thereafter, Adler returned to Britain, and when his passport expired in three years, he was denaturalized and lost his American citizenship.
At some point in the 1950s Adler emigrated to the People's Republic of China. Adler, Frank Coe, and Sydney Rittenberg worked together in China translating Chairman Mao's works into English. He worked for twenty years for the Chinese Communist Party's Central External Liaison Department, an agency involved in foreign espionage. A photograph shows him with Henshen Chen, a senior Maoist official who had been an intelligence operative in the United States from the late 1930s till 1949. Chen wrote in his memoirs that he used the cover as an editor for the journal Pacific Affairs and worked as a researcher at the Institute of Pacific Relations, and had covert liaisons with the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA).
Adler died in China on August 4, 1994.
- Solomon Adler: The Chinese Economy (London, Routledge & Paul 1957)
- Joan Robinson, Sol Adler: China: an economic perspective (Foreword by Harold Wilson; London, Fabian International Bureau 1958)
- Sol Adler: A Talk to Comrades of the English Section for the Translation of Volume V of Chairman Mao's Selected Works (Guānyú "Máo xuǎn" dì-wǔ juǎn fānyì wèntí de bàogào 关于《毛选》第五卷翻译问题的报告; Beijing, Foreign Languages Press 1978).
- FBI Silvermaster file (PDF format pgs. 44-47) pgs. 130-133 in original.
- Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America—the Stalin Era, New York: Random House, (1999). ISBN 0679457240
- Adolf Berle notes "Underground Espionage Agent" (1939), reprinted in the Interlocking Subversion in Government Departments, 6 May 1953, part 6, 329–330.
- John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, Yale University Press (1999).
- FBI Silvermaster file, Letter from Solomon Adler in China, apparently addressed to V. Frank Coe, Vol. 55, pgs. 14 - 20.
- James Peck: Remembering Sol Adler - an economic advisor to the Chinese government (Monthly Review, December 1994; link to findarticles.com)
- Funeral of Sol Adler (China News Digest, September 7, 1994)
- Foreword to The Translator's Guide to Chinglish by Joan Pinkham (Beijing, Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press 2000), mentioning Sol Adler