Zalmond Franklin

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Spanish Civil War

Zalmond David Franklin or Salmond Franklin was a Communist Party of the United States member and KGB asset during World War II. Zalmond was married at one time to KGB operative Sylvia Callen. According to the testimony of Louis Budenz, Zalmond did “secret work’’ in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, and he also worked part of the time as a bacteriologist at a Spanish Loyalist hospital.

Upon returning in the late 1930s, Zalmond was recruited for anti-Trotsky work and was sent on several missions to Canada on behalf of Soviet intelligence. He is reported to have worked in Alberta, Canada, in 1943. Michael Straight named Franklin in his FBI interview as one of his Soviet intelligence contacts.

Franklin is referenced in the 26 May 1944 Venona project decrypt. It is a report from Bernard Schuster describing a complaint from Nathan Einhorn about Franklin. Franklin had married Rose Richter after divorcing Sylvia Calen a year earlier. Einhorn's wife, Frieda and Rose Richter were sisters. Einhorn was complaining to Schuster that Zalmond was bragged too much about his contact with Soviet intelligence. Einhorn believed this affected operational security. According to the cable Schuster was keeping an eye on Franklin in case of more insecure talk. Shortly afterward, Franklin was removed from active work.


Zalmond Franklin is referenced in the following Venona project decrypt:

  • Venona 749 KGB New York to Moscow, 26 May 1944.


  • Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America--the Stalin Era (New York: Random House, 1999).
  • John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), pgs. 261-262, 350, 432
  • Louis Budenz affidavit, 11 November 1950, American Aspects of the Assassination of Leon Trotsky, U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Committee on Un-American Activities, 81st Cong., 2d sess., part I, v–ix
  • Louis Budenz, Men Without Faces: The Communist Conspiracy in the USA (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1948), 123–126.
  • New York FBI memo, serial 1980, FBI Silvermaster file (FBI file 65-56402).
  • Alexander Vassiliev, Untitled Notes on Anatoly Gorsky’s December 1948 Memo on the Failed American Networks (2003).