Proletarian cadres en route: Austrian NKVD agents in Britain 1941-43

McLoughlin, Barry
December 1997
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Winter1997, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p296
Academic Journal
The article explores the history of communism and deals with the experience of a group of Austrian communists who appeared briefly in Britain during 1941 to 1943. They had been recruited as agents by the Soviet state security organization, and sent to Britain under the terms of an agreement with the wartime sabotage and subversion outfit, Special Operations Executive, for eventual dispatch to targets in their home country. Throughout the inter-war period, Austrian communists performed important intelligence-gathering tasks for three clandestine Soviet institutions. In the communications and courier service of the Executive Committee of the Communist International, between twenty and thirty members of the Austrian Communist Party were dispatched as emissaries, forged documents or traveled around the globe with papers and messages. The experience of the particular group treated in the article illustrates the way in which the Soviet authorities generally treated politically reliable emigres living in the Soviet Union and trained them for secret missions behind enemy lines.


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