Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:53 am

Edith Tudor-Hart [Edith Suschitzky]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/22/20

Edith Tudor-Hart
Born: Edith Suschitzky, 28 August 1908, Vienna, Austria
Died: 12 May 1973 (aged 64)[1], Brighton, England
Nationality: British / Austrian
Alma mater: Bauhaus, Dessau
Occupation: Photographer, spy
Espionage activity
Allegiance: Soviet Union Soviet Union
Service years: 1925-195?
Codename: Edith[2]

Edith Tudor-Hart (née Edith Suschitzky; 1908–1973) was an Austrian-British photographer, communist-sympathiser and spy for the Soviet Union. Brought up in a family of socialists, she trained in photography at Walter Gropius's Bauhaus in Dessau, and carried her political ideals through her art. Through her connections with Arnold Deutsch, Tudor-Hart was instrumental in the recruiting of the Cambridge Spy ring which damaged British intelligence from World War II until the security services discovered all their identities by the mid-1960s. She recommended Litzi Friedmann and Kim Philby for recruitment by the KGB[3] and acted as an intermediary for Anthony Blunt and Bob Stewart when the rezidentura at the Soviet Embassy in London suspended its operations in February 1940.[4]

Early life and education

Her father, Wilhelm Suschitzky (1877–1934), was a social democrat who was born into the Jewish community in Vienna, but had renounced Judaism and become an atheist. He opened the first social democratic bookshop in Vienna (later to become a publishers). Tudor-Hart's brother Wolfgang Suschitzky described their father as "a great man. I realised that later on in life, not so much when I saw him every day. But, I met interesting people, some of his authors who came and had lunch with us or met people who came to his shop."[5] Suschitzky recalled boyhood memories of the family excitement that greeted the Russian Revolution in 1917.[6]

She studied photography at the Bauhaus in Dessau[when?] , but worked in Vienna as a Montessori kindergarten teacher. Her brother also became a well-known photographer and cinematographer in Britain. He cited his sister as an influence on his decision to pursue an artistic career over a scientific one.[7]

An anti-fascist activist and Communist, she saw photography as a tool for disseminating her political ideas.[8] In 1933 she married medical doctor Alex Tudor-Hart, who she had met in 1925. She was described "by those who knew her in her youth as immensely vivacious, amusing, curious, and gifted".[9] The couple fled to London, England in 1933, so that she could avoid prosecution and persecution in Austria for her Communist activities and Jewish background.[10]


While her husband practised as a GP in the area of Rhondda Valley in South Wales,[11] she began to produce photographs for The Listener, The Social Scene and Design Today, dealing with issues such as refugees from the Spanish Civil War and industrial decline in the north-east of England. From the late 1930s, she concentrated more on social needs, such as housing policy and the care of disabled children. This change in work may have been because after separation from her husband who had just returned from the Spanish Civil War, their son, Tommy, became an incurable schizophrenic.

Spying activities

Tudor-Hart was instrumental in recruiting members of the Cambridge Spy ring, which damaged British intelligence from World War II through to its discovery in the late 1960s. While working as a photographer she also acted as a courier.[12] Her rather unsubtle codename was "Edith". Tudor-Hart had met Arnold Deutsch in Vienna in 1926, and with him she worked in the OMS, the International Liaison Department of the Comintern.[citation needed]

When she moved to London, Tudor-Hart's main contact was Litzi Friedmann. In May 1934, Arnold Deutsch discussed with Edith and Litzi the recruitment of Soviet spies. Litzi suggested her husband, Kim Philby.[13] "According to her report on Philby's file, through her own contacts with the Austrian underground Tudor Hart ran a swift check and, when this proved positive, Deutsch immediately recommended... that he pre-empt the standard operating procedure by authorizing a preliminary personal sounding out of Philby." [14]

Tudor-Hart was placed under surveillance by Special Branch after October 1931 when she was observed attending a demonstration in Trafalgar Square.[12] Tudor-Hart was of interest because of her friendship with Litzi Friedmann, who was Philby's first wife and almost certainly spotted him as a potential Communist agent during his stay in Vienna,[12] where he was a sympathiser of the Social Democrats who waged a civil war against the government of Engelbert Dollfuss. Tudor Hart vetted Philby for the NKVD and introduced him to "Otto" (Deutsch's code name).[15] When, in 1934, Friedmann and Philby arrived in London from Vienna, Tudor-Hart is credited as having suggested to Deutsch in his role as the now London-based NKVD recruiter, that the NKVD recruit them as agents.[16][17][18] She also helped to recruit Arthur Wynn in 1936.[19]

She acted as an intermediary for Anthony Blunt and Bob Stewart when the rezidentura at the Soviet Embassy in London suspended its operations in February 1940.[citation needed] In 1938–39 Burgess used her to contact Russian intelligence in Paris.[12]

Later life
She separated from her husband and suffered a breakdown. After the Second World War, she opened an antique shop in Brighton. She died of stomach cancer in Brighton on 12 May 1973.[20]


• Forbes, Duncan (2005). "Politics, photography and exile in the life of Edith Tudor-Hart (1908–1973)". In Behr, Shulamith; Malet, Marian (eds.). Arts in Exile in Britain, 1933–1945: politics and cultural identity. Amsterdam: Rodopi. ISBN 978-90-420-1786-3.
• Forbes, Duncan, ed. (2013). Edith Tudor-Hart: in the shadow of tyranny. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz. ISBN 978-3-7757-3567-4. Catalogue for an exhibition in Edinburgh, Vienna, and Berlin
• Jungk, Peter Stephan (2015). Die Dunkelkammern der Edith Tudor-Hart: Geschichten eines Lebens. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer Verlag. ISBN 9783100023988.
• Tudor-Hart, Edith; Suschitzky, Wolf (text) (1987). The Eye of Conscience. The Photo Pocket Book. 1. London: Nishen. ISBN 1-85378-401-X.
Documentary film[edit]
• Tracking Edith (2016), written and directed by Peter Stephan Jungk[21]


1. Lloyd, Raymond. "50–100 Year anniversaries of distinguished Women of History: 2023". Shequality. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
2. Von Bushy, Scratchy (3 August 2004). "Shortcuts:Secret history I, spy". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
3. Walter, Natasha (10 May 2003). "Spies and Lovers". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
4. The Guardian", 21 August 2015, How MI5 failed to expose matriarch of Cambridge spy ring by Ian Cobain
5. "Wolfgang Suschitzky 3 – The situation in Austria and my father's suicide". Web of Stories. Web of Stories. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
6. Interview with Suschitzky
7. "Wolfgang Suschitzky 2 – Studying photography and moving to London". Web of Stories. Web of Stories. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
8. "Edith Tudor Hart". Liverpool International Photography Festival. look 2011. Archived from the original on 2 August 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
9. "Alex Tudor-Hart". Spartacus educational. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
10. Oxford University Press (2004). Edith Tudor Hart.
11. Eric Hobsbawm, Everybody behaved perfectly, London Review of Books, 33(16), August 2011
12. "25 November 2002 releases: Soviet Intelligence Agents and Suspected Agents". MI5 History > The Security Service at the National Archives. Crown Copyright. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
13. >Biography of Edith Tudor Hart
14. John Costello and Oleg Tsarev, Deadly Illusions (1993), p. 134
15. Volodarsky, Boris (August 2010). "Living a lie: almost everything written about and by Kim Philby is wrong". History Today.
16. Genrikh Borovik (1994). The Philby Files – The Secret Life of Master Spy Kim Philby. ISBN 0-316-10284-9.
17. William E. Duff (1999). A Time for Spies: Theodore Stephanovich Mally and the Era of the Great Illegals. ISBN 0-8265-1352-2.
18. Nigel West (2005). Mask: Mi5's Penetration Of The Communist Party Of Great Britain. ISBN 0-415-35145-6.
19. MacIntyre, Ben; Bird, Steve (12 May 2009). "Civil servant Arthur Wynn revealed as recruiter of Oxford spies". London: The Times. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
20. "Edith Tudor Hart". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
21. "Tracking Edith: a courageous woman with a mission / Auf Ediths spuren: Eine mutige Frau mit einer Mission". Retrieved 6 September 2018.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:00 am

Willi Lehmann
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/22/20

Willi (Willy) Lehmann
Willi Lehmann
Nickname(s): Agent A-201/Breitenbach
Born: 15 March 1884, Leipzig, Germany
Died: 13 December 1942 (aged 58), Berlin, cremated Sachsenhausen concentration camp
Allegiance: Germany; USSR
Years of service: Germany 1911-1942; USSR 1929-1942
Rank: SS-Hauptsturmführer (captain)
Unit: Gestapo

Willi (Willy) Lehmann (15 March 1884, in Leipzig – 13 December 1942, in Berlin) was a police official and Soviet agent in Nazi Germany.[1]

Lehmann was a criminal inspector and SS-Hauptsturmführer (captain), alias Agent A-201/Breitenbach. During World War II Lehmann was one of the most valuable sources for the NKVD in Germany.


Lehmann joined the Berlin Police force in 1911. In 1920 he became deputy division chief of anti-espionage. In 1929 Lehmann began providing information for the NKVD. He did this not out of communist sympathy, but because he was married, also had a girlfriend, and needed money. In addition, he had a fondness for betting on horses.[2]

In 1933 Lehmann joined the Gestapo. The NKVD code name for the Gestapo was Apotheke (pharmacy). In the Gestapo Lehmann became director of the division combating Soviet espionage. Thanks to Lehmann's information, the Soviets were able to free their agent Arnold Deutsch, who later recruited Kim Philby.[3]

Lehmann entered the SS in 1934. Toward the end of June, Hermann Göring asked Lehmann to help organize the Röhm Putsch to liquidate opponents of the regime. Lehmann later told the NKVD that the murders he committed during the Night of the Long Knives sickened him. But at the same time they solidified his position with his Gestapo superiors.

In 1939 Lehmann transferred to the Reich Main Security Office, division IV. His responsibility was to prevent the Soviets from spying on the German armaments industry. This position enabled Lehmann to provide valuable information to the Soviets about German armaments. On 19 June 1941, Lehmann reported to the NKVD the exact date on which the Germans planned to invade the Soviet Union. Operation Barbarossa was launched on 22 June 1941. His message was telegraphed to Beria and Stalin, who noted in green ink "disinformation" on Lehmann's intelligence report.

In 1942, with the Germans' discovery of the Red Orchestra, Lehmann was arrested and shot without trial on orders of Heinrich Himmler
, who at the same time had the entire matter hushed up.

The Red Orchestra (German: Die Rote Kapelle), or the Red Chapel as it was known in Germany, was the name given by the Gestapo to anti-Nazi resistance workers during World War II. These included friends of Harro Schulze-Boysen and Arvid Harnack in Berlin, as well as groups working independently of these intelligence groups, working in Paris and Brussels, that were built up on behalf of Leopold Trepper on behalf of the Soviet Main Directorate of State Security (GRU).[1] Contrary to legend, the Red Orchestra was neither directed by Soviet communists nor under a single leadership but a network of groups and individuals, often operating independently. To date, about 400 members are known by name.[2] They printed illegal leaflets hoping to incite civil disobedience, helped Jews and opposition escape the regime, documented the crimes of the Nazi regime and forwarded military intelligence to the Allies. To this day, the public perception of the "Red Orchestra" is characterized by the transfigurations of the post-war years and the Cold War.[3]

-- Red Orchestra (espionage), by Wikipedia


1. Klussmann, Uwe (29 September 2009). "Spying in World War II Stalin's husband in the Gestapo". SPIEGELnet GmbH. Der Spiegel. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
2. Uwe Klussmann: Stalins Mann in der Gestapo. der Spiegel. 29 September 2009
3. Hans Coppi: Willy Lehmann; in: Hans Schafranek und Johannes Tuchel (Eds.):Krieg im Äther. Widerstand und Spionage im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Picus Verlag: Wien 2004, ISBN 3-85452-470-6


• Lehrer, Steven (2002). Hitler Sites: A City-by-city Guidebook (Austria, Germany, France, United States). McFarland. p. 224. ISBN 0-7864-1045-0.
• Lehrer, Steven (2006). The Reich Chancellery and Führerbunker Complex: An Illustrated History of the Seat of the Nazi Regime. McFarland. p. 214. ISBN 0-7864-2393-5.

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:23 am

Part 1 of 2

Red Orchestra (espionage)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/22/20

In the summer of 1932 ... Freda travelled in northern Germany. She wrote articles for the Derby Evening Telegraph about German family life and about the merits of German men, their cheerfulness, domesticity and love of order...

The Derby Evening Telegraph reported that the couple were planning to honeymoon in Italy before moving to Berlin and eventually settling in Lahore....

[BPL Bedi] secured a research scholarship -- in Berlin. By the summer of 1933, Hitler was already Germany's Chancellor and the Nazis were consolidating their hold on power. In July, they became the only legal political party. The communists, a mass party in Germany which attracted millions of votes, were an early target of the Nazis. They were forced underground -- their leadership, and many of their elected representatives, were arrested. The German capital was not a comfortable prospect for a mixed race couple with a record of communist activity. 'The great question was: should we go? -- because the menace of fascism was then becoming very real,' Freda recalled. Her new husband thought it was worth the risk.

They decided to make their way to Germany in a leisurely manner, and to have a honeymoon holidaying across Europe with Berlin the final destination. It was a honeymoon with a difference -- Freda and Bedi travelled with a friend, an Indian from East Africa who had a car and was a keen driver. 'So we three, with a couple of tents, wandered around Europe -- in France and Belgium and Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Italy. We had a really beautiful car-and-tent tour.' ... In mid-August, Freda sent a postcard from Italy to her college friend Olive Chandler. 'Tour all OK. Very brown + well. I like Venice but it's xxxx hot. Am leaving later for Dolomites + Austria (Vienna). Thence to Germany.' Her forwarding address was the Thomas Cook's office in the heart of Berlin.

The newlyweds arrived in the German capital a few weeks later and Bedi formally enrolled at university in October. By then, Freda was pregnant. They managed to get a quiet place to live a little out of the centre towards Potsdam, bordering the Wannsee lakes. 'It was a really lovely place -- a charming German cottage with a lovely garden, and we had some very very happy months there preparing for the child.' ...

Alongside Freda's personal and emotional ties to India was a political and intellectual commitment. She saw her marriage to Bedi as in part a shared collaboration; their purpose was to support India's freedom movement by personal advocacy and by creating wider awareness of the nationalist case. This joint endeavour took firm root in Oxford and persisted in Berlin and by the time the couple left the German capital they had served as the originators and editors of an impressive series of books about contemporary India, an achievement the more remarkable given that both editors were in their early twenties and one had never stepped on Indian soil.

Their first title was a selection of Gandhi's writings published in 1933 as a slim volume of eighty pages. It was in German and with a preface by a renowned Protestant theologian Rudolf Otto. The book bore the title Gandhi: Der Heilige und der Staatsmann, (Gandhi: the saint and the statesman). Freda and Bedi selected the items, which were variously spiritual and campaigning in tone, and wrote an introduction dated November 1932, early in their final academic year in Oxford. How it came about, and how it was received, is unclear -- it could well have been at Alfred Zimmern's initiative....

Emboldened perhaps by this initial venture into print, the couple moved on to a much more ambitious project: India Analysed. 'At that time the Round Table Conference was on and I felt that something on India must be projected,' Bedi recalled; 'by that time I had met Freda my future wife and we were collaborating intellectually. It was a joy working with her and we planned together.' They approached Victor Gollancz, London's leading left-wing publisher, who agreed to a series of volumes about India. Freda and Bedi were the joint editors and enlisted renowned academics and experts in Britain and India to provide rigorous articles about India's place in international institutions, its economy, trade and fiscal situation. Four volumes were planned, each containing five essays -- though the final volume on constitutional issues never appeared....

They certainly aimed high in the contributors they enlisted. Their friend and mentor Alfred Zimmern, Oxford's first professor of international relations, had pole position in the first volume, writing on 'India and the world situation'. His counterpart at the London School of Economics, C.A.W. Manning, examined 'India and the League of Nations'. Both were big names but not -- as they conceded -- specialists on India. Only one of the five contributors was himself Indian. This seems to be what annoyed a reviewer on a Lahore daily paper, who found the essays 'ponderous', 'cursory' and 'superficial', and 'done from an angle of vision with which majority of Indians will not see eye to eye'....

While the tone of the volumes was progressive, this was by the standards of the October Club very mild fare. Some of the contributors were on the left, but there was no hint of communism or revolution in India Analysed. That's unlikely to have been at the publisher's behest, as Gollancz published several Marxist and communist writers, but the choice of the editors. Their aim with these volumes was more to inform than to agitate; to create an awareness of India's current difficulties, particularly economic and fiscal, which in turn would help shape discussion about the country's future....

The proofs of the first volume of India Analysed, devoted to the country's international standing, reached the editors at the end of May 1933, as Freda and Bedi were preparing for their finals exams -- and for their wedding. Nevertheless, the book was ready to go to press just ten days later, and it was published in July -- at about the time that the couple were heading off on honeymoon. The subsequent two volumes followed promptly. In the second volume, devoted to economic facts, Freda used her married name. The preface was written from Berlin on 5th October 1933 -- the same day as Freda's letter to her mother-in-law. The couple put the finishing touches to the third volume, about 'economic issues', in April 1934 -- by which time Freda was eight months pregnant. It appeared at about the time the Bedis and their newborn son were on their way to India....

Seeing through all three volumes of India Analysed would have been a drain on the time of both Freda and Bedi, but it also must have given them status within the Indian student community in Berlin. Not many students in pursuit of a doctorate had such an impressive list of publications to their name. Berlin was, in the late twenties and early thirties, one of the commanding European capitals, bursting with intellectual energy. Some Indian students preferred it to London, not least because they wanted to escape the embrace of an Empire to which they were opposed. There was also an Indian emigre community in the German capital, politically engaged in ending Imperialism and sometimes working alongside Germany's powerful Communist Party....

Bedi's research scholarship at the old-established Friedrich Wilhelm Universitat (now the Humboldt University) brought him a modest stipend of 110 Reichsmark a month, supplemented by financial support from his older brother. His research topic was about the development of classes and castes in India under the supervision of one of Europe's most renowned economists and sociologists of the time, Werner Sombart.

The university was popular among Indians studying in Europe. Zakir Husain, later independent India's first Muslim president, was awarded a doctorate there in the 1920s. Ram Manohar Lohia, who went on to become a commanding figure in Indian socialism, was a doctoral student at the university until early 1933.23 There was in the early 1930s an active network of left-wing and nationalist Indians in Berlin -- and of informers passing word of who was doing and saying what back to the British authorities. The British embassy in Berlin kept a close eye on the activities of Indian students and the Indian police were keen that nationalist students should not be forced out of the city, as that would disrupt the flow of intelligence. The League Against Imperialism, established in 1927 on the initiative of communists and with the active support of Nehru and the Indian National Congress, was based in Berlin until it was raided at the end of 1931. This was an important initiative aimed at creating links between nationalist movements in countries such as India, China and South Africa, western socialists who were campaigning for 'colonial freedom' and the international communist movement, and while it eventually dissolved amid political and factional recrimination, it was the sort of initiative which put the British authorities on edge.

By the time Freda and Bedi headed to Berlin there were clear indications of the worsening political atmosphere. There was a book burning at the university in May 1933, a portent of political and academic intolerance. Even more alarming, a few weeks earlier A.C.N. Nambiar was arrested, and also roughed-up by members of the Hitler Youth. He was a journalist and long-term resident of Germany who had been the administrator of the Indian Information Bureau, the rallying point for the Indian left in Berlin....

[Bedi's] social circle certainly included Indian nationalists living in or passing through Berlin. Both he and Freda got to know Subhas Chandra Bose, the key figure on the radical wing of the Indian National Congress, and when in India they both published an article by him and publicly defended him from accusations of fascism.

BPL ... was keeping up-to-date with the Free India movement in India. A frequent visitor to their lakeside cottage was Subhas Chandra Bose, who went on to become one of the most prominent and controversial leaders of the independence movement. Bose was educated at Cambridge and also had a European wife -– Emilie Schenkl, an Austrian. He made it a point to visit sympathetic Indian students living in Europe, and the couple had much in common with Freda and BPL Bedi.

“We came to know Bose intimately, and a deep friendship grew,” said BPL. Bose was a hard-core communist, a great admirer of the Soviet Union, who maintained that only an authoritarian state, not democracy, would be able to reshape India. (Later he was forced to resign as present of the Indian National Congress because his platform of violent resistance clashed with Gandhi’s peaceful pathway.)

In Germany, however, Bose, won the young BPL over completely. “Freda and I were both fired up with the patriotic zeal of liberating the motherland from British imperialism,” BPL said. “While we were in Berlin, an eminent journalist asked me what was my agenda for India. ‘Live dangerously,’ I replied. ‘Live dangerously for every form of exploitation of man by man. Live dangerously for every form of injustice. Live dangerously for any violation of human dignity.’”

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

Subhas Bose meeting Adolf Hitler

-- Subhas Chandra Bose, by Wikipedia

For Indian leftists, impatient with what they saw as the quietism of Gandhi and his allies within the Congress and demanding a more militant form of nationalism and anti-Imperialism, the rise of a race-based populist nationalism caught the eye. When in Lahore, B.P.L. Bedi wrote about the Hitler Youth in a style more descriptive than denunciatory, explaining why Hitler put such importance in organising young Germans and how he had managed to attract four million youngsters into his youth wing. At the time of Bedi's stay in Berlin, his supervisor Werner Sombart -- who had once spoken of himself as a convinced Marxist -- published Deutscher Sozialismus ('German Socialism', though the English translation was published as A New Social Philosophy). This clearly looked to the Nazi party to achieve a new style of socialism which placed 'the welfare of the whole above the welfare of the individual'. Sombart asserted that "'a new spirit" is beginning to rule mankind'. There could be 'no universally valid social order but only one that is suited to a particular nation' -- and German socialism required that 'the individual as a citizen will have no rights but only duties.'

In 1934 [Werner Sombart] published Deutscher Sozialismus where he claimed a "new spirit" was beginning to "rule mankind". The age of capitalism and proletarian socialism was over, with "German socialism" (National-Socialism) taking over. This German socialism puts the "welfare of the whole above the welfare of the individual". German socialism must effect a "total ordering of life" with a "planned economy in accordance with state regulations". The new legal system will confer on individuals "no rights but only duties" and that "the state should never evaluate individual persons as such, but only the group which represents these persons". German socialism is accompanied by the Volksgeist (national spirit) which is not racial in the biological sense but metaphysical: "the German spirit in a Negro is quite as much within the realm of possibility as the Negro spirit in a German". The antithesis of the German spirit is the Jewish spirit, which is not a matter of being born Jewish or believing in Judaism but is a capitalistic spirit. The English people possess the Jewish spirit and the "chief task" of the German people and National Socialism is to destroy the Jewish spirit.

-- Werner Sombart, by Wikipedia

Freda seems to have imbibed something of this indulgence of totalitarianism. In a review of books about European fascism, she expressed understanding -- sympathy almost -- for the rise of National Socialism. 'Germany is making a determined fight for equality and national self-respect,' she declared. 'Her desire for equal arms is only an expression of it -- she has no desire to make war.' And citing her 'year of observation in Nazi Germany', she argued that one of the authors had misunderstood his topic:

He has judged Germany by the standards of democratic countries. He has seen very clearly the German love of organization, of uniform and of bands. But he has not rightly understood that the passion for discipline in Germany is a question of internal order, something ingrained in the cleanly, thorough German character -- and not an expression of an agressive [sic] spirit that is a danger to European peace....

In the same review, she wrote approvingly of Oswald Mosley and British fascism. 'It is useless to deny that Fascism will have a hold in England,' she declared. 'Leaving aside the personality of Mosley -- there may be differences of opinion on that -- the fact remains that a vital nationalistic policy, put forward by a group of men determined on the idea of service, has never yet failed to stir a nation to action and to progress.' She repeated this chilling endorsement of fascism in the conclusion of the review:

Fascism in its national aspect can be sure of an ultimate success, but English Fascism must beware against inheriting an imperialist tradition, with all its evils and abuses. Mosley and his men may see before them a Greater Britain, but there are others equally sincere who see before them a Greater India. And the dynamic national consciousness of India will attain its ultimate victory just as surely and thoroughly as Italy has done, and Russia and Germany. English Fascism will only succeed in so far as it limits itself to the borders of Great Britain.


For the Bedis, finding a political home in Lahore was not straightforward -- nor was it their immediate priority. 'For the first year and a half, we worked in a very indirect way because it was essential to build up at least a minimum income on which to live,' Freda explained to Olive Chandler in December 1936, 'but for the last nine months we have been doing much more openly socialist work ... among the students and the peasants. Holding study circles, addressing meetings, and P.L. has been holding peasant schools in the villages to instill [sic] a spirit of rebellion into them all (adult schools). We have had inspiring conferences lately ... there is a storm of rebellion in the Sikh peasantry of the Punjab, at present just brewing, but ready for the bursting.'

For both, the introduction to political activity in Lahore was in the lecture hall. When early in 1936, a radical organisation in Lahore organised a series of lectures on 'The Great Contemporaries', Bedi addressed the inaugural session on 'Hitler in the Rebuilding of Germany'. Freda spoke at a later meeting about the Irish nationalist and republican Eamon de Valera, at that time head of government of the Irish Free State ...

---The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead

The Red Orchestra (German: Die Rote Kapelle), or the Red Chapel as it was known in Germany, was the name given by the Gestapo to anti-Nazi resistance workers during World War II. These included friends of Harro Schulze-Boysen and Arvid Harnack in Berlin, as well as groups working independently of these intelligence groups, working in Paris and Brussels, that were built up on behalf of Leopold Trepper on behalf of the Soviet Main Directorate of State Security (GRU).[1] Contrary to legend, the Red Orchestra was neither directed by Soviet communists nor under a single leadership but a network of groups and individuals, often operating independently. To date, about 400 members are known by name.[2] They printed illegal leaflets hoping to incite civil disobedience, helped Jews and opposition escape the regime, documented the crimes of the Nazi regime and forwarded military intelligence to the Allies. To this day, the public perception of the "Red Orchestra" is characterized by the transfigurations of the post-war years and the Cold War.[3]

Arvid Harnack, Harro Schulze-Boysen and John Sieg on a GDR stamp

Sculpture by Achim Kühn created in 2010 and sitting in Schulze-Boysen-Straße 12, in Lichtenberg, Berlin


For a long time after World War II, only parts of the German resistance to Nazism had been known to the public within Germany and the world at large.[4] This included the groups that took part in the 20 July plot and the White Rose resistance groups. In the 1970s there was a growing interest in the various forms of resistance and opposition. However, no organisations' history was so subject to systematic misinformation, and recognised as little, as those resistance groups centred around Arvid Harnack and Harro Schulze-Boysen.[4]

In a number of publications, the groups that these two people represented were seen as traitors and spies. An example of these was Kennwort: Direktor; die Geschichte der Roten Kapelle (Password: Director; The history of the Red Chapel) written by Heinz Höhne who was a Der Spiegel journalist.[4] Höhne based his book on the investigation by the Lüneburg Public Prosecutor's Office against the General Judge of the Luftwaffe Manfred Roeder who was involved in the Harnack and Schulze-Boysen cases during World War II and who contributed decisively to the formation of the legend that survived for much of the Cold War period. In his book Höhne reports from former Gestapo and Reich war court individuals who had a conflict of interest and were intent in defaming the groups attached to Harnack and Schulze-Boysen with accusations of treason.[4]

The perpetuation of the defamation from the 1940s through to the 1970s that started with the Gestapo, was incorporated by the Lüneburg Public Prosecutor's Office and evaluated as a journalistic process that can be seen by the 1968 trial of far-right holocaust denier Manfred Roeder by the German lawyer Robert Kempner. The Frankfurt public prosecutors office, which prosecuted the case against Roeder, based its investigation on procedure case number "1 Js 16/49" which was the trial case number defined by the Lüneburg Public Prosecutor's Office.[4] The whole process propagated the Gestapo ideas of the Red Orchestra and this was promulgated in the report of the public prosecutor's office which stated:[4]

...To these two men and their wives, a group of political supporters of different characters and of different backgrounds gathered over the course of time. They were united in the active fight against National Socialism and in their advocacy of communism (emphasis added by author). Until the outbreak of the war with the Soviet Union, the focus of their work was on domestic politics. After that, he shifted more to the territory of treason and espionage in favor of the Soviet Union. At the beginning of 1942, the Schulze-Boysen Group was finally involved in the widespread network of the Soviet intelligence service in Western Europe... The Schulze-Boysen group was first and foremost an espionage organization for the Soviet Union...

From the perspective of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) the Red Orchestra were honoured as anti-fascist resistance fighters and indeed received posthumous orders in 1969. However, the most comprehensive collection biographies that exist are from the GDR and they represent their point of view.[4]

In the 1980s, the GDR historian Heinrich Scheel, who at the time was vice president of the East German Academy of Sciences and who was part of the anti-Nazi Tegeler group that included Hans Coppi, Hermann Natterodt and Hans Lautenschlager [de] from 1933, conducted research into the Rote Kapelle and produced a paper which took a more nuanced view of the Rote Kapelle and discovered the work that was done to defame them. [5][4] Heinrich Scheel's work enabled a re-evaluation of the Rote Kapelle, but it was not until 2009 that the German Bundestag overturned the judgments of the National Socialist judiciary for "treason" and rehabilitated the members of the Red Chapel.[6]


Diagram of the various groups of the Red Orchestra

The term "Red Orchestra" was a cryptonym that was invented by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA), the counter-espionage part of the Schutzstaffel (SS), which referred to resistance radio operators as "pianists", their transmitters as "pianos", and their supervisors as "conductors".[7]

The Red Orchestra was a collective name that was used by the Gestapo, the German secret police for the purpose of identification, and the Funkabwehr, the German radio counterintelligence organisation. The Funkabwehr used the name to identify the Paris and Brussels groups that were opponents of the Nazis, that appeared after the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941.

Only after the Abwehr had decrypted radio messages in August 1942, in which German names appeared, did the Gestapo start to arrest and imprison them, their friends and relatives. In 2002, the German filmmaker Stefan Roloff, whose father was a member of one of the Red Orchestra groups, [8] wrote:

Due to their contact with the Soviets, the Brussels and Berlin groups were grouped by the Counterespionage and the Gestapo under the misleading name Red Chapel. A radio operator tapping Morse code marks with his fingers was a pianist in the intelligence language. A group of "pianists" formed a "chapel", and since the Morse code had come from Moscow, the "chapel" was communist and thus red. This misunderstanding laid the foundation upon which the resistance group was later treated as a serving espionage organization in the historiography of the Soviets, until it could be corrected at the beginning of the 1990s. The Organization construct created by the Gestapo, Red Orchestra has never existed in this form.[9] In his research, the historian Hans Coppi Jr., whose father was also a member, Hans Coppi, emphasised that, in view of the Western European groups

A network led by Leopold Trepper of the 'Red Chapel' in Western Europe did not exist. The different groups in Belgium, Holland and France worked largely independently of each other.[1]

The German political scientist Johannes Tuchel summed up in a research article for the Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand.[10]

The Gestapo investigates them under the collective name, Red Chapel and wants to know them above all as an espionage organization of the Soviet Union. This designation, which reduces the groups around Harnack and Schulze-Boysen on contacts to the Soviet intelligence service, also later shapes the motives and aims, later distorting their image in the German public.


Harnack group/Schulze-Boysen

The Red Orchestra in the world today are mainly the resistance groups around the Luftwaffe officer Harro Schulze-Boysen, the writer Adam Kuckhoff and the economist Arvid Harnack, to which historians assign more than 100 people.[10]


Harnack and Schulze-Boysen had similar political views, both rejected the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, and sought alternatives to the existing social order. Since the Great Depression of 1929, they saw the Soviet planned economy as a positive counter-model to the free-market economy. They wanted to introduce planned economic elements in Germany and work closely with the Soviet Union without breaking German bridges to Western Europe.

Harro Schulze-Boysen; East Germany (1964)

Memorial stone for Arvid and Mildred Harnack at Friedhof Zehlendorf cemetery in Berlin-Zehlendorf, Onkel-Tom-Straße 30–33

Before 1933, Schulze-Boysen published the non-partisan leftist and later banned magazine German: Gegner, lit. 'opponent'.[11]. In April 1933, the Sturmabteilung detained him for some time, severely battered him, and killed a fellow Jewish inmate. As a trained pilot, he received a position of trust in 1934 in the Reich Ministry of Aviation and had access to war-important information. After his marriage to Libertas Schulze-Boysen née Haas-Heye in 1936, the couple collected young intellectuals from diverse backgrounds, including the artist couple Kurt and Elisabeth Schumacher, the writers Günther Weisenborn and Walter Küchenmeister, the journalists John Graudenz and Gisela von Pöllnitz, the actor Marta Husemann and her husband Walter in 1938, the doctors Elfriede Paul in 1937 and John Rittmeister in Christmas 1941, the dancer Oda Schottmüller, and since . Schulze-Boysen held twice monthly meetings at his Charlottenburg atelier for thirty-five to forty people in what was considered a Bohemian circle of friends. Initially these meetings followed an informatics program of resistance that was in keeping with its environment and were important places of personal and political understanding but also vanishing points from an often unbearable reality, essentially serving as islands of democracy. As the decade progressed they increasingly served as identity-preserving forms of self-assertion and cohesion as the Nazi state became all encompassing.[12] Formats of the meetings usually started with book discussions in the first 90 minutes were followed by Marxist discussions and resistance activities that were interspersed with parties, picnics, sailing on the Wannsee and poetry readings, until midnight as the mood took.[13] However, as the realisation that the war preparations were becoming unstoppable and the future victors were not going to be the Sturmabteilung, Shulze-Boysen whose decisions were in demand called for the group to cease their discussions and start resisting.[12]

Other friends were found by Schulze-Boysen among former students of a reform school on the island of Scharfenberg in Berlin-Tegel. These often came from communist or social - democratic workers' families, e.g. Hans and Hilde Coppi, Heinrich Scheel, Hermann Natterodt and Hans Lautenschlager. Some of these contacts existed before 1933, for example through the German Society of intellectuals. John Rittmeister's wife Eva was a good friend of Liane Berkowitz, Ursula Goetze, Friedrich Rehmer [de], Maria Terwiel and Fritz Thiel [de] who met in the 1939 abitur class at the secondary private school, Heil'schen Abendschule at Berlin W 50, Augsburger Straße 60 in Schöneberg. The Romanist Werner Krauss joined this group, and through discussions, an active resistance to the Nazi regime grew. Ursula Goetze who was part of the group, provided contacts with the communist groups in Neukölln.[6]

From 1932 onwards, the economist Arvid Harnack and his American wife Mildred assembled a group of friends and members of the Berlin (Marxist Workers School [de]) (MASCH) to form a discussion group which debated the political and economic perspectives at the time. Harnak's group meetings in contrast to Schulze-Boysen were considered rather austere. Members of the group included the German politician and Minister of Culture Adolf Grimme, the locksmith Karl Behrens [de], the German journalist Adam Kuckhoff and his wife Greta and the industrialist and entrepreneur Leo Skrzypczynski. From 1935, Harnack tried to camouflage his activities by becoming a member of the Nazi Party working in the Reich Ministry of Economics with the rank of Oberregierungsrat. Through this work, Harnack planned to train them to build a free and socially-just Germany after the end of the National Socialism regime.[6]

Oda Schottmüller and Erika Gräfin von Brockdorff were friends with the Kuckhoffs. In 1937 Adam Kuckhoff introduced Harnack to the journalist and railway freight ground worker John Sieg, a former editor of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) newspaper the Die Rote Fahne. As a railway worker at the Deutsche Reichsbahn, Sieg was able to make use of work-related travel, enabling him to found a communist resistance group in Neukölln in Berlin. He knew the former Foreign Affairs Minister Wilhelm Guddorf and Martin Weise [de].[14] In 1934 Guddorf was arrested and sentenced to hard labour. In 1939 after his release from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Guddorf worked as a bookseller, and worked closely with Schulze-Boysen.[6]

Through these contacts a loose network of seven Berlin friends, discussion and training groups formed by 1941, that constituted some 150 Berlin Nazi opponents.[15] Included in the group were artists, scientists, citizens, workers and students from several different backgrounds. The combined group included Communists, political conservatives, Jews, devout Catholics, and atheists. Their ages were from 16 to 86, and about 40% of the group were women. They had different political views and searched for the open exchange of views, at least in the private sector. Schulze-Boysen and Harnack were close in some ideas of the Communist Party of Germany, others were devout Catholics such as Maria Terwiel and her husband Helmut Himpel [de]. Uniting all groups was the firm rejection of national socialism.

On the initiative of Adam and Greta Kuckhoff, they introduced Harro and Libertas Schulze-Boysen to Arvid and Mildred Harnack and began engaging then socially, with their hitherto separate groups moved together once the Polish campaign began on September 1939.[16] From 1940 onwards, they regularly exchanged their opinions on the war and other Nazi policies and sought action against it.[6]

The historian Heinrich Scheel, a schoolmate of Hans Coppi, judged these groups by stating:

Only with this stable hinterland, it was possible to get through all the little glitches and major disasters and to make permanent our resistance

As early as 1934, Scheel had passed written material from one contact person to the next within clandestine communist cells and had seen how easily such connections were lost if a meeting did not materialize, due to one party being arrested. In a relaxed group of friends and discussion with like-minded people, it was easy to find supporters for an action. [17]

Acts of resistance

Adam Kuckhoff, DDR

From 1933 onwards, the Berlin groups connected to Schulze-Boysen and Harnack resisted the Nazis by:

• Providing assistance to the persecuted
• Disseminating pamphlets and leaflets that contained dissident content.
• Writing letters to prominent individuals including university professors.
• Collecting and sharing information, including on foreign representatives, on German war preparations, crimes of the Wehrmacht and Nazi crimes,
• Contacting other opposition groups and foreign forced labourers.
• Invoking disobedience to Nazi representatives.
• Writing drafts for a possible post-war order.

From mid-1936, the Spanish Civil War preoccupied the Schulze-Boysen group. Through Walter Küchenmeister, the Schulze-Boysen group began to discuss more concrete actions, and during these meetings would listen to foreign radio stations from London, Paris and Moscow.[16] A plan was formed to take advantage of Schulze-Boysen employment, and through this the group were able to get detailed information on Germany's support of Francisco Franco. Beginning in 1937, in the Wilmersdorf waiting room of Dr Elfriede Paul, began distributing the first leaflet on the Spanish Civil War.[18]

After the Munich Agreement, Schulze-Boysen created a second leaflet with Walter Küchenmeister, that declared the annexation of the Sudetenland in October 1938 as a further step on the way to a new world war. This leaflet was called Der Stoßtrupp or The Raiding Patrol, and condemned the Nazi government and argued against the government's propaganda.[16] A document that was used at the trial of Schulze-Boysen indicated that only 40 to 50 copies of the leaflet were distributed.[16]

The Invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939, was seen as the beginning of the feared world war, but also as an opportunity to eliminate Nazi rule and to a thorough transformation of German society. Hitler's victories in France and Norway in 1940 encouraged them to expect the replacement of the Nazi regime, above all from the Soviet Union, not from Western capitalism. They believed that the Soviet Union would keep Germany as a sovereign state after its victory and that they wanted to work towards a corresponding opposition without domination by the Communist Party of Germany.

Call for popular uprising

AGIS leaflets

From 1940 onwards, the group started to produce leaflets that were signed with AGIS in reference to the Spartan King Agis IV. The name of the newspaper Agis was originally the idea of John Rittmeister.[19] These had titles like The becoming of the Nazi movement, Call for opposition, Freedom and violence[20] and Appeal to All Callings and Organisations to resist the government.[21] The writing of the AGIS leaflet series was a mix of Schuzle-Boysen and Walter Küchenmeister, a communist political writer, who would often include copy from KPD members and through contacts. Their printing was arranged by the potter Cato Bontjes van Beek. They were often left in phone booths, or selected addresses from the phone book. Extensive precautions were taken, including wearing gloves, using many different typewriters and destroying the carbon paper. John Graudenz also produced, running duplicate mimeograph machines in the apartment of Anne Krauss.[22]

In 15 February 1942, the group wrote the large 6 page pamphlet called Die Sorge Um Deutschlands Zukunft geht durch das Volk! (English:The concern for Germany's future goes through the people!. The paper was written up by Maria Terwiel.[23] The paper describes how the care of Germany's future is decided by the people... and called for the opposition to the war the Nazis all Germans, who now all threaten the future of all. A copy survived to the present day. [24][25]

The text first analysed the current situation: contrary to the Nazi propaganda, most German armies were in retreat, the number of war dead was in the millions. Inflation, scarcity of goods, plant closures, labour agitation and corruption in State authorities were occurring all the time. Then the text examined German war crimes:

The conscience of all true patriots, however, is taking a stand against the whole current form of German power in Europe. All who retained the sense of real values shudder when they see how the German name is increasingly discredited under the sign of the swastika. In all countries today, hundreds, often thousands of people, are shot or hanged by legal and arbitrary people, people to whom they have nothing to be accused of but to remain loyal to their country ... In the name of the Reich, the most abominable torments and atrocities are committed against civilians and prisoners. Never in history has a man been so hated as Adolf Hitler. The hatred of tortured humanity is weighing on the whole German people.[24]

The Soviet Paradise

Adhesive notes of the Red Chapel

In early 1942, Joseph Goebbels held a Nazi propaganda exhibition called The Soviet Paradise (German original title "Das Sowjet-Paradies"), with the express purpose of justifying the invasion of the Soviet Union to the German people.[26]

Both the Harnack's and Kuckhoff's spent half a day at the exhibition. In a campaign initiated by John Graudenz in mid-May 1942, Schulze-Boysen and nineteen others, mostly people from the group around Rittmeister, travelled across five Berlin neighbourhoods to paste handbills over the original exhibition posters with the message:

Permanent Exhibition
The Nazi Paradise
War, Hunger, Lies, Gestapo
How much longer?[26]

Harro Schulze-Boysen

Arvid Harnack

Mildred Harnack

Counterintelligence Corps 1947 file concerning Red Orchestra member Maria Terwiel.

The Schulze Boysen Group.[27]
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Individuals and small groups

Other small groups and individuals, who knew little or nothing about each other, each resisted the National Socialists in their own way until the Gestapo arrested them and treated them as a common espionage organization from 1942 to 1943.

• Kurt Gerstein

Kurt Gerstein was a German SS officer who had twice been sent to concentration camps in 1938 due to close links with the Confessional Church and had been expelled from the Nazi Party. As a mine manager and industrialist, Gerstein was convinced that he could resist by exerting influence inside the Nazi administration. On 10 March 1941, when he heard about the German euthanasia program Aktion T4, he joined the SS and by chance became Hygiene-Institut der Waffen-SS (Institute for Hygiene of the Waffen-SS) and was ordered by the RSHA to supply prussic acid to the Nazis. Gerstein set about finding methods to dilute the acid, but his main aim was to report the euthanasia programme to his friends. In August 1942, after attending a gassing using a diesel engine exhaust from a car, he informed the Swedish embassy in Berlin of what happened.[28]

• Willy Lehmann

Willy Lehmann was a communist sympathizer who was recruited by the Soviet NKVD in 1929 and became one of their most valuable agents. In 1932 Lehmann joined the Gestapo and reported to the NKVD the complete work of the Gestapo.[29] In 1935 Lehmann attended a rocket engine ground firing test in Kummersdorf that was attended by Wernher von Braun. From this Lehmann sent six pages of data to Stalin on 17 December 1935.[30] Through Lehmann, Stalin also learned about the power struggles in the Nazi party, rearmament work and even the date of Operation Barbarossa. On October 1942 Lehmann was discovered by the Gestapo and murdered without trial.[29] Lehmann had no connection to the Schulze-Boysen or Harnack group.

The Von Scheliha Group

Foreign Representatives

From 1933 to December 1941 the Harnack's had contact with the US Embassy counsellor Donald R. Heath and Martha Dodd, the daughter of the then US Ambassador William Dodd. The Harnack's would often attend at receptions at the American embassy as well at parties organised by Martha Dodd, until about 1937.[31] As like-minded people, the group was convinced that the population would revolt against the Nazi's and when it did not, it convinced the group that new avenues were needed to defeat Hitler. From the summer of 1935, Harnack worked on economic espionage for the Soviet Union, and economic espionage for the United States by November 1939. Harnack was convinced that America would play a part in defeating Nazi Germany.[31]

In September 1940, Alexander Mikhailovich Korotkov acting under his codename of Alexander Erdberg, a Soviet intelligence officer who was part of the Soviet Trade Delegation in Berlin, won over Arvid Harnack as an spy for the Soviet Embassy.[32] Harnack had been an informant but in a meeting with Korotkov in the Harnacks top floor apartment at Woyrschstrasse in Berlin and later in a meeting arranged by Erdberg in the Soviet Embassy to ensure he was not a decoy, he finally convinced Harnack who was reluctant to agree.[33] Several reasons have been advanced as to why Harnack decided to become a spy, including a need for money, being ideologically driven and possibly blackmailed by Russian intelligence. It was known that Harnack had planned an independent existence for his friends. In statement by Erdberg discovered after the war, he thought Harnack was not motived by money, nor ideologically driven but he was specifically building an anti-fascist organisation for Germany as opposed to an espionage network for Russian intelligence. He considered himself a German patriot. [33]

From 26 September 1940, Harnack passed on knowledge received from Schulze-Boysen about the planned attack on the Soviet Union to Korotkov, but not about the open and branched structure of his group of friends. In March 1941, Schulze-Boysen informed Korotkov directly about his knowledge of the German attack plans.

During May 1941, Korotkov had taken delivery of two shortwave radio sets that had been delivered in the Soviet Union embassy diplomatic pouch and handed them to Greta Kuckhoff without precise instructions on how to use them, nor in how to maintain contact with the Soviet leadership, in case of war.[34] The two radio sets were of different design. The first set had been damaged by Korotkov and had been returned to the Soviet Union for repair, returned and kept by Greta Kuckhoff at 22 June 1941. That other set was battery powered, with a range of 600 miles that was passed to Coppi on the instruction of Schulze-Boyson at the Kurt and Elisabeth Schumacher's apartment. On 26 June 1941, Coppi sent a message:"A thousand greetings to all friends". Moscow replied "We have received and read your test message. The substitution of letters for numbers and vice versa is to be done using the permanent number 38745 and the codeword Schraube", and to transmit at a predefined frequency and time. After that, the batteries were too weak to reach Moscow. The second set was passed to Coppi at the Eichkamp S-Bahn railway station. The second set was more powerful, being AC powered. Coppi would later accidentally destroy the AC-powered transmitter by connecting it to a DC power socket, destroying the transformer and Vacuum tube.[35] Coppi and the Harnack/Shulze-Boysen resistance groups never received sufficient training from Korotkov. Indeed, when Greta Kuckhoff was trained she concluded that her own technical preparations were "extraordinarily inadequate".[36] Only a few members of the Schulze-Boysen/Harnack Group knew about these radio experiments.


Belgium was a favourite place for Soviet espionage to establish operations before World War II as it was geographically close to the centre of Europe, provided good commercial opportunities between Belgium and the rest of Europe and most important of all, the Belgian government were indifferent to foreign espionage operations that were conducted as long as they were against foreign powers and not Belgium itself.[37][38] Before any Soviet agent visited a country. Russian intelligence services sent out a list of people who could be considered useful to the Soviet diplomatic representative in Brussels. These people were committed communists, who had not been elected to a public office of any kind and who had been extensively vetted by Russian intelligence.[37] The availability of a such a contact list enabled proposed agents to be activated in specific positions in the network with surprising efficiency.[37]

The first agents to arrive in Belgium were technicians. The Red Army Intelligence agent and radio specialist Johann Wenzel arrived in January 1936[39] under the guise of a student of mechanics and enrolled at a technical school.[40]


The Trepper Group

Diagram of the Trepper Group organisation

Leopold Trepper was an agent of the Red Army Intelligence, with the code name of Otto, and had been working with them since 1930.[41] Trepper was an experienced intelligence officer and an extremely resourceful and capable man who was completely at home in the west, a man who could not be drawn in conversation, who lived a concealed life and whose special talent was a keen judge of people that enabled him to penetrate significant groups.[42]

During the 1930s he had worked to create a large pool of intelligence sources, through contact with the French Communist Party.[42] During early 1939, he was sent to Brussels, posing as a Canadian industrialist, to establish a commercial cover for a spy network in France and the Low Countries. Trepper established the cover company the "Foreign Excellent Raincoat Company" in Brussels, an export company with offices in many major European ports, to sell crockery and raincoats. After the conquest of Belgium during May 1940, he relocated to Paris and established the cover companies of Simex in Paris and Simexco in Brussels. Both companies sold black market goods to the Germans and made a profit doing so. Belgian-born socialite Suzanne Spaak joined the Trepper group in Paris after seeing the conduct of the Nazi occupiers in her country.[43]

Trepper directed seven GRU networks in France and each had its own group leader with a focus on gathering a specific type of intelligence.[44] Trepper constructed them in a manner so that there independent, working in parallel with only the group leader having direct contact with Trepper.[44] Regular meeting places were used for contact point at predetermined times and that could only be set by Trepper. This type of communication meant that Trepper could contact the group leader but not vice versa and stringent security measures were built in at every step.[44] The seven networks in France were as follows,

• Group Andre. It remit was to collect intelligence on the German economy and industry. Its cover name was Andre

This group was run by Leon Grossvogel. Grossvogel was a Luxembourger Jew and communist businessman who effectively created and ran the Simex company for Trepper but gave up the work at the company to exclusively work within the espionage network. His other task was the control of the wireless equipment and communication needs of the network. As part of his remit he was responsible for finding safe house, rendezvous points for other networks and letter drop locations.[45]

• Group Harry. Its remit was to collect intelligence from French military and political groups, from within the Deuxième Bureau and within Vichy intelligence, from the Central Committee of the French Communist Party, from Gaullist groups and from UK groups.[45]

This group was run by Henri Robinson. Robinson was a German Jew and communist. Unlike Trepper who worked for the Red Army Intelligence, Robinson was a Communist International (Cominterm) agent who had been running his own vast Cominterm espionage network in the UK, France, Belgium and Germany before Trepper arrived in Europe. There was an intense dislike between the two men due to Robinson being forced to hand over his network to Trepper when he arrived in France, even though Robinson was senior to Trepper. The Cominterm organisation had lost prestige with Stalin who suspected it of deviating from Communist norms and Robinson was suspected of being an agent of the Deuxième Bureau and who was subsequently in ideological conflict with the aims Soviet intelligence. This changeover been facilitated in a meeting organised by General Ivan Susloparov. The group provided Trepper with intelligence on General Henri Giraud, the Dieppe Raid, coverage of Allied bombings in France and planning for Operation Torch. [46]

• Group Professor. It was established to collect intelligence from White Russians emigrant groups as well as from groups in the German Wehrmacht.[45]

This group was run by Basile Maximovitch. Maximovitch was a former Russian mining engineer who had offered his services to Trepper and was particularly important to him as the niece of German general Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, Margarete Hoffman-Scholz fell in love with Maximovitch. At the time von Stülpnagel was Commander of Greater Paris and this gave Maximovitch access to intelligence that came from German High Command.[47]

• Group Arztin. It was created to gather intelligence from French clerical and royalists groups. They also had a special arrangement with Bishop Emanuel-Anatole-Raphaël Chaptal de Chanteloup of Paris [45]
This group was run by Anna Maximovitch who was the sister of Basile Maximovitch. Her profession as a nerve doctor enabled her to open a clinic in Choisy-le-Roi, a moneyed area of Paris which enabled her to pick up gossip and recruit from her patients. One of those patients was Countess de Rohan-Chabot who was came from the noble House of Rohan. The countess rented the Chateau Billeron to Maximovitch at relatively low cost to host her clinic. This gave Maximovitch access to very high ranking French nobility and administrative folk including Rohan-Chabot's husband who was a French officer.[47]

• Group Simex. This group collected intelligence from German administrative departments and industrial firms as well as provided the financing for the Trepper organisation. It was the Simex company.
This group was run Alfred Corbin who was a French commercial director who took over the running of the firm in Paris from Leon Grossvogel. At first Corbin did not know the Simex company was an espionage organisation and after a certain time became to suspect. Ultimately he accepted the position and used his business journeys to courier.[48] Communication between the Simex company and its main customer, the Todt Organization, provided information on German military fortifications and troop movements. As a bonus, these communications supplied some of Trepper's agents with passes that allowed them to move freely in German-occupied areas.

• Group Romeo. Their remit was to gather intelligence from US and Belgian diplomats.[49]
This group was run by the communist Isidor Springer who was a Belgian diamond dealer. Mainly concerned with recruitment and acted as a courier between different groups in different countries.[50]

• Group Sierra. This group collected intelligence from groups around French admiral François Darlan and French general Henri Giraud. The group also had contacts with French government and administrative departments of France.[49]

This group was run by the Jewish Soviet intelligence officer, Anatoly Gurevich.

These networks steadily gathered military and industrial intelligence in Occupied Europe, including data on troop deployments, industrial production, raw material availability, aircraft production, and German tank designs. Trepper was also able to get important information through his contacts with important Germans. Posing as a German businessman, he had dinner parties at which he acquired information on the morale and attitudes of German military figures, troop movements, and plans for the Eastern Front.

During December 1941, German security forces stopped Trepper's transmitter in Brussels. Trepper himself was arrested on 5 December 1942 in Paris. [51] The Germans tried to enlist his help as part a sophisticated anti-Soviet operation, to continue transmitting disinformation to Moscow under German control, as part of a playback (German:Funkspiel) operation. According to orders, and relying on training, Trepper agreed to work for the Germans, and began transmitting, which may have included hidden warnings, but saved his life.[52] During September 1943 he escaped and hid with the French Resistance.

Operations by the Trepper team had been entirely eliminated by the spring of 1943. Most agents were executed, including Suzanne Spaak at Fresnes Prison, just thirteen days before the Liberation of Paris during 1944. Trepper himself survived the war.

Sukolov Group

Organisational diagram of the Sukolov Group in Belgium between July 1940 and December 1941

The Sukolov espionage network operated in Belgium between July 1940 and December 1941. Its leader was the Soviet intelligence officer, Leopold Trepper, and working for him in a number of roles was Victor Sukolov[53][54]

Jeffremov Group

Organisational diagram of the first Jeffremov Group

Organisational diagram of the second Jeffremov Group


Rote Drei Group

Georges Blun on the middle back row. The French reporter and Berlin representative of the Paris journal Georges Blun, who published a distorted article on the Sylversternacht in Berlin in a Paris paper, has resigned his chairmanship in the Association of foreign press and made an apology visit in the press department of the government. - Georges Blun, the Berlin representative of the Paris Journal

Organisational diagram of the core members of the Rote Drei in Switzerland

The Swiss group were perhaps the most important in the war, as they could work relatively undisturbed. The head of the Soviet intelligence service was Maria Josefovna Poliakova, a Soviet 4th Department agent[55] who first arrived in Switzerland between in 1937 to direct operations.[56] Poliakova passed control to the new director of the Soviet intelligence service in Switzerland, sometimes between 1939 and 1940. The new director was Alexander Radó, codenamed Dora, who held the secret Red Army rank of Major General.[57][58] The other important leader in the Switzerland group was Ursula Kuczynski codenamed Sonia, who was a colonel of the GRU.

Radó formed several intelligence groups in France and Germany, before arriving in Switzerland in late 1936 with his family. In 1936 Radó formed Geopress, a news agency specialising in maps and geographic information as a cover for intelligence work, and after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, business began to flourish.[59] In 1940, Radó met Alexander Foote, an English Soviet agent, who joined Ursula Kuczynski's network in 1938, and who would become the most important radio operator for Radó's network. In March 1942, Radó made contact with Rudolf Roessler who ran the Lucy spy ring. Roessler was able to provide prompt access to the secrets of the German High Command.[58] This included the pending details of Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union and many more, over a period of two years. In a 1949 study by MI5 concluded that Roessler was a true mercenary who demanded payments for his reports that ran into thousands of Swiss francs over the course of the two years. This resulted in Dübendorfer being continually short of money, as Soviet intelligence insisted the link be maintained.[60]

Radó's established three networks in Switzerland that became known as the Rote Drei. The Rote Drei was a German appellation based on the number of transmitters or operators serving the network, and is perhaps misleading, as at times there was four, sometimes even five.[56]

• The first network was run by Rachel Dübendorfer codenamed Sissy and who had the most important contacts of the three subgroups. Dübendorfer received intelligence reports from Roessler who led the Lucy spy via Christian Schneider who acted as the cutout. Dübendorfer passed the reports to Radó who passed them to Foote for transmission.[60]. Roessler in turn received them from the sources whose code names were Werther, Teddy, Olga, and Anna. It was never discovered who they were.[56] A study by the CIA concluded that the four sources that were forwarding intelligence to Roessler were a General in the Wehrmacht, Hans Oster, Abwehr chief of staff, Hans Bernd Gisevius, the German politician Carl Friedrich Goerdeler and Chief of Intelligence, Army Group Centre General Fritz Boetzel.[61]
• The second network was run by the French journalist Georges Blun, whose groups codenamed was Long, and whose sources could not match the production of Lucy's group in quality or quantity.[56]
• The third espionage network was led by Swiss journalist Otto Pünter [de] whose was code name was Pakbo. Pünter's network was considered the least important.[56]

The three principal agents above were chiefly an organisation for producing intelligence for the Soviet Union. But some of the information that was collected for the Rote Drei was sent to the west through a Czech Colonel, Karel Sedláček. In 1935, Sedláček was trained in Prague for a year in 1935, and sent to Switzerland in 1937 by General František Moravec. By 1938, Sedláček was a friend of Major Hans Hausamann [de] who was Director of the unofficial Bureau Ha, a supposed press-cuttings agency, in fact a covert arm of the Swiss Intelligence. Hausamann has been introduced to the Lucy spy ring by Xaver Schnieper a junior officer in the Bureau. It was unknown whether Hausamann was passing information to Lucy, who passed it to Sedláček who forwarded it London Czechs in exile, or via an intermediary.[56]

Radio messages examined

The Arvid Harnack Group.[62]

The radio stations that were known were established at:

• A station built by Geneva radio dealer Edmond Hamel codenamed Eduard behind a board in his apartment at Route de Florissant 192a. Hamel's wife, who acted as an assistant, prepared the encrypted messages. Radó paid the couple 1000 Swiss francs per month.[63]
• A station built in Geneva by Radó's lover, a waitress Marguerite Bolli at Rue Henry Mussard 8. She earned 800 Swiss francs per month.[63]
• The third station was built by Alexander Foote that was hidden insider a typewriter. This radio was located in Lausanne at Chemin de Longeraie 2. Foote a Captain the Red Army was paid 1300 francs per month.[63]

Wilhelm F. Flicke, who was an cryptanalyst and unofficial historian at the Cipher Department of the High Command of the Wehrmacht, the German High Command signal intelligence agency, worked on the messages transmitted by the Swiss group during World War II and estimates some 5500 messages, about 5 a day for three years, were sent.[56] The Trepper Report stated that between the radio stations that were established by the three subgroups between 1941 and 1943, well over 2000 militarily important messages were sent to the GRU Central office.[64] In September 1993, the CIA Library undertook an analysis of the messages and estimated that a reasonable number would be 5000.[56]

Winterlink Group

Diagram of the Netherlands 'Winterink' Group known as Group Hilda.

The Winterink Group operated in the Netherlands and was known as Group Hilda. The leader of the group was Anton Winterink who was previous a leading member of the Rote Hilfe organisation but gave it up sometime between 1938 and 1939 to work full-time in intelligence duties for GRU.

Elsewhere in Europe

Herrnstadt group

Rudolf Herrnstadt was a German journalist, who worked in the Berliner Tageblatt[65] who became a communist in the 1920s and in late 1930 became a member of the Communist Party of Germany under the name Rudolf Arbin.[66]

In 1932, Ilse Stöbe, who worked as a secretary at the Berliner Tageblatt, and who knew Herrnstadt as a friend. She was posted to Warsaw in 1932 and was recruited by Herrnstadt.[67]

In 1933 Herrnstadt recruited German diplomat Gerhard Kegel [de].


Persecution by Nazi authorities

All of the men in the Red Orchestra were executed in the most gruesome manner, hanging by a meathook, at the Plotzensee prison in Berlin.[68]


Freiheitskämpfer (“Freedom fighter”), bronze sculpture by Fritz Cremer (1906–1993), placed 1983 next to the Ostertorwache, today Wilhelm Wagenfeld House in Bremen, Germany


• Schulze-Boysen, Harro (1983). Gegner von heute - Kampfgenossen von morgen [Opponent today - comrades of tomorrow] (in German) (3. Aufl ed.). Coblenz: Fölbach. ISBN 978-3-923532-00-1.
• Griebel, Regina; Coburger, Marlies; Scheel, Heinrich (1992). Erfasst? : das Gestapo-Album zur Roten Kapelle : eine Foto-Dokumentation [recorded? The Gestapo album the Red Orchestra. A photo documentation] (in German). Halle: Audioscop. ISBN 978-3-88384-044-4.

Overall view

• Roloff, Stefan (2002). Die Rote Kapelle : die Widerstandsgruppe im Dritten Reich und die Geschichte Helmut Roloffs [Red chapel. The resistance group in the Third Reich and the history of Helmut Roloff] (in German). Munich: Ullstein. ISBN 978-3-550-07543-8.
• Nelson, Anne (2009). Red Orchestra : The Story of the Berlin Underground and the Circle of Friends Who Resisted Hitler (1st ed.). New York: Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-6000-9.
• Nelson, Anne (December 2010). Die Rote Kapelle : die Geschichte der legendären Widerstandsgruppe (in German) (1. Aufl ed.). Munich: Bertelsmann. ISBN 978-3-570-10021-9.
• Schafranek, Hans; Tuchel, Johannes, eds. (2004). Krieg im Äther : Widerstand und Spionage im Zweiten Weltkrieg [War in the ether: Resistance and espionage in World War II] (in German). Vienna: Picus. ISBN 978-3-85452-470-0.
• Coppi junior, Hans; Danyel, Jürgen; Tuchel, Johannes (1992). Die Rote Kapelle im Widerstand gegen Nationalsozialismus [The Red Chapel in opposition to Hitler. Writings of the Memorial of the German Resistance] (in German) (1. Aufl ed.). Berlin: Edition Hentrich. ISBN 978-3-89468-110-4.
• Rosiejka, Gert (1985). Die Rote Kapelle : "Landesverrat" als antifaschist. Widerstand [The Red Chapel: "treason" as anti-fascist. resistance] (in German) (1. Aufl ed.). Hamburg: Ergebnisse-Verl. ISBN 978-3-925622-16-8.
• Bourgeois, Guillaume (2015). La véritable histoire de l'Orchestre rouge [The real story of the Red Orchestra] (in French) (Editions Nouveau Monde ed.). Paris: Le grand jeu. ISBN 978-2-36942-067-5.
• Perrault, Gilles (1994). Auf den Spuren der Roten Kapelle [In the footsteps of the Red Chapel] (in German) (Überarb. und erw. Neuausg ed.). Hamburg, Vienna, Munich: Europaverl. ISBN 978-3-203-51232-7.

Single issues

• Bahar, Alexander (1992). Sozialrevolutionärer Nationalismus zwischen konservativer Revolution und Sozialismus : Harro Schulze-Boysen und der "Gegner"-Kreis [Social Revolutionary Nationalism between Conservative Revolution and Socialism. Harro Schulze-Boysen and the "opponent" circle] (in German). Coblenz, Frankfurt: D. Fölbach. ISBN 978-3-923532-18-6.
• Fischer-Defoy, Christine (1988). Kunst, Macht, Politik : die Nazifizierung der Kunst- und Musikhochschulen in Berlin [art, power, politics. The Nazification of the art and music colleges in Berlin] (in German). Berlin: Elefanten Press. ISBN 978-3-88520-271-4.
• Hamidi, Beatrix (1994). "Women against the dictatorship. Resistance and persecution in the Nazi Germany". In Christl Wickert (ed.). Frauen gegen die Diktatur : Widerstand und Verfolgung im nationalsozialistischen Deutschland [the unity in diversity. The women of the rote Kapelle] (in German) (1. Aufl ed.). Berlin: Edition Hentrich. pp. 98–105. ISBN 978-3-89468-122-7.
• Mommsen, Hans (2012). Die "rote Kapelle" und der deutsche Widerstand gegen Hitler [the "Red Orchestra" and the German resistance to Hitler.] (in German). 33. Bochum: Klartext-Verlag (SBR-Schriften). ISBN 978-3-8375-0616-7.
• Mielke, Siegfried; Heinz, Stefan (2017). Eisenbahngewerkschafter im NS-Staat : Verfolgung - Widerstand - Emigration (1933-1945) [Railway Unionists in the Nazi State: Persecution-Resistance-Emigration (1933-1945)]. Berlin: Metropol. pp. 291–306. ISBN 978-3-86331-353-1.
• Roth, Karl Heinz; Ebbinghaus, Angelika (2004). Rote Kapellen, Kreisauer Kreise, schwarze Kapellen : neue Sichtweisen auf den Widerstand gegen die NS-Diktatur 1938-1945 [Red Chapels, Kreisauer Circles, Black Chapels: New Views of German Resistance to the Nazi Dictatorship]. Hamburg: VSA-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-89965-087-7.

See also

• People of the Red Orchestra
• Plötzensee Prison
• Schwarze Kapelle
• White Rose
• FRG 1972 (TV Miniseries),



1. Coppi Jr. 1996.
2. Benz & Pehle 2001, p. 281.
3. Fast vergessen: Die "Rote Kapelle" 2013.
4. Tuchel 1988.
5. Scheel 1985, p. 325.
6. Tuchel 2007.
7. Richelson 1995, p. 126.
8. "The Red Chapell" (Book review). Perlentaucher (in German). Berlin: Perlentaucher Medien GmbH. Retrieved 9 December2018.
9. Roloff & Vigl 2002, p. 126.
10. Tuchel 1993.
11. Brysac 2002, p. 112.
12. Asendorf & Bockel 2016, p. 568.
13. Brysac 2000.
14. Sieg & Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand.
15. Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand.
16. Petrescu 2010, p. 189.
17. Scheel 1992, p. 45.
18. Brysac 2002.
19. Brysac 2002, p. 254.
20. Petrescu 2010, p. 199.
21. Boehm 2015, p. 10.
22. Nelson 2009, p. 170.
23. Terwiel & Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand.
24. Schulze-Boysen 1942.
25. Petrescu 2010, p. 219.
26. Brysac 2000, p. 300.
27. Kesaris 1979.
28. Hoffmann 1996, p. 23.
29. Klussmann 2009.
30. Siddiqi 2010, p. 171.
31. Petrescu 2010, p. 196.
32. Brysac 2002, p. 224.
33. Brysac 2002, p. 228.
34. Nelson 2009, p. 198.
35. Brysac 2002, p. 251.
36. Brysac 2002, p. 2.
37. Kesaris 1979, p. 13.
38. Perrault, Gilles (1969). The Red Orchestra. New York: Schocken Books. pp. 29. ISBN 0805209522.
39. Wenzel 2008.
40. Kesaris 1979, p. 383.
41. Coppi Jr. 1996, p. 431.
42. Kesaris 1979, p. 15.
43. Levin 2017.
44. Kesaris 1979, p. 88.
45. Kesaris 1979, p. 89.
46. Kesaris 1979, pp. 342-344.
47. Kesaris 1979, p. 315.
48. Kesaris 1979, p. 269.
49. Kesaris 1979, p. 90.
50. Kesaris 1979, p. 359.
51. Brysac 2000, p. 313.
52. Trepper & Jewish Virtual Library.
53. Victor SOKOLOV, aliases SUKOLOFF, Fritz KENT, Arthur BARCZA, Simon URWITH, Victor GUREVICH, Fritz FRITSCHE, Vincente SIERRA, 'Petit Chef'... (The National Archives' catalogue/ KV - Records of the Security Service/ KV 2 - The Security Service: Personal (PF Series) Files/ Subseries within KV 2 - SOVIET INTELLIGENCE AGENTS AND SUSPECTED AGENTS), accessed 13 March 2019
54. Perrault 1968.
55. "The case of the Rote Kapelle". The National Archive. KV 3/349. 17 October 1949. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
56. Tittenhofer 2011.
57. Peter Day (24 June 2014). Klop: Britain's Most Ingenious Secret Agent. Biteback Publishing. p. 185. ISBN 978-1-84954-764-2. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
58. Thomas, Louis (8 May 2007). "Alexander Rado". CIA Library. CIA. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
59. Thomas, Louis. "Alexander Rado". CIA Library. CIA Center for Study of Intelligence. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
60. Breitman et al. 2005, p. 295.
61. Richelson 1997, p. 271.
62. Kesaris 1979, p. 137.
63. Rudolf 1967.
64. Coppi Jr. 1996, p. 431–548.
65. Stephen Kotkin (26 October 2017). Stalin, Vol. II: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941. Penguin Books Limited. p. 236. ISBN 978-0-7181-9299-0. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
66. Childs & Popplewell, p. 23.
67. Jefferson Adams (1 September 2009). Historical Dictionary of German Intelligence. Scarecrow Press. p. 448. ISBN 978-0-8108-6320-0. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
68. Roloff, S. (Director). (2014). The Red Orchestra [Video file]. DEFA Film Library. Retrieved December 8, 2018, from Kanopy


• Brysac, Shareen Blair (2000). Resisting Hitler: Mildred Harnack and the Red Orchestra. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-513269-4.
• Bourgeois, Guillaume (2015). La Véritable Histoire de l'Orchestre rouge. Le Grand Jeu. Nouveau Monde.
• Kesaris, Paul. L, ed. (1979). The Rote Kapelle: the CIA's history of Soviet intelligence and espionage networks in Western Europe, 1936-1945 (pdf). Washington DC: University Publications of America. ISBN 978-0-89093-203-2.
• Nelson, Anne (2009). Red Orchestra. The Story of the Berlin Underground and the Circle of Friends Who Resisted Hitler. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-6000-9.
• Trepper, Leopold (1977). The Great Game. McGraw–Hill. ISBN 0-07-065146-9.
• Tuchel, Johannes (1988). "Weltanschauliche Motivationen in der Harnack/Schulze-Boysen-Organisation: ("Rote Kapelle")" [Worldly motivations in the Harnack/Schulze-Boysen organization: ("Rote Kapelle")]. Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte. Theologie und Politik (in German). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (GmbH & Co. KG). 1 (2): 267–292. JSTOR 43750615.
• Coppi Jr., Hans (July 1996). Dietrich Bracher, Karl; Schwarz, Hans-Peter; Möller, Horst (eds.). "Die Rote Kapelle" [The Red Chapel in the field of conflict and intelligence activity, The Trepper Report June 1943] (PDF). Quarterly Books for Contemporary History (in German). Munich: Institute of Contemporary History. 44 (3). ISSN 0042-5702. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
• Benz, Wolfgang; Pehle, Walther (May 2001). Lexikon des deutschen Widerstandes [Encyclopedia of German Resistance (The Time of National Socialism)]. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verl. ISBN 978-3596150830.
• "Fast vergessen: Die "Rote Kapelle" | DW | 26.04.2013". Deutsche Welle (in German). 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
• Scheel, Heinrich (1985). "Die Rote Kapelle and the 20 July 1944". Zeitschrift für Geschichte.
• Scheel, Heinrich (1992). "Die Rote Kapelle – Widerstand, Verfolgung, Haft". In Coppi, Hans Jr; Danyel, Jürgen; Tuchel, Johannes (eds.). Die Rote Kapelle im Widerstand gegen Hitler. Berlin: Edition Hentrich. ISBN 3-89468-110-1.
• Richelson, Jeffrey (1995). A Century of Spies: Intelligence in the Twentieth Century. Oxford University Press US. ISBN 978-0-19-511390-7.
• Jeffery T. Richelson (17 July 1997). A Century of Spies: Intelligence in the Twentieth Century. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-988058-4. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
• Roloff, Stefan; Vigl, Mario (2002). Die Rote Kapelle : die Widerstandsgruppe im Dritten Reich und die Geschichte Helmut Roloffs (in German). Munic: Ullstein Taschenbuchvlg Verlag. ISBN 9783550075438.
• Petrescu, Corina L. (2010). Against All Odds: Models of Subversive Spaces in National Socialist Germany. Peter Lang. ISBN 978-3-03911-845-8. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
• Boehm, Eric H. (6 November 2015). WE SURVIVED - The Stories Of Fourteen Of The Hidden And The Hunted Of Nazi Germany [Illustrated Edition]. Lucknow Books. ISBN 978-1-78625-576-1. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
• Nelson, Anne (7 April 2009). Red Orchestra: The Story of the Berlin Underground and the Circle of Friends Who Resisted Hitle r. Random House Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-58836-799-0. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
• Levin, Menucha Chana (27 July 2017). "The Socialite Heroine Of The French Resistance". The Jewish Press. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
• Tuchel, Johannes (13 December 2007). "Weihnachten müsst Ihr richtig feiern". Die Zeit (51). Berlin. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
• Tittenhofer, Mark A. (4 August 2011). "The Rote Drei: Getting Behind the 'Lucy' Myth". CIA Library. Center for the Study of Intelligence. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
• Hoffmann, Peter (8 October 1996). History of the German Resistance, 1933-1945. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. ISBN 978-0-7735-1531-4. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
• Brysac, Shareen Blair (12 October 2000). Resisting Hitler : Mildred Harnack and the Red Orchestra: Mildred Harnack and the Red Orchestra. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 495. ISBN 978-0-19-531353-6. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
• Brysac, Shareen Blair (23 May 2002). Resisting Hitler: Mildred Harnack and the Red Orchestra. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-992388-5. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
• "Wenzel, Johann". Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur (in German). Karl Dietz Verlag Berlin. May 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
• Klussmann, Uwe (29 September 2009). "Spying in World War II Stalin's husband in the Gestapo". SPIEGELnet GmbH. Der Spiegel. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
• "ZWEITER WELTKRIEG / SPIONAGEZehn kleine Negerlein" (pdf). Berlin: SPIEGEL-Verlag Rudolf Augstein GmbH. Der Spiegel. 16 January 1967. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
• Perrault, Gilles (27 May 1968). "ptx ruft moskau" (in German). Der Spiegel. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
• Childs, David; Popplewell, Richard (27 July 2016). The Stasi: The East German Intelligence and Security Service. Springer. ISBN 978-1-349-15054-0. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
• Schulze-Boysen, Harro (February 1942). "Care about Germany's future goes through the people" (PDF). Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand (in German). Berlin: German Resistance Memorial Center. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
• Friedmann, Jan (20 August 2010). ""Rote Kapelle" Horrorbriefe an die Ostfront" (in German). SPIEGEL ONLINE GmbH & Co. KG. Der Spiegel Online. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
• Breitman, Richard; Goda, Norman J. W.; Naftali, Timothy; Wolfe, Robert (4 April 2005). U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-61794-9. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
• Siddiqi, Asif A. (26 February 2010). The Red Rockets' Glare: Spaceflight and the Russian Imagination, 1857-1957. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-89760-0. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
• Tuchel, Johannes. "Studien zur Geschichte der Roten Kapelle". Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand (in German). Memorial to the German Resistance. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
• Manfred Asendorf; Rolf von Bockel (30 August 2016). Demokratische Wege: Ein biographisches Lexikon. Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-476-00185-6. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
• "Trepper, Leopold". Jewish Virtual Library. American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
• "John Sieg". Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand. German Resistance Memorial Center. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
• "Biografien". Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand. Berlin: German Resistance Memorial Center. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
• "Maria Terwiel". Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand (in German). German Resistance Memorial Center. Retrieved 21 July 2019.

External links

• The German Resistance Memorial Center
• Plötzensee Memorial Centre
• BFCentral
• on Sophia Poznanska
• Book review of Red Orchestra by Anne Nelson. Random House website. Retrieved April 7, 2010
• L'orchestre rouge on IMDb
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:02 am

Prabhabati Bose (Dutt)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/23/20

Prabhabati Bose
Born: Prabhabati Dutta, 1869, Calcutta, IN.
Died: 1943 (aged 73–74), Calcutta
Nationality: Indian
Home town: Kashinath Dutta Road, Baranagore, Calcutta
Spouse(s): Janakinath Bose
Children: Sarat Chandra Bose, Subhas Chandra Bose
Parents: Ganganarayan Dutta (father); Kamala Kamini Dutta (mother)
Relatives: Roby Datta (cousin)
Family: Born in the lineage of Hatkhola Dutta Family, off-shoot of the zamindar Dutta Chaudhury family of village Andul.

Prabhabati Bose (née Dutta) was the mother of Sarat Chandra Bose and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. She was born in 1869 into a respected Maulika Kayastha family, in Calcutta North. Her parents were Ganganarayan Dutta and Kamala Kamini Dutta of Kashinath Dutta Road, Baranagore (a suburb of Calcutta), India. She was her parents eldest daughter.

According to the prevailing customs of the time, the Dutts practised family (gotra) exogamy, caste endogamy and intra caste hypergamy. In 1880, at the age of 11, she was married off to Janakinath Bose who hailed from a Kulin Bose family from the village Kodalia (located near Sonarpur).

Marriage and children

Prabhabati and Janakinath Bose had fourteen children together. She was very involved in their education and many members of the extended Bose family made significant contributions to Indian society.[1] Not only was Prabhabati the matriarch of Bose family, but following her parents' deaths she and her husband took care of her younger siblings.

She gave birth to fourteen children, six daughters and eight sons, among whom were nationalist leader Sarat Chandra Bose, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and distinguished cardiologist Dr. Sunil Chandra Bose.

Political activism


In 1928, Prabhabati was selected president of the Mahila Rashtriya Sangha.[2]

The Mahila Rashtriya Sangha (MRS, and also known as the Mahila Rashtriya Sangh) was the first organisation established in India with the aim of engaging women in political activism. It was formed in Bengal Presidency, British India, in 1928 by Latika Ghosh upon the instigation of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, a prominent Indian nationalist leader. Believing that improvement of the status of women and achievement of self-governance for India were inseparable aims, the MRS was an empowerment institution body that placed much emphasis on education as a means to achieve its goal.

The name translates as the Women's Political Association.[1]

-- Mahila Rashtriya Sangha, by Wikipedia


1. Bose, Sugata. His Majesty's Opponent. Harvard University. ISBN 978-0-674-04754-9.
2. Forbes, Geraldine (2005). Women in Colonial India: Essays on Politics, Medicine, and Historiography. Chronicle Books. ISBN 81-8028-017-9. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:37 am

Cambridge Five
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/25/20

Kim Philby, as depicted on a Soviet Union stamp

The Cambridge Spy Ring was a ring of spies in the United Kingdom that passed information to the Soviet Union during World War II and was active from the 1930s until at least into the early 1950s. None were ever prosecuted for spying. The number and membership of the ring emerged slowly from the 1950s onwards. As far as the general public was concerned, this started with the sudden flight of Donald Maclean (cryptonym: Homer) and Guy Burgess (cryptonym: Hicks) to the Soviet Union in 1951. Suspicion immediately fell on Harold "Kim" Philby (cryptonym: Sonny, Stanley), but he did not defect until 1963. Anthony Blunt (cryptonyms: Tony, Johnson) and John Cairncross (cryptonym: Liszt), the last two of the group, confessed to British intelligence but this remained a secret for many years, until 1979 for Anthony Blunt and 1990 for John Cairncross. In time the Cambridge Four evolved to become the Cambridge Five. In the innermost circles of the KGB, they were supposedly dubbed as the Magnificent Five.

The term "Cambridge" refers to the recruitment of the group during their education at the University of Cambridge in the 1930s. Debate surrounds the exact timing of their recruitment by Soviet intelligence; Anthony Blunt claimed that they were not recruited as agents until they had graduated. Blunt, a Fellow of Trinity College, was several years older than Burgess, Maclean, and Philby; he acted as a talent-spotter and recruiter for most of the group save Burgess.[1]

All of the five were convinced that the Marxism–Leninism of Soviet Communism was the best available political system, and especially the best defence against the rise of fascism. All pursued successful careers in branches of the British government. They passed large amounts of intelligence to the Soviet Union, so much so that the KGB became suspicious that at least some of it was false. Perhaps as important as the intelligence they passed was the demoralizing effect to the British Establishment of their slow unmasking, and the mistrust in British security this caused in the United States.

Many others have also been accused of membership in the Cambridge ring. Blunt, Burgess and Cairncross were all members of the Cambridge Apostles, an exclusive secret society at Cambridge University. Other Apostles accused of having spied for the Soviets include Michael Straight and Guy Liddell.


Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess

Donald Maclean was a British diplomat who was a spy for the Soviet Union during World War II and early on into the Cold War. Maclean studied at the University of Cambridge in the early 1930s where he met Guy Burgess. Burgess was also a British diplomat who spied for the Soviet Union in World War II and early on into the Cold War. They both disagreed with the idea of capitalist democracy. Later on they would both be recruited by Soviet intelligence operatives and become undercover agents for the Soviet Union. Maclean began delivering information to the Soviet intelligence operatives as a member of the British Foreign Office in 1934. Soon after, Burgess also began supplying information to the Soviet Union in 1936 from his position as a BBC correspondent up until 1938, then as an active member of MI6 intelligence continued to supply classified information up until 1941, and then finally as a member of the British Foreign Office up until 1944.[2]

Maclean and Burgess were soon known as the “hopeless drunks” due to the fact that they had a hard time keeping their secret occupations to themselves. It is said that one time, while highly intoxicated, Burgess risked exposing his second identity. He was leaving a pub where he accidentally dropped one of the secret files he had taken from the Foreign Office. Maclean was also known to have loose lips and said to have leaked information about his secret duties to his brother and close friends. Although they struggled to keep secrets, that did not stop them from delivering information. It is said that Burgess handed over about 389 top secret documents to the KGB within the early part of 1945 along with an additional 168 documents in December of 1949.[3]

All five were active during World War II. Philby, when he was posted in the British embassy in Washington, DC, after the war, learned that US and British intelligence were searching for a British embassy mole (cryptonym Homer) who was passing information to the Soviet Union, relying on material uncovered by the Venona project.

Philby learned one of the suspects was Maclean. Realizing he had to act fast, he ordered Burgess, who was also on the embassy staff and living with Philby, to warn Maclean in England, where he was serving in the Foreign Office headquarters. Burgess was recalled from the United States due to "bad behaviour" and upon reaching London, warned Maclean.

In early summer 1951, Burgess and Maclean made international headlines by disappearing.[4] Their whereabouts were unclear for some time and the suspicion that they had defected to the Soviet Union turned out to be correct but was not made public until 1956 when the two appeared at a press conference in Moscow.

It was obvious they had been tipped off and Philby quickly became the prime suspect, due to his close relations with Burgess. Though Burgess was not supposed to defect at the same time as Maclean, he went along. It has been claimed that the KGB ordered Burgess to go to Moscow. This move damaged Philby's reputation, with many speculating that had it not occurred, Philby could have climbed even higher in the Secret Intelligence Service.[5]

Harold "Kim" Philby

Harold "Kim" Philby was a senior officer in Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, who began his work for the Soviet Union as a spy in 1934. He would go on to serve the KGB for 54 years. He was known for passing more than 900 British documents over to the KGB. He served as a double agent.[6]

Investigation of Philby found several suspicious matters but nothing for which he could be prosecuted. Nevertheless, he was forced to resign from MI6. In 1955 he was named in the press, with questions also raised in the House of Commons, as chief suspect for "the Third Man" and he called a press conference to deny the allegation. That same year, Philby was ruled out as a suspect when British Foreign Secretary Harold Macmillan cleared him of all charges.[7]

In the later 1950s, Philby left the secret service and began working as a journalist in the Middle East; both The Economist and The Observer provided his employment there. MI6 then re-employed him at around the same time, to provide reports from that region.

In 1961, defector Anatoliy Golitsyn provided information which pointed to Philby. An MI6 officer and friend of Philby from his earlier MI6 days, John Nicholas Rede Elliott, was sent in 1963 to interview him in Beirut and reported that Philby seemed to know he was coming (indicating the presence of yet another mole). Nonetheless, Philby allegedly confessed to Elliott.

Shortly afterwards, apparently fearing he might be abducted in Lebanon, Philby defected to the Soviet Union under cover of night, aboard a Soviet freighter.

Anthony Blunt

Anthony Blunt was a former Surveyor of the King's Pictures and later Queen's Pictures for the royal art collection. He served as an MI5 member and supplied secret information to the KGB, whilst also providing warnings to fellow agents of certain counterintelligence that could potentially endanger them.[8]

In 1964, MI5 received information from the American Michael Whitney Straight pointing to Blunt's espionage; the two had known each other at Cambridge some thirty years before and Blunt had tried to recruit Straight as a spy. Straight, who initially agreed, changed his mind afterwards.

Blunt was interrogated by MI5 and confessed in exchange for immunity from prosecution. As he was—by 1964—without access to classified information, he had secretly been granted immunity by the Attorney General, in exchange for revealing everything he knew. Peter Wright, one of Blunt's interrogators, describes in his book Spycatcher how Blunt was evasive and only made admissions grudgingly, when confronted with the undeniable.

By 1979, Blunt was publicly accused of being a Soviet agent by investigative journalist Andrew Boyle, in his book Climate of Treason. In November 1979, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher admitted to the House of Commons that Blunt had confessed to being a Soviet spy fifteen years previously.

The term "Five" began to be used in 1961, when KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn named Maclean and Burgess as part of a "Ring of Five", with Philby a 'probable' third, alongside two other agents whom he did not know.

Of all the information provided by Golitsyn, the only item that was ever independently confirmed was the Soviet affiliation of John Vassall. Vassall was a relatively low-ranking spy who some researchers[who?] believe may have been sacrificed to protect a more senior one.

At the time of Golitsyn's defection, Philby had already been accused in the press and was living in Beirut, Lebanon, a country with no extradition agreement with Britain. Select members of MI5 and MI6 already knew Philby to be a spy from Venona project decryptions. Golitsyn also provided other information, such as the claim that Harold Wilson (then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) was a KGB agent.

Golitsyn's reliability remains a controversial subject and as such, there is little certainty of the number of agents he assigned to the Cambridge spy ring. To add to the confusion, when Blunt finally confessed, he named several other people[who?] as having been recruited by him.

John Cairncross

John Cairncross was known as British literary scholar until he was later identified as a Soviet atomic spy. He was recruited in 1936 by James Klugmann to become a Soviet spy. In 1938, he moved to the Treasury but transferred once again in 1940 to the Cabinet office where he served as the private secretary of Sir Maurice Hankey, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster at that time. Four years later, he was transferred to the MI6. Following World War II, it is said that Cairncross leaked information regarding the new NATO alliance to the Soviets.[9]

On the basis of the information provided by Golitsyn, speculations raged on for many years as to the identity of the "Fifth Man". The journalistic popularity of this phrase owes something to the unrelated novels The Third Man and The Tenth Man, written by Graham Greene who, coincidentally, worked with Philby and Cairncross during the Second World War.

John Cairncross (1913–1995) confessed to spying in 1951 and was publicly accused of being the "fifth man" in 1990. He was also accused by Anthony Blunt during Blunt's confession in 1964. Cairncross is not always considered to have been part of the 'Ring of Five'. He was a fellow student at Cambridge and a member of the Apostles with Blunt, and therefore present at the recruitment of the others.

The most important agent talent spotted by Blunt was the Fifth Man, the Trinity undergraduate John Cairncross. Together with Philby, Burgess, Blunt and Maclean, he is remembered by the Center (Moscow KGB Headquarters) as one of the Magnificent Five, the ablest group of foreign agents in KGB history. Though Cairncross is the last of the five to be publicly identified, he successfully penetrated a greater variety of the corridors of power and intelligence than any of the other four.

— Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, KGB, The Inside Story. "Chapter 6: Sigint, Agent Penetration, and the Magnificent Five from Cambridge (1930–39)"

This reference suggests the KGB itself recognized Cairncross as the fifth man (found by Gordievsky while doing research on the history of the KGB).

Additional members

Many historians now believe the spy ring had more than five members, possibly many more, since three other persons are known to have confessed, several more were nominated in confessions, and circumstantial cases have been made against others. Many of the following were likely Soviet spies.[10]

• Baron Rothschild was named by Roland Perry in his book The Fifth Man.[11] According to Spycatcher, Rothschild had been friendly with Burgess as an undergraduate, and had originally owned the lease on a house off Welbeck Street, No. 5 Bentinck Street, where Blunt and Burgess both lived during the war.[12] This was supposedly confirmed by Yuri Modin, the alleged controller of the five, who claimed Cairncross was never part of the group.[13]
• Leo Long was accused by Blunt in 1964. Blunt claimed to have recruited Long to the Communist cause while he[clarification needed] was tutor at Cambridge. Long served as an intelligence officer with MI14 from 1940–45, and later with the British element of the Allied Control Commission in Occupied Germany from 1945-1952.
• Guy Liddell was an MI5 officer and nearly rose to become director of the service but was passed over because of rumours he was a double agent; he took early retirement from MI5 in 1953 after he was investigated for his personal links to Kim Philby. He was accused of having been the "fifth man" by Goronwy Rees as part of Rees' confession in 1979. The academic consensus is that he was naïve in his friendships rather than a spy.
• Andrew Gow: in his memoirs published in 2012, Brian Sewell suggested that Gow was the 'fifth man' and spy master of the group.[14][15]

In popular culture

• The Hour (BBC TV series)
• A Question of Attribution (dramatization of Blunt's term as Keeper of the Queen's Pictures), An Englishman Abroad (dramatization of Burgess in Russia), and The Old Country (about a fictional Philby-esque spy in exile), all by Alan Bennett.
• Another Country (a play loosely based on Guy Burgess' life) by Julian Mitchell, and the subsequent film Another Country.
• Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (New York 1974). John le Carré’s novelisation of his experiences of the revelations in the 1950s and the 1960s which exposed the Cambridge Five traitors.
• A Perfect Spy, by John Le Carré (New York 1986). Events in the life of the character Magnus Pym are partly based upon the life and career of Kim Philby.
• Dennis Potter's television play Traitor (1971) is a spy drama television film that features a central character called Adrian Harris (John Le Mesurier) being interviewed in his Moscow flat by western newspaper reporters, eager to get the story on his defection. Harris appears to be a composite of Philby, Burgess and Maclean. Potter later returned to similar territory with Blade on the Feather (1980), inspired by the unmasking of Anthony Blunt, although in this drama the protagonist Jason Cavendish (Donald Pleasence) is clearly modeled after Philby. Philby is later name-checked as the sports reporter on The Daily Telegraph in Potter's Lipstick on Your Collar (1993), and appears to be giving inside tips on horse-races to officials at the War Office.
• The Untouchable by John Banville. The character Victor Maskell seems to be a combination of Anthony Blunt and poet Louis MacNeice.
• The Jigsaw Man a 1983 film starring Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. Caine plays a character named Philip Kimberley who returns to England after his defection.
• Cambridge Spies (BBC Drama) with Toby Stephens as Kim Philby, Tom Hollander as Guy Burgess, Rupert Penry-Jones as Donald Maclean, Samuel West as Anthony Blunt, and Alastair Galbraith as John Cairncross.
• Philby, Burgess and Maclean, 1977 Granada Television drama-documentary for ITV,[16][17] re-broadcast on BBC Four in 2007, with Derek Jacobi as Burgess.[18]
• Escape, drama-documentary on Philby's defection.
• Blunt: the Fourth Man, television drama, with Anthony Hopkins as Guy Burgess and Ian Richardson as Anthony Blunt.
• High Season (1987 movie) includes a character named "Sharp", fleeing England before being unmasked as a spy.
• In Alan Moore's graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, there appears a Cambridge Five analogue consisting of the Famous Five from Greyfriars School, including Harry Wharton who would become Big Brother, Bob Kim Cherry (named after Kim Philby) who would be also known as Harry Lime and subsequently M or Mother, Francis Alexander Waverly (possibly formerly known as Frank Nugent) and Sir John Night (possibly formerly known as John Bull).
• The Fourth Protocol, a novel by Frederick Forsyth uses a fictionalised Kim Philby as a central character, who conspires to smuggle a portable nuclear weapon into Britain.
• Burgess, Maclean and Philby appear in the Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Endgame dealing with their defection to Russia.
• The Innocent, a novel by Ian McEwan, involves a spy tunnel which the Soviets discover but do not initially expose, similar to the Philby tunnel.
• The Channel 4 education show KNTV features a character called 'Burgess MacPhilbin', who provides information for teenagers in the form of a spy dossier.
• The 2004 film A Different Loyalty, directed by Marek Kanievska, is inspired by Kim Philby's affair and subsequent marriage to Eleanor Brewer, as well as events leading up to his defection to the USSR.
• In 2009, Michael Dobbs wrote a short play, "Turning Point," for a series of live broadcast TV plays on Sky Arts channel. Based on a 1938 meeting between a young Guy Burgess and Winston Churchill, the play sees Burgess urging Churchill to fight the appeasement policy of the British government. In the live broadcast, Burgess was played by Benedict Cumberbatch.[19]
• Kim Philby appears as one of the central antagonists in William F. Buckley's 2004 novel Last Call for Blackford Oakes.
• The plot of Charles Cumming's 2011 novel, The Trinity Six, is built on the premise that there was a sixth spy and that his existence is being covered up by MI6.
• The Portland-based punk band Red Dons is named after the Cambridge Five.
• Allen Leech portrays John Cairncross in The Imitation Game, a biopic of Alan Turing; Burgess and Maclean are mentioned in passing.
• Samuel West reprises his role as Anthony Blunt from Cambridge Spies in The Crown in 2019, in the season three episode titled "Olding".

See also

• Bob Stewart (communist)
• Portland Spy Ring
• Jim Skardon
• Yuri Modin
• Arnold Deutsch

Further reading

• Andrew Sinclair, The Red and the Blue. Intelligence, Treason and the Universities (Coronet Books, Hodder and Stoughten, U.K. 1987) 211 pages ISBN 0-340-41687-4


1. The fourth man speaks: Last testimony of Anthony Blunt The IndependentMcSmith, Andy. 23 July 2009.
2. "Guy Burgess | British diplomat and spy". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
3. "Cambridge Spies 'hopeless drunks'". 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
4. Turner, Lauren (October 23, 2015). "Cambridge spies: Defection of 'drunken' agents shook US confidence".
5. The Philby Files by Genrikh Borovik, edited by Phillip Knightley, published by Little, Brown and Company, 1994
6. Higgins, Andrew (2017-10-01). "Even in Death, the Spy Kim Philby Serves the Kremlin's Purposes". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
7. 1953-, Kendrick, M. Gregory (2016-02-22). Villainy in Western culture : historical archetypes of danger, disorder and death. Jefferson, North Carolina. ISBN 9780786498680. OCLC 933590602.
8. "Anthony Blunt | British art historian and spy". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
9. "John Cairncross". Atomic Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
10. A History of MI5 Christopher Andrew 2010
11. Abjorensen, Norman. "Following the Moscow Line", in The Sunday Times Canberra, 22 January 1995.[page needed]
12. Spycatcher, p.164.
13. Rusbridger, Alan. The Guardian, 10 December 1994.[page needed]
14. "Cambridge don was the spy puppet-master, says Brian Sewell". The Times. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
15. "Outsider II - Almost Always: Never Quite, By Brian Sewell". The Independent. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
16. "Philby Burgess & Maclean (1977) | DVD release - Filmuforia". Filmuforia. 2015-12-03. Retrieved 2018-06-26.
17. "BFI Screenonline: Philby, Burgess and Maclean (1977)". Retrieved 2018-06-26.
18. "Philby, Burgess and Maclean - BBC Four". BBC. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
19. "The Day Churchill Met Traitor Guy Burgess". Daily Express. London. 12 August 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2011.

External links

• Friday 23 October 2015, The National Archives, File release: Cold War Cambridge spies Burgess and Maclean,
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Donald Maclean (spy)
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Donald Maclean
Born: Donald Duart Maclean, 25 May 1913, Marylebone, London, England
Died: 6 March 1983 (aged 69), Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Nationality: British
Alma mater: Trinity Hall, Cambridge; Gresham's School
Spouse(s): Melinda Maclean
Children: Donald Maclean, Fergus Maclean
Espionage activity
Allegiance: Soviet Union
Service branch: Foreign Office; Rank Counsellor

Donald Duart Maclean (/məˈkleɪn/; 25 May 1913 – 6 March 1983) was a British diplomat and member of the Cambridge Five spy ring which conveyed government secrets to the Soviet Union.

As an undergraduate, Maclean openly proclaimed his left-wing views, and was recruited into the Soviet intelligence service, then known as the NKVD. However, he gained entry to the Civil Service by claiming to have foresworn Marxism. In 1938, he was made Third Secretary at the Paris embassy, where he kept the Soviets informed about Anglo-German diplomacy. He then served in Washington, D.C. from 1944 to 1948, achieving promotion to First Secretary. Here he became Moscow's main source of information about US thermonuclear policy, greatly helping the Soviets to evaluate the relative strength of their own nuclear arsenal.

By the time he was appointed head of the American Department in the Foreign Office, Maclean was widely suspected of being a spy. The Soviets ordered Maclean to defect in 1951. In much later declassified reports, British Intelligence denied to the heads of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) any knowledge of Maclean's activities or whereabouts. In Moscow, Maclean worked as a specialist on British policy and relations between the Soviet Union and NATO. He was reported to have died there on 6 March 1983.

Childhood and school

Born in Marylebone, London,[1] Donald Duart Maclean was the son of Sir Donald Maclean and Gwendolen Margaret Devitt. His father was chosen as chairman of the rump of the 23 independent MPs who backed H. H. Asquith in the Liberal Party in the House of Commons whilst the bulk of the Liberal MPs had followed David Lloyd George into the Coalition Liberal party in the November 1918 election. As the Labour Party had no leader and Sinn Féin did not attend, he became titular Leader of the Opposition. Maclean's parents had houses in London (later in Buckinghamshire) as well as in the Scottish Borders, where his father represented Peebles and Southern Midlothian, but the family lived mostly in and around London. He grew up in a very political household, in which world affairs were constantly discussed. In 1931 his father entered the Coalition Cabinet as President of the Board of Education.

Maclean's education began as a boarder at St Ronan's School, Worthing. At the age of 13, he was sent to Gresham's School in Norfolk,[2] where he remained from 1926 until 1931, when he was 18. At Gresham's, some of his contemporaries were Jack Simon (later Baron Simon, a Law Lord), James Klugmann (1912–1977), Roger Simon (1913–2002), Benjamin Britten (1913–1976) and the scientist and Nobel laureate Sir Alan Lloyd Hodgkin. At Gresham's, all students were required to sign an oath swearing to report on themselves and their fellow students of any and all impure thoughts and actions. Historian Roland Philipps explained to Lapham's Quarterly that Gresham's School is where Donald Maclean as a teenager learned to perfect the traitor's art of duplicity.[3]

Gresham's was then looked on as both liberal and progressive. It had already produced Tom Wintringham (1898–1949) a Marxist military historian, journalist, and author. James Klugmann and Roger Simon both went with Maclean to Cambridge and joined the Communist Party at around the same time. Klugmann became the official historian of the British Communist Party, while Simon was later a left-wing Labour peer.

When Maclean was 16, his father was elected for the North Cornwall constituency, and he spent some time in Cornwall during vacations.


From Gresham's, Maclean won a place at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, arriving in 1931 to read modern languages. Even before the end of his first year he began to throw off parental restraints and engage openly in communist agitprop.[4] He also played rugby for his college through the winter of 1932–33.[5] Eventually his ambitions would lead to him joining the Communist Party. In Maclean's second year at Cambridge his father died. Maclean's political views grew much more apparent in the following years in light of "his admiring, if sometimes puzzled, mother".[6]

In his final years Maclean had become a campus figure with most knowing he was a communist. In the winter of 1933–34, he wrote a book review for Cambridge Left, to which other leading communists contributed, such as John Cornford, Charles Madge and the Irish scientist, J. D. Bernal. Donald reviewed Contemporary Literature and Social Revolution by J. D. Charques, praising the book in slightly patronising terms for its readiness "to hint at a Marxist conception of literature". In 1934, he became the editor of the Silver Crescent, the Trinity Hall students' magazine. His editorials stressed the decline in world trade, rearmament and arms trafficking. In one article, he insisted: "England is in the throes of a capitalist crisis....If the analysis in the Editorial: A Personal is correct, there is an excellent reason why everyone of military age should start thinking about politics."[7] His Marxist views pervaded all aspects of his public life, often citing the flaws in the university administration. In a letter to Granta he ascribed the demand for a democratically elected student council, equality for female students and rights to use college premises for political meetings.[8]

In his last year, 1934, Donald Maclean became an agent of the Soviet Union's People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs, abbreviated from the Russian as NKVD. Established in 1917 as Cheka of Russian SFSR, the agency was originally tasked with conducting suppression of all "counter-revolutionary" activities and overseeing the country's prisons and labor camps. Maclean was recruited by Theodore "Teddy" Maly, a Hungarian Catholic priest turned Soviet "illegal" (a spy operating without a diplomatic cover). Maly lived in London posing as a businessman, having arrived on a forged Austrian passport.[9] Appropriately enough for a man who had once been a Catholic priest, Maly who was known to the Cambridge Five simply as Theo, acted as a sort of confessional figure for the Cambridge Five.[10]

Maclean was then instructed to give up political activity and enter the Diplomatic Service, where at the right moment he would best be able to serve the cause.[11] He graduated with a First in Modern Languages and abandoned his earlier ideas of teaching English in the Soviet Union when pressed by fellow Communists at Cambridge. After spending a year preparing for the Civil Service examinations, Maclean passed with first-class honours.[12] At the Final Board, Maclean was asked by one of the panel interviewing him, whether he had favoured communism while a university student, ostensibly because the panel knew of a trip he had taken to Moscow in his second year at Cambridge. Maclean lied: "At Cambridge, I was initially favourable to it but I am little by little getting disenchanted with it." His apparent sincerity satisfied members of the panel, which included a family friend, Lady Violet Bonham Carter.[citation needed]


In August 1935, Maclean was examined by the Civil Service Commission and duly admitted to the diplomatic service. In October, he started work at the Foreign Office, and was assigned to the Western department that dealt with the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, and Switzerland, as well as the League of Nations.[13] In 1936, Maclean became closely involved in the work of the Non-Intervention Committee set up to monitor the activities of the chief powers, Germany, Italy, and the USSR and their involvement in determining the outcome of the Spanish Civil War. To Maclean, his traitorous involvement was a justifiable decision, in hopes of furthering Soviet policy. Just a few years before, in 1935, his fellow Soviet spy Guy Burgess had this to say about their involvement in espionage, "Everyone gives away information. When Churchill was in opposition he used to give away confidential information about what the government was thinking to Maisky, then Russian ambassador." He disastrously thought that Maclean and he were in much the same position as Churchill.[14]

In the summer of 1937, the agent that recruited Maclean, Theodore "Teddy" Maly, left for Paris and anxiously debated his future with other non-Soviet illegals. Knowing he was gravely menaced by Stalin's purge, Maly still left for Moscow and was never heard from again.[15] Maly was arrested upon his return, tortured and executed on the spurious charges of spying for Hungary against the Soviet Union.[16] For a time, multiple meetings passed where no one showed to meet Maclean. Then Kitty Harris (wife of the Communist Party of the USA's party leader) arrived in place of his usual controller and gave the recognition phrase. "You hadn't expected to see a lady, had you?" she said. "No, but it's a pleasant surprise," he replied. Maclean would visit Harris's flat in Bayswater after work, with documents to photograph. Over the next two years, 45 boxes of documents were photographed and sent to Moscow. "She was a cut-out between Maclean and his NKVD controller," said Geoffrey Elliott, who wrote a book about her with Igor Damaskin, a former KGB officer.[17] He was then placed under the operational control of GPU rezident, Anatoli Gorsky. Gorsky, who was appointed in 1939 after the entire London rezidentura was liquidated, used Vladimir Borisovich Barkovsky, a recent graduate of Moscow's Intelligence School as the case officer for Maclean.


In the autumn of 1938, Maclean had nearly completed three years as a junior member of the League of Nations and the Western department of the Foreign Office and he argued that he was overdue for transfer to his first foreign post. There being no lack of drive in Maclean's ego, he was sent to the prestigious post in Paris. On 24 September 1938, he took up his post as Third Secretary at HM Embassy, Paris. Although Maclean strove to closely conform to the normalities representative of the Foreign Office social class, he lacked the funds and savoir-faire of his colleagues. As a striver, he was mocked by the typing pool as Fancy-Pants Maclean.[18] Ronnie Campbell was to have a crucial impact on Maclean as well as his career. Another was Michael Wright, who was the senior First Secretary and always appreciated Maclean's drafting skills.

In the spring of 1939, an Anglo-French attempt was made to include the Soviet Union into the "peace front" that was intended to deter German aggression. Because of the French involvement in these Moscow negotiations, the telegrams passing between embassies allowed Maclean access to a privy of information. Maclean kept Moscow informed in regard to relations between Germany and the British Empire, on the one hand, and Britain and France on the other, as the French foreign minister Georges Bonnet worked to end French security commitments in Eastern Europe. He also kept Moscow informed about the development of Anglo-French plans for intervention in the war between Finland and the Soviet Union.[19]

One evening, December 1939 in Paris, Maclean met Melinda Marling. The daughter of a Chicago oil executive, she was a teenager when her parents had divorced, her mother moving to Europe. In October 1929, Melinda and her sisters went to school at Vevey, near Lausanne, where their mother rented a villa, and spent their holidays at Juan-les-Pins in France.[20] Melinda Marling's mother moved to New York, marrying Charles Dunbar, an executive in the paper industry, and brought her daughters to live with them in Manhattan, where Melinda Marling attended the Spence School. After graduation she spent some months in New York City then returned to Paris, where she enrolled at the Sorbonne in Paris to study French literature.[21] Melinda Marling was introduced to Maclean, in the Café Flore in December 1939, possibly by Mark Culme-Seymour. Culme-Seymour later described her as "quite pretty and vivacious, but rather reserved. I thought that she was a bit prim. She was always well-groomed, lipstick bright, hair permed, a double row of pearls around her neck. Her interests seemed limited to family, friends, clothes and Hollywood movies."[22]

In the 1950s, Culme-Seymour tracked down the exiled Macleans in Moscow, and another Melinda emerged. She told him that she knew she would be going to Russia right from the beginning, even before Maclean defected.[22]

Soviet archives confirm this view. As Maclean told Harris, on the evening he met Melinda, he saw more to her "I was very taken by her views. She's a liberal, she's in favour of the Popular Front and doesn't mind mixing with communists even though her parents are well-off. There was a White Russian girl, one of her friends, who attacked the Soviet Union and Melinda went for her. We found we spoke the same language." Maclean had told Melinda Marling about his role as a spy. He told Harris that Marling not only reacted positively, but "actually promised to help me to the extent that she can – and she is well connected in the American community".[22]

On 10 June 1940, as the German Army approached Paris, Donald Maclean and a pregnant Melinda Marling were married at the local Mairie.[20] The British Embassy was evacuated and the Macleans drove south with one of Donald Maclean's colleagues. Few marriages could have begun in greater turmoil. On 13 June, the Military Attaché gave warning that "if the Embassy party did not at once cross the Loire, they might be cut off."[23] They were able to escape France on a small merchant ship and went to London.

London in World War II

Maclean continued to report to Moscow from London, where he was assigned by the British Foreign Office to work on economic warfare matters. Maclean became the Foreign Office's expert in economic warfare, civil air matters, military base negotiations and natural resources useful in the war, such as tungsten. It was in 1940, after the fall of France, that Maclean had two meetings with Philby, their first encounter since the mid-1930s.[24] Three days before Christmas 1940, Melinda Maclean went to New York to have her baby, which died shortly after its birth. Some weeks later she flew back to London and went to work in the BBC bookstore. It was here that Gorsky became closely involved in Maclean's career in espionage.[25] It was also around this time that Maclean began to show his debauchery at Victor Rothschild's home where Blunt and Burgess were living.[26]
The Macleans became part of the social set that circulated between the Café Royal, the Gargoyle Club and the country house weekends of the Liberal establishment. Donald Maclean was promoted and given the prestigious assignment as Second Secretary at the British Embassy in Washington.[27] Towards the end of April 1944, the Macleans set sail in convoy for New York, where they arrived on 6 May.


Maclean served in Washington from 1944 to 1948, achieving promotion to First Secretary. In 1944, Maclean provided a copy of every cable to and from Sir Anthony Eden, the Foreign Secretary, to Lord Halifax, the ambassador, to the NKVD.[28] Melinda Maclean was again pregnant, giving birth to a son in New York City. The Macleans frequently visited Melinda Maclean's mother and stepfather in Manhattan and at Dunbar's country place in the Berkshires. They vacationed on Long Island and Cape Cod with Mrs. Dunbar and Melinda Maclean's sisters. The Macleans became part of the liberal Georgetown social set in Washington, which included Katharine Graham,[29][30] as well as participating in the diplomatic life of the city.[31] Maclean never passed on any information to his handler in Washington, instead going to New York on a weekly basis, and so frequent were his trips to New York that his colleges believed he had a mistress there.[32] Maclean was considered to be an exceptionally hard worker at the embassy as his fellow diplomat Robert Cecil remembered in 1989: "No task was too hard for him; no hours were too long. He gained the reputation of one who would always take over a tangled skein from a colleague who was sick, or going on leave, or simply less zealous. In this way he was able to manoeuvre himself into the hidden places that were of the most interest to the NKVD".[33]

On 15 June 1945, the American columnist Drew Pearson in his 'Washington Merry-Go-Round' column published details of a secret letter sent from Churchill to President Truman together with details of talks between Harry Hopkins and Stalin.[34] In response, the FBI, which suspected that the leak came from someone within the British Embassy began an investigation, which led them to place Maclean under surveillance after he was observed going into a gay bar.[35] The FBI believed that Maclean was a homosexual being blackmailed into leaking information by Pearson and discovered that Maclean was a heavy drinker who often engaged in random sexual encounters with various men, but failed to discover that he was a Soviet spy.[36]

Towards the end of that period Donald Maclean acted as Secretary of the Combined Policy Committee on atomic energy matters.[37] He was Moscow's main source of information about US/UK/Canada atomic energy policy development. Although Maclean did not transmit technical data on the atom bomb, he reported on its development and progress, particularly the amount of plutonium (used in the Fat Man bombs) available to the United States. As the British representative on the American-British-Canadian Council on the sharing of atomic secrets, he was able to provide the Soviet Union with information from Council meetings. This gave Soviet scientists the ability to predict the number of bombs that could be built by the Americans. Coupled with the efforts of Los Alamos-based scientists Alan Nunn May, Klaus Fuchs and Theodore Hall (who had been identified but was allowed to remain at large), Maclean's reports to his NKVD controller gave the Soviets a basis to estimate their nuclear arsenal's relative strength against that of the United States and Britain. In addition to atomic energy matters, Maclean's responsibilities at the Washington embassy included civil aviation, bases, post-hostilities planning, Turkey and Greece, NATO and Berlin.[38] It has been reported that Maclean suggested to Moscow that the goal of the Marshall Plan was to ensure American economic domination in Europe.[39] Maclean's cover name was Homer.[40]


In 1948, Maclean was appointed head of Chancery at the British embassy in Cairo. He was at that time the youngest Counsellor in the British foreign service. As soon as he arrived, Maclean had problems with his MGB contact, who arranged their meetings in an unsatisfactory manner. Maclean suggested that Melinda should simply pass his information to the wife of the Soviet resident at the hairdresser. "Melinda was quite prepared to do this," Modin reports.[41]

Cairo was an important post, the key to British power in the area and a central point in Anglo-American planning for war with the Soviet Union.[42] At this time Britain was the major power in the Middle East with troops in both the Canal Zone and nearby Palestine and airbases in the Canal Zone from which American atomic bombers could reach the Soviet Union. In regard to Egypt itself, British policy was one of laissez-faire or non-interference with the corruption surrounding King Farouk. Maclean disagreed strongly and felt that Britain should encourage reform which alone, in his opinion, could save the country from communism. "And, except to stress its dangers, that was all I ever heard Donald say about communism." recalls Geoffrey Hoare, the News Chronicle Cairo correspondent.[43]

Maclean was considered the key official in the Cairo Embassy, specifically responsible for coordinating US/UK war planning and, under the Ambassador, relations with the Egyptian government.[44] By now, his double life was beginning to affect Maclean. He began drinking, brawling and talking about his life. After a drunken episode which resulted in the wrecking of an American embassy staffer's apartment, Melinda told the ambassador that Donald was ill and needed leave to see a London doctor.[45] It is possible that this series of events was contrived to provide a way for Maclean to return to England as American intelligence was getting close to identifying Maclean as a Soviet agent by means of the VENONA messages. At this time Melinda Maclean was having an affair with an Egyptian aristocrat, with whom she travelled to Spain when Donald Maclean went to England.[46]

London deskbound

After a few months rest Maclean recovered from the troubles of his Egyptian period and Melinda Maclean agreed to return to the marriage, immediately becoming pregnant. Maclean's career did not seem to suffer from the events in Egypt. He was promoted and made head of the American Department in the Foreign Office, perhaps its most important assignment for an officer at Maclean's level. This allowed him to continue to keep Moscow informed about Anglo-American relations and planning. The most important report Maclean sent to Moscow concerned the emergency summit in Washington in December 1950 between the British Prime Minister Clement Attlee and U.S President Harry S. Truman.[47] After China entered the Korean War, there were demands both outside and inside the U.S. government, most notably by General Douglas MacArthur, that the U.S attack China with nuclear weapons. The British were strongly opposed to both the use of nuclear weapons and escalating the war by attacking China, and Attlee had gone to Washington with the aim of stopping both. Truman reassured Attlee at the Washington summit that he would not allow the use of nuclear weapons or take the war outside of Korea.[48] Maclean provided a transcript of what was said at the Truman-Attlee summit to Yuri Modin, the "control" of the Cambridge spy ring.[49] Meanwhile, the American and British governments were concluding that Maclean was indeed a Soviet agent, a process carefully tracked by Kim Philby in Washington.

The journalist Cyril Connolly described him vividly as he struck him in London in 1951. "He had lost his serenity, his hands would tremble, his face was usually a livid yellow ... he was miserable and in a very bad way. In conversation, a kind of shutter would fall as if he had returned to some basic and incommunicable anxiety."[50]


Maclean's role was discovered when the VENONA decryption was carried out at Arlington Hall, Virginia and Eastcote in London between 1945 and 1951. These related to coded messages between New York, Washington and Moscow for which Soviet code clerks had re-used one-time pads. The cryptanalysts working as part of the Venona project, discovered that twelve coded cables had been sent, six from New York from June to September 1944 and six from Washington in April 1945, by an agent named Gomer. The first cable sent but not the first to be deciphered described a meeting with Sergei on 25 June and Gommer's (sic) forthcoming trip to New York where his wife was living with her mother awaiting the birth of a child. This was decoded in April 1951. A short list of nine men was identified as possible Homers (Gomer is the Russian form of Homer),[51] one of whom was Maclean.[52]

The second cable on 2–3 August 1944 was a description, but not a transcript, of a message from Churchill to Roosevelt, which Homer claimed to have decrypted. It suggested that Churchill was trying to persuade Roosevelt to abandon plans for Operation Anvil, the invasion of Provence, in favour of an attack through Venice and Trieste into Austria. This was typical of Churchill's strategic thinking since he was always looking for a flanking move. But it was rejected outright by both American and British generals.[53]

Shortly after the VENONA investigation began, Kim Philby, another member of the Cambridge Five, was assigned to Washington, serving as Britain's CIA-FBI-NSA liaison. He saw the VENONA material, and recognised that Maclean was Homer, which was confirmed by his KGB control.[39]

Believing that Maclean would confess to MI5, Philby and Guy Burgess decided that Burgess would travel to London, where Maclean was head of the Foreign Office's American desk, to warn him. Burgess received three speeding tickets in a single day. The Governor complained to the British Ambassador and Burgess went back to London, in disgrace.

The Soviets were desperate for Maclean to get out, fearful that in his current state he would crack immediately under interrogation. Maclean sounded out Melinda about the defection. According to Modin, she responded: "They're quite right – go as soon as you can, don't waste a single moment."[41]


The day eventually earmarked for Maclean to make his escape happened to be his thirty-eighth birthday: 25 May 1951. He came home by train from the Foreign Office to their house in Kent as usual that evening, and soon after Guy Burgess, who had just been persuaded to get out too, turned up. After eating the birthday supper that Melinda had prepared, Maclean said goodbye to his wife and children, got into Burgess's car and left. They drove to Southampton, took a ferry to France, then disappeared from view, sparking a media and intelligence furore. It was five years before Khrushchev finally admitted that they were in the Soviet Union.

The following Monday, Melinda Maclean telephoned the Foreign Office to ask coolly if her husband was around. Her pose of total ignorance convinced them; MI5 put off interviewing her for nearly a week, and the Maclean house was never searched. No doubt their readiness to see her merely as the ignorant wife was enhanced by the fact that she was heavily pregnant at the time – three weeks after Donald left, she gave birth to a daughter, their third child. Francis Marling, Melinda's father, flew from New York to help. Friends in the State Department gave him Foreign Office contacts who proved unhelpful. He returned to New York with a low opinion of Foreign Office officials. He felt then, as others felt later, that no serious effort was being made.[54]


Maclean, unlike Burgess, assimilated into the Soviet Union and became a respected citizen, learning Russian, earning a doctorate and serving as a specialist on the economic policy of the West and British foreign affairs. Burgess learned only enough Russian to just manage to get by in Moscow while Maclean worked very hard at becoming fluent in Russian.[55] After a brief period of teaching English in Kuybyshev (now Samara) at a Russian provincial school, Maclean joined the staff of International Affairs in early 1956 as a specialist on British home and foreign policy and relations between the Soviet Union and NATO. He shared a small room with his new Soviet colleagues on the second floor of the journal's premises on Gorokhovsky Pereulok.[56] He also worked for the Soviet Foreign Ministry and the Institute of World Economy and International Relations.[57] In 1956, the Soviet government first revealed that Maclean and Burgess were living in Moscow, though the TASS statement denied that they were spies, claiming that they had gone behind the Iron Curtain to "further understanding between East and West" for the sake of world peace.[58]

He was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour and the Order of Combat. His publications for IMEMO were under the name of S. Madzoevsky. In the 1970s, Maclean used his prestige with the KGB to protect members of the early dissident movement. He seems to have had some contact with Sakharov and Roy and Zhores Medvedev and shortly before his death wrote a critique of the retrograde development of Soviet society.

Melinda Maclean and their children joined Maclean in Moscow more than a year after his defection. Melinda was aware of her risks as a collaborator to her husband; two months earlier, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg had been executed for spying. But Melinda usually concealed her thoughts behind an expressionless look. "I will not admit that my husband, the father of my children, is a traitor to his country", she would say in outraged tones.[22]

Extramarital affairs and later family life

The Macleans had three surviving children: Fergus, born in 1944, Donald, in 1946, and Melinda, in 1951.[59] The Maclean marriage came under pressure in Moscow as Donald Maclean continued to drink heavily until the mid-1960s, becoming violent when drunk. Kim Philby and Melinda Maclean became lovers during a ski trip in 1964, while Eleanor Philby, Philby's American wife, was on an extended visit to the US. Maclean found out and broke with Philby. Eleanor Philby discovered the affair on her return and left Moscow, for good. Melinda moved in with Philby in 1966, but within three years tired of him and left. She returned to her husband, and remained with him until she left Moscow for good in 1979.[41] Melinda returned to the West to be with her mother and sisters; her children soon followed her. She died in New York in 2010 without saying a single word to the media.[60][61]

The three Maclean children all married Russians, but left Moscow to live in London and the U.S, as they still had the right to British or American passports. Fergus, the eldest son, enrolled at University College London in 1974, prompting a question in Parliament.[62] Donald's son, Donald, married firstly Lucy, daughter of George Hanna, an English man who worked for the BBC and was a friend of the family.[63] They had a son, Donald Duart Maclean's only grandson (who was born in 1970),[63] who resides in the UK.


Maclean was reported seriously ill with pneumonia in December 1982,[64] and was housebound after his recovery.[65] The Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Maclean's workplace, reported his death at the age of 69 on 6 March 1983.[66] He was cremated and his ashes were scattered on his parents' grave in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church, Penn, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom. Twenty years previously, Guy Burgess's ashes had also been scattered on his family grave in England.[67]


In May 1970, Hodder & Stoughton published Maclean's book British Foreign Policy since Suez which he wrote for a British readership. Maclean told journalists that he set out to analyse the subject rather than to attack it, but criticised British diplomatic support for the United States in the Vietnam War. He stated that he would donate the British royalties to the British Committee for Medical Aid to Vietnam.[68] He foresaw a strengthening of British influence in the 1970s and 1980s as a result of economic recovery. Interviewed live by a BBC Radio reporter who detected a nostalgia for Britain in the book, Maclean refused to be drawn on whether he would like to return to London, for further research for his next book. After his death, his body was cremated and per his will, his ashes were buried in Britain.[69]

Of the five spies that made up the Cambridge Spy Ring, Maclean was not the best known, but he provided the most intelligence of value to the Soviet Union as his position as a senior diplomat in the Foreign Office gave access to more information that could be accessed by Philby, Cairncross, Blunt or Burgess as he able to provide the Soviets with "the most intimate details" of Anglo-American decision-making on such matters as the future of nuclear energy and the founding of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.[70] In an official American appraisal concluded: "In the fields of US/UK/Canada planning on atomic energy, US/UK post-war planning and policy in Europe, all information up the date of Maclean's defection undoubtedly reached Soviet hands".[71]


• Order of the Red Banner of Labour

See also

• Cambridge Five
• Kim Philby (1912–1988)
• Guy Burgess (1911–1963)
• Anthony Blunt (1907–1983)
• James Klugmann (1912–1977)
• John Cairncross (1913–1995)


1. GRO Register of Births:SEP 1913 1a 899 MARYLEBONE – Donald D. Maclean, mmn = Devitt
2. S.G.G. Benson and Martin Crossley Evans, I Will Plant Me a Tree: an Illustrated History of Gresham's School, London: James & James, 2002.
3. Philipps, Roland (13 July 2018). "The World in Time". Lapham's Quarterly. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
4. Cecil, Robert, A Divided Life: A Personal Portrait of the Spy Donald Maclean, New York, NY: William Morrow and Company, 1989, pp. 22–23.
5. Cecil, A Divided Life (1989), p. 28.
6. Cecil, A Divided Life (1989), p. 23.
7. Cecil, A Divided Life (1989), pp. 27–30.
8. Cecil, A Divided Life (1989), p. 32.
9. Polmer and Allen, The Spy Book, p. 352.
10. Polmer and Allen, The Spy Book, p. 352.
11. Cecil, A Divided Life (1989), pp. 35–36.
12. Cecil, A Divided Life (1989), p. 37.
13. Cecil, A Divided Life (1989), pp. 39–43.
14. Spender, Sir S., Journals: 1939–83, London: Faber, 1985, p. 215.
15. Cecil, A Divided Life (1989), p. 48.
16. Polmer and Allen The Spy Book, p. 352.
17. Elliott, Geoffrey, and Igor Damaskin, Kitty Harris: The Spy with Seventeen Names, London: St Ermin's Press, 2001.
18. Cecil, A Divided Life (1989), pp. 50–51.
19. Michael Holzman, Donald and Melinda Maclean: Idealism and Espionage, Briarcliff Manor, New York: The Chelmsford Press, 2014.
20. Jump up to:a b Geoffrey Hoare, The Missing Macleans, New York: The Viking Press, 1955.
21. 'Holzman: Donald and Melinda Maclean: Idealism and Espionage, '2014.
22. Jump up to:a b c d The Guardian (Manchester and London), 10 May 2003.
23. Cecil, A Divided Life (1989), p. 62.
24. Cecil, A Divided Life (1989), p. 64.
25. Cecil, A Divided Life (1989), p. 66.
26. Roland Philipps (2018). A Spy Named Orphan: The Enigma of Donald Maclean. W. W. Norton. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-393-60858-8.
27. Holzman: Donald and Melinda Maclean: Idealism and Espionage, 2014.
28. Polmar and Allen, The Spy Book, p. 348.
29. Roland Philipps (2018). A Spy Named Orphan: The Enigma of Donald Maclean. W. W. Norton. p. 134. ISBN 978-0-393-60858-8.
30. Katharine Graham (1997). Personal History. A.A. Knopf. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-394-58585-7. Donald Maclean relieving himself on the front lawn the nightmare.
31. Holzman, Donald and Melinda Maclean: Idealism and Espionage, 2014.
32. Polmer and Allen The Spy Book, p. 348.
33. Polmer and Allen The Spy Book, p. 348.
34. Polmer and Allen The Spy Book, p. 348.
35. Polmer and Allen The Spy Book, p. 348.
36. Polmer and Allen The Spy Book, p. 348.
37. Polmer and Allen The Spy Book, p. 348.
38. Holzman, Donald and Melinda Maclean: Idealism and Espionage, 2014.
39. Moynihan, Daniel Patrick (1998). Secrecy : The American Experience. Yale University Press. pp. 54. ISBN 0-300-08079-4. "In these coded messages the spies' identities were concealed beneath aliases, but by comparing the known movements of the agents with the corresponding activities described in the intercepts, the FBI and the code-breakers were able to match the aliases with the actual spies."
40. Polmer and Allen The Spy Book, p. 348.
41. Modin, Yuri Ivanovitch, My Five Cambridge Friends, Headline Book Publishing, London, 1994. ISBN 0-374-21698-3
42. Holzman, Donald and Melinda Maclean: Idealism and Espionage, 2014.
43. Hoare, The Missing Macleans, 1955.
44. Holzman, and Melinda Maclean: Idealism and Espionage, 2014.
45. Hoare, The Missing Macleans, 1955.
46. Holzman, and Melinda Maclean: Idealism and Espionage, 2014.
47. Polmer and Allen The Spy Book, p. 349
48. Polmer and Allen The Spy Book, p. 349.
49. Polmer and Allen The Spy Book, p. 349.
50. Cyril Connolly: The Missing Diplomats. London: The Queen Anne Press, 1952.
51. Philby, Kim (2002). My Silent War. Modern Library. p. 170. ISBN 9780375759833. Retrieved 5 January2015.
52. Lamphere, Robert, and Tom Shactman, The FBI-KGB War, New York: Random House, 1986, pp. 232–237.
53. S. J. Hamrick, Publisher Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1999, p. 233.
54. Hoare, The Missing Macleans, 1955.
55. Polmar and Allen, The Spy Book, p. 349.
56. "Secret Agent Donald Maclean at "International Affairs" Author(s): Tatyana IEVLEVA; Source International Affairs, No. 1, Vol. 41, 1995, pp. 97–98.
57. Polmar and Allen, The Spy Book, p. 349.
58. Polmar and Allen, The Spy Book, p. 349.
59. Little Lost Lambs (accessed 12 August 2007)
60. Melindia Maclean died in February 2010. Kim Philby Was Here Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine by Ambassador Richard Carlson and Buckley Carlson in Foundation for Defense of Democracies (accessed 12 August 2007)
61. Ivanova, Rufina et al., The Private Life of Kim Philby: The Moscow Years (2000).
62. Hansard, 25 January 1974, vol. 867 c377W.
63. Cecil, Robert, A Divided Life: A biography of Donald Maclean, Bodley Head, 1988, p. 178.
64. Lucy Hodges, "Maclean may have pneumonia", The Times, 6 December 1982, p. 1.
65. "Death of Maclean rumoured", The Times, 11 March 1983, p. 1.
66. The New York Times (1923-Current file); 11 March 1983, p. A5. ProQuest Historical Newspapers.
67. Cecil, Robert. A Divided Life: A Personal Portrait of the Spy Donald Maclean. New York, NY: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1989.
68. "Maclean: European manqué" (The Times Diary), The Times, 30 April 1970, p. 10.
69. Polmer and Allen The Spy Book, p. 349.
70. Polmer and Allen The Spy Book, p. 349.
71. Polmer and Allen The Spy Book, p. 349.

Further reading

• Cyril Connolly, The Missing Diplomats. This contemporary account was published by Ian Fleming's Queen Anne Press in 1952.
• Miranda Carter, Anthony Blunt: His Lives, Macmillan, 2001.
• Christopher Andrew and Vasily Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive, volume 1, 1999.
• Richard C.S. Trahair and Robert Miller, Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage, Spies, and Secret Operations, Enigma Books, 2009. ISBN 978-1-929631-75-9.
• Michael Holzman, Donald and Melinda Maclean: Idealism and Espionage, Briarcliff Manor, New York: Chelmsford Press, 2014.

External links

• Donald Maclean (BBC)
• File release: Cold War Cambridge spies Burgess and Maclean, The National Archives, 23 October 2015
• Donald Maclean at Find a Grave
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St John Philby
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/25/20

St John Philby
St John Philby in Riyadh
Born: Harry St John Bridger Philby, 3 April 1885, Badulla, British Ceylon
Died: 30 September 1960 (aged 75), Beirut, Lebanon
Alma mater: Westminster School; Trinity College, Cambridge
Occupation: Arabist, explorer, writer, intelligence officer

Spouse(s): Dora and Rozy Philby,
Children: 8, namely Kim Philby, Diana, Helena, Patricia, from first marriage, and Fahad, Sultan, Faris and Khaled Philby from the second

Harry St John Bridger Philby, CIE (3 April 1885 – 30 September 1960), also known as Jack Philby or Sheikh Abdullah (Arabic: الشيخ عبدالله‎), was a British Arabist, adviser, explorer, writer, and colonial office intelligence officer.

As he states in his autobiography, he "became something of a fanatic" and in 1908[1] "the first Socialist to join the Indian Civil Service". After studying Oriental languages at the University of Cambridge, he was posted to Lahore in the Punjab in 1908, acquiring fluency in Urdu, Punjabi, Baluchi, Persian and eventually Arabic. He converted to Islam in 1930 and later became an adviser to Ibn Saud, urging him to unite the Arabian Peninsula under Saudi rule,[2] and helping him to negotiate with the United Kingdom and the United States when petroleum was discovered in 1938; in addition he married for the second time, to a Saudi Arabian.[3]

His only son by his first wife Dora Johnston was Kim Philby, who became known worldwide as a double agent for the Soviet Union, where he defected in 1963.[4] One of his three sons with his second wife Rozy al-Abdul Aziz is the former United Nations Resident Coordinator in, inter-alia, Kuwait and later Turkmenistan, Khaled Philby.

Early years

His son Kim Philby

Percy Cox

Born in Badulla in British Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), the son of a tea planter, he was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied oriental languages under Edward Granville Browne, and was a friend and classmate of Jawaharlal Nehru, who later became the first Prime Minister of independent India. Philby married Dora Johnston in September 1910,[4] with his distant cousin Bernard Law Montgomery as best man. In addition to their son Kim, born in 1912, they had three daughters: Diana, Helena and Patricia.


In late 1915 Percy Cox recruited Philby as head of the finance branch of the British administration in Baghdad, a job which included fixing compensation for property and business owners. Their mission was twofold: to organise the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks and to protect the oil fields near Basra and the Shatt al Arab, which was a source of oil for the Royal Navy. The revolt was organised with the promise of creating a unified Arab state, or Arab federation, from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen. Gertrude Bell was his first controller and taught him the finer arts of espionage. In 1916 he became Revenue Commissioner for British Occupied Territories.

In November 1917 Philby was sent to the interior of the Arabian peninsula as head of a mission to Ibn Saud, the chieftain who professed Wahhabism, the movement within Sunni Islam, and bitter enemy of Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, leader of the Hashemites and of the Arab Revolt, both contenders to become "King of the Arabs". Philby secretly began to favour Ibn Saud even though British policy supported Sherif Hussein. Philby completed a crossing from Riyadh to Jeddah by a "backdoor" route, thus demonstrating Saud and not Hussein was in control of the Arabian highlands.

In November 1918, Britain and France issued the Anglo-French Declaration[5] to the Arabs, promising self-determination. Philby felt there was a betrayal of this assurance, along with others made in the Balfour Declaration and the Sykes-Picot Agreement. He saw the promise of a single unified Arab nation as having been betrayed. Philby argued that Ibn Saud was a "democrat" guiding his affairs "by mutual counsel" as laid out in the Quran, in contrast to George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston's support for Hussein. After the Iraqi revolt of 1920 Philby was appointed Minister of Internal Security in Mandatory Iraq.

In November 1921, Philby was named chief head of the Secret Service in Mandatory Palestine, working with T. E. Lawrence and meeting his American counterpart, Allen Dulles. At the end of 1922, Philby travelled to London for extensive meetings with parties involved in the Palestine question, included Winston Churchill, George V, Edward, Prince of Wales, Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild, Wickham Steed, and Chaim Weizmann.[6]

Adviser to Ibn Saud

Philby's view was that both British and Saud family's interests would be best served by uniting the Arabian peninsula under one government, stretching from the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf, with the Saudis supplanting the Hashemites as Islamic "Keepers of the Holy Places" while protecting shipping lanes along the Suez Canal–Aden–Mumbai (then Bombay) route.

Philby was forced to resign his post in 1924 over differences of allowing Jewish immigration to Palestine. He was found to have had unauthorised correspondence with Ibn Saud, sending confidential information, which carried with it the connotation of espionage. Shortly afterwards Ibn Saud began to call for the overthrow of the Hashemite dynasty, with Philby advising him on how far he could go in occupying Arabia without incurring the wrath of the British, the principal power in the Middle East. In 1925 Philby claimed Ibn Saud had brought unprecedented order into Arabia.

Philby settled in Jeddah and became a partner in a trading company. Over the next few years he became famous as an international writer and explorer. Philby personally mapped on camel back what is now the Saudi–Yemeni border on the Rub' al Khali. In his unique position he became Ibn Saud's chief adviser in dealing with the British Empire and Western powers. He converted to Islam in 1930.[7] In 1931 Philby invited Charles Richard Crane to Jeddah to facilitate exploration of the kingdom's subsoil oil. Crane was accompanied by noted historian George Antonius, who acted as translator.

In May 1932, Standard Oil of California (SoCal) sought out Philby in its quest to obtain an oil concession in Saudi Arabia, ultimately signing Philby as a paid adviser to SoCal. Philby, in turn, recognising that competition by foreign interests would get a better deal for the Saudi King, made contact with George Martin Lees, Chief Geologist of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, in order to alert him to SoCal's interest in gaining oil exploration rights in Saudi Arabia. Anglo Persian was one of five international partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC), through which it pursued its interest in the Saudi concession. In March 1933, IPC sent a representative, Stephen Longrigg, to join negotiations with the Saudi government in Jeddah. However, Philby's primary loyalty was to the Saudi King and, although he was being paid by SoCal, he kept the arrangement a secret from Longrigg. In May 1933, IPC instructed Longrigg to withdraw from Jeddah, leaving SoCal free to conclude negotiations with the Saudi Arabia for a 60-year contract to obtain the exclusive concession for exploration and extraction of oil in the al-Hasa region along the Persian Gulf.[8]

By 1934, in an effort to safeguard the port of Aden, Britain had no fewer than 1,400 "peace treaties" with the various tribal rulers of the hinterlands of what became Yemen. Philby undermined British influence in the region, however, by facilitating the entry of United States commercial interests, followed by a political alliance between the US and the Saud dynasty.

In 1936 SoCal and Texaco pooled their assets together into what later became ARAMCO (Arabian–American Oil Company). The United States Department of State describes ARAMCO as the richest commercial prize in the history of the planet.[9] Philby represented Saudi interests. In 1937 when the Spanish Civil War broke out, Philby arranged for his son, Kim Philby, to become a war correspondent for The Times.

Later Philby began secret negotiations with Germany and Spain, concerning Saudi Arabia's role in the event of a general European war. These discussions would allow neutral Saudi Arabia to sell oil to neutral Spain, which then would be transported to Germany. John Loftus, who worked in the United States Department of Justice Office of Special Investigations Nazi-hunting unit, claims Adolf Eichmann, while on a mission to the Middle East, met with Philby "during the mid-1930s".[10]

Philby Plan

Philby, a known anti-Zionist, outlined a plan to reach a compromise with Zionism, after consultation with Arab leaders, and it was reported in The New York Times in October 1929. The Plan foresaw a shared confirmation of the Balfour Declaration and continued Jewish immigration into Palestine in exchange for a renunciation by Zionists of any desire to seek political dominance. Representation of the two groups would be based on respecting the numerical proportions between the two groups. Judah Magnes, chancellor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a member of Brit Shalom, reacted to the proposal positively, and suggested alterations in order to secure guarantees for the Jewish minority.[11]

As related in his memoirs, David Ben Gurion, who would become Israel's first Prime Minister, met Philby on 18 May 1937 at the Athenaeum Club in London. Ben Gurion attempted to use Philby as an intermediary to reach an agreement between the Zionist Movement and King Ibn Saud. A few days after their meeting, Philby sent to Ben Gurion a draft treaty by which the Zionists would renounce the Balfour Declaration in exchange for being welcomed to the Middle East by an Arab Federation headed by Ibn Saud. However, several clauses of the draft treaty were unacceptable to Ben Gurion. In particular, Philby had proposed that in future Palestine be "open to the immigration of all those seeking to become its citizens, regardless of race and creed" and refused to mention in specific Jewish immigration. To Ben Gurion, this would have defeated the whole aim of Zionism. Ben Gurion sent Philby a counterproposal based on what Ben Gurion regarded as the indispensable minimum Zionist aspirations to which Philby never replied.[12]

St John Philby, previously a member of the Labour Party, fought a by-election held on 20 July 1939 for the parliamentary constituency of Hythe, Kent. He stood for the anti-Semitic British People's Party, declaring "no cause whatever is worth the spilling of human blood" and "protection of the small man against big business". He lost his deposit. Soon after, the Second World War began. He is recorded as having referred to Adolf Hitler as un homme très fin ("a most sophisticated man").[13]

When he travelled to Bombay he was arrested on 3 August 1940 under Defence Regulation 18B, deported to England and there briefly interned. Shortly after his release from custody Philby recommended his son, Kim, to Valentine Vivian, MI6 deputy chief, who recruited him into the British secret service. When Harold Hoskins of the United States State Department visited Ibn Saud in August 1943, he asked if the king would be willing to have an intermediary meet with Chaim Weizmann. Ibn Saud angrily responded, that he was insulted by the suggestion that he could be bribed for £20 million to accept resettlement of Arabs from Palestine. Hoskins reports the king said Weizmann told him the promise of payment would be "guaranteed by President Roosevelt". A month later Weizmann, in a letter to Sumner Welles wrote: "It is conceived on big lines, large enough to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of both Arabs and Jews, and the strategic and economic interests of the United States;... properly managed, Mr. Philby's scheme offers an approach which should not be abandoned".[14]

Suez Crisis

After Ibn Saud's death in 1953 Philby openly criticised the successor King Saud, saying the royal family's morals were being picked up "in the gutters of the West". He was exiled to Lebanon in 1955. In exile he wrote:

the true basis of Arab hostility to Jewish immigration into Palestine is xenophobia, and instinctive perception that the vast majority of central and eastern European Jews, seeking admission... are not Semites at all.... Whatever political repercussions of their settlement may be, their advent is regarded as a menace to the Semitic culture of Arabia... the European Jew of today, with his secular outlook... is regarded as an unwelcome intruder within the gates of Arabia

While in Beirut, he reconciled with Kim, and they lived together for a time.[15] The son was reemployed by MI6 as an outside informer on retainer. Jack Philby helped further his son's career by introducing him to his extensive network of contacts in the Middle East, including President Camille Chamoun of Lebanon. Both were sympathetic to Nasser during the Suez Crisis of August 1956. Between Jack's access to ARAMCO and Kim's access to British intelligence there was little they did not know about Operation Musketeer, the French and British plan to capture the Suez Canal. The Soviet Union exposed the entire plan in the United Nations and threatened Britain and France with "long-range guided missiles equipped with atomic warheads".

In 1955 Jack Philby returned to live in Riyadh. In 1960, on a visit to Kim in Beirut, he suddenly became ill and was rushed to hospital. "The man whose life had been so eventful and panoramic, so daring and theatrical, now lay unconscious. He awoke only for a moment and murmured to his son, 'I am so bored.' And then he expired."[16] He is buried in the Muslim cemetery in the Basta district of Beirut.[15] His tombstone reads, "Greatest of Arabian Explorers".

Academic interests

A Wabar meteorite etched section

In his travels he took great interest in wildlife and gave a scientific name to the Arabian woodpecker (Desertipicus (now Dendrocopos) dorae), as well as a subspecies (no longer valid) of a scops owl (Otus scops pamelae). Most of his birds were named after women whom he admired. He contributed numerous specimens to the British Museum. He also contributed to the draft of a book on the birds of Arabia by George Latimer Bates. It was not published, but was made use of in Birds of Arabia (1954) by Richard Meinertzhagen. Philby is remembered in ornithology by the name of Philby's partridge (Alectoris philbyi).[17][18]

In 1932, while searching for the lost city of Ubar, he was the first Westerner to visit and describe the Wabar craters.[19]

Awards and legacy

In August 1917 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire.[20] In 1920 he was awarded the Royal Geographical Society Founder's Gold Medal for his two journeys in South Central Arabia.[21]

A subspecies of Middle Eastern lizard, Uromastyx ornata philbyi, and a partridge, Alectoris philbyi, are named in his honour.[22][23]

Some authors have summarised Philby as a British traitor and an anti-Semite.[24][25] They suggest Philby never forgave the British government for ending his civil service career (due to sexual misconduct).[26] Once recruited by MI6, according to these authors, Philby used his intelligence assignment to take revenge on the British government.[27] With the extensive contacts he acquired as a British agent, Philby continued to betray British policy and resist all efforts at creating a Jewish homeland throughout his life. Philby disclosed classified British intelligence to Ibn Saud during wartime; he secretly helped secure American oil concessions in Saudi Arabia, double-crossing British competitors;[15] he created economic partnerships, allied against British interests and in favour of Nazi Germany, with the help of Allen Dulles (later CIA Director); and Philby worked with Nazi intelligence to sabotage efforts at creating a Jewish homeland.[28]

Philby's 1955 book Saudi Arabia contains the only known account of the 1931 Saudi–Yemeni border skirimish.[29]


• The Heart of Arabia: A Record of Travel & Exploration. (London: Constable) 1922.
• Arabia of the Wahhabis. (London: Constable) 1928.
• Arabia. (London: Ernest Benn) 1930.
• The Empty Quarter: being a description of the great south desert of Arabia known as Rub 'al Khali (London: Constable & Company Ltd) 1933. scanned book
• Harun al Rashid (London: P. Davies) 1933. About Harun al-Rashid
• Routes in south-west Arabia [map]: From surveys made in 1936 (Methuen & Co Ltd) 1936.
• Sheba's daughters; being a record of travel in Southern Arabia (London: Methuen & Co Ltd) 1939.
• A Pilgrim in Arabia (London: The Golden Cockerel Press), [1943].
• The Background of Islam: being a sketch of Arabian history in pre-Islamic times (Alexandria: Whitehead Morris) 1947.
• Arabian Days, an autobiography (London: R. Hale) 1948.
• Arabian Highlands (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press) 1952. scanned book
• Arabian Jubilee (London: Hale) [1952]
• Sa′udi Arabia (London: Benn) 1955, New impression: Librairie du Liban, Beirut 1968
• The Land of Midian. (London: Ernest Bean Limited) 1957.
• Forty Years in the Wilderness (London: R. Hale) c1957.
• Arabian Oil Ventures (Washington: Middle East Institute) 1964.

See also

• The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power
• Muhammad Asad
• King of the Sands


1. The London Gazette Publication date: 3 November 1908 Issue:28191 Page: 7933
2. "Middle East Time Bomb: The Real Aim of ISIS Is to Replace the Saud Family as the New Emirs of Arabia". The Huffington Post. 3 September 2014.
3. Ben Macintyre A Spy Among Friends pg 24
4. ... ection.pdf
5. The King-Crane Commission Report, August 28, 1919, II-The Report Upon Mesopotamia.
6. "Harry St John Philby". World News.
7. Macintyre B (2014). A Spy Among Friends. Bloomsbury, London, United Kingdom. p. 27. ISBN 9781408851722.
8. The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, by Daniel Yergin, p. 290
9. "Context of '1945: US State Department Official Calls Saudi Oil 'One of the Greatest Material Prizes in World History".
10. John Loftus & Mark Aarons, The Secret War Against the Jews, p. 45.
11. Daniel P. Kotzin,Judah L. Magnes: An American Jewish Nonconformist, Syracuse University Press, 2010 pp.225–235.
12. דוד בן גוריון, "פגישות עם מנהיגים ערבים" David Ben Gurion, "Meetings With Arab Leaders", Tel Aviv, 1967,Ch.21, p.137-150. Ben Gurion included the full text of Philby's draft treaty and his own conter-proposal.
13. Pryce-Jones, David (2011). Treason of the Heart. Encounter Books. p. 144. ISBN 1594035288.
14. Philby of Arabia, Elizabeth Monroe, Pitman Publishing (1973), p. 225.
15. Carver, Tom (11 October 2012). "Diary: Philby in Beirut". London Review of Books. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
16. Yergin, Daniel (1990). The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power. Simon & Schuster. p. 301. ISBN 978-0671502485.
17. Morrison-Scott, T. C. S. 1939 Some Arabian Mammals Collected by Mr. H. St. J. B. Philby, C.I.E. Novitates Zoologicae, 41: 181–211.
18. Pocock, R I 1935 The Mammals Collected in S. E. Arabia by Mr. Bartram Thomas and Mr. H. St. J. Philby. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 10, 15: 441–467.
19. "Wabar". Earth Impact Database. Planetary and Space Science Centre University of New Brunswick Fredericton. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
20. The London Gazette: 24 August 1917 Issue:30252 Page: 8852
21. "RGS Gold Medal Recipients" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2011.
22. Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Philby", p. 206).
23. Madge, S.; McGowan, P. J.; Kirwan, G. M. (2002). Pheasants, partridges and grouse: a guide to the pheasants, partridges, quails, grouse, guineafowl, buttonquails and sandgrouse of the world. A&C Black.
24. Anthony Cave Brown, Treason in the Blood: Harry St. John Philby, Kim Philby, and the Spy Case of the Century, 1994, Houghton Mifflin.
25. John Loftus & Mark Aarons, The Secret War Against the Jews 21, 24, 32, 38, 41–44 (1994)
26. John Loftus & Mark Aarons, The Secret War Against the Jews, supra, at 23–26
27. John Loftus & Mark Aarons, The Secret War Against the Jews, supra, at 24
28. John Loftus & Mark Aarons, The Secret War Against the Jews, supra, at 24, 32, 38, 42–44
29. Gibler, Dougla; Miller, Steven; Little, Erin (2017). "Report on MIDs that could not be found" (PDF). Retrieved 6 September 2019.


• Kingmakers: the Invention of the Modern Middle East, Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac, W.W. Norton (2008)
• Princes of Darkness, Laurent Murawiec, Rowman and Littlefield (2005)
• Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press (2004)
• Arabian Jubilee, H. StJ. B. Philby, Robert Hale, (1952)
• Philby of Arabia, Elizabeth Monroe, Pitman Publishing (1973)
• The Secret War Against the Jews, John Loftus and Mark Aarons, St Martin's Press (1994)
• Arabia, the Gulf and the West Basic Books (1980)
• The House of Saud, David Holden and Richard Johns, Holt Rinehart and Winston (1981)
• The Philby Conspiracy, Bruce Page, David Leitch and Phillip Knightley, Doubleday (1968)
• Saudi Arabia and the United States, 1931–2002 by Josh Pollack (2002)
• Mirage: Power, Politics, And the Hidden History of Arabian Oil, by Aileen Keating, Prometheus Books (2005)

External links

• Royal Geographical Society
• Middle East Centre Archive, St Antony's College
• Newspaper clippings about St John Philby in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:09 am

Part 1 of 4

Jawaharlal Nehru
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/26/20

Contemporary India on occasion published keynote nationalist texts, such as Nehru's addresses to annual sessions of the Indian National Congress, but most of its content was specially written....

When Jawaharlal Nehru, in the months leading up to India's independence, sent a note to Freda Bedi, the address was wonderfully concise: The Huts, Model Town, Lahore....

The Indian Civil Liberties Union was established by the Congress's Jawaharlal Nehru in 1936 -- two years after the National Council for Civil Liberties was established in Britain, harnessing radical, communist and pacifist concerns about illiberalism and an intolerance towards political dissent. Freda was diligent in seeking out breaches of civil liberties and became the most prominent activist in Punjab of a movement which she insisted was non-party and non-denominational 'welcoming all shades of opinion in its rank'. By the spring of 1937, Freda was on the national council of the Civil Liberties Union and in June she was the principal organiser and speaker at a widely reported civil liberties conference in Amritsar. The purpose of the Union, she explained, was 'to throw the spotlight of publicity on any encroachments of the legal rights of the people, and to consolidate public opinion so that we are in a position to demand redress from the authorities concerned. Its function is therefore, mainly as a propagandistic body.' So the aim was to work within the system more than to challenge it. She talked of the civil liberties movements already in place in Europe and America 'and we can count on their help and co-operation in this fight which has in reality no national boundaries, but is concerned with man and his relation to the state. We of the Colonial countries' -- she declared in an emphatic expression of her identification with India over England -- 'may be more in need of such organizations, but it is only a matter of degree because wherever there are rich and poor, wherever in fact Capitalism raises its head, the need is urgent.'

Once established as a speaker, the demands on Freda's time became relentless....

Before boarding the plane [February, 1947], Freda dropped a line to a friend asking for advice about what to do in London. Jawaharlal Nehru, who by the end of the year was to become the first prime minister of independent India, sent a brief reply to her at The Huts. 'I hope you will enjoy your visit to England after 14 years,' he wrote. 'You should certainly meet Krishna Menon, I cannot suggest what you might do there, but Krishna Menon will, no doubt, be able to do so.'...

Freda's visit had a charming codicil. A year later, her mother received a last minute invitation to meet India's new prime minister. 'Summoned to a reception at India House, London, to meet Jawaharlal Pandit Nehru, Mrs. F.N. Swan ... cooked a meal for four, prepared the next day's food and then found time to go out and buy herself a new dress and a new hat for the occasion before catching a train to London less than seven hours after receiving the invitation,' reported the Derby Daily Telegraph. Mrs Swan told the paper that her daughter was 'well known to Pandit Nehru' and she said her proudest moment came when Nehru stopped at her table and shook her hand....

At this time, Kashmir was emerging from a long period of isolation and popular politics was taking root. The maharaja, Hari Singh, was a Hindu and, in the eyes of most Kashmiris, an outsider, while his princely state was largely Muslim and the Kashmir Valley emphatically so. He was also part of a generation of Indian princes who were much more comfortable hunting, shooting and fishing than in engaging with social and political reform. The princely states were not formally part of the British Raj, but in Srinagar -- as in many other princely capitals -- a British Resident kept a careful watching eye and on occasions intervened to seek to ensure political stability and protect British interests. Princely autocracy and the accompanying restraints on political activity and public expression were increasingly an anachronism as the temper of Indian politics began to rise. Sheikh Abdullah and a like-minded group of young, educated Kashmiris -- most of them from the state's Muslim majority -- sought to challenge the oppressive feudalism still prevalent in the villages and to mobilise public opinion.

The Bedis came to see the Kashmir Valley not simply as a picturesque location offering respite from the summer heat but as the site of a political struggle to which they could, and should, contribute. This was probably a mix of personal initiative and prompting by the Communist Party, which viewed Kashmir as a promising place to seek recruits and influence. Sheikh Abdullah had a firm personal friendship and political alliance with the Congress's Jawaharlal Nehru, himself of distant Kashmiri descent. But the communists were keen to help support Abdullah's party, the National Conference, and shape its policy and strategy. When in the summer of 1942 Bedi was released from Deoli and Freda was able to disengage from her lecturing job in Lahore, their involvement in Kashmiri politics stepped up....

The reputation Bedi gained for taking the lead in compiling the 'New Kashmir' manifesto helped him in his task of securing recruits. Christabel Taseer saw at close quarters Bedi's effectiveness -- she recounted that G.M. Sadiq, later a prime minister of the state, 'was motivated to be a Leftist, as were a number of other young Kashrniris, by association with B.P.L. Bedi and his wife, Freda, both dedicated Marxists.' Another Kashmiri leftist with a large popular following, G.M. Karra, told Taseer how he and several others had been 'won over to the Communist cause through the Bedis'. Yet another stated that 'Kashmir's Marxist intellectual scene was dominated by B.P.L. Bedi and his English wife Freda Bedi'. The Bedis were big fish in the small pond of Kashmiri progressives and radicals -- and their close friendship with Sheikh Abdullah and his reliance on the left for strategic direction and organisational support gave them huge authority and influence. At the same time, the Bedis were making friends in the political mainstream of the nationalist movement too. A remarkable group photograph survives, taken in Kashmir in 1945 at the annual session of the National Conference, which includes three future prime ministers of India and two future prime ministers of Indian Kashmir: Sheikh Abdullah and his ally Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad are at the back; in front of them are Jawaharlal Nehru -- recently released from detention -- and his daughter Indira Gandhi; two nationalist leaders in what became Pakistan are prominent, Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai from Baluchistan and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan from the Frontier, the latter carrying a young child, very probably Indira's son, Rajiv Gandhi; on one flank is Mridula Sarabhai, an influential supporter of Kashmiri nationalism; on the other is Freda Bedi, smiling broadly and clearly pregnant, with B.P.L. behind her, largely hidden to the camera....

The women's militia in which Freda enrolled was one of a number of left-inspired initiatives to support Kashmir's progressive government and its ambitions for social change. The men's militia, replete with a political officer, saw active service alongside Indian troops and several of its members were killed. A cultural front encompassed progressive writers and poets from Kashmir and other parts of India and performed hastily written agitprop theatre. 'The atmosphere reminded one of Spain and the International Brigade,' one of the participants recalled a touch romantically, 'where, it was said, writers had come to live their books, and poets had come to die for their poetry!'

The Women's Self-Defence Corps was, as its name suggests, not intended as an offensive force but to help defend Srinagar, and particularly to protect the honour of its women. The numbers enrolling were modest and disproportionately from the Pandit, or Kashmiri Hindu, minority -- reflecting the social conservatism of the Muslim community and the preponderance of Pandits in the local intelligentsia and the left. The women were provided with rifles and trained in their use by an Indian army officer; they drilled and paraded in Srinagar's parks and open spaces. An armed women's militia would have been a striking innovation in any part of India -- in the conservative and sheltered Kashmir Valley, it reflected a revolution in social attitudes. The Communist Party paper, the People's Age, gave proud prominence to the militia. 'I am writing this letter from the Paladium [sic] Cinema which is our headquarters now,' one woman volunteer wrote. 'Down below at the crossing, thousands of Kashmiris are always mounting guard with their rifles. The whole city is mad with joy ... Today four of us girls will be taught the use of rifles. Tomorrow we may be sent to the ... front as field-nurses.' A subsequent issue featured two pages of photographs of the women in training, and declared: 'The women in Kashmir are the first in India to build an army of women trained to use the rifle. By their example they have made Indian history, filled our chests with pride, raised our country's banner higher among the great nations of the world.'

The women's militia never saw active service, though it paraded for and was inspected by Jawaharlal Nehru, now India's prime minister, on his visits to Srinagar. Pathe newsreel footage from 1948 includes a glimpse of Freda on the parade ground with a rifle in her hand. The volunteers also took on a social role, helping those displaced both by Partition-related upheaval and by the fighting in parts of the former princely state which came to involve the Pakistan army as well as irregular forces. They took up 'women's work' among the refugees, organising milk for the camps, and distributing clothes and blankets, 'all of us,' Freda told friends, 'acting as older sisters to the thousands of children and women suffering not only physical hardships in the desperate cold, but often in mental torture when relations and children had been killed, abducted, or lost on the miserable trek to safety.'....

The impact of the conflict over Kashmir pervaded Freda's letters -- 'we are a battle front' she told Olive Chandler -- and while a United Nations-brokered ceasefire came into effect at the close of 1948, Kashmir's contested status cast a shadow on the social ambitions of its governing party:

While a very brutal tribal invasion + hot propaganda from the Pakistan side has been trying to make the State communal minded, it has valiantly stuck to its democratic ideas, + built up a corner of India where one can truly sayan inter-communal life exists. Something to be deeply grateful for after the inevitable frustration + bitterness that followed in the wake of the riots both in India + Pakistan.

All I had by way of books + household goods was either looted in Lahore, or is stored there ... + I can't get it. We had to rebuild from the ground up. But nothing matters -- all of us are safe + having been daily with refugees with their heartrending stories of violent death + abduction I feel we have been lucky.

She went on to reflect on the prospect of a popular vote to decide whether Kashmir should be part of India or Pakistan -- a commitment that Nehru had made to Kashmiris, though neither he nor subsequent Indian leaders have honoured it. 'Living in Kashmir is like sitting on the edge of a precipice,' she said.

There will be a tough fight when + if a plebiscite takes place. The other side uses low weapons: an appeal to religious fanaticism + hatred which can always find a response. We fight with clean hands. I am content as a democrat that Kashmir should vote + turn whichever way it wishes: but I know a Pakistan victory would mean massacre, abduction, the mass migration of Hindus + Sikhs + I hate to face it. God forbid it should happen. Kashmir with its Socialist Government + its young leaders can lead India, rebuild this miserable Country. I've great faith in it, + love for it, too. It is beautiful, rich in talent + natural resources.

Nehru also pressed Sheikh Abdullah to keep communists at a distance, with Bedi the main target of his displeasure. In May 1949, after a brief visit to Kashmir, Nehru wrote to 'Shaikh Saheb' with a gentle warning:

Quite a number of our embassies here are greatly worried at, what they say, the communist infiltration into Kashmir .... Most of them have heard about Bedi and they enquire about him. I understand that Bedi is editing the newspaper there and is drawing a substantial salary plus free car etc. I have no personal grievance against Bedi, but in view of the trouble we are having with the Communist Party in India, naturally Bedi's name is constantly coming up before people here.

Sheikh Abdullah's reply isn't available -- but Nehru wouldn't let the matter rest. He wrote again to the Kashmiri leader:

You referred to the Bedis. I rather like them and especially Freda. I know that Freda left the Communist Party some years ago. What she has done since, I do not know. But so far as I know, Bedi has continued in the Party, and the Party, especially today, does not tolerate any lukewarm people or those who do not fall in line with their present policy.

I do not want you to push out the Bedis and cause immediate distress to them. But I do think that no responsible work should be given to them and they should be kept completely in the background. Yesterday I saw a little book on you written by the Bedis. This kind of thing immediately makes people think that the Bedis are playing a prominent role in Kashmir and are closely associated with you. These create reactions in their minds against you and your Government.

The publication which had attracted Nehru's attention was a twenty-page pamphlet in praise of Sheikh Abdullah. This unsophisticated piece of propaganda written jointly by the Bedis sought to portray the Kashmiri leader as one of 'the Great Three' figures of India's independence era alongside Nehru and Gandhi -- a theatrical over-statement which should have brought a blush to the authors' cheeks.

B.P.L. Bedi was aware of Nehru's antipathy and of the attempts to marginalise him. He said there was 'very great pressure ... exerted by the Government of India for my being sent away from Kashmir, because they felt leftist policies would be going on more and more adamantly if I stayed on there.' His influence and access started to diminish. Bedi was removed from his counter-propaganda role and deputed to Kashmir's education ministry to revise school textbooks. Freda was also involved (and probably more active) in drafting new textbooks and both husband and wife were nominated to Jammu and Kashmir's Central Advisory Board on Education. 'Over 90 books were rewritten and printed .. .' Freda commented, 'and Kashmir was the first part of India to reorganise its teaching material so that the books fitted in with the new world and the new free India that our children now live in.' These were important tasks but at some remove from the most sensitive political decision making. Nehru's advice, it seems, was being heeded. For Bedi, this sidelining must have added to a sense of anguish. After almost twenty years of incessant political activity, both the main political forces to which he had owed allegiance -- the Communist Party and the Kashmiri nationalists -- were cutting him loose. He had seen himself as a key and perhaps indispensable figure; that's not quite how others viewed him....

The Bedis also had a more active social life during their years in Srinagar than probably at any other time of their marriage. They enjoyed their status and the attention that surrounded it -- which stemmed both from their association with Sheikh Abdullah and Freda's exceptional position as a white woman who entirely identified with India and with Kashmiri nationalism. Michael Brecher, a Canadian academic, spent three months in Srinagar with his wife in the summer of 1951 and saw a lot of the Bedis. He found them both compelling but 'very different in almost every respect'. B.P.L. was clearly well connected, though a touch arrogant -- 'someone who could be very jovial and charming' but also 'a very serious committed ideologue'. He took more to Freda, 'a striking looking person, a very handsome lady ... most impressive as a human being: bright, engaged, caring'. He considered her a 'dual character -- being very British, it seemed to us' but totally immersed in her environment. Brecher came across a constant stream of visitors to the Bedis' home, including a woman he met in their garden who was 'very quiet, demure, almost inconspicuous'. This was Indira Gandhi, Nehru's only child, then in her mid-thirties. 'My sense from Freda was they were good friends.' The friendship nurtured in Kashmir between Indira and Freda, both Oxford graduates, strengthened over the following decade....

Towards the close of the Bedis' time in Kashmir, she accepted a six months' United Nations posting to Burma, which had won its independence from Britain a year after India. She could probably sense that her husband wouldn't continue for much longer at Sheikh Abdullah's side, and the family needed an income....

Freda's new role with the United Nations was to help in the planning of Burma's social services: 'A job after my own heart,' she told Olive Chandler, 'but it's hard not to be with the family. However, in their interest, I can't throw opportunities away + this opens new fields for us all.' She was restless by nature and relished the opportunity of working somewhere new. 'Burma is like India enough to be homely,' she wrote, 'unlike enough to be beguiling.' Without family responsibilities, she had more time to devote to her own interests, and above all to meditate. She met a Buddhist teacher in Rangoon, U Titthila, who had spent the war years in London where he had on occasions abandoned his monk's robes to serve as an air raid warden and, during the Blitz when London came under sustained German air attack, as a stretcher bearer. Freda found him 'very saintly'; she asked him to teach her Vipassana (insight) meditation techniques. 'And it was then ... I got my first flash of understanding -- can't call it more than that. But it changed my whole life. I felt that, really, this meditation had shown me what I was trying to find ... and I got great, great happiness -- a feeling that I had found the path.'...

For two months, she had a weekly session with U Titthila. 'And I remember him saying when the eight weeks was coming to an end: if you get a realisation or a flash of realisation, it may not be sitting in your room in meditation, in pose in front of a picture of the Buddha or something, it will probably be somewhere where you don't expect it.' That's exactly what happened. 'I was actually walking with the [UN] commission through the streets of Akyab in the north of Burma -- [it was] as though some gates in my mind had just opened and suddenly I was seeing the flow of things, meaning, connections. And when I went back to Delhi, well, I told my husband I'd been searching all my life, it's the Buddhist monks who have been able to show me something I could not find and I'm a Buddhist from now on. Then I began to learn Buddhism after that.' Her family's recollection is that this 'flash' of spiritual awakening was accompanied by a breakdown. According to Ranga, his mother fainted and was taken to hospital. Bedi managed to get emergency travel documents, headed out to Burma and brought his wife home. When she came back, she didn't recognise B.P.L. or anybody. She didn't recognise her children. She would sit on her cot doing nothing -- completely blank. You couldn't make eye contact with her,' Ranga recalls. 'There was no speech, no recognition-though she could eat and bathe. That lasted for about two months when she gradually started reacting to things. All she recalled was that when walking down the street ... she saw a huge flash of light in the sky and she lost consciousness.'....

On her return to Delhi, she set up an organisation that she called the Friends of Buddhism. She took a personal vow of brahmacharya, a commitment to virtuous living which implies a decision to become celibate. Her engagement with the faith radically refashioned her links with her family and set her on the course which defined the last quarter-of-a- century of her life....

Once she was fully recovered, Freda again had to take on the responsibility of being the family's primary earner. She got a helping hand from a well-placed friend. Among her papers is a handwritten note from 'Indu', Indira Gandhi, on the headed paper of the Prime Minister's House: 'Durgabai Deshmukh wants to see you at 11 a.m. tomorrow ... in her office in the Planning Commission, Rashtrapati Bhawan. I shall send the car at 10.30.' Deshmukh was an influential figure in the Congress Party and had been a member of India's Constituent Assembly. She had just been appointed as the initial chairperson of the Planning Commission, which in Nehruvian India with its faith in the state to engineer social and economic progress was an important post. She was adamant on the need to champion the interests and promote the welfare of women, children and the disabled. Her meeting with Freda clearly went well. The following month, in January 1954, Freda began working for the government's Central Social Welfare Board establishing and editing a monthly journal, Social Welfare. Although she was not a natural civil servant, she embraced the social agenda and the opportunity to travel across India and throw a spotlight on women's concerns and on projects which successfully addressed them. She remained in the job for eight years....

The late 1950s were a period of transition for the Bedi family. Bhabooji, Baba's mother and a constant in Freda's life ever since she had arrived in India, died in August 1958. She was told just before her death that Ranga had got engaged. He had spent a year or two with friends farming on 600 acres of remote land near the border with Nepal -- and, for a second time in his life, living in huts without electricity or running water. That hadn't worked out, and he secured a job as an assistant manager on a tea estate in the far reaches of Assam, one of the first Indians to break into the hitherto 'ex pat' domain of tea planting. He and Urmila Paul, known universally as Umi, married in November. She was from a Christian family and they had a Christian wedding at her uncle's home in the Lodhi Estate in Delhi. Indira Gandhi attended and brought a note from her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, bestowing his blessings....

Towards the close of 1956, Delhi hosted a major international Buddhist gathering that was Freda's introduction to the Tibetan schools of Buddhism, which are in the Mahayana tradition as distinct from the Theravada school which is predominant in Burma. This Buddha Jayanti was to celebrate the 2,500th anniversary of the Buddha's life. The Indian government wanted Tibet's Buddhist leaders to attend, particularly the Dalai Lama, who was that rare combination of temporal ruler and spiritual leader of his people. The Chinese authorities initially said no but at the last minute relented. Jawaharlal Nehru was at Delhi airport to welcome the twenty-one year old Dalai Lama on his first visit to India; the young Tibetan leader had at this stage not made up his mind whether he would return to his Chinese-occupied homeland or lead a Tibetan independence movement in exile. Freda played a role in welcoming the Tibetan delegation to the Indian capital. 'The radiance and good humour of the Dalai Lama was something we shall never forget,' she told Olive Chandler. 'I also got a chance of shepherding the official tour of the International delegates to India's Buddhist shrines and made many new friends.' A snatch of newsreel footage shows Freda Bedi at the side of the Dalai Lama at Ashoka Vihar, the Buddhist centre outside Delhi where the Bedi family had camped out a few years earlier. Both Kabir and Guli were also there, the latter peering out nervously between a heavily garlanded Dalai Lama and her sari-clad mother.19 Freda also received the Dalai Lama's blessing.

In the following year, when she made a brief visit to Britain, Freda made a point of visiting the main Buddhist centres in London and meeting Christmas Humphreys, a judge who was the most prominent of the tiny band of converts to Buddhism in Britain. She was becoming well-known and well-connected as a practitioner of Buddhism. What prompted her to become not simply a devotee but an activist once more was the Dalai Lama's second visit to India -- in circumstances hugely different from his first. Nehru had dissuaded the Dalai Lama from staying in India after the Buddha Jayanti celebrations. Early in 1959, Tibet rose up against Chinese rule, an insurrection which provoked a steely response. The Dalai Lama and his retinue, fearing for their lives and for Tibet's Buddhist traditions and learning, fled across the Himalayas, crossing into India at the end of March and reaching the town of Tezpur in Assam on 18th April 1959. Tens of thousands of Tibetans followed the Dalai Lama, undergoing immense hardships as they traversed across the mountains and sought to evade the Chinese army. Freda felt impelled to get involved.

'Technically, I was Welfare Adviser to the Ministry,' Freda wrote of her time at the Tibetan refugee camps in north-east India; 'actually I was Mother to a camp full of soldiers, lamas, peasants and families.' It was a role she found fulfilling. Freda was able to use the skills and contacts she had developed as a social worker and civil servant and at the same time to be nourished by the spirituality evident among those who congregated in the camps. The needs of the refugees were profound. For many, the journeys had been harrowing -- avoiding Chinese troops, travelling on foot across the world's most daunting mountain range and sometimes reduced to eating yak leather to stave off starvation. Many failed to complete the journey. And while the Indian camps offered sanctuary, they were insanitary, overcrowded and badly organised. For hundreds of those who arrived tattered, malnourished and vulnerable to disease, the camps were places to die.

In October 1959, six months after the camps were set up, Jawaharlal Nehru, India's prime minister, asked Freda to visit them and report back -- though it may be more accurate to say that Freda badgered her old friend into giving her this role....

Her most immediate task was to remedy the shortcomings in the running of these hastily set-up camps. She used the privileged access she had to India's decision makers. She went straight to the top -- to Nehru. And he listened. In early December, Nehru sent a note to India's foreign secretary, the country's most senior career diplomat, asking for a response to concerns that Freda had brought to the prime minister's notice. He endorsed one of Freda's suggestions, 'the absolute necessity of social workers being attached to the camps'.

The normal official machinery (Nehru wrote) is not adequate for this purpose, however good it might be. The lack of even such ordinary things as soap and the inadequacy of clothing etc. should not occur if a person can get out of official routines. But more than the lack of things is the social approach.

What concerned Nehru even more was Freda's complaint of endemic corruption. 'She says that "I am convinced that there is very bad corruption among the lower clerical staff in Missamari [sic]". Heavy bribery is referred to. She suggested in her note on corruption that an immediate secret investigation should take place in this matter.' Nehru ordered action to investigate, and if necessary to remove, corrupt officials. 'It is not enough for the local police to be asked to do it,' he instructed. It's not clear what remedial measures were taken but the interest in the running of the Tibetan camps shown by the prime minister and by his daughter, Indira Gandhi, will have helped to redress the most acute of the problems facing the refugees there....

Towards the close of her six months in the camps, Freda Bedi again sought out Nehru, and this time was more insistent about the measures the Indian government needed to take to meet its responsibilities towards the refugees. She wrote to the prime minister to pass on the representations of 'the representatives of the Venerable Lamas and monks of the famous monasteries ... living in Misamari', though the vigour with which she expressed herself -- this was not the temperately worded letter that India's prime minister would be more accustomed to receive -- underlines her own anger at what she saw as the harsh treatment of the Tibetan clerics in particular. Her main concern was the enrolling of Tibetan refugees on road building projects.

Roadwork is heaving, exhausting, and nomadic, it is utterly unsuited to monks who have lived for long years in settled monastic communities. They can't 'take it', any more than could our lecturers, or officials, or Ashramites, or university faculties and students. Let us face that fact, and make more determined efforts to rehabilitate them in their own groups on land.

She insisted that those who did not offer to do roadwork were not lazy, and that almost all those in the camps were 'eager and willing to work on land in a settled Community'. And she sought lenience for some of those involved in roadwork who were penalised as 'deserters' when they were forced to leave their duties because rain washed away the roads or had made shelter and food supplies precarious. 'I feel it is not worthy of Gov[ernmen]t to be vindictive when the refugees have already suffered as much in Tibet,' she told Nehru. 'We should be big hearted.'

She warned Nehru that the Indian government's responsibility for Tibetan monks wasn't limited to the 700 or so in Dalhousie in the north Indian hills and the 1,500 which at this date -- March 1960 -- were at Buxa. There were a further 1,200 monks in Misamari and new arrivals expected for some months more, and another 1,500 refugees outside the government camps living in and around the Indian border towns of Kalimpong and Darjeeling and 'in a pitiable condition'. Freda was speaking from personal observation. Her letter concluded with an appeal and a warning, again couched in language that only a personal friend could use to address a prime minister:

Panditji, I am specially asking your help as I do not want a residue of over one thousand unhappy lamas and monks to be left on our hands when Misamari closed. Nor do I want to hear totally unfair statements that 'they won't work'. I am sure you will help to clarify matters in Delhi.

Nehru asked his foreign secretary to investigate, who replied with a robust defence of the use of refugees in road-building projects. They were not acting under compulsion, he insisted, and this was a temporary measure while more permanent arrangements were made for accommodation and rehabilitation. And he suggested that some at least of the refugees were work shy, expressing just the sort of view that Freda had insisted was so unjust and uncaring. 'Mrs Bedi complains that we have been hard on the Lamas,' the foreign secretary wrote in a note to Nehru. 'There are various grades of Lamas, from the highly spiritual ones -- the incarnate Lamas -- to those who merely serve as attendents [sic]. Our information now is that having found life relatively easy ... many ordinary people who would otherwise have to earn their living by work, are taking to beads and putting forward claims as Lamas. I feel that some pressure should be brought to bear on this kind of people to do some useful work.'

In her letter to the prime minister, Freda had mused that if Nehru could see the Buxa and Misamari camps, 'I feel you would instinctively realise the major unsolved policy problems here on the spot.' In a testament to her personal sway with India's leader, the following month Nehru did indeed visit Misamari. He spent two hours at the camp, looking round the hospital and seeing Tibetan girls who were being trained in handloom weaving. He addressed a crowd which consisted of almost all the 2,800 Tibetans then at Misamari, assuring them that he would act on an appeal he had received from the Dalai Lama to extend arrangements for educating both the young and adults. There was no greater spur to official attention to the Tibetans' welfare than the prime minister's personal oversight of the issue. And if any had doubted just how much influence Freda held with the prime minister, persuading him to travel across the country to one of its most difficult-to-reach corners demonstrated just how influential and effective she was.

Freda did not let the matter drop. On her return to Delhi in June, she called on the prime minister and in a remarkable demonstration of her moral authority and personal influence, cajoled Nehru to write to one of his top civil servants that same evening to express his disquiet about what he had heard concerning recent ministry instructions.

One is the order that all the new refugees, without any screening, should be sent on somewhere for road-making, etc. This seems to me unwise and impracticable. These refugees differ greatly, and to treat them as if they were all alike, is not at all wise. There are, I suppose, senior Lamas, junior Lamas, people totally unused to any physical work etc. ...

Sending people for road-making when they are entirely opposed to it, will probably create dis-affection in the road-making groups which have now settled down more-or-less. I was also told that the mortality rate increases.

It reads almost as if Freda was dictating the prime minister's note. She also prompted Nehru to question a reduction in rations for those in the camps, and to urge the provision of wheat, a much more familiar part of the Tibetan diet, rather than rice. Freda Bedi was, Nehru warned, going to call on the ministry the following day -- and civil servants were urged to take immediate action on these and any other pressing issues she raised. 'I do not want the fairly good record we have set up in our treatment of these refugees,' the prime minister asserted, 'to be spoiled now by attempts at economy or lack of care.'

Nehru's more persistent concern was the impact of providing refuge to the Dalai Lama and so many of his followers on relations with India's powerful eastern neighbour. A steady deterioration in relations eventually led to a short border war in 1962 which -- to Nehru's shock and distress -- China won. In the immediate aftermath of that military setback, Nehru came to address troops at Misamari camp, which had reverted to serving as a military base. Nevertheless, India persisted with its open-door policy for Tibetans, and somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 refugees followed the Dalai Lama into India. The Dalai Lama and his immediate entourage were settled in the hill town of Dharamsala in north India, which became the headquarters of Tibet's government-in-exile. One of Freda's more quixotic interventions with Nehru was to argue that the Dalai Lama and his entourage should remain in their temporary home in the hill resort of Mussoorie rather than relocated to Dharamsala. Nehru replied that he found her arguments 'singularly feeble'.

Freda found her time in the Assam camps both physically and emotionally draining. On her return to Delhi she was admitted to hospital suffering from heat stroke and exhaustion. It was sufficiently serious for Kabir and Gulhima to be brought down from their boarding school in the hills. The doctors said their presence might lift her spirits. 'She responded well to our being there,' Gull says. 'Initially when we went in to see her she did not respond. But the next day she was sitting up and spoke.' Once recovered, she was determined to have a continuing role promoting the welfare of Tibetan refugees even though she was returning to her government job editing Social Welfare. Reading between the lines of Nehru's missives, Freda seems to have lobbied him on this point. 'If possible, I should like to take advantage of her work in future,' Nehru noted. 'She knows these refugees and they have got to know her. Could we arrange with the Central Social Welfare Board to give her to us for two or three weeks at a time after suitable intervals?'

When Freda confided to her friend Olive Chandler that her heart was in working with the Tibetans, she was saying what was becoming increasingly evident to her colleagues in the Social Welfare Board. 'Freda went to these camps and her heart bled,' according to her friend and colleague Tara All Baig. 'She neglected her work with the Board more and more, travelling to the centres especially in Bengal and Dehra Dun where distress was greatest.' Her boss, the formidable Durgabai Deshmukh, got fed up with Freda's preoccupation with the Tibetan issue to the exclusion of other aspects of her work. She was determined to sack Freda, and only Baig's personal intervention saved her job. 'I was lashed by Durgabai's best legal arguments against retaining her. But Freda had children and needed her job. I weathered the storm and was rewarded with Freda's reinstatement.' She survived in her government post for another couple of years, by which time the pull of working more fully and directly with the lamas among the Tibetan refugees had become compelling.

In her letters and representations to Nehru about conditions in the Tibetan camps, Freda raised an issue about the treatment of the monks and lamas which became for her a mission. 'We are not trying seriously or systematically to send them to educational institutions to teach them English or Hindi or the provincial regional languages, without which they cannot be suitably rehabilitated,' she lamented. 'A small number should be sent now so that they can, after about 1-2 years, return to their monasteries/farms and teach the others.' Nehru, once again, endorsed Freda's suggestion and passed it on to civil servants, insisting that 'some priority' must be given to arranging teaching of languages in the camps, and to adults as well as children. Freda understood that there would be no early return to Tibet for the refugees and if the spiritual tradition which she and the Tibetans so greatly valued was to survive, then it would need to adapt to its new surroundings. She also wanted the world to appreciate Tibetan Buddhism and to have access to its richness -- to share her discovery and the joy that it brought. And for both these goals, that meant educating the coming generation of spiritual leaders -- not simply ensuring that their religious instruction and guidance continued in their new home, but that they gained proficiency in English and Hindi....

Of all the ventures that Freda Bedi embarked upon in her varied life, the Young Lamas' Home School has borne the biggest legacy....

Lang-Sims saw at close quarters the setting up of the Home School. The house was newly built with stone floors, standing on raised ground on an 'exceptionally pleasant' site amid an expanse of scrubland....

Freda's energy, drive and organisation had established the school and marshalled the young lamas. She was every bit as effective at developing the profile of the new school, which was so important in ensuring continued government support and private fundraising. With an eye perhaps on both goals, Freda took Lois Lang-Sims to meet Nehru, then in his early seventies and increasingly worn-out after fourteen years in office. 'Freda expressed her gratitude for his encouragement and assistance in her school project: suddenly he really smiled, seeming to wake out of his dream, and said teasingly, in a very low, quiet voice: "It was not for you I did it." Then he half closed his eyes and appeared almost to go to sleep.'

-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead

Men often call themselves progressive when they only mean that they are not reactionary. Progressive men start and lead progressive movements like the many we have seen spring up around us all over the world in the last two decades. Some of these progressive movements have had a great fascination for Nehru. He always likes to be looked upon as a modern; he wants to be a Picasso hung up in the Royal Academy, looking upon the classical forms around him with a supercilious air. He is easily moved by the righteousness of a cause and by anything that smacks of a crusade. He always comes back from his trips abroad full of admiration for some other people in some other part of the world who may be fighting their battle for freedom, whether that battle is to achieve freedom or to retain it. He is fond of reading literature which speaks the language of freedom. All this has endeared him to our people, to whom he is more a legend than a practical leader. In terms of folklore, he could be likened to a prince, ready with his sword to defend the unarmed, to guard the rights of man, to fight for human justice. But all this Tennysonian allegory of the days of King Arthur and Lancelot does not sit so well at the desk of the Prime Minister of India, more especially when this knight with the shining piece of steel has constantly got to dip it in ordinary blue-black ink to append his signature to executive actions, some of which could be likened to those of a small-town dictator in a neo-fascist state. That new streak, perceptible in Jawaharlal Nehru, some say has come with responsibility; others strongly suspect it has come with power.

To understand this, one has to go back fifteen years, when, in the staid Modern Review [1. November 1937.] of Calcutta, a magazine which circulates among ‘highbrows’ only, there appeared an article, anonymously written, entitled ‘Jawaharlal Nehru’. Readers of the Modern Review were disturbed by the appearance of this ridiculously melodramatic article in an otherwise weighty publication. The author was obviously an enthusiastic college student whom the editor was trying desperately hard to encourage. Nehru was at that time President of the Indian National Congress, and he had indicated his unwillingness to carry on the appointment for another term. The young writer was trying to dissuade the Congress from reelecting him, on the grounds that in Jawaharlal was the germ of a fascist, and that if he were pampered too much, the pampering would go to his head. Of course, he wrote in glowing terms about Jawaharlal all the way through the article, as some of the passages quoted below will indicate:

‘ . . . The Rashtrapati [2. Sanskrit word for President.] looked up as he passed swiftly through the waiting crowds, his hands went up and were joined together in salute and his pale hard face was lit up by a smile. It was a warm personal smile, and the people who saw it responded to it immediately and smiled and cheered in return.

‘The smile passed away and again the face became stern and sad, impassive in the midst of the emotion that it had roused in the multitude. Almost it seemed that the smile and the gesture accompanying it had little reality behind them; they were just tricks of the trade to gain the goodwill of the crowds whose darling he had become. Was it so?

‘Watch him again. There is a great procession, and tens of thousands of persons surround his car and cheer him in an ecstasy of abandonment. He stands on the seat of the car, balancing himself rather well, straight and seemingly tall, like a god, serene and unmoved by the seething multitude. Suddenly there is that smile again, or even a merry laugh, and the tension seems to break and the crowd laughs with him, not knowing what he is laughing at. He is god-like no longer but a human being, claiming kinship and comradeship with the thousands who surround him, and the crowd feels happy and friendly and takes him to its heart. But the smile is gone and the pale stern face is there again . . .

Jawaharlal is a personality which compels interest and attention. But they have a vital significance for us, for he is bound up with the present in India, and probably the future and he has the power in him to do great good to India or great injury ....

‘ . . . From the far north to Cape Comorin he has gone like some triumphant Caesar passing by, leaving a trail of glory and a legend behind him. Is all this for him just a passing fancy which amuses him, or some deep design or the play of some force which he himself does not know? Is it his will to power of which he speaks in his autobiography that is driving him from crowd to crowd and making him whisper to himself: “I drew these tides of men into my hands and wrote my will across the sky in stars”?’

Then came the young writer’s warning:

‘. . . Men like Jawaharlal with all their capacity for great and good work are unsafe in a democracy. He calls himself a democrat and a socialist, and no doubt he does so in all earnestness, but every psychologist knows that the mind is ultimately a slave to the heart and that logic can always be made to fit in with the desires and irrepressible urges of man. A little twist and Jawaharlal might turn into a dictator, sweeping aside the paraphernalia of a slow-moving democracy. He might still use the language and slogans of democracy and socialism, but we all know how fascism has fattened on this language and then cast it away as useless lumber.' (The italics are mine.)

On the other hand, the writer went on to say, ‘Jawaharlal is certainly not fascist either by conviction or by temperament. He is far too much of an aristocrat for the crudity and vulgarity of fascism ...’ Since when has aristocracy been a bar to fascism? In fact, history proves that it has fostered it. But when an editor decides to encourage a young man who fancies he has a flair for writing, it would be pointless to mutilate the script on grounds of historical accuracy. So the Modern Review printed this effusion, obviously without any sub-editing.

Soon the young writer was becoming wobbly. He could not make up his mind about Jawaharlal, and ended by proving that Jawarharlal could not become a fascist but that he would! The passages in the article that followed read:

‘Jawaharlal cannot become a fascist. And yet he has all the makings of a dictator in him -- vast popularity, strong will directed to a well-defined purpose, energy, pride, organisational capacity, ability, hardness, and, with all his love of the crowd, an intolerance of others and certain contempt for the weak and inefficient. His flashes of temper are well known, and even when they are controlled, the curling of the lips betrays him. His overmastering desire to get things done, to sweep away what he dislikes and build anew, will hardly brook for long the slow process of democracy. He may keep the husk but he will see to it that it bends to his will. In normal times he would just be an efficient and successful executive, but in this revolutionary epoch, Caesarism is always at the door, and is it not possible that Jawaharlal might fancy himself as a Caesar?

‘Therein lies danger for Jawaharlal and for India. For it is not through Caesarism that India will attain freedom, and though she may prosper a little under a benevolent and efficient despotism she will remain stunted, and the day of emancipation of her people will be delayed . . .

‘Let us not . . . spoil him by too much adulation and praise. His conceit, if any, is already formidable. It must be checked. We want no Caesars.’

This quite incredible article, which read like a rough shooting script for a Cecil B. De Mille version of an Indian Quo Vadis, was obviously not taken seriously by anyone except the author himself. It certainly made no difference whatsoever to the Indian National Congress, which voted Jawaharlal as President despite all warnings.

Imagine our surprise when some years later it was revealed that the author of this anonymous absurdity was none other than Jawaharlal Nehru himself....

The people of the world are accustomed to see Pandit Nehru as he appears in their capitals, with a pleasant, friendly grin on his face, stretching out his hand for a warm handshake or joined in the Indian manner of namaskar. They know him as the essence of gentility, a humble little Pandit from India, educated at Harrow and Cambridge. But that is not the Nehru we know. There is very little humility in him now, and even the little he had learned from Mahatma Gandhi is hardly to be evidenced these days. Nehru’s concept of humility is that the Indians should gather to acclaim him as the greatest of them all, and that he should try to dissuade them from such a process of thought. The article which Pandit Nehru wrote on himself in the Modern Review appears to substantiate this view.

There is nothing humble about the way he runs his cabinet; to his ministers he is like a schoolmaster taking his class. Only two of his colleagues, Maulana Azad and Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, exercise any influence over him. Of the rest, two more, Deshmukh and Gopalswamy Ayangar, stand on their dignity, but most of the others who theoretically share joint cabinet responsibility according to the parliamentary convention, find moron-like agreement with their Prime Minister, once he expresses a definite view. A grunt from Nehru produces immediate acceptance of an idea. A dissenting opinion, apologetically expressed and prefaced by: 'I wonder, Mr Prime Minister, whether we should not also consider . . .’ produces a look of disgust on his face, which indicates how utterly stupid the Prime Minister regards such a suggestion to be, and, if occasion arises, Pandit Nehru is not unwilling to say it in so many words. The more ambitious anglers for power, which can only emanate from his authority, now spend their time trying to forecast how he is likely to react on any matter which they may have to discuss with him.

-- Nehru: The Lotus Eater From Kashmir, by D.F. Karaka

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru in 1947
1st Prime Minister of India
In office: 15 August 1947 – 27 May 1964
Monarch: George VI (until 26 January 1950)
President: Rajendra Prasad; Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Governor General: The Earl Mountbatten of Burma; Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (until 26 January 1950)
Deputy: Vallabhbhai Patel (until 1950)
Preceded by: Position established
Himself as Vice President of the Executive Council
Succeeded by: Gulzarilal Nanda (Acting)
Minister of Defence
In office: 31 October 1962 – 14 November 1962
Preceded by: V. K. Krishna Menon
Succeeded by: Yashwantrao Chavan
In office: 30 January 1957 – 17 April 1957
Preceded by: Kailash Nath Katju
Succeeded by: V. K. Krishna Menon
In office: 10 February 1953 – 10 January 1955
Preceded by: N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar
Succeeded by: Kailash Nath Katju
Minister of Finance
In office: 13 February 1958 – 13 March 1958
Preceded by: Tiruvellore Thattai Krishnamachariar
Succeeded by: Morarji Desai
In office: 24 July 1956 – 30 August 1956
Preceded by: Chintaman Dwarakanath Deshmukh
Succeeded by: Tiruvellore Thattai Krishnamachariar
Minister of External Affairs
In office: 2 September 1946 – 27 May 1964
Preceded by: Position established
Succeeded by: Gulzarilal Nanda
Vice President of Executive Council
In office: 2 September 1946 – 15 August 1947
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office: 1952-1964
Preceded by: constituency established
Succeeded by: Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
Constituency: Phulpur, Uttar Pradesh
Personal details
Born: 14 November 1889, Allahabad, North-Western Provinces, British India (present-day Uttar Pradesh, India)
Died: 27 May 1964 (aged 74), New Delhi, Delhi, India
Cause of death: Heart attack
Resting place: Shantivan
Political party: Indian National Congress
Spouse(s): Kamala Nehru (m. 1916; died 1936)
Children: Indira Gandhi
Parents: Pandit Motilal Nehru; Swarup Rani Nehru
Relatives: See Nehru–Gandhi family
Alma mater: Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A.)
Inner Temple (Barrister-at-Law)
Occupation: Barrister writer politician
Awards: Bharat Ratna (1955)

Jawaharlal Nehru (/ˈneɪruː, ˈnɛruː/;[1] Hindi: [ˈdʒəʋaːɦərˈlaːl ˈneːɦru] (About this soundlisten); 14 November 1889 – 27 May 1964) was an Indian independence activist, and subsequently, the first Prime Minister of India and a central figure in Indian politics before and after independence. He emerged as an eminent leader of the Indian independence movement and served India as Prime Minister from its establishment as an independent nation in 1947 until his death in 1964. He has been described by the Amar Chitra Katha as the architect of India.[2] He was also known as Pandit Nehru due to his roots with the Kashmiri Pandit community while Indian children knew him as Chacha Nehru (Hindi, lit., "Uncle Nehru").[3][4]

The son of Motilal Nehru, a prominent lawyer and nationalist statesman and Swaroop Rani, Nehru was a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge and the Inner Temple, where he trained to be a barrister. Upon his return to India, he enrolled at the Allahabad High Court and took an interest in national politics, which eventually replaced his legal practice. A committed nationalist since his teenage years, he became a rising figure in Indian politics during the upheavals of the 1910s. He became the prominent leader of the left-wing factions of the Indian National Congress during the 1920s, and eventually of the entire Congress, with the tacit approval of his mentor, Gandhi. As Congress President in 1929, Nehru called for complete independence from the British Raj and instigated the Congress's decisive shift towards the left.

Nehru and the Congress dominated Indian politics during the 1930s as the country moved towards independence. His idea of a secular nation-state was seemingly validated when the Congress swept the 1937 provincial elections and formed the government in several provinces; on the other hand, the separatist Muslim League fared much poorer. But these achievements were severely compromised in the aftermath of the Quit India Movement in 1942, which saw the British effectively crush the Congress as a political organisation. Nehru, who had reluctantly heeded Gandhi's call for immediate independence, for he had desired to support the Allied war effort during World War II, came out of a lengthy prison term to a much altered political landscape. The Muslim League under his old Congress colleague and now opponent, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, had come to dominate Muslim politics in India. Negotiations between Congress and Muslim League for power sharing failed and gave way to the independence and bloody partition of India in 1947.

Nehru was elected by the Congress to assume office as independent India's first Prime Minister, although the question of leadership had been settled as far back as 1941, when Gandhi acknowledged Nehru as his political heir and successor. As Prime Minister, he set out to realise his vision of India. The Constitution of India was enacted in 1950, after which he embarked on an ambitious program of economic, social and political reforms. Chiefly, he oversaw India's transition from a colony to a republic, while nurturing a plural, multi-party system. In foreign policy, he took a leading role in the Non-Aligned Movement while projecting India as a regional hegemon in South Asia.

Under Nehru's leadership, the Congress emerged as a catch-all party, dominating national and state-level politics and winning consecutive elections in 1951, 1957, and 1962. He remained popular with the people of India in spite of political troubles in his final years and failure of leadership during the 1962 Sino-Indian War. In India, his birthday is celebrated as Bal Diwas (Children's Day).
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Part 2 of 4

Early life and career (1889–1912)

Birth and family background

Jawaharlal Nehru was born on 14 November 1889 in Allahabad in British India. His father, Motilal Nehru (1861–1931), a self-made wealthy barrister who belonged to the Kashmiri Pandit community,[5] served twice as President of the Indian National Congress, in 1919 and 1928. His mother, Swaruprani Thussu (1868–1938), who came from a well-known Kashmiri Brahmin family settled in Lahore,[6] was Motilal's second wife, the first having died in child birth. Jawaharlal was the eldest of three children, two of whom were girls.[7] The elder sister, Vijaya Lakshmi, later became the first female president of the United Nations General Assembly.[8] The youngest sister, Krishna Hutheesing, became a noted writer and authored several books on her brother.


Nehru described his childhood as a "sheltered and uneventful one". He grew up in an atmosphere of privilege at wealthy homes including a palatial estate called the Anand Bhavan. His father had him educated at home by private governesses and tutors.[9] Under the influence of a tutor, Ferdinand T. Brooks, he became interested in science and theosophy.[10] He was subsequently initiated into the Theosophical Society at age thirteen by family friend Annie Besant. However, his interest in theosophy did not prove to be enduring and he left the society shortly after Brooks departed as his tutor.[11] He wrote: "for nearly three years [Brooks] was with me and in many ways he influenced me greatly".[10]

Nehru's theosophical interests had induced him to the study of the Buddhist and Hindu scriptures.[12] According to Bal Ram Nanda, these scriptures were Nehru's "first introduction to the religious and cultural heritage of [India]....[they] provided Nehru the initial impulse for [his] long intellectual quest which The Discovery of India."[12]


Nehru became an ardent nationalist during his youth.[13] The Second Boer War and the Russo-Japanese War intensified his feelings. About the latter he wrote, "[The] Japanese victories [had] stirred up my enthusiasm ... Nationalistic ideas filled my mind ... I mused of Indian freedom and Asiatic freedom from the thraldom of Europe."[10] Later when he had begun his institutional schooling in 1905 at Harrow, a leading school in England, he was greatly influenced by G. M. Trevelyan's Garibaldi books, which he had received as prizes for academic merit.[14] He viewed Garibaldi as a revolutionary hero. He wrote: "Visions of similar deeds in India came before, of [my] gallant fight for [Indian] freedom and in my mind India and Italy got strangely mixed together."[10]


Nehru went to Trinity College, Cambridge in October 1907 and graduated with an honours degree in natural science in 1910.[15] During this period, he also studied politics, economics, history and literature desultorily. Writings of Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, J.M. Keynes, Bertrand Russell, Lowes Dickinson and Meredith Townsend moulded much of his political and economic thinking.[10]

After completing his degree in 1910, Nehru moved to London and studied law at Inner temple Inn[16] During this time, he continued to study the scholars of the Fabian Society including Beatrice Webb.[10] He was called to the Bar in 1912.[17][16]

Advocate practice

After returning to India in August 1912, Nehru enrolled himself as an advocate of the Allahabad High Court and tried to settle down as a barrister. But, unlike his father, he had only a desultory interest in his profession and did not relish either the practice of law or the company of lawyers. He wrote: "Decidedly the atmosphere was not intellectually stimulating and a sense of the utter insipidity of life grew upon me."[10] His involvement in nationalist politics would gradually replace his legal practice in the coming years.[10]

The Nehru family c. 1890s

Nehru dressed in cadet uniform at Harrow School in England

Nehru in khaki uniform as a member of Seva Dal

Nehru at the Allahabad High Court

Struggle for Indian independence (1912–1947)

In Britain

Nehru had developed an interest in Indian politics during his time in Britain as a student and a barrister.[18]

Early contribution on return to India

Within months of his return to India in 1912, Nehru attended an annual session of the Indian National Congress in Patna.[19] Congress in 1912 was the party of moderates and elites,[19] and he was disconcerted by what he saw as "very much an English-knowing upper-class affair".[20] Nehru harboured doubts regarding the effectiveness of Congress but agreed to work for the party in support of the Indian civil rights movement led by Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa,[21] collecting funds for the movement in 1913.[19] Later, he campaigned against indentured labour and other such discrimination faced by Indians in the British colonies.[22]

World War I

When World War I broke out, sympathy in India was divided. Although educated Indians "by and large took a vicarious pleasure" in seeing the British rulers humbled, the ruling upper classes sided with the Allies. Nehru confessed that he viewed the war with mixed feelings. Frank Moraes wrote: "If [Nehru's] sympathy was with any country it was with France, whose culture he greatly admired."[23] During the war, Nehru volunteered for the St John Ambulance and worked as one of the provincial secretaries of the organisation in Allahabad.[19] He also spoke out against the censorship acts passed by the British government in India.[24]

Nehru in 1919 with wife Kamala and daughter Indira

Nehru emerged from the war years as a leader whose political views were considered radical. Although the political discourse had been dominated at this time by Gopal Krishna Gokhale,[21] a moderate who said that it was "madness to think of independence",[19] Nehru had spoken "openly of the politics of non-cooperation, of the need of resigning from honorary positions under the government and of not continuing the futile politics of representation".[25] He ridiculed the Indian Civil Service for its support of British policies. He noted that someone had once defined the Indian Civil Service, "with which we are unfortunately still afflicted in this country, as neither Indian, nor civil, nor a service".[26] Motilal Nehru, a prominent moderate leader, acknowledged the limits of constitutional agitation, but counselled his son that there was no other "practical alternative" to it. Nehru, however, was not satisfied with the pace of the national movement. He became involved with aggressive nationalists leaders who were demanding Home Rule for Indians.[27]

The influence of the moderates on Congress politics began to wane after Gokhale died in 1915.[19] Anti-moderate leaders such as Annie Besant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak took the opportunity to call for a national movement for Home Rule. But, in 1915, the proposal was rejected because of the reluctance of the moderates to commit to such a radical course of action. Besant nevertheless formed a league for advocating Home Rule in 1916; and Tilak, on his release from a prison term, had in April 1916 formed his own league.[19] Nehru joined both leagues but worked especially for the former.[28] He remarked later: "[Besant] had a very powerful influence on me in my childhood... even later when I entered political life her influence continued."[28] Another development which brought about a radical change in Indian politics was the espousal of Hindu-Muslim unity with the Lucknow Pact at the annual meeting of the Congress in December 1916. The pact had been initiated earlier in the year at Allahabad at a meeting of the All India Congress Committee which was held at the Nehru residence at Anand Bhawan. Nehru welcomed and encouraged the rapprochement between the two Indian communities.[28]

Home rule movement

Several nationalist leaders banded together in 1916 under the leadership of Annie Besant to voice a demand for self-governance, and to obtain the status of a Dominion within the British Empire as enjoyed by Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Newfoundland at the time. Nehru joined the movement and rose to become secretary of Besant's Home Rule League.[28][29] In June 1917 Besant was arrested and interned by the British government. The Congress and various other Indian organisations threatened to launch protests if she were not set free. The British government was subsequently forced to release Besant and make significant concessions after a period of intense protest.


The first big national involvement of Nehru came at the onset of the Non-Cooperation movement in 1920. He led the movement in the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh). Nehru was arrested on charges of anti-governmental activities in 1921, and was released a few months later.[30] In the rift that formed within the Congress following the sudden closure of the Non-Cooperation movement after the Chauri Chaura incident, Nehru remained loyal to Gandhi and did not join the Swaraj Party formed by his father Motilal Nehru and CR Das.[31]

Internationalising struggle for Indian independence

Nehru and his daughter Indira in Britain, 1930s

Nehru played a leading role in the development of the internationalist outlook of the Indian independence struggle. He sought foreign allies for India and forged links with movements for independence and democracy all over the world. In 1927, his efforts paid off and the Congress was invited to attend the congress of oppressed nationalities in Brussels in Belgium. The meeting was called to co-ordinate and plan a common struggle against imperialism. Nehru represented India and was elected to the Executive Council of the League against Imperialism that was born at this meeting.[32]

Increasingly, Nehru saw the struggle for independence from British imperialism as a multi-national effort by the various colonies and dominions of the Empire; some of his statements on this matter, however, were interpreted as complicity with the rise of Hitler and his espoused intentions. In the face of these allegations, Nehru responded, "We have sympathy for the national movement of Arabs in Palestine because it is directed against British Imperialism. Our sympathies cannot be weakened by the fact that the national movement coincides with Hitler's interests."[33]

Mid 1930s

During the mid-1930s, Nehru was much concerned with developments in Europe, which seemed to be drifting toward another world war. He was in Europe in early 1936, visiting his ailing wife, shortly before she died in a sanitarium in Switzerland.[34] At that time, he emphasised that, in the event of war, India's place was alongside the democracies, though he insisted that India could only fight in support of Great Britain and France as a free country.[35]

Parting company with Subhas Chandra Bose

Nehru worked closely with Subhas Chandra Bose in developing good relations with governments of free countries all over the world. However, the two split in the late 1930s, when Bose agreed to seek the help of fascists in driving the British out of India. At the same time, Nehru had supported the Republicans who were fighting against Francisco Franco's forces in the Spanish Civil War.[36] Nehru along with his aide V. K. Krishna Menon visited Spain and declared support for the Republicans. He refused to meet Benito Mussolini, the dictator of Italy when the latter expressed his desire to meet him.[37][38]

Nehru in a procession at Peshawar, North-West Frontier Province, 14 October 1937


Nehru was one of the first nationalist leaders to realise the sufferings of the people in the states ruled by Indian princes. In 1923, he suffered imprisonment in Nabha, a princely state, when he went there to see the struggle that was being waged by the Sikhs against the corrupt Mahants.[39][40] The nationalist movement had been confined to the territories under direct British rule. He helped to make the struggle of the people in the princely states a part of the nationalist movement for independence.[40][41] The All India States Peoples Conference (AISPC) was formed in 1927. Nehru who had been supporting the cause of the people of the princely states for many years was made the President of the organization in 1939.[42] He opened up its ranks to membership from across the political spectrum. The body would play an important role during the political integration of India, helping Indian leaders Vallabhbhai Patel and V. P. Menon (to whom Nehru had delegated the task of integrating the princely states into India) negotiate with hundreds of princes.[43][44]

Princely states

In July 1946, Nehru pointedly observed that no princely state could prevail militarily against the army of independent India.[45] In January 1947, he said that independent India would not accept the Divine right of kings,[46] and in May 1947, he declared that any princely state which refused to join the Constituent Assembly would be treated as an enemy state.[45] Vallabhbhai Patel and V.P. Menon were more conciliatory towards the princes, and as the men charged with integrating the states, were successful in the task.[47] During the drafting of the Indian constitution, many Indian leaders (except Nehru) of that time were in favour of allowing each princely state or covenanting state to be independent as a federal state along the lines suggested originally by the Government of India Act 1935. But as the drafting of the constitution progressed and the idea of forming a republic took concrete shape, it was decided that all the princely states/covenanting States would merge with the Indian republic.

Nehru's daughter, Indira Gandhi, as prime minister, de-recognised all the rulers by a presidential order in 1969, a decision struck down by the Supreme Court of India. Eventually, her government by the 26th amendment to the constitution was successful in derecognizing these former rulers and ending the privy purse paid to them in 1971.[48]

In a series of letters Nehru wrote to his ten-year-old daughter Indira in 1928, Letters from a Father to His Daughter, he promotes the republican model of government to her, and heavily criticizes the monarchs of India.

“When the patriarch’s office became hereditary, that is son succeeded father, there was little difference between him and a king. He developed into a king and the king got the strange notion that everything in the country belonged to him. He thought he was the country. ... Kings forgot that they were really chosen by the people in order to organize and distribute the food and other things of the country among the people. They forgot that they were chosen because they were supposed to be the cleverest and the most experienced persons in the tribe or country. They imagined that they were masters and all the other people in the country were their servants. As a matter of fact, they were servants of the country.

Later on ... kings became so conceited that they thought that people had nothing to do with choosing them. It was God himself, they said, that had made them kings. They called this the “divine right of kings.” For long years, they misbehaved like this and lived in great pomp and luxury while their people starved.

In India, we have still many rajas and maharajas and nawabs. You see them going about with fine clothes, in expensive motor cars and spending a lot of money on themselves. Where do they get all this money from? They get it in taxes from the people. The taxes are given so that the money may be used to help all the people in the country — by making schools and hospitals and libraries and museums and good roads and many other things for the good of the people. But our rajas and maharajas still think as the French king did of old L’etat c’est moi — “the state, it is I.” And they spend the money of the people on their own pleasures. While they live in luxury, their people, who work hard and give them the money, starve and their children have no schools to go to.”

1929 declaration of independence

Nehru was one of the first leaders to demand that the Congress Party should resolve to make a complete and explicit break from all ties with the British Empire. His resolution for independence was approved at the Madras session of Congress in 1927 despite Gandhi's criticism. At that time he also formed Independence for India league, a pressure group within the Congress.[49][50]

In 1928, Gandhi agreed to Nehru's demands and proposed a resolution that called for the British to grant dominion status to India within two years.[51] If the British failed to meet the deadline, the Congress would call upon all Indians to fight for complete independence. Nehru was one of the leaders who objected to the time given to the British – he pressed Gandhi to demand immediate actions from the British. Gandhi brokered a further compromise by reducing the time given from two years to one.[50] Nehru agreed to vote for the new resolution.

Demands for dominion status were rejected by the British in 1929.[52] Nehru assumed the presidency of the Congress party during the Lahore session on 29 December 1929 and introduced a successful resolution calling for complete independence.[52][53]

Draft of the declaration of independence

Nehru drafted the Indian declaration of independence, which stated:

We believe that it is the inalienable right of the Indian people, as of any other people, to have freedom and to enjoy the fruits of their toil and have the necessities of life, so that they may have full opportunities of growth. We believe also that if any government deprives a people of these rights and oppresses them the people have a further right to alter it or abolish it. The British government in India has not only deprived the Indian people of their freedom but has based itself on the exploitation of the masses, and has ruined India economically, politically, culturally and spiritually. We believe therefore, that India must sever the British connection and attain Purna Swaraj or complete independence.[54]

At midnight on New Year's Eve 1929, Nehru hoisted the tricolour flag of India upon the banks of the Ravi in Lahore.[55] A pledge of independence was read out, which included a readiness to withhold taxes. The massive gathering of public attending the ceremony was asked if they agreed with it, and the vast majority of people were witnessed to raise their hands in approval. 172 Indian members of central and provincial legislatures resigned in support of the resolution and in accordance with Indian public sentiment. The Congress asked the people of India to observe 26 January as Independence Day. The flag of India was hoisted publicly across India by Congress volunteers, nationalists and the public. Plans for a mass civil disobedience were also underway.[56]

After the Lahore session of the Congress in 1929, Nehru gradually emerged as the paramount leader of the Indian independence movement. Gandhi stepped back into a more spiritual role. Although Gandhi did not officially designate Nehru his political heir until 1942, the country as early as the mid-1930s saw in Nehru the natural successor to Gandhi.[57]

Civil disobedience

Nehru and most of the Congress leaders were initially ambivalent about Gandhi's plan to begin civil disobedience with a satyagraha aimed at the British salt tax. After the protest gathered steam, they realised the power of salt as a symbol. Nehru remarked about the unprecedented popular response, "it seemed as though a spring had been suddenly released".[58] He was arrested on 14 April 1930 while on train from Allahabad for Raipur. He had earlier, after addressing a huge meeting and leading a vast procession, ceremoniously manufactured some contraband salt. He was charged with breach of the salt law, tried summarily behind prison walls and sentenced to six months of imprisonment.

He nominated Gandhi to succeed him as Congress President during his absence in jail, but Gandhi declined, and Nehru then nominated his father as his successor.[59][60] With Nehru's arrest the civil disobedience acquired a new tempo, and arrests, firing on crowds and lathi charges grew to be ordinary occurrences.

Salt satyagraha success

The salt satyagraha succeeded in drawing the attention of the world. Indian, British, and world opinion increasingly began to recognise the legitimacy of the claims by the Congress party for independence. Nehru considered the salt satyagraha the high-water mark of his association with Gandhi,[61] and felt that its lasting importance was in changing the attitudes of Indians:

Of course these movements exercised tremendous pressure on the British Government and shook the government machinery. But the real importance, to my mind, lay in the effect they had on our own people, and especially the village masses. ... Non-cooperation dragged them out of the mire and gave them self-respect and self-reliance. ... They acted courageously and did not submit so easily to unjust oppression; their outlook widened and they began to think a little in terms of India as a whole. ... It was a remarkable transformation and the Congress, under Gandhi's leadership, must have the credit for it.[62]

Architect of India

Gandhi and Nehru in 1942

Nehru elaborated the policies of the Congress and a future Indian nation in 1929.[63] He declared that the aims of the congress were freedom of religion, right to form associations, freedom of expression of thought, equality before law for every individual without distinction of caste, colour, creed or religion, protection to regional languages and cultures, safeguarding the interests of the peasants and labour, abolition of untouchability, introduction of adult franchise, imposition of prohibition, nationalisation of industries, socialism, and establishment of a secular India.[64] All these aims formed the core of the "Fundamental Rights and Economic Policy" resolution drafted by Nehru in 1929–31 and were ratified in 1931 by the Congress party session at Karachi chaired by Vallabhbhai Patel.[65][66] Gandhian right-wing Congressmen Vallabhbhai Patel, Rajendra Prasad and C. Rajagopalachari.In the 1930s the Congress Socialist Party group was formed within the INC under the leadership of Jayaprakash Narayan, Narendra Deo and others.Nehru, however, never joined the group but did act as bridge between them and Gandhi.[67] He had the support of the left-wing Congressmen Maulana Azad and Subhas Chandra Bose.[68] The trio combined to oust Dr. Prasad as Congress President in 1936. Nehru was elected in his place and held the presidency for two years (1936–37).[69] He was then succeeded by his socialist colleagues Bose (1938–39) and Azad (1940–46). After the fall of Bose from the mainstream of Indian politics (because of his support of violence in driving the British out of India,[70] the power struggle between the socialists and conservatives balanced out. However, Sardar Patel died in 1950, leaving Nehru as the sole remaining iconic national leader, and soon the situation became such that Nehru was able to implement many of his basic policies without hindrance. Nehru's daughter, Indira Gandhi, during the state of Emergency she imposed, was able to fulfill her father's dream by the 42nd amendment (1976) of the Indian constitution by which India officially became "socialist" and "secular".[71][72]

During Nehru's second term as general secretary of the Congress, he proposed certain resolutions concerning the foreign policy of India.[73] From that time onward, he was given carte blanche in framing the foreign policy of any future Indian nation. He developed good relations with governments all over the world. He firmly placed India on the side of democracy and freedom during a time when the world was under the threat of fascism.[38] He was also given the responsibility of planning the economy of a future India. He appointed the National Planning Commission in 1938 to help in framing such policies.[74] However, many of the plans framed by Nehru and his colleagues would come undone with the unexpected partition of India in 1947.[75]

Electoral politics in 1930s

Jawaharlal Nehru and Rabindranath Tagore

Nehru's visit to Europe in 1936 proved to be the watershed in his political and economic thinking. His real interest in Marxism and his socialist pattern of thought stem from that tour. His subsequent sojourns in prison enabled him to study Marxism in more depth. Interested in its ideas but repelled by some of its methods, he could never bring himself to accept Karl Marx's writings as revealed scripture. Yet from then on, the yardstick of his economic thinking remained Marxist, adjusted, where necessary, to Indian conditions.[76][77]

At the 1936 Lucknow session of 1936, the Congress party, despite opposition from the newly elected Nehru as the party president, agreed to contest the provincial elections to be held in 1937 under the Government of India Act 1935.[78][79] The elections brought Congress party to power in a majority of the provinces with increased popularity and power for Nehru. Since the Muslim League under Muhammad Ali Jinnah (who was to become the creator of Pakistan) had fared badly at the polls, Nehru declared that the only two parties that mattered in India were the British colonial authorities and the Congress. Jinnah's statements that the Muslim League was the third and "equal partner" within Indian politics was widely rejected. Nehru had hoped to elevate Maulana Azad as the pre-eminent leader of Indian Muslims, but in this, he was undermined by Gandhi, who continued to treat Jinnah as the voice of Indian Muslims.

World War II and Quit India movement

When World War II started, Viceroy Linlithgow had unilaterally declared India a belligerent on the side of the Britain, without consulting the elected Indian representatives.[80] Nehru hurried back from a visit to China, announcing that, in a conflict between democracy and Fascism, "our sympathies must inevitably be on the side of democracy.... I should like India to play its full part and throw all her resources into the struggle for a new order.

After much deliberation, the Congress under Nehru informed the government that it would co-operate with the British but on certain conditions. First, Britain must give an assurance of full independence for India after the war and allow the election of a constituent assembly to frame a new constitution; second, although the Indian armed forces would remain under the British Commander-in-Chief, Indians must be included immediately in the central government and given a chance to share power and responsibility.[81] When Nehru presented Lord Linlithgow with the demands, he chose to reject them. A deadlock was reached. "The same old game is played again", Nehru wrote bitterly to Gandhi, "the background is the same, the various epithets are the same and the actors are the same and the results must be the same".[82]

On 23 October 1939, the Congress condemned the Viceroy's attitude and called upon the Congress ministries in the various provinces to resign in protest. Before this crucial announcement, Nehru urged Jinnah and the Muslim League to join the protest but the latter declined.[81]

Pakistan Resolution

In March 1940 Jinnah passed what would come to be known as the "Pakistan Resolution", declaring "Muslims are a nation according to any definition of a nation, and they must have their homelands, their territory and their State." This state was to be known as Pakistan, meaning "Land of the Pure". Nehru angrily declared that "all the old problems ... pale into insignificance before the latest stand taken by the Muslim League leader in Lahore". Linlithgow made Nehru an offer on 8 October 1940. It stated that Dominion status for India was the objective of the British government.[83] However, it referred neither to a date nor method of accomplishment. Only Jinnah got something more precise. "The British would not contemplate transferring power to a Congress-dominated national government the authority of which was "denied by large and powerful elements in India's national life".[84]

In October 1940, Gandhi and Nehru, abandoning their original stand of supporting Britain, decided to launch a limited civil disobedience campaign in which leading advocates of Indian independence were selected to participate one by one.[34] Nehru was arrested and sentenced to four years' imprisonment. After spending a little more than a year in jail, he was released, along with other Congress prisoners, three days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.[34]

Japan attacks India

Nehru and Jinnah walk together at Simla, 1946

When the Japanese carried their attack through Burma (now Myanmar) to the borders of India in the spring of 1942, the British government, faced by this new military threat, decided to make some overtures to India, as Nehru had originally desired.[85] Prime Minister Winston Churchill dispatched Sir Stafford Cripps, a member of the war Cabinet who was known to be politically close to Nehru and also knew Jinnah, with proposals for a settlement of the constitutional problem.[86] As soon as he arrived he discovered that India was more deeply divided than he had imagined. Nehru, eager for a compromise, was hopeful. Gandhi was not. Jinnah had continued opposing the Congress. "Pakistan is our only demand, and by God we will have it.", declared the Muslim League newspaper "Dawn".[87]

Cripps's mission failed as Gandhi would accept nothing less than independence. Relations between Nehru and Gandhi cooled over the latter's refusal to co-operate with Cripps, but the two later reconciled.[88] On 15 January 1941, Gandhi had stated:

Some say Jawaharlal and I were estranged. It will require much more than difference of opinion to estrange us. We had differences from the time we became co-workers and yet I have said for some years and say so now that not Rajaji but Jawaharlal will be my successor.[89][90]

Quit India Movement

In 1942, Gandhi called on the British to leave India; Nehru, though reluctant to embarrass the allied war effort, had no alternative but to join Gandhi. Following the Quit India resolution passed by the Congress party in Bombay on 8 August 1942, the entire Congress working committee, including Gandhi and Nehru, was arrested and imprisoned. Most the Congress working committee including, Nehru, Abdul Kalam Azad, Sardar Patel were incarcerated at the Ahmednagar Fort[91] until 15 June 1945.[92]

During the period where all of the Congress leadership were in jail, the Muslim League under Jinnah grew in power.[93] In April 1943, the League captured the governments of Bengal and, a month later, that of the North West Frontier Province. In none of these provinces had the League previously had a majority – only the arrest of Congress members made it possible. With all the Muslim dominated provinces except the Punjab under Jinnah's control, the artificial concept of a separate Muslim State was turning into a reality. However, by 1944, Jinnah's power and prestige were on the wane. A general sympathy towards the jailed Congress leaders was developing among Muslims, and much of the blame for the disastrous Bengal famine of 1943–44 during which two million died, had been laid on the shoulders of the province's Muslim League government. The numbers at Jinnah's meetings, once counted in thousands soon numbered only a few hundreds. In despair, Jinnah left the political scene for a stay in Kashmir. His prestige was restored unwittingly by Gandhi, who had been released from prison on medical grounds in May 1944 and had met Jinnah in Bombay in September.[94] There he offered the Muslim leader a plebiscite in the Muslim areas after the war to see whether they wanted to separate from the rest of India. Essentially, it was an acceptance of the principle of Pakistan – but not in so many words. Jinnah demanded that the exact words be said; Gandhi refused and the talks broke down. Jinnah, however, had greatly strengthened his own position and that of the League. The most influential member of Congress had been seen to negotiate with him on equal terms.[95] Other Muslim League leaders, opposed both to Jinnah and to the partition of India, lost strength.
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