Dr. Richard Sorge
was intelligent and
proficient in organizing
the spy ring. The
author describes him
OS "a natural linguist
who could converse
easily in French, English, Russian, Japanese and possibly
'IDE Wiilll.D PHOTO
party, which had just seized power under Adolf Hitler;
and his credentials were accepted without question. How
he secured these excellent covers remains a mystery but is
a suggestive index of long-range Soviet preparations.
Dr. Sorge proceeded to Japan via the United States and
Canada. In Tokyo he found a house in a good neighborhood, made himself known at the German Embassy and
the German Club and was readily accepted by the German
community as well as by his colleagues of the press. However, this was explicable on grounds of Sorge's friendship
with the German Colonel Ott, while stationed in China.
As a lucky break for Sorge, Ott was to become Ambassador in Tokyo at a later date.
It is astonishing that despite Japanese deep suspicion of
foreigners, their alertness to the remotest indication of
espionage or Communist sympathies, despite the insularity
of their country forcing couriers to enter or leave only
through well-guarded ports, neither the Japanese civil
police, the special higher police, nor any other Japanese
security agent ever had the remotest suspicion of Sorge or
anv one of his gang of 16 men and women.
Sorge had the advantage of being the protege of
Colonel Ott. We have had similar proteges in the United
States, viz: Dexter White sponsored by Morgenthatt;
Agnes Smedley sponsored by Harold Ickes and Secretary
Royall, as late as 1949.
Sorge's most valuable single associate in Japan was
Ozaki Hozumi, born in 1901, the son of a Japanese journalist. Graduated from the Law School of Tokyo Imperial
University in 1925, he then spent a year of postgraduate
reading, chiefly in economics and sociology. By 1940 the
men of his class were holding positions of great responsibility throughout Japan, especially in the bureaus and
ministries of the Imperial government. Any young man
as brilliant as Ozaki Hozumi was certain to make and keep
many close friends who would know almost everything
there was to know and would share their knowledge with
a trusted confidant. Gradually his sympathies drifted
toward communism. He never admitted to membership in
the Communist party - party sympathy is enough to
develop and launch a high-class agent and spy.
Following his father's footsteps, he became a journalist;
in 1927 was sent to Shanghai as special correspondent of
the great paper, Osaka Asahi. He remained in China for
three years, during which time he met and worked \v itli
Sorge; also met Agnes Smedley, the American Communis'
spy. He came to be known as a leading expert on Chinese
affairs; wrote widely on the subject; attended the Yosemitc
Conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations (I.P.R.)
in 1936 as one of the Japanese delegates. The I.P.R. has
been indicted by bipartisan Congressional Committees
as an "instrument of Soviet espionage and imperialism I
it will be seen that members of that Institute played significant roles in the Sorge case.
In 1938 Ozaki became unofficial adviser to the Cabin'''
under Prince Konoye; in 19.39, unofficial adviser to the
Tokyo office of the South Manchurian Railway—an invaln'
able assignment to a man who wanted to learn of Japan s
plans and capabilities for war with the Soviet Union. TW
infiltration in high places is a Communist specialty. Ozaki 1
success is no more astonishing than Alger Hiss' role, in 9
Sorge lived on intimate, trusted terms with the Cenn1"
Ambassador and his staff; Ozaki Hozumi had a sirni'8'
close relationship to Prince Konoye, thrice premier. FroU1
these perfect sources they transmitted intelligence to tnj
USSR by concealed radio, by special courier, an'
through the Soviet Embassy. The last channel was co&
sidered risky and not resorted to until the very last. Sorge
Tokyo transmitter was sheltered in the house of Gunth»
Stein, associated with the I.P.R, and later to become cC
respondent of the Manchester Guardian.
Sorge was a natural linguist and could converse cas' ?
in French, English, Russian, Japanese, and possiM
Chinese. In Germany he had studied at the universities "
Berlin, Kiel, and Hamburg, receiving a degree of Doc'0
of Political Science at Hamburg in 1920. During the Fir$
World War he had begun the systematic study of Mart1*
literature and had converted himself, joining the Hambu1?
branch of the German Communist party in 1919. He ^
successful in covering this vulnerable association. In a
course, after he reached Tokyo, he received his Nazi pa ™
card. Seemingly, in the years following until 1941, it nev
occurred to anyone to run a file check on Dr. Rich*'
Sorge. His Party card was considered [even by l
Gestapo] sufficient evidence of his loyalty.
JVleanwhile, that extraordinary international organi/at"1
the "Comintern," tool of the Russian Foreign Office, at ™,
request of the Red Army, began picking up Conim11""
agents and moving them around the world. Evidc"
regarding world-wide Comintern card-lists and con""
produced at the Canadian spy inquiry is corroborated I
the evidence of the prior Sorge trial. In due <'"'"'',.
the Comintern agents in France and the United St" .
received orders. Men who were complete strangers to ''•' I
other and who had never heard the name of Surge b^l
packing their bags for Tokyo; the two key figures *%
Branko de Voukelitch from Paris, and Miyagi Yotoku ''''
De Voukelitch was a Yugoslav, living in Paris with a
wife. He had become interested in Marxian movelD*
Facts Forum News, March,