during his student days at the University of Zagreb. After
two years, he went to the University of Paris to study law.
Before completing the course he went to work for the
Compagnie General d'F.lectrieite, met and married Edith,
a Danish woman of whom we know little. In January,
1932, he formally became a Communist and a Soviet agent.
The Soviets, however, seem equally able to use men as
agents who either are not Party members at all — provided
they are willing to make every sacrifice for the Party's
Cause —or who hold Party cards on which the signatures
are scarcely dry. The previous interests and convictions
°f the man concerned, rather than formal Party allegiance,
seem to determine his selection.
Having received permission to take his wife with him,
ne sent Edith to Denmark for a short course in physical
Wucation to give her a legitimate occupation should she
need a "cover" when frhey got abroad. As it turned out her
"'< upation as a housewife was sufficient to disarm Japanese suspicion. Myagi described her as "a dull woman,
Sood only for cover." They sailed from Marseilles on
December 30, 19.32; landed at Yokohama on February 11,
1933; found a place at the Bunka Apartments in Ilongoku,
Probably the best apartments in Tokyo. Since Sorge had
n°t vet arrived, de Voukelitch had time to get started on
n,s career as special correspondent ill Tokyo for the
*reneh picture magazine La Vtte and for the Yugoslav
his was a long-term project, and Surge was in no hurry
" Set started until his machine was functioning smoothly.
^e needed agents, a considerable net of them: adequate
'"lio and courier communication; a darkroom; and good
utside contacts. The German Embassy was his immediate
'""et. Through Mrs. Ott, whom he had chanced to know
Munich years before, he met her husband, a German
"'itary attache in China, and began his campaign for
LCc''l>tance at the German Embassy. Ott's transfer to
°kyo was an accident — but a fortuitous one for Sorge.
Miyagi Yotoku, in Los Angeles, was recruited by the
'. aerican Communist rwtrtv and the Comintern. Mivatn
erican Communist party and the Comintern. Miyagi
''Wis he never knew precisely for whom he was working.
native of Okinawa, born in 1903, he was a Japanese who
fa(l lived in the United States since 1919. He graduated
?** the San Diego Art School in 1925. There was nothing
his record to present him as a heroic figure or even as
Potentially dangerous spy. Perhaps that was why he was
t ec'ted from the many Japanese Communists in Cali-
, out as the Comintern's choice to meet Sorge's request
r a Japanese assistant. Miyagi reached Tokvo in Octo-
(() Although they had yet to meet, all of Richard Sorge's
th «e' a'°-es were now in Japan: Branko de Voukelitch,
(. neutral" press contact man; Ozaki Hozumi, well-
aff.nv" Japanese journalist and commentator on Chinese
tli!"s' Miyagi Yotoku, inconspicuous Japanese artist; and
,, " radio «rw,.-.,I,.- "n- \7~~.i*. ** .ii.. "r>—i... i*." c—.»,.
-lo operator "Bruno Vendt," alias "Bernhardt." Sorge r
■y *d his own contacts within the ring to de Voukelitch, 1
jri Kl. Miyagi, and the radio operator, who was Max
(m'|'"s<" alter 1935; and from the period 1936 to 1938 to
*«!» r s,('"'- He met these people frequently at restau-
iftj, '""I bars, or at his own home. For years these meet-
■' and disarming since three of the
1 "ere journalists with common professional interests.
ortjm News, March, 1956
After 1940, when police surveillance became more alert,
Sorge began meeting the men secretly. Some of the precautions observed by the group were as follows:
All members must have a rational occupation as
Members must have no traffic with Japanese
Communists or (.'oniniunist sympathizers.
The radio code must be altered with each sending; the transmitter moved after each operation.
Each member must have a cover name; place
names must be disguised in code.
Documents must be destroyed after serving their
Never must a Russian be admitted to the circle.
Cultivate trust and confidence on the part of
those you are using as informants in order to
Contacts with foreigners are essential.
Adaptability is a basic requirement for the man
engaged in espionage work.
Refrain carefully from careless talk and not reveal
secrets to any outsider, even one's most trusted
Oorge observed: "Women are absolutely unfit for espionage work. They have no understanding of political and
other affairs and I have never received satisfactory information from them. Since they were useless to me, I did
not employ them in my group. Even upper class women
have no comprehension of what has been said by their
husbands and are, therefore, very poor sources of information. This does not apply merely to Japanese women; in
my opinion, no woman in the world has the aptitude for
espionage work, I might add that cultivation of intimate
relations with married women for purposes of espionage
will arouse the jealousy of their husbands, hence react to
the detriment of the cause. In the final analysis, espionage
operations must be performed by a man with a good
education and a keen mind."
Actually Sorge is inconsistent, in some respects. He cultivated the American writer Agnes Smedley, in China, and
used her extensively in espionage nets in that country.
Smedley became the "front woman" later on, in the effort
of the American Communist party to discredit MacArthur,
Sorge early decided that "Bernhardt" was not suitable
for the delicate Japanese assignment. In 19.35 Max Klausen,
who had the rank of major in the Red Army, arrived in
Japan to replace "Bernhardt" as secret radio operator for
Sorge. Klausen was a heavy-set, coarse-featured German,
a radio technician though not well educated and the last
conceivable suspect as a successful agent of the Red Army.
Klausen's ride always was in communications. He established a commercial firm with offices in Tokyo. The company made and sold printing presses for blueprints as well
as fluorescent plates, and almost immediately began to
make money. Among its customers were munition factories, the Japanese Army and the Japanese Navy.
While Klausen was processing the Army's blueprints,
Surge was getting finished copies, klausen reorganized his