Illegal alien named Erdberg, aka Alexander Korotkov

Illegal alien named Erdberg, aka Alexander KorotkovThis man Hitler furtive police — the Gestapo — in vain searched right up to the final defeat of the Nazi Reich. In Austria and Germany, it was known under the name of Alexander Erdberg, but in fact his name was Alexander Korotkov. All his life and all his thoughts were given to the service of the motherland. He belonged to the few employees outside of Russian intelligence, who went through all stages of career and became one of its managers.


Alexander was born on November 22, 1909 in Moscow. Shortly before the birth of Sasha by his mother, Anna Pavlovna, divorced her husband and left him to Moscow from Kuldja where the spouse at the time was working in the Russian-Asiatic Bank. Alexander had never seen his father, with whom my mother after the divorce severed all ties.

Despite the real difficulties, Alexander managed to get a high school education. He was interested in electrical engineering and dreamed to do in the Physics Department of Moscow State University. But necessity forced the young man immediately after graduating from high school in 1927 to start helping my mother. Alexander took a job apprentice electrician. Immediately, he intensively engaged in sports in the metropolitan society "Dynamo", carried away by a huge football and tennis.

By becoming a very solid tennis player, a young worker at times did the role of sparring partner for quite recognizable security officers at the famous Dynamo courts at Petrovka. It is here, on the courts, in autumn 1928 to Alexander approached assistant deputy chairman of the OGPU Benjamin Gerson and offered him a place on the Electrical Engineering Department of the elevators in the economic Lubyanka. So Korotkov started operating elevators brain structure Russian secret police.

Through year by witty and smart guy sent security officers' attention control: he was hired by a clerk in the most prestigious department of the OGPU — Foreign (because at that time was called the Russian OUTDOOR intelligence), and in 1930 was appointed assistant commissioner of operational ISE. It must be emphasized that Alexander took the harsh environment in respect KGB youth: it a couple of times elected a member of the Bureau, and later secretary of the Komsomol organization of the department.

For several years in the ISE Korotkov is one hundred percent acclimated to their official responsibilities. Its capabilities, education, honest attitude to work like the management of the department, which decided to use Alexander's illegal work abroad.


Known SEAN — Teaching special purpose — to teach zakordonnyh scouts did not yet exist. Employees for sending abroad were prepared in a personal manner, without interruption from work.

The main course was the study of foreign languages — German and French. Classes were held for several hours in a row at the end of the working day or, on weekends and festive days are.
German Korotkov taught last Hamburg docker, a member of the rebellion of 1923, communist political refugee, who worked in the Comintern. He talked about the traditions and customs of the Germans, the norms of behavior in the streets and in public places. Even thought it necessary to dedicate Alexander into all the details so called profanity.

The same scholar and teacher was French. He brings to the learning process innovation — records with recordings of favorite Parisian singer and song.

Then we went to the special discipline: training on the identification of external supervision and care of him driving the car.

Upon completion of training, Alexander Korotkov was unlawful purpose in exploration and has been focused on his first foreign trip. In 1933, the young scout went to Paris.

The path of Alexander the French capital was through Austria. In Vienna, he was replaced by Russian passport Austrian payable to the Slovak Rayonetskogo, and his stay in the Austrian capital used for in-depth study of German language. In the coming he had not mastered the traditional German pronunciation and lifelong read in German like a native crown.
After three months, "Slovak Rayonetsky" came to Paris and enrolled at the local Radio Engineering Institute. In the French capital Korotkov worked on by a resident of the NKVD Alexander Orlov — asa Russian intelligence specialist high class. He confided to Korotkov development of the 1st of the young officers of the 2nd famous French Bureau of the General Staff (military intelligence and counterintelligence), lured to other significant transactions.
From Paris Korotkov on the instructions of the Centre went with responsible missions to Switzerland and Nazi Germany, where he worked with 2 valuable sources of Russian external intelligence. But soon in the illegal residency of the NKVD in France there was a failure: the French counter-intelligence contacts interested in the young stranger, "circles close to the General Staff." In 1935, Alexander was obliged to return to Moscow.

Korotkov stay at home was short-lived, and in 1936 he was sent to work on the strip of scientific and technical intelligence in illegal residency of the NKVD in the 3rd Reich. Then he, along with other scouts intensively engaged in obtaining samples of weapons Wehrmacht. This activity has received its highest rating in Moscow.

In December 1937, the Center received a new order. Korotkov vorachivaetsya an illegal operation to France to perform a number of specific intelligence tasks.
After the Anschluss of Austria and the Munich Agreement of Great Britain, France, Italy and Germany, almost sacrificed Czechoslovakia in the autumn of 1938 at the mercy of the Nazi empire in Europe are feeling the proximity of a large-scale war. But where to send Hitler, German troops in the west or east? Finally, there may be one more agreement between Berlin, London and Paris in the anti-Soviet base? What are the next plans of Western countries against the USSR? Moscow expected the answer to those questions. Before the Russian intelligence residency in France put an easy task to open the real intentions of the ruling circles in the West, including French and German, with respect to our country.

In Paris Korotkov is open until the end of 1938. For the successful fulfillment of the Center, it increases in office and was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.


On his return to Moscow spy waited a nasty surprise. January 1, 1939 Beria, not so long ago led the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs, was invited to a meeting of employees outside intelligence. Instead of New Year's greetings virtually accused the People's Commissar of all the scouts who returned from the cordon of treachery, that they are agents of foreign intelligence services. Namely, referring to Alexander Korotkov, Beria said:

— You are recruited by the Gestapo, and therefore separate from the bodies.

Korotkov turned pale and was hot to justify that no one will be able to recruit him and that he was a patriot of the motherland is willing to give his life for her. In general, on Beria it has not made memories …
…At the moment, hard to say what caused this attitude Beria to Korotkov. Maybe not a good role played by the fact that the work of the organs of state security, he was adopted by councils Benjamin Gerson, former private secretary to Henry Berry — 1st of the forerunners of today's Commissar of Internal Affairs. And Gerson, and Berry were declared enemies of the people and shot.

It is also po
ssible that another reason for the dismissal of Scouting could be his job in the first trip to Paris by a resident of the NKVD Alexander Orlov, who then headed the network of agents of the NKVD in Republican Spain. The danger of being shot, he refused to return to Moscow, fled in late 1937, he moved to live in the United States. Apparently, only acquired Korotkov highest municipal credit rescued him from reprisals.
In general, Korotkov did not speculate about the reasons for the removal of the self and went to the unprecedented step at the time. Alexander wrote a letter to Beria, in which requests a review of the decision on his own dismissal. In the letter, he carefully sets out the operational business in which he had the opportunity to participate, and emphasizes that it is not deserved confidence. Short Straight says that does not know for a wrongdoing that could be the cause of "taking away his honor work in institutions."

Also there was indescribable. Beria was summoned to scout for yourself for a chat and signed an order for his reinstatement.

And again ABROAD

Deputy Chief of the 1st department of external intelligence lieutenant security Korotkov sent immediately in the short trip to Norway and Denmark. He gets the job back due to a number of sources and previously dormant well with him sovladevaet.
In July 1940 Korotkov went on a business trip to Germany for a period of one month. But instead of the months he spent six months in the German capital, and then was appointed deputy resident of the NKVD in Berlin Hmayak Kobulov, the brother of Deputy People's Commissar of State Security Bohdan Kobulov.

Scout returned connection with 2 most valuable sources of residency — an employee of the intelligence Luftwaffe "Petty Officer" (Harro Schulze-Boysen) and senior advisor to the imperial government of the Ministry of Economy "Corsican" (Arvid Harnack).

Korotkov, one of the first to realize the inevitability of war. Since Hmayak Kobulov would not hear of the impending threat, Korotkov in March 1941, sent a personal letter to Beria. Referring to the information "Corsican" of the Germans preparing anger against the Soviet Union in the spring of this year, Korotkov carefully explained his position, citing data on military preparations in Germany. Scout asked the Centre to double-check this information through other sources.

From Moscow, there was no reaction. A month later, a letter Korotkov initiated residency in Berlin center with a proposal to immediately proceed with the preparation of reliable agents to independent ties with Moscow in case of war. With the consent of the Centre he passed a group of radio equipment German agents led by the "Corsican" and "petty officers." They later become known as the leaders of an extensive intelligence network "Red Orchestra".
June 17 in Moscow, received a telegram composed Korotkov based disk imaging, acquired from the "elders" and "Corsican". In it, namely, stated: "All military production in Germany to prepare an armed attack against the Soviet Union is one hundred percent finished and the impact can be expected in at least some time."

On the same day the People's Commissar of State Security Vsevolod Merkulov and external intelligence chief Paul Phytin adopted by Stalin, which they reported to Special report from Berlin. Stalin gave the order to painstakingly re-check all incoming information from the German capital's probable the German attack on the Soviet Union.

During the three day or prior to the beginning of the war majestically Russian operative worker Berlin residency Boris Zhuravlev met with another valuable resource — Gestapo officer "Braytenbahom" (Willy Lehmann). At the meeting, the agent told worried that the war will start in a day or three. In Moscow, has left an urgent telegram, the answer to which was not followed.

Illegal alien named Erdberg, aka Alexander KorotkovAlexander Korotkov

At the time of the war years

Korotkov war met in Berlin. Being exposed to the harsh threats he could get out of the Russian Embassy, blocked by the Gestapo, and twice — on 22 and 24 June — illegally encounter with the "Corsican" and "Petty Officer", to give them updated on the use of annotations radioshifrov, the means to conduct anti-fascist struggle and give advice the deployment of active resistance to the Nazi regime.

Upon arriving in Moscow in July 1941 transit through Bulgaria and Turkey with the echelon of Russian diplomats and professionals from Germany, and Finland and other countries — Satellites Third Reich, Korotkov was appointed head of the German department of external intelligence, who was involved in the conduct of operations not only in the most Nazi Empire, and in the European countries occupied by it. In the specific involvement of Korotkov was created by a special intelligence training school for and getting to the deepest rear unlawful enemy scouts. As head of the department, he was immediately and one of the teachers of the school, teaches students the intelligence skills. During the war, Korotkov not once flew to the front. There, dressed in German uniforms, under the guise of a prisoner of war, he entered into discussions with our troops captured Wehrmacht officers. In the course of these conversations, he often managed to obtain important information.

In November and December 1943, Colonel Korotkov in the Russian delegation was in Tehran, where the meeting took place the "big three" — control of the Allies Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill. Since the Russian intelligence service was to obtain reliable information about the impending attack on the German secret services participants, confirmed by British intelligence, Korotkov, heading in the Iranian capital of a task force charged with ensuring safety favorites USSR, USA and Great Britain.

In the same year twice briefly visited Afghanistan, where Russian and British intelligence to eliminate Nazi agents who are willing to pro-fascist coup and intends to draw the country into a war against the Soviet Union. During the stateliness Russian Korotkov couple of times flew to Yugoslavia to transfer Marshal Josip Broz Tito messages Russian government. He had also once put off to the front line or in the front lines, so in place to understand the complex situation and to provide practical assistance to the intelligence groups, abandoned in the enemy rear.

At the end of the war, when the defeat of the Third Reich was a natural, Korotkov summoned for themselves Deputy Commissar of State Security, Ivan Serov and principal task entrusted to him. He said Alexander Mikhailovich:

"Go to Berlin, where you have to lead a team to ensure the safety of the German delegation, which will arrive in Wooden Storage for signing the act of unquestioning surrender of Germany. If its head Field Marshal Keitel throw any number or refuses to sign, the answer head. During contact with him try to probe his mood and did not miss a deaf ear to the fundamental information that may be, it will drop. "

Korotkov successfully coped with the task. At a certain image, which commemorated the time of the signing of the Act of Nazi Field Marshal unquestioning surrender of Germany, he stands behind Keitel. In his memoirs, written in the bullpen Spandau pending verdict of the Nuremberg trial, Keitel said: "To my support was given to the Russian officer, I uttered that he was chief quartermaster of Marshal Zhukov. He was ri
ding in the car with me, followed by other escort vehicles. "

Let me remind you of the time of Peter I the Quartermaster-General of the Russian army led by its intelligence service.

In the postwar years

Immediately after the war, he was appointed resident Korotkov outdoor exploration in all of Germany, divided into four zones of occupation. In Karlshorst that housed the residency, he held an official position of Deputy Adviser Russian military administration. Center placed before him puzzle to learn the fate of pre-war Russian intelligence agents, and those who survived the war years, to resume work. Spies led by Korotkov, was able to learn the tragic fate of the "elders", "Corsican", "Braytenbaha" who died in the dungeons of the Gestapo and also meet with smogshim survive German military attaché in Shanghai "Friend" and many other former sources. Russian intelligence has returned as contact with the agent in the not to distant surrounded by Field Marshal List, that the war was waiting for the courier of the NKVD.

In 1946, Alexander was called back to the Center, where he was deputy chief of external intelligence, and immediately headed its illegal operation. He had a direct bearing on the direction of the U.S. illegal resident "Mark" (William Fisher), known to the public under the name of Rudolf Abel. Korotkov objected to the trip to the United States to share with him a radio operator residency Karel Reno Heyhanena, testing to distrust him, but the management of external intelligence did not agree with his reasons. Operational sense has not brought Alexander Mikhailovich Heyhanen really was a traitor and betrayed the American secret service, "Mark" (first 1960 Heyhanen died in the United States under the wheels of a car).
Personally knew Alexander's intelligence veterans recall that it was characterized by an unusual operational thinking and a desire to avoid the usual cliches at work. So, talking on duty in the main with the heads of departments and offices and their deputies, Korotkov immediately and continued to be friends with ordinary intelligence officers. Together with them he went fishing, mushrooming, with families walking to the theater. Alexander's always interest the world of ordinary intelligence officials on measures to improve the management of its operations. In this case, it was particularly friendly relations, devoid of servility and flattery. Korotkov not put on airs his rank of general, was at once simple and demanding in conversation with subordinates.

Reminiscing about his own first meeting with Alexander Mikhailovich, delicious scout-illegal Galina Fedorova wrote:

"Since I became an unusual excitement in the office of the chief of illegal intelligence. Because of the huge table in the back office vigorously climbed the highest broad middle-aged man with a friendly smile and walked towards me. Directed his attention to the courageous, strong-willed person, a strong chin, wavy brown hair. He was dressed in a black suit perfect cut. The piercing eyes gray-blue eyes fixed on me. Read low, pleasant voice, with benevolence and knowledge of the case.

The conversation was serious and very peaceful. On me a great memory it easy to talk, to have candid conversation demeanor, humor. And it seemed to me, when he willed, could arrange to discover at least some companion. "

In 1957, the General Korotkov was destiny for the post of Commissioner of the KGB under the Ministry of State Security of the GDR on coordination and communication. He was charged with managing the largest representational apparatus KGB abroad. Alexander Mikhailovich was able to establish trust with the management of affairs of the GDR Ministry of State Security, including Erich Mielke and Markus Wolf, whom he met during the war in Moscow. He contributed to the fact that the intelligence of the GDR has become one of the strongest in the world.

The device Consulate KGB usually located in the Karlshorst. West German counterintelligence, using the purchase of furniture for the consulate, tried to enter the eavesdropping technique to the study of Korotkov, camouflaging it in the chandelier. This attempt was foiled thanks to fit a high-ranking Russian intelligence source Felfe Heinz, who occupied one of the leading positions in most of the West German counterintelligence. In the coming this tab used Consulate KGB disinformation intelligence of the enemy.

General Korotkov not once met Xayntsem Felfe and spent his briefings. Their first meeting was accomplished in Austria in the summer of 1957 and took place in a suburban restaurant near Vienna on the ground, set aside for picnic lovers. The conversation lasted scouts virtually all light day. Korotkov carefully questioned the agent about the political situation in West Germany, the balance of power inside the government and political parties of the country, the impact on the Yankees' political decision-making, re-militarization of Germany. In his book "Memoirs of a scout," published in 1985, Felfe, remembering Alexander's, wrote:

"I remember very well the general Korotkov. During our meetings in Berlin or Vienna, we are often led to him long debates about the political situation in Germany. Its a good German language, painted Viennese dialect, its stylish appearance and manners at once aroused my sympathy. It is perfectly oriented in different political currents in the Federal Republic. More than once we had a heated debate when he expressed his apprehension about the emergence and spread of right-wing groups in Germany. Then I did not share his views. It is a pity that at the moment I can not tell him he was right. "

In June 1961, two and a half months before the construction of the Berlin Wall, Korotkov was summoned to a meeting at the Central Committee of the Communist Party in Moscow. Recently the meeting accomplished its preparatory conversation with the then head of the KGB Alexander Shelepin. Past Komsomol leader in conversation with the scout did not agree with his assessment of events taking place in Germany, and threatened to fire him from scouting after the meeting in the Central Committee of the CPSU. Going on a subsequent day in an old area, Korotkov said his wife that maybe come back home without a shoulder strap or you will not come as Shelepin is resolute and does not tolerate opposition.

Against his expectations, agreed with the assessment of the situation in the German spy. Shelepin seeing that Korotkov position coincides with the views of the majority of the performances declined.

Wanting to remove nervous stress, Korotkov walked through the streets of the town, and then I went to the stadium "Dinamo" play tennis. On the court, bending the ball, he felt a sharp pain in my heart and fell unconscious. Urgent call the doctor stated death from a heart attack. Delicious scout was then little more than 50 years.

For huge rewards in ensuring state security, Major General Korotkov was awarded the Order of Lenin, six (!) Order Red Banner, Order of the Russian War I level, 2 Orders of the Red Star, numerous medals, also the badge "Honorary Fellow of state security." His work was marked by a number of the highest merit zabugornyh countries.

Buried outstanding Russian spy, the master of illegal immigrants in Moscow at the Novodevichy Cemetery.

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