Richard Krebs, Soviet Intelligence and the Jews

Richard Krebs, Soviet Intelligence and the Jews

Richard Julius Hermann Krebs - better known by his pseudonym Jan Valtin - was a German Comintern and Soviet espionage agent who later defected to the West. He is an unusual man precisely because he was thoroughly dedicated Communist activist - who had attended the Lenin School in Moscow – and - for the cause he dedicated himself to - freely admitted that he had murdered and helped murder opponents of that cause. He is generally overlooked even in the academic literature because he published his autobiography ‘Out of the Night’ (1) in 1941 during a time when the world was preoccupied with the early stages of the Second World War, so Krebs’ story was forgotten as it wasn’t then ‘en vogue’. There is the odd mention of him in the academic literature as well as a recent German language biography of him. (2)

Valtin is another ex-Communist who has been abused as a ‘lying reactionary’ by left-leaning and outright Marxist academics, but he is also much harder than usual to discredit as being one (as unlike Louis Budenz, Whittaker Chambers and Elizabeth Bentley he never became a conservative figure nor did he ‘get religion’) particularly as he has strong anti-fascist credentials and his Dutch Communist wife - nicknamed Firelei - was allegedly killed by the SS in 1938/9 (although neither myself or Waldenfels have been able to find any proof of this). (3) Valtin was - like Budenz - Chambers and Bentley, in contact with very senior figures in the Comintern and global communist cause, in which he dealt with messengers from such senior (jewish) Bolsheviks as Karl Radek. (4)

Indeed Valtin’s description - from a position of knowledge - of Radek is rather insightful as he calls him ‘the Comintern’s most clever – and most cynical – propagandist’ who was the effective overlord of the KPD and the Comintern’s Western Secretariat (based in Germany) during the 1920s before the rise of Stalin. (5) Radek was - in spite of his egalitarian rhetoric about the ‘workers of the world uniting’ - very conscious of his jewishness and of the jewishness of other high-ranking Bolsheviks and at the 1927 Comintern Congress in Moscow he made his opposition to Stalin on the basis of the latter’s lack of jewishness by presenting a simple riddle:

‘What is the difference between Moses and Stalin?

Moses took the Jews out of Egypt; Stalin takes them out of the Communist Party.’ (6)

It thus little wonder that Radek was purged by Stalin in the late 1930s, but as Conquest has correctly noted: this has little to do with Radek having been jewish and everything to do with Stalin’s general paranoia (7) and mafia-style of government that Birstein has recently stylized it as. (8) As Lindemann notes it is probably merely coincidental that many leading Bolsheviks purged by Stalin were jewish (9) as so many of the Bolshevik leadership at this point were jewish: (10) so it is little wonder that Stalin targeted jewish Bolshevik opponents (as it was hard not to) and then later several batches of more prominent jews given his obsessive need to see Trotskyite conspiracies everywhere undermining his power. (11)

Valtin - like both Chambers and Budenz - inadvertently reveals the reality of the massive jewish involvement in the upper echelons of the Comintern cadre and Soviet intelligence fraternity. Valtin names Hugo Marx as a major Soviet intelligence asset and one of Stalin’s gang of bank robbers in the ‘good old days’ of the pre-revolutionary Tsarist period of Stalin’s life. (12) It is not surprising that Marx was jewish and - as Mosse termed him - ‘representative of the articulate Jewish party membership’. (13)

Knowing of Marx’s jewishness makes it all the more interesting when Valtin recounts that he was ordered by Marx to give up command of his unit of approximately thirty hardy German Communist seamen to a ‘Levantine merchant’ called ‘Meyer’. (14) Of course ‘Levantine merchant’ is a polite way of saying that ‘Meyer’ (Valtin makes clear he knew this was a pseudonym) was a jewish Communist who - as Valtin tells us - was recruiting working men for espionage work on behalf of the Comintern and Soviet intelligence. (15)

‘Meyer’s’ real name was in fact John Bornas and he - as far as I can ascertain - was jewish. After Meyer set up various safe houses for Communist agents in Hamburg, New York and Buenos Ares and charged Communist seamen for the privilege of using them. He was ordered to the Soviet Union by the GPU, refused and was deliberately exposed - along with ten other Communists who worked closely with him - to the German police (who rightly arrested and imprisoned him for espionage). (16) The reason that Bornas didn’t go back to the ‘Worker’s Paradise’ was - of course - that this was a euphemism for being executed in Communist circles at this time. (17)

A more senior jewish communist - and agent of the Comintern - was Felix Neumann who commanded the Hamburg ‘Red Hundreds’ - a play on words on the anti-Semitic Tsarist ‘Black Hundreds’ - which was the KPD’s nascent version of the Cheka. This evolved into what was called the ‘T-Units’ (literally ‘Terror Units’) which was part of the secret apparat of the KPD and was to form the basis of the future Cheka. (18) In the meantime, its role was to police German Communists and during the various Communist uprisings in Hamburg and Munich: to execute ‘class traitors’, ‘bourgeois’, ‘reactionaries’ and ‘counterrevolutionaries’ (in spite of a very recent attempt to play down the KPD death squad’s murderous activities in these revolts). (19) We should also note that like its German counterpart: jews played a key role in early Soviet secret police and repressive activities as even eminent jewish historians have had to reluctantly admit. (20)

That is not to say that Valtin does not make mistakes as he suggests that Belgian Soviet intelligence agent Edgar Andree had ‘slightly Jewish features’ (21) when he was - in fact - not jewish (rather the son of an Belgian iterant manual labourer and his wife).

Neumann however did not last in the vicious world of Soviet state-sponsored espionage and was captured and interrogated by the German police. Neumann broke under intensive questioning - remember he had just been trying to overthrow the state at the behest of the GPU and had at least personally murdered one man in cold blood - (22) and started leaking information to the police having obviously decided that his best bet at saving his life was to turn police informer. His fellow jewish Bolsheviks were understandably angry at this turn of events and an attempt of Neumann’s life failed. However not easily deterred the GPU successfully set one of its young rising Bolshevik stars Heinz Neumann to arrange the murder of the now marked jewish Bolshevik Felix Neumann. (23)

Heinz Neumann - scion of a wealthy jewish grain-dealing family from Berlin - (24) was a major figure in the history of International Communism having earned the nickname of the ‘Butcher of Canton’ for his role as a Soviet advisor to the Chinese Communist Party between 1924 and 1927 as well as in the KPD being one of its chief theoreticians. (25) Indeed Neumann was later the editor of the KPD’s main newspaper ‘Die Rote Fahne’ and a close associate of Stalin, but was executed in 1937 as part of the latter’s famous purges (which particularly ravaged non-Russian Comintern cadre like Neumann).

One of the more interesting tit-bits that demonstrates Neumann’s utter ruthlessness is that when he was sent by the KPD to Moscow in 1923 with one Carl Kindermann whom he denounced the later as a ‘fascist spy’ because Kindermann - a homosexual - had propositioned him sexually. (26) We also know that Neumann was - like many male jews - fairly obsessed with bedding gentile girls: in Neumann’s case he liked his shiksa’s tall, blonde-haired and blue-eyed. (27) Not exactly the most pleasant person in the world now: was he?

I should note as an aside that Valtin himself was propositioned by a homosexual - pretending to be a Protestant Pastor - when he was working as a Soviet intelligence asset in California and Valtin promptly fled and caught the next train out of San Bernardino. (28)

Valtin also tells us that the KPD was under the direct control of the famous jewish Bolshevik Zinoviev in 1923 and that he could order them to revolt if he so wished it (while he stayed safe and sound in Moscow). (29) We then discover that yet another ‘Levantine merchant’ - i.e., a jewish capitalist - was working for Soviet intelligence in Hamburg and had knowingly sold the Soviet Union at least one ship to aid it. (30) Such capitalist co-operation - jewish and non-jewish - may surprise some, but it wasn’t just the exception in this period but the rule (as the USSR was after all a large potential market) (31) and the perfidious ‘righteous gentile’ Raoul Wallenberg was a prominent example of this kind of ‘cooperation’ (although it didn’t stop him being killed by SMERSH after World War II). (32)

Valtin moves swiftly on to another major figure in Soviet intelligence in this period; Michael Avatin a Latvian GPU operative who worked primarily in Europe and the United States specialising in sniffing out and exposing anti-Communist agents. Atavin’s girlfriend was a jewess from Warsaw: Malka Stifter. (33) The budding Stalinist couple had met while attending the Lenin School for Foreign Cadre in Moscow and Stifter was very young: Valtin puts her at under nineteen and from what I’ve been able to work out she was more like seventeen at the time. (34)

We are then told that Stifter worked as a Soviet espionage agent - specialising in subverting the military and police - in the Baltic States, Yugoslavia and her native Poland. Valtin credits Stifter - perhaps too generously - with being the principle ‘hidden hand’ behind the Polish military mutinies in Skiernivice, Lodz and Nova-Vileiko: whence she was arrested and interrogated by the Polish police. Wanting to break the Communist infiltration of and influence in their military: the Polish government authorised the use of extreme methods - including torture - to break Stifter who eventually threw in the proverbial towel and gave up a whole slew of Communist agents who were then exposed, driven out of the country, imprisoned or executed by the Polish police. Stifter was placed - in spite of her betrayal of her fellow Communists - on the rolls of the Communist martyrs. (35)

Valtin mentions that at least one of the Lenin School lecturers Rosa Speculant was jewish and later like Stifter was captured by the Polish police but unfortunately escaped the hangman’s noose. Speculant lectured on how to disseminate propaganda and in reward for her services a grateful USSR named a children’s home in Novorossisk after her. (36)

Valtin then mentions seeing a thirty-five-page report he had made on the chances of inciting a race-based uprising in Hawaii on the desk of the jewish head of the Profintern: Solomon Lozovsky. (37) Lozovsky was a major figure in the Soviet Union till Stalin had him killed for cooperating with Zionists and showing jewish nationalist sentiments. (38)

Among his many of posts was the control of the Profintern (the Soviet international trade unionist network) from 1921 to 1937 (an unusually long tenure in the USSR) and the Soviet Information Bureau (to influence world opinion in favour of the USSR during and after World War II) as well as being a member of the powerful Central Committee of the Communist Party, the Supreme Soviet and a Deputy Foreign Minister. Lozovsky is usually ignored by critics of jews and it is worth mentioning that he is actually one of best case studies of jewish power in the USSR and that his jewish nephew was George Mink: a major figure in the Communist Party USA. (39) Mink - according to Valtin - like Heinz Neumann was a jew with a particular passion for bedding gentile women and tried to rape an attractive Danish maid in Copenhagen. (40)

Valtin next mentions a young German Communist named Hans Sorgers - who was an editor for an unspecified KPD periodical or publishing house - who was caught by the German secret police because he had become infatuated with a Communist jewess. Who after being picked up as potential Communist agent blurted out under questioning as much information as she possibly could to save her own skin regardless of her misguided lover’s life and her own professed beliefs. (41)

The next stop on Valtin’s whistle-stop tour of the jewish elements of the Comintern and Soviet intelligence apparatus is Paris where he is directed to the apartment of a jewish architect called Roger Walter Ginsburg. Whose spacious and luxuriant apartment on the fashionable Rue de Seine was the centre of much Soviet intelligence activity in both France and Western Europe. (42)

Ginsburg provided such services to Soviet intelligence as: acting as a dead drop location, communications hub, banker and passport forger. His wife Doris Ginsburg also translated Comintern and Soviet intelligence directives and material for this intelligence network running out of their apartment: she also acted as an impromptu interpreter. (43)

One of the Soviet agents - whose dispatches were sent through Roger Ginsburg - was a jewish police superintendent in Tel Aviv: who was busy helping Arabs get to Moscow so they could be trained as Soviet intelligence assets to fight against ‘Anglo-French Imperialism’ in the Middle East. (44)

Around the time that Valtin met his wife-to-be Firelei; he assisted a jewish Comintern asset named Hirsch who was to go to Galicia - a major centre of jewish culture no less - and help organise the ‘class conscious’ jews against the Poles in the name of the ‘world revolution’. Hirsch was however quickly caught by the Polish police and promptly hung for high treason. (45)

There ends the litany of jewish Bolsheviks that Krebs mentions in his ‘Out of the Night’ - aside from some mentions of the infamous Bela Kuhn (but I judge that no introduction is necessary to his murderous regime and subsequent activities) - which is very informative in telling us just how many jews got involved in working for ‘world revolution’ with the Comintern and Soviet intelligence. One wonders how some can continue to claim there was no significant jewish representation in international communism or among the Bolsheviks?

Puzzling indeed!


(1) Jan Valtin, 1941, ‘Out of the Night’, 1st Edition, Alliance: New York
(2) Ernst von Waldenfels, 2002, ‘Der Spion der aus Deutschland Kam: Das Geheime Leben des Seemanns Richard Krebs’, 1st Edition, Aufbau Verlag: Berlin
(3) For example of the comparative leniency of the Third Reich towards Communist prisoners see the remarkable booklet Reinhard Rurup (Ed.), 1997, ‘Topography of Terror: Gestapo, SS and Reichssicherheitshauptamt on the “Prinz-Albrecht-Terrain”: A Documentation’, 6th Edition, Verlag Willmuth Arenhovel: Berlin, which manages to indirectly inform us of this - to modern readers - startling fact (in spite of the clunky and badly translated English title).
(4) Valtin, Op. Cit., p. 41
(5) Ibid.
(6) Albert Lindemann, 1997, ‘Esau’s Tears: Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews’, 1st Edition, Cambridge University Press: New York, p. 452
(7) Robert Conquest, 1968, ‘The Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties’, 1st Edition, MacMillan: New York, p. 76
(8) Vadim Birstein, 2011, ‘SMERSH: Stalin’s Secret Weapon. Soviet Military Counterintelligence in WWII’, 1st Edition, Biteback: London, p. 25
(9) Lindemann, Op. Cit., p. 453
(10) Orlando Figes, 1997, ‘A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891-1924’, 1st Edition, Pimlico: London, p. 696
(11) Duncan Hallas, 1984, ‘Trotsky’s Marxism’, 2nd Edition, Bookmarks: Chicago, p. 5
(12) Valtin, Op. Cit., pp. 45; 110
(13) George Mosse, 1971, ‘German Socialists and the Jewish Question in the Weimar Republic’, Leo Baeck Institute Year Book, Vol. 16, No. 1, p. 143
(14) Valtin, Op. Cit., p. 47
(15) Ibid.
(16) Ibid, p. 48
(17) Birstein, Op. Cit., p. 37
(18) Valtin, Op. Cit., p. 57
(19) David Olusoga, Casper Erichsen, 2011, ‘The Kaiser’s Holocaust: Germany’s Forgotten Genocide’, 2nd Edition, Faber and Faber: London, pp. 282-287
(20) Salo Baron, 1964, ‘The Russian Jew’, 1st Edition, MacMillan: New York, p. 203
(21) Valtin, Op. Cit., p. 58
(22) Ibid, p. 66
(23) Ibid, p. 67
(24) Ibid.
(25) Ibid.; Adolf Ehrt, 1990, [1933], ‘Communism in Germany: The Communist Conspiracy on the Eve of the 1933 National Revolution’, 1st Edition, Noontide Press: Costa Mesa, p. 20
(26) Valtin, Op. Cit., pp. 67-68
(27) Ibid, pp. 140; 353
(28) Ibid, p. 98
(29) Ibid, pp. 83; 182
(30) Ibid, pp. 96-97
(31) Sean McMeekin, 2003, ‘The Red Millionaire: A Political Biography of Willi Muenzenberg, Moscow’s Secret Propaganda Tsar in the West’, 1st Edition, Yale University Press: New Haven, p. 122
(32) Birstein, Op. Cit., pp. 29-30
(33) Valtin, Op. Cit. p. 111
(34) Ibid.
(35) Ibid, p. 116
(36) Ibid, p. 138
(37) Ibid, pp. 119-120; 203-205
(38) Joshua Rubenstein, Vladimir Naumov, (Eds.), Laura Esther Wolfson (Trans.), 2005, ‘Stalin’s Secret Pogrom: The Inquisition of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee’, 2nd Edition, Yale University Press: New Haven, pp. 385-386
(39) Valtin, Op. Cit., pp. 309-310; Whittaker Chambers, 1952, ‘Witness’, 1st Edition, Random House: New York, pp. 302-303
(40) Valtin, Op. Cit., p. 312
(41) Ibid, p. 143
(42) Ibid, pp. 185-186; 470-471
(43) Ibid, pp. 186-187; 484
(44) Ibid, p. 189
(45) Ibid, p. 210