Ludwig Lore: A Background File

Ludwig Lore was a once-prominent American Communist whose name has been buried in the early records of the American Communist Party (CPUSA) – and a long-forgotten investigative journalist who wrote on international affairs in the 1930s. However, Lore has now joined the pantheon – or hall of shame – of early American assets in Soviet espionage. The occasion was the publication of a new tome on the history of Soviet espionage in America, entitled SPIES: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America, co-authored by two American historians of American Communism and Soviet espionage, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr. The third co-author is Alexander Vassiliev, a former KGB officer and later a journalist. Vassiliev’s research in the early 1990s in KGB records dating from the 1930s to the early 1950s became the basis for The Haunted Wood, a highly acclaimed history of Stalin-era Soviet espionage in America which he co-authored with American historian Allen Weinstein. 1

Lore’s story is told in less than four pages in the new rewrite of Vassiliev’s research 2 – without any visible attempts to crosscheck his story in the records available in America and Russia. True, except for American Communist Party and Comintern files, which document Lore’s Communist activities and his expulsion from the party in 1925, the records on both sides of Lore’s later story are incomplete and too often confusing and puzzling. Hence, there is all the more reason to assess the available records before jumping to any premature conclusions about Lore himself and his sources.

Read the entire Lore dossier below, or click any of the following links to jump to:

Ludwig Lore: Outing as a Soviet spy

Let us begin with the story of how Ludwig Lore came to be identified as a Soviet espionage agent.

Attentive readers of The Haunted Wood focused on a story about agent “Leo” and his sources at the U.S. Department of State – “Willie” and “Daniel.” Beginning in the early 1930s, in return for generous payments to himself and his sources, the book says that “Leo” provided Soviet foreign intelligence (INO) “illegalresident Valentin Markin with “numerous ambassadorial, consular, and military attaché reports from Europe and the Far East,” as well as “transcripts of recorded conversations Secretary of State Cordell Hull and his assistants had with foreign ambassadors.” “Leo” was described as a free-lance journalist, who, as the Soviets began to suspect, fictitiously created some of his sources to increase his remuneration. 3 This thrilling story was cut short almost in the beginning of “Leo”’s odyssey, probably because, to Weinstein, it paled in comparison with the story of the Hiss-Chambers case, as told in Perjury, his own acclaimed account of the case, 4 and recounted on pages 38-49 of The Haunted Wood (mostly sourced from the 1978 edition of Perjury). 5

However, even in its aborted form, Weinstein’s account – taken from the notes which his Russian co-author made on odd reports in a circumstantially related file – pointed to a fascinating story behind the surface narrative. One report from Moscow in the early 1930s cited in The Haunted Wood was particularly striking:

Moscow considered the information “precious”, its highest compliment, and instructed Markin to nurture the pair: “These agents ensure considerable acquisition of materials from the State Department. Therefore, we consider inexpedient any further penetration into the State Department either by legal or illegal operatives. The task is to develop the agents we already have.” 6

In 2003, “Leo”’s story was significantly expanded both in detail and chronological scope in a chapter entitled “The Paper Mill” in Essays on the History of Russian Foreign Intelligence – a collection of essays written by KGB intelligence veterans and based upon their readings of archival sources. 7 The Russian writer of “Leo”’s story, KGB Major General Julius Kobyakov (since then deceased) obviously took his account from the primary source: “Leo”’s case-file. The details in Kobyakov’s essay were enough for me to quickly identify “Leo” as Ludwig Lore.

In 2004, Kobyakov himself provided this identification in a posting on H-DIPLO, in which he noted that the authors of The Haunted Wood “obviously failed to recognize colorful and resourceful LEO as Ludwig Lore, former editor of the Volkszeitung and a columnist for the New York Evening Post,” whose “path curiously crossed with that of Chambers, who mentioned him several dozen times (Witness, pp. 201, 217, 352, 387-392, 412-413, 492).” 8

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Who Were “Willie” and “Daniel”? – or How Two American Historians Got Trapped in Their Identification of Lore’s Sources at the U.S. Department of State

In his 2004 H-DIPLO posting, Kobyakov referred to the case of “Leo” and his sources to make the point that dutiful copying and translation of “odd reports from the case-file” does not result in correct analysis and conclusions. According to the authors of The Haunted Wood, the Soviets’ conclusion was “that virtually all the information and documents involved had actually come from only one source: “Willie.”

However, according to Kobyakov, that take was premature – owing to the incomplete nature of the records Vassiliev managed to see. In Kobyakov’s “non-garbled” account from the primary source, by late 1936, Lore’s Soviet handlers Boris Bazarov (who was the “illegalresident in New York after Valentin Markin’s death in 1934) and his assistant Iskhak Akhmerov) managed to ascertain that neither “Willie” nor “Daniel” were the State Department officials Lore was passing them off as. This finding was particularly alarming in the case of “Willie,” whom Lore was passing off as the head of an important department. 9

In mid-February of 1937, the Soviets established a 60-hour “around-the-clock surveillance” of Lore’s two-floor apartment (by renting an apartment in the house across the street.) Here is Kobyakov’s fascinating account, in my English translation:

“Leo” lived in Manhattan 10 and occupied two floors in a four-story building. The windows of his apartment faced the street. To maintain surveillance on “Leo,” the residency managed to rent an apartment in the house across the street, which provided a perfect view of things happening in “Leo”’s apartment.

In mid-February 1937, on the eve of the next scheduled meeting, around-the-clock surveillance was established, which continued for 60 hours. It was ascertained that contrary to “Leo”’s statements, he did not make any trip to Washington, D.C. in those days. Throughout the whole period of surveillance, he left his home only once, for four hours. For three nights running, “Leo”’s study was bustling with work, with the participation of all the family members; in particular, “Leo”’s wife 11 and son were taking turns at the typewriter typing something. When providing us with the materials, “Leo” repeated his usual lies about a trip to Washington and meetings with sources.

On the eve of the next scheduled meeting in late March, surveillance was resumed – with the same results.

With the results of physical surveillance, the Centre arrived at a preliminary conclusion, that “Leo” was an exceptionally talented compiler. The use of information from open sources, fishing in them for any new data, as well as their analysis and evaluation, often produce outstanding results; many intelligence services do not neglect this method of information-gathering. But such work is considered auxiliary to the main task – obtaining information from agent sources. The work with “Leo” could be continued, but, on different terms.

However, the residency did not think that “Leo”’s expertise would be sufficient for him to be able to fabricate all the material on his own from beginning to end. He probably did have some documentary information, however, which he was refining on his own. All this had to be ascertained before making any final decision. 12

The situation was aggravated in late spring 1937, when the Soviet “illegals” managed to ascertain that the “Willie” and “Daniel” whom Lore had presented to his Soviet handlers, were “dummies.”

Here is the account in Kobyakov’s chapter, describing how the Soviets finally ascertained that Lore’s major source, “Willie,” was not the person Lore was passing him off as – that is, not David A. Salmon, the chief of the State Department’s Division of Communications and Records:

… In May 1936, Akhmerov, who acted in Bazarov’s place during the latter’s vacation, reported [to Moscow] that, from his point of view, in “Willie”’s materials there are occurrences of some improbable information and sometimes deliberations which are simply naïve.

Throughout 1935, the residency was diligently accumulating and checking any information “Leo” provided about “Willie” and “Daniel”… The checking revealed that “Willie” was in his office at the time when, according to “Leo,” he was away on vacation. A couple of times, it was ascertained that “Leo” was at home when he said that he had gone to Washington for a meeting with “Willie”….

Bazarov repeatedly noted that “Willie” provided documents that had an improbable signature. For instance, it was learned from newspaper reports that a certain American diplomat had been transferred from Paris to Damascus; however, “Willie” would continue for a long time to provide materials from Paris under [that diplomat's] signature. The explanations “Leo” provided were unconvincing. 13

It appears that Lore did not provide photocopies of State Department documents: whatever he provided was retyped (reportedly, by the sources themselves). This procedure caused continual problems for the Soviet operatives, in view of Joseph Stalin’s well-known insistence on obtaining original documentation. As a result, they made efforts to ascertain whether Lore’s explanations matched the real circumstances of the official whom “Leo” was passing off as “Willie”:

… As far as “Willie” was concerned, his work schedule and heavy workload plainly ruled out any possibility of [his] secretly copying the materials in his office and then later re-typing them at home. “Willie”’s work day schedule [or that of the official Lore was passing off as "Willie"] and his cautiousness contradicted “Leo”’s version that he ["Willie"] was bringing typed material to the hotel Leo stayed at [on his visits to Washington, D.C.] or could travel to other cities for meetings with him. [Lore alleged that "Willie" requested shifting the meetings to Baltimore.] Soon after the meetings [Bazarov's meetings with Lore] had been shifted [from New York] to Washington, Bazarov reported that “Leo” had become totally confused about which materials came from “Willie” and which from “Daniel”. 14

In November 1936, the Soviets obtained a new State Department directory 15 which created further alarm:

… In November 1936, Bazarov managed to ascertain, with the help of American directories, that “Daniel” had no access to the documents he was passing on, since he worked at the financial part of the State Department.

The same directory had a photo of “Willie”, as well as his address. The vetting revealed that the appearance of the man who resided in that house was unlike the appearance of the man who had earlier been pointed out to Bazarov as “Willie”.

In early 1937, considering the accumulated information on “Leo”’s unscrupulousness in practically every aspect of his work with his sub-sources, Bazarov became convinced of the need to present “Leo” with an ultimatum in the form of a point-blank request for a personal meeting with “Willie”. 16

In February, 1937 Lore finally agreed to bring “Willie” to a meeting with Akhmerov:

… Akhmerov had thoroughly prepared for the meeting: he had carefully planned his tactics, the questions he would ask to reveal “Willie”’s real identity.

The same “Willie” whom “Leo” had shown to Bazarov in Washington several months before arrived for the meeting. This was an individual of about 40 years old, middle height, with dark complexion and deep-set eyes. His speech gave grounds for believing that he was a German-American. “Willie” produced the impression of a rank-and-file bureaucrat. 17

In 1937, the real-life David Aden Salmon, born in 1879, would have been 57 — and he obviously did not possess the physical features described above. Nor was he a German-American.

Kobyakov’s account continues:

The outcome of the meeting exceeded all expectations – the residency managed to obtain a convincing answer to its main question: the “Willie” who was presented by “Leo” was not the person “Leo” had been passing him off as In the course of the meeting, it turned out that “Willie” was not conversant with politics and had no idea about the issues discussed in the materials he delivered to us. He did not know the names of the State Department officials whom he should have known in his position, and gave fictitious names of other employees. He named a male secretary, when the residency knew for sure that the secretary at the division allegedly headed by “Willie” was a woman. “Willie” demonstrated an inexplicable lack of knowledge of the procedure of registration and processing of documents at his division, as well as their particulars [Russian "rekvizity" = requisites]. Moreover, he did not know the names of most of the U.S. ambassadors in the most important countries.

Having established the truth about the agent, Akhmerov did not expose “Leo” and “Willie”, since that was not his assignment at that time. In Akhmerov’s opinion, “Leo” understood that his deception had been exposed. 18

On July 2, 1937, Moscow finally instructed its New York “illegal” station to break up the relationship with “Leo” and “to take up measures to avoid any hostile actions” on his part. Kobyakov concluded his essay with a slogan: “That was “Leo”’s pathway- from political hesitations to fraud. Americans have a special term for it, a “paper mill”. …” 19

One can only guess why the American authors of SPIES: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America ignored General Kobyakov’s helpful tips from the original source – published in 2003 as volume 3 in what are the only essays to date on the history of KGB foreign intelligence emanating from its successor agency, the SVR.

“Leo” was not identified in what Kobyakov termed the “odd records” to which their Russian co-author and source, Alexander Vassiliev, had access in 1994. Moreover, according to a notation he made on the margins of his notes on a late September, 1936 dispatch, he thought that “Leo” was probably Whittaker Chambers. 20 Hence, Haynes and Klehr owe their outing of Ludwig Lore to the late General Kobyakov’s generosity.

Their own contribution to Lore’s story is the identification (or, as we have seen, misidentification) of Lore’s chief source, “Willie” (doubtless a German-origin pseudonym that Haynes and Klehr misspelled as an anglicized “Willy”) as “a key source in the State Department … David Salmon, then head of the State Department’s Communications and Records Division.” The two historians concede that Salmon “was a most unexpected Soviet source.” However, they found “the details” provided in Vassiliev’s notes on the “odd” records to which he had access “sufficient to identify him.” 21

The American historians seem to have been tricked by the odd collection of records to which their Russian source, Vassiliev, had access. While in the 1999 account of Vassiliev’s notes, in The Haunted Wood, the “Leo” story is abruptly cut off midway in around 1935, the 2009 re-write brings the story up to early 1937, when Lore was under Soviet surveillance – with the logical conclusion that “the KGB cut its ties with Lore” some time later. 22 Without consulting Kobyakov’s essay (thus far, the only window into Lore’s case-file), the American historians have fallen into a trap.

The two American historians seem to have skipped the definitive clue in Vassiliev’s notes on Laurence Duggan’s file – that by May, 1937, the Soviet operatives had learned the real identity of “11th”/”Willie.” Under his notes on the Moscow Center’s May 14, 1937 letter to its New York resident, “Nord” (Boris Bazarov), that asked if the source “19” [Laurence Duggan] could provide more materials “regarding the US data on the Soviet military-naval supply orders,” Vassiliev made the following notation in brackets, that apparently was his brief summary of Bazarov’s response to the Center’s query:

     “[The actual “11” didn’t give “19” the folder, because these materials should not be of interest to 19.]” 23

From the combination of Kobyakov’s account and Vassiliev’s notes, it seems that Lore’s true sources at the Department of State were lower-level clerks at the Communications and Records Division, who provided him with copies of cables, which he or his wife (an experienced typist and his secretary for many years) would re-type for his Russian controllers. As I have heard from a long-time KGB foreign intelligence operative and leader, Lieutenant General Vitaly Pavlov, recruiting officials in top executive positions is not always productive. Discussing with me in 2002 his supervision of American operations from Moscow Centre between 1939 and early 1942, Pavlov intimated:

In recruiting a source of information, our attitude was that an agent at a low or mid-level in the hierarchy could be much more productive than a source in a higher leadership position. The latter may possess more information in some specific field. However, his assistants, secretaries, shorthand writers and code clerks have access to the total volume of information passing through a U.S. Department’s division headed by a potential candidate for recruitment. For this reason, the preference of our foreign intelligence would be for the position of a lower-level individual rather than an individual in prominent government and other executive positions…. 24

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Ludwig Lore: Foreign Intelligence Procurement in the Stalin Papers

Even without such State Department brass as David Salmon, Lore’s sources, however obscure, did provide information which Moscow considered highly valuable. Amazingly, the Soviets’ early rave reviews of Lore’s production checked out in one volume of the Stalin Papers – an archival collection, a significant part of which has been open for research in Moscow since the late 1990s. Stalin obviously considered foreign intelligence procured from his New York INO station “top cream” – the only U.S.-sourced 1930s input sitting in a volume in his Private Papers with Russian translations of “foreign diplomatic documents” obtained by the INO GUGB from 1934 to 1937. 25 Judging from Stalin’s notations and markings, the texts of the U.S. diplomatic communiqués sitting in this file served as a basis for his foreign policy deliberations and important political decisions.

This fascinating intelligence input includes two cables from the U.S. Ambassador in Japan, Joseph Grew, to the U.S. Secretary of State (dated February 17, 1934 and January 24, 1936). The first of them has Stalin’s notation: “Looks like Hirota is having difficulties. Interesting. J. St.” (Koki Hirota was at that time the Japanese Foreign Secretary.) Another fascinating document is an early 1935 report sourced to an agent in New York “with connections to American government circles,” dated February 27, 1935, on a Japanese proposal “to the USA to begin negotiations on concluding a non-aggression pact.” According to a notation, this report was translated from German – the language Ludwig Lore used in his communications with the Soviet “illegal” resident in New York from 1932 to 1934, Valentin Markin. The latest documents that were clearly obtained from the same source are dated January 11 and 21, 1937.

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The Lore-Chambers Relationship

By 1937, Whittaker Chambers was a frequent visitor to Lore’s hospitable home. According to what Lore’s widow would tell the FBI in 1949, Chambers “was a rather frequent visitor to the Lore home…during a period before and after Chambers’s defection from the CP.” Mrs. Lore further explained that “on the occasion of Chambers’s visits, he partook of several meals on the second floor, but in any discussions in which he engaged with her husband, the discussions were held in Ludwig Lore’s study on the first floor.” 26 That was the very study the Soviet operatives kept under surveillance during the first half of 1937.

In his literary autobiography, Witness, Chambers circumstantially dated the beginning of his visits to the Lore home as sometime before the summer of 1936. He said that he had made contact with Lore on the assignment of his then-Soviet handler, “Bill,” whose presence in the USA he dated from 1933 until summer 1936 at the latest. 27

Some American authors tried to identify Chambers’s “Bill” as Iskhak Akhmerov, the above- mentioned INO “illegal” operative in the USA at that time, on the grounds that Akhmerov is known to have used that “street name” in the 1940s and probably in the late 1930s as well. However, Chambers himself does not leave open any possibility of identifying his handler as Akhmerov. Chambers wrote that Lore asked him whom he “knew in the apparatuses,” if he “knew someone whom he called ‘Jim’ – a short, dark, rough man who seemed to be a Turk.” It was only Akhmerov who more or less fit that description – and about whom Lore had every reason to wonder. However, Chambers’s answer was unequivocal: “I did not know Jim.” 28

In any case, Chambers “came to regard the Lores’ house as a kind of second home” – a situation in which he could not have escaped coming under Soviet surveillance. Chambers did not elaborate upon the details of his relationship with Lore, leaving one to guess whether that relationship might have included some business component, such as an exchange of information obtained from confidential sources.

However, there was one important thing which Chambers did not mention to the HUAC investigators in 1948, nor to the grand jury in 1948-1949, nor during the two Alger Hiss perjury trials, nor in his book, Witness. That was the fact that Lore was the original safekeeper of Chambers’s so-called “life-preserver” – a sheaf of typed copies or summaries of State Department cables and a few specimens of handwriting from Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White which would come to be known 10 years later as “the Baltimore documents.” Lore had kept the package in a Brooklyn bank vault for many months, until Chambers took it back in order to hide it with another keeper. 29 The Hiss defense and the FBI learned about Lore’s role in 1949, but it would not be publicly disclosed until the late 1970s.

In Witness, Chambers wrote that on his visits to the Lore house he “used to watch very carefully to see” if he were followed:

For I could not entirely disregard the rumors about him. I did not know that at the very time I was visiting him most frequently, Lore was under surveillance. He was being watched, not by the American authorities, but by the Russian secret police. Eyes must have seen me come and go to that apartment house a number of times without knowing who I was or that I was going there to meet Lore, for there were other tenants in the house.

One pair of those eyes … belonged to Hede Massing, who, under instructions of her apparatus, and with the help of a telescope, was watching Lore day and night from a room that the G.P.U. had rented across the street from the apartment.

Hede Massing could not imagine why the Russian secret police kept that watch upon Lore. I can. My first slight distrust of him passed through my mind when, after months of promising, he failed to make a single contact for me. …

It was not until much later that I became openly suspicious of Lore’s role. … But I had been out of the Communist Party six or seven years, and Lore was dead, before I discovered that … [Lore] had denounced me (around 1941) to the FBI. I learned it not from the FBI but from another security agency of the Government. 30

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Guenther Reinhardt and Ludwig Lore

Here is how Lore’s denunciation of Chambers to the FBI appeared in the 1953 account of another frequent visitor to the Lore’s hospitable home, Guenther Reinhardt (a fellow journalist and long-time FBI informant):

I had known Lore since 1928 when, in a heated, public political debate, we had been opponents. The same night, despite the conflict on the platform, we became friends. I had no illusions about Lore’s political position. He had been brutally treated by the Communists. He fought them bitterly and relentlessly. Yet, he did not fight them, at least immediately, with the powerful weapons of exposure that were so obviously at his disposal. He was dedicated to the Marxist social revolution, although embittered by the Russian version and domination of that revolution. He was not, however, as some writers have suggested, secretly using his defection from the Party as a cover for clandestine membership in the Soviet secret police.

My proof of that is that in 1941, Lore, as I was, was part of a secret United States operation. This operation, the scope and objective of which has not yet been revealed, had powers stemming directly from the White House. Its personnel was known only to the members of the group itself. No other investigative body was aware of its existence. And, as an indication of the depth of its secrecy cover, everyone in the group, even an official of ambassadorial rank, was obliged to handle even typing and filing work personally and privately.

Lore, beyond his participation in this – one of the few “secret” missions never penetrated by Red Agents – was also an active and, most important, effective cooperator in the fight against the Soviet secret police. If Lore did not fight fire with fire – if he could not bring himself to deliver up old associates to calamity, it was simply that he was an individual of singular integrity and personal morality.

At the time of the Poyntz case [Reinhardt's reference indicates a mid-1937 dating], my association with Lore was strictly personal. Lore at that time was writing a foreign affairs column for the New York Post entitled “Behind the Cables.” I was ghosting a similar column, “The European Whirligig,” for the McClure Newspaper Syndicate. Lore and I met often at his amazingly colorful home in Brooklyn, to compare notes on our separate sources of information abroad. Moreover, because of his obviously superior contacts for obtaining information about the Communist Party, I had told him of my connection with the FBI. His reticence about talking publicly of his former comrades, it was felt, might be overcome by the personal basis of our relations. The relationship did, in fact, pay rich dividends of information.

Among these enormously useful informative services rendered the government in this collaboration was Lore’s tip-off to me about a German who had contacted him and who, Lore assured me, was an extremely clever operative of the Soviet espionage underground in this country. In order to get a line on this man – but also because Lore liked the man’s obvious superb intellect, repeatedly told me of his fine personal qualities, and hoped that eventually he might “turn” him – Ludwig befriended this man, often inviting him to luncheons which were such a delightfully memorable feature of the Lore household. I was invited to one of these luncheons in order to get a look at the man so that I should be able to report to the FBI his physical description. After my report was in, the Bureau by some superb detective work quickly established his identity.

The result was that two FBI agents visited the office of Time magazine.

That is how Whittaker Chambers’ first contact with the FBI came about!

As Chambers reveals in his book, Witness (page 392), he learned recently from a security agency, not the FBI, that Lore around 1941 turned him in to the FBI and pays tribute to Lore’s patriotism in actually working with the U.S. Government when it was widely believed that Lore’s interests lay on the other side.

My elation at having been the first to report Chambers to a security agency is somewhat dampened today by the recollection that I reported him as being a highly educated German who liked to convey the impression that he was a native American! I considered Chambers’s slight American accent when he spoke German as an affectation! 31

Given the clues in Lore’s FBI file, Lore, as of 1941, appeared to work for the Research and Analysis Branch (R&A) of the Office of the Coordinator of Information (COI) – the nation’s first peacetime non-departmental intelligence organization, founded in July 1941 and known at the time as the Donovan Committee. In early 1942, the R&A branch became an arm of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). This took place after the COI split into the OSS (covert operations) and the Office of War Information (OWI) (propaganda functions). Amazingly, Lore’s FBI FOIA file includes a few reports from a confidential informant (whose name was redacted) which closely fit in with Reinhardt’s account in his 1953 book. This account enabled me identify that informant as Guenther Reinhardt. Here is Reinhardt’s description of Lore’s work:

LUDWIG LORE told me that he is now doing confidential work for the COORDINATOR OF INFORMATION for which he is paid $75 – in cash each week. His work consists of European political analyses and confidential reports on Communist situations. He makes one to two written reports per week and his reports average six to ten type-written pages. He works with a group under direction of DR. POOLE; Mr. Wiley (former American Minister to Latvia) and a Mr. GEBHARDT of the State Department. LORE stated that this group is the only one of high officials of the Donovan Committee which realizes the influence and danger of the Communists in Washington government offices, internal American politics and the international picture. LORE told me that Messrs. POOLE and WILEY had become so alarmed over the ability of undercover Communists inside the Donovan Committee (Coordinator of Information) to obtain even the most secret documents and reports that they made special arrangements to safeguard the confidential reports under their jurisdiction. LORE added that the Communists recently had had access to secret reports of the White House, Army, Navy, Department of State, Department of Justice, etc., which these agencies never dreamed would get out of the hands of Colonel Donovan. LORE also stated that the Donovan Committee was being used by some departments (he did not specify which) for obtaining confidential information and reports of other departments. 32

Lore died in New York on July 8, 1942 – only a month after the above report was submitted to the FBI. Its writer, Guenther Reinhardt, by his own account, was present at Lore’s house at the time of his death, and certified that it was “by illness, not intent” – as “some writers have strongly hinted”:

… I was, however, at Lore’s home when he died. It was by illness, not intent. He was suffering from acute uremia and had been taking treatments for it for some time. On July 8, 1942, a little over five years after Juliet’s [Juliet Poyntz's] murder, I spoke to him as he lay in bed. I left him after a while and sat in his study. At 3:30 p.m. Mrs. Lore came into the study and told me that Ludwig was dead, suddenly, quietly dead. 33

Reinhardt immediately reported the details to the FBI:

As previously reported to Mr. Granville in a brief preliminary verbal report I had been the last person outside his family who saw LUDWIG LORE on his deathbed. At the request of the family I attended the cremation after the funeral services together with the immediate family and one other friend. 34

In his 1953 book, Reinhardt gave a fascinating description of the scene in Lore’s home:

Around me in the study, as she [Mrs.Lore] spoke, his files and jammed shelves seemed a mindless, masterless jumble. The mute voices of every meeting of the Comintern during Lore’s party career were in them. The documents in its committees, its instructions to its foreign agents, all rested in those files. And, most important of all, the silenced voice of Leon Trotsky, speaking from his grave and from his deep, sharp penetration of the Stalinist Iron Curtain, was somewhere in that study.

In the ten days between Lore’s death and his funeral I took steps to make sure that Lore’s monumental legacy would serve the right side. I arranged for the FBI to purchase Lore’s entire archives. … 35

According to Reinhardt, he “arranged for the FBI to purchase Lore’s entire archives” with what he described as a rather competitive bid. Reinhardt continued, in his July 14, 1942 memo to the FBI:

Later at KARL LORE’s [Ludwig Lore's elder son's] house he told me that the State Department and President’s advisory group were dickering with his mother [LUDWIG LORE's widow and secretary for 33 years] for a possible job for her and for his files and library.

Today I had a lunch date with KARL LORE but he had to break it because of the accumulation of work on his desk as department chief in the office of the Coordinator of Information. …

KARL LORE (he works under his pen name LEONARD CARLTON) told me today that for the time being his mother had no immediate financial worries: LUDWIG LORE had left a modest sum of insurance money. Furthermore the group in Washington the day after LORE’s death sent the widow a government check 100% in excess of the compensation for the entire month of July. This would mean a check for about $600. – Also they have offered her a job to do research work, but left the matter “sort of indefinite.” 36

To strengthen the FBI bid in obtaining Lore’s papers, Reinhardt suggested his help in making a rival offer to Mrs. Lore:

One of my ideas is that it might be considered feasible that ostensibly I employ Mrs. Lore to do research for me at a small weekly stipend and to have her available for special studies at so and so much per piece. This might work out this way: A series of reports on the foreign-language political groups here and radical personalities in them, as the “regular” work which could be spread out over several months. Then if the Bureau has an investigation on a specific situation or individual where ordinary sources are insufficient and where LORE’s files or contacts seem likely to provide an accurate and satisfactory report I might ask her for a special “study” at a fee to be agreed on in advance. 37

Reinhardt finally won his bid for the FBI:

…. Mrs. Lore apparently wanted her husband’s monument, as I did, where it would serve for the benefit of America’s security. The FBI offer was accepted.

… together with two Special Agents, I packed the Lore archives…” 38

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Watch for alerts on this website to see the Lore dossier continued with more research.

  1. SPIES. The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America, by John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr and Alexander Vassiliev, Yale University Press, 2009; The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America – the Stalin Era, by Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, New York: Random House, 1999.
  2. “Ludwig Lore” sub-chapter in chapter 2, “The Journalist Spies,” SPIES. The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America, Op. Cit, pp. 155-159.
  3. The Haunted Wood, Op. Cit., pp. 35-37.
  4. Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case, by Allen Weinstein, New York: Vintage Books, 1978; in 1997 Weinstein published a revised edition (New York: Random House, 1997)
  5. Sub-chapters “Hiss, Chambers, and the Ware group,” “Source and Courier: the Hiss-Chambers Relationship” and “Defection,” The Haunted Wood, Op. Cit., pp. 38-49.
  6. The Haunted Wood, Op. Cit., pp. 34-35; referenced to file 17643, vol. 1, pp. 20-21.
  7. “Bumazhnaja fabrika,” J.N. Kobjakov, Ocherki istorii rossiiskoi vneshnei razvedki, t. 3, 1933-1941 gody, Moskva: Mezhdunarodnye otnoshenija, 2003, ss. 191-199 (“The Paper Mill,” by J.N. Kobyakov, in Essays on the History of Russian Foreign Intelligence, vol. 3, 1933-1941, Moscow: International Relations, 2003, pp. 191-199.)
  8. Julius Kobyakov, “ALES/Hiss,” posted March 22, 2004 ( I discovered Kobyakov’s identification of “Leo” only in 2007, after I saw a mention of it on the website of historian John Earl Haynes (
  9. Julius Kobyakov H-DIPLO posting, Op. Cit.; “The Paper Mill,” by J.N. Kobyakov, Op. Cit., pp. 194-196.
  10. Lore lived in Brooklyn; Kobyakov either confused the Brooklyn street address with a Manhattan one or changed the location to prevent identification.
  11. Lillian Lore, who by that time had served as her husband’s secretary for more than two decades.
  12. “The Paper Mill,” by J.N. Kobyakov, Op. Cit.,, p. 197.
  13. Ibid., pp. 194-195.
  14. Ibid., p. 195.
  15. Described in The Sources in Washington, by Alexander Vassiliev, pp. 20-21; this document contains Vassiliev’s 1996 Russian drafts of several chapters which became the basis for a great part of The Haunted Wood, Op. Cit. – in Allen Weinstein Papers, 1948-2000, Collection No. 2204C61 – The Hoover Institution Archives on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford University. Discovered by Jeff Kisseloff in May 2007.
  16. Ibid., pp. 196-197.
  17. Ibid., p. 198.
  18. Ibid., pp. 197-198.
  19. Ibid., pp. 198-199.
  20. Grafpen to INO GUGB NKVD Head Slutsky, 25 Sept. 1936 – A. Vassiliev’s Black Notebook, p. 8, posted on Woodrow Wilson Cold War Center,
  21. ” ‘Willy’: The State Department Spy before Hiss,” in SPIES: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America, Op. Cit., p. 197.
  22. Ludwig Lore sub-chapter, Ibid, p. 158. The final “Leo” documents in Vassiliev’s notes were dated early February, 1937.
  23. Center to Nord, 14.5.37, Alexander Vassiliev, Yellow Notebook #2, p. 13 (emphasis added – S. Ch.), citing Archival # 36857 v. 1 “Prince” Laurence Duggan file. Translated by Philip Redko, reviewed and edited by Alexander Vassiliev and John Earl Haynes (2007). Posted on the website of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Cold War International History Project,
  24. V.G. Pavlov interview with Svetlana Chervonnaya, April 22, 2002, Moscow.
  25. Joseph Stalin Private Papers, Fund 558, description 11, file 188: “INO GUGB on the political situation in Europe; on resolution of the Spanish crises; on military preparations in Germany; on Lavalle’s Franco-German politics. Translations of foreign diplomatic documents on the domestic situation in the USSR; on the history of the German-Polish coalition and its plans aimed against the USSR; on concluding the military alliance between Germany and Japan; on the Japanese submarine force; on the work of the Manchurian committee of the Communist Party of China” – February 17, 1934 – December 10, 1937, RGASPI, Moscow. Part of the Stalin collection is still off limits at the Archive of the Presidentof the Russian Federation; some pages in the publicly accessible part of the collection are still classified. However, the file in question is complete.
  26. FBI memo on the interview with Mrs. Lore, date uncertain, around the fall of 1949, FBI FOIA File, NY 65-14920, courtesy of Jeff Kisseloff.
  27. Witness, by Whittaker Chambers, Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, Chicago, 1952, pp. 389-390.
  28. Ibid., p. 391.
  29. FBI memo on interview with Mrs. Lore, Op. Cit.
  30. Witness, Op. Cit., p. 392.
  31. Crime without Punishment: The Secret Soviet Terror Against America, by Guenther Reinhardt, New York: New American Library, 1953, pp. 17-18.
  32. Ludwig Lore: Communist activities, report made in New York City, June 3, 1942, Ludwig Lore FBI FOIA file, NY File No. 100-33352, PDF pp. 1-2, courtesy of Jeff Kisseloff, April 2009.
  33. Guenther Reinhardt, Op. Cit., p. 26.
  34. LUDWIG LORE report, July 13, 1942, written by Guenther Reinhardt; Ludwig Lore FBI FOIA file, Op. Cit., PDF p. 14, originally declassified in December 1985, Reinhardt’s name was redacted in the FOIA release.
  35. Guenther Reinhardt, Op. Cit., p. 26.
  36. LUDWIG LORE report, July 13, 1942, p. 2, Op. cit., PDF p. 14.
  37. Ibid, p. 3, PDS p. 15.
  38. Reinhardt Guenther, Op. Cit., p. 27.