Speakers: John Haynes and Harvey Klehr
Topic: The KGB and Soviet Espionage
Location: The Forum, Santa Fe University of Art & Design, 1600 St. Michael’s Drive
Cost: $15 CIR Members/ $20 Non-members & Guests
Recursos de Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Council on International Relations (CIR) present “The KGB and Soviet Espionage,” a lecture by John Haynes and Harvey Elliott Klehr, two leading experts in Soviet espionage.
People generally think that the Soviet espionage against the American atomic project was highly successful. It was successful, but the historical evidence also shows that the picture was more complicated. The KGB began its attack very early in 1942 and met nothing but disappointments, repeated failed attempts at recruitment, wild goose chases, and misunderstandings. Then came considerable success in 1944 and 1945. In 1946 every penetration that we know of that the KGB had into the American atomic program ended and attempts to generate new sources in the late 40s failed.
“Espionage was one of General Groves’ main concerns during the Manhattan Project,” said Ellen Bradbury Reid, president of the board of Recursos de Santa Fe, who grew up in Los Alamos. “For all of the attention paid to secrecy and counter-intelligence, spies were still able to penetrate the project and steal information about the atomic bomb,” she said.
Most of the KGB’s efforts were concentrated in Santa Fe and important events took place at landmarks here, including the Scottish Rite Temple, a drugstore on the Plaza, the bridge by El Castillo, 109 East Palace, the office of Dorothy McKibben who checked every one into Los Alamos.
Haynes and Klehr examine the ways scholars have ignored or distorted new evidence from recently opened Russian archives about espionage links between Moscow and the Communist Party of the USA. They analyze the mythology that continues to suggest, against all evidence, that Alger Hiss, Julius Rosenberg, Harry Dexter White, Lauchlin Currie, and others who betrayed the United States were more sinned against than sinners. They set the record straight about the spies among us. Haynes and Klehr were the first U.S. historians who used the newly opened archives of the former Soviet Union to examine the history of American communism. Their 2005 book, “In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage,” explores this.
Harvey Elliott Klehr is a professor of politics and history at Emory University. Klehr is known for his books on the subject of the American Communist movement, and on Soviet espionage in America.
John Earl Haynes is an American historian who worked as a specialist in 20th-century political history in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. He is known for his books on the subject of the American Communist and anti-Communist movements, and on Soviet espionage in America.