Ales Soviet agent referred to in the Venona intercept. This cable was sent on March 30, 1945 but when it was finally decrypted and translated and whether break-ins, hidden microphones, wiretaps, or other counterintelligence practices of the period made the text available earlier has not been disclosed. All we know is that at some point, the intelligence community came to believe that Ales was "probably Alger Hiss" and hence that Hiss was an active, high-level spy as late as 1945. Since he was believed to be stealing exclusively military information for Soviet Military Intelligence (GRU), it would have been in the interest of Army counterintelligence to neutralize him.
Whether our intelligence community in fact mis-identified Ales (such errors definitely occur) is another matter. John Lowenthal and Athan Theoharis argue that Ales was not Alger Hiss. The intercepted cable is available as a PDF on the National Security Agency website.
Amerasia Magazine whose New York offices were burglarized by OSS team and determined to have a large cache of confidential documents from various parts of the U.S. government. A valuable book on the case is: The Amerasia Spy Case: Prelude to McCarthyism.
Bielaski, Frank Led OSS team that broke into offices of Amerasia (see also Willis George).
Broady, John (Steve) Retained by Hiss defense in October 1948; later convicted as wiretapper.
Carlisle Army Barracks Library contains Donovan’s correspondence regarding Schmahl.
Chambers, Whittaker Hiss’s accuser.
Chankalian, Armand Worked with Schmahl at U.S. Attorney’s Office SDNY in the Naturalization Control Unit. Chankalian assisted Howard Corcoran in prosecuting Bund cases.
Cook, Fred Investigative reporter well-known for his book Unfinished Story of Alger Hiss and his Nation articles on the Hiss case. Cook also wrote the only magazine piece on Schmahl’s possible role in the case. Died on April 4, 2003.
Debevoise-Plimpton Law firm which represented Hiss and inadvertently allowed Schmahl to replace Broady as chief investigator.
Donovan, William J. Headed OCI (1941–2) and OSS (1942–1945). In 1945 Donovan’s aide warned the State Department not to support Hiss as the first Secretary General of the UN. Active in intelligence matters after the War. Prior to Schmahl’s penetration of the Hiss defense, Donovan utilized Schmahl in OCI and served as Schmahl’s character reference on his Personal History Statement for OSS. After Schmahl’s penetration and Hiss’s subsequent conviction, Donovan recommended Schmahl for Special Operations at the CIA.
Donovan-Leisure Donovan’s law firm. Donovan’s letters to CIA regarding Schmahl use the firm’s return address.
Ehrlich, Evelyn An associate for many years of Harvard University’s Fogg Art Museum who demonstrated in the motion for a new trial differences between the typing from Hiss’s personal machine and from the machine in court (#N230099). Ehrlich concluded: “#N230099 cannot be the same machine that typed [the three exhibits from Hiss’s personal typewriter] ... differences in type impressions between many of the letters in the two sets of documents ... preclude the possibility of their being due to variations of ribbon, typing pressure, or other peculiarities of operation, and being of such a nature that differences in imprint cannot be due to age or wear on the machine.” One such difference is displayed in the Overview on this website.
George, Willis Author of Surreptitious Entry, which the CIA’s Constantanides praises as “a good handbook on clandestine techniques of entry ... and on surveillance.... George headed the OSS team that made entry into Amerasia’s offices.” Either Willis George and Frank Bielaski were on the same burglary team or not all the break-ins of Amerasia’s offices were conducted by the same team.
German–American Bund Pro-Nazi group led by Fritz Kuhn.
Glaser, Martha Author of The German-American Bund in New Jersey.
Gouzenko, Igor Cipher clerk for Soviet Military Intelligence who defected to the Canadian authorities in September 1945. Among his disclosures was Soviet penetration of the Manhattan Project (which had been the responsibility of the Armys Counter Intelligence Corps to secure). He also mentioned that Soviet Military Intelligence had an agent in the State Department who was an assistant to an Assistant Secretary of State under Edward Stettinius.
Haynes, James Earl Co-author of Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America.
Irons, Peter Conducted early research into Horace Schmahl’s role in the Alger Hiss case.
Klehr, Harvey Co-author of Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America. Also co-author of The Amerasia Spy Case: Prelude to McCarthyism.
Kuhn, Elsa Wife of Fritz Kuhn, leader of the German–American Bund. Guest of the Kunzes after husband was sent to prison.
Kuhn, Fritz Leader of the Bund. Kuhn was offered a parole job in Adam Kunze’s typewriter shop but parole was denied.
Kunze, Adam Pro-Nazi owner of typewriter shop, friend of Fritz Kuhn. A Military Hearing Board determined that both Kunze and his wife should be excluded from the Eastern military area as security threats. Died on January 7, 1945 (see here).
Kunze, Caroline Meade Actress, pro-Nazi, wife of Adam Kunze.
Lamb, Colonel Dean Ivan Met with Alger Hiss in 1934 when Hiss was working for the Special Committee on Investigation of the Munitions Industry (the Nye Committee). Hiss’s inquiries about munitions led Lamb to suspect that Hiss was recruiting him for the Soviets and he reported Hiss to Army G2.
Lockwood, Manice deForest Friend of Alger Hiss. His help with the motion for a new trial was reported by the documents examiner (Haring) to Schmahl and from Schmahl to the FBI. Two decades later he did several interviews with Schmahl.
Lowenthal, John As a law student, helped the Hiss defense. Subsequently directed a movie about the case and wrote two key articles: one arguing that the typewriter in the trials did not belong to Hiss and the other arguing that the agent code-named “Ales” in the Venona cables was not Alger Hiss. Died on September 9, 2003.
McCarthy, Elizabeth Among the country’s foremost document experts. Clients included the Police Department of the City of Boston and the Massachusetts State Police. Although Chambers contended that Alger Hiss’s wife had typed all the spy documents from State Department papers brought home by her husband, Ms. McCarthy concluded that (1) at least two people had typed the spy documents and (2) Priscilla Hiss had typed none of them.
Melchior, Ib Like Schmahl, Melchior became a U.S. citizen, spoke many languages, began in OSS but migrated to counterintelligence, and was trained both at OSS training school and at the Military Intelligence Training Center. His account of the training schools and his work behind enemy lines is contained in his book Case by Case: A U.S. Army Counterintelligence Agent in World War II.
Miller, Douglas Schmahl’s boss at Office of War Information.
Norman, Dr. Daniel Harvard Ph.D., MIT post-doc in spectroscopy, president of the oldest and largest firm in New England in the business of testing and analysis, both physical and chemical, of metals, chemicals, paper, and other materials. Clients included the United States Armed Services, Federal, State, and Municipal Departments, and major industrial firms. Dr. Norman concluded that (1) none of the typed spy documents had been stored together for ten years, (2) none had been stored inside the envelope for a decade as Chambers claimed, and (3) the typefaces on the typewriter in court had abnormal tool marks on its typefaces and excessive solder reflecting extensive work outside the factory.
Reno, Franklin Went to work as a civilian at the Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground on July 26, 1937. Within two weeks, his suspicious behavior led to a report that a Communist was present in a sensitive position in the Ballistic Laboratory. While Military Intelligence investigated his past as a student radical, Reno was meeting repeatedly with Whittaker Chambers off the base and passing him classified Army information.
Reuben, William Author of The Honorable Mr. Nixon and The Crimes of Alger Hiss. Excerpts of his second book on the Hiss case, The Crimes of Alger Hiss (forthcoming). Died on May 31, 2004.
Schmahl, Horace Chief investigator for the Hiss defense, protégé of Donovan. Assignments included DOJ, FBIS, OSS, OWI, and CIC.
Summers, Anthony Author of The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon. Summers advances the theory that those pursuing Hiss had access to the “Ales” cable in the Venona intercepts.
Theoharis, Athan Professor at Marquette University and the leading authority on the F.B.I. under J. Edgar Hoover.
Venona intercepts (See Ales.) Available as a PDF on the National Security Agency website.
Voh Mehren, Robert Attorney at Debevoise-Plimpton who worked on Hiss case.
Weinstein, Allen Author of Perjury: the Hiss–Chambers Case, regarded by others as the authoritative history of the Hiss case.
West, Nigel Author of Venona.
Wyman, Willard G. Assistant Director of Office of Special Operations at the CIA. Corresponded with General Donovan regarding Horace Schmahl. Wrote Donovan on Hiss’s first full day in prison that Schmahl “apparently is talking too much, which of course, if it is a habit, would make him of no use to me.”