Who is illegal intelligence officer
The enlisted agent lives in a country he has known since childhood. His documents are authentic, he doesn’t need to strain himself to remember certain moments of his biography. Another thing - an abandoned reconnaissance illegal. He lives in a foreign country to him, whose language is rarely his mother tongue, everyone around him recognizes a stranger in him. Therefore, an illegal person always impersonates a foreigner. A foreigner is forgiven a lot: he can speak with an accent, not know local customs, be confused in geography. A scout thrown into Germany is impersonating a Baltic German, a legendary agent in Brazil is a Hungarian, a scout living in New York according to documents from a Dane.
There is no greater danger for an illegal alien than to meet a “compatriot”. The slightest inaccuracy can be fatal. Suspicion will be caused by inappropriate pronunciation of the legend (as the natives of Lviv and Kharkiv speak absolutely differently in one Ukrainian language), an error in the gesture (Germans ordering three beer mugs usually throw out the middle, index and big fingers), ignorance of the national subculture (during the Ardensky 1944-1945 operations. Americans split Skorceen’s saboteurs with the question "Who is Tarzan?").
It is simply impossible to foresee all the subtleties of the legend: they will not write in one directory that Gretel, one of the many university lab technicians, is a local celebrity, and it is simply impossible not to know her. Therefore, every extra hour spent in the “countryman” society increases the risk of failure.
His own among strangers
Nikolay Kuznetsov, communicating with the Germansgave himself away for German. From October 1942 to spring 1944, almost 16 months, he was in the Nazis occupied Exactly, rotated in the same circle, constantly expanding the number of contacts. Kuznetsov not only portrayed a German, he became one, he forced himself to even think in German. The SD and the Gestapo became interested in Siebert only after there appeared evidence that the chief lieutenant was related to a series of terrorist acts carried out in Rivne and Lviv. But Paul Siebert, as a German, never aroused suspicion on anyone. Language proficiency, knowledge of German culture, customs, behavior - everything was impeccable.
And all this despite the fact that Kuznetsov had never been to Germany and had never even traveled outside the USSR. And he worked in occupied Rivne, where every German is in sight, where the SD and the Gestapo work to eliminate the underground, and almost everyone is under suspicion. No other intelligence officer was able to hold out in such conditions for so long, to penetrate so deeply into the environment, to acquire such significant connections. That is why “fighters of the invisible front” unanimously call Kuznetsov an illegal scout No. XXUMX.
Where did he come from?
Yes, really, from where? For most, the biography of the famous scout begins with his appearance in the Medvedev squad in October 1942. Up to this point, Kuznetsov’s life is not just white spots, but a continuous white field. But brilliant scouts do not appear out of nowhere, they are cultivated, they prepare for a long time. Kuznetsov's path to the heights of professionalism was long and not always straightforward.
Nikolay Kuznetsov was born in the village of Zyryanka of the Perm province in 1911 in a peasant family. In his pedigree there are no nobles, no foreigners. Where the boy, who was born in the Permian outback, the talent of a linguist - a mystery. The winds of the revolution threw Nina Avtokratova into the Talitsk seven-year school, educated in Switzerland. She received Nikolai's first German lessons.
But this boy was not enough. His friends were a local pharmacist Austrian Krause and a forester - a former prisoner of the German army, from whom Kuznetsov picked up profanity, which is not found in any German textbook. In the library of the Talitsky Forest Technical School, where he studied, Nikolai discovered the “Encyclopedia of Forestry” in German and translated it into Russian.
The blows of fate
In 1929, Kuznetsov was accused of concealing "White Guard-kulak origin." It is no longer possible to determine what kind of passions were raging in the Talitsky technical school, in which intrigues Kuznetsov found himself involved (his father was neither a fist nor a White Guard), but Nicholas was excluded from the technical school and the Komsomol. Future scout for life remained with incomplete secondary education.
In 1930, Nikolai got a job in land management. Recovered in the Komsomol. Finding that the authorities engaged in theft, said this to the authorities. The plunderers were given 5-8 for years and 1 for Kuznetsov - for a company, however, without a sentence: the punishment was to supervise and retain 15% of earnings (the Soviet government was harsh, but fair). Kuznetsov was re-expelled from the Komsomol.
Freelance agent OGPU
On duty Nicholas traveled through the deaf villages of Komi, simultaneously mastered the local language, started a lot of acquaintances. In June, 1932, the security officer Ovchinnikov drew attention to him, and Kuznetsov became a freelance OGPU agent.
Komi beginning 30-ies was a place of reference fists. The ardent enemies of the Soviet Government and unjustly repressed people fled to the taiga, gathered in gangs, shot postmen, taxi drivers, rural correspondents - everyone who at least represented any kind of power. Kuznetsov himself was attacked. There were uprisings. OGPU needed a local agency. The Kuznetsov forest organizer was involved in creating an agent network and maintaining communication with it. Soon the higher authorities paid attention to him. A talented security officer was taken to Sverdlovsk.
Since 1935, Kuznetsov has been an installer of the design office at Uralmash. A lot of foreign specialists worked at the plant, most of them Germans. Not all foreigners working at the factory were friends of the USSR. Some of them pointedly expressed their sympathies to Hitler.
Among them, Kuznetsov rotated, made acquaintances, exchanged records and books. The duty of the Kolonist agent was to reveal hidden agents among foreign specialists, to stop the recruitment of Soviet employees, to find among the Germans people willing to cooperate with Soviet intelligence.
Along the way, Nikolai perfected his German, learned the habits and manner of behavior peculiar to the Germans. Kuznetsov mastered the six dialects of the German language, learned from the first phrases to determine the places where the interlocutor was born and immediately passed on to his native German, which led him simply to delight. Learned Polish and Esperanto.
Not bypassed Kuznetsova and repression. In 1938, he was arrested and spent several months in prison, but his immediate supervisor managed to beat off his ward.
“He must be taken to Moscow!”
In 1938, to a large Leningrad party official Zhuravlev, who arrived with an inspection in Komi, one of the staff of the NKVD office presented a particularly valuable agent: “Smile, resourceful, initiative. He is fluent in German, Polish, Esperanto, Komi language. Exceptionally effective. ”
Zhuravlev spoke with Kuznetsov for several minutes and immediately called the deputy GUGB of the NKVD, Raikhman: "Leonid Fedorovich, there is a person here - a particularly gifted agent, he must be taken to Moscow." At that moment Reichman had an intelligence officer in his office, who had recently arrived from Germany; Reichman handed him the phone: "Talk." After a few minutes of speaking in German, the scout asked: “Is this a call from Berlin?” Kuznetsov’s fate was decided.
Illegal in his native country
When the head of the secret-political department of the NKVD GUGB, Fedotov, saw the documents of Kuznetsov arriving at him, he grabbed his head: two convictions! Twice expelled from the Komsomol! Yes, such a questionnaire - a direct road to prison, and not to the NKVD! But he also appreciated Kuznetsov’s exceptional abilities and designed him as a “highly classified special agent”, hiding his profile from personnel officers for seven locks in his personal safe.
To save Kuznetsov, they abandoned the procedure for conferring titles and issuing certificates. The special agent was issued a Soviet passport in the name of Rudolf Vilgelmovich Schmidt, according to which the security officer lived in Moscow. So the Soviet citizen Nikolai Kuznetsov was forced to hide in his native country.
At the end of the 30s in the USSR, German delegations of all sorts of colorings became frequent: trade, cultural, socio-political, etc. The NKVD understood that the 3 / 4 of these delegations were intelligence officers. Even as part of the crews of Lufthansa, it was not beauty flight attendants who flew, but brave stewards with military bearing, changing every 2-3 flight. (So the Luftwaffe navigators studied the areas of future flights.)
In the circle of this motley public, the Soviet German Schmidt, “yearning for the Fatherland”, rotated, quietly finding out who the Germans breathed, who made contacts with, who they were recruiting. On his own initiative, Kuznetsov got the uniform of the senior lieutenant of the Red Army Air Force and began posing as a test engineer at a closed Moscow factory. Perfect recruiting facility! But often the German agent who had pecked at Schmidt himself became the object of recruitment and returned to Berlin as an NKVD agent.
Kuznetsov-Schmidt led a friendship with diplomats, entered the encirclement of the naval attache of Germany in the USSR. The friendship with the frigate-captain Norbert Baumbakh ended with the opening of the safe of the latter and photographing secret documents. Frequent meetings of Schmidt with the German military attache Ernst Kestring allowed the Chekists to install a wiretap in the apartment of the diplomat.
At the same time, Kuznetsov, who supplied the most valuable information, remained illegal. All proposals from the management to send such a valuable worker to any courses Fedotov stopped at the root, carefully hiding the Schmidt questionnaire from prying eyes. Kuznetsov never passed any courses. Fundamentals of intelligence and conspiracy, recruitment, psychology, photography, car driving, German language and culture - in all areas Kuznetsov was a 100% self-taught.
Kuznetsov was never a member of the party. The mere thought that Kuznetsov would have to tell his party biography on the party bureau threw Fedotova into a cold sweat.
Since the beginning of the war, Kuznetsov was enrolled in the “Special Group under the NKVD of the USSR”, headed by Sudoplatov. Nicholas was sent to one of the camps near Moscow for German prisoners of war, where he served several weeks, climbing into the skin of German Lieutenant Paul Siebert. In the summer of 1942, Kuznetsov was sent to Dmitry Medvedev's squad. In the capital of the Reich Commissariat of Exactly Rovno, over the 16 months, the Kuznetsov destroyed the 11 top officials of the occupying administration.
But do not take his work solely as a terrorist. Kuznetsov's main task was to obtain intelligence. He was one of the first to report on the coming offensive of the Nazis on the Kursk Bulge, determined the exact location of Hitler’s Werewolf rate near Vinnitsa. One of the officers of the Abwehr, who owed a large sum of money to Zibert, promised to pay him with Persian carpets, which Kuznetsov reported to the center. In Moscow, the information was taken more than seriously: it was the first news of the preparation by the German special services of Operation Long Jump - the elimination of Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill during the Tehran Conference.
Death and Death Glory
Kuznetsov could not "hold on" forever. The SD and the Gestapo were already looking for a terrorist in the form of a German lieutenant. The officer of the Lvov air force headquarters, shot by him, before his death managed to give the name of the gunman: “Siebert”. Kuznetsova began a real hunt. The scout and two of his comrades left the city and began to make their way to the front line. 9 March 1944 years Nikolai Kuznetsov, Ivan Belov and Jan Kaminsky in sec. Boratin ran into the squad of the UPA and died in battle.
N. Kuznetsov was buried on the Hill of Glory in Lviv. In 1984, a young city in the Rivne region was named after him. Nikolai Kuznetsov was erected monuments in Rivne, Lviv, Yekaterinburg, Tyumen, Chelyabinsk. He became the first foreign intelligence officer to be awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
And the last bitter
In June, the Lvov authorities decided to dismantle a monument to a Soviet intelligence officer on 1992. On the day of the dismantling of the square was crowded. Many of those who came to the "closing" of the monument did not hide tears.
Through the efforts of comrade Kuznetsov Nikolai Strutinsky and former soldiers of the Medvedev detachment, the Lviv monument was transported to Talitsa, where Kuznetsov lived and studied, and installed in the central square of the city.