It should be emphasized that rather contradictory rumors still circulate around the death of Slutsky. We will adhere to the official version, which seems to us the most convincing and according to which the death of the chief of intelligence was caused by acute heart failure. He really was a seriously ill core, and this was well known to all foreign intelligence officers.
On that day, Slutsky was extremely anxious about disturbing reports from Austria, warning of the imminent seizure by fascist Germany. It was necessary to take urgent measures to ensure the smooth operation of intelligence in the new environment.
At the same time, an urgent message came from Italy about a high-ranking Soviet diplomat escaping from Rome. It was necessary to take immediate measures to localize the possible adverse consequences of this treachery for the USSR. Slutsky intended to coordinate the necessary actions with the Deputy Commissar. He collected the necessary documents and headed for the report to Frinovsky, who was recently appointed to this post.
In the corridor, Slutsky felt bad. As soon as he entered the office and said hello, he asked for permission to sit down. Suddenly, he began to tumble to the side and then settled down in a leather chair. An urgently called doctor ascertained the death of a broken heart. A prominent security officer was buried with all military honors in Moscow at the Novodevichy Cemetery.
After the sudden death of Abram Aronovich Slutsky, the state security major (Colonel of the Red Army) Sergei Mikhailovich Shpigelglak was appointed acting chief of the 7 section of the Main Directorate of State Security (GUGB) of the NKVD of the USSR (foreign intelligence). He was an experienced intelligence officer who had worked in senior positions in foreign intelligence, including in its illegal division, for more than 12 years. Unfortunately, Spiegelglaz managed to lead the exploration for less than four months.
FORMATION OF CHEKISTA
Sergey Shpigelglaz was born on April 29 of the year 1897 in the town of Mosty, Grodno Province, in the family of a local accountant. After graduating from 1 of the Warsaw School of Realism, he entered the law faculty of Moscow University. Fluent in Polish, German and French.
While still studying in Warsaw, and then in Moscow, Sergei imbued with the spirit of overthrowing the existing royal regime. Joining the Russian revolutionary movement, he began to take an active part in the work of the revolutionary circles. He was arrested several times by the royal police.
In May 1917, from the third year of university, Sergey was called up for military service in the royal army. After graduating from the school of ensigns in Petrograd, he served in the rank of ensign in the 42-m spare regiment. After the October Revolution 1917, Spiegelglaz worked at the Moscow Military Commissariat.
Since April 1918, Spiegelglaz has been in charge of the financial part of the Moscow City Commissariat. After its abolition in January 1919, he went to work in the military oversight bodies. As a result of the merger of the Military Control with the Military Department of the Cheka and the formation of the Special Department (PA) of the Cheka, Shpigelglaz automatically found itself in the ranks of the Chekists, taking the post of the head of the estimated (financial) department and treasurer for using the secret amounts of the PA Cheka.
At the beginning of 1919, Spiegelglaus wrote to his parents: “Politically, I am entirely a supporter of Soviet power in the spirit of communist ideas and worldviews. I hope that soon the party will not refuse to accept me into their ranks. ” Already in the same year, the budding security officer was admitted to the RCP (b).
In the spring of 1918, a difficult and dangerous situation was created in the northern regions of Russia, especially in Murmansk and Arkhangelsk. March 6 in Murmansk with the consent of Leon Trotsky landed the English landing under the pretext of protecting the North from the German invasion. He was soon followed by the French and American invaders. By the beginning of July, in Murmansk, under the command of the English General F. Poole, there were already up to 17 thousands of interventionists, who were supported up to 5 thousands of White Guards.
The Council of People's Commissars sent a special commission to the North led by a prominent Chekist, a member of the VChK panel, Mikhail Sergeyevich Kedrov. In its composition as secretary worked, in particular, the future outstanding organizer of counterintelligence and intelligence of our country Arthur Frauchi (Artuzov). The members of the commission took part in the battles with the British interventionists near Arkhangelsk, were engaged in the evacuation of strategic cargo from the port of Arkhangelsk. So, thanks to their efforts, over a short period of time more than 40 million poods of coal and a large amount of ammunition were removed from there. The functions of the “Kedrov expedition” also included the organization in the northern areas of subversive groups and groups that successfully acted on communications in the rear of the interventionists in order to prevent them from moving inland.
By the fall of 1918, the Kedrov Commission completed its tasks in northern Russia, and its staff returned to Moscow. However, after the reorganization that followed at the beginning of 1919, the commission continued its activities in other areas.
In 1919, Sergey Shpigelglaz was transferred to work at the Kedrov Commission, which actually performed the tasks of military counterintelligence. By this time, the commission was incorporated into the Special Department of the Cheka. Shpigelglaz plunged into the difficult and risky work of the security officers. On the instructions of Kedrov, he repeatedly traveled with operational groups to various cities and regions of the South, the West, and the Center of Russia, where counterrevolutionary conspiracies and insurrections appeared, and the forces of the hostile underground were preparing to speak out against Soviet power. Shpigelklaz actively participated in the operational development of persons suspected of belonging to the counterrevolution. He always found himself there, where an uncompromising, brutal struggle was fought, in which each of the parties hoped for success, and the defeated, whoever they were, was expected by the inevitable reprisal.
In the characteristic issued by the Special Department of the Cheka in February 1920, it was noted: “Comrade. Shpigelglaz was a member of the Special Section and a member of the RKP (b) faction, proving to be an honest and trustworthy worker. ” For those times it was high and exhaustive certification.
In 1921, the 24-year-old security officer is transferred to leadership in the Cheka of Belarus. But a year later he was recalled to Moscow. He is appointed to the position of the authorized counterintelligence department of the GPU, and then transferred to the Foreign Department of the OGPU and soon is sent along the line of foreign intelligence on a special mission to Mongolia.
Shpigelglaz worked in Mongolia until 1926, conducting active intelligence work on her from China and Japan. At the same time, he assisted the Mongolian colleagues in the work of exposing and curbing the White Immigration gangs in Mongolia. Using agents, Shpigelglaz actively informed the Center about the situation in this country, as well as about the strategic plans of Japan and the imperialist circles of China in the Far East.
Spiegel Eye activity in Mongolia was highly appreciated by the Center. Upon returning to Moscow in September 1926, he was appointed assistant foreign intelligence officer. At the same time, his fluency in several foreign languages was taken into account. After working in this position for 10 for years, in September 1936, Spiegelglaz was promoted to deputy foreign intelligence chief.
As a man and one of the leaders of the domestic special services, Shpigelglaz was formed under the influence of the October Revolution and the subsequent Civil War. As a security officer-leader, he was responsible for the solution of the most difficult tasks assigned to the foreign intelligence of our country in the 1920-1930-s. So, one of the priorities of that time was the fight against anti-Soviet centers abroad and the elimination of their terrorist organizations. And with the advent of Hitler to power, more and more attention was paid to obtaining information about the plans of the German leadership.
During the period of work in senior positions in foreign intelligence Shpigelglaz repeatedly performed responsible special missions abroad: in China, Germany and France. For example, using the cover of the owner of a fish shop, he headed an illegal intelligence network in Paris and led the abduction of the chairman of the Russian All-Military Union, General Miller.
It must be recalled here that the Russian General Military Alliance (ROVS), created by General Peter Wrangel from officers of the Volunteer Army defeated during the Civil War in Russia, after their mass escape to Europe was the most active and aggressive organization of white emigres of that time. After the death of Wrangel, Lieutenant-General Alexander Pavlovich Kutepov became the sole head of the EMRO and the whole White Guard movement abroad.
27 January 1930 of the EMRO was headed by Lieutenant-General Yevgeny Karlovich Miller, a professional soldier who graduated from the Academy of the General Staff in 1892. From 1898 to 1907, he was in military diplomatic work in Belgium, Holland and Italy. Member of the First World War. From the first days of the war he headed the headquarters of the 5 Army. In the year 1915 was promoted to lieutenant general. In January, 1917 was appointed commander of the 26 Army Corps.
In August, 1917, Miller was sent to Italy by a representative of the General Headquarters of the Italian High Command. Here it was the October Revolution. An active participant in the Civil War in Russia. In January, 1919 arrived in Arkhangelsk occupied by the British and was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the counterrevolutionary "Government of the Northern Region" of Social Revolutionary Tchaikovsky. In February, 1920, parts of it were broken, and their remnants went into exile.
After the evacuation of British troops from Arkhangelsk, Miller went to Finland, from where he moved to Paris, where he first served at the headquarters of Wrangel, and then was at the disposal of Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich. In 1929, he was appointed deputy chairman of the EMRO.
As head of the EMRO, Miller set a strategic task for the White Guard Union - the organization and preparation of major demonstrations against the USSR of all the forces under his command. Without denying the importance of carrying out terrorist acts, he paid special attention to the training of personnel for the deployment of a partisan war in the rear of the Red Army in the event of a war with the USSR. To this end, Miller created in Paris and Belgrade courses for the retraining of EMRO officers and training the military-sabotage business of new members of the organization from among the emigrant youth.
At the same time, it should be emphasized that the anti-Soviet plans and practical steps to implement them by General Miller and his associates in due time became the property of Soviet intelligence. Thanks to the data obtained through the agents, the Soviet state security authorities succeeded in neutralizing a number of ROVS terrorists who were abandoned on the territory of the USSR and opened their secret points. A great contribution to this work was made by the staff of the Paris and Berlin residencies of the INO OGPU, as well as illegal intelligence officers operating in these countries. In particular, they succeeded in preventing terrorist acts that were prepared by the ROVS against the USSR People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs M.M. Litvinov in Europe and his deputy L.M. Karakhan in Iran.
Sergey Mikhailovich Shpigelglaz. Moscow, 1938 year.
Photos provided by the author
Extremely important information on the EMRO was also received by the Center from a reliable source of illegal residency in Paris, Miller’s closest ally who was responsible for intelligence work, General Nikolai Skoblin, who collaborated with his wife Nadezhda Plevitskaya, a famous Russian singer, with Soviet intelligence with 1930. According to INO OGPU, Skoblin was one of the best sources, who "quite clearly informed the Center about the relationship in the leadership of the EMRO, reported details about Miller's trips to other countries." The tour of his wife Plevitskaya enabled Skoblin to carry out inspections of peripheral divisions of the EMRO and provide Soviet intelligence with operational information. Ultimately, Skoblin became one of Miller’s closest assistants in the area of intelligence and his charge d'affaires in the central organization of the EMRO.
The question of conducting an acute operation on Miller arose after the leadership of Soviet foreign intelligence received information that he, through his representative in Berlin, General Lampe, had established close contacts with the fascist regime in Germany. “The EMRO must turn all its attention to Germany,” said the general. “This is the only country that has declared the fight against communism not for life, but for death.”
General Skoblin was involved in the operation to neutralize the EMRO Chairman. 22 September 1937 of the year at his invitation Miller went with him to the villa in Saint-Cloud near Paris, where the meeting of the head of the EMRO with German representatives was to take place organized by Skobliny. At the Miller's villa, the operations group of the Chekists was waiting, who seized him and sent them across the ship to Le Havre in the USSR.
Today in the Russian press you can meet all sorts of judgments about the KGB operation to neutralize Miller. Some are trying to present the general, who has become famous for the bloody atrocities in Russia, as the "innocent victim" of the NKVD.
And here is what 24 wrote in the French newspaper Informacion for April 1920 about General Miller's activities in the north of her correspondent in Arkhangelsk, a close friend of Kerensky sser Boris Sokolov:
“I witnessed the last period of existence of the government of the Northern Region, as well as its fall and the flight of General Miller with his headquarters. I could observe various Russian governments, but I had never seen such monstrous and unheard-of acts before. Since the Miller government relied solely on the right elements, it constantly resorted to cruelties and systematic terror in order to stay above. Deaths were carried out in the hundreds, often without any legal proceedings.
Miller founded a convict prison on the Iokang (Kola) Peninsula on the White Sea. I visited this prison and I can certify that such horrors could not be seen even in tsarist times. In the barracks for several hundred people housed over a thousand prisoners. By order of Miller, the prison chief Sudakov brutally flogged those arrested who refused to go to hard labor. Every day, dozens of people died, who were thrown into a common grave and somehow covered with earth.
In mid-February 1920, a few days before his flight, General Miller visited the front and told the officers that he would not leave them. He gave the floor to the officer to take care of their families. But this did not prevent him from completing the preparations for the flight. February 18 he ordered the evacuation of Arkhangelsk 19 February to two o'clock. He himself and his headquarters on the night of February 19 secretly housed on the yacht Yaroslavna and the icebreaker Kozma Minin. General Miller took with him the entire state treasury, about 400 000 pounds sterling (10 million rubles in gold), which belonged to the North region.
On the morning of February 19, the population learned of General Miller’s treason and flight. Many people gathered near the Kozma Minin anchorage site, including soldiers and officers whom Miller deceived. Started a shootout. From the ships fired from guns. There were many dead.
Soon, “Kozma Minin” left Arkhangelsk ... ”
Here is a portrait of General Miller painted Social Revolutionary Boris Sokolov, far from sympathizing with the Bolsheviks. To this we can add that according to the laws of the Russian Empire, the appropriation of state money was considered a grave crime.
Miller’s abduction and his secret transfer to Moscow were first of all associated with the organization of a large-scale lawsuit against him. This process was intended to expose the connection of the Whites with the Nazis. Miller was taken to the inner prison of the NKVD in Lubyanka, where he was held as a prisoner No. 110 under the name of Ivan Vasilyevich Ivanovich until May 1939 of the year. However, by that time, the approach of a new world war was clearly felt. By May 1939, Germany not only made the Anschluss of Austria, the Sudetenland, but also fully occupied Czechoslovakia, despite guarantees of its security from England and France. Intelligence of the NKVD had information that Poland’s next target would be Hitler.
11 of May 1939 of the year Commissar of Internal Affairs Beria signed a decree on the execution of the former EMRO Chairman convicted by the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court to the death penalty. In 23 h. 05 min. the same day the sentence was carried out.
After the abduction of Miller, General Abramov, who was replaced a year later by General Shatilov, became the head of the EMRO. None of them managed to keep the EMRO as a viable and active organization, its authority in a white environment. The last operation of the Soviet intelligence, associated with the abduction of Miller, contributed to the complete collapse of the EMRO. And although the EMRO as an organization finally ceased to exist with the start of the Second World War, Soviet intelligence, disorganizing and decomposing it, deprived Hitler Germany and its allies of the opportunity to actively use about 20 thousand members of the organization in the war against the USSR.
AND AGAIN GOING ON AGAIN ...
After the Miller operation was completed, Shpiegelglaz organized a withdrawal of valuable Soviet foreign intelligence sources from General France to Spain in France by General Skoblin from Spain to Spain.
Shpigelglaz actively worked against other White Guard organizations, whose main goal was the overthrow of Soviet power in Russia. Among the latter should be noted, in particular, the People’s Labor Union (NTS), the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), the unification of the Georgian Mensheviks led by Noah Jordania.
Under the direct leadership of Shpiegelglaz, Soviet intelligence obtained completely secret materials from the German General Staff concerning Germany’s military doctrine regarding the USSR.
During the civil war in Spain, Spiegelglaz traveled to this country several times to provide on-site specific operational assistance to the residency of the NKVD, as well as to conduct special reconnaissance and sabotage operations in the rear of the German-Italian allies of General Franco. Spiegelglaz's “Flying Troops”, as the scouts themselves called them, delivered sensitive blows at the enemy, disappearing from the scene and leaving no traces behind.
From February to June 1938, Sergei Mikhailovich Shpigelglaz served as the head of the Soviet foreign intelligence. At the same time, he taught at the Special Purpose School (SHON) of the Main Directorate of State Security (GUGB) of the NKVD of the USSR.
Shpiegelglaz did not become a full-fledged foreign intelligence chief. Back in 1937, the people's commissar of internal affairs, Yezhov decided to eliminate this prospective leader, who showed excessive autonomy and had the right to send intelligence reports directly to Stalin. After the forced appointment of Shpigelglaz as acting head of foreign intelligence and the prospects opening up before him to take this post without the prefix, the Acting Yezhov intensified his actions in order to put his protege on this place in the future. He initiated a verification committee, which began collecting incriminating materials on Spiegel Eye. 9 June 1938, the last one was dismissed, and 2 November of that year was arrested.
29 January 1940 of the year for “treason, participation in conspiracy, espionage and communication with the enemies of the people” Sergey Mikhailovich Shpigelglaz was sentenced to death by the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court and executed on the same day.
In November 1956, the decision of the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court was annulled and the case was dismissed due to the absence of corpus delicti.
Dying in his prime, S.M. Shpigelglaz did not have time to fully reveal his remarkable abilities as a leading foreign intelligence officer. However, in the relatively short time allotted to him by fate, he did much to preserve the efficient apparatus of foreign intelligence in the period of unreasonable repression, which were also directed against the intelligence officers of the KGB.
Sergei Mikhailovich Shpigelglaz was buried in an unmarked grave. His wife, Elizaveta Markovna, spent many years in camps. In 1967, she died, her ashes were buried in a columbarium at the New Donskoy Cemetery in Moscow. On the tombstone is also placed the inscription-kinotaf - Sergei Mikhailovich. Colleagues of a prominent intelligence officer for reconnaissance come here on memorial days to pay him the debt of memory.