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Was Harry Hopkins really Moscow's agent?
AS someone with a lifelong obsession with history, I have read quite a bit about the Soviet rule in Eastern Europe and the various satellite leaders. So I am somewhat familiar with Matthias (Matyas) Rakosi. You write that Rakosi's birth name was "Matthias Roth". In all my other sources, it is given as "Matthias Rosenberg". Which is correct? I have found other references to Rakosi being given the unflattering nickname by his countrymen of "Roth Mano" (the red dwarf), so maybe this is the source of the confusion.
SINCE I apparently have your ear, I will take advantage of your vast knowledge of WWII to enquire about an unrelated matter. As you undoubtedly know, Brian Crozier has recently made a fairly strong case (in The Venona Files) that FDR's closest adviser, Harry Hopkins, was a Soviet agent. This is interesting for two reasons:
First, Hopkins was born in Iowa. As a native Iowan, I have always thought that we Hawkeyes are congenitally incapable of communism. They give us all a little pill at birth which immunises us to Marxist-Leninist infection.
Another (and perhaps somewhat weightier) reason is this: In February 1941 Hopkins was in London negotiating with Churchill for Lend Lease assistance to Britain, at a time when Hitler and Stalin were de facto allies. So why was Hopkins labouring so mightily (and successfully) to help England when Stalin was Hitler's ally and therefore England's enemy? Three possibilities come to mind:
I have brought this matter up with numerous friends, but none of them has heard of Crozier and few have more than a dim knowledge of Hopkins. So I thought I would try it on a real expert.
I hope that this isn't too much of an imposition, but being a history nut doesn't necessarily make me a nice person.
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David Irving replies:
INTERESTING letter; your correction re Rakosi is appreciated and I will amend all new editions accordingly.
2. On Crozier, my own instinct is that Crozier is wrong, whatever Venona says. You can incidentally check the Venona files in the original on the FBI website. Certainly Hopkins was not helping Moscow at the beginning of the war; he did however make several journeys to Moscow, and he may have been converted during these. At the time the conversion would have seemed less momentous than later during the Cold War.
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