People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs and Gestapo: cooperation of friends
This man hated journalists, as well as all old security officers, but he made an exception for me: in fact I was also a reviewer of the chief of the scientific and technical intelligence of the KGB. Therefore Leonid Kvasnikov, who held the post of his chief since 30 till 60 years, spent with me many days of tete-a-tete conversation. It was an interview to the writer from “ours”, intended only for the internal using: for the confidential textbook of the history of scientific and technical intelligence.
This old man caused a feeling of sympathy in me. He had supervised the work on stealing of secrets of the American nuclear bomb in the USA during the war, he had become successful, but he did not manage to become the Hero of the Soviet Union , even a General. The reason of it was too crucial nature of Kvasnikov, he was not afraid to clash with all his chiefs: from Beria up to Kryuchkov. All of them could not stand him, but for some reason they did not subject him to reprisals. The apartment of the former chief of intelligence was astonishing with its poverty.
- And what were you engaged in before 1941? – I asked, knowing that veterans of the KGB did not like to remember their participation in reprisals.
- I worked with comrades from Gestapo; – Kvasnikov answered simply and took out a sheet of paper, darkened with age, which made me shudder. I was astonished with the seals of the USSR and the fascist swastika, which were in it; then it so much mismatched the Soviet propagation. It was the miss to occupied Poland , which Kvasnikov was given out together with the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs and Gestapo in Moscow in March, 1940.
For the first time I saw the autograph of the German ambassador prince Fon Shullenburg, who had played a fatal role in the history of our family. The matter was that my cousin great-grandfather Jacob Tobolkin, a known Russian zoologist and the founder of the monkey nursery in Suhumi, was also a court veterinary of the Soviet top. He was authorized to treat not only Lenin’s cat and inhabitants of the house zoo of Buharin, but also dogs and cats of foreign ambassadors. Therefore he was not surprised at all, when on the 21 st of June, 1941 , he was invited by for Shullenburg, who lived in the neighborhood, in the Arbat, and asked him to make an injection of poison to his huge mastiff. And, by the way, it was a token of the beginning of the war. But Tobolkin, the son of the Tobolsk priest and, generally, a person of latent anti-soviet views, did not inform the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs about it, for what he was arrested already on the 22 nd of June. Soon he was shot, but the same fast he was also rehabilitated. It rescued our whole family of priests, who lived in our private residence in Spaso-Peskovskiy lane from prosecutions.
- Why did you, a young scientist, and the chief of the scientific and technical intelligence, let tiny then, got to Poland to the mean post of the “filter” of refugees? – I asked.
- Beria arranged a kind of banishment for me! – Kvasnikov grinned…
Our conversation took place in January, 1991. The Soviet Union was falling in, but the KGB persistently did not wish to notice it. It sent classified reports to Zyuganov about Yeltsin’s neutralization and compromising of the hated democrats with stupid diligence. In the secret plans approved by Kryuchkov, it was said, that the Soviet people would not admit to offend the gain of socialism and would protect the native communist party up to the end. It looked like the life was passing by the KGB, not touching it, closed in its gloomy offices behind ten fences, in confidential private residences and secret apartments.
The KGB in general is weak in political foreseeing. It did not predict anything correctly for 70 years of its existence – from the attack of Germans up to the disintegration of the USSR . There is no wonder: in fact the KGB is a military organization and predicts only what is pleasant for generals.
- Having left for Poland , I met Franc and at once began to work with the well-known Gestapo employee Aisman, – Kvasnikov continued, – Yes, yes, the one, who was so masterfully played by Leonid Kuravlyov in the film “Seventeen moments of spring”. But real Aisman was taller, wide in shoulders and had a thunderous voice. He was a real Gestapo employee! – Sincere admiration was heard in the voice of the old security officer.
- And was not it terrible for you to communicate with fascists? – I asked.
- And what can be terrible in it? – The old man was sincerely surprised. – In fact, they were our comrades! Yes, my security, which consisted of three Gestapo employees, perfectly speaking Russian, did not leave me even for a minute. But here, in Moscow , our comrades from the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs also permanently accompanied German spies, who worked against Americans and Englishmen.
However, once Kvasnikov had to escape his security.
Some young Pole furtively informed that a certain high ecclesiastic wanted to meet him.
- I am a communist, and I will never speak to a priest! No! – Kvasnikov got angry, but, having thought, he agreed.
In a half-ruined residence a black-bearded east person in a cassock, the representative of the Georgian patriarch George Peradze, was waiting for him. Without superfluous forewords he informed, that he was beginning a guerrilla movement there, but under supervision of the so hated then to the Soviet Union Englishmen.
- Your chief, Lavrentiy, should render monetary help to us! – The Georgian declared.
- Who is Lavrentiy? – Kvasnikov asked again, growing cold with horror.
- Lavrentiy Beria, who else! – The priest grinned, – We worked for Englishmen together in 1919, in occupied by them Baku . Then Beria officially served at them…
Kvasnikov left not having said goodbye, but all the same he told Beria about this conversation, having arrived to Moscow in the spring, before the war. To his surprise, Beria reacted with understanding and next day handed a suitcase full of English pounds and Polish zlotys to Kvasnikov. Moreover: Peter Fitin, the chief of intelligence of the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs, who was sitting near Kvasnikov, warningly pushed him under the table with his knee. It meant that he also knew about it. Having returned to Warsaw , Kvasnikov silently gave money to Peradze, for he did not know what to say.
- The hearings that Beria was an English spy were proved. He was shot right! – Kvasnikov declared with conviction.
But I was interested in another question. In those days, when we had meetings, the KGB was creating the first fascist organizations in Moscow – RNE, “Memory”. They had the role of pawns in the game against Gorbachev. In 1999 the head of the RNE Barkashov smoothly passed through the Central Electoral Commission, intending to get in the Duma. Whether he could do it, without a strong support of special services or political organizations? And why was the court about canceling of his registration in the elections closed? What state secrets can fascists have? Yes, it looked like they had only those, which concerned the activity of special services. Because Barkashov was an old agent of the KGB.
Earlier there was such a slogan in our Communist Party committees, “We shall be true to the nice traditions of the VCK-OGPU-NKVD-MGB-KGB!” THE Communists from the Lubyanka listed these names so carefully so that the young growth of security officers did not have any doubts that the KGB repented even of one of its historical stages.
Alas, today it is possible to add and the SVR, and the FSB in this list. The successors of the KGB still have not renounced anything; they even celebrate their professional holiday the same day, as during reprisals, on the 20 th of December. It is the same, if the present intelligence and counterespionage of Germany celebrated the Day of Gestapo. I can imagine how indignant our press would be!
There is also a reconciliatory attitude to fascism among the KGB traditions. In our country there is no struggle against it. The cooperation with Gestapo has too deeply entered the genetic memory of the KGB. They say, it did not stop even during the war. Whether the present security officers remember the result of their operative games with Hitler for our country?
Information of the “Chechenpress”:
The author of the article is a former reviewer of the head of the department of scientific and technical intelligence of the FCAB of the KGB of the USSR (the first central administrative board of the KGB of the USSR ). Constantine Preobrazhenskiy worked in Japan under covering of a correspondent of the TASS for a long time. He has written books about Japan , “The Bamboo Sword”, “The Sports Kimono”, “How to become a Japanese”, “Unknown Japan” and also numerous publications. The book “The Spy who loved Japan “, which was published in Japan in 1994 made an effect of a bomb. The life of intelligence hidden from the strangers is shown in it. The author also tells about activity of the KGB in Russia – about military counterespionage, blasting work in the religious organizations, about preparation of spies for work abroad, as an independent expert in intelligence paying special attention to the internal control in the intelligence and world mass media.
After the publishing of the book of A. Litvinenko and Y. Felshtinskiy “The FSB blows up Russia” Constantine Preobrazhenskiy openly declared, that everything written in the book was the truth, and then the bodies of the FSB began to pursuit him in Russia. He was compelled to leave Russia and to go to the USA , where he lives now.
Dear readers, you can ask Constantine Preobrazhenskiy questions about the activity of the Russian security services both in the Russian Federation , and out of it, by means of e-mail of our agency. Your questions and answers to them will be published in a special heading “Your dialogue with Constantine Preobrazhenskiy”.
Constantine Preobrazhenskiy, the USA , for Chechenpress