Back to How Wars Are MADE | Issues index | Sweet Liberty HOME PAGE

From Major Jordan's Diaries



     As final corroboration of the story which I have set forth in this book, I am going to call on testimony which comes from the other side of the Iron Curtain. It is the testimony of four people, two of whom are Russian and two American.

     The first witness is a former member of the Soviet Purchasing Commission, Victor A. Kravchenko, Author of I Chose Freedom, who was questioned by the counsel for the House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., as follows:

Mr. Tavenner: What position did you hold with the Soviet Government while you were here in the United States?

Mr. Kravchenko: I was economic attaché of the Soviet Purchasing Commission from August 1943 to April 1944.

Mr. Tavenner: Will you explain to the committee the set-up of the Soviet Purchasing Commission, that is, who controlled the activities in which the Commission was engaged, and any other pertinent matter regarding its function which this committee would be interested in?

Mr. Kravchenko: Yes. First I ask your permission to explain the general features of the situation during the war. Before we came to the United States – when I say “we” I mean all members of the Communist Party who had more or less responsible duties or more or less responsible jobs – before we came to the United States, we had received instructions from the party.

Mr. Tavenner: By “party” are you referring to the Communist Party?

Mr. Kravechenko: Communist Party, of course, because in the Soviet Union there is only one party. In conversations which I had with officials of the Central Committee Party, I was told repeatedly:

“You are going to the capitalistic United States. We are allies today because we need each other, but when the war is over and we shall have won victory – and we are sure we shall win it – we shall again become open enemies.

We shall never modify our philosophy and our doctrine. We are allies in trouble, but both partners know that they hate each other. Sooner or later a clash between the two is inevitable. Until then the Allies will remain our friends and we shall cooperate in our mutual interests.

For this reason and with an eye to the future we must study carefully the industry in the United States, the military industry, the civilian industry, all technological and industrial processes, and we must get hold of their secrets so that we can achieve similar results in our country and when the time comes we will be ready for the fight.”

Rep. Francis E. Walker: Did the Russians regard the United States as their enemy during the period we were fighting for the common cause?
Mr. Kravechenko: Ideologically and secretly, yes. For example, every week we had closed Party sessions in our office in Moscow. Somebody would come from the Central Committee or from the Politburo. He would give us a speech on the international situation, the war situation, and so on, and would make it absolutely clear – I mentioned it in my book and it is not necessary to repeat, but I would like to mention that they always said and always repeated:
“We are Allies because there is a war on. But we must realize that the Americans will never like us and we will never like them.”


“We will never like the English and the French; I mean their political attitudes.”

And practically – as a practical result of all this – every Soviet official, when he goes to the United States or to any other country, he always has two duties to perform. These duties go parallel:

One of them is a simple engineer to the Soviet Purchasing Commission, but before he comes to the United States, the Central Committee of the Party or some special government office or department, issues orders indicating where in the United States he must work, which factory or chemical plant, or any kind of industry he has to watch. I am talking now about engineers, because I was one of them and I know their work best. I don’t know what orders were given by the general staff.

Now, when this man came to the United States he had to do two jobs at the same time. The one was open and legal, and the other was conspiracy. And when he went back to the Soviet Union, the Soviet Government would appreciate his work in the U.S.A. according to the secret information he had gathered for the Soviet industry or for the military staff. All of us had such duties.

Mr. Walter: Is that true of the diplomats as well?

Mr. Kravchenko: Absolutely. They are absolutely no different. In 1943 or 1944 Mr. Rudenko, who was chairman of the Soviet Purchasing commission, had an office at 3355 Sixteenth Street in Washington. General Serov was military attaché at that time.

Gromyko was Soviet Ambassador to Washington. Gusev, in New York, was head of the organization Amtorg. All these officers worked together. Of course there was competition among them, because everyone wanted the “thank you” from the Soviet Union so that upon his return to the Soviet Union he would receive a higher position.

Mr. Walter: Do I understand the Soviet diplomatic representatives in the United States were engaged in espionage?

Mr. Kravchenko: Absolutely. Mr. Chairman, that is their system. We must understand that they all received special training, for instance, Mr. Malik, now representative in the United Nations: Mr. Zarubin, Soviet Ambassador in London*; Mr. Panyushkin in Washington, who has good experience in military intelligence. All of them – there is no question – all of them are members of the Party. That comes first. Their first duty is not diplomatic; their first duty is to be devoted members of the Party. They must do everything the Politburo of the Soviet Union requires, at any price.

*Georgy Zarubin is now Ambassador to the United States.

Now I come back to your question. For example, the Soviet Purchasing Commission during the war had more than a thousand employees. Some of them came to the United States as simple engineers, but in reality they were in top positions in industry or in scientific research. Some came as citizens, but really they were officers of the Navy or artillery or tank troops or the air force.

No official of the Soviet Purchasing Commission came to the United States as a member of the Communist Party. If you look at the records in the Department of State you will find that no Party members came from the Soviet Union.

This was the psychologically favorable moment for the Soviet Government. We were in the midst of a war. Many American people paid great respect to the Soviet Army. Everybody was in sympathy with and liked to talk to men in Soviet military uniform.

In the Soviet Purchasing Commission, Mr. Rudenko, Mr. Serov, and a few chairmen of departments were called “the Politburo of the Purchasing Commission.” On the seventh floor of the Soviet Purchasing Commission, behind an iron door at 3355 Sixteenth Street, Washington, D.C. – it was not in Moscow – there was a special department of the NKVD.

Everything that came from the Soviet Union, for instance a secret communication, came to the seventh-floor department. Also, the seventh-floor department kept agents in every department, in the metal department or chemical department or aviation department.

Secret material went to the special department, one of whose officials was Mrs. Arutunian. Her husband was son of the Deputy Commissariat of Railroads of the Soviet Union. She also worked for this special department and all secret papers went through her hands. With this department I had some trouble, and I know what I am talking about. All of us knew about the functions of the special department, but we never knew who the representative of the Soviet Secret Police was in the Soviet Purchasing Commission.

Mr. Tavenner: Did I understand you to say Rudenko was responsible to the NKVD which had its headquarters on the seventh floor? Is that a correct statement?

Mr. Kravchenko: The special department formally was under Mr. Rudenko, because he was head of the Soviet Purchasing Commission; this is natural. But in fact they were independent, the NKVD section was independent from the chief of the Purchasing Commission.

Mr. Tavenner: And the head of the Purchasing Commission, Mr. Rudenko, was compelled to carry out certain activities that were outlined by the NKVD? Is that a correct statement?

Mr. Kravchenko: This is absolutely natural. You see, he had two bosses. The one boss – may I make this clear? – was Mr. Mikoyan, the member of the Politburo, and second assistant to Mr. Stalin during the war. Mr. Mikoyan was Commissar of Foreign Trade. During the war Mr. Mikoyan was in charge of Lend-Lease. That was his duty as a member of the Politburo. All supplies for the Soviet Government passed through the hands of Mr. Mikoyan.

As to Leonid Rudenko, I had known him many years. We worked at the same factory in the Ukraine in about 1924 or 1925. Mr. Rudenko received orders from Moscow from Mikoyan, from the foreign office, from the general staff, and from the Party. What he did for one office or another I don’t know, but the fact is that all these offices were represented in the United States.

At the end of 1943 or beginning of 1944, one day we received orders issues to all responsible members of the Communist Party. It was after work, after 5 o’clock. The office door was closed, and Mr. Serov came in with several sheets of paper containing orders from Mikoyan to Mr. Rudenko and to all members of the Party in the Soviet Purchasing Commission.

These orders made it absolutely clear that we had to find out all secret information about the industrial development in the United States, and especially in the military industry, and Mr. Mikoyan said, “We shall appreciate you according to your ability to comply with this order.” This document was read to us and we were asked to sign a statement that we knew about this order and that we would make every effort to fill it. This was what I saw, what I knew. It was absolutely clear; there was no mistake about it.

Mr. Tavenner: What effect did this order have upon the activities of the Russians who were members of the Soviet Purchasing Commission?

Mr. Kravchenko: First I will mention a few names and give you a practical example of what they did.

One day I saw big books like this, approximately (indicating) which contained many pictures of the aviation industry, the special machines, special details, and so on. There were pictures and blueprints. Three large volumes. This material was signed by General Belayev, Alexander Rostartchouk,* and Engineer Khimuchin.

General Belayev was chairman of the Soviet Purchasing Commission; Alexander Rostartchouk was head of the metal section; and Engineer Khimuchin, who came to the United States as a simple engineer, actually was doctor of technical sciences and was working on research at an institute in Moscow in that capacity. He came to the United States as a simple engineer. How they obtained those pictures and blueprints, how they found all this information about the development of aviation in the United States, I don’t know. I just saw these documents; I saw the signatures; and I know General Belayev took them when he flew to Moscow. This is the first example.

Second example: I can’t mention a certain name in open session of the committee. I have some good reasons for that. But I know this: Two Soviet Navy captains obtained information on the production of American submarines, on technological processes and details on the perspective development of the submarine industry. This is the second example.

The third example: From 1925 or 1926 I have known Semen Vasilenko. Semen Vasilenko, now in the Soviet Union, is head of the whole production of pipes and tubes in the Soviet Union, as part of the metallurgical industry.

Mr. Tavenner: Will you repeat that?

Mr. Kravchenko: He is head of the production of pipes and tubes in the Soviet Union.

Mr. Tavenner: Will you spell that name?

Mr. Kravchenko: S-e-m-e-n V-a-s-I-l-e-n-k-o. Semen Vasilenko. I knew him many, many years. Vasilenko was a member of the Party; he had been a member of the Ukrainian Government and was awarded a Stalin premium, and also he had a few decorations. He came to the United States for the sole purpose of finding some special information about the metallurgical and tube industry and military industry.

One day in February 1944, I don’t remember the date, Vasilenko, myself and Vdovin got ready to fly to the Soviet Union six large bags, and Vasilenko took the six bags to the Soviet Union. I saw that material. Some of this material was about the production of planes and the new technological processes; some was about artillery; some was about new technological processes in metallurgy; some was about the possibilities of industrial development.

Mr. Kearney: Would the witness mind repeating that?

Mr. Kravchenko: Among this material there was also an outline of the possibilities of industrial development. I mean the perspective: for example, what was planned 5 or 10 years ahead; what the plans for the present are; and so on; also the plan in perspective for the general development of industry. Do you understand?

I know all this material was found in an unofficial way. What could be the reason for Mr. Vasilenko, former member of the government, or for somebody else, to do work as a plain workman? They were working as plain workmen.

We closed the door. Nobody could see this material. And Vasilenko took this material and flew to the Soviet Union.
Now, one more example. At the end of 1943 or the beginning of 1944, Vassili Sergeiev was deputy of Mr. Mikoyan. Mr. Sergeiev* came to the United States. He had meetings here and saw many responsible industrial people and so on. He brought from Moscow another order about various types of information which should be obtained. Sergeiev gathered the heads of the departments and explained what kind of material they are expected to get at any price.

*My diary records that Vassili Sergeiev, his wife Nina, Petre Makeev, Valentina Batanova, and Anatoli Baranovsky were expedited through Great Falls to Moscow on March 9, 1944. They were allowed to depart nearly two tons of personal and “diplomatic” baggage.

I must make it clear, Mr. Chairman, all departments of the Soviet Purchasing Commission – aviation, transportation, all of them – were working for this purpose. We transferred to the Soviet Union not just this one package; we transferred to the Soviet Union dozens of tons of material, and not just by airplane. We also were using Soviet ships that came from Lend-Lease for the Soviet Union, and they called this material Super Lend-Lease. (Laughter)
Well, it is true. And they sent material by these ships for the only reason, that the Soviet Government never believed in peace between these two countries. They worked very hard to prepare themselves. They understand very well that a new war, if it comes, will be a great technical war, much more so than the last war, and they know very well that the United States is a great industrial country They must find all material they can, all kinds of information, to be on a level with this country in its military and industrial developments; also, to be up to date.
Mr. Walter: Do you know how this Super Lend-Lease material was concealed before it was put aboard the ships?
Mr. Kravchenko: Lomakin simply could come to any boat, or anybody else could come and bring whatever they wanted. And any captain and any sailor would go ashore to New York or Philadelphia or Baltimore. They did as they pleased. How could you check on them? I saw Soviet ships in New York. We brought this material on the ship. Who cared what we took? Had we taken the Empire State building and put it on a ship, nobody would have cared! That is true. I know; I saw that. Nobody opened boxes and checked. I witnessed it. I saw dozens of times how Soviet boats were loaded, and I know what I am talking about.
Mr. Walter: So no check was made, and these packing cases containing plans and blueprints were freely passed on the ships with other Lend-Lease material?
Mr. Kravchenko: You see, Mr. Chairman, it was absolutely naturally during the war. In the United States, as in many countries in the world, there was much respect for the Red Army. It was a natural feeling. I am talking now about the policy and psychology of the Soviet Government. They did everything against the United States during the war, and now why should they change?
Mr. Kearney: Were any of those packages under diplomatic seal?
Mr. Kravchenko: Yes. Vasilenko flew to the Soviet Union with all this luggage; possessed diplomatic immunity. And Vasilenko was not an exception. Everybody who went back always took something with him under diplomatic immunity. And during the war the Soviet Government received plenty of airplanes from the United States. These airplanes were flown by Soviet pilots to the Soviet Union. It was part of our activity during the war.
Mr. Tavenner: If I understood you correctly, Vasilenko packed these six bags behind closed doors?
Mr. Kravchenko: That is right.
Mr. Tavenner: Were you there when they were packed?
Mr. Kravchenko: Yes. I was helping him.
Mr. Tavenner: You helped him pack them?
Mr. Kravchenko: Yes. We worked like simple workmen because they didn’t trust anybody.
Mr. Tavenner: Then you did actually assist in packing that sort of material?

Mr. Kravchenko: Yes, I did.

Mr. Tavenner: Do you recall the month and year in which Vasilenko flew these packages to Moscow?

Mr. Kravchenko: I don’t remember exactly the date, but I remember very well it was sometime in February, 1944.

Mr. Tavenner: February, 1944?

Mr. Kravchenko: That is right.

Mr. Tavenner: Mr. Chairman, it was the testimony of Major George Racey Jordan, from his diary, that Vasilenko came through Great Falls, on the 17th of February, 1944, en route to Moscow with diplomatic mail. [1]

     Besides corroborating so dramatically the espionage journey of Semen Vaslienko through Great Falls, which I had recorded in my diary, Mr. Kravchenko also confirmed many other names and duties of Russian agents who appeared on the list which I had turned over to the FBI.

     My second witness, An American, is Father Leopold Braun. For eleven years he was the only American priest in Russia. He served from 1934 through 1945 as the pastor of the Church of Saint Louis de Francais, in Moscow. Since his return to the United States, Father Braun has made few public appearances, one of which was at a Communion breakfast held at the Hotel Brevoort in New York.

     At the time Father Braun went on record with these observations, based on what he saw at first hand during the crucial war years in the Russian capital:

     The American people were fooled into believing that our wartime aid to Russia was aiding the Russian people, when instead it was implementing the harsh and brutal regime of Stalin and the Politburo. Organized appeasement hid from the American people the truth about what was happening to the millions [billions, actually] of dollars’ worth of aid that we gave to Russia.

     Lend-Lease aid to Russia during the war was diverted to a second, secret Red Army which was used exclusively for the purpose of suppressing revolts against the Kremlin regime.

     Naïveté on the part of responsible persons in the State Department has strengthened the grip of the Politburo and the Communist Party. Our State Department has absorbed Soviet propaganda time and again, and if by chance they did not absorb it, they indicated that they did not understand it. [2]

     Father Braun saw Lend-Lease supplies, which were intended solely to fight a war against a tyrant named Adolf Hitler, used by the Soviet for purely domestic purposes – just as tyrannical, of course.

     Two final witnesses, American and Russian, also confirm the main contention of this book – that there were Lend-Lease shipments of a non-military nature. They confirm it explicitly and concretely, and they are the two people who really ought to know: Harry Hopkins and Joseph Stalin.

     I said I would cite testimony from behind the Iron Curtain only. Well, that is where Mr. Hopkins’ words were spoken – in the Kremlin, to Stalin’s face. It was in May, 1945, during Hopkins’ last trip to Moscow, following President Roosevelt’s death.

     Former Secretary of State James F. Byrnes quotes the words verbatim and tells us that their source is Hopkins’ and Averell Harriman’s “report on their conversations with Marshal Stalin, which they sent to the President,” [3] meaning of course President Truman, who asked Byrnes to read this record of the meeting before embarking for the Potsdam Conference.

     The report reveals that Stalin, at this final meeting with Hopkins in the Kremlin, “was particularly irritated by the manner in which Lend-Lease shipments had been suspended at the end of the European war.” [4]

    He stated that Russia had intended to make a “suitable expression of gratitude” to the United States for the Lend-Lease assistance during the war, but the way to which it had been halted “now made that impossible to do.” [5]

     In other words, we were officially told that we were not going to get even a “thank you” from the Russian people or their master for our eleven billions of Lend-Lease, and of course we never have got one.

     Naturally Hopkins was very much upset by Marshal Stalin’s remarks, which reflected on the one operation of the war nearest his heart, the vast program in which he had chief responsibility. Stalin noticed Hopkins’ reaction and stated later in the meeting that “he was afraid that his remark concerning Soviet public opinion had cut Mr. Hopkins to the quick.” [6]

     In any event, Hopkins did not let Stalin’s ungrateful gibes about Lend-Lease go unanswered, and at once “explained that cancellation of Lend-Lease was necessary under the law because Lend-Lease was authorized only for the purpose of prosecuting the war.”

     Hopkins then proceeded, in an understandable state of emotion, to make this historic admission. Secretary Byrnes tells us:

“He reminded the Marshal of how liberally the United States had construed the law in sending foodstuffs and OTHER NON-MILITARY ITEMS to their aid.” [7]

     In stating how liberally the United States construed the law, Mr. Hopkins was, of course, referring to himself. As William Chamberlain has said, Hopkins was, “after the President, the most powerful man in America during the war.” [8]

     He was Administrator or Lend-Lease. The law under which he operated was at no time submitted to any court for interpretation or test, and therefore it was he who “construed” the law, he decided what we supplied to Russia under Lend-Lease, and he himself tells us, addressing Marshall Stalin directly, that he construed the law liberally in sending non-military items to Stalin’s aid.

     And what did our final witness, Joseph Stalin, have to say to this? A man of few words, he replied in character. There is neither ambiguity nor obscurity in his reply and, with these eight words, I rest my case:

“Stalin readily acknowledged the accuracy of Hopkins’ statement.” [9]

     And what of my friend Colonel Kotikov? In August, 1945 the Soviet Government announced rewards “for the successful execution of tasks assigned to them by the Soviet Government, according to stipulations of the Red Army and Navy.”

     Second on the list, receiving the Order of the Red Banner, Russia’s highest decoration after the Order of Lenin, stands the name of A.N. Kotikov. [10]

     The United States of America did not rate Russia’s official “thank you,” but it is at least interesting to know that Colonel Kotikov did.




1. Hearings Regarding Shipments of Atomic Materials, testimony of Victor A. Kravchenko, March 7, 1950, pp. 1179-86.

2. New York Times, April 12, 1952.

3. Speaking Frankly, p. 61.

4. Ibid. p. 62.

5. Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 896.

6. Ibid., p. 898.

7. Speaking Frankly, p. 62.

8. America’s Second Crusade, William H. Chamberlain, (Henry Regnery & Company), p. 187.

9. Speaking Frankly, p. 62.

10. Bulletin No. 781, American Russian Chamber of Commerce, Aug., 1945.


     “His statements prove true,” said John O’Donnell in the New York News.

     The man to whom he was referring is Major George Racey Jordan, whose statements concerning American Lend-Lease to Russia during World War II were met with strident denials from columnists, commentators, and government employees.

     Fortunately, Major Jordan did not have to rely on his memory: Shortly after his appointment as Lend-Lease expediter, a post he held at Newark Airport and then at Great Falls, Montana, he began keeping his famous diaries.

     He credits his foresight in doing so to a World War I sergeant at Kelly Field, Texas, who in 1917 told the then nineteen-year-old corporal:

“Jordan, if you want to get along, keep your eyes and your ears open, keep your big mouth shut, and keep a copy of everything!”

     George Racey Jordan served in the 147th Aero Squadron of Captain “Eddie” Rickenbacker’s First Pursuit Group in World War I. Between 1918 and the Second World War, he completed his education and became in time a successful sales and advertising executive. He left his business career to serve his country again during World War II.

     Working under a special presidential directive at Great Falls, Major Jordan watched with increasing uneasiness the growing mountain of Lend-Lease items being channeled to Russia and the infiltration, on the return trip, of Soviet agents into the United States.

     Most disquieting of all, however, were the thousands of “black suitcases” that traveled with diplomatic immunity and State Department top priority from the U.S. to the U.S.S.R. through the Lend-Lease pipeline. In spite of strenuous objections by armed Russian couriers, Major Jordan inspected some of these suitcases. His notes on their contents, and on “regular” Lend-Lease shipments, became the basis for his radio interviews with Fulton Lewis, Jr., and for his testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1949 and 1950.

     Major Jordan’s statements have indeed proved true. The Soviets were able to explode their atom bomb earlier than our experts dreamed possible because our officials provided them with uranium, thorium, cobalt, cadmium, and atom bomb data from our own top-secret Manhattan Project.

     Major Jordan is the author of Gold Swindle, The Story of Our Dwindling Gold. He presently lives in Southern California.


     Again, our very sincere appreciation and thanks to Karen A. for donating her precious time to transcribe this book.  As stated in the forward statement, we've made an exhaustive search and cannot find a bookseller who offers it.  

     Another relevant report Karen has transcribed which will be posted here, is titled "And Not A Shot Is Fired."  (Webmaster's note: Link coming soon) Revisit this section often for new additions as our time allows.  Here are the first few paragraphs of the intro to that report:

By Jan Kozak (Member of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia)

     One might ask today, years after the fall of the Berlin Wall: “Why would anyone want to read a report by a communist about the revolutionary takeover of Czechoslovakia – a country that no longer exists? The Czechs are capitalists now, remember?"

     Such a question reveals a number of erroneous assumptions that this document convincingly refutes – not the least of which is the false assumption that the leaders of the former Communist states of Eastern Europe were wedded to ideology.

     As Jan Kozak and 40 years of brutal Communist Party rule in Czechoslovakia so clearly demonstrate, communism was a tactic employed for the assumption of power, rather than a sincere belief.

     These same tactics, modified only slightly, are being used today. Americans who labor under the false premise that communism is either an ideology or a system of economics that died with the Cold War do so at their personal and national peril.

     Thanks, also, to Darren Weeks, our webmaster extraordinaire, who gives so generously of his time and limited personal funds in building and maintaining this site.  

With love and gratitude. . . Jackie  -- June, 1st, 2003 

Back to How Wars Are MADE | Issues index | Sweet Liberty HOME PAGE