Swing at William. What glorified himself Fischer, aka Abel, aka Mark

June 21, 1957 at the Latham Hotel in New York FBI agents arrested a man who identified himself as Rudolf Abel. It was a Soviet intelligence agent William Fisher, who went down in history under a completely different name. However, the traitor who betrayed the illegal to the Americans knew Abel under the pseudonym “Mark”.  

He could have been Karl

Over the years of illegal work, the intelligence officer changed more than one name. At birth, his parents named him William, although he could well have become Karl. The fact is that he was born in 1903 in England in a family of socialist political emigrants who were expelled from Russia for active revolutionary activity two years before his birth. Abel's father Heinrich Fischer took an active part in revolutionary activities. I met with Lenin many times. He came from a Russian German family and was fluent in German and English. It seems that the baby born in England was not accidentally named after the great playwright William Shakespeare, whom both of his parents greatly revered. However, being staunch revolutionaries, they, according to some reports, also considered calling him Karl — in honor of Marx.

No lay off

The Fisher family, having accepted Soviet citizenship, but not giving up English, returned to Soviet Russia in 1920. & nbsp; Since 1927, William served in intelligence, in the foreign department of the OGPU, and in 1930 he was sent to England. He quite officially applied to the British embassy for permission to return to his homeland, which was received without much delay. And soon, having become the owner of a British passport, under the guise of a dealer in radio equipment, he was sent to Norway.

Fischer was on a business trip abroad with his wife and daughter. His wife taught ballet at a private school. He led intelligence activities and provided communications with Moscow. From Norway, William returned briefly to the USSR, and in 1935 he was again sent to England. Returning there, he changed his profession as a radio engineer to the role of a free artist. After a second trip to England, he was fired from intelligence without explanation. This was during the period of mass purges, when illegal immigrants who had worked abroad for many years were treated with particular suspicion. 

There are many legends around the name of the intelligence officer. There are some among them, as if he managed to persuade the physicist Peter Kapitsa, to return to the USSR from Englandor that he had an affair with the defector intelligence agent Alexander Orlov. But these versions did not find sufficient confirmation.

The fall of the unstable Vik

After repeated reports about the restoration in intelligence, Fischer was assigned in September 1941 to organize sabotage and partisan detachments behind enemy lines. At the same time, he became friends with fellow worker Rudolf Abel, whose name he would later be called upon arrest in the United States. The real Rudolf Abel retired shortly after the end of the war, and in 1948, in order to obtain information from sources working at nuclear facilities, Fischer began illegal work in America. In New York, given the operative alias “Mark”, he goes by the name of the artist Emil Robert Goldfusssettled in a photography studio in Brooklyn. The work of “Mark” was so successful that in the summer of next year he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. In 1952, to help “Mark” sent «Vika» (this was the operational pseudonym of the radio operator Reino Heihanen). Four years later, a heavy drinker and, as they said then, a morally unstable radio operator were going to be returned to Moscow. However, “Vic” decided to inform the Americans about his work for Soviet intelligence and gave them the Mark. ;                            

Fisher was detained by FBI agents. After that, the main task of the Soviet intelligence officer was to inform Moscow about his arrest, and he named himself after his comrade Rudolf Abel, who died two years ago. Fisher hoped that as soon as reports of Abel's arrest appeared in the American press, his colleagues would immediately understand that it was about him. During the investigation, he categorically denied his affiliation with Soviet intelligence, refused to testify at the trial and rejected all attempts by American intelligence agencies to persuade him to cooperate. At the trial “The United States of America v. Rudolf Ivanovich Abel” the prosecution insisted on the electric chair. However, in the end, the intelligence officer was sentenced to 32 years in prison, which for a person approaching the age of 55 meant almost certain death.

Jeweler's exchange to the “plumber”

At first, the intelligence officer was in a remand prison in New York, then he was transferred to a prison in Atlanta. There he painted pictures, worked on solving mathematical problems, and even taught French to American criminals. The then head of the KGB Vladimir Semichastnyrecalled: “I was told that while in prison, Abel painted a lot. They, in particular, painted a portrait of Kennedy, which he was asked for for the American president himself. They say it even hung in the White House.

It is difficult to establish the reliability of this fact, but the wall of the Lubyanka office of the KGB chairman was really decorated with a small winter landscape by Abel.

In February 1962, William Fisher , who remained for the Americans Rudolf Abel, was exchanged for a spy pilot Francis Gary Powers shot down in the USSR and an American student Frederick Pryor arrested in East Berlin for espionage. CIA director Allen Dullessaid that he would like to have three or four of his people in Moscow like Abel and called him a jeweler. The director of the CIA called the downed pilot a plumber (probably because he laid everything out during interrogations). Returning to the USSR, William Fisher, after rest and treatment, began to work in the central intelligence apparatus.  

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