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Clausen crosses the Atlantic on the Boston.64 It is possible that he "worked his passage as a member of the crew" (he bought a U.S. seaman's certificate in Stockholm). Once in New York City he renewed his German passport at the German consulate. He stayed, on orders, at the Lincoln Hotel (also Sorge's New York residence). While at the hotel Clausen supposedly received a call from a man named "Jones" who asked him if he needed money. Clausen refused the offer, and was unsure whether or not the man was "from the Soviet Embassy or a member of an Intelligence group." (D&S, p.163)
Kuusinen (aka "Ingrid") is told by "a fair-haired woman whom I did not know" that she had a message from "our friend the Doctor" (Sorge).65 She is told she was to leave for Moscow at once, but that Sorge wanted to speak with her first. She was to go to the flower shop at Roppongi market where a man would speak German to her and take her to Sorge. There she was met by Max Clausen who took Kuusinen to Sorge's apartment via taxi. Sorge told her that she would take the Trans-Siberian railway to Moscow where she would check-in to the Metropol Hotel and wait for further contact. Sorge gives her money for the journey. Max Clausen asks Kuusinen to request $20,000 for the Ring so that he can open a "Radio and electrical store in Yokohama, which would be excellent cover and also help pay his expenses." Once Kuusinen arrives in Moscow she is visited by Major Sirotkin of Department Four.66 Kuusinen tells him that she is "angry and disappointed" at being recalled so soon. Sirotkin tells her that it was thought she was in danger (possibly from internal/Russian threats), but that General Uritskii was to send her back to Japan, anyhow. Sirotkin also tells Kuusinen that it was thought that Sorge's reports were often vague and inaccurate. He continued: "Between ourselves, the place is in a state of confusion, and even the people at the top don't know what they want." A week into her stay in Moscow she meets with Uritskii and Sirotkin at Department Four headquarters. Uritskii tells her that she is to return to Tokyo, but that she is to avoid contact with Sorge, with whom Uritskii is "dissatisfied". When Kuusinen told Uritskii about Clausen's request for $20,000, Uritskii angrily exclaimed: "The rogues, they do nothing but drink and spend money. I shan't give them a single kopeck." Kuusinen is given no particular mission in Japan, but is told to cultivate contacts, and perhaps write a book about Japan, "describing the country and people in complimentary terms so as to improve [her] status with them." Also during her stay in Moscow she meets with her estranged husband, Otto Kuusinen. Otto, hearing of her activities in Japan, tells her that "one of these days you'll be arrested for espionage and condemned to death." Otto Kuusinen himself was intimately involved in the world of espionage. Otto, to some degree, pushed Aino into spy work, orchestrated her move to Tokyo, and had to be aware of the fate that awaited her in Moscow.67 (Kuusinen, pp.113, 115, 188-9)
64 Before Clausen crossed the Atlantic he stayed in Paris at the Hotel du Nord.
65 The identity of this "fair-haired" woman remains a mystery. She is also mentioned by Meissner.
66 Ironically, Kuusinen and Sirotkin later meet as prisoners in the Gulag.
67 There is a major problem with the timing of this story as Clausen did not arrive in Tokyo until November 28 of that same year. It is possible that Kuusinen, who wrote her memoirs over thirty years after the Sorge years confuses the dates, or confuses Bernhardt for Clausen. If it was Clausen that she recalls, then her meeting with Uritskii probably took place during her second visit to Tokyo in 1937. (See November 1937) For a description of Clausen's major business venture see Summer 1937.
Late 1935
Soviet Spy and American journalist John Sherman is recalled from his post in Tokyo because of his failure to establish any significant contacts or provide any intelligence. Sherman had been sent to Tokyo in September of 1934 to set up a "parallel apparatus" to the Sorge Ring. The entire operation was facilitated by the famed Whittaker Chambers who helped devise Sherman's cover - a news agency called American Feature Writers Syndicate (AFWS) that provided articles to American newspapers. After Sherman was recalled the AFWS was run by Barbara Wertheim (a non-Communist & non-spy) who "later achieved renown under her married name, Barbara Tuchman". 70 (Tanenhaus, p.100)
70 Sherman's operation was similar to Sorge's but never achieved the same success. Sherman had been assigned a Japanese assistant, an artist named Hideo Noda, who had earlier been a protégé of the great Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. It seems as if Sherman wasted most of his time playing handball - he had won the handball championship at the Tokyo YMCA. A Japanese researcher recently claimed to uncover this second spy ring based on "newly" released information in Moscow. Unfortunately, this seems to be disingenuous. Whittaker Chambers' Witness made mention of this ring almost 50 years ago. So much for these "secrets" from Russia's archives. (See also November 10, 1997)