Dr. Richard Sorge, Journalist, Soviet Spy

Dr. Richard Sorge (October 4, 1895 - November 7, 1944) was a Russian/German nationality Communist operative for the Red Army. Wounded in World War I, he was recruited by the Red Army's Fourth Department for Intelligence. Working as a German journalist, he traveled around the world, moving to Shanghai, China in 1930 and Yokohama, Japan in 1933. He had extensive contacts with the Nazi regime and held party membership. His close ties allowed him access to German officials in Japan, and introduced him to high ranking Japanese officers. He was able to report to Stalin that Operation Barbarossa would start around June 20, 1941 (it began June 22) but that report was discounted. He reported the attack on Pearl Harbor and that the Japanese would not move against Russia until the Germans won in the Ukraine. His network was broken up and arrested in 1941, after the Japanese became suspicious about coded messages Sorge was sending to Moscow. He was executed on November 7, 1944. The Soviet Union did not acknowledge his actions until 1964, when he was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Date Photographed: 
Saturday, October 18, 1941
Tokyo Prefecture