From the Archives

The Government Attic website in the past day or two posted a staggering 342 megabytes of what are described, ostensibly, as records from the FBI concerning the transfer of older Bureau records to the National Archives for preservation. That is in part true, especially of the later documents; much of the earlier stuff is a completely random selection of stuff – including but not exclusively FBI records – which are held by the National Archives, and which were forwarded to the Bureau for input prior to release to researchers. Because of the way the FBI works, copies of all these documents wound up being preserved – once again – in the Bureau’s files! None of the stuff is “new”, of course – it’s all been released previously to someone, somewhere – but much of the material has never been available on the web before.

The downside to this is, these original documents are for the most part buried in the large files provided by, with no real clear way of finding whatever it is you might be interested in. I don’t know if the site has plans to, at some point in the future, extract and index the material contained therein, but for the moment, I’m making (easily) available two interesting documents I’ve segregated from their larger PDF files:

The first (1.7MB PDF!) is a 3 March 1950 report from the U.S. State Department’s Office of Intelligence Research on the Moral Re-Armament group, a strange and fairly long-lived religious cult.

The second (652KB PDF!) is a series of FBI records from March and July, 1953, concerning the “circumstantial” claims – with “a distinct possibility that the story is true”, according to one FBI official – that Georgi Malenkov, then head of the Soviet Union, was actually Jewish, and had a brother living in the United States. If confirmed, the plan was apparently to use the brother to appeal to Malenkov’s ethnicity to end the increasingly worrisome anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union following the Doctor’s Plot of 1952. What ever came of the plan, I don’t know – Malenkov’s stint as head of the USSR was short-lived, and it’s possible the story, if it wasn’t disproven outright, was never confirmed before he’d left office. It’s also possible that, since the widespread pogrom everyone at the time feared the Doctor’s Plot was the opening act to never materialized, the whole issue was rendered immaterial… either way, it’s an interesting anecdote from history that doesn’t seem to be otherwise remembered today…

Published in: General, History | on September 16th, 2008| Comments Off on From the Archives

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