Vadis, Aleksandr Anatolevich
- (1906–1968)Vadis was orphaned during the Russian civil war, entered the security service from the Red Army in 1930, and somehow survived the Yezhovshchina. In 1942 he entered counterintelligence and was drafted into Smersh in 1943. He ended World War II as a lieutenant general, having served as the Smersh commander of the Second Byelorussian Front, which captured Berlin. Vadis was one of Joseph Stalin’s favorite military counterintelligence chiefs. He took control of Adolf Hitler’s corpse and Eva Braun’s after they were discovered by a Smersh patrol in Berlin on 5 May 1945. Vadis informed Stalin of the news, had the bodies autopsied, and shipped the corpses to the Soviet Union. Vadis warned the military and medical personnel that this secret had to be kept forever. (Marshal Georgi Zhukov was not informed about the disposition of Hitler’s remains until 1965.) Following the war, Vadis held positions in the MGB in Moscow and the Far East. He was purged at the same time as his boss in Smersh, Viktor Abakumov, but never imprisoned. He was suspended in 1951, then removed from the service in 1954 and reduced in rank “for disgracing himself.”
Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. Robert W. Pringle. 2014.