Currie, Lauchlin

(1903–1993)
   One of the most disputed cases of Cold War espionage revolves around the life of Lauchlin Currie. Born in Canada, Currie immigrated to the United States, received a Ph.D. from Harvard University, and became an American citizen in 1934. A brilliant economist, he joined the White House staff of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. Soviet intelligence messages from the 1940s show that Currie met on several occasions with two NKVD rezidents, Vasily Zarubin and Anatoli Gorskiy. In the intelligence messages, he is referred to by the cover name “Page.” Elizabeth Bentley informed American counterintelligence in 1945 that Currie was an important agent of the Silvermaster Group. Currie became the focus of a series of investigations in the late 1940s. He admitted that he had met with Gorskiy “to discuss Soviet culture,” but he denied all charges that he was a Soviet agent. He left the United States in the early 1950s, moved to South America, and took Colombian citizenship. For years Currie was portrayed as a victim of a witch hunt who had been forced to flee his adopted country. The opening of the Venona documents, however, indicated that the NKVD considered Currie an important agent. As in the case of Harry Dexter White, scholars still argue over how seriously to take the information from Cold War “witnesses” like Bentley and the Venona material.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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