Vonsiatsky Espionage	(continued)	
 
 
At the time Vonsiatsky founded his Party there was already in existence a White Russian organization known as the Russian Fascist Union with headquarters in Harbin, Manchuria. Vonsiatsky took a world cruise in 1934, and while in Manchuria he attempted to effect a consolidation of his Party with the Harbin group of the Russian Fascist Union. Although Vonsiatsky reportedly was given a splendid reception by the numerous White Russians of the other group upon his arrival in Harbin, his attempts at consolidation were unsuccessful because of the actions of the former head of the Russian Cossacks. The latter individual had hopes of becoming the head of any Russian government formed in the event of the downfall of the Soviets and apparently did not look with favor upon the movement headed by Vonsiatsky. Apparently the former Cossack leader contacted various Japanese officials and made arrangements to have the Japanese warn the White Russians residing in Manchuria to have nothing to do with Vonsiatsky's group.

In view of his failure to consolidate the groups, Vonsiatsky decided that Shanghai, China, would be the next best place to organize a branch of his organization. The fact that a White Russian newspaper called "Russkie Avangard" was printed by one Constantine Stekloff in Shanghai was of material assistance to Vonsiatsky in the formation of a branch of his Party. Stekloff was very favorable toward Vonsiatsky's organization and on numerous occasions published favorable articles. Vonsiatsky therefore contacted Stekloff and agreed to subsidize the latter's paper to the extent of $600 per year if Stekloff would continue to print articles favorable to Vonsiatsky's cause. Stekloff agreed to this proposition, became a member of the Party, and assisted in building a strong unit in Shanghai. Vonsiatsky continued to subsidize Stekloff's paper until 1941, at which time, due to the conditions in the United States, Vonsiatsky decided to turn over the leadership of the Party to him.

According to Vonsiatsky, branches of his organization were at one time located in Sofia, Bulgaria; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Yugoslavia; Cairo, Egypt; and in several American cities.

The only requirement for membership in the Russian National Revolutionary Labor and Workers Peasant Party of Fascists was an interest exhibited on the part of an individual to join the organization and to help in promoting its purpose. The purpose of the Party, which as previously stated, was to help the Russians in overthrowing Communism and establishing a government desired by the Russian people, was to be effected by inciting the Russian people to overthrow their government. Propaganda to be distributed among the Russian people themselves constituted the chief means of carrying out the purpose. Vonsiatsky's organization was believed to contain approximately 1,400 members at one time. There were no dues and no initiation fees and the only money received by the group was in the form of contributions and subscriptions to the Party paper, "The Fascist." Most of the copies of the paper were sold out of the United States, approximately 500 copies of each issue being sent to White Russians in foreign countries and about 150 to 250 being distributed in the United States. The average distribution was approximately 750 copies each issue, but on one particular occasion approximately 10,000 copies were printed.

Vonsiatsky made trips around the world in 1934, 1936, and 1939. The pattern of these world cruises was practically the same in each instance. He embarked in San Francisco and during the course of his journeys he visited Honolulu, Kobe, Shanghai, Manila, Hong Kong, Singapore, Penang, Bombay, Port Said, Suez, Alexandria, and Naples and then went by train to Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, and also to Berlin and Paris. In each instance he returned to the United States through New York City. In addition to the world cruises, Vonsiatsky made a trip to Paris and Berlin with his wife. During these various trips Vonsiatsky contacted members of his Party in the various cities visited. He traveled so as to strengthen his Party and the entire White Russian movement in its work against the Communist regime. He was the subject of much controversy and suspicion on the part of foreign governments and never hesitated to give interviews to newspaper reporters concerning the purpose of his Party and the hopes he had for final success. In Japan and Germany particularly Vonsiatsky attempted to develop friends in the governments of those countries so that they would look with favor upon the activities of his Party members.

In connection with Vonsiatsky's world cruises, it might be noted that he ordered a specially constructed club traveling bag of light tan cowhide and about eighteen inches long, which had a secret compartment in its bottom. The secret section could be opened by pressing one or two brass buffers on the bottom of the bag. Vonsiatsky allegedly stated when ordering the bag that he contemplated considerable traveling in foreign countries and desired to carry some personal papers and wanted to obviate the necessity of what he termed "unreasonable searches" when he crossed international frontiers.

During one of his early world cruises Vonsiatsky met one Hirohita Nakamura and his wife and daughter. He became very friendly with this Japanese and sought assistance from him in the promotion of Party activities. Shortly after meeting Nakamura, Vonsiatsky sent through him a sword as a gift to General Araki, one of the highest officials in the Japanese Army. Following is the letter used in transmitting the sword:

"Your Highness

I ask you as a sincere friend of National Russia not to refuse to accept from me a small present, a sword of an era when with the united force of Austria and Russia the Hungarian revolt of 1849 was crushed, a revolt which threatened the Austrian empire.

My present will be given to you by Mr. H. Nakamura -- a great Nipponese patriot possessing a Russian spirit.

/s/ Glory to Japan, Glory to Russia,
A.A. Vonsiatsky"

On occasions Vonsiatsky was host to the Nakamuras at football games in New England and also on short visits to his estate at Thompson, Connecticut.

During the FBI's investigation of Vonsiatsky's activities, evidence was obtained that he had had some dealings with William Dudley Pelley's organization. In fact, upon one occasion Vonsiatsky sent several copies of his publication, "The Fascist," to Pelley's organization in Asheville, North Carolina. On one occasion at least, Vonsiatsky ordered a hundred copies of Pelley's publication. During 1936, a representative of the Pelley Publishers wrote Vonsiatsky stating, "Your work for the Cause we are mutually serving, publishing your Russian Fascist, has just come to our attention. From reports given us it seems you are fighting a rather lone battle, and a little camaraderie is not amiss." The letter further stated that Pelley's organization had been in battle "militantly" for over four years and was "determined to block Judah in government and the Jewish bankers by the coming national election."

Vonsiatsky's relationship with Fritz Kuhn, former head of the German-American Bund, illustrates his endeavors to promote goodwill with the German authorities. On July 16, 1939, Fritz Kuhn was arrested at Webster, Massachusetts, on a charge of intoxication and using profane language. At the same time several publications reflected that Vonsiatsky was with Kuhn when the latter was arrested. Vonsiatsky denied this, however, and during 1940 brought suit against several newspapers, charging that he had been libeled. The suits were later dropped, however. At any rate, Kuhn stated at the time of his arrest he had been visiting Vonsiatsky at the latter's Thompson, Connecticut, estate. Several days after his arrest, Kuhn pleaded guilty to the charges of drunkenness and using profane language, being fined $5 on the first charge while the second was filed away. At the time of the hearing Kuhn was accompanied by Vonsiatsky, who furnished the necessary bail.

Vonsiatsky has admitted being on the mailing list of the German-American Bund at one time and receiving various circulars and pieces of literature from this organization. He was present and quite active at various Bund meetings, including a rally at Madison Square Garden and a celebration on the occasion of the opening of the German-American Bund camp at Yaphank, Long Island.

While evidently quite friendly with the German-American Bund, Vonsiatsky stated that he utilized the Bund so as to promote the activities of his own Party. He stated that shortly after his visit to Berlin in 1934, some of his Party members in Germany indicated they were called to Gestapo headquarters and asked whether they desired to finish their education in school or in concentration camps. The Gestapo allegedly advised the members of Vonsiatsky Party it would not be wise to have any connection with any White Russian group other than that which was fostered by the German government. Vonsiatsky explained that in view of this situation his Party members had to discontinue their activities in Germany and he utilized the German-American Bund to reestablish himself so that his Party could remain active in Germany. Feeling that eventually Germany would start fighting the Soviets, Vonsiatsky decided to be friendly with the Bund so that his Party members in Germany could say to the German officials that the heads of their organization and of the German-American Bund in the United States were very friendly. Once when Vonsiatsky's picture was taken with Fritz Kuhn, he published the photograph in "The Fascist" and took great pains that this particular issue was distributed to the Party members in Germany.

Vonsiatsky admitted upon interview after his arrest sending Fritz Kuhn checks to assist in furnishing articles to German war prisoners interned in Canada. Vonsiatsky at first denied having furnished any money to the German-American Bund.

During the course of the FBI's investigation, information was received indicating Vonsiatsky once had an audience of thirty-seven minutes with Adolph Hitler in Berlin and had dinner with field Marshal Goering. Vonsiatsky had pictures of Hitler on the walls of the stone building he used as an office and arsenal and reportedly had the highest regard for both Hitler and Mussolini and spoke of them with reverence. It might be noted in this connection that Vonsiatsky has denied meeting with Hitler and other high German officials.

During 1940, Vonsiatsky denied having any direct relations with the German government and stated he tried to avoid antagonizing that government. In this connection he used a Russian saying which in effect was, "Do not spit in the well as you may want to use it later." He explained if the persons associated with him in the fight against Communism should be in a position to go into Russia in the future to fight, they would have to pass through Germany. In view of this fact, he considered it desirable that his relationship with the German governments should be a friendly one so that he and his followers could pass through that country.

Prior to the entry of the United States into the war during December, 1941, Vonsiatsky allegedly made statements indicating he was of the opinion Germany would win in the conflict. On the day after the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, he expressed the belief that the losses of American ships were actually much worse than indicated by the American government. On the day before war was declared on Japan, Vonsiatsky was heard to state, "Well, the United States was looking to get into this war and now they're in it."

In articles written about Vonsiatsky, he has been quoted as saying he did not believe Germany would attempt to invade England but would concentrate instead on sinking every ship to Great Britain. He attributed England's remaining in the war to help from the United States but stated that such assistance would not be enough to enable England to win over Germany. Vonsiatsky was quoted in August, 1941, as stating, "My work is nearly done. My next issue of 'The Fascist,' of which I am editor, will come out when Germany has occupied Moscow. It will be the last issue which will be published over here. The next issue will be published in Moscow."

 

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