Friday, February 17, 2012
In the early James Bond novels, the hero battled the villainous forces of Smersh, a shadowy Soviet intelligence organization. Bond was fictional, but Smersh really existed. Drawing its name from smert shpionam Russian for “death to spies,” it was Stalin’s wartime terror apparatus and it cut a bloody swath of death across Eastern Europe. Its job was to “filter” the Red Army for spies and it was responsible for the arrest, torture, and execution of many thousands of innocent people. Listen to historian Vadim J. Birstein as he discusses this bloodthirsty organization and discusses the evidence suggesting that Raoul Wallenberg was one of its victims. This event took place on 12 January 2012.