Boris Lvin (bbb) wrote,
Boris Lvin

Боднараш как супер-штирлиц двадцатого века

Один из самых загадочных персонажей советской и восточно-европейской истории прошлого века, как мне кажется - это Эмиль Боднараш, член румынского политбюро до 65-го года. Краткая его биография, с очевидными ошибками -

Более детально в его биографии попытался разобраться Деннис Делетант.

По-моему, судьба Боднараша в его изложении - намного удивительнее всего, что напридумывали авторы шпионских детективов.

Вот, например:

Dennis Deletant "Communist Terror in Romania: Gheorghiu-Dej and the Police State, 1948-1965, (London; New York, 1999), pp. 40-43:
There are many question marks over Bodnăraş's real loyalties. According to his party file he was born in Colomea (now in the Ukraine) on 10 February 1904 of Ukrainian-German parentage (I am grateful to Claudiu Secaşiu for this information). Bodnăraş studied law at Iaşi university where, according to his official obituary, he first came into contact with Marxist groups. He then joined the officers' academy in Timişoara where he completed his training in 1927 (Anale de istorie, vol. 22 (1076), no. 1, p. 189). His obituary says nothing about the following seven years until his arrest and his sentencing in 1934 to ten years' hard labour. The gap has been filled from other sources. In 1927, he was posted to Craiova with the rank of lieutenant and later transferred to а barracks at Sadagura in northern Romania, only 30 km. from the river Dniester and the border with the Soviet Union. From there he defected to the Soviet Union.

Two questions arise at this point. Why should Bodnăraş, with his Ukrainian background, be posted so close to the Soviet frontier? Was he perhaps recruited by Romanian military intelligence and his defection planned? Information from the KGB archives now sheds some light on these questions. It claims that Bodnăraş was sent into the Soviet Union in 1931 as the military intelligence officer of the 12th artillery regiment based in Sadagura but was turned by the Soviets and was trained as а Soviet agent at the NKVD school in the town of Astrakhan (G. Iavorschi, "Pentru cine a lucrat "inginerul Сеаuşu"?", Magazin Istoric, vol. 28, no. 9 (September 1994), p. 18).

Bodnăraş admitted as much in a meeting of the Romanian Politburo held on 13 and 14 March 1961: "Towards the end of 1933 [Vyacheslav] Menzhinsky was still alive [and] he headed the special agency where I worked […] my contact was one of the deputy heads of this service". Menzhinsky was head of the OGPU (Soviet Security Service) from 1926 until his death in May 1934, when he was succeeded by his first deputy, Genrikh Yagoda, who may have been the assistant to whom Bodnăraş was referring. In July 1934, the OGPU was integrated into the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs), headed by Yagoda, which directed the activities of the political police, the regular police, criminal investigation, border troops, and internal troops. Though only a part of the NKVD, the political police was usually referred to as the NKVD (C. Andrew and O. Gordievsky, KGB: The Inside Story of its Foreign Operations from Lenin to Gorbachev, London: Sceptre, 1991, p. 146). Foreign intelligence gathering was directed by INU, the Foreign Intelligence Department of the NKVD, which was set up in 1921. Bodnăraş's activities would have been supervised by Artur Artuzov, head of INU from 1929 until 1934, and then by Abram Slutsky, Artuzov's successor, who was poisoned during the purges in February 1938. Bodnăraş fondly reminisced about his treatment by the Soviets: "The Soviet secret services were particularly considerate towards me and took care to brief me, giving me access to books and papers so that I didn't get cut off from events in Romania. I also received the daily Universul. When the strike at the Griviţa yards took place (February 1933), the Soviets brought me from my lodgings to their headquarters where I spent several days following the information which they received from their secret services who were noting what was happening". (Stenogram of the RWP Politburo Meeting of 13-14 March 1961). My thanks to Marius Oprea for passing on a copy of this record. A number of officers who served in Romanian counter-intelligence during and immediately after the Second World War have stated that Bodnăraş's fluent knowledge of German allowed him to be used on various espionage missions by the OGPU/NKVD in Poland and the Baltic republics before he was sent to Bulgaria in 1934. Еn route through Romania he was recognized in the Gara de Nord station in Bucharest and arrested. He was tried for desertion, for stealing documents, and for crimes against the country's security, and sentenced to ten years' imprisonment.

Other questions arise. Why was he sent by his Soviet masters to Bulgaria by train through Romania, with all the risks of recognition that the journey entailed, when he could have travelled direct by boat from Odessa to Burgas? Was he sent deliberately by train in the hope that he would be caught by the Romanians as а Soviet spy and imprisoned with the Romanian Communists whom he could infiltrate on behalf of the NKVD? Was he, in fact, а double agent? His mission from the Soviets may well have been to evaluate Gheorghiu-Dej because the latter, unlike other leading figures in the Romanian Communist Party, had not studied in the Soviet Union.

Serghei Nikonov, the Soviet-trained head of the SSI (The Romanian Intelligence Service) from 1946 to 1951, expressed the conviction in a conversation in 1988 with Titu Simon, a former officer in Romanian military intelligence, that Bodnăraş had been recruited in the 1920s by an officer in the SSI named Florin Becescu (cover-name Georgescu) to penetrate the Soviet security and intelligence services and that this was the purpose of his mission to the Soviet Union. In 1947, information was passed to Bodnăraş by the Russians that Georgescu had worked as a double agent, for both the Romanians and the Soviets, and Bodnăraş gave orders for his liquidation before Nikonov could investigate the charges. The reason for Bodnăraş's haste, Nikonov believed, was to prevent the emergence of any details of his recruitment by Becescu (T. Simon, Pacepa: Quo Vadis?, Bucharest: Odeon, 1992, pp. 77-8). Simon's account of Bodnăraş's hand in Becescu's death is corroborated by Traian Borcescu, head of the counter-intelligence section of the SSI between 1941 and 1944. Becescu joined the Communist Party after 23 August 1944 and was appointed head of counter-intelligence in the SSI (he had held this post previously until 1941). However, he released information about Ana Pauker's private life as a young woman and lost the confidence of Bodnăraş. It was for this indiscretion that Bodnăraş, according to Borcescu, ordered Becescu's removal. While travelling to attend a meeting in Sinaia on the orders of Bodnăraş, Becescu's car was ambushed and he was shot dead by Communist agents (author's interview with Traian Borcescu, 8 March 1995).

Bodnăraş served his sentence at Doftana, Aiud, Galaţi and Braşov according to the official obituary. He was also held at Caransebeş jail, for he was seen there by а fellow inmate Мircea Oprişan, in 1942 (letter to the author from M. Oprişan, 29 August 1994). In Doftana, Bodnăraş formed а close friendship with Gheorghiu-Dej and became а member of the Communist Party. He was released from prison on 7 November 1942 at the suggestion of the SSI and settled in the town of Brăila near the mouth of the Danube. It was here that, in return for payments made to Georghe Rânzescu, the local inspector of police, who was а friend of SSI head Eugen Cristescu, he was able to wander freely around the town and its outskirts and consequently to pick up instructions dropped by Soviet planes on the outskirts of town. Using the cover of а commercial representative for а small company based in Brăila and the name of "Engineer Сеаuşu," Bodnăraş travelled freely, albeit under the surveillance of the Sigurаnţа, and he was а frequent visitor to Bucharest. Here Bodnăraş collected information from an agent named Kendler, а timber-merchant, who on instructions from Bodnăraş paid а sum of 30,000 lei monthly in 1943 to col. Enache Borcescu, а member of the Romanian General Staff, for information about Romanian and German troop movements. Kendler's regular meeting place with Borcescu was а Greco-Catholic church in Bucharest (author's interview with Traian Borcescu, 8 March 1995).

Bodnăraş was also а frequent visitor to Târgu-Jiu where, by suborning col. Şerban Lioveanu, the commandant of the internment camp, he was able to consult Gheorghiu-Dej on several occasions. Drawing on secret Communist Party funds, Bodnăraş bought weapons from German soldiers based in Romania in order to arm Communist detachments which he formed in Bucharest in the early summer of 1944. This activity did not escape the attention of the Gestapo who requested his arrest but col. Traian Borcescu, the head of counter-intelligence in the SSI, resisted on the grounds that Bodnăraş "could be of use in Romania's exit from the war" (Iavorschi, "Сеаuşu", p. 19)

"A Handbook of the Communist Security Apparatus in East Central Europe 1944-1989" (Warsaw 2005), pp. 322-324:

It was Bodnăraş who took charge of the arrested Marshal Ion Antonescu in the early morning of 24 August 1944 and drove him to а communist safe house from where he was later handed over to the Soviet military.

After the establishment of the Petru Groza government in March 1945, Bodnăraş was appointed Secretary General to the Prime Minister and in the following month he was given control of the intelligence service, the SSI. As а faithful servant of Moscow, he played а key role in consolidating Communist rule and eliminating opposition to it. He became а member of the Central Committee in 1945, а position he retained until his death in 1976, and а member of the Politburo (1948-1965), Minister of the Armed Forces (1947-1956), and Vice-President of the Council of Ministers (1954-1965).

According to Khrushchev's memoirs it was Bodnăraş who, as Minister of Armed Forces, first raised the question of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Romania during Khrushchev's visit to Romania in August 1955. Khrushchev was convinced that the matter had already been discussed by the Romanian Workers' Party leadership and Gheorghiu-Dej chose Bodnăraş to broach the subject because of his impeccable credentials. These were his past services to the Soviet Union, the confidence and respect which Khrushchev acknowledged he enjoyed amongst the Soviet leaders; and his senior position - he was one of the three Deputy Prime Ministers. Khrushchev records that Bodnăraş justified the subject by pointing out that there was little threat to Soviet security interests because Romania was hemmed in by other Socialist countries and that there was "nobody across the Black Sea from us except the Turks." The international situation in 1955 did not permit the Soviet leader to act on the suggestion straightaway but the idea of withdrawal had been planted in his mind and he used it three years later at а time he regarded as more appropriate.

Bodnăraş was appointed а Vice-Premier and remained close to Gheorghiu-Dej until the latter's death in 1965. Upon his elevation to the party leadership in that year, Ceauşescu offered Bodnăraş the position of Vice-President of the State Council in return for his total obedience. Bodnăraş honoured the agreement, leading а largely withdrawn life - he was divorced - until his death in 1976. In conformity with his will, his body was not buried near Gheorgiu-Dej's in the Heroes' Monument in Bucharest but in his native village churchyard in northern Moldova.

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