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Adam Purpiss and Wostwag

Further PRO Wostwag releases

PRO Research by Nigel Linsan Colley Oct 2005

The following ‘secret’ intelligence information comes from British Public Records Office files KV2 /1902 & KV2/1655 – files only recently released since 2004-05, regarding a Soviet Far Eastern Chinese trading company in the1930s, who were actually a covert intelligence front for the OGPU / GPU / NKVD; even acting as de-facto arms dealers and bankers to the then fledgling Chinese Communist party of Mau. 

My personal interest in disseminating this information stems from the fact that my great uncle, Gareth Jones, a British journalist and one-time foreign affairs advisor to Lloyd George, dared to internationally expose a 6-10 million 1932-33 Soviet famine-genocide, primarily in and around Ukrainian districts. He was then murdered two years later, after a politically motivated kidnapping in Inner Mongolia by Chinese bandits, after accepting free transport from Wostwag, this Soviet company cited below.  At the time Gareth’s journalist travelling companion, Dr Herbert Mueller, who invited on this ill-feted trip in a vehicle belonging to Wostwag (Mueller was revealed by the PRO in2001 to have been a Soviet agent within their own 34-year independent dossier on him   For Further information please visit    

[Transcription notes – the original PRO copies are in some places very blurred, especially in so far as deciphering individual spelling on persons names and “?” marks are used appropriately. E&OE - Any errors discovered then please inform me via my specific email address of "fsb_feedback '@'”!  

The primary raison d’étre behind making this file available online is for Google search engine purposes, so that their ‘surfers’ may be able to cross-reference names within this PRO document with Soviet research of their own.

To the FSB, I can assure you that you are already long-time conversant with these British intelligence dossiers documented below; by virtue of Kim Philby having it pass through his hands back in 1945 (after which, the trail went cold!)…

Links to relating photographs of the original PRO Documents are found throughout this webpage within square brackets & prefixed by 'CIM'. Higher resolution copies can be provided on request, but I have already made available an FTP download site where one can copy every photo (plus many others related to this document) on to your hard disk for viewing at a later date – Click Here

Some sections below have been highlighted by myself in bold so as draw your attention to what I consider to be salient in terms of my on-going investigations…

May I take this opportunity to thank the British authorities for drip-feeding the PRO (and presumably for my particular attention, specifically) formerly secret intelligence on the suspected individual characters of Adam Pupiss &  Dr Herbert Mueller, whom I strongly suspect were involved with Gareth Jones' murder. 

Also, if you choose to use the PRO information elsewhere please courteously cite as your source of transcription. Finally, this information was offered and provided FOC in the hope of if you are able to contribute any information in return, then you will do so, so as to aid my personal crusade into further researching the political murder of Gareth Jones – Thank you, Nigel Colley – April/Sept 2006.

[CIMG0287.jpg & CIMG0253.jpg]

[Handwritten] Original in PF45633 WOSTWAG



In 1922 or1923 (legal papers suggest the date of incorporation was 24th October 1923) the firm WOSTWAG was established in Berlin as an import-export agency. It initially enjoyed a privileged position as an important agency for Soviet-German trade in German, maintaining close connections with the Soviet Trade Delegation in Berlin, although its business activities extended to other European and more particularly to certain Far Eastern countries as well. 

KRIVITSKY disclosed that WOSTWAG was in fact created by the 4th (Intelligence) Department of the Red Army General Staff in order to provide cover for a “large number” of 4th Department agents. At the same time profits from its transactions were retained by the 4th Department to augment the Department’s espionage and internal disruption grants. An independent source also alleged in 1929 that certain of the firm’s supposedly financial transactions were in fact payments made by, or on behalf of, the Comintern. 

The subsequent careers of some of the persons originally connected with WOSTWAG in Germany, as revealed by the FBI report received in January 1949, suggest that WOSTWAG was in fact the first of a network of firms, whose establishment was probably encouraged by the 4th Department, and which was ultimately represented in the UK, France, the USA and the extreme Far East. 

Unfortunately the vital details of espionage activities on the parts of the firm and persons concerned in the business network have not all come to light, but there is sufficient circumstantial evidence (particularly in the links with known Soviet Military Intelligence officers and “speculant agents”) to warrant all the companies and personnel mentioned in the following paragraphs being considered as having been consciously involved in 4th Department operations of some kind. 

The whole issue is obscured by the large amount of genuine business conducted by the companies in question and by the undoubted business aptitude of most of the 4th Department men connected with the network. The following account is a digest of the 130 page FBI report made with a view to concentrating the essential facts of the case and explaining simply the connections between the companies and persons mentioned in it. A few additional details from other sources have also been included where they throw further light on the activities of the companies or their employees. 

The whole case is still under investigation by the FBI in America. 


a)      WOSTWAG, Germany.

KRIVITSKY stated that WOSTWAG was created by the 4th Department in Berlin about 1922 as cover for the espionage activities of large number of 4th Department agents and to provide funds for 4th Department work. It was set up by the brothers Aron and Abraham EHRENLIEB, both of whom…

[CIMG0288.JPG & CIMG0254.jpg]


May well heave been connected with the 4th Department or the Comintern. AN independent source also stated in 1929 that WOSTWAG was connected with G.P.U. financial transactions in Europe.

The following were significant persons connected with WOSTWAG in Germany between 1923 and 1938 and provide the main links with the companies later formed in England, the United States and the Far East:-

(i)   Aron EHRENLIEB     - 1923 to 1925/6          Director.           4th Dept

                                                                              junior officer.

(ii)  Abraham EHRENLIEB 1923 to 1925/6          Director.           4th Dept

                                                                              junior officer.

(iii)  Uscher ZLOCZOWER  1923 to 1933 Director.                       4th Dept

                                                                              Speculant officer.

(iv)  Adam PURPISS         1923 – 1936.               Manager in the Far East. 4th

                                                                              Dpt officer or agent and

                                                                              reportedly an “Agent of the


(v)    David ROSENBLIT   1923 to 1933.              Director.

(vi)  Joseph RUBER           1923 to 1936/7.           Held Power of Attorney for


(vii) Jacob KNOBIL          1923/4 to 1933.           Held Power of Attorney for


(viii)  Boris Niemcow          1923 to 1933 (1938?)  Book keeper.

(ix)    Ernst CZUCZA         1923 to 1933.              Manager.

(x)           Max ROTHSTEIN @ Max RONEY 1927/9 to 1936  Employee.

(xi)     Basilius BUCHHOLZ           - unspecified connection with WOSTWAG

                                                      Berlin prior to 1933.

It is of interest that all the above have at some time visited the USA (the EHRENLIEBs alone being refused admittance) while at least six of them are still there, having entered he country at the beginning of the 1939-45 war.

Of WOSTWAG’s capital stock in the CHASE NATIONAL BANK, 75% of the total of $100,000 was held by Alfred DEVINGTEL, of WOSTWAG in Germany, and 25% by Claude A. TUPPER of Chicago.

Branches of WOSTWAG were also developed in the Far East. See paragraph (h).


This firm was established in Paris some time after 1930 by the Soviet 4th Department agent, Jacob KIRCHENSTEIN @Frank KLEGES, who was trained for this purpose by the R.I.S. officers Nicholas DOZENBERG and Albert FEIERABEND. It was active until at least October 1937. During this period KLEGES is believed to have been in charge of Soviet Intelligence in France.

Payments made by SOCIETE to WOSTWAG are reflected in the accounts of the FAR EASTERN FUR TRADING COMPANY of London. Usher ZLOCZOWER and Rubin GLUCKSMANN, both of F.E.F.T.C., London balanced the books of the SOCIETE in 1937. KLEGES sent $150,000 to Adam PURPISS in late 1936 to establish the ORIENTAL TRADING AND ENGINEERING COMPANY, New York.




By 1931, Wostwag, Germany, had established branches in Urga, (Outer Mongolia), Harbin, (Manchuria), Kalgan (near Pekin, China), Hankow (China) and Tientsin and had bought over the PRIENTAL TRADING AND ENGINEERIN COMPANY, Tientsin. These branches were mainly concerned with fur shipments to Europe from China and Mongolia.

In 1933 it was alleged that the R.I.S. agent, Albert FEIERABEND was in touch with the Tientsin branch of WOSTWAG.

The local manager in 1931 was Aron EHRENLIEB, who appears to have arrived in China in that year and to have stayed until 1937. In January 1937, THE CHASE NATIONAL BANK, Shanghai, stated that according to a confidential source large sums of money were from time to time remitted by WOSTWAG to the interior of China for purposes which were not clear. The bank stated that EHRENLIEB always refused to discuss the operations of the firm or to submit any figures.

Adam PURPISS appears to have directed the WOSTWAG organisation in China in about 1937. He stated that WOSTWAG and O.T.E.C., Far East were entirely separate, but the stockholders of each had certain interests in the other. This statement seems at variance with the fact that O.T.E.C., Far East was legally transferred to WOSTWAG in 1931. In 1937 the CHASE branch, Shanghai, commented that WOSTWAG branches in China had for a number of years been more of a Russian than German concern.



A} Basilius BUCHHOLZ

[Next pages not copied]


[CIMG2455.JPG & CIMG0256.JPG]


PURPISS is believed to be of Latvian origin and to have been born on the 14th March 1883. During 1936 and 1938, however, he was travelling on a Honduran passport obtained in Paris, which has since been repudiated.

Originally, a number of the WOSTWAG organisation in Hamburg, he first came to notice in the Far East in 1936. By then he had, however, been in Tientsin for sometime with the ORIENTAL TRADING AND MERCHANDISING COMPANY.

He was a 4th Department agent according to KRIVITSKY.

PURPISS was General Manager of WOSTWAG in the Far East and of the ORIENTAL TRADING AND MERCHANDISING COMPANY, when the latter was a subsidiary of WOSTWAG, while he was General Manager of O.T.E.C., Far East, following its purchase by the New York company of the same name.

The CHASE NATIONAL BANK of Shanghai stated quoted local reports in 1937 to the effect that PURPISS was at one time associated with the Cheka and with the 3rd International according to one report mentioned by CHASE, he was a High Commissioner for the Soviet Province of Outer Mongolia. The bank also stated that there was a certain amount of mystery concerning PURPISS’ past connections.

In April 1937, PURPISS ran a private import-export company at Kalgan (near Peking) under his own name.



PURPISS made at least two visits to the UK, one in October 1936 and a second in October 1938. On both occasions he stated he was here on “Fur Business” and on the second is known to have contacted GLUCKSMANN of the F.E.F.T.C.


[CIMG2440 – Page 1] [MI5 REPORT CIRCA 1949 ]

WOSTWAG and its Associates

  1. According to KRIVITSKY a firm of this name was created in Berlin by the Soviet Military Intelligence in 1922 to provide business cover for “a number of Fourth Department (i.e. S.M.I.) agents.” He also stated that two junior intelligence staff of  Aaron and Abraham EHRENLIEB (known as Sigmund and Antek JANKOVSKI) were put in charge of the organisation and espionage side of the firm.
  2. Our files show very little about this firm during the first year of its life, except that it was a limited liability company, possibly called West-Ostenropaische Warenaustausch Action Gesellschaft GMBH and registered in Berlin in November 1922, and that by May 1923 it had a contract with the Soviet Commissariat for Trade and Industry to supply cotton, wool and chemical products against a value of 2.4 million gold roubles. This later became a monopoly concession valid till 31 December 1929, to handle all German trade with Berlin.

      5.   Far East – In 1926 a subsidiary, “The Oriental Trading Co.” was





/founded at Tientsin by one of the then directors of “WOSTWAG BERLIN”, David HALTSGECHT ?, while Aaron EHRENLIEB is believed to have opened a depot in Turkey and possibly in China and possibly also in Roumania before going to China. Between 1926 and 1931 there was a rapid expansion in China, Manchuria and Mongolia, with further branches being established in Shanghai, Hankow and Harbin under the name of “The Far Eastern Trading Company” and in Urga (Ulan-Bator) the capital of Outer Mongolia, under the original name of “WOSTWAG”. A branch under the latter name at Kalgan (Wanchuan) acted apparently as a link and staging depot between the Chinese and the Mongolian offices. “WOSTWAG-URGA” developed close contacts with the Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Mongolian Soviet Republic with the “Harodni Ko-Operativ”, and the “Mongoltrans” (the state transportation company), and is believed to have enjoyed a communications concession in Outer Mongolia, valid till 1929. In that year KRONBERG (not yet identified), a Latvian, joined the Chinese firm, which was renamed “The Oriental Trading and Engineering Company”. Dr. ZLOCZOMER in 1930 took over the Tientsin branch from Aaron EHRENLIEB, and on 16th June 1931. “OSTWAG-BERLIN” became the overt proprietors.

6          All these branches were engaged in the import into China and Soviet territory of German manufactured good, particularly chemical product, machinery, cars and lorries; the purchase and export to Russia of Chinese tea, silk, etc.; and the export to Europe and America of Russian and Chinese furs, “casings”, bones and skin glue. The Hamburg branch was the chief European depot for these imports. Amongst their chemical interests, the firm held from October 1931 an exclusive concession in Mongolia and Manchuria for “The Continental Caoutchouc [rubber] Co. (compare “Le Roi de Caoutchouc” in the TREPPER  (“Rote Kapelle”) [Red Orchestra] case and see conclusion, B below). In addition, “WOSTWAG” is also reported by the Chinese police to have imported arms and ammunition for the Chinese Communists and to have acted as their bankers”. Apparently no money was handled at Urga, all business being on a barter basis, but large sums were sent to the interior from Shanghai.

7.         U.S.A. To facilitate these developments, an account was opened on 4th September 1931 with the London office of “CHASE Bank of New York”. This account was later transferred to the H.O. of the Bank in New York and monies were transferred via New York from the Far East to Berlin. The capital stock of the holding company (WOSTWAG-BERLIN) was then declared as $100,000 held as to 75% by Alfred DEVINTEL of Berlin and 25% by Claude A. TUPPER, an American citizen of Delaware who had been a mining engineer in China. The Articles of Association of the company, first modified on 15th September 1927, were again….


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Later on 6th June 1934, a firm: “By-Products Importing Co,” was registered in New York, and almost immediately (25th June 1934) absorbed by a new firm, “Pacific Merchandise Corp.”, whose president was a Russian-born U.S. citizen, ex-British (?Palestinian) national Ernest WRIGHT of Pennsylvania. Associated with him were Boris NIEMCOW and Adolf STEINMANN, both former employees of “WOSTWAG” (for personalities, see Appendix A).         

8.      France.  On 25th September 1933 the Bank was advised that David ROSENBLITT [SIC - ROSENBLITH spelled differently elsewhere] had resigned and that Alfred DEVINGTEL (Berlin) was now the “sole manager”. This was apparently due to the fact that all Jewish members of the firm were leaving Germany in consequence of the Nazi racial policy. Some had gone to the Far East, others like ROSENBLITT, went to France, where they set up small import and export businesses:

“SOCOMBO”    “Societe de Commerce des Boyaux”, i.e. “casings”) ROSENBLITT (1933-1939).

“SOCIMEX”                                          [HOCHSTEADT]        HOCH STEDT


“PRODIMEX” (“Products, Import & Exports)                            CZUCZKA


“----?-----“   (Societe pour le Commerce d’Outre-mer)               ZLOCZOWER


(For these personalities, see appendix A.)

9.      England.  “WOSTWAG” had been represented in England since 1924 by I. RICHMAN and Co., Cross Keys House, Moorgate, E.C.  On 15th February 1936, ZLOCZOWER, (then in Paris), and Aaron EHRENBERG registered “The Far Eastern Trading Co.” in London, the latter person being replaced on 1st November 1937 by one Reubin GLUCKSMANN, a former British subject (Palestinian) (See Appendix A, No. ). The U.S. interests of the firm were handled by Ernest WRIGHT of the “Pacific Merchandise Corp.” (See para 7, above). A check on cable traffic of this firm showed that though throughout 1936 they were in frequent contact with France, Austria, Switzerland, Canada and Russia, between then and 1938 the traffic had been confined to London / U.S.A.

10.    WOSTWAG’S Chinese Interests under the American Flag. For a time after HITLER came to power, “WOSTWAG” in the Far East had been obliged to operate under the Polish flag, the German consul-general at Tientsin having refused to continue



[CIMG2443.jpg & CIMG2447.JPG & CIMG2448.jpg]

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/official recognition of a firm strongly rumoured to have a powerful Soviet backing, and who were discovered to be paying 50% of their profits to the Soviet Union in return for their monopoly concessions rights. The Chinese H.Q. of the firm was therefore transferred to Shanghai, and one Adam PURPISS, a Latvian travelling on a Honduran passport, came from Kalgan to take charge, and subsequently visited the U.S.A.. An account was opened on 11th December 1946 [SIC – should be 1936?] with the CHASE bank of New York by a deposit of $150,000, consisting of a draft on the Manufacturers’ Trust Co., New York, on the instructions of one “F. KLEBES, Paris” (See Appendix A, No.   ), the alias of a Soviet Military Intelligence agent of very old standing; according to the Bank records Mr. PURPISS had been introduced to the bank by Ernest WRIGHT of the “Pacific Merchandise Co.” (see para 7, above). On the same date, 11th December 1936, “The Oriental Trading and Engineering Co,” was incorporated in the state of Delaware with a capital of $150,000 held by two U.S. citizens TUPPER and CLARKE, with PURPISS exercising full power of attorney on its behalf, for all acts performed by its outside the U.S.A.. On the 12th December 1936, the firm, whose Chinese branches enjoyed something like a world monopoly in the supply of marmot skins, formed a selling agency with 50%-50% basis with the KITINGDON-SCHILD Fur Corporation of New York under the name of “The Chinese-Mongolian Fur Corporation”. Ernest WRIGHT was to have desk space at KITINGDON-SCHILD on behalf of the “Oriental Trading and Engineering Co.” The “Oriental Trading and Engineering Co.” henceforth enjoyed full extraterrestrial rights in China as a company incorporated under American law; “WOSTWAG” in Shanghai continued its business ostensibly unconnected with the new American firm whose head office was at another address at the same city. During the same year, 1936, according to the books of the “Far Eastern Trading Co.”, approximately $900,000 was transferred from Urga, via the Moscow Narodni Bank and MARTINS, London, to the credit of WOSTWAG in New York.

In October 1937, over $100,000 was transferred to “The Far East Fur Trading Co.” London, for the credit of WOSTWAG-URGA, by “F. KLEGES, Paris”, and also by the London firm to Shanghai. It is presumed the Paris office had received the monies from Berlin.

11.    On his return to China, PURPISS took over an agency for Chevrolet cars and opened up free driving schools for Chinese drivers in Tientsin and Kalgan. He also bought an expensive radio set and 100 spare valves. In the summer of 1938 he is reported to have been in Europe, and even London, where in October

/called on..



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/called on GLUCKERMAN, Manager of the “Far East Fur Trading Co.”) in transit to Russia “or some Western European Country”, and it was said that the Japanese occupation had forced the closing down of the offices in Shanghai, Tienstsin and Kalgan. We are also informed that the H.O. of “The Oriental Trading and Engineering Co.” was reopened in Hong Kong on 3rd August 1939 by a Dr. Jaques MAGRITTE, a friend of PURPISS, who had also been at Kalgan under another name (possibly KNOBIL [KNOEBIL]; see Appendix A, No. J and para 13,) until the Japanese arrived.

It is evident from the books of the “Far East Fur Trading Co, London that their New York representative, “The Pacific Merchandise Corporation”, through Ernest WRIGHT and a certain Max ROTHSTEIN (or RONEY) had been in 1938 and 1939 buying aircraft and equipment for or on the instructions of “WOSTWAG-URGA”.

12.    Change of Name. On 19th December 1938, the Chase Bank H.O. was advised that the style of the Berlin firm had been changed to “DEUTSCHE HANDEL A.G.” and the telegraphic address from “WOSTWAGIMEX” to “DELAGIMEX”.

13.    The New York account of the Oriental Trading and Merchandise Co. was closed in March 1941, the outstanding credit balance being paid by cheques to one Basilius BUCHHOLZ, then in Pennsylvania. At the same time this firm, and the “Pacific Merchandise Corporation”, whose president, also had an account in the Bank’s house in Pennsylvania, were both dissolved, trade with China being declared by them to be at a standstill. Other sums in the closing of the account were received by RUBER and KNOBIL (See personalities, Appendix A, No. ) both formerly of Paris and before that of “WOSTWAG”, Berlin.

[CMG2446.JPG  page 6]

- 6 –

15.    Mr Ernest WRIGHT, who seems to have been the established centre for WOSTWAG business in the United States and guarantor of ex-WOSTWAG personnel immigrants, went to India in April 1944 in connection with some semi-official “distribution and transportation organisation”, and was said to be employed by the PAJXCT????- STRAIXAG?? Co, leather importers. PAJXCT??’s last known address was Hotel Astoria, Leningrad, while STRAIXAG?? (who applied for a visa to visit Russia in September 1945, was on the 15th January 1946 (according to a confidential source) credited by “The Bank of Foreign Trade”, Moscow, through his account with Vnechtorg, Moscow, with the sum of $10,000, apparently in connection with the fur trade, in which these two persons are brokers. They had till 1938 both been with the ????-???? co. in London.


 A.    Apart from the disclosures of KRIVITSKY, the one piece of indisputable evidence linking this complex of companies with Soviet Military Intelligence is that the well-known agent Jacob KIRSCHENSTEIN @ Frank KLEBES [mainly KLEGES elsewhere] (and several more aliases, who had set up business in Paris in 1930 in the “Societe pour l’Importation des Legumes Secs” as cover, was not only associated with but was instrumental in financing the American (1931), the British (1936), and very probably, some at least of the French companies (1933-36) mentioned above (see para 7, 9 and 10), as well as in transferring large sums to the Mongolian H.O. (1937). (See para 10 above, end).

B.      Connection with “Rote Kapelle” case. A more questionable link, but one which if confirmed would perhaps reveal much of interest, is based on the fact that among WOSTWAG’S representatives at least as early as October 1931 was an exclusive concession for Mongolia and Manchuria for the products of  “The Continental Caoutchouc Companie”, at Khoskhdu??? in September 1944 which was then an active member of the German Chamber of Commerce there. It may be recalled that the cover firm used by the G.R.U. (S.M.I.) agent TREPPER

/ (Rote Kapelle)…


[CMG2449.JPG  page 7]

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(Rote Kapelle) in Brussels from 1938 on was formed to sell, primarily, a garment known as „The Excellent Raincoat“ and was closely associated with a firm. “Le Roi du Caoutchouc” which imported this and other commodities, from or exported them to, among other places, Sweden. It will be noted that both the Swedish- registered company and the garment sold by TREPPER’s firm in Brussels have an English name, indeed TREPPER’s firm was called “The Excellent Raincoat”, as if the original trade mark were an English one and the firm were a branch of, or selling agency from a English manufacturing company. Moreover, its managing director GROSSVOGEL ??, though a French citizen living in Belgium, had been married, earlier in the year, [at] the … Holborn registry office in London. Finally, we know that TREPPER’s organisation was aimed till 1941 primarily against Britain. So perhaps it is not altogether fanciful to see in WOSTWAG’s representation of “The Continental Caoucthouc Co.”  A further link with Soviet Military Intelligence, even if the purpose of these ???? were no more than to provide and distribute funds for R.I.S. [Russian Intelligence Services?] purposes, as TREPPER declared was so in the case of “BLEXCO” ?? (Brussels), the successor of his firm after the first arrests of personnel, and in the case of “SIMEX” ?? (Paris). (Incidentally, there is perhaps significance in the uniformity visible in the short name or telegraphic address of several of these firms: WOSTWAGIMEX, SOCOMBO, SOCIMEX, PRODIMEX, SIMEX  [and other unfortunately semi-illegible names]).

C.     It is possible that the uniformity of nomenclature just mentioned derives not from association of these firms primarily with the R.I.S. but from the fact that they were, without exception originally founded by Jews, many of them active Zionists. ROSENBLITT, ZLOCZOMER, ROTHSTEIN, GLUCKSMAN [GLUCKERMAN] and CZUCZKA all knew each other in their student days in Vienna, where the last two at least members of “Poale Zion”. GLUCKSMAN, probably WRIGHT and certainly TREPPER had all three visited Palestine at some time or other, while GROHSVOGEL in 1934 approached a forger in Brussels ? for Syrian visas for two Polish passports . CZUCZKA Had been associated throughout his career with refugee organisations in Europe and the Americas, and when asked about the association of GLUCKSMAN (of “Poale Zion” and “The Far East Fur Trading Co.) with ZLOCZOMER (KRIVITSKI’s “speculant agent”) replied that it was more or less general knowledge “among Jewish refugees in Paris”. All these persons (except GLUCKSMAN and GROMVOGEL who are dead and TREPPER whose whereabouts is unknown) are now in the United States, WRIGHT being still employed in a fur business dealing with the Soviet Government, while




- 8 –

ROSENBLITT’s firm, besides it business in “casings”, has been interested in the export of textile machinery to Palestine. ROSENBLITT and ZLOCZOWER, from their long association with WOSTWAG, would undoubtedly repay careful interrogation if this were possible; as would WRIGHT and ROTHSTEIN in connection with their dealings in aircraft as revealed in the scrutiny of the books of “The Far East Fur Trading Co.”

D.  A final conclusion is that any person of Eastern European connection who is or has been associated with commerce an any but the land level in the following commodities should be regarded as a possible conscious or unconscious agent for Soviet Military Intelligence:

a)      The group of animal by-products such as skins (pelts, furs), intestines (“casings”), bones, bone-and-skin glue, fats (e.g. glycerine), etc. (c.f. KRIVITSKY’s statement that “eight out of every ten fur merchants who deal with the Soviet Trade Delegation are conscious Soviet agents”).

b)      A similar group concerned with poultry and game birds and their by-products (shell eggs, dried eggs, liquid eggs, gull’s eggs, feathers, etc). In this connection the “black market” in these commodities would everywhere repay scrutiny from this angle.

c)      Natural and Synthetic rubber products of all kinds.

It should be remembered that the majority of the persons mentioned in this report on WOSTWAG, its ancillaries and associates are as far as we know still active, some of them in their old (commercial) specialities.


The bank records next showed a copy of an article dated April 15th1937, which appeared in the “North China Star”. This advised of the opening of a free automobile drivers and mechanics school on the premises of the ADAM PURPISS IMPORT-EXPORT COMPANY. It was noted that the article also referred to one S. C. GIEBE???NSTCHIKOFF of the ORIENTAL TRADING & ENGINEERING COMPANY.




PURPISS is believed to be of Latvian origin and to have been born on the 14th March 1883. During 1936 and 1938, however, he was travelling on a Honduran passport obtained in Paris, which has since been repudiated.

Originally, a number of the WOSTWAG organisation in Hamburg, he first came to notice in the Far East in 1936. By then he had, however, been in Tientsin for sometime with the ORIENTAL TRADING AND MERCHANDISING COMPANY.

He was a 4th Department agent according to KRIVITSKY.

PURPISS was General Manager of WOSTWAG in the Far East and of the ORIENTAL TRADING AND MERCHANDISING COMPANY, when the latter was a subsidiary of WOSTWAG, while he was General Manager of O.T.E.C., Far East, following its purchase by the New York company of the same name.

The CHASE NATIONAL BANK of Shanghai stated quoted local reports in 1937 to the effect that PURPISS was at one time associated with the Cheka and with the 3rd International according to one report mentioned by CHASE, he was a High Commissioner for the Soviet Province of Outer Mongolia. The bank also stated that there was a certain amount of mystery concerning PURPISS’ past connections.

In April 1937, PURPISS ran a private import-export company at Kalgan (near Peking) under his own name.




P.F. 45633


SIS  report – dated 12-9-33

Albert FEIERABEND @ SZPOCAS, who is stated to be an important agent of the Third International, mentioned that whilst in China he had visited the ORIENTAL TRADING CO, in Tientsin.

Note: The above information was sent to the American Embassy on 14.9.33

[CMIG2461.JPG & CIMG2462.JPG – Page 20 of a US report]

NY 100-15668

Colonel C . [Claude] A. TUPPER (now deceased) President & Treasurer

Mr. L. [Lewis] L. CLARKE, Vice President & Secretary


It is stated that Chase has not been informed of the full list of directors but understood that Mr CLARKE is a Director as is Mr JOHN E. KLIEBEL of New York. It is stated that Mr PURPISS told the Shanghai Branch of Chase that he was formerly General Manager of the predecessor company for several years; and previous to that, had been in business on his own account. He is a Latvian by birth but travels under a Honduran passport. It is stated that he is considered one of the shrewdest and cleverest men in the Far East and in the past has made his headquarters in Kalgan. The memo continues to state, “it is reported further that he was one time associated with Cheka, Soviet Russia’s extraordinary secret service organization, and also that he was forced to leave Kalgan owing to threats against his life. It has also been rumoured that Mr. PURPISS is associated with the Third International and reportedly he was previously in Hamburg, Germany, and had experience in hog casings and furs. Of recent years, it seems he has been the domineering factor in the Far Eastern business of “WOSTWAG”.

Continuing, as to Mr EHREBLIEB, the memo states that he, “the Shanghai Manager, was originally sent by WOSTWAG to China about six years ago, principally to handle the casing business. He had worked with WOSTWAG in Germany and also Turkey in the hog casing line. He is reported to be of Austrian nationality and was formerly manager of the predecessor firm at Tientsin.

The memo then states that information was obtained by the Tientsin branch of Chase suggesting that some of the business of the predecessor business was conducted in Mongolia by Mr. PURPISS under his own name. A memo report of April 15, 1937 is quoted which states that “in the premises of ADAM PURPISS, Import and Export Company at Kalgan (about 200 miles north-east of Tientsin) the subject corporation opened a free automobile-drivers and mechanics school.”

Comment is then made in the memorandum relative to the sourcing of a balance sheet for this corporation, and it is then stated that MR EHRENLIEB has informed the branch of Chase that it would be some time before such a balance sheet could be available due to the fact that it is necessary “to have a final accounting with WOSTWAG.” It continued to state that insomuch as WOSTWAG and predecessor firm had extensive operations in the Far East a great deal of work would be involved in the final liquidation of the old…

-- 20 --



[From Testimony of GLUCKMANN 25.5.40]

“About nine planes were purchases, three in Amsterdam and nine in California.”




Extract for File No.: PF45 633             Name: Oriental & Engineering Company

Original in File No.: PFR 4342 Supp.vol.2        Serial: 55x        Receipt Date: July 1940

Original from: KRIVITSKY                 

Extracted on: 5.5.49                                         By: EHD          Section B.2b



Most frequently some form of business cover would have to be arranged. Sometimes a firm was actually created for a particular purpose and sometimes it was possible to arrange through an intermediary that the intended agent should come to this country as the representative of some genuine and important continental firm. In these latter cases the firm would probably be quite unaware of the true character of their representative.

A highly important firm called OSTWAG or the Eastern Trading Co., was created by the Fourth Dept. in Berlin in 1922. It provided a genuine business cover for a large number of Fourth Dept. agents. The principal business of the firm was the sale of Russian produce in Germany. The business was passed to them through the Soviet Trade Delegation in Berlin.

In one year the firm made over a million roubles profit. As KRIVITSKY points out this was merely putting of money from one Soviet pocket into another. Nevertheless the proceeds of OSTWAG were retained by the Fourth Dept. to augment their espionage and internal disruption grants.

Two junior staff officers of the Fourth Dept., the brothers EHRENLIEB, Aaron and Abraham, were put in charge of the organisation and espionage



side of the firm. They were of Polish origin naturalised Austrians. The business side of OSTWAG, and later its various branches was in the hands of an old Bolshevik, a Latvian – a personal friend of General BERZIN. He travelled a good deal with a speculant agent Leo KATZ, a Roumanian. KATZ visited this country at some time in connection with the affairs of the firm.

[SPECULANT AGENTS – From CIMG2420.JPG are “usually people who have become outlaws in their own countries on account of their Communist activities and are mainly Austrians, Czechs, Hungarians and Roumanians.”]

About 1925 or 1926 the Fourth Dept. suspected that the activities of the firm had become known to the German police. They decided to withdraw the EHRENLIEB brothers and other agents of the Russian General staff and let the firm continue purely commercial activities under a speculant agent called ZLOCZOMER. A man called STUCHKA [CZUCZKA] also worked in connection with OSTWAG and its affiliated companies.

After their recall from Berlin the brothers EHRENLIEB worked for a time in the Fourth Department. Both men were first class accountants and managed the accounts of the Fourth Dept. in the second section. After a time Abraham EHRENLIEB was sent to Tientsin where he founded and built up a very important firm – the Far Eastern Trading Company. The profits were retained for their work in China by the Fourth Dept., and were a useful source of foreign currency…[{Continued from original document CIMG2477.JPG} Incidentally Abraham managed to inspire sufficient confidence in Tientsin to be appointed president of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce there. Later Adam PURPIS, a Lett, who travelled through London in 1937 or 1938, but probably only in transit to Russia from some other Western European country. Soviet ships sailed regularly to Leningrad from Hay’s Wharf, London, and the Fourth Dept. frequently used this means of returning agents to Moscow.]

The other brother Aaron was sent to Urga, the Soviet colony in Outer Mongolia. In 1935 he was recalled to Moscow with the idea that he should go to the American Branch of OSTWAG. The firm in the U.S.A. became very active and a lot of material can be obtained from the American Authorities. This plan fell through owing to the difficulty of obtaining an American visa. It was decided, in 1936 to send him to London where an affiliated company of OSTWAG, known as the Far Eastern Fur Trading Co. was formed in February 1936.

The Far Eastern Fur Trading Co. is properly registered in the United Kingdom and is staffed by commercial men carrying on legitimate business. Certain members of the staff however devote a proportion of their time to Fourth Department work. [{Continued from original CIMG2477.JPG} ZLOCZOWER was in London working for a time with EHRENLIEB during the Spanish war KRIVITSKY sent a man called Samuel HOCKSTEDT or ???CHSTEDT to meet EHRENLIEB in London and the two worked…]

[CIMG2420 – Further background document]

Wostwag – West Ostenropaische  Waren Austausch Action Gesellshaft


In 1926 the EHRENLIEBs were replaced by USCHER ZLOCZOWER

Examination of the books in 1940 (enemy trading in UK) disclosed payments from a third organization known as SOCIETE ANONYME FRANCAISE POUR L’IMPORTATION DE LEGUMES SECS operated by FRANK KLEGES in Paris.

Wostwag had Far Eastern branches in Tientsin, Harbin, Kalgan and other places.

In 1922 the EHRENLIEB brothers were both refused entry to USA on grounds of ‘physical well being”.


[On Sept 15, 1949,  J. A. Cimpeman, Legal Attache at the US Embassy in London sent a copy of a memorandum on ‘Boris Nimton [formerly NIEMCOW / NIEMCOZ] and the Soviet cover firm WOSTWAG, which is based on the results of a recent investigation in New Jersey” to Mr K Morton Evans of MI-5 at Leconfield House, Curzon Street, London. [A copy was also sent to MI-6.]

The first six pages of the report refer to NIEMCOW specifically and his operations in the US.]

In précis he was born Lepal, Russia on December 16, 1892, moved to Poland until 1916 and until 1925 held German identification papers. He studied Science of Art under protection of wealthy patron in Vienna in 1918, Berlin in 1919 & 1920, and in Dresden in 1921. Entered WOSTWAG in 1925 and became Hamburg manager in 1930.

In 1924 applied for Soviet passport and wanted to close contracts in 1926 for WOSTWAG in US with several American firms.

Immigration records showed he entered US in Oct 1935 and December 1936. He visited WRIGHT and TUPPER. In March 1937 left US on Polish passport, but was also bearer of a Lichtenstein passport.

In Oct 1937 RUBIEN was General Counsel and Secretary of OTE and stated that NIEMCOW was acting as adviser to OTE.



NK 100-32736

Confidential Informant T-3 of known reliability advised that in 1932 Oriental Trading and Engineering Company at Tientsin was called a subsidiary and branch of WOSTWAG. Its managers were listed as A. PURPISS. A Lativian, and A. EHRENLIEB, an Austrian.

Informant T-3 advised in October 1932 the managers and stockholders of WOSTWAG were reported to be ALFRED DEVINGTEL, 622,500 marks, DAVID ROSENBLITH, 207,500 marks, and Dr. U. ZLOCZOWER. In 1937 the interest of ROSENBLITH appears to have been transferred to Colonel CLAUDE TUPPER.

Informant T-3 advised that WOSTWAG authorized the following persons to sign checks on the WOSTWAG account at the Chase National Bank in New York as of September 5, 1931,







PAUL BLANK, Prokuist


It has been learned that the word Prokuist translated means power of attorney.

JACOB KNOBIL, above referred to, advised this office in the spring of 1949 that he had been employed by WOSTWAG and that it did a world-wide importing and exporting business. He said these transactions were conducted in the Orient by exporting fur, skins and other products to such markets in the world as would be most profitable, and the proceeds used to import trucks, tea and other commodities to use to purchase additional furs, etc. from Outer Mongolia. He stated that due to trade restrictions and other conditions the Oriental Trading and Engineering Company of Delaware was formed to take over the WOSTWAG business in the orient. He stated it was customary for business firms to incorporate under the protection of the country which offered the most favourable trade protection.



On 10 December 1936 there was incorporated under the laws of Delaware, the Oriental Trading and Engineering Company (hereinafter referred to as OTE). The law firm of WHITE and CASE of New York handled the matter at the request of LEWIS L. CLARKE, a prominent New York Executive. The officers of the new company/

-- 6 -- 


NK 100-32736

/were CLAUDE A. TUPPER, President and Treasurer; LEWIS L. CLARKE, Vice President and Secretary, ADAM PURPISS, General Manager.

JACOB KNOBIL informed agents of this office that CLARKE and TUPPER were in fact “dummy” stockholders, and that the real interest in the company was held by BASCILIUS BUCHHOLZ, who invested $110,000 in the company, and himself, JACOB KNOBIL, who invested $40,000 in the company. He insisted that this was a usual commercial practice to use local people as officers and stockholders, when incorporated in another country. He said that these matters are handled on the advice of counsel. He stated that BUCHHOLZ put up part f the $40,000 credited to KNOBIL but insisted that he could not recall how much he had personally contributed. He said BUCHHOLZ advanced the funds against commissions to be earned by KNOBIL.

Informant T-3 advised that $150,000 which the company was started with, was furnished in the form of a remittance from FRANK KLEBES in Paris. The informant advised that ADAM PURPISS stated that he did request the transmittal of the funds from someone in France. KNOBIL denied to the agents any knowledge of a person named FRANK KLEBES.

Just before the dissolution OTE, BUCHHOLZ immigration authorities that his financial interest in OTE was upwards of $110,000. KNOBIL stated upon dissolution of the company he was paid $29,000 of the $40,000 investment.

KNOBIL advised that BUCHHOLZ had the Mongolian Fur business which appears to have been handled by WOSTWAG, and that BUCHHOLZ exported the furs through various companies including the Far Eastern Fur Trading Company in London. KNOBI, a former employee of WOSTWAG, worked for BUCHHOLZ in Paris during the 1930’s and arrived in April 1940 at New York accompanied by BUCHHOLZ. He said it was BUCHHOLZ’s idea to form Oriental Trading and Engineering Company, and that BUCHHOLZ ran it.

Investigation has reflected that BUCHHOLZ was born in Elisabethgrad, Russia August 14, 1885 and resided in Urga, Mongolia from 1914 to 1930. BUCCHOLZ, on May 28, 1942, was employed as an economist of the Soviet Purchasing Commission, Washington, D.C.. His daughter, ELIZABETH BUCHHOLZ, married Major BARABANCHIKOV and the daughter returned to Russia. Immigration records reflect that BUCHHOLZ left the United States through Miami bound for Natal, Brazil on November 16, 1942. JACOB KNOBIL stated he believed that BUCHHOLZ returned to Mongolia. Oriental Trading and Engineering was dissolved as of January 13, 1941. At the time of dissolution the stockholders were JOPSEPH RUBER, JACOB KNOBIL, and BASILIUS BUCHHOLZ.

- 7 –


NK 100-32736

Although NIEMCOW had no known stock interest and held no office in the Oriental Trading and Engineering Company, Delaware, he appears to have had considerable to do with its formation.

The office files concerning the corporation in the offices of CASE and WHITE, Attorneys, New York City, reflect the following:

  1. A letter dated December 14, 1936 from JACOB KNOBIL, 4 Rue de la Rochefaushauld, Paris 9, France, wherein KNOBIL refers to Boris NIEMCOW visiting WHITE and CASE.
  2. A series of communications severing the attempts by WHITE and CASE to send a letter to ADAM PURPISS immediately following his departure from New York late in December 1936. From these it appears that WHITE and CASE transmitted a letter to ADAM PURPISS, Cabin 8, Empress of Russia, Vancouver, B.C. but the same was never received and apparently was lost.
  3. A series of communications between WHITE and CASE and United States Consulate at Shanghai, beginning January 28, 1937 concerning the China Trade Act and the proposed incorporation of the subsidiary concern known as Northern Motors.
  4. A memorandum dated Marc, 1937 furnishing the address of ADAM PURPISS as being c/o Canadian Pacific Railway, Shanghai, China.
  5. A copy of a letter dated July 26, 1937 from JACOB KNOBIL in Paris to JOHN B SIEGEL advising in fact that KNOBIL and Mr BUCHHOLZ were awaiting ADAM PURPISS in Paris prior to coming to the Untied States.

The law firm’s billing records in connection with the incorporation of the OTE list the following pertinent entries:

12/7/36         Attorney PAUL SAUREL met with ADAM PURPISS and BORIS NIEMCOW.

12/8/36         Mr. ABNER RUBIEN advised that he was Counsel for ADAM PURPISS and requested he was provided with copies of any agreement involving the two.

- 8 -



NK 100-32736

12/9/36         SAUREL met with PURPISS, NIEMCOW and RUBIEN.

12/11/36       meeting at office with CLAUDE A. TUPPER, JOHN E. SIEGEL, LEWIS L. CLARKE, PURPISS, NIEMCOW, RUBIEN and SAUREL.

12/18/36       SAUREL met with TUPPER and NIEMCOW.

2/2/37           Directors meeting of WHITE and CASE. Those present were TUPPER, NIEMCOW, CLARKE and SIEGEL.

10/19/37       Meeting held by SAUREL, CLARKE, SIEGEL and NIEMCOW to discuss the changes necessary as the result of the death of CLAUDE A. TUPPER.

11/3/37         Same person present at meeting to arrange transfer of stock from the estate of TUPPER.

12/31/37       SAUREL had meeting with NIEMCOW and unidentified “representative”.

1/13/38         NIEMCOW and SIEGEL visited WHITE and CASE together.

3/11/38         SAUREL saw NIEMCOW and suggested that OTE secure other attorneys.

3/21/39         Directors meeting of WHITE and CASE with NIEMCOW present. At this meeting CLARKE and SIEGEL resigned from OTE.

Newark Confidential Informant T-4, of unknown reliability, a New York attorney formerly associated with WHITE and CASE, advised he had some familiarity with the corporation transaction. He stated the notes made at the time indicated the following names connected with it:

PURPISS, TUPPER, CLARKE, RUBIEN and SIEGEL, as well as “OSKAR WIKSTROM,” 132 West 31st Street, 6-6305, Pacific Merchandise Company. He said the articles of corporation were filed on December 10, 1946 [SIC 1936?] but amended the following day. It was his recollection the amendment was for the purpose of authorising the issuance of power of attorney to an individual equal to that of the directors of the firm but applying only outside of the United States. JACOB KNOBIL had indicated that the power of attorney was given to ADAM PURPISS.

-         9 –



NK 100-32736

Informant T-4 identified a photograph of the subject being identical with one of the individuals in the transaction. He further stated that SIEGEL, whom he thought was an accountant, told him on one occasion that NIEMCOW was a Soviet agent but he gave no particular substantiation for this statement.

LEWIS L. CLARKE was interviewed by agents of the New York Office for information concerning the Oriental Trading and Engineering Company. He recalled being one of the officers of the corporation for a time and had only a vague recollection of the company and the individuals involved. He is an elderly man who a very active interest in a number of large corporations. He recalled he was introduced to NIEMCOW by a mutual friend, “LAIE LUBER”, a shipping magnate from Yugoslavia. He resided on Long Island and died in 1946. He said NIEMCOW was frequently at LUBER’s residence and it was there that he met him first. He was certain that NIMCOW had some connection with OTE Corporation and was present at any number of the meetings at which organizational details were discussed and agreed upon.

Mr CLARKE’s secretary examined personal diaries of Mr. CLARKE and made the following entries available in connection with the organization of OTE:


12/7/36            Col. HARTIELD, Col. TUPPER, Mr. NIEMCOW, Mr. SAUREL – 14 Wall St.

12/8/36            WHITE and CASE – meeting re OTE Co.

12/7/36            Hotel Governor Clinton – Col. TUPPER’s apartment – to sign papers.

12/9/36            Banker’s Club – Re. OTE Co.

12/10/36          WHITE and CASE – Re. OTE co.

12/11/36          WHITE and CASE – Re. OTE co.

12/12/36          WHITE and CASE – Re. OTE co.

12/12/36          Governor Clinton Hotel.

12/14/36          WHITE and CASE – 10.00am.

12/15/36          Col. TUPPER and others at WHITE and CASE.

12/21/36          CLIFTON B. WILBUR – Credit Dept. Chase National – re. OTE Co.

-                     10 –



An examination of Incorporation filed December 8, 1936, authorised the company to engage in the general import and export business, that the incorporators were listed as LEWIS CLARKE, CLAUDE A. TUPPER. JOHN E. SIEGEL. The authorised and issued capital stock was fifteen hundred shares of common at $100.00 per share. The 1938 annual report listed JACOB KNOBIL, 4 Rue de la Rochefouchauld, Paris, France as director for the first time. The 1940 report filed January 1941, listed BASILIUS BUCHHOLZ as Vice President. It was the first time it was indicated he had interest in the company on the record.

Records of the Chase National Bank at New York reflect that Oriental Trading and Engineering Company had four accounts (1) opened at the Main Office, New York, December 12, 1936, closed July 20, 1938; (20 Shanghai Branch, China, opened January 21, 1937, closed December 27, 1938; (3) Tientsin Branch, China, opened January 13, 1937 , closed September 27, 1938; (4) 42nd Street Branch, New York City, opened July 26, 1938, closed January 11, 1941. the records reflect that the account was opened by an initial deposit of $150,000 in the form of a draft on Manufacturers Trust Company, 35 Broad Street, New York City, for the account of ADAM PURPISS. The sum was forwarded in accordance with cable instructions from F. KLEBES, Paris. PURPISS was introduced to the bank by ERNEST WRIGHT, President of the Pacific Merchandise Company. A power of attorney dated December 12, 1936, signed by TUPPER and CLARKE, appointed ADAM PURPISS the true and lawful attorney of OTE with general powers to draw, make, execute and deliver all notes, checks, etc., and to make any contract in any way connected with the business. He was given the same power as the corporation or any officer might personally execute. The power was limited, however, to act outside of the United States.

A memo to the credit file at Chase National dated December 12, 1936, disclosed that WRIGHT called and introduced PURPISS, who in turn stated he was organizing OTE in Delaware and had instructed someone in France by telephone to remit $150,000 for his account. PURPISS stated at the time he had been in Tientsin for some time with the Oriental Trading and Engineering (old company), which he said was a wholly owned subsidiary of WOSTWAG. He related the conditions in Germany had made it rather difficult to operate and therefore they were setting




NK 100-32736

 up a new corporation. He planned to leave for Chicago December 11, 1936 and proceed to Tientsin where he intended to open new accounts in dollars and local currency at the Tientsin Branch of Chase.

Later, an official of KITINGDON-SCHILD Corporation advised the bank that it had an exclusive contract with OTE for the purchase of furs from China and Mongolia. A new corporation, Chinese Mongolian Fur Corporation, had been formed and was owned 50 per cent each by OTE and KITINGDON-SCHILD. It had been formed to act as a selling agent in the United States. He stated that ERNEST WRIGHT, Pacific Merchandise Company, had acted as OTE New York Representative and would probably continue to represent them.

In November 1936, a member of the KITINGDON-SCHILD Corporation advised that the Chinese Mongolian Fur Corporation had been capitalized at $10,000 and the directors would probably be Mr. KITINGDON of the firm bearing his name, and WRIGHT. Negotiations for the contract were principally with PURPISS. He also said he had questioned PURPISS concerning the Oriental Trading and Engineering and WOSTWAG and was informed that they were two separate corporations but that stockholders of each had certain stock interest in the other concern.

In early 1937 a memorandum from the Shanghai Branch of Chase reported that in a discussion with Mr. EHRENLIEB of OTE “formerly manager in Tientsin and now in charge of the financial end of the office,” he had stated that it would be necessary to have a final accounting with WOSTWAG before a balance sheet of OTE could be prepared.

In connection with OTE acting as an exporter and importer with Outer Mongolia, EHRENLIEB stated he did not know if this arrangement would continue. The memo from Chase in Shanghai reflected the opinion that Outer Mongolia is considered an independent state, but there was strong Soviet influence and it was felt to be more or less controlled by the Soviet Government, EHRENLIEB informed Chase that the corporation (OTE) is the largest shipper of furs in North China and Manchuria. The Shanghai branch indicated that it appeared to the bank that the Soviet Government or a Mongolian State Enterprise used the company for import-export operations of Outer Mongolia. It was stated that the usual procedure was to ship furs and skins from Outer Mongolia to Europe and America with shipments to London or New York depending on where the


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[CMG2428.JPG page 14]

/best market is or where funds are needed to pay for machinery and other merchandise which has or will be purchased for shipment to Mongolia. The Shanghai Branch reported that based on information furnished by OTE and what it had learned from other sources “It is the opinion that this is a semi-official Soviet organisation with powerful Soviet backing. From interviews they have practically confirmed that they have close connections with the Soviet Government, and the fact that PURPISS is understood to have been a former High commissioner of Outer Mongolia would confirm this. At any rate, it would seem that WOSTWAG and now OTE has a trade agreement with Outer Mongolia and these concerns handle import-export operations for the state”.

The bank memorandum suggested it was possible that large deposits in London and New York might not be in the name of the company, It pointed out that between January 1 and April 9, 1937 approximately $400,000 passed through the Shanghai Branch, most of it coming from London and was believed to represent funds remitted by the “Mongols Fur People”, the London Agents of OTE.

The Bank memo dated July 26, 1938, reflected that JOSEF REUBER, Assistant Treasurer of Oriental Trading and Engineering Company, accompanied by Mr. NIMCOW, opened an account at the 42nd Street Branch of Chase for OTE with a check of Pacific Merchandise Company in the amount of $3,000. NIEMCOW acted as an interpreter for REUBER, who advised that the firm already had an account at Shanghai and that this would be the only New York account.

Files of the 42nd Street Branch of the Chase National Bank show that JOSEF REUBER opened up a personal account in August, 1938 with a check of NIEMCOW’s in the amount of $235.65 drawn on the Pennsylvania Branch of the Chase National Bank. It was indicated that NIEMCOW acted as an interpreter for REUBER but stated he was not connected with the Oriental Trading and Engineering Company.

Confidential informant T-5 in November 1947 advised agents of the New York Office that Samuel HOCHSTEADT had been known to informant since 1927, at which time the informant was employed in the Russian Embassy in Vienna. To informant’s knowledge HOCHSTEADT had been recruited from the Austrian Communist Party to do espionage work. When HOCHSTEADT was reported working in China for the

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Oriental Trading and Engineering Company, which was known to be a cover company, informant knew that HOCHSTEADT must still be active.

HOCHSTEADT arrived in the United States in December 1938, as Chief Accountant o the Oriental Trading and Engineering Company which and paid his expenses from China to the United States. He spent a two month’s vacation in France en route. A $1,500 immigration bond for HOCHSTEADT and his family was put up by ZLOCZOWER.

In connection with the capitalization of the Oriental Trading and Engineering Company furnished in the form of a draft from F. KLEGES, Paris, NICHOLAS DOZENBERG, an admitted former Soviet Agent, had trained KLEGES in the operation of a dried fruit import and export concern. DOZENBERG stated he had already established in Paris a regular business for such goods and KLEGES was to go to Paris as an American citizen and buy out this established firm. DOZENBERG said that he trained KLEGES for about four months and the latter left for Paris in May 1930.  He identified KLEGES as actually being one JOHN KIRSCHENSTEIN who had originally arrived in the United States about 1929 and fraudulently obtained the naturalization papers of one FRANK KLEGES and thus obtained the passport under which he left the United States.

WALTER KRIVITSKY has also stated that KLEGES was a Soviet agent and that KLEGES had operated as a Soviet agent under him.

Informant T-2 reported that an examination of the books of the Far Eastern Fur Trading Company show that the firm handled business for the SOCIETE ANONYME  FRANCAISE POUR L’IMPORTATION   DE LEGUMES SECS, which was KLEGES’ firm in Paris until at least 1937. It showed payment of two unreported sums of money to KLEGES in 1937. The records also showed payments to Martin’s Bank for the credit of WOTWAG and KLEGES’ firm. Informant advised that REUBER, GLUCKSMAN and ZLOCZOWER, Directors of the Far Eastern Fur Trading, balance the books of KLEGES firm in 1937.



Informant T-2 advised that one of the directors of the Far Eastern Fur Trading Company in London was USCHER ZLOCZOWER, whose business address was in case of pacific Merchandise Company, Incorporated, 132 West Street, New York City. The informant also advised that one MAX ROTHSTEIN, also known as MAX ROONEY, was a former employee of WOSTWAG and had furnished Immigration Services in March 1939, a letter of reference from ERNST WRIGHT of the Pacific Merchandise Company.

New York State Department records reflect that pacific Merchandise Company was incorporated on June 25, 1934, for the purposes of carrying on an import-export business and would act as agent or broker for foreign or domestic


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individuals, firms, or corporations. The capital stock was $50,000, consisting of 500 shares at $100 per. The directors, until the first meeting, were three individuals believed to be employees of the attorney handling the corporation. Their addresses were all given as 132 West 31st Street, New York City, the address of the attorney and also the address of Pacific Merchandise Company. The company was dissolved on March 10, 1941.

New York Department records reflect another firm by the name of By-Products Importing Company, was formed on June 6, 1934. The articles of incorporation, the capital stock and the incorporators were identical with these of Pacific Merchandise Company. The certificate of Dissolution listed the officers as ERNEST WRIGHT, President, BORIS NIEMCOW, Secretary, and the same individuals as directors plus one MAX KOHN. The dissolution was actually effected October 31, 1941. 

Confidential informant T-6, of known reliability, advised that in 1936 Pacific Merchandise Company was a dealer in skins and sausage casings with offices at 132 West 31st Street. He said the company had tax difficulties in connection with the segregation of assets. A hearing was held on July 21, 1939, at which time WRIGHT as president of the corporation, testified that he held 60% of the stock or 300 shares. He said it was valued at $30,000 and that BORIS NIEMCOW was secretary and had invested $15,000 in the company. He testified that ADOLF STEINEMANN was treasurer and had invested $5,000 in the corporation. He said that STIENEMANN was located in China and lived there. He testified that all officers received a salary except BORIS NIEMCOW, and that NIEMCOW was made an officer in 1938.

[Several pages follow on about the trading of the Pacific Merchandise Company]


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It has been previously reported that on February 4th, 1933, an article published in the “Vechernia Zaria” a Russian language newspaper published in Shanghai entitled, “The Shadow of Moscow Behind the German Firm Wostwag.” This article referred to the fact that in Mongolia, Wostwag enjoyed a monopoly for the import of motor cars and trucks and that they mechanized the Mongolian Red Army.

Further, that Wostwag, Harbin, which first appeared in 1930 was to be headed by Mr. Tellialoff who later was in charge of Wostwag in Mongolia. Further, in 1933, the arrival at Harbin of Dr. Slotschever, head of all Wostwag eastern branches, changed the instructions of the head office and Mr. Langammer was appointed as Harbin Director. Langammer was referred to in the article as “Outsider”.

Between July, 1931 and early 1932, a Mr. Gross was appointed accountant of the Wostwag Harbin branch. The article stated that Gross was an experienced party worker who was carrying on secret work but that  the work became known and that Gross was dismissed to Moscow where he held a big position on the “Party Line.”

 In March, 1932, Dr. Slotschaver visited Harbin soon after North Manchuria was occupied by Chinese troops and he is quoted as saying “If the political influence of the Japanese troops here increases, we should stop our work. Our missions are too definite.”

Zloczower said that he has a hazy recollection of some accusation being made against Wostwag in the Orient although he could not specifically recall what it was then though an attempt was made to refresh his recollection.

With relation to Tellialoff, Zloczower said what he was in Moscow for Wostwag, Tellialoff was the Wostwag agent in Odessa.




Tellialoff apparently had been hired in Moscow. Tellialoff shipped feathers and casings from Odessa and later he was Wostwag manager at Urga for a short period of time. Zloczower thought possibly while Dain was on his vacation. Zloczower believes that Tellialoff died when Zloczower was in Paris. Zloczower did not recall that Tellialoff was ever considered as a manager of the Harbin branch.

Zloczower stated Lagammer head been employed in China by a German concern, and was probably hired through an advertisement placed in newspaper in Berlin. Langammer worked for about two years as manager of the Harbin Branch and according to Zloczower the branch did not pay and had to be closed.

Zloczower said that when the Japanese began to occupy Manchuria, they would not let anyone but the Japanese do business there.

Zloczower advised that Martin Gross was an accountant who became unemployed and was hired by his friend Rosenblith in Vienna. Gross returned to Berlin, Germany when the Harbin Branch closed, but Zloczower does not remember if he was re-employed by Wostwag.

Zloczower stated that automobiles and trucks were shipped from Germany and the United States to Mongolia but he has no knowledge that Wostwag mechanized the Mongolian Red Army. Zloczower denied the quotation attributed to him but he said that the occupation by the Japanese of Manchuria lessoned the possibility of any firm other than the Japanese firms from doing business.

Zloczower remembered that Wostwag sold three oil trucks to the Soviet Oil Trust and most of the trucks shipped to Mongolia were sold to the Mongolian Transport Agency.


Rubin Glucksman

Zloczower said that he knew Rubin Glucksman in Vienna, Austria, where he was a mamaber of a Zioniost Organisation. He later went to Palestine where he worked as a labourer on the roads and he returned to Hamburg where he believes he worked Wostwag. Bucholz hired Glucksman to replace Ehrenlieb when Ehrenlieb left London in 1938.

Jenni Zloczower said that she and her husband knew Glucksman in Vienna and when the Zloczowers left Vienna in 1922, they did not meet him again until he came to Paris on his way to London. She believes




File No.: PF 46,551                    Name: Far Eastern Fur Trading Company

Receipt Date: Dec 1945

Original from: FBI report forwarded from American Embassy

Dated 12.12.45

Extracted on: 1.7.49                  By: IAT            Section: R.4

Extract from F.B.I. report entitled “Soviet Espionage in the United States”, mentioning the Far Eastern Trading Fur Company.



In London, England, at the outbreak of World War II, there was an organisation known as the Far Eastern Fur Trading Co., operated by Uscher ZLOCZOWER, an Austrian, & Rubin GLUCKSMAN, also an Austrian. When the war commenced GLUCKSMAN was the only officer of the firm in London, and he was ordered top be interned. After his internment, an examination of the books and records of F.E.F.T.C by British Authorities showed that F.E.F.T.C was in correspondence with Frank KLEGES, who operated a firm known as “The Anonymous Society for the Importation of Dried Beans” in Paris, France. Other items found [led] the British to interview GLUCKSMAN and they determined through him that the F.E.F.T.C was one of the cover firms of WOSTWAG in Berlin, which [he said] the firm was the principal business F.E.F.T.C cover for military espionage in… GLUCKSMAN advised the British Authorities that individuals whom he …in connection with his operations of the F.E.F.T.C were Adam PURPISS, [Max] ROTHSTEIN, ERST CZUCKA, JACOB KNOEBIL, and Dr. Philip ROSENBLIEITT, the later was an American dentist who was a Director of WOSWAG.







London, July 15, 1940.

Dear Liddell;

The information contained in your P.F.46551/B.4. of 7th June last was received in Washington with extreme interest but they have reason to doubt that all firms mentioned therein were set up and controlled by Wostwag. It has been learned from a source tested and proved reliable on numerous matters that Wostwag was established in 1922 as a German concern by the Fourth Department of the Red Army (Soviet Military Intelligence Service) as a cover for gathering military information in foreign countries.

Several of the persons mentioned in your letter under reference are known to be now in the United States posing as reputable business men. Kleges, who was personally trained in the United States in 1930 by Nicholas Dozenberg and Albert Feierabend, to prepare him for the role of an American business man in Paris, disappeared from Paris in 1938.

I shall be glad to have any additional information which may become available regarding these firms and person for transmission by cable to my opposite number.

Yours sincerely,


[signed] Herschel Johnson

Captain G. M. Liddell.

Box No. 500. Parliament Street, B.O.

London S.W.1


[CIMG0263 –Previous page of report photographically illegible – retake on next PRO visit]

KRIVITSKY does not know Rubin GLUCKSMAN, the present chief of the Far Eastern Fur Trading Company  in London, but is certain he is a Fourth Department man. He believes that he is not an Austrian and that his passport is a Moscow one

[NLC cross-reference NOTE – Thomas Walker – the 1935 Soviet famine photo Hearst Papers’ fraudster -  AKA Robert Green  – Moscow is perhaps a good place to hide for an escaped US (‘serial’ passport forger) convict from Colorado Prison for 14 years??- see Krivitsky FBI FOIA files. ]

KRIVITSKY regards it highly important that a thorough investigation should be made into the whole personnel of the Far Eastern Fur Trading Co., although it is possible that GLUCKSMANN himself is actually still under training and held in reserve for more active work at a later stage. This is the usual procedure for newly appointed heads of companies established by the Fourth Department.

In regard to the creation of the firm KRIVITSKY feels sure that the solicitor – Herbert OPPENHEIMER – would not have been used accidentally for the legal formalities. Something must already have been known about him in the Fourth Department. KRIVITSKY believes that he actually met him in Paris in connection with arms deals for Spain.




File No.: PF 46,551                                Name:    Far Eastern Fur Trading Company /


Receipt Date: Jan- Feb 1940

Original from: Branch Memoranda

Dated Jan- Feb 1940

Extracted on: 30.6.70                By: PC             Section: R.5

Extract from a Branch Memoranda re Information from General KRIVITSKY during his visit to this country: - February 1940.


Most frequently some form of business cover would have to be arranged. Sometimes a firm was actually created for a particular purpose and sometimes it was possible to arrange through an intermediary that the intended agent should come to this country as the representative of some genuine and important firm. In these latter cases the firm would probably be quite unaware of the true character of their representative.

A highly important firm called [W]Ostwag or the Eastern Trading Company was created by the Fourth Department in Berlin in 1922. It provided a genuine business cover for a large number of Fourth Department agents.


 [CIMG2455.JPG & CIMG0256.JPG page 10 – repeat of info from 1938 report at top of this document?]


PURPISS is believed to be of Latvian origin and to have been born on the 14th March 1883. During 1936 and 1938, however, he was travelling on a Honduran passport obtained in Paris, which has since been repudiated.

Originally, a number of the WOSTWAG organisation in Hamburg, he first came to notice in the Far East in 1936. By then he had, however, been in Tientsin for sometime with the ORIENTAL TRADING AND MERCHANDISING COMPANY.

He was a 4th Department agent according to KRIVITSKY.

PURPISS was General Manager of WOSTWAG in the Far East and of the ORIENTAL TRADING AND MERCHANDISING COMPANY, when the latter was a subsidiary of WOSTWAG, while he was General Manager of O.T.E.C., Far East, following its purchase by the New York company of the same name.

The CHASE NATIONAL BANK of Shanghai stated quoted local reports in 1937 to the effect that PURPISS was at one time associated with the Cheka and with the 3rd International according to one report mentioned by CHASE, he was a High Commissioner for the Soviet Province of Outer Mongolia. The bank also stated that there was a certain amount of mystery concerning PURPISS’ past connections.

In April 1937, PURPISS ran a private import-export company at Kalgan (near Peking) under his own name.



PURPISS made at least two visits to the UK, one in October 1936 and a second in October 1938. On both occasions he stated he was here on “Fur Business” and on the second is known to have contacted GLUCKSMANN of the F.E.F.T.C.


Born 6th June 1889 at Wonkowitch, Russia. Married 20th April 1912, Vienna. Wife Gabrielle, born 4th June 1884 in Vienna. Children Walter, born21st September 1913, Eric, born 11th December 1920, entered USA from France on the 6th September 1939. Stated his last place of residence was Paris.

ROSENBLIT was a Director of WOSTWAG in Berlin from about 1923 up to September 1933. In 1929 an S.I.S. report on the methods used by the Comintern for transferring funds to local Communist parties named WOSTWAG, Germany, as being concerned in these transfers and cited David ROSENBLIT as the company’s liaison man with the Comintern transfer committee.

He is now in the United States (1949), where until at least 1946 he was operating an import-export firm known as SOCOMBO








July 16, 1938.


Dear Captain Liddell:

I refer to my confidential letter of 7th June and your reply of 14th June (No. PF.46551/B/4b) regarding the Far Eastern Fur Trading Company. The information which you were kind enough to give us about them and the other information which I conveyed in my letter of June 9th to you was also sent to Washington and I have received a reply in which they say this information definitely confirms their suspicions that the Far East Fur Trading Company is another “dummy” directly connected with the firs they have in mind as being agencies of the German company. In fact, it is said Ehrenlieb and Zloczower have been connected at various times with the German Company.

The letter I have had say the persons connected with these enterprises have acted with consummate skill. Some of their actions may have appeared stupid


[next  four pages not copied]




[The allotment of shares from Feb 25, 1936; Zloczower is down for 10,999 shares and Glucksmann] … for 8,999 shares which indicate that one share of each has been re-transferred to [Henry Charles] Edwards and [Leonard] Olive [a London Solicitor’s clerk].

The Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc., applied recently for an export licence for three DC-3 civil transport airplanes, one of which was in Amsterdam and two in New York, which were ordered by the Far Eastern Fur Trading Co., Ltd., on April 22nd last, from Fokker of Amsterdam, agents for the manufacturers. The machines were to be shipped to Leningrad and flown direct to Outer Mongolia for commercial use in passenger and goods services exclusively.

It is quite possible that the Far Eastern Fur Trading Company of London may be part of a very complicated system of interlocking companies, all ostensibly non-Soviet in character yet actually serving the interests of the Communist International or the Soviet Government, or both, and giving rise to the definite suspicion that these companies are agencies of these bodies, financed, directed and absolutely controlled by them. On the surface they engage in legitimate trading activities but on the side they make mysterious transfer of sizeable amounts of money to areas where there are or are likely to be activities fomented by or favourable to the Soviet organizations. The companies, on occasion have purchase considerable quantities of material, susceptible of being easily converted into and used for military operation, which have not yet been justified by the economic development or purchasing power of the areas





…to which they have been destined. As these operations have taken place over a period of years in countries with which the United States is on friendly terms, especially in China, we are desirous of obtaining all information available regarding the companies so that we may be in a position to take appropriate action if it is necessary. Of course, as matters are now, the Soviet Government could do, through its own trading companies, such as Arcos, what these companies are doing but it has been scrupulously careful to avoid identifying itself directly with operations of this nature, preferring the more refined method of having its “dummy” companies chartered in some foreign country, paradoxically enough, the principal “dummy” is a German Firm.

So far as we know only of the above mentioned German concern as well as two American companies which are to all intents and purposes subsidiaries of the German Firm. 

Yours sincerely


Herschel V. Johnson



Dear [Herschel V] Johnson

Thank you for your letter of 16th July [1938].

The information that EHRENLIEB and ZLOCZOWER of the Far eastern Fur Trading Company were at some time connected with Wostwag West-Osteurpaeische Warenaustausch Aktiengesellschaft of 19 Schiffbauerdamm, Berlin, N.W. 6 is of great interest to us. Our own information regarding Wostwag confirms your report that it was at one time a cover for Soviet Underground Activities. It was reported to us in 1929 that the firm was acting as a centre for G.P.U. financial transactions in Europe. This was to some extent bone out when in 1933 the Far eastern branch of the Company at 49, Taku Road, Tientsin, was visited by a known Soviet agent, Albert Feierabend  (last mentioned in your letter dated 29th April, 1938).

With regard to Adam PURPISS, this man was known to us in 1937 as head of the Tienstisn branch of Wostwag. The same report of that year mentioned that Wostwag had been in engaged in trade with, or for, the Soviets in Mongolia for many years passed. On10.17.36, PURPISS is said to have been granted Honduras Passport No. 160 in Paris. Soon afterwards, he left for London  on “Fur Buiness”. He arrived at Croydon from Amsterdam on 23.10.36 and left again on 27.10.36 for Berlin. This is interesting in view of the fact that the headquarters of  the Wostwag organisation are presumably still at 19, Schiffbauerdamm, Berlin, N.W. 6. PURPISS is apparently a Lativian, and is sometimes stated to have been born at Krostavos and sometimes at Honduras, the date of his birth being 14.5.83.

We shall attempt to gather as much information as we can about the activities of EHRENLIEB and ZLOCZOWER, and of the Fur Trading Company in London, but in this we will bear in mind your particular request that no direct enquiries should be made which might cause them to suspect that a general investigation is in progress.

Yours sincerely


Colonel Sir Vernon Kell






1, Grosvenor Square


September 29, 1938.

Dear Liddell:

The information contained in ypour PF 4551/B.4b, of July 22 last, was discretely conveyed to Dunn in Washington, who has replied that your information about the visit of Albert Feierabend is certainly of interest and, strangely enough, while this is the first concrete evidence we have of Feierabend’s connection we have suspected a possible tie-up from the very start of this case.

With regard to Adam Purpiss, he is actually the head of the entire organization in China. His Honduran passport appears to have been obtained regularly in Paris on July 10, 1936, but it has been repudiated by the Honduran Foreign Office. (This is for your confidential information only). I believe it is safe to assume Purpiss has never even seen Honduras.

Yours  sincerely,


[signed] Borum

Captain G. M. Liddell.

Box No. 500. Parliament Street, B.O.

London S.W.1


29th October 1938

PF 46551/B.4b

Dear Borum,

With reference to your letter dated 29th September, 1938. It may be of interest to you that Adam PURPISS arrived in this country from Paris on 11.10.38 travelling on Honduras Passport No 160. He came by air and gave as his address the Park Lane Hotel. He was described as a ‘comercant’ who had come to sell furs and skins.

PURPISS left for Calais on 17th October.

During the time he was here we were unable to obtain any further information as to his activities.

Yours sincerely,

Colonel Sir Vernon Kell

N. D. Borum Esq.,

American Embassy







1, Grosvenor Square


February 24, 1939.

Dear Liddell:


Referring to your letter dated October 29, 1938, File PF. 46551/B.4b, regarding the arrival in this country on October 11th last of Adam Purpiss, information has been received to the effect that the Honduran Government has repudiated the document on which this man travelled.

The set-up which has been established in the Far East under the name of the Oriental Trading and Engineering Corporation appears to now have been abandoned. It is presumed that this organisation will now operate directly through Outer Mongolia with Urga as the headquarters.

Yours sincerely.


N.D. Borum

Captain G. M. Liddell.

Box No. 500. Parliament Street, B.O.

London S.W.1



25th August 1945

Your Ref:

Our Ref: P.F. 46551/ADF

Dear Philby,

XXX rang me up a few days ago on Mrs Archer’s suggestion, asking if he could have a look at our files of the Far Eastern Fur Trading Company, in order to get some illustration of the use which was made of such firms in financing the Russian underground activities. The files are at the moment in very full use in another investigation and it would be difficult to lay hands on them , but I have been able to have a look through them in the country and I am afraid there is very little which would help  XXXX investigations.

The general matter is, of course, dealt with in our paper on the KRIVITSKI material and in particular, on Pages 11, 12 and 13, of that document. XXXXX has, of course, seen this. In addition, there is a report by the Board of Trade, Trading with the Enemy Department, on the Far Eastern Fur Trading Company. A copy of this report was sent to Vivian on the 8th June, 1940, but I am now sending you another copy in case it may be of any use to Carew Hunt. I should be grateful if you would return it to me in due course.

Will you let me know if there is any further information which  XXXX wants and I will



gladly try to get it for him. If he could tell me exactly what he is after, I will have the files examined again and see if there is anything which more fully meets his requirements.


R. H. Hollis

N.A.R. Philby Esq.,


1. Enc.




Letter from J.A. Cimperman, Legal Attaché, Foreign Service of the USA, London Embassy to James Robertson of [MI5] Leconfield House, Curzon Street, London on Sept 17, 1951.


Dear Mr. Robertson,

By my letter dated January 13, 1949, I furnished your office with a lengthy report regarding the German firm WOSTWAG, a reported cover for Soviet military intelligence activities. 

Throughout this report and specifically on pages 113-115 is set forth information concerning on Adam PURPISS. The Bureau has interviewed numerous Soviet espionage agents and confidential informants regarding PURPISS but they were unable to provide any information regarding his present whereabouts or activities since 1938. One source, a former missionary and trader in China advised that he heard PURPISS was in Shanghai, China, in about 1939.

Could you let me know whether your office has any information regarding his whereabouts and activities since 1938 or 1939?

The Bureau informs that none of the individuals who were associated formerly with WOSTWAG or its affiliates and who were interviewed in recent years regarding the operations of and regarding their associations with those firms admitted knowledge of any espionage or Communist activities on the part of any of those companies or any individuals associated with them. Could you kindly let me know whether any investigation conducted by your office on WOSTWAG and its affiliates has established definite proof of the operation of those firms as cover companies for Soviet military intelligence or for Comintern activity?

A similar request is being made of MI-6, by my letter No. 1568, dated September 17, 1951.

Sincerely yours,

J. A. Cimperman

Legal Attache

[CIMG0286.JPG Presumably the reply to Cimperman from British Intelligence – author unknown]

Dear Cimperman,

We have at last been able to examine in some detail the comprehensive report on WOSTWAG and its associated companies which you sent with your letter No. 2619 of the 13th January 1949. You may care to have a few comments which will possibly be of use in your continued investigation of the case.

You have probably already linked up the late Claude A. TUPPER, President of the ORIENTAL TRADING AND ENGINEERING COMPANY, with the person of the same name whose firm, the INTERNATIONAL TRADE PRESS OF CHICAGO, reportedly provided cover for the activities of Robert ELMSTON [?], the well known Communist and probable R.I.S. agent in Europe between 1930 and 1936.

It may assist you in clearing up the confusion in the post-Germany careers of the EHRENLIEB brother to have on record that Aron Zelig EHRENLIEB’s alien registration card shows him to have lived in London from the 21st April 1936 (the date of arrival from Vienna) until at least the 4th July 1937 – the latest date we know he was for certain in this country. There are several entries on his card during this period showing changes of address and short visits to France, all of which make it clear that Aron Zelig EHRENLIEB was living in the UK at this time. Your information from Chase records, however, suggests that Aron EHRENLIEB was in China in the first half of 1937. In this connection we should like to point out that there is nothing on his Alien’s Registration Card to show that he was either in or away from this country during the period 24th September 1936 to 4th May 1937. Since we have no record of any departure or return, we should normally be inclined to assume that he ad not left the UK during this time. Here is no further record of EHRENLIEB in this country after the 4th July 1937, when he left for France. According to his wife (formerly Gitla ????, born Iceland 1900, who appears to have married EHRENLIEB shortly after her arrival in the UK on the 30th May 1936) , whom he left behind, EHRENLIEB had gone to Russia.

Amongst the papers of Ruben GLUCKSMANN of the FAR EASTERN FUR TRADING COMPANY, London, a draft business letter addressed to “A. Z. EHRENLIEB, Urga” was discovered. It had apparently been written by Uscher KLOCZOWER of the F.E.F.T.C.  about October 1937 and referred to a letter of EHRENLIEB’s written (probably from Urga, Mongolia) in late September 1937. The draft letter implied that A. Z. (presumably Aron Zelig) EHRENLIEB had not long before left the F.E.F.T.C., London, for Urga, though apparently only on a visit. His decision to remain in Urga seems to have been unexpected.

We can confirm that Rubin GLUCKSMANN had a wife named Martha. Her name before her marriage to GLUCKSMANN in Hamburg in 1934 was Martha BASS [?]. They had two adopted children, Eliza and Miriam, both born in Jerusalem in 1924 and 1926 respectively, and one son of their own, Joseph Andre, born in France in 1937.  While GLUCKSMANN was a Director of the F.E.F.T.C., London, his family lived in France.

We are also able to confirm from GLUCKSMANN’s and the F.E.F.T.C.’s papers that the PACIFIC MERCHANDISE COMPANY of New York was the F.E.F.T.C.’s selling partner in the United States.

The GLUCKSMANN papers also indicated that GLUCKSMANN was closely connected with, if not actually directing, the SOCIETE POUR LE COMMERC D’OUTRE MER in Paris before he came to the F.E.F.T.C. in London.

[Next pages not yet photographed from PRO file.]


[That’s Enough Wostwag? ED.]


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