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Recruitment at USC. Espionage

... Helpful in accomplishing tasks of rezidentura ...

Recruitment at USC. Espionage

excerpt from Enemy Amongst Trojans. A Soviet Spy at USC, 2010, p. 22

Recruitment of spies

[The Soviet spy and his wife, the] Litvins arrived at Los Angeles, posing as the Canadians Ignacy and Bunia Witczak, in 1938. His initial task was "to establish an agent network to communicate with the ... [Soviet] intelligence in Japan." Many men and women of the Japanese origin with strong ties with Japan lived in Los Angeles. "This was the reason for creating a spy station in the city in order to recruit [Americans of the] Japanese [origin] and others with the links with Japan." [41]

After the Soviet Union had entered World War II in 1941, Litvin refocused his effort on the political, military, scientific, and industrial espionage against the United States. His top targets included the "aviation industry, radio technology, shipbuilding, defense industry, and obviously political information." [43]

Litvin's position at USC offered him excellent opportunities for recruitment. He regularly participated in the seminars at the Department of Political Science. As Litvin wrote later in his unpublished recollections, "there were discussions of various topics at these seminars. Comments of students revealed their views, including their political orientation. I attentively observed and listened their comments and made conclusions with whom to get closer and who could be helpful in accomplishing tasks of the rezidentura [spy station]." [44]

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About the book

Enemy Amongst Trojans by Mike Gruntman

USC VSOE News Story:

Viterbi Astronautics Professor Writes Cold War Historical Study

Book review  (Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf) studies in intelligence

"Mike Gruntman, an astronautics professor at USC, has written an interesting and succinct account of this [espionage] case that heretofore escaped the attention of other espionage academics. A nice contribution to the literature."

Studies in Intelligence (unclassified extracts), CIA, Vol. 59, No. 4, p. 74, December 2015.

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