Richard
Sorge,
 code
name 
Ramsay,
 was
 the
 most 
famous 
Russian
 spy 
in
 Japan
during
 World
War
 Two.


 Sorge
was
born
in
Baku,
Russia,
today’s
Azerbaijan,
on

October
4,
1895.
His
father
was
a
German
 mining
engineer,
his
mother
was
Russian.
 In
1898
the
family
moved
to
Berlin,
Germany
where
Richard
had
a
happy,
comfortable
childhood.
 

World
 War
 One
 broke
 out
 in
 October
 1914.
 Sorge
 volunteered
 on
 the
 front.
 In
 March
 1919,
 he
 was
seriously
wounded
by
a
grenade.
The
injury
caused
him
to
walk
with
a
limp
for
the
rest
of
his
 life.


During
 his
 convalescence,
 he
 read
 Karl
 Marx,
 the
 father
 of
 scientific
 socialism.
 Sorge
 took
 to
 the
 revolutionary
 spirit
 with
 passion.
 He
 signed
 up
 for
 the
 German
 Communist
 Party
 and
 joined
 “Apparatus
 M,”
 a
 covert
 group
 that
 aimed
 to
 organize
 a
 revolution
 in
 Germany
 similar
 to
 the
 Bolshevik
Revolution
in
Russia.



In
 1920,
 Sorge
 earned
 a
 degree
 in
 political
 science
 and
 began
 teaching.
 However,
 he
 was
 soon
 fired
for
his
radical
ideas.


Sorge
 decided
 to
 leave
 for
 Moscow,
 where
 he
 became
 a
 secret
 agent
 for
 Comintern,
 an
 organization
that
united
communist
parties
from
around
the
globe.

In
 1929
 he
 was
 transferred
 to
 “Fourth
 Bureau,”
 a
 Russian
 military
 espionage
 department.
 After
 some
brief
assignments
in
Europe,
Sorge
was
sent
to
Shanghai,
China
for
three
years,
where
he
 was
responsible
for
all
espionage
activity.



During
 his
 stay
 in
 China,
 Sorge
 developed
 a
 cover
 as
 a
 correspondent
 for
 the
 daily
 newspaper,
 Frankfurter
Zeitung,
that
he
would
use
from
then
on.


Hitler
 rose
 to
 power
 in
 1933.
 Sorge
 received
 orders
 to
 gather
 information
 on
 Nazi
 Germany’s
 foreign
policies
and
organize
a
spy
ring
in
Japan,
Germany’s
main
ally
in
World
War
Two.



On
 September
 8,
 he
 arrived
 in
 Yokohama.
 Sorge
 was
 extraordinarily
 cultured
 and
 refined.
 His
 personal
 library
 numbered
 over
 a
 thousand
 books
 on
 the
 Orient.
 He
 was
 gifted
 with
 great
 intelligence,
 charm
 and
 was
 a
 gifted
 communicator,
 all
 of
 which
 led
 to
 him
 becoming
 a
 protagonist
of
fashionable
society
in
Tokyo.


 There
were
only
five
people
in
his
spy
ring,
and
they
worked
on
a
shoestring
budget.
Sorge
had
 only
 one
 transmitter
 and
 was
 allotted
 just
 a
 thousand
 dollars
 per
 month.
 Despite
 these
 handicaps,
he
managed
to
obtain
extraordinary
results.


On
 May
 15,
 1941,
 more
 than
 a
 month
 in
 advance,
 he
 transmitted
 the
 exact
 date
 of
 Operation
 Barbarossa,
the
Nazi’s
plan
to
invade
the
Soviet
Union.


Stalin
 doubted
 the
 information
 and
 did
 not
 take
 provisions.
 As
 a
 result,
 Russian
 soldiers
 were
 initially
overwhelmed.


Sorge
 was
 disillusioned
 that
 Stalin
 did
 not
 believe
 his
 information.
 
 He
 started
 drinking
 heavily
 and
took
fewer
precautions.
 As
a
result,
he
was
discovered
by
the
Japanese
a
few
months
later
in
October
1941.

At
 his
 hearing,
 Sorge
 confessed
 everything,
 saying:
 “If
 I
 had
 worked
 for
 the
 Allies
 instead
 of
 Russia,
history
would
crown
my
name
with
the
same
halo
it
used
to
crown
the
names
of
Winston
 Churchill
and
Franklin
Roosevelt”.


Richard
Sorge
was
executed
on
November
7,
1944
at
ten
o’clock
in
the
morning.
He
was
49.
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