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In connection with passing of Prof. J. Lowenthal I recall a curious episode that had taken place a decade ago in autumn of 1992. Mr. Lowenthal had sent a letter to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), asking it to confirm that his client, Alger Hiss, had never been "an agent of the NKVD". New Russian authorities were overeager to demonstrate their openness and the FSB routed the letter to the SVR, where it landed on my desk. After carefull study of every reference to Mr. A.Hiss in the SVR(KGB-NKVD)archives, and querring sister services, I prepared an answer to Mr. J.Lowenthal that in essence stated that Mr. A.Hiss had never had any relationship with the SVR or its predecessors. I am ready to eat my hat if someone proves the contrary. (I am pretty familiar with VENONA literature as well as with _The Haunted Wood_. Judging by the references, the authors unfortunately had no access to the essential files I worked with. I believe new archive custodians simply did not know where and how to look). When I showed the draft of reply to my superiors, I was advised to give that information to General D. Volkogonov, who at that time was an advisor to President Yeltsyn. Virtually in a couple of days a report came from the United States that all major newspaper and TV networks reported my disclaimer, attributing it to Gen. D. Volkogonov and referring to him as a man in charge of the Russian intelligence archives. Recently I have obtained a copy of Gen. D. Volkogonov's letter to Mr. J. Lowenthal in which he describes how laboriously he "studied the archives of the Russian intelligence services" in search of materials pertaining to Mr. A. Hiss. One would have to be very naive indeed to assume that either SVR or the GRU would open their files to that defrocked komissar. The truth of the matter is that he was simply and elegantly used to add weight to what the Russians wanted to say on the subject at that time. I, of course, was amused to watch that development. And I think 88-year old Alger Hiss was also pleased to get that message from Russia. Julius N. Kobyakov Major-General SVR (Retired)