Martha Dodd
American spy for the Soviet Union
Martha Dodd
Martha Eccles Dodd and her husband spied for the Soviet Union against her native United States from before World War II until the height of the Cold War. She had lived in Berlin early in the Third Reich (1933–1937) with her father William Edward Dodd, then United States Ambassador to Germany. She became involved in left-wing politics after she witnessed first-hand the violence of the Nazi state.
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Martha Dodd's personal information overview.
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Awakening to 'Beasts' of Hitler's Berlin - The Jewish Journal of Greater L.A.
Google News - over 5 years
When the Chicago Tribune correspondent in Berlin told Martha Dodd about the Nazi invention of the Konzentrationslager — concentration camp — the young woman was annoyed at what she regarded as an effort to dampen her enthusiasm for “a heroic episode
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Our interests to intervene - Washington Post
Google News - over 5 years
It took the older Dodd just a brief time and Martha Dodd, his 25-year-old daughter, much longer to figure out that they were dealing not with the sort of country club anti-Semites they knew back in the States but with killers intent on wiping out a
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Books: US diplomat's story offers a potent history lesson - Waterloo Record
Google News - over 5 years
Or as Martha Dodd, the adult daughter of William O. Dodd, the first US ambassador to Nazi Germany, observed during a trip to Nuremberg in August 1933: “The excitement of the people was so contagious and I 'Heiled' as vigorously as any Nazi
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BOOKS OF THE TIMES; When Granny Met Gershwin, and Other Gossip
NYTimes - over 5 years
THE MEMORY OF ALL THAT George Gershwin, Kay Swift, and My Family's Legacies of Infidelities By Katharine Weber Illustrated. 270 pages. Crown Publishers. $24. By all descriptions, the 1926 musical ''Oh, Kay!'' qualifies as light entertainment. But when the novelist Katharine Weber saw a 1989 revival, at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut, the
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When Granny Met Gershwin, and Other Gossip - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
(They included Martha Dodd, the daughter of the American ambassador to Germany in the 1930s and a major figure in Erik Larson's current best seller, “In the Garden of Beasts,” and Angela Lebus, the ravishing, elegant, one-armed English munitions
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Sleeping Around with Evil - TheTyee.ca
Google News - over 5 years
They were well known to the Hollywood-blacklist exile community we were part of: Alfred Stern was a famously left-wing financier, and his wife Martha Dodd Stern was a writer who had spent the 1930s in Berlin as the daughter of the then-US ambassador,
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America's foresight of Hitler's Germany - Ha'aretz
Google News - over 5 years
Both William and Martha Dodd were obsessive and gifted keepers of diaries, which illustrate how, gradually, they came to understand how Hitler's brutality and lawlessness posed a threat to world peace. This was not a popular message back home,
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"Shock Value": The golden age of horror movies - Salon
Google News - over 5 years
William and Martha Dodd weren't entirely ordinary people, of course, but neither were they especially shrewd or insightful. The chairman of the history department at the University of Chicago, Dodd was something like seventh or eighth on FDR's list of
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Book offers insight into rise of Nazi power before WWII - St. Louis Jewish Light
Google News - over 5 years
The novelist Thomas Wolfe, who had a brief affair with Martha Dodd in 1935, sent his editor a complimentary observation about Dodd. The Dodds' house at Tiergartenstrasse 27a, Wolfe wrote, “has been a free and fearless harbor for people of all opinions,
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"The Man in the Rockefeller Suit": The great impostor - Salon
Google News - over 5 years
William and Martha Dodd weren't entirely ordinary people, of course, but neither were they especially shrewd or insightful. The chairman of the history department at the University of Chicago, Dodd was something like seventh or eighth on FDR's list of
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Sleeping With the Gestapo
NYTimes - over 5 years
IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin By Erik Larson Illustrated. 448 pp. Crown. $26 William E. Dodd was an academic historian, living a quiet life in Chicago, when Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him United States ambassador to Germany. It was 1933, Hitler had recently been appointed chancellor, the world
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Nazi Reich, Gestapo Head Excited US Ambassador's Daughter: Lewis Lapham - Bloomberg
Google News - over 5 years
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg When Martha Dodd met Rudolf Diels in Hitler's Berlin, she was immediately smitten by the “cruel, broken beauty” of the Gestapo chief. Dodd liked calling him “dearie” in public and got a special thrill from the fact
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A non-fKction fairy tale, worthy of the Brothers Grimm - Real Change News
Google News - over 5 years
In his new book, “In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin” (Crown, $26), acclaimed nonfiction author Erik Larson recounts the rise of the Nazis through the eyes of William and Martha Dodd,
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Review: 'In the Garden of Beasts' - San Antonio Express
Google News - over 5 years
Enter the Dodds, a well-educated, comparatively sophisticated, liberal Democratic family that had no idea what they were getting themselves into, least of all 24-year-old Martha Dodd, an inquisitive, sexually precocious, footloose young woman who
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An American in Berlin - The Portland Mercury
Google News - over 5 years
(It doesn't hurt that he's got Martha Dodd around to spice things up. In addition to the Gestapo chief, her active sex life featured a Russian spy, a German prince, and writer Thomas Wolfe. In one of many such observations, Larson dryly explains that
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Germany decides to abandon nuclear power by 2022 - Salon
Google News - over 5 years
William and Martha Dodd weren't entirely ordinary people, of course, but neither were they especially shrewd or insightful. The chairman of the history department at the University of Chicago, Dodd was something like seventh or eighth on FDR's list of
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"The Influencing Machine": How the media works - Salon
Google News - almost 6 years
William and Martha Dodd weren't entirely ordinary people, of course, but neither were they especially shrewd or insightful. The chairman of the history department at the University of Chicago, Dodd was something like seventh or eighth on FDR's list of
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Love Among the Beasts - Truthdig
Google News - almost 6 years
“In the Garden of Beasts” at times seems derivative of a 1940 memoir, “Through Embassy Eyes,” by Martha Dodd, one of the main characters of his tale. Much of material is the same, but we can forgive that because Larson fills in everything that Dodd
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Martha Dodd
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1990
    Age 81
    She died on August 10, 1990, in Prague.
    More Details Hide Details Her letters were deposited at the Library of Congress. Her FBI file contained 10,400 pages. Notes Bibliography
  • 1979
    Age 70
    In 1979 the U.S. Department of Justice dropped charges against Dodd and her husband related to the Soble case.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1957
    Age 48
    Boris Morros, a Soviet spy turned FBI informant, implicated Dodd and Stern in 1957 as Soviet agents as part of his exposure of the Soble spy network. The Soviets then allowed them to emigrate to Moscow just as they were convicted of espionage by a U.S. court. A KGB document, dated October 1975, noted that the Sterns spent 1963–70 in Cuba.
    More Details Hide Details In the 1970s, apparently disappointed with their lives in the Soviet Union, they tried without success to have their American attorney negotiate their return to the U.S. The KGB monitored the negotiations and had no objections, since their knowledge of espionage activities was outdated or had been revealed by Morros.
  • 1955
    Age 46
    In 1955, Dodd published The Searching Light, a defense of academic freedom that told the story of a professor under pressure to sign a loyalty oath.
    More Details Hide Details In July 1956, subpoenaed to testify in several espionage cases, they fled to Prague via Mexico with their nine-year-old son. They later applied for and were denied Soviet citizenship.
  • 1949
    Age 40
    Contacts between Dodd and Stern and the NKGB, successor to the NKVD, lapsed in 1949.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1948
    Age 39
    The FBI had Dodd under surveillance by 1948.
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  • 1945
    Age 36
    Her 1945 novel, Sowing the Wind, described the moral deterioration of decent Germans under Hitler.
    More Details Hide Details It was "not much esteemed as a work of fiction," but became a best-seller in translation in the Russian sector of Berlin in 1949.
  • 1939
    Age 30
    In 1939, Dodd published a memoir of her years in Berlin, Through Embassy Eyes.
    More Details Hide Details It included extravagant praise of the Soviet Union based in her travels there. With her brother as co-editor, she published her father's Berlin diaries, Ambassador Dodd's Diary, 1933-1938.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1938
    Age 29
    In the summer of 1938, while still romantically involved with the filmmaker Sidney Kaufman, with whom she lived for several months, Martha married New York millionaire Alfred Stern, an investment broker who acquired great wealth in a prior divorce from the daughter of Sears Roebuck tycoon Julius Rosenwald.
    More Details Hide Details According to Dodd, Stern was prepared to contribute $50,000 to the Democratic party to secure an ambassadorship. The Soviets viewed her as a valuable but uncertain asset. One assessment was: "A gifted, clever and educated woman, she requires constant control over her behavior." Another assessment was that "She considers herself a Communist and claims to accept the party's program. In reality she is a typical representative of American bohemia, a sexually decayed woman ready to sleep with any handsome man." In a February 5, 1942, letter, Dodd told her Soviet contacts that her husband should be brought into their network. With their approval, she approached her husband and reported that he responded with enthusiasm: "He wanted to do something immediately. He felt he had many contacts that could be valuable in this sort of work." Stern established a music publishing house that served as a cover for routing information from the U.S. to the Soviet Union. Dodd and Stern proved of little value to the Soviets beyond providing the publishing house cover and occasionally recommending someone as a potential agent. As part of the Soble spy ring, Miss Dodd (code named Liza) recommended Jane Foster to infiltrate the OSS.
  • 1937
    Age 28
    After the Dodds left Germany in December, 1937, Iskhak Akhmerov, NKVD rezident in New York City, managed her espionage work.
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  • 1936
    Age 27
    Vinogradov and Dodd began a romantic relationship that lasted for years, even after he left Berlin; in 1936 they asked Joseph Stalin for permission to marry.
    More Details Hide Details Martha Dodd agreed to spy for the Soviet Union. Other case officers soon replaced Vinogradov and Dodd worked with each of them while hoping to reconnect with Vinogradov. (Vinogradov was executed in approximately 1938, during the Great Purge.) Dodd informed the Soviets of secret embassy and State Department business and provided details of her father's reports to the State Department. As part of her cover, she maintained a romantic relationship with Louis Ferdinand, grandson of the last Kaiser. Anticipating her father's retirement from his Berlin post, she tried to learn the Soviet's preferred replacement for him as U.S. Ambassador and told the NKVD leadership that "If this man has at least a slight chance, I will persuade my father to promote his candidacy."
  • 1934
    Age 25
    In March 1934, the Soviet NKVD Center ordered intelligence officer Boris Vinogradov (under diplomatic cover in Berlin as press attache), to recruit his lover Martha Dodd as an agent.
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    Following the Night of the Long Knives, the mid-1934 Nazi purge of its paramilitary Sturmabteilung, Dodd changed her views on the Nazis.
    More Details Hide Details People in her social circle were begging the Americans for help and the Dodd family found its phones tapped and their servants enlisted as spies. Her mother wrote that Dodd "got into a nervous state that almost bordered on the hysterical and had terrible nightmares".
  • 1933
    Age 24
    Martha and her brother, William E. Dodd, Jr., accompanied their parents to Berlin when her father took up the post of U.S. Ambassador in 1933.
    More Details Hide Details She initially found the Nazi movement attractive. She later wrote that she "became temporarily an ardent defender of everything going on" and admired the "glowing and inspiring faith in Hitler, the good that was being done for the unemployed." She made a number of friends in high circles, and Ernst Hanfstaengl, her sometime lover and an aide to Adolf Hitler, tried to encourage a romantic relationship between Hitler and Dodd. Dodd found Hitler "excessively gentle and modest in his manners", but no romance followed their meeting. She had numerous relationships while in Berlin, including with Ernst Udet, a senior Luftwaffe officer and with French diplomat Armand Berard (later France's ambassador to the United Nations.) Other lovers included future Nobel Laureate Max Delbrück and the first head of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels.
    The daughter of William Edward Dodd, US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first Ambassador to Germany, Dodd lived in Berlin from 1933–37 and was a witness to the rise of the Third Reich.
    More Details Hide Details She became involved in left-wing politics after she purportedly witnessed first-hand the violence of the Nazi state. With her second husband Alfred Stern Jr. she engaged in espionage for the Soviet Union from before World War II until the height of the Cold War. Martha Dodd was born in Ashland, Virginia. She studied at the University of Chicago and also for a time in Washington, D.C. and Paris. She served briefly as assistant literary editor of the Chicago Tribune.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1908
    Born
    Born on October 8, 1908.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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