Bruce Craig

Alger Hiss at Yalta,” an excerpt from an article by Dr. Bruce Craig about Alger Hiss and his trip to Russia in February 1945 as part of the American delegation to the Yalta Conference. R. Bruce Craig, an American historian who has written extensively about Cold War subjects, is the author of Treasonable Doubt: The Harry Dexter White Spy Case (Lawrence, KS, University Press of Kansas, 2004) and a forthcoming biography of Alger Hiss. 

According to one interpretation of the so-called “ALES decrypt” (VENONA cable, dated March 30, 1945) – an alleged meeting took place between Hiss (“ALES” is identified by the FBI as “probably Alger HISS”) and Deputy Soviet Foreign Minister, Andrei Vyshinski. The decrypt reads:

“After the YALTA Conference, when he had gone to Moscow, a Soviet personage in a very responsible position (ALES gave to understand that it was Comrade VYSHINSKI) [then Deputy Soviet Foreign Minister] allegedly got in touch with ALES and at the behest of the Military NEIGHBORS passed on to him their gratitude and so on.”

Contrary to assertions by Allen Weinstein, it appears that based on the materials culled from the Edward Stettinius collection alone (it is on deposit at the University of Virginia), a very detailed chronology of Alger Hiss’s itinerary during the Moscow visit can be constructed and documented (often by more than one independent source). His activities during virtually every hour of the visit can be accounted for, and it appears that opportunities for Hiss and Vyshinski to have met privately are few.