Title: I Was an NKVD Agent
Author: Anatoli Granovsky
Granovsky, Anatoli (1962). I Was an NKVD Agent. New York: Devlin-Adair
Date Updated: September 29, 2016
The book claims, “a top Soviet spy tells his story.” As one of the few true tell-alls about the Soviet secret police, covering the mid-twenties onwards to the WWII, I Was An NKVD Agent makes a suspenseful and startling showing, as well as offering an important index to the totalitarian mind.
Beginning life as a favored son of the revolution, former Soviet agent Granovsky cavorted with the corps d’elite, cold-bloodedly accepted the new order’s rattle of regimentation. When, however, his father, an industrial bureaucrat, during one of the bloody purges was branded “enemy of the people”, young Granovsky, half -dead from Butirki prison, agreed to play counterspy, whereby he watched his fellows while several others were watching him.
Over the years Granovsky catalogues a day-to-day chamber of horrors: orgies, suicides, mass murders, espionage, sabotage, propaganda, false confessions, lessons in sexual automation, international intrigues, impersonations – all making him as calculating as a machine. But after the rape and death of his sweetheart and against the battle-torn backdrops of Kiev, Berlin and Prague, a drained and disillusioned Granovsky decided he could take no more. He defected to the West he was given sanctuary by Sweden’s Gustave II. Molotov, Beria, Zorin, Gottwald, American ambassador Davies (whose Mission to Moscow innocence gets a good drubbing) and “Uncle Joe” are all commented upon in ripe, revealing style. The book presents a dark side of recent history, frighteningly illuminated.
Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf
Gronovsky’s first job in the NKVD was in domestic: spying, but he was later trained for espionage work in the United States. He was a captain in the NKVD until he defected to Sweden aboard a Soviet ship in 1946. A popular account, with some insights into the actual workings of the Moscow bureaucracy.
 Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p. 153