Richard Sorge
Richard Sorge

Celebrity Profile

Name: Richard Sorge
Occupation: Miscellaneous
Gender: Male
Birth Day: October 4, 1895
Death Date: November 7, 1944(1944-11-07) (aged 49)
Tokyo, Empire of Japan
Age: Aged 49
Birth Place: Sabunçu, Baku, Soviet Russian
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

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Weight: in kg - N/A
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Richard Sorge

Richard Sorge was born on October 4, 1895 in Sabunçu, Baku, Soviet Russian (49 years old). Richard Sorge is a Miscellaneous, zodiac sign: Scorpio. Find out Richard Sorgenet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.

Does Richard Sorge Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Richard Sorge died on November 7, 1944(1944-11-07) (aged 49)
Tokyo, Empire of Japan.

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020

Undisclosed

Salary 2020

Not known

Biography Timeline

1895

Sorge was born on 4 October 1895 in the settlement of Sabunchi, a suburb of Baku, Baku Governorate of the Russian Empire now in Azerbaijan. He was the youngest of the nine children of Gustav Wilhelm Richard Sorge (1852 – 1907), a German mining engineer employed by the Deutsche Petroleum-Aktiengesellschaft (DPAG) and the Caucasian oil company Branobel and his Russian wife Nina Semionovna Kobieleva. His father moved back to Germany with his family in 1898, after his lucrative contract expired. In Sorge's own words,

1914

Sorge enlisted in the Imperial German Army in October 1914, shortly after the outbreak of World War I. At 18, he was posted to a field artillery battalion with the 3rd Guards Division. He served on the Western Front and was severely wounded there in March 1916. Shrapnel severed three of his fingers and broke both his legs, causing a lifelong limp. He was promoted to the rank of corporal, received the Iron Cross and was later medically discharged. While fighting in the war, Sorge, who had started out in 1914 as a right-wing nationalist, became disillusioned by what he called the "meaninglessness" of the war and moved to the left.

1919

During his convalescence, he read Marx and became a communist, mainly by the influence of the father of a nurse with whom he had developed a relationship. He spent the rest of the war studying economics at the universities of Berlin, Kiel and Hamburg. Sorge received his doctorate in political science (Dr. rer. pol.) from Hamburg in August 1919. He also joined the Communist Party of Germany. His political views, however, got him fired from both a teaching job and coal mining work. He emigrated to the Soviet Union, where he became a junior agent for the Comintern in Moscow.

1920

From 1920 to 1922, Sorge lived in Solingen, in present-day North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. He was joined there by Christiane Gerlach, the ex-wife of Kurt Albert Gerlach, a wealthy communist and professor of political science in Kiel, who had taught Sorge. Christiane Gerlach later remembered about meeting Sorge for the first time: "It was as if a stroke of lightning ran through me. In this one second something awoke in me that had slumbered until now, something dangerous, dark, inescapable...". Sorge and Christiane married in May 1921. In 1922, he was relocated to Frankfurt, where he gathered intelligence about the business community. In the summer of 1923, he took part in the Erste Marxistische Arbeitswoche ("First Marxist Work Week") Conference in Ilmenau. Sorge continued his work as a journalist and also helped organize the library of the Institute for Social Research, a new Marxist think tank in Frankfurt.

1924

In 1924, he and Christiane moved to Moscow, where he officially joined the International Liaison Department of the Comintern, which was also an OGPU intelligence-gathering body. Apparently, Sorge's dedication to duty led to his divorce. In 1929, Sorge became part of the Red Army's Fourth Department (the later GRU, or military intelligence). He remained with the Department for the rest of his life.

1929

In 1929, Sorge went to the United Kingdom to study the labor movement there, the status of the Communist Party of Great Britain and the country's political and economic conditions. He was instructed to remain undercover and to stay out of politics.

In November 1929, Sorge was sent to Germany. He was instructed to join the Nazi Party and not to associate with any left-wing activists. As cover, he got a job with the agricultural newspaper Deutsche Getreide-Zeitung.

1930

In 1930, Sorge was sent to Shanghai. His cover was his work as the editor of a German news service and for the Frankfurter Zeitung. He contacted another agent, Max Clausen. Sorge also met the German Soviet agent Ursula Kuczynski and the American journalist Agnes Smedley. A well-known left-wing journalist, Smedley also worked for the Frankfurter Zeitung, and she introduced Sorge to Hotsumi Ozaki of the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun (a future Sorge recruit) and to Hanako Ishii, with whom he would become romantically involved.

1932

As a journalist, Sorge established himself as an expert on Chinese agriculture. In that role, he travelled around the country and contacted members of the Chinese Communist Party. In January 1932, Sorge reported on fighting between Chinese and Japanese troops in the streets of Shanghai. In December, he was recalled to Moscow.

1933

In May 1933, the GRU decided to have Sorge organize an intelligence network in Japan. He was given the codename "Ramsay" ("Рамзай" Ramzai or Ramzay). He first went to Berlin, to renew contacts in Germany and to obtain a new newspaper assignment in Japan as cover. In September 1931, the Japanese Kwantung Army had seized the Manchuria region of China, which gave Japan another land border in Asia with the Soviet Union (previously, the Soviet Union and Japan had shared only the island of Sakhalin). At the time, several Kwantung Army generals advocated following up the seizure of Manchuria by invading the Soviet Far East, and as the Soviets had broken the Japanese Army codes, Moscow was aware of that and caused a "major Japanese war scare" in the winter of 1931–1932. Until the mid-1930s, it was Japan, rather than Germany, that was considered to be the main threat by Moscow.

In Germany, he received commissions from two newspapers, the Berliner Börsen Zeitung and the Tägliche Rundschau, to report from Japan and the Nazi theoretical journal Geopolitik. Sorge was so successful at establishing his cover as an intensely-Nazi journalist that when he departed Germany, Joseph Goebbels even attended his farewell dinner. He went to Japan via the United States, passing through New York in August 1933.

Sorge arrived in Yokohama on 6 September 1933. After landing in Japan, Sorge became the Japan correspondent for the Frankfurter Zeitung. As it was the most prestigious newspaper in Germany, Sorge's status as the Tokyo correspondent for the Frankfurter Zeitung made him, in many ways, the most senior German reporter in Japan. Sorge's reputation as a Nazi journalist who detested the Soviet Union served as an excellent cover for his espionage work. Sorge was told by his GRU superiors that his mission in Japan was to "give very careful study to the question of whether or not Japan was planning to attack the USSR". After his arrest in 1941, Sorge told his captors:

Between 1933 and 1934, Sorge formed a network of informants. His agents had contacts with senior politicians and picked up information on Japanese foreign policy. His agent Ozaki developed a close contact with Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe. Ozaki copied secret documents for Sorge.

1934

In October 1934, Ott and Sorge made an extended visit to the puppet "Empire of Manchukuo", which was actually a Japanese colony, and Sorge, who knew the Far East far better than Ott, wrote up the report describing Manchukuo that Ott submitted to Berlin under his name. As Ott's report was received very favourably at both the Bendlerstrasse and the Wilhelmstrasse, Sorge soon became one of Ott's main sources of information about the Japanese Empire, which created a very close friendship between the two. In 1935, Sorge passed on to Moscow a planning document provided to him by Ozaki, which strongly suggested that Japan was not planning on attacking the Soviet Union in 1936. Sorge guessed correctly that Japan would invade China in July 1937 and that there was no danger of a Japanese invasion of Siberia.

1935

As he appeared to be an ardent Nazi, Sorge was welcome at the German embassy. One Japanese journalist who knew Sorge described him in 1935 as "a typical, swashbuckling, arrogant Nazi... quick-tempered, hard-drinking". As the Japan correspondent for the Frankfurter Zeitung, Sorge developed a network of sources in Japanese politics, and soon German diplomats, including the ambassador Herbert von Dirksen, came to depend upon Sorge as a source of intelligence on the fractious and secretive world of Japanese politics. The Japanese values of honne and tatemae (the former literally means "true sound", roughly "as things are", and the latter literally means "façade" or roughly "as things appear"), the tendency of the Japanese to hide their real feelings and profess to believe in things that they do not, made deciphering Japan's politics especially difficult. That Sorge was fluent in Japanese further enhanced his status as a Japanologist. Sorge was very interested in Asian history and culture, especially those of China and Japan, and when he was sober, he tried to learn as much as he could. Meanwhile, Sorge befriended General Eugen Ott, the German military attaché to Japan and seduced his wife, Helma. A military attache, Ott sent reports back to Berlin containing his assessments of the Imperial Japanese Army, which Helma Ott copied and passed on to Sorge, who, in turn, passed them on to Moscow (Helma Ott believed Sorge to be working merely for the Nazi Party). As the Japanese Army had been trained by a German military mission in the 19th century, German influence was strong and so Ott had good contacts with Japanese officers.

1936

On 26 February 1936, an attempted military coup took place in Tokyo. It was meant to achieve a mystical "Shōwa Restoration" and led to several senior officials being murdered by the rebels. Dirksen, Ott and the rest of the German embassy were highly confused as to why it was happening and were at a loss as to how to explain the coup to the Wilhelmstrasse. They turned to Sorge, the resident Japan expert, for help. Using notes supplied to him by Ozaki, Sorge submitted a report stating that the Imperial Way Faction in the Japanese Army, which had attempted the coup, was younger officers from rural backgrounds who were upset at the impoverishment of the countryside, and that the faction was not communist or socialist but just anticapitalist and believed that big business had subverted the emperor's will. Sorge's report was used as the basis of Dirksen's explanation of the coup attempt, which he sent back to the Wilhelmstrasse, which was well satisfied at the ambassador's "brilliant" explanation of the coup attempt.

1937

Ironically, Sorge's spying for the Soviets in Japan in the late 1930s was probably safer for him than if he had been in Moscow. Claiming too many pressing responsibilities, he disobeyed Josef Stalin's orders to return to the Soviet Union in 1937 during the Great Purge, as he realised the risk of arrest because of his German citizenship. In fact, two of Sorge's earliest GRU handlers, Yan Karlovich Berzin and his successor, Artur Artuzov, were shot during the purges. In 1938, the German ambassador to Britain, Joachim von Ribbentrop was promoted to foreign minister, and to replace Ribbentrop, Dirksen was sent to London. Ribbentrop promoted Ott to be Dirksen's replacement. Ott, now aware that Sorge was sleeping with his wife, let his friend Sorge have "free run of the embassy night and day", as one German diplomat later recalled. Ott tolerated Sorge's affair with his wife on the grounds that Sorge was such a charismatic man that women always fell in love with him and so it was only natural that Sorge would sleep with his wife. Ott liked to call Sorge Richard der Unwiderstehliche ("Richard the Irresistible"), as his charm made him very attractive to women. Ott greatly valued Sorge as a source of information about the secretive world of Japanese politics, especially Japan's war with China, since Ott found that Sorge knew so many things about Japan that no other Westerner knew that he chose to overlook Sorge's affair with his wife.

1938

After Ott became the ambassador to Japan in April 1938, Sorge had breakfast with him every day and they discussed German–Japanese relations in detail, and Sorge sometimes drafted the cables that Ott sent under his name to Berlin. Ott trusted Sorge so much that he sent him out as a German courier to carry secret messages to the German consulates in Canton, Hong Kong and Manila. Sorge noted about his influence in the German embassy: "They would come to me and say, 'we have found out such and such a thing, have you heard about it and what do you think'?" On 13 May 1938, while he rode his motorcycle down the streets of Tokyo, a very-intoxicated Sorge crashed into a wall and was badly injured. As Sorge was carrying around notes given to him by Ozaki at the time, if the police had discovered the documents, his cover would have been blown. However, a member of his spy ring managed to get to the hospital to remove the documents before the police arrived. In 1938, Sorge reported to Moscow that the Battle of Lake Khasan had been caused by overzealous officers in the Kwantung Army and that there were no plans in Tokyo for a general war against the Soviet Union. Unaware that his friend Berzin had been shot as a "Trotskyite" in July 1938, Sorge sent him a letter in October 1938:

1939

The two most authoritative sources for intelligence for the Soviet Union on Germany in the late 1930s were Sorge and Rudolf von Scheliha, the First Secretary at the German embassy in Warsaw. Unlike Sorge, who believed in communism, Scheliha's reasons for spying were money problems since he had a lifestyle beyond his salary as a diplomat, and he turned to selling secrets to provide additional income. Scheliha sold documents to the NKVD indicating that Germany was planning from late 1938 to turn Poland into a satellite state, and after the Poles refused to fall into line, Germany planned to invade Poland from March 1939 onward. Sorge reported that Japan did not intend for the border war with the Soviet Union that began in May 1939 to escalate into all-out war. Sorge also reported that the attempt to turn the Anti-Comintern Pact into a military alliance was floundering since the Germans wanted the alliance to be directed against Britain, but the Japanese wanted the alliance to be directed against the Soviets. Sorge's reports that the Japanese did not plan to invade Siberia were disbelieved in Moscow and on 1 September 1939, Sorge was attacked in a message from Moscow:

1941

Sorge supplied Soviet intelligence with information about the Anti-Comintern Pact and the German-Japanese Pact. In 1941, his embassy contacts made him learn of Operation Barbarossa, the imminent Axis invasion of the Soviet Union and even the approximate date. On 30 May 1941, Sorge reported to Moscow, "Berlin informed Ott that German attack will commence in the latter part of June. Ott 95 percent certain war will commence". On 20 June 1941, Sorge reported: "Ott told me that war between Germany and the USSR is inevitable.... Invest [the code name for Ozaki] told me that the Japanese General Staff is already discussing what position to take in the event of war". Moscow received the reports, but Stalin and other top Soviet leaders ultimately ignored Sorge's warnings, as well as those of other sources, including early false alarms.

In late June 1941, Sorge informed Moscow that Ozaki had learned the Japanese cabinet had decided to occupy the southern half of French Indochina (now Vietnam) and that invading the Soviet Union was being considered as an option, but for the moment, Japanese Prime Minister Konoye had decided on neutrality. On 2 July 1941, an Imperial Conference attended by the emperor, Konoye and the senior military leaders approved of occupying all of French Indochina and to reinforce the Kwantung Army for a possible invasion of the Soviet Union. At the bottom of the report, the deputy chief of the Soviet general staff wrote, "In consideration of the high reliability and accuracy of previous information and the competence of the information sources, this information can be trusted". In July 1941, Sorge reported that German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop had ordered Ott to start pressuring the Japanese to attack the Soviet Union but that the Japanese were resisting the pressure. On 25 August 1941, Sorge reported to Moscow: "Invest [Ozaki] was able to learn from circles closest to Konoye... that the High Command... discussed whether they should go to war with the USSR. They decided not to launch the war within this year, repeat, not to launch the war this year". On 6 September 1941, an Imperial Conference decided against war with the Soviet Union and ordered for Japan to start preparations for a possible war against the United States and the British Empire, which Ozaki reported to Sorge. At the same time, Ott told Sorge that all of his efforts to get Japan to attack the Soviet Union had failed. On 14 September 1941, Sorge reported to Moscow, "In the careful judgment of all of us here... the possibility of [Japan] launching an attack, which existed until recently, has disappeared...." Sorge advised the Red Army on 14 September 1941 that Japan would not attack the Soviet Union until:

Various writers have speculated that the information allowed the release of Siberian divisions for the Battle of Moscow, where the German Army suffered its first strategic defeat in the war. To that end, Sorge's information might have been the most important military intelligence work in World War II. However, Sorge was not the only source of Soviet intelligence about Japan, as Soviet codebreakers had broken the Japanese diplomatic codes and so Moscow knew from signals intelligence that there would be no Japanese attack on the Soviet Union in 1941.

As the war progressed, Sorge was in increasing danger but continued his service. His radio messages were enciphered with unbreakable one-time pads, which were always used by the Soviet intelligence agencies and appeared as gibberish. However, the increasing number of the mystery messages made the Japanese began to suspect that an intelligence ring was operating. Sorge was also coming under increasing suspicion in Berlin. By 1941, the Nazis had instructed SS Standartenführer Josef Albert Meisinger, the "Butcher of Warsaw", who was the Gestapo resident at the German embassy in Tokyo, to begin monitoring Sorge and his activities. Sorge was able, through one of his lovers, Margarete Harich-Schneider, a German musician living in Japan, to gain the key to Meisinger's apartment since it had once been her apartment. Much to his relief, he learned that Meisinger had concluded that the allegations that Sorge was a Soviet agent were groundless, and Sorge's loyalty was to Germany. Sorge befriended Meisinger by playing on his principal weakness, alcohol, and spent much time getting him drunk, which contributed to Meisinger's favourable evaluation of Sorge. Meisinger reported to Berlin that the friendship between Ott and Sorge "was now so close that all normal reports from attachés to Berlin became mere appendages to the overall report written by Sorge and signed by the Ambassador". The Kempeitai, the Japanese secret police, intercepted many messages and began to close in against the German Soviet agent. Sorge's penultimate message to Moscow in October 1941 reported, "The Soviet Far East can be considered safe from Japanese attack". In his last message to Moscow, Sorge asked to be sent back to Germany, as there was no danger of a Japanese attack on the Soviet Union, and he wished to aid the Soviet war effort by providing more intelligence about the German war effort. Ozaki was arrested on 14 October 1941 and immediately interrogated. As the Kempeitai trailed Sorge, it discovered that Ott's wife was a regular visitor to Sorge's house and that he had spent his last night as a free man sleeping with her.

Sorge was arrested shortly thereafter, on 18 October 1941, in Tokyo. The next day, a brief Japanese memo notified Ott that Sorge had been swiftly arrested "on suspicion of espionage", together with Max Clausen. Ott was both surprised and outraged as a result and assumed that it was a case of "Japanese espionage hysteria". He thought that Sorge had been discovered to have passed secret information on the Japan-American negotiations to the German embassy and also that the arrest could have been caused by anti-German elements within the Japanese government. Nonetheless, he immediately agreed with Japanese authorities to "investigate the incident fully". It was not until a few months later that Japanese authorities announced that Sorge had actually been indicted as a Soviet agent.

It was argued that Sorge's biggest coup led to his undoing because Stalin could not afford to let it become known that he had rejected Sorge's warning about the German attack in June 1941. However, nations seldom officially recognise their own undercover agents.

Later on, Meissner presented Sorge as a rather megalomaniac figure and, in the process, changed Sorge's motivation from loyalty to communism to colossal egoism. He had Sorge rant about his equal dislike for both Stalin and Hitler and had him say that he that supplied only enough information to both regimes to manipulate them into destroying each other since it suited him to play one against the other. At the book's climax, Sorge agreed to work for the American Office of Strategic Services, in exchange for being settled to settle in Hawaii, and he was in the process of learning that Japan is planning on bombing Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, but his love of women proved to be his undoing as the Japanese dancer Kiyomi rejected his sexual advances. Sorge finally seduced Kiyomi but lost valuable time, which allowed the Kempeitai to arrest him.

1942

In September 1942, Sorge's wife, Katya Maximova, was arrested by the NKVD on the charges that she was a "German spy" since she was married to the German citizen Sorge (the fact that Sorge was a GRU agent did not matter to the NKVD), and she was deported to the gulag, where she died in 1943. Hanako Ishii, the Japanese woman who loved Sorge and the only woman whom Sorge loved in return, was the only person who tried to visit Sorge during his time in Sugamo Prison. During one of her visits, she expressed concern that Sorge, under torture by the Kempeitai, would name her as involved in his spy ring, but he promised her that he would never mention her name to the Kempeitai. The Kempeitai was much feared in Japan for its use of torture as an investigation method. Sorge ultimately struck a deal with the Kempeitai that if it spared Ishii and the wives of the other members of the spy ring, he would reveal all. Ishii was never arrested by the Kempeitai Sorge told his Kempeital captors:

1944

Sorge was hanged on 7 November 1944, at 10:20 Tokyo time in Sugamo Prison and was pronounced dead 19 minutes later. Hotsumi Ozaki had been hanged earlier in the same day. Sorge's body was not cremated because of wartime fuel shortages. He was buried in the nearby Zoshigaya Cemetery.

1949

After hounding the American occupation authorities, Sorge's Japanese lover, Hanako Ishii (1911 – 1 July 2000), located and recovered his skeleton on 16 November 1949. After identifying him by his distinctive dental work and a poorly-set broken leg, she took his body away and had him cremated at the Shimo-Ochiai Cremation Centre. Nearly a year later she had his ashes interred in Section 17, Area 1, Row 21, Plot 16 at Tama Cemetery in Fuchū, Tokyo. She had erected a black marble tombstone bearing the epitaph, which reads in Japanese: "Here lies a hero who sacrificed his life fighting against war and for world peace".

1954

The first tentative efforts at changing the memory of the Nazi past started in the early 1950s, when German President Theodor Heuss gave a speech on 20 July 1954 that praised the putsch attempt of 20 July 1944. He argued that "the men of July 20th" were patriots rather than traitors, which was then a bold gesture. The first effort to present Sorge in a positive light occurred in the summer of 1953, when the influential publisher Rudolf Augstein wrote a 17-part series in his magazine, Der Spiegel. He argued that Sorge was not a Soviet agent but a heroic German patriot opposed to the Nazi regime whose motivation in providing intelligence to the Soviet Union was to bring down Hitler, rather than to support Stalin. Augstein also attacked Willoughby for his book The Shanghai Conspiracy that claimed that Sorge had caused the "loss of China" in 1949 and that the Sorge spy ring was in the process of taking over the U.S. government. Augstein argued that Willoughby and his fans had completely misunderstood that Sorge's espionage was directed against Germany and Japan, not the U.S.

In 1954, the West German film director Veit Harlan wrote and directed the film Verrat an Deutschland about Sorge's espionage in Japan. Harlan had been the favourite filmmaker of Nazi Information Minister Joseph Goebbels and directed many propaganda films, including Jud Süss. Harlan's film is a romantic drama, starring Harlan's wife, Kristina Söderbaum, as Sorge's love interest. The film was publicly premiered by the distributor before it passed the rating system and so was withdrawn from more-public performances and finally released after some editing had been done.

1955

The ultimate "message" of Meissner's book was that Sorge was an amoral, egoistical individual whose actions had nothing to do with ideology and that the only reason for Germany's defeat by the Soviet Union was Sorge's spying, which suggested that Germany lost the war only because of "fate". Meissner followed the "great man" interpretation of history that a few "great men" decide the events of the world, with everyone else reduced to passive bystanders. By contrast, Kirst pictured Sorge as a victim, as a mere pawn in a "murderous chess game" and emphasised Sorge's opposition to the Nazi regime as the motivation for his actions. Kirst further noted that Sorge was betrayed by his own masters as after his arrest, and the Soviet regime denounced him as a "Trotskyite" and made no effort to save him. Partsch concluded that the two rival interpretations of Sorge put forward in the novels by Meissner and Kirst in 1955 have shaped Sorge's image in the West, especially Germany, ever since their publication.

1961

In 1961, a movie, Qui êtes-vous, Monsieur Sorge ? [fr] (Who Are You, Mr. Sorge?), was produced in France in collaboration with West Germany, Italy, and Japan. It was very popular in the Soviet Union as well. Sorge was played by Thomas Holtzmann.

1964

On November 1964, twenty years after his death, the Soviet government awarded Sorge with the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Sorge's widow, Hanako Ishii, received a Soviet and Russian pension until her death in July 2000 in Tokyo. In the 1960s, the KGB, seeking to improve its image in the Soviet Union, began the cult of the "hero spy" with former Chekists working abroad being celebrated as the great "hero spies" in books, films and newspapers. Sorge was one of those selected for "hero spy" status. In fact, the Soviets had broken Japanese codes in 1941 and had already known independently of the intelligence provided by Sorge that Japan had decided to "strike south" (attacking the United States and the British Empire), instead of "striking north" (attacking the Soviet Union).

1965

In 1965, three East German journalists published Dr Sorge funkt aus Tokyo in celebration of Sorge and his actions. Before the award, Sorge's claim that Friedrich Adolf Sorge was his grandfather was repeated in the Soviet press. In a strange Cold War oddity, the authors stirred up a free speech scandal with patriotic letters to former Nazis in West Germany, which caused the Verfassungsschutz to issue a stern warning in early 1967: "If you receive mail from a certain Julius Mader, do not reply to him and pass on the letter to the respective security authorities". In 1971, a comic book based on Sorge's life, Wywiadowca XX wieku ("20th Century Intelligence Officer"), was published in the People's Republic of Poland to familiarise younger readers with Sorge.

1981

There is a monument to Sorge in Baku, Azerbaijan. Sorge also appears in Osamu Tezuka's Adolf manga. In his 1981 book, Their Trade is Treachery, the author Chapman Pincher asserted that Sorge, a GRU agent himself, recruited the Englishman Roger Hollis in China in the early 1930s to provide information. Hollis later returned to England, joined MI5 just before World War II began and eventually became the director-general of MI5 from 1956 to 1965. As detailed by former MI5 staffer Peter Wright in his 1988 book Spycatcher, Hollis was accused of being a Soviet agent, but despite several lengthy and seemingly-thorough investigations, no conclusive proof was ever obtained.

1984

It has been rumoured that Sorge provided the exact date of "Barbarossa", but the historian Gordon Prange in 1984 concluded that the closest Sorge came was 20 June 1941 and that Sorge himself never claimed to have discovered the correct date (22 June) in advance. The date of 20 June was given to Sorge by Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant-Colonel) Erwin Scholl, the deputy military attaché at the German embassy. On a dispatch he sent the GRU on June 1, which read, "Expected start of German-Soviet war around June 15 is based on information Lt. Colonel Scholl brought with him from Berlin... for Ambassador Ott". Despite knowing that Germany was going to invade the Soviet Union sometime in May or June 1941, Sorge was still shocked on 22 June 1941, when he learned of Operation Barbarossa. He went to a bar to get drunk and repeated in English: "Hitler's a fucking criminal! A murderer. But Stalin will teach the bastard a lesson. You just wait and see!" The Soviet press reported in 1964 that on 15 June 1941, Sorge had sent a radio dispatch saying, "The war will begin on June 22". Prange, who despite not having access to material released by the Russian authorities in the 1990s, did not accept the veracity of that report. Stalin was quoted as having ridiculed Sorge and his intelligence before "Barbarossa":

2016

One of Aleksandar Hemon's first stories in English is "The Sorge Spy Ring" (TriQuarterly, 1997). The 2003 Japanese film Spy Sorge, directed by Masahiro Shinoda, details his exploits in Shanghai and in Japan. In the film, he is portrayed by the Scottish actor Iain Glen. In 2016, one of Moscow's Moscow Central Circle rail stations was named after Sorge (Zorge). A Russian television series, "Richard Sorge. Master Spy", was a twelve-episode series filmed in 2019.

Family Members

# Name Relationship Net Worth Salary Age Occupation
#1 Nina Kobieleva Parents N/A N/A N/A
#2 Gustav Wilhelm Richard Sorge Parents N/A N/A N/A
#3 Yekaterina Maximova Spouse N/A N/A N/A
#4 Christiane Gerlach Spouse N/A N/A N/A

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Richard Sorge is 126 years, 8 months and 22 days old. Richard Sorge will celebrate 127th birthday on a Tuesday 4th of October 2022. Below we countdown to Richard Sorge upcoming birthday.

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