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The November 14, 1944 cable:
Joel Barr and Alfred Sarant

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While the Rosenbergs were put to death, two other members of Julius' network got clean away. This cable chronicles Julius' recruitment of one of them, Kh'Yus ("Hughes"), who has been identified as Alfred Sarant. The cable also mentions that Hughes was a good friend of Metr ("Meter"), who was Joel Barr. Together, the pair effected two of the most successful disappearing acts in espionage history.

Barr and Sarant had much in common. They were staunch Communists whom Julius Rosenberg recruited to spy for the Soviets. They were good friends and even shared an apartment at one point during their espionage years. And they were both electrical engineers who, during the war, worked on military radar at the U.S. Army Signal Corps laboratories at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. When they lost their jobs at the Signal Corps—Barr because Army counterintelligence uncovered evidence of his Communist leanings, Sarant because of his union activities—both joined Western Electric and worked on radar technologies.

Barr Joel Barr in 1946, four years before he disappeared.

The pair's spying was productive. In another cable, the New York office of the KGB declared that Hughes had just "handed over 17 authentic drawings related to the APQ-17." The APQ-17 was a sophisticated airborne radar system that Western Electric and MIT jointly developed for the U.S. military. After the war ended, the pair founded a company, Sarant Laboratories, but it was not a success, and the two went their separate ways, each working in various other jobs throughout the rest of the 1940s.

The cascade of arrests that followed Klaus Fuchs' confession in early 1950 nearly engulfed Barr and Sarant. Soon after Harry Gold was arrested in May 1950, and a month later David Greenglass, Barr, who was then living in Paris, vanished without a trace. He left his belongings behind and informed no one of his departure.

On July 19th, two days after the FBI arrested Julius Rosenberg, they interviewed Sarant. Not having enough evidence to arrest him, they nevertheless told him to inform them of any travel plans. He did so: On July 25th, he told them he was driving to Long Island, New York, to spend a week with relatives. Instead, he hooked up with his mistress and drove to Mexico, where they, too, vanished without a trace. Both had left behind spouses and children.


Sarant Alfred Sarant, before he became the Soviet scientist Philip Georgievich Staros.
Nothing more was heard from Barr and Sarant for over three decades. Then, in 1983, a Russian researcher at Harvard linked Barr and Sarant to two leading Soviet scientists, both of whom were native English speakers. Joseph Berg claimed to be South African, while Philip Georgievich Staros held he was of Canadian descent. As it turns out, Barr and Sarant had ultimately reached Czechoslovakia, where the Soviets had set them up as Berg and Staros, respectively. The Russians eventually moved them to Leningrad, where they became top researchers in a military electronics research institute and reportedly launched the Soviet microelectronics industry.

Sarant/Staros died of a heart attack in the USSR in 1979. Barr/Berg returned to the United States in 1992, denying all participation in espionage, despite incriminating evidence to the contrary. He died in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1998.

Note that this cable also documents the successful recruitment of Ruth Greenglass.

The November 14, 1944 cable
Note: Consult the footnotes at the end of the cable for identities of individuals and definitions of terms appearing in capital letters.
 
Barr and Sarant intercept






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