Helen Lowry

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Elza Akhmerova, also Elsa Akhmerova was an American citizen, born Helen Lowry. She was a niece of Earl Browder, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA). She died of leukemia.

From 1936 - 1939, Lowry worked with Iskhak Akhmerov, a Soviet NKVD intelligence agent. Iskhak Akhmerov operated an espionage network in the United States, and both of the Akhmerovs are referenced in VENONA decryptions of Soviet cable traffic: Lowry is listed under the Soviet code name "ADA" (later changed to ELZA (ELSA)). As a native-born American and English speaker, Akhmerova was able to freely operate on behalf of Soviet intelligence. She was a full partner in her husband's espionage activity, and is referenced in several Venona project decryptions. In 1939, she married Akhmerov.[1] In 1945, Lowry was named by Soviet intelligence agent Elizabeth Bentley as one of her contacts.


  1. ^ Essays on the History of Russian Foreign Intelligence, vol. 3.
  • Robert Louis Benson, VENONA Historical Monograph #3: “The 1944–45 New York and Washington-Moscow KGB Messages.”
  • Haynes, John Earl and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America. Yale University Press. (2000)
  • Schecter, Jerrold and Leona, Sacred Secrets: How Soviet Intelligence Operations Changed American History. Potomac Books (2002)

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