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 was an equal partner in espionage with her husband 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.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Essays on the History of Russian Foreign Intelligence, vol. 3.
  2. ^ Haynes, John Earl; Klehr, Harvey (2000). Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 99 (Bentley), 99–100 (Price), 118 (Perlo, Bentley, Golos), 121 (Perlo, Bentley), 122 (Silvermaster), 130 (wife, Silvermaster), 134–135 (Silvermaster), 146 (Silvermaster), 153–156 (Straight), 154–155 (bio), 155 (wife as partner), 203 (Duggan), 221 (Zubilin), 226 (Silvermaster), 391 (major Soviet source). Retrieved 23 January 2017. 

External links[edit]

  • 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)