Talk:Richard Sorge

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Background discussion[edit]

So sorry there's no discussion on this item. The story of Sorge is just one of many thousands of fates of Stalin's era but this by a flick of chance became known widely. (If you don't aware of how this happened - Nikita S. Khrushchyov once saw a French movie of the Sorge group - because one of his guy was a French - and he - Mr. Commie General - was very much astonished because even he was unfamiliar with such name.He quired his KGB brass, they said this was not their field so he switched to his Soviet Army Headquarters Intelligence Dept. (GRU - the 2nd General Dept. of the HQ) and they confirmed: "Yes, Sir! There was such intelligence battle station (non-legal,as this is called in Russian) "Ramzai" in Tokyo before WWII,uncovered by the police, all arrested, sent to trial etc. So puzzled and surprized Maiz Disseminator awarded The Ramzai with the medal "The Hero of The Soviet Union" with the "Order of Lenin" - the highest both military/civil honor in the former USSR.).

Here we encounter with a problem unseen at first sight. What for? What he was praised for?

--This: "Before the battle for Moscow, Sorge transmitted information that Japan was not going to attack Soviet Union in the East. This information allowed Georgy Zhukov to redeploy Siberian troops for the defense of Moscow." seems worthy of high praise, don't you think?

Official Soviet propoganda claimed that Sorge's battle group was operating on the territory of the sovereign foreign state (the Japanese Empire) just with the peaceful intentions to prevent the war between the USSR and Germany so, in other words, their its activity was not aimed at Japan but against the third party - Fascism.

Good'n'clever so far. If only this would not be a lie!

Does anyone have the citation for the award to Sorge of the decorations "The Hero of The Soviet Union" with the "Order of Lenin"?--Marktunstill 17:39, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

This is not really a lie. It appears in the documents remaining in Japan from the interrogation of Sorge. It is what he claimed, and his defense. He was claiming that the information retrieved were general knowledge to the Japanese public. It was his only chance of escaping. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dorum (talkcontribs) 11:39, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Movie Content?[edit]

anyone knows the content of the 1960 movie "who are you, Dr. Sorge ?" ? ... also published as a book in Germany. says it is a 1961 production written by Hans-Otto Meissner. Dr Meissner became Third Secretary at the German embassy in Tokyo in 1936 according to Target Tokyo The Story of the Sorge Spy Ring by Gordon Prange with Donald M Goldstein and Katherine V Dillon.--Marktunstill 17:49, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Question for any Dr. Sorge experts: I am presently working on a list of members of the Sorge ring. Two questions: (1) What would be considered the proper name of the "Sorge ring", and (2) what names could all be included. (I have four thus far). Thank you. nobs 15:49, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

What about including the title as "honorary Hero of the Soviet Union" in the intro with journalist, etc. It is, after all, very unusual in any society for a lowly covert spy to recieve such high recognition. Nobs01 16:35, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps, at least I should agree. BTW, he was not unique to be awarded this title. Some other Soviet agents did, e.g.: L.Manevich, I.Kudrya, K.Vaupshasov. Cmapm 18:41, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Likewise in the Whittaker Chambers article, his Presidential Medal of Freedom award is at the bottom of the page. Incredibly high honor for someone who at one time betrayed his own country. Perhaps we can work out a uniform format for all these articles. Nobs01 18:51, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I would defend such things to be on top only for rare/unusual cases, like these two ones. General policy in Wiki, as I understand, is to place awards and honors after the main content, and I think it's reasonable. Cmapm 19:47, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Also, what about putting Sorge in [Category:German journalists], that would link him with Hede Massing, who evidently met him & wrote about him. Nobs01 21:14, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Absolutely. I thought, that either a [Category:German journalists] or [Category:Journalists] was already added into the article. I have a book mostly with articles, which he wrote for German newspapers about Japan. I can say, that in my view, he was a very talented journalist. I'll add the category right now. Cmapm 23:31, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Agnes Smedley[edit]

Please note Agnes Smedley is not written into the narrative yet. Thank you. nobs 18:54, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

For purposes of guilt by association, I presume.--Jack Upland (talk) 10:54, 20 September 2015 (UTC)

KGB or GRU[edit]

The intro and the closing "conspiracy theory" section" says Sorge worked for the KGB & "continuned to work for the KGB"; the body of the text says he was transferred to GRU in 1930. This needs to be clarified. nobs 01:17, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

  • Sorge worked for the Red Army's Fourth Department (Intelligence) from 1929 onward. --Marktunstill 01:48, 6 February 2007 (UTC)


How Sorge could transmit information related with Stalingrad siege if he was arrested in 1941? :-)--Nixer 14:04, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
That's the job of the spy, isn't it to find out the information about what is about to take place. He also predicted the invasion by Germans of the USSR (Operation Barbarossa).

Uncle or grandfather?[edit]

His uncle had been a secretary for Karl Marx.

Uncle or grandfather? --Morpheios Melas 07:29, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I can confirm it was his Uncle, despite Sorge himself thought it was is grandfather, but he made the same mistake as most investigators did. 20:26, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

I read version that it was "brother of grandfather" in rusian it named "двоюродный дед" ("брат деда", или "дядя отца"). In english it "grand uncle" ("great uncle") or not?--Morpheios Melas 11:00, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
In English it's "great uncle", yes. Not "grand uncle". Binabik80 (talk) 22:12, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Prange's book[edit]

I've reffed Gordon Prange's book; 550 pages but very readable. If read with Whybrant's book, the English-speaking novice will find out all the grey areas.Stamboul 12:48, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Ph.D. contradiction[edit]

The article says, "In 1920 he graduated with a Ph.D. in political science." in Richard Sorge#Early_life. Later, in Richard Sorge#Posthumous_comment_and_analyses, it says, "However, Sorge never studied for a doctorate." Obviously there is a contradiction here, but I do not know which is true so I cannot correct it. --Danny Rathjens 15:24, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

In Target Tokyo The Story of the Sorge Spy Ring by Gordon Prange with Donald M Goldstein and Katherine V Dillon, the Chronology in the Appendix records "August 1919 Sorge receives Ph.D. in political science at University of Hamburg."--Marktunstill 17:32, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Survived by his mother, still living in Germany?[edit]

"Sorge was survived by his mother, still living in Germany." That's very bad wording. How could his mother be still alive if he was born in 1895? -- (talk) 12:46, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Possible source for the information supplied concerning the launch date of Operation Barbarossa[edit]

"[...] Sorge alerte: « 170 divisions allemandes massées sur frontière soviétique attaqueront sur ensemble frontière le 21 juin - STOP - Direction effort principal Moscou. » [...] Churchill, « Lucie », Sorge, etc. Staline n'a cure de ces mises en garde. Aucune ordre, aucune directive ne mettront l'Armée rouge en état d'alerte. Partout, elle sera surprise par Barbarossa.

MONTAGNON, Pierre. La Grande Histoire de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale (Volume II) De l'Armistice à la Guerre du Désert, pg. 306-307. Plastic Racoon (talk) 01:57, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

How did Sorge send info about Battle of Stalingrad if he was in prison at the time?[edit]

Battle of Stalingrad began in July of 1942. Sorge was arrested in October of 1941. That was during the Battle of Moscow, around the time when it was widely believed that Moscow will fall and hence any war in the south would be a non-issue. So how exactly could Sorge say find out and transmit any useful info about Stalingrad-related events if at the time (in 1942) he was in Japanese prison? (talk) 07:27, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

I can't believe I missed noticing that nonsense. Time for some editing. Whyman's very good book on Sorge mentions Stalingrad solely as follows: "Sorge's joy was boundless on the day in November 1942 when he heard of the Soviet counter-offensive at Stalingrad. This, he perceived, put paid to Hitler's hopes of vanquishing Russia." - Salmanazar (talk) 13:57, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Removal of "Conspiracy Theory" section[edit]

In reading this article, I came across this text at the bottom, under the heading "Conspiracy Theory":

An interesting but rather little-known conspiracy theory of the Cold War held that Richard Sorge had only been "mock-executed" by the Japanese and had actually been returned to the Soviet Union where he continued to work for the KGB. Though many mysteries of the Cold War have been solved since the fall of communism in the USSR, no proof of this theory has emerged. In one of his novels, M.E. Chaber (pen-name of Ken Crossen), an American writer who penned the Milo March detective series, has his hero meet an unnamed Russian master-spy who, the book hints, is none other than Richard Sorge.

So basically, this is a conspiracy theory that is "interesting" (to whom?), but without any proof whatsoever, and seems to be only notable in that it was used as a minor plot device in a spy novel. I can't see any reason why this should be included here beyond possibly mentioning that he's been popular as a fictionalized character in spy novels. Certainly, the reprinting of an already admittedly "little-known" crank conspiracy theory in a biographical article is totally inappropriate. siafu (talk) 23:24, 29 April 2010 (UTC)