Security Service release: Introduction
This is the twenty-third Security Service records release and contains 140 files, bringing the total number of its records in the public domain to more than 4,000.
As with previous releases, around 80% of the records are personal files relating to individuals (KV 2), with a small number of subject files (KV 3), policy files (KV 4), organisation files (KV 5) and list files (KV 6).
The files cover subjects from the pre-war period, the Second World War and the post-war period in roughly equal quantities, dealing with a range of groups and subjects, including: German intelligence agents and officers; Communists; Soviet intelligence agents and officers; right-wing extremists; Czech refugees; and others.
Of the personal files in this release, the most notable include those relating to Hitler's deputy Martin Bormann; actor and director Sam Wanamaker; Wilhelm von Rautter, a German spy in America detected by British Imperial Censorship Service; leading scientists Lord Solly Zuckerman, Sir Benjamin Lockspeiser and Geoffrey Pyke (cousin of Magnus Pyke); architect Graeme Shankland; and MP and founder of the Hansard Society William King-Hall.
The personal files are listed under the following categories:
- German intelligence agents and suspected agents (KV 2/2996-3012)
- German intelligence officers (KV 2/3013-3017)
- Italian agents and suspected agents (KV 2/3018)
- Right wing extremists (KV 2/3035-3036)
- Communist and suspected Communists, including Russian and Communist sympathisers (KV 2/3037-3113)
- Other subjects of Security Service enquiries (KV 2/3019-3034)
This release includes two subject files (KV 3/370-371), dealing with Soviet external relations in the Middle East, 1942-1947; and policy files (KV 4/439-442) dealing with various subjects including censorship and post-war organisation of the overseas intelligence service. There are also three organisation files (KV 5/81-83) concerning the organisation of the headquarters of the Soviet Intelligence Service from source reports. The list files (KV 6/87-100) include files on various individuals, including accountant for the Communist Party of Great Britain, Peter Wheeler.
A few files have been weeded whilst others have been reconstituted from microfilm of the original document and are therefore in photocopy form. In both cases this is indicated here.
Most personal files include a minute sheet attached to the inside cover, providing a useful index to the file.
Highlights of this release include:
- American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, who brought his family to Britain after clashes with Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee (KV 2/3106-3107)
- Leading scientists Solly Zuckermann (KV 2/3030-3031), Benjamin Lockspeiser (KV 2/3059-3061) and Geoffrey Pyke (KV 2/3038-3040)
- Leading British architect Graeme Shankland (KV 2/3108-3110)
- Dorothy Galton, an active Communist in the period 1932-1936 and so was known to the Security Service's when she became its "official link" in the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies (SSEES) (KV 2/3049-3050)
- Hitler's deputy Martin Bormann (KV 2/3033)
- German intelligence agent in the United States Wilhelm von Rautter, who was only identified through the work of the British Imperial Censorship operation in Bermuda (KV 2/3004-3005)
- Ivan Bolshakov, a senior Soviet intelligence officer (GRU) based in the United States for a time (KV 2/3105)
- German and Italian sabotage operations against Gibraltar (KV 2/3001-3002, 3014, 3018)
- German intelligence operations in Iceland (KV 2/3009-3010, 3013)
- Left-wing journalists Anna Strong (KV 2/3043) and Francis Meynell (KV 2/3041-3042)
- Founder of the Hansard Society Sir William King-Hall, former MP for Ormskirk (KV 2/3028-3029)