A family hiding in a neighbour’s apartment, a briefcase full of stolen documents, the exposure of a new enemy, and the start of an international incident.
After his workday ended on the evening of September 5th, 1945, cipher clerk Igor Gouzenko left his job at the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa carrying 109 classified Soviet documents. These documents proved that Russia was spying on its allies (the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada). In choosing to defect, Gouzenko risked the lives of both him and his family and his decision arguably sparked the beginning of the Cold War.
Guest host Nick Johnston joins us to explore the Gouzenko Affair and its broad impact not just on Gouzenko and his family, but on the larger postwar era.
- The Secret and Confidential Diary Relating to Russian Espionage by William Lyon Mackenzie King
- The Iron Curtain (1948)
- “Ottawa Launches Court Big to Deport Suspected Spy“
Bothwell, Robert. Alliance and Illusion: Canada and the World, 1945-1984.” Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2007.
Crawford, Blair. “Fifteen Canadian Stories: Igor Gouzenko’s defection put Ottawa on the front line of the Cold War.” Ottawa Citizen. Accessed January 25 2019. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/fifteen-canadian-stories-igor-gouzenkos-defection-put-ottawa-on-the-front-line-of-the-cold-war
“Gouzenko Affair.” Canada’s Human Rights History. Accessed January 25 2019. https://historyofrights.ca/history/gouzenko/
“Gouzenko Affair.” Parks Canada. Accessed January 25th 2019. https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/qc/stlaurent/culture/histoire-history/evenements-events/natcul2e
“Gouzenko Affair: Sept 5 1945.” The Loyal Edmonton Regiment Military Museum Accessed Jan 25 2019. https://www.lermuseum.org/second-world-war-1939-45/1945/gouzenko-affair-5-sept-1945
Hannant, Laurence. “Igor Gouzenko and Canada’s Cold War.” The Beaver, Vol 75 no. 5 (October 1995): 19-23.
“Igor Gouzenko.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Accessed Jan 27 2019. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/igor-sergeievich-gouzenko
Washington Post. Accessed Jan 25 2019.
King, William Lyon MacKenzie. Secret and Confidential Diary Relating to Russian Espionage Activities, in Diaries of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. Accessed January 27, 2019. https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/politics-government/prime-ministers/william-lyon-mackenzie-king/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=29052
Mahar, Donald G. Shattered Illusions: KGB Cold War Espionage in Canada. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, 2017.
Obituary of Fred Rose, Soviet Spy. CBC Digital Archive (video). Accessed Jan 25 2019. https://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/obituary-of-fred-rose-soviet-spy
Obituaries for Svetlana Gouzenko. https://www.economist.com/obituary/2001/09/13/svetlana-gouzenko; https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/2001/09/08/svetlana-gouzenko-dies-at-77/2690f103-c6e8-4423-94de-9d68b6119ef8/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.15b12ecc21a4.
Robert Taschereau. Royal Commission to Investigate the Facts Relating to and the Circumstances Surrounding the Communication by the Public Officials and Other Persons in Positions of Trust of Secret and Confidential Information to Agents of Foreign Power. Ottawa, Printer to the King’s most Excellent Majesty, 1946. Accessed January 27, 2019. http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/200/301/pco-bcp/commissions-ef/taschereau1946ii-eng/taschereau1946ii-part1-eng.pdf
“Soviet Spy Scandal.” CBC Learning. Accessed Jan 25 2019. https://www.cbc.ca/history/EPISCONTENTSE1EP15CH1PA1LE.html.
Hosts: Robin Mullins, Nick Bridges, and Keely McCavitt
Guest Host: Nick Johnston
Producers: Robin Mullins and Emily Cuggy
Researchers: Nick Johnston, Beth Sollis, Stacey Devlin, and Samantha Clark
Audio Editing: Emily Cuggy
Web Content: Casandra Masse
Image Credit: Montreal Star / Library and Archives Canada / PA-129625