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Edward Fitzgerald (adviser)

Edward Joseph Fitzgerald was an American who worked for the War Production Board during World War II and was an adviser to Senator Claude Pepper. He was alleged to have been a member of the Perlo group of Soviet spies. Fitzgerald's name in Venona project decrypt 588 New York to Moscow, 29 April 1944, was sent in the clear to Moscow by Soviet Case Officer Iskhak Akhmerov reporting on Elizabeth Bentley's meeting with Perlo group.


The decryption reads, in part,

KRAMER[KREJMER][x], PERLO[PRLO][xi], FLATO[FLĒTO][xii], GLASSER[GLAZER][xiii], Edward FITZGERALD[EDUARD FITsDZhERALD][xiv] and others in a group of 7 or 8 FELLOW COUNTRYMENT[ZEMLYaki][xi][c].
UMNITsA talked with AMT and PERLO. They told her that this group was neglected and that nobody was interested in them. KRAMER is the leader of the group. All occupy responsible posts in CARTHAGE[KARFAGEN][xvi].

Elizabeth Bentley, who functioned as the Perlo group's main contact with the Soviet intelligence, told the FBI after her defection, "I would state that Victor Perlo represented this group in meetings with me more often than other members of the group, Fitzgerald about four or five times.....".

After World War II, Fitzgerald resigned from his position with the U.S. Department of Commerce. In 1954, Fitzgerald was offered immunity from prosecution, which removed the legal grounds to plead the Fifth Amendment. Fitzgerald nonetheless still refused to testify and went to jail.

His alleged code name in Soviet intelligence and in the Venona files is "Ted".

Venona decryptions

Edward Fitzgerald is referenced in the following Venona project decryptions:


Further reading

  • Visit the Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) for the full text of Alexander Vassiliev's Notebooks containing more information on Fitzgerald's involvement in Soviet espionage
  • Edward Fitzgerald testimony, 1 May 1953, “Interlocking Subversion in Government Departments,” part 5, 241–326.
  • Vassiliev, Alexander (2003), Alexander Vassiliev’s Notes on Anatoly Gorsky’s December 1948 Memo on Compromised American Sources and Networks, retrieved 21 April 2012