Willy Fisher / Rudolf Abel lived with his family in England, the country of his birth, during his childhood years. This image—a screenshot from a Russian-language documentary—depicts him with his father.


Jim Donovan’s new client was born in Newcastle upon Tyne—a city in Northumberland, England—on the 11th of July, 1903. His first (of many) names was William August Fisher.

Willy Fisher’s father—a German-Russian who was friends with the Bolshevik leader and revolutionary, Vladimir Lenin—had moved to Britain in 1900. Henry (Genrikh) Matveyevich Fischer (Fisher) thought he would be safer in England (where he didn’t have to fear arrest by Tsarist forces).

Still infused with his Lenin-supportive ideas—that workers should unite to overthrow capitalistic governments and should refuse to bear arms during WWI—Henry Fisher spent twenty years working in British factories. During that time, he did his best to organize (and indoctrinate) his factory colleagues.

His son, Willy, helped Henry to distribute anti-imperial leaflets to British factory workers. It was a job the child reportedly loved.

After the Bolshevik Revolution changed things in Russia, it was safe for Fisher to go home. When he left England, in 1921, he returned to Russia with his son.

Although his skill at speaking Russian was not that great, Fisher the younger spoke fluent English (the language of his birth country) as well as several other European languages. He also became a trained engineer and studied nuclear physics.

He was, in other words, a perfect candidate to join the Soviet spy agency.

Before the KGB was the KGB, the Soviet intelligence-and-spy organization was known as the OGPU. Willy Fisher joined that agency in 1927. It was here that he met someone who became a really good friend ... Rudolf Ivanovich Abel (who died, in Moscow, during 1955).

For two decades, Willy Fisher worked for the Soviet government in Western Europe. Because he could speak German, he worked as an intelligence officer—at the German front—during WWII.

After the war, relations between the U.S. and the USSR began to deteriorate. The Soviet government had a new job for Willy Fisher.

In 1948, leaving behind his wife and daughter, he entered the U.S. illegally—from Canada—using the name of Andrew Kayotis (a deceased man who was a naturalized U.S. citizen). The real Kayotis, who possessed a genuine American passport, had died in Latvia during a visit with relatives.

Traveling around the States for about a year, the Soviet spy decided to live in New York City.

Settling into a quiet life in Brooklyn, using the alias Emil R. Goldfus—a real person with a real birth certificate who had died a few months after he was born on August 2, 1902—the man whom everyone later knew as Rudolf Abel opened a photographer’s shop and moved into a studio apartment.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Sep 22, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"RUDOLF ABEL - A SPY BORN in ENGLAND" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 22, 2015. Jun 04, 2020.
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