Rudolf Abel and His List of Aliases

In 1957, Rudolf Abel—whose real name, William Fisher, was not-yet known—was arrested and tried, as a spy, in America.

The trial took place in Brooklyn, in federal court. James B. Donovan defended Abel.

Among his other duties, Donovan’s assistant—Thomas Debevoise—created a list of Abel's aliases. This image depicts a page from that trial-preparation.

The document is part of the James B. Donovan Collection at the Hoover Institution. Its curators have provided this description:

The James B. Donovan collection houses the extensive notes kept by Donovan’s assistant, Thomas Debevoise (later the Attorney General of Vermont), who made exhaustive lists of Abel’s aliases, code names, dead drop sites, associates (including Julius and Ethel Rosenberg), and the items confiscated from hotel rooms and apartments where Abel had stayed.

Among the items mentioned are “buried money” and a variety of radio and wiretapping apparatuses (Abel had worked as a telecommunications operator for the KGB subsequent to WWII). (James B. Donovan Collection, Box 27, Folder 28.)

Click on the image for a better view.

Media Credits

List of known Rudolf Abel aliases prepared during the defense of Rudolf Abel by Thomas Debevoise who was assisting James B. Donovan in the defense of Rudolf Abel during 1957. Online via the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.


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"Rudolf Abel and His List of Aliases" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 24, 2015. Jul 21, 2018.
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