The Jewish Housewife Who Became a Soviet Nuclear Super-spy

Ursula Kuczynski was a full-time mother until a meeting in Shanghai transformed her into ‘Sonya.’ Her biographer describes the Jewish KGB spy's career, which climaxed with the theft of American atomic secrets

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Go to comments
A 1936 image of Ursula Kuczynski, who spied for the Soviets through World War II and much of the Cold War.
A 1936 image of Ursula Kuczynski, who spied for the Soviets through World War II and much of the Cold War. Credit: From the family collection
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet

In 1935, the spy “Sonya,” whose real name was Ursula Maria Kuczynski, found herself in an almost impossible situation. On the eve of embarking on a new mission on behalf of the Soviet Union, she discovered that she was pregnant, the result of an affair with her commander in the communist underground in China. She told her husband, who was also the father of her first child, about her pregnancy. He urged her to have an abortion, a solution seconded by the lover.

Comments