Update: CIA library manuscript released

Personal circumstances have kept me from writing the last few months but that will soon be remedied.I have news that the CIA library has released my grandmothers unpublished (lost) manuscript and expect a copy of it soon. (Thank you Scott Hodes)How did it end up in the possession of the CIA?  I hope to answer that question.Since I have at least a partial copy of one version and a nearly full copy of the another version (seemed she re-typed the story at least twice,) it will be interesting to compare the two complete versions.

It is a grand idea to publish her work, (unpublished manuscript), at least on the internet. Then I could help to accomplish what she didn’t see in her life.

Rest in peace dear dear grandmother,
       your love did not return void.

Portrait sent to John DeLawder in WWI via special delivery a favor from Humes Houston Whittlesey, Lt Commander, USN

Copyright  ©amanoffamily.com 2012

P.S. The manuscript did arrive! Fortunately it is the first version she wrote. The CIA preserved her work. No indication how it ended up in the library but the manuscript is complete.

mystery man

Growing I heard stories of my grandfather Nicholas Dozenberg, confabulous stories about China and the pottery pieces that adorned the fireplace hearth. Far, far away places that I could only imagine. And that man.

I knew he was my mother’s father and had been married to my grandmother. There where “cousins,” in Santa Barbara California that had visited us but that was as much as I knew about his family. He must have had a family.

He must have been an interesting man for all of the grown up people to be talking about him. I heard from my grandmother that he spoke, “seven languages,” and that intrigued me more than anything. How could anyone speak that many languages?

right – Nicholas Dozenberg
HUAC Committe Hearings
secret testimony
Washington DC
May 21 1940

Why was my grandmother so intent on writing her story?

Why did my mother feel the deep loss of this man in her life?

Where was his family?

Where did he come from?

Who is a spy?

Who did he spy on?

Why was he a spy?

How could I know him better?

Would I ever know him?

Was he really a communist?

I grew up in a culture of hippies, free love and sunshine. A very different place then most of the rest of the world. My aunt listened to the Beattles and my favorite color was hot pink.

The information gap grew and turned into a lifetime pursuit of learning, understanding and appreciating the life of the mystery man

Wordless Wednesday: 1940 Census

Frances and Ruth Dallant
1940 Census,Alban Towers, Washington DC

Just released this week the 1940 US Census on Ancestry.com. The Date of this entry is April 1940, Nicholas Dallant aka Dozenberg had been arrested in December 1939. Frances was alone with her young daughter with the exception of another man that had moved into the household. Humes Houston Whittlesey, USN had unprecedented access to a small child, left without her father. It is interesting to note that the name is spelled “Delant,”(the correct spelling is Dallant,) perhaps intentionally, Frances could have been attempting to protecting herself and her daughter from public scrutiny or alternatively, the couple had rented the apartment with a false spelling. Nick had lived and married under the assumed name of “Dallant,” for 12 years. Nicholas and Frances had lived at this Washington DC address since 1937. Later when the FBI searched the apartment records they where not able to locate this residence.

You can see the original image here 1940 Census Record – Alban Towers – Washington DC

Copyright © amanoffamily.com 2012

The Cast of Characters

Every good story has charming and endearing characters and this one is chock full of them. Some of them are easy to spot; a Russian spy, a Russian Red Army general, a USN intelligence officer, Victorian women, a handsome young man, a baby girl, and some not so well known; a medical doctor, mobsters, counterfeiter’s, unidentified Gmen, and a myriad of accomplices all set against the backdrop of the turbulent 1930’s.

First and foremost is Nicholas Dozenberg, or “Nick,” as he preferred to be called by his friends and family. He was charismatic, intelligent, “generous to a fault,” with an impeccable sense of timing. He was described by his surviving spouse as the, “cleverest spy between two continents,” an interesting insight given the adamant plea that she, “knew nothing,” of his candestine career. He was a typical man in the sense that he admired beautiful and charming women. In 1904 he was a young Russian-Lettish immigrant following his oldest brother Carl Dosenberg who had already settled in the bustling Lettish community of Boston. He was one of 8 children and their parents most of them completing the journey to the promised shores.
Not much is known of Nick’s first wife, Katherine Peagle or “Ancit,” her casual name. She was also of Russian Lettish descent. She was his constant companion even following him into the Russian spy circles upon Nick’s recruitement in 1928 until her death January 1, 1936 in China.
Albert Davis with daughter Mary Frances Davis
named for one her paternal aunts

Upon the death of his first wife Nick wrote an American woman whom he had meet several years earlier and had corresponded with through letters and postcards sent from around the world. The letter of proposal reach Frances DeLawder Feb 14, 1936 in New York City. She cabled back her response and set out for Japan.

Born Mary Frances Davis in the year 1895 she was the sixth  of eight children. Her birth was preceded by the death of the second male child barely 14 months of age. Frances grew up under the tutelage of her older sisters, Ruth, Nina, and Emma. Mother Emma was preoccupied with George Easton the third male born a short 21 months later and the baby Winifred born in 1899.
Frances and John DeLawder
wedding portrait
April 1920

Frances was blessed with a “porcelain complexion,” and long lanky frame imbued with female charm that could not be ignored. She won the heart of her handsome childhood sweetheart, John Lurman DeLawder and with his safe return from the war front they where wed in April 1920 shortly after Frances’ 25th birthday. It was without any exaggeration the happiest day of her life. Her domestic future was secured at least for a short while.

The story that follows is not included in the “official version,” promoted and scrubbed clean by two well intentioned Victorian women, also sisters, but it is the truer to life and much more interesting, “warts and all.”

copyright © amanoffamily.com 2011

A Look Around the Internet

This story is about my family and one of my grandfathers, Nicholas Dozenberg. I grew up hearing confabulous stories about him from my grandmother. She was the only person that ever knew him. He left an impression on everyone that he met. He made a great splash in the American family that he married into. There was quite a flap over the subsequent public humilation and termination the marriage suffered.

Nicholas Dozenberg

He has become a legend of his own making. He is a favorite distained subject of John Earl Haynes and an object of admiration by communist and marxist sympathizers. A Soviet spy with his cover blown wide open he testified for the US government in the trial of Earl Browder and before the HUAC Committee ….. much of what is known about candelstine Soviet activites in the interwars years is because of him.

I doubt Nicholas ever thought his story would be so widely known. He died heartbroken after suffering a long debilitating illness. An internet search proves otherwise below is one site of interest.

Much of the information provided on this site was provided by this author or borrowed (without permission). The content is not necessarily endorsed by this author. As a matter of record the site claims to be run by the “Nicholas Dozenberg Family,” when in fact is maintained by a single family member.

copyright ©Alice Kramer 2010