Did Oppenheimer Really Help Moscow?

A former Soviet spy's story draws fire from critics, who insist it contains errors and inconsistencies

He carried out one murder with his own hands, planned at least one more, speaks with repellent offhandedness about still other assassinations. He is capable of warmth, though -- for his old boss, Lavrenti Beria, and for Beria's boss, Joseph Stalin; he still admires both even while acknowledging their "criminal activities." None of which by itself discredits Pavel Sudoplatov's sensational tales of Soviet espionage; in fact his closeness to Beria, Stalin's last secret-police chief (1938-53), whom he served as a spy master, put him in a position to know. But Sudoplatov's most stunning charge -- that world-renowned physicists J. Robert Oppenheimer,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!