Maria Fortus: the legendary Soviet intelligence officer who survived two shooting

Heroes 24/01/20 Maria Fortus: the legendary Soviet intelligence officer who survived two shooting

an Ardent revolutionary and the participant of three wars, scout Maria Fortus several times narrowly escaped death, as if had a vigilant guardian angel. Her legendary biography, which is reflected in the movie Joseph Heifits “salute, Maria!” (1970), is still hotly debated: some are delighted to list her deeds, others try to refute them, accusing biographers in mythmaking. However, the best proof of her exploits is that outstanding military services Maria Fortus awarded the highest Soviet awards, and only the presence of the repressed brother prevented her to get the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

Through three wars to Win

Maria Fortus, the daughter of a wealthy banker of Jewish origin, was born in 1900 not far from Kherson. Despite such a wealthy parent, a future scout, along with his older sister, Ariadne, and his younger brother Michael at an early age learned the need: his father left the family, and she was forced to earn a living, working as a seamstress in a sewing workshop.

Perhaps this early change in the life and affected all its further life. Already at the age of 16 Maria joins the party of socialist-revolutionaries, and after the October revolution of 1917, along with a brother becomes a member of the Bolshevik party. In the Kherson underground she is actively involved in the Civil war, performing complex and dangerous tasks of the Cheka.

for example, according to his official biography, Maria Fortus risk to life endured myself through the front line of protection in the zone of diamonds, after a long journey on foot from Kherson to Kiev, and in 1919 conducted propaganda work among the French invaders.

In the late 1920s, leaving in the hands of the mother the baby son, she followed her husband, a Spanish Communist Ramon Casanellas Hatch OTProwsets to his home, where counterfeit American documents involved in the activities of the Communist party of Catalonia, secretly getting information about the armed forces of Spain to the Soviet Union. And then after the death of her husband in 1933 and a two-year hiatus again sent to Spain, to participate in the civil war. There in the battle of Zaragoza, she lost her only son Ramon, who served as a pilot and later scored on the fronts of the great Patriotic war.

She was not shaken in his beliefs, remained true to Communist ideals and once in 1937 her brother, known under the pseudonym of Pavel MIF, member of the Chinese people’s revolution and the founder of the first in the USSR Institute of Chinese studies, was executed as an enemy of the people on charges of counterrevolutionary activities.

Soviet military commander, General A. I. Rodimtsev was out of service Maria Fortus during the great Patriotic war: “She was the head of intelligence in a partisan Medvedev, went on a mission together with the famous scout, Hero of Soviet Union Nikolay Kuznetsov. Many have watched the movie, “Alba Regia”. But few know that the operation “Alba Regia” was organized by Maria, the intelligence officer”.

Timeless death

Perhaps the most striking fact of the biography of Maria Fortus was her invulnerable to enemy bullets. If you believe the biographers, even during the Civil war, the scout was shot twice.

the First time a death sentence is Makhno. To get money for the redemption of comrades, Maria was sent to the leader of the anarchist Nestor Makhno, to ask for money supposedly for school. Young’s the negotiator liked “old man”, and his wife Galina Kuzmenko regretted needy children and persuaded her husband to help, but the face of Mary remembered well.

When the KGB was again introduced Mary to the Makhnovist army under the guise of a nurse, the wife of Makhno identified Ekaterinoslav “ucitelka” and had him shot. Saved scout a brass button on a dress, from whichrebound bullet and wounded only in the shoulder, Maria Fortus was saved from death discovered her local peasants.

for the Second time in a scout in an emphasis shot the former tsarist officer, expose it while working in Odessa, where she is under the guise of the mistress safe house received the envoys of the white General Bulak-bulahovicha. However, the intelligence officer managed to return fire, killing the officer on the spot, and thus again managed to survive. Not without severe wounds from the hands of the Nazis.

However, lucky star, Maria Fortus held her through all the trials, and scout lived to 1980, died at the age of 79 years, leaving a few books of memoirs. Among the 34 military decorations Maria Fortus two orders of Lenin, two Orders of the red banner and the Order of the red Star.

Marianne Markovska

© Russian Seven

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