14 NOVEMBER 1970, Page 18

Katkov, Vlasov and Strik-Strikfeldt

Sir: Herr Strik-Strikfeldt is a Rus- sian-speaking German 'Bait'. He served in the Imperial Russian Army during the First World War. Between the two world wars, he was presumably a Latvian, living in Riga, and according to Mr George Katkov, 'was well known in the Baltic States as a successful businessman representing British and German industrial firths.' His views are obviously anti-Soviet, and probably also anti-Russian, and may be presumed to have been pro- Nazi, since he must have found sanctuary in Nazi Germany when Latvia became a Soviet Republic and part of the USSR in 1940, and was subsequently given the rank of captain in the German army and seconded to the responsible task of chief liaison officer with the trait- orous General Vlasov, whose aspir- ations he shared. This was notwith- standing the fact, which must have been known to his Nazi patrons, that he had been a representative of British industrial firms. I never suggested that he engaged 'in pro- paganda for whatever views he may have held' in relation to the USSR, for that was not required of him by those with whom, I wrote, he helped to mislead and deceive with 'a stream of calumny and misin- formation about the -USSR.' It would not be by any means unique for a businessman to do that kind of thing—we seem to have had such a case with one of our own, not long ago—and Strik-Strikfeldt's record, as described above, suggests very strongly that he did it.

Since Mr Katkov has claimed that Strik-Strikfeldt's book con- firms 'facts' which have long since been accepted by scholars, such as George Fischer in his book "Soviet Opposition to Stalin (published in the us). I would counter-claim that much of it is in contradiction with what may be read in an equally authoritative book by Alex- ander Dank, Gennan Rule in Rugsia (published in the UK), from which 1 quoted some of the facts given in my previous letter (17 Oc- tober), and also in Alexander Werth's Russia at War, written by another on-the-spot observer.

Edgar P. Young

24 Gloucester Place, London WI