Gevork Vartanian

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Gevork Vartanian (born 1924) in Rostov-on-Don, was an intelligence agent and the son of a Soviet intelligence agent who worked in Iran under the cover of a wealthy merchant. In 1930, he moved to Iran with his family and in 1940, he joined the Soviet Foreign Intelligence Service. In 1955, he graduated from the Institute of Foreign Languages, Yerevan. He is primarily responsible for thwarting Operation Long Jump, concocted by Adolf Hitler, headed by Ernst Kaltenbrunner, and led by Otto Skorzeny, which was an attempt to assassinate Josef Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Tehran conference in 1943.

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  • He (Otto Skorzeny) also saved Mussolini...and Hitler hoped that Skorzeny would do the same in Tehran, but he didn't succeed at it.
    • [to Al Gurnov, about foiling the assassination plot, May 9, 2008]
  • What did you expect? To let the Germans take out the three leaders with one stroke?
  • Luck is important for many professions, and moreso, for that of an intelligence agent.
  • We were lucky - we never met a single traitor. For us, underground agents, betrayal is the worst evil. If an agent observes all the security rules and behaves properly in society, no counter-intelligence will spot him or her. Like sappers, underground agents err only once.
  • It was very nice of her to come over to Moscow and thank me for saving the life of her grandfather, Churchill.
    • [to Al Gurnov, about meeting Celia Sanders (Churchill's granddaughter), May 9, 2008]
  • The group that was headed by me...we succeeded in discovering about four hundred agents who were connected with German intelligence...they were Generals, Ministers, Deputies of Parliament, and other high stated (ranking) people.
    • [to Al Gurnov, about spy work, May 9, 2008]
  • You know, I think he had a big role in this World War...second...yes...because with his name...was connected...people were...believed in him. Believed in him. And now, of course, they're writing anything they can...but he is not alive, he can't answer himself. You can write everything about him, but I think he did a big job during World War II.
    • [to Al Gurnov, about Josef Stalin, May 9, 2008]
  • The Russian people were always defending their country because they're big patriots...and if you go through history, hundreds of years ago, no one can defeat Russia. They've tried. Many times. But never succeeded. (Russian) People loved their country, loved their homeland.
    • [to Al Gurnov, May 9, 2008]
  • If you read the memoirs of Churchill or the son of Roosevelt, you can see that they really have big respect for Stalin...because whenever...if he promised something, he did that. He showed that during World War II. I think, he's the man who has respect for that time. But you can't judge a person based on one or two years, you have to take his whole history.
    • [to Al Gurnov, about Josef Stalin, May 9, 2008]
  • I hope now we will start to work with the young generation. Let them know what was the real exact history at that time. But now everybody is forgetting what we were doing. The same is happening in Britain. The granddaughter of Churchill told me that the young generation there...they don't even know who Churchill is.
    • [to Al Gurnov, about Russia being responsible for winning the war, May 9, 2008]
  • Churchill, also, did a big service to his country, I think.
    • [to Al Gurnov, about Winston Churchill, May 9, 2008]

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