Golos, Jacob (1890-1943)

An American Communist Party functionary and long-time agent of Soviet intelligence, also known as Yakov Nathanovich Reisin and as Tassin, which might have been his real name. His code name was “Sound,” or “Zvuk” in Russian; his assumed name, Golos, means “voice.”

Golos was born in Russia and took part in the revolutionary movement there at an early age.  He was arrested in 1907 and sent to Siberia; however, he escaped to Japan and then immigrated to the United States. From 1915 to 1919, he was a member of the left wing of the Socialist Party; he also became a charter member of the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) and a member of its Russian Bureau. In 1926 and 1927, Golos worked in Soviet Russia. In 1930, he was back in New York, offering his services as a volunteer to a Soviet intelligence representative. Agent relations with Jacob Golos were officially established in 1933 in Moscow. By that time, Golos was heading a firm called World Tourist, which provided the CPUSA and the Comintern with American documents, managed Comintern money transfers and also supplied the CPUSA with money for its activities.

By 1938, Golos had become the de facto “illegalresident, or chief, of the New York station.  Besides the missions listed above, he was responsible for maintaining a permanent political link to the CPUSA. By 1943, Golos had developed a huge network of Communist information sources, most of whom had no idea that the information they were providing was going any further than to Earl Browder, the head of the CPUSA. Beginning in 1942, Soviet operatives tried to identify Golos’s sources, split his network into several groups and put these groups in direct contact with Soviet operatives. However, despite pressure on the part of Moscow, Golos resisted this transfer of power, and it was not completed until his sudden death in late November 1943. Just before he died, Golos was nominated for the Red Star Order award. The award was cancelled with his death.