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DODD
GENEALOGY
LINE

Martha
Eccles
Dodd

(1905 - 1952)

William
Edward
Dodd, Sr.

(1869 - 1940)

John
Daniel
Dodd
(1848 - 1941)

John
Dodd
(1812 - 1896)

Dempsey
Dodd

(1765 - 1851)

William
Dodd

(1738 - 1813)

David
Dodd

(1690 - 1746)

_______

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Martha Eccles Dodd

 

Born: 08 Aug 1908, Hanover County, VA
Died: 10 Aug 1990, Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC

 
Martha Eccles Dodd was the second child born to Dr. William Edward Dodd, Sr., and Martha "Mattie" Ida Johns. Martha was born 08 Oct 1908 in Hanover County, VA. She was named after her mother "Martha" and her maternal grandmother, "Martha Eccles Johns". Martha had one sibling, an older brother named William "Bill" Edward Dodd, Jr.
 
 
Children of William Edward Dodd, Sr. and Martha Ida Johns
Name Birth Death Spouse
William Edward Dodd, Jr. 08 Aug 1905
Hanover Co, VA
18 Oct 1952
San Francisco, CA
1) Audrey Ruth Koolish
2) Katherine Hubbard
Martha Eccles Dodd 08 Oct 1908
Hanover Co, VA
10 Aug 1990
Prague, Czech Republic
1) George Barrett Roberts
2)Alfred Kaufman Stern
 
 

(Left to Right) Martha Eccles Dodd and William Edward Dodd, Jr.

        

 
 
The 1910 Census shows the Dodd family living in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. Martha's father, William, Sr., was teaching history at the University of Chicago. Brother William Jr. was 4 years old and Martha was one year old.
 

1910 Chicago, Cook County, IL, Census

 
Name Relation Personal Description Birth Occupation
Last First Sex Race Age S/M Years
Married
Children Self Father Mother Occ. Trade
Born Living
Dodd William E. Head M W 40 M 5     NC NC NC Teacher University
------ Martha J. Wife F W 34 M 5 2 2 NC NC NC None  
------ William E. Son M W 4 S       VA NC NC None  
------ Martha E. Daughter F W 1 S       VA NC NC None  
Carr Nora Servant F W 23 S       Ireland Ireland Ireland Cook Private Family
 
 
 
The 1920 Census shows the Dodd family still living in Chicago, Cook County, IL. Father, William Sr., was still working as a teacher/professor of history at the University of Chicago. Martha was 11 years old.
 

1920 Chicago, Cook County, IL, Census

 
Name Relation Home Personal Description Education Birth Occupation
Last First O/R F/M Sex Race Age S/M Attend
School
in 1919
Able
to
Read
Able
to
Write
Self Father Mother Occ. Trade
Dodd Wm. E. Head O F M W 50 M   Yes Yes NC NC NC Professor University
------ Martha J. Wife     F W 43 M   Yes Yes NC NC NC None  
------ Wm. E. Son     M W 14 S Yes Yes Yes VA NC NC None  
------ Martha E. Daughter     F W 11 S Yes Yes Yes VA NC NC None  
Closson Ruth Lodger     F W 30 S   Yes Yes Indiana Michigan Indiana Asst. Chief Operator Telegraph Op.
 
 
The 1930 Census shows the Dodd family living in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. William Sr.'s age was 60, wife Martha/Mattie was 54 and daughter Martha Eccles was 21. The census shows that the Dodd family own their home and that the value of their home is $10,00. William's occupation is listed as a "Professor" at "University".
 

1930 Chicago, Cook County, IL, Census

 
Name Relation Home Personal Description Education Birth Occupation
Last First O/R Value Sex Race Age S/M Age
First
Md.
Attend
Sch/College
1929
Able
Read &
Write
Self Father Mother Occ. Trade
Dodd William Head O 10,000 M W 60 M 31 No Yes NC NC NC Professor University
------ Martha J. Wife     F W 54 M 25 No Yes NC NC NC None  
------ Martha Daughter     F W 21 S   Yes Yes VA NC NC None  
Wilkinson Mildred Lodger     F W 29 S   Yes Yes IL OH IL Teacher Parochial
School
 
 
 
 
 
Martha grew up in Chicago where her father, Dr. William Edward Dodd, Sr., was a senior history professor at the University of Chicago, specializing in George Washington and Woodrow Wilson. Martha was brought up in the liberal tradition of her father’s historic idols and on the Bible which Professor Dodd used to read each day at the dinner table.
 
Martha studied at the University of Chicago before spending time in Paris. She served briefly as assistant literary editor of The Chicago Tribune.
 
 

(Left) Martha Eccles Dodd; (Right) Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois in Chicago

 

 

Martha Eccles Dodd

 
 
 
 
 
On 14 March 1932, a 22-year-old Martha married George Bassett Roberts, Vice President of National City Bank of New York. George was born 24 Jan 1894 in Fort Dodge, Webster County, Iowa. He was the son of George Bassett Roberts and Georgia Kirkup.
 
The following newspaper article from the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, from 02 Nov 1933, tells of the secret marriage of Martha and George and of her plans for a divorce when she returns from Germany. The couple were divorced two years later in 1934.
 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Nov. 2, 1933

 

REVEAL WEDDING OF AMBASSADOR DODD'S DAUGHTER

 

Married in 1932; Say She Plans Divorce

A disclosure that Miss Martha Dodd, only daughter of Prof. William E. Dodd, American Ambassador to Germany, was married to George Bassett Roberts, Vice President of the National City Bank of New York, in March 1932, came as a surprise yesterday to nearly all of the former Miss Dodd’s friends.

One of them, however, admitted that she knew of the circumstances of the wedding; and also of reports that the bride wishes a divorce and plans to sue for one, or for an annulment, when she returns from Germany.

Mr. Roberts, found in his office in the New York bank, declined to make any comment of any kind about the reports. He would not, however, deny that there had been a marriage ceremony.

Married in New York Church

This ceremony, it was learned, was read by the Rev. Von Ogden Vogt of the First Unitarian Church on or about March 14, 1932. The bride and bridegroom were attended only by two young friends, said to have been connected with the University of Chicago, where Prof. Dodd was a faculty member. The families of the contracting parties learned of the wedding soon afterward, but no public announcement was made.

 
A few days after the wedding Mr. Roberts returned to New York. The friend who gave the information about the hitherto suppressed facts of the marriage said that the couple planned to make a formal announcement just before Mr. Roberts sailed for Europe to be one of the American representatives at a gold conference in Switzerland. Later Mrs. Roberts found that she did not care to make such a hurried trip and it was decided not to announce the marriage until Mr. Roberts’ return to the United States.

Gossip of Divorce Plan

Gossip has it that a divorce was discussed last fall, but that the bridegroom was unwilling to go through with one.

Miss Dodd and Mr. Roberts met in October, 1929. Miss Dodd attended the University High School and the University of Chicago and later studied in Europe. She in now with her parents in Berlin.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Martha and her brother, William E. Dodd Jr., joined their parents in Berlin when her father, Dr. William Edward Dodd, Sr., was appointed as the first US Ambassador to Germany. At first she was impressed with Adolf Hitler and "became temporarily an ardent defender of everything going on" and admired "the good that was being done for the unemployed."
 
 

(Left to Right) Martha Eccles Dodd, William Edward Dodd Jr., William Edward Dodd Sr., and Martha "Mattie" Ida Johns Dodd

 

 
 
Martha lived a very "colorful" life. During this period she developed a very active social life and her name was associated with a large number of men. John Lewis Carver recalled: " Martha was a vivacious, flirtatious, fair-skinned sexy girl, far more interested in amorous escapades than in those serious matters. But she, too, had her serious side. She wrote short stories and poetry, and made up her mind to become a writer."
 
Martha had affairs with several leading figures in Nazi Germany including Ernst Hanfstaengel (intimate friend of Hitler) and Ernst Udet (German pilot and German Air Force general). Other lovers included the journalist, Louis Fischer, French diplomat, Armand Berard and the scientist, Max Delbrück.
 

Ernst Hanfstaengel, Ernst Udet, Louis Fischer, Armand Berard, Max Delbruck

 
 
 
Martha also began a relationship with Hitler's adjutant, Fritz Wiedemann, during those years in Germany. In her book, My Years in Germany (also titled Through Embassy Eyes, 1939) she pointed out: "Tall, dark, muscular, he certainly had great physical brawn and the appearance of bravery... Wiedemann's heavy face, with beetling eyebrows, friendly eyes and an extremely low forehead, was rather attractive... But I got the impression of an uncultivated, primitive mind, with the shrewdness and cunning of an animal, and completely without delicacy or subtlety... Certainly Wiedemann was a dangerous man to cross, for despite his social naivety and beguiling clumsiness, he was as ruthless a fighter and schemer as some of his compatriots."
 

Fritz Wiedemann

 
 
 
 
 
Her biographer, John Lewis Carver, said about her: " Nazism meant good-looking, tall, blond men to her and she liked what she saw. She was painting the Nazi capital red, but in a social way. She went out on the town every night, flirting, drinking and dancing, mostly with young men who happened to be Nazis. She gained a dual reputation. Insiders described her as a nymphomaniac in her sex life and a Nazi sympathizer in her politics."
 
This reputation gained confirmation when she started an affair with a sinisterly handsome Nazi official, Rudolf "Rolf" Diels. At the time, he was Chief of the Nazi Secret Service (Gestapo) and his objectives included spying on Martha’s own father and the American Embassy in Berlin.
 

(Left) Rudolf Diels; (Center) Heinrich Himmler and Rudolf Diels; (Right) Rudolf in uniform on the right

 
 
 
Martha disapproved of the way the Jews were being treated in Germany. In her book, My Years in Germany (1939), she wrote: "There was a street-car in the centre of the road from which a young girl was being brutally pushed and shoved. We moved closer and saw her tragic and tortured face. She looked ghastly. Her head had been shaved clean of hair and she was wearing a placard across her breast that said 'I have offered myself to a Jew'. We followed her for a moment, watching the crowd insult, jibe and drive her. Quentin and my brother asked several people around us, what was the matter. We understood from their German that she was a Gentile who had been consorting with a Jew."
 
 
 
 
 
In March of 1934, a Soviet Union Communist Party agent, Boris Vinogradov, was ordered to recruit Martha Dodd.
 

 

(Left) Boris Vinogradov

This message was sent to the Berlin station chief: "Let Boris Vinogradov know that we want to use him for the realization of an affair we are interested in.... According to our data, the mood of his acquaintance (Martha Dodd) is quite ripe for finally drawing her into our work. Therefore we ask Vinogradov to write her a warm friendly letter and to invite her to a meeting in Paris where... they will carry out necessary measures to draw Martha into our work."

The couple became lovers while in Paris. They also visited Moscow before retuning to Berlin. On 05 June 1935, Vinogradov wrote to his spymaster: "Currently the case with the American (Martha Dodd) is proceeding in the following way. Now she is in Berlin, and I received a letter from her in which she writes that she still loves me and dreams of marrying me. It is possible to work with her only with help from our good relations."
 
In October 1935, Boris Vinogradov was recalled to Moscow and another agent, Emir Bukhartsev, took over her case. He reported: "Martha argues that she is a convinced partisan of the Communist Party and the USSR. With the State Department's knowledge, Martha helps her father in his diplomatic work and is aware of all his ambassadorial affairs. The entire Dodd family hates National Socialists. Martha has interesting connections that she uses in getting information for her father. She has intimate relations with some of her acquaintances... Martha claims that the main interest of her life is to assist secretly the revolutionary cause. She is prepared to use her position for work in this direction, provided that the possibility of failure and of discrediting her father can be eliminated. She claimed that a former official of the Soviet Embassy in Berlin - Boris Vinogradov - has had intimate relations with her." In January 1936, Emir Bukhartsev reported on the progress he was making with Martha Dodd. "For the last 2-3 weeks, I met with (Martha) Dodd several times. At the first meeting, she told me about Bullitt's (U.S. Ambassador to France William Bullitt) swinish behavior during his sojourn in Berlin. According to her, Bullitt severely scolded the USSR in the American Embassy, arguing that in the next few months the Japanese would capture Vladivostok and the Russians would do nothing against it.... All of this exasperated the American Ambassador Dodd, who reported the talks in a letter to Washington.... During previous meetings Martha Dodd frankly expressed her willingness to help the Soviet Embassy with her information. Now she is studying hard the theory of communism and Matters of Leninism by Stalin. Her teacher is Arvid Harnack to whom she goes often. According to her, she now has to hide her Communist convictions due to her father's official status."
 
 
 
 
 

Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia

 

 

Emir Bukhartsev also revealed that Martha Dodd was having an affair with Louis Ferdinand, the Prince of Prussia. She claimed that this was for political reasons: "This year her father will retire, and then she will be able to conduct Communist activities more openly. However, this circumstance does not prevent her from maintaining rather intimate relations with Louis-Ferdinand, the Crown Prince's son. According to Dodd, this is a perfect disguise, because those who earlier treated her suspiciously because of her open relations with Boris Vinogradov now consider her previous passion hearty rather than political."

Boris Vinogradov, himself, was now working in Bucharest and in October 1936 Martha Dodd wrote to him via the Soviet embassy: "Boris, this week it was a year since I saw you last. On the 8th I gave you a farewell kiss at the railway station, and since then we haven't seen one another. But I never, not for a minute, forgot you and everything you gave me in my life. This week, every night I thought about you - every night, and about that night we had such a stupid and mean quarrel - do you forgive me?"
 
Martha's letter to Boris continues, "I was scared and in a wild condition that night because I knew that I wouldn't see you for so long. I strongly wanted you to stay with me that night and forever, and I knew that I would never be able to have you. What have you been doing all this time? Have you been thinking about me and asking yourself how my personal life has gone? From various sources I know that soon you will go home. Will you go via Berlin? Write me and let me know your plans. I would like to see you once more. On December 8 I will be at home all night. Won't you call me, won't you talk to me from Bucharest - I want so much to hear your voice again - and on the 8th it will be the anniversary of our folly. We should blame our cowardice for this absence. Please, call me that night."
 
Boris Vinogradov was then posted to Warsaw and asked Martha to travel to Poland. On 29th January, 1937, he wrote: "You can't imagine, honey, how often you were with me, how I have been constantly thinking about you, worrying about you and craving to see you, how I adjusted to the inevitable when I heard the first news and how I was glad to know the truth. I want to see you so much, honey. Couldn't I come before the end of the month? I would like to come on February 6, I think ... and to stay for about a week. It is extremely important for me to see you and I promise to do it as soon as possible. I would like to stay in a small hotel not far from you, and I want nobody to know I'm there because I don't want to be entertained. I only want to see you as much as possible incognito. Probably, we'll be able to leave from Warsaw to the countryside for one or two days. I will come alone. After all, my parents quite agree that I do what I want. I am 28 and very independent!"
 
In February 1937 Martha Dodd was told that Emir Bukhartsev had been recalled to Moscow and executed as "a Gestapo agent". Boris Vinogradov, once again became her main controller and in March, 1937, he was able to tell his Soviet intelligence supervisors that she was now working for Earl Browder, the leader of the American Communist Party, and an agent of the Soviet Union: "Today Martha Dodd left for Moscow. Since her father will retire sooner or later, she wants to work in her motherland. She established a connection with Browder who invited her to work for him. She also established a connection (through her brother, William) with The World Committee of Struggle for Peace in Geneva. An authoritative comrade in Moscow must talk to her and convince her to stay in Europe and work only for us."
 
On her arrival in Moscow on 14th March she sent a letter to the Soviet Government: "I, Martha Dodd, U.S. citizen, have known Boris Vinogradov for three years in Berlin and other places, and we have agreed to ask official permission to marry." She had a meeting with Abram Slutsky, the head of the Foreign Department (INO) of the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD). Slutsky reported: "Some time ago, Martha Dodd, daughter of the American Ambassador in Germany, was recruited by us. We used her short-term trip to the USSR for detailed negotiations with her and established that she has very valuable possibilities and may be widely used by us."
 

(Left) William Jr., Mattie, Martha and William Sr.; (Right) William Jr., Martha, William Sr. and Mattie

 
 
Martha made a statement to Slutsky about her commitment to the Soviet Union: "It goes without saying that my services of any kind and at any time are proposed to the party for use at its discretion. Currently, I have access mainly to the personal, confidential correspondence of my father with the U.S. State Department and the U.S. President. My source of information on military and naval issues, as well as on aviation, is exclusively personal contact with our embassy's staff... I have established very close connections to journalists."
 
Martha admitted that she was unable to get much important information from the Germany government: "I lost almost any connection with the Germans except perhaps for casual, high-society meetings which yield almost nothing. I still have a connection to the diplomatic corps but, on the whole, it doesn't yield great results. Germans, foreign diplomats, and our own personnel treat us suspiciously, unfriendly, and (as far as the Germans are concerned) insultingly. Is the information which I get from my father, who is hated in Germany and who occupies an isolated position among foreign diplomats and therefore has no access to any secret information, important enough for me to remain in Germany?"
 
She further suggested that she would be more use working in the United States: "Couldn't I conduct more valuable work in America or in some European organization such as the International Conference for Peace. In America, I am suspected of nothing, except for the Germans, and I have countless valuable connections in all circles. In other words, is my potential work valuable enough to stay in Germany even for the remaining term of my father's sojourn there? I have done everything possible to make my father remain in Germany. I'm still going to do everything I can in this direction. However, I'm afraid he will retire this summer or fall. He was of great benefit to the Roosevelt administration, contributing an anti-Nazi view."
 
 
 
 
 
Martha offered to persuade her father, Ambassador William Dodd, to help the Soviet government: "He personally wants to leave. Shouldn't he arrange his resignation with a provocation once he decides the question of timing? Shouldn't he provoke the Germans to make them demand his recall or create a scandal, after which he could speak openly in America both orally and in the press.... To resign and to publish a protest? He could be convinced to do it if it had significance for the USSR. Roosevelt will be giving diplomatic posts to many capitalists who financed him. Having little experience with respect to European politics, Roosevelt will appoint... people or groups who will be dangerous now and in time of war. Nevertheless, my father has great influence on Hull and Roosevelt, who are inclined to be slightly anti-Fascist... Have you got anybody in mind who would be at least liberal and democratic in this post (Dodd's replacement as Ambassador in Germany)? ... If there is information concerning our candidates, it would be important to know whose candidacy to the post of U.S. Ambassador in Germany that the USSR would like to promote. If this man has at least a slight chance, I will persuade my father to promote his candidacy."
 
A copy of this statement was sent to Nikolai Yezhov, the head of the NKVD. On 29th March, 1937, he sent it to Joseph Stalin with the message: "The 7th department of the... NKVD recruited Martha Dodd, daughter of the American Ambassador in Berlin, who came in March 1937 to Moscow for business negotiations. She described in her report her social status, her father's status, and prospects of her further work for us. Forwarding a copy of the latter, I ask instructions about Martha Dodd's use."
 
For the rest of the year Martha Dodd provided information from the American embassy. A NKVD report stated: "Martha Dodd... checks Ambassador Dodd's reports to Roosevelt in the archive and communicates to us short summaries of the contents, whose numbers we gave to her. She continues providing us with materials from the American Embassy, trying mainly to get data about Germany, Japan, and Poland." Her controller reported giving her "200 American dollars, 10 rubles, and gifts bought for 500 rubles."
 
 
 
 
 
In a memo from her handler, Boris Vinogradov, he pointed out that it was important for Martha to believe that she would eventually be allowed to marry him. He wrote that "her dream is to be my wife, at least virtually, and that I will come to work in America and she would help me." Boris' code name for Martha was "Juliet 2" - making you wonder who "Juliet 1" might be. In a memo dated 12th November 1937, Boris mentioned that Louis Fischer had proposed to her. "The meeting with Martha went off well. She was in a good mood. On December 15, she leaves for New York where a meeting with her is fixed (with NKVD operatives in that city). She is still busy with our marriage plans and waits for the fulfillment of our promise despite her parents' warning that nothing would come of it. Not unknown to you, journalist Louis Fischer proposed to her. She did not accept since she hopes to marry me. But if we tell her that I will by no means and never marry her, she will accept Fischer's proposal. I think that she shouldn't be left in ignorance with regard to the real situation, for if we deceive her, she may become embittered and lose faith in us. Now she agrees to work for us even if it turns out that I won't marry her. I proposed giving money to her, but she turned me down."
 
 
 
 
 

(Left) Itzhak Akhmerov

Itzhak Akhmerov was a Soviet agent born in 1901. In April 1934 he was sent to the United States where he posed as a foreign student. Adopting the name Michael Green he became the station chief in New York City.

In January, 1938, Itzhak Akhmerov was informed of a new agent, Martha Dodd who had been living in Nazi Germany, known by the code name "Liza". "We inform you that our source, 'Liza' (Martha Dodd), daughter of the former American Ambassador in Germany, is currently in your city. You should contact her after receiving a special cable. Her address: Irving Place, New York City. You should come to her early in the morning between 8 and 9 A.M."
 
Agent Akhmerov reported that Martha Dodd had started a relationship with the millionaire Alfred Stern, a supporter of the American Communist Party. "At present she has a fiancé.... If Boris Vinogradov reiterates his promise, she will wait for him and reject the other man (Alfred Stern). Her fiancé is Alfred Stern, 40 years old, Jew, a man with an independent material status who stayed in Germany a couple of years ago and helped the Communist Party financially.... She doesn't think her marriage would prevent her from working with us, though she doesn't understand completely what she should do."
 
 
 
 
 
On 28 May 1838, less than five months after her return to the US from Germany, Martha's mother (Martha "Mattie" Ida Johns Dodd) died as a result of a "heart lesion" (a stress or trauma delivered to the interior walls of the heart).
 
 
 
 
 
In the summer of 1938, while still romantically involved with the filmmaker Sidney Kaufman, with whom she lived for several months, Martha started seeing New York millionaire Alfred Kaufman Stern, an investment broker who acquired great wealth in a prior divorce from the daughter of Sears Roebuck tycoon Julius Rosenwald.

 

Alfred Kaufman Stern was born into a wealthy family on 29 November 1897, in Fargo, North Dakota and was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard University. In 1921 Alfred Stern married Marion Rosenwald, daughter of one of the richest men in America, Julius Rosenwald. They had two children, but the marriage ended in divorce. Alfred retired from business and, as a supporter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, became chairman of the Illinois Housing Commission. Even though Alfred was a registered Democrat, he showed interest in American Communism. Since Communism teaches the abolition of private property, it was strange for a businessman with a lavish country estate in Lewisboro, New York, a big town house in New York City, offices in Rockefeller Center — and literally millions in the bank - to move in this direction.
 
Martha Eccles Dodd married Alfred Kaufman Stern on 04 Sep 1938 in Norfolk, Virginia. Alfred was born 29 Nov 1897 in Fargo, North Dakota. Alfred was 40 and she was 29. Alfred was the son of Max Stern and Fanny Kaufman and he was living at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, New York. The marriage was performed by Henry B. Cole, a Baptist minister, in Norfolk, Hamilton, Virginia.
 

(Left) Martha and Alfred Stern; (Center) William Dodd, Sr., Martha and Alfred; (Right) Martha and Alfred Stern

   

 
 

Marriage License for Alfred Kaufman Stern and Martha Eccles Dodd

 
 
 
Martha wrote to Soviet agent Boris Vinogradov with the news: "You haven't had time yet to know that I really got married. On *June 16, I married an American whom I love very much. I wanted to tell you a lot, but I will wait until our meeting. We are supposed to be in the USSR in late August or early September this year. I hope you'll be there or will let me know where I can meet you. You know, honey, that for me, you meant more in my life than anybody else. You also know that, if I am needed, I will be ready to come when called. Let me know your plan if you get another post. I look into the future and see you in Russia again. Your Martha." Martha was unaware that she would never see Boris Vinogradov again. He had already been arrested and executed as a "traitor to the motherland".

*Not sure why this date, June 16, differs from her Marriage License, Sept 4.

 
 
 
 
 
Iskhak Akhmerov further reported on 1st December, 1938: "Since 'Liza' (Martha Dodd) became the wife of a millionaire, her everyday life has changed considerably. She lives in a rich apartment on 57th Street, has two servants, a driver, and a personal secretary. She is very keen on her plan to go to Moscow as the wife of the American Ambassador." He pointed out that Stein was willing to contribute $50,000 to the Democratic Party in order to get the post but he considered "his chances are still very weak." Martha's dreams were never fulfilled. Alfred Stern was never appointed US Ambassador to the Soviet Union.
 
 
 
 
 
Martha's father, Ambassador William Edward Dodd, Sr., died 09 Feb 1940, in Rock Hill, Loudoun County, VA, at the age of 70. Cause of death was listed as "Aspiration Pneumonia". Martha and her brother William Jr. edited their father's diary from his years as US Ambassador to Germany for publication by Harcourt, Brace and Company.
 
 

William's children (William Jr. and Martha)
Edited their father's Diary from 1933-38 for publication after his death

 

 
 
 
 
The NKVD (the Soviet Communist Party) ordered Martha Dodd to use her influence with important figures such as Eleanor Roosevelt. One report said: "Let her (Martha Dodd) move in the circles interesting to us ... It is necessary to continue activating her activities as a successful journalist. She should also be guided to approach and deepen her relationship with the President's wife, Eleanor, through different social organizations, committees, and societies."
 
Another Soviet agent was rather disapproving of Martha's behavior and wrote: "She considers herself a Communist and claims to accept the party's program. In reality, 'Liza' is a typical representative of American bohemia, a sexually decayed woman ready to sleep with any handsome man."
 
Zalmond Franklin (a Communist Party of the United States member and KGB asset during World War II) asked Martha to control her sexual behavior. Martha replied: "Why? What's wrong with it?" Franklin explained: "It may be demoralizing. The work may suffer. Relations suffer because they become too intimate. Lovers chatter too much, especially in bed." Zalmond Franklin went on to say: "Bluntly but frankly, I asked Martha if her sexual relations with her husband were satisfactory. She, of course, asked why. I explained that I was interested because she had twice remarked that she would divorce her husband if she stood in... the way of his political development. I suggested that one does not talk of divorce quite so casually unless one wanted a divorce. Martha explained: She loved her husband very much. Their relationship was quite satisfactory in every way. She loved him, not the wild love she felt for Boris Vinogradov, but still a satisfactory love. Having once started, Martha, as in the past, talked quite freely... Martha's life in Berlin can be summed up in one word - sleep. Seemingly, she spent most of her time in bed. In addition to the Russian or Russians, she had slept with a full-blown fascist, General Ernest Udet, second in command of the German air force; Louis Ferdinand, grandson of the Kaiser (and Prince of Prussia); and some guy at the French Embassy in Berlin. (A real internationalist!)"
 
 
 
 
 
Martha Dodd eventually recruited her husband, Alfred Stern, as a Soviet agent. In December 1941, Vassily Zarubin arranged for Alfred Stern and Boris Morros to form a music publishing house in the United States. (Boris Morros was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on 1st January, 1891. He emigrated to the United States in 1922 and soon afterwards joined the American Communist Party. On 2nd November, 1940, another Soviet agent in New York contacted Morros and proposed several ideas for activating him. However, it was only in December 1941, that Morros agreed to the request. In exchange, Vassily Zarubin promised Morros that he would assist in seeing that his father would be granted an exit permit from the Soviet Union, allowing him to travel to the United States. He was also promised that his two brothers, Yuli and Savely, would be released from a Soviet prison. Another brother, Alexander, had been executed in 1940.) Stern agreed to invest $130,000 in the venture and Boris Morros agreed to put $62,000 in the Boris Morros Music Company. According to Allen Weinstein, the author of The Hunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America (1999): "Using funds provided by the NKGB, Morros would establish a music publishing house in the United States - a business that could also serve as a cover for Soviet illegals... Soviet intelligence's adventure in the American commercial music industry was launched at a September 1944 meeting of Morros and Stern brokered by Zarubin."
 
Allen Weinstein, the author of The Hunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America (1999), pointed out that Martha Dodd was not a very important spy during the Second World War. "Beyond Martha Dodd's occasional help as a spotter, identifying potential agents from among her circles of radical friends, and Alfred Stern's cheerful willingness to invest and lose personal funds in an NKCB cover business, Moscow now found little of value in Stern (known as "the Red millionaire") and his socially active spouse." Martha Dodd published My Years in Germany (1939) which "focused mainly on Germany but was also filled with euphoric commentary on the Soviet Union, observations made during her trip around the country with Boris Vinogradov (though discreetly omitting any mention of him)."
 
In 1944 Jack Soble became the Alfred and Martha's new NKVD handler. Soble reported to Moscow on 18th August 1947: "One has to be an iron man to tolerate Alfred Stern in a commercial affair, especially in America, where risk, broad scope, and timeliness are the basic elements in any commercial enterprise."
 
 
 
 
 
The FBI became suspicious of Boris Morros and in 1947 he was arrested and charged with being a Soviet spy. He agreed to become a double agent and provided information on the Soviet spy network. Jack Soble was eventually arrested and convicted on espionage charges and sentenced to seven years in prison. With Soble’s arrest, the ring was compromised and Boris Morros’ double-agent status with it had to be revealed. That was the last-minute tip-off for Martha, Alfred and their son. They quickly picked up a few hundred thousand dollars of the Stern family millions, and on the eve of their scheduled appearance before a grand jury, they fled across the unguarded border to Mexico.
 
In July 1956 Martha and Alfred Stern moved to Prague in Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). They tried to gain entry into the Soviet Union but this was initially refused. However, On 12th August 1957, Boris Morros appeared before the House of Un-American Activities Committee and named Martha Dodd and Alfred Stern as being members of a Soviet spy ring in the United States. Allen Weinstein, the author of The Hunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America (1999), pointed out: "Within days, on August 28, the KGB recommended to the Central Committee of the Communist Party that Martha and Alfred Stern be allowed to settle in the USSR. The Sterns arrived in Moscow the following month, at the same time an American court found them guilty in absentia of espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union."
 
Unhappy in the Soviet Union, Martha and Alfred returned to Czechoslovakia in January 1958 where Alfred Stern worked in the export-import field and Martha Dodd edited English-language books.
 
In 1963 the couple moved to Cuba but returned to Czechoslovakia seven years later. During the 1970s, monitored by the KGB, American lawyers for Martha and Alfred began negotiating with the FBI for their return to America with out prosecution or imprisonment for espionage. The KGB did not object to their departure, according to a 14th October, 1975, memo: "Data that the Sterns have about the activities of Soviet intelligence are obsolete and mainly known to the adversary from the traitor (Boris Morros's) testimonies." However, the negotiations proved unsuccessful and the Sterns never returned to the US.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alfred Kaufman Stern died 24 Jun 1986 in Prague, Czech Republic.
 
Martha Eccles Dodd Stern died 10 Aug 1990 in Prague, Czech Republic, and was buried in the New Jewish Cemetery in the same city.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Additional Information about

George Bassett Roberts

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Before retiring from Citibank in 1959, Mr. Roberts was director of its economics department. For more than three decades, he co-edited the bank's Monthly Economic Letter, which had been established in 1914 by his father, George E. Roberts, who was twice director of the United States Mint. Until the newsletter was discontinued in 1981, it was widely read by government officials, business leaders and academicians.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SOURCES
 

North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program - William E. Dodd 1869-1940 - Click Here

Ambassador William E. Dodd - Wikipedia

*William Dodd - The U.S. Ambassador in Hitler's Germany - Click Here

**The University of Chicago Faculty - William E. Dodd - Click Here

Hall of Holography - World War I - Click Here

Biography in Contest: William E. Dodd - Click Here

 
Martha Eccles Dodd - Wikipedia
Martha Eccles Dodd - Spy - Click Here
Spies & Spymasters - Martha Dodd - Click Here
Martha Dodd and Boris Binogradov - Click Here

Eric Lawson, "Into the Garden of the Beast" - Click Here

 
George Bassett Roberts - Find-A-Grave - Click Here