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The Illustrious Career of Arkadiy Harting

Russian operations against terrorist exiles, 1880-1909,
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Arkadiy Harting

mentioned in intelligence and operational reports.   This reference system, as numerous notations indicate, was used for operational planning, verification of data, and background for intelligence reporting. The Paris files thus became in some respects superior to those in the central Okhrana repository in Russia.
The Fall
Of the four chiefs of the Paris Okhrana Harting seems the most impressive in both activity and personality, and he was no doubt the most universally liked by his office subordinates and secret agents. The same kind of teamwork he had achieved with Rachkovsky he extended to his agents. What endeared him to them more than the remuneration-which he always insisted on keeping at high levels wherever due-was his engaging personality and habitual human interest in their welfare and security.
The abrupt end of Harting's service came as a very serious blow to the Okhrana abroad. He himself probably expected it after Leonid Menshchikov, a former subordinate official of the Okhrana in Russia, defected to Vladimir Burtzev and the intelligence bureau he was organizing for the revolutionaries. Harting suspected rightly that Menshchikov had some information which might lead to his exposure. On the morning of 15 June 1909 the Paris newspapers broke the sensational news that Arkadiy Mikhailovich Harting, chief of the Russian secret police in Paris, famous socialite, and candidate for the French Legion of Honor, was none other than that Abraham Hackelman who, under the alias Landesen, had been sentenced in 1890 by a Paris tribunal to five years imprisonment as a terrorist provocateur. The press demanded his immediate arrest and Socialist deputy Jaures seized on the case in parliament to attack the Clemenceau cabinet and call for the expulsion of the Russian secret service.
The government in St. Petersburg issued official denials, pointing to Harting's noble birth, high rank in the army, etc. but at the same time sent telegrams ordering him to leave Paris at once. He settled at first in Belgium under some unknown name. Burtzev sent teams to Brussels to locate and kidnap him to bring him back to France and prison. But Harting hid so well this time that he even vanished from the secret Okhrana files.
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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:11 AM
Last Updated: Aug 05, 2011 12:42 PM