Real name, Nathan Markovich Poretsky. Soviet intelligence operative who became a Captain of the GB in 1935. Reiss was born into the family of a trade clerk in Western Ukraine, which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After joining the revolutionary movement while he was still at school, Reiss graduated from the law school of the University of Vienna. In 1919, he joined the Communist Party of Austria but later transferred to the Russian Communist Party. In 1920, Reiss was sent by the Comintern to Poland on an “illegal” mission. Shortly thereafter, he entered the military intelligence service (then IV Directorate of the Staff of the RKKA. From 1922 to 1926, he worked for this service in Germany and Poland, moving to Vienna in 1926 and 1927 and then to central headquarters in Moscow. He was dispatched next to Czechoslovakia and then to Holland. He was decorated with the Order of the Red Banner in 1928.
In 1931, Poretsky transferred to the OGPU foreign intelligence and was posted to France and Switzerland. In summer 1937, Reiss-Poretsky’s denunciation of Stalinist leadership was published in the French press. He was assassinated on September 4, 1937, near Lausanne, Switzerland, by operatives of the OGPU foreign intelligence. 1
- See V. Abramov. Jews in the KGB: Executors and Victims. Moscow: Yauza-Eksmo, 2005, pp. 274-275. ↩