There are few still alive who survived the Stalin terror. One such emerged in 2017 to be interviewed by a Russian newspaper, Moskovskii komsomolets. Anna Rudakova, born in 1917, became a touch typist for Beria in the Lubyanka, paid 900 roubles (a very generous sum) for very hard work but with access to special shops (ordering out) during wartime privations and even a special dance hall during the daily break from 4.00-8.00pm. In 1938-1939 everyone stayed at their desks until Beria, who had just replaced the even more hated Yezhov, left the building. She eventually married the secretary of the special department (Spetsotdel).
Special communications to Stalin carried with them special standards, the finest paper and absolutely no corrections. When she worked in the secretariat for Smersh (counter-intelligence, short for Death to Spies) under Viktor Abakumov, she had a pistol given her (which she kept at home as she did not like weapons) and freedom of movement to go anywhere she wanted without inspection. Occasionally she went to the front to take depositions from secret agents in Smersh and wore whatever was the uniform of the host regiment. She also took testimony from German spies under interrogation. With the most high ranking prisoners, she was prohibited from taking notes and had to memorise despositions in their entirety, report in on arrival in Moscow and promptly forget all that she had heard. Like the scores who worked at Bletchley (Government Code and Cypher School) in Britain she steadfastly maintained her silence as to the work she undertook as a lifetime’s obligation.
ОТКРОВЕНИЯ 100-ЛЕТНЕЙ СЕКРЕТАРШИ СМЕРША: «Я ГОТОВИЛА СТАЛИНУ СЕКРЕТНЫЕ БУМАГИ»Ева Меркачева15.05.2017″Московский комсомолец” № 27339 от 7 марта 2017
Откровения 100-летней секретарши Смерша: «Я готовила Сталину секретные бумаги»Анна Рудакова рассказала про «кухню» НКВД