An addendum to this post about the ‘Billion Dollar Spy’.
It wasn’t money, it was disaffection. His wife Natalia’s mother had been executed in 1938 in Stalin’s purge. When Natalie’s father refused to denounce his wife, he was sent to a labour camp. Natalie grew up in an orphanage.
Tolkachev commented a number of times to at least one of his case officers that the brutal treatment that his wife’s parents had suffered was a key factor in his motivation to work against the Soviet regime.He never shed any light on why the authorities had taken these actions against his wife’s parents, but once suggested that his wife and her parents were Jewish. Given the Stalinists’ anti-Semitism, this factor may have played a role in their persecution.