Family business is the agenda of this entry.
Ron Drabkin, my friend and Venture Partner at DreamVision Inc. which I founded back in 2006, was born in Los Angeles and grew up there.
I met his father once at his father’s house in LA. Three months after my visit, he passed away.
Ron’s grandfather and father were running strawberry farms and a drug store, but also, they were working in counterespionage in Los Angeles for most of the 20th century. He just knew the fact, when his father passed away.
Now he is working on a book on the subject and looking for historian in Japan who is knowledgeable about pre World War II espionage.
The below is his message.
Looking for Help from a Japanese Historian
Many people have “family businesses.” I myself work in Silicon Valley, but my family was working in counterespionage in Los Angeles for most of the 20th century. I am currently working on a book on the subject.
Los Angeles has been a target for spies for a long time. Prior to World War II, and even to some degree today, it has been the place of influence over world thought — via the movie industry — and of aerospace. Before World War II, Los Angeles produced about 65% of the US Army’s fighter planes. More recently, Elon Musk’s started SpaceX in Los Angeles.
Spies from other countries have always gone to Los Angeles to steal military and media secrets. Before World War II, Nazi Germany was involved both in ensuring anti German movies were not made, and getting German people working in the Lockheed, Northrop, Hughes and other factories. More recently, North Korean spies have famously been poking around Los Angeles, such as in the hack of Sony Pictures.
Several books have been published in English about Nazi, American and Jewish American spies in Los Angeles. Here is one, called “Hollywood’s Spies.” I personally find it interesting because I have records of business loans between my grandfather and a couple of Nazi spies. Presumably Soviet and Japanese spies were also at work at this time, but there has been no research and no books written yet.
I heard many stories as a child about various German, Russian and Japanese friends of my family.
It would be very interesting to find some information about Japanese records from the 1930s showing any espionage activities in California. It would easily fit in the book I am writing. Perhaps there has been research done in Japan on the topic already, or there may be some original information in some libraries.
I would like to find historian in Japan who is knowledgeable about pre World War II espionage who could give me some advice on what data might be available, where it might be, and how to go about looking.
Burlingame, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org