Arnold Deutsch was born on May 21, 1904 to the family of a small merchant from Slovakia, which at that time was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1908, his parents moved to Vienna.
In 1924, Arnold Deutsch entered the faculty of philosophy at the University of Vienna. Academics came easy to him, and in addition to philosophy, Arnold immersed himself in chemistry and psychology. At age 24, he brilliantly defended his dissertation on silver salts and was awarded a doctorate. He was already fluent in five European languages at the time, and later picked up Russian.
As a young man, he already exhibited the makings of a successful intelligence officer. While at the University of Vienna, he became fascinated with the ideas of Marxism and joined the Communist Party. Those qualities later came to the attention of Soviet intelligence. In January 1932, Deutsch and his wife Josephine Lang arrived in Moscow, where Arnold was assigned to the International Liaison Department of Comintern. In August of the same year, Deutsch was hired by the Foreign Department of the NKVD and began his career as a professional intelligence officer. His first appointment was in Paris, at the "illegal" rezidentura of the NKVD. He went
on to work in Belgium, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. In 1934, Deutsch moved to London and studied psychology at the University of London, as a cover.
Arnold Deutsch had the gift of gab. Bright, sophisticated and excellent
communicator, he got along with people easily. In his spacious flat in London’s Hampstead area, he hosted renowned scientists, academics and politicians, none of whom ever suspected that the engaging host was carrying out assignments from the head of the "illegal" Station in London, Theodore Maly.
Deutsch was one of the first Soviet intelligence officers to focus on recruiting agents from the British aristocracy, many of whom in those years sympathised with the Soviet Union. He was the main force behind assembling the Cambridge Five, and from 1934 to 1937 he oversaw their activities.
Kim Philby cherished his relationship with Otto (Deutsch's code name), and in his memoirs described him in familial terms: "Shortly after we met, Otto became for me something between a foster father and an older brother. A father when it came to guidance, advice and authority; an older brother when we had fun together."
In September 1937, Deutsch and his wife were called back to Moscow. In 1938, they received Soviet citizenship and passports under the names Stefan Grigorievich Lang and Josephina Pavlovna Lang.
From 1938 to 1941, Deutsch worked as a research associate at the Institute of World Economy and International Politics of the USSR Academy of Sciences.
In November 1941, Arnold Deutsch was appointed the "illegal" rezident in
Argentina. With the start of war between the United States and Japan, the ship that was to take him to South America via Iran, India and Southeast Asia had to be rerouted through the North Atlantic. On 7 November 1942, in the Norwegian Sea, the tanker Donbass on which he was travelling was sunk by a German destroyer. According to eyewitness survivors, Deutsch died heroically attempting to save other