Originally Posted by Webfoot Hero
That works since at the of WWII, both the US and the USSR were rounding up German scientists to keep them from falling into each other's hands.
Problem is, at the time Zola was in SSR custody. It makes more sense if the Americans had him, especially since he was the only one who had worked with the Tesseract before.
Of course, it could be that the US swapped Zola for someone else.
Or here's a thought. The US swaps Zola for Bucky Barnes, only Bucky is already brainwashed and so he assassinates Chester Philips and runs away back to the USSR.