Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Leopold Trepper

Leopold Trepper (1904 –1982) was a Polish Communist, agent of the Red Army Intelligence, with the code name of Otto and had been working with them since 1930.
He was the technical director of intelligence in western Europe and was responsible for recruiting agents and creating espionage networks. He was also a resistance fighter and journalist of Jewish descent.
Trepper was an experienced intelligence officer, an extremely resourceful and capable man who was completely at home in the west, a man who could not be drawn in conversation, who lived a concealed life and whose special talent was a keen judgement of people that enabled him to penetrate significant groups with ease.
By the start of World War II, Trepper controlled a large espionage network in Belgium and seven espionage networks in France.
The Soviets took Trepper to Russia but instead of rewarding him, they interned him in the Lubyanka prison. He vigorously defended his position and avoided execution for unknown reasons but remained in prison until 1955. Before that, he was personally interrogated by SMERSH chief Viktor Abakumov. After his release, he returned to Poland to his wife and three sons. He became a head of the Sociocultural Association of Jews in Poland.
After the Six-Day War and the subsequent antisemitic campaign in Poland, Trepper wanted to emigrate to Israel. While the Polish communist government promoted and encouraged the emigration of thousands of Jews at that time, in the case of Trepper, who wrote a letter protesting the treatment of the Jews, permission was refused until international pressure forced the authorities to allow him and a number of other Jews in a similar situation to leave. He settled in Jerusalem in 1974.

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