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Orenstein Back in Israel After 34 Months in Czech Prison

Shimon Orenstein, Israeli businessman who was imprisoned in Czechoslovakia for 34 months of a life sentence on charges of being a “Zionist spy working in the service of the imperialists, ” is back in his two-room flat in Haifa today with his wife and son.

Orenstein was a key witness in the famous Slansky trial in which he allegedly “confessed” that he was an “agent of the Morgenthau plan” under which the Zionist movement was supposed to have been acting as “agents” for “American imperialists.” Another Israeli, Mapam leader Mordechai Oren, is still in prison in Czechoslovakia under similar charges.

All Orenstein would say when he deplaned at Lydda this week-end, was: “I am happy to be back with my family and in my country.” He would not discuss his alleged “confession,” pleading that he was very tired. In addition to his family, which met him at the airport, he was greeted by Shimon Furmand, who was arrested by the Czechs with Orentstein near the Austrian border but released after one year’s imprisonment.

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