LONDON (Oct. 6)
A Hungarian actor-television personality who defected to the West claimed here that he left his homeland because he was being forced to act as a spy in a top secret project intended to implicate high-ranking Hungarian Government and Communist Party officials as “Zionists.” Milo Szakats, 49, told his story to London Times writer Gabriel Ronay. who wrote that Mr. Szakats’ experiences indicated that the secret police were trying to organize a purge of leading officials sympathetic to Israel along the lines of the Polish Government’s “anti-Zionist” drive.
The defector said that he was arrested after the abortive Hungarian uprising of 1956 and was forced, with other artists and literary figures, to spy on Western diplomats in Budapest. He claimed that this year he was summoned by Col. E. Kiss, head of the Hungarian counter-espionage services, who wanted him to contact an Israeli diplomat in Vienna who was a friend and obtain from him names of “Zionists” in the Hungarian Government and Communist Party. The diplomat was supposed to be the “guide” to the “Zionist movement in Hungary.”
According to Mr. Szakats, Col. Kiss tried to bribe him with an offer of the job of director of the radio and television theater now under construction in Budapest. Col. Kiss allegedly told the actor that the Poles and Russians had “solved” the problem of “Zionist” penetration into their countries and that “the Soviet comrades thought it intolerable that inveterate Zionists should continue to thrive in the ranks of the highest Government and party leadership in Hungary.”
Mr. Szakats said the colonel was undertaking to gather evidence against the alleged “Zionists” apparently without the sanction of the party presidium and without the knowledge of President Janos Kadar. Mr. Szakats said he was repeatedly warned that the operation must be kept secret and was threatened with “dire consequences” if he betrayed it to anyone, even Mr. Kadar. “I just could not bear this life of threats and bribes and the indignity of being asked to spy on one’s friends.” Mr. Szakats said.