Czech Rabbi’s Future in Doubt After He Admits Role As Informer London Jewish Chronicle
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Czech Rabbi’s Future in Doubt After He Admits Role As Informer London Jewish Chronicle

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The leadership of Czechoslovakia’s Jewish community will meet next Tuesday to decide whether to demand the resignation of its rabbi, 33-year-old Daniel Mayer, who has admitted to having been an informant for the ousted Communist regime.

Dr. Desider Galsky, leader of the tiny Jewish community, which numbers fewer than 1,000 in Prague, said in a telephone interview that Mayer would make a statement at the meeting and members of the community board would vote on his future.

Mayer was quoted as telling an American newspaper in an interview Monday that he will offer his resignation.

He admitted collaborating with the Communist secret police after his name appeared on a list of informants culled from among the candidates of various parties in Czechoslovakia’s first free elections in 44 years, held last weekend.

Mayer stood for election for a minor party that received few votes.

According to the New York newspaper Newsday, he said he withdrew his candidacy in April for reasons unrelated to his spy role, but his name appeared on the ballot by mistake.

Galsky agreed his decision to stand for election was “a mistake” and “it is very sad.”

According to the Newsday interview, published Tuesday, Mayer was recruited in 1979 when he was a second-year student at the rabbinical seminary in Budapest, Hungary, then the only rabbinical school in Eastern Europe.

He said he signed an agreement to report regularly on the activities of the Jewish community. He said he was under “great pressure” and threats.

Mayer said the secret police had a hold on him because he had carelessly expressed opinions critical of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in the spring of 1968 and other views contrary to the party line.

Mayer said he believed most of the lay Jewish community in Czechoslovakia was similarly compromised. He told Newsday he had evidence he was not the only informant in the community.

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