Arrested Technion Professor Admits Passing Data to Foreign Power
Menu JTA Search

Arrested Technion Professor Admits Passing Data to Foreign Power

Download PDF for this date

Prof. Kurt Sitte, the internationally known physicist who headed the physics department of the Haifa Technion until his arrest in June, has admitted contacts with a foreign agent, it was reported today.

Dr. Sitte, who conducted various research projects at the Technion under contract with the U.S. Air Force, particularly in cosmic radiation, also has admitted passing information to a foreign power through that agent.

It was also reported that Dr. Sitte was sent to Israel specifically to conduct espionage and that for a long time he met once a month with a foreign diplomat who was reportedly sent to Israel to meet Dr. Sitte for espionage purposes. The meetings took place at a cafe in Haifa and were secretly photographed by Israel security forces.

Dr. Sitte at present holds a West German passport which he obtained two years ago. Between 1954, when he arrived in Israel, and 1958, he had no nationality status and traveled with an Israel “laissez passer,” a document serving the functions of a passport. Police sources said that the investigation had been completed and data handed over to the Israel Attorney General’s office for use in preparing an indictment.

The Czech-born physicist was reported today to have been under Israel Security Service surveillance since his arrival in 1954. It was disclosed that during his interrogation, he tried to deny the charges but when he was shown documents and photographs, he admitted his espionage activities. Subsequently, it was reported, he has cooperated with his interrogators.

The arrest took place, it was revealed, when police officers went to his home and asked him several questions for which he could not provide satisfactory answers. He is not being detained in an ordinary prison cell.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund