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A Prison Seder for Accused Spy

April 5, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Shimon Or, an Israeli accused of spying for the KGB, spent the first days of Passover in a Duesseldorf prison.

The 49-year-old Hebrew teacher remained there despite appeals by the Jewish community in Aachen and the intervention of a local Catholic priest to release him temporarily so that he could attend the community seder.

Rabbi Abraham Hochwalid of Duesseldorf brought matza, Israeli wine and traditional Passover food to Or’s cell Friday. The prisoner also was visited by his wife, Rivka.

Earlier, federal prosecutor Kurt Redmann angrily rejected pleas to allow Or to return home for the holidays from the Jewish community and the Aachen priest, Peter Wiesner, who expressed surprise that Or was arrested.

Or was one of six West German residents taken into custody in Duesseldorf last week for allegedly passing classified information to the KGB, the Soviet secret service, about a Eurojet fighter-plane project.

Redmann insisted he has strong evidence that Or was in contact with Soviet agents.

Before going to Israel some 17 years ago, Or reportedly worked for the state-owned Intourist travel agency in the USSR, which is rumored to be partly controlled by KGB agents.

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