The Red Orchestra by V. E. Tarrant

Discussion in 'Books and Films' started by liverpool annie, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    I read the Red Orchestra and I was enthralled with it ! - about Soviet espionage against the Third Reich beginning in 1938, when veteran communist activist Leopold Trepper was assigned to create an information network ....... but I just came across a piece that mentions Leo Trepper's autobiography - The Great Game - I need to find that !! :)

    LEOPOLD TREPPER. Jewish, of polish nationality, Trepper was the leader of the Red Orchestra spy network, a Soviet organization operating in Belgium and France. It was the KGBs principle source of information from occupied Europe. After his arrest in Paris by the Gestapo, he agreed to play a double game but given the freedom he was allowed, he escaped in June 1943 and went into hiding for the rest of the war. His own family, 48 members in all, were arrested and exterminated. Trepper survived the war and returned to Moscow where he faced court and had to serve ten years in a Soviet prison. On his return to Warsaw he started life again as a publisher of Jewish and classical literature. In 1974 he went to live in Jerusalem and there he published his autobiography 'The Great Game'. In 1982, he died in Israel at the age of 77.

    Leopold Trepper, the son of Jewish parents, was born in Novy-Tang, Poland, on 23rd February, 1904. When he was a boy his family moved to Vienna.
    After the October Revolution Trepper joined the Bolsheviks. He worked in Galician mines and in 1925 he organised an illegal strike at Dombrova. He was arrested and spent eight months in prison.
    In 1926 Trepper migrated to Palestine. He remained a member of the Communist Party and worked against the British until being expelled in 1928.
    Trepper now moved to France where he worked for Rabcors, an illegal political organization, until it was broken up by French intelligence. Trepper escaped to Moscow where he was recruited by the NKVD. For the next six years he worked as a spy in Europe. In 1939 Trepper established the Red Orchestra network and organised underground operations in Germany, France, Holland and Switzerland.
    Red Orchestra worked closely with the French Communist Party and succeeded in tapping the phones of Abwher in France. Trepper was also able to provide detailed reports on the plans for a German invasion of the Soviet Union.
    In the spring of 1942 the first Red Orchestra agents were arrested in Belgium. Some agents broke under torture and the Germans were able to liquidate the network in Belgium, Holland and Germany. The Red Orchestra's headquarters were raided in November, 1942. Trepper managed to escape and remained in hiding until Paris was liberated.
    Trepper returned to Moscow in January, 1945. Joseph Stalin ordered his arrest and was kept in prison until 1955. He moved to Poland where he became head of the Jewish Cultural Society. After many years of trying, Trepper was eventually granted permission to emigrate to Israel in 1973 where he published his autobiography, The Great Game. Leopold Trepper died in Israel in 1982.

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