Notorious spy Marcus Klingberg dies at 97
search

Notorious spy Marcus Klingberg dies at 97

Prominent scientist gave details to the Soviets of Israeli chemical, biological activities for decades

Marcus Klingberg (Wikipedia)
Marcus Klingberg (Wikipedia)

Marcus Klingberg, perhaps the most damaging spy in Israel’s history, died on Monday in Paris at age 97.

From 1957, Klingberg, deputy director of the top-secret Israel Institute for Biological Research at Ness Ziona, south of Tel Aviv, and a professor of epidemiology at Tel Aviv University, passed information to the Soviet Union about Israel’s chemical and biological activities.

He was covertly arrested by the Shin Bet on January 19, 1983, and subsequently charged with spying for the KGB for three decades.

He was released in 2003 after spending some 20 years in prison — the first decade of which was in solitary confinement, where he was held under a pseudonym — and a subsequent period under house arrest.

Klingberg was born in Poland to a Hasidic Jewish family and moved to Sweden after World War II. It was there that he was apparently recruited by Soviet intelligence. He moved to Israel soon after the establishment of the Jewish state, and later denied that he had done so at the Soviets’ request.

He claimed to have spied for ideological reasons, and also said he felt he owed the Soviet Union a debt for its central role in defeating the Nazis.

On his release from prison, he moved to Paris, to be close to a daughter and grandson. He did not take French citizenship.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments