Leopold Trepper (February 23, 1904 – January 19, 1982) was an organizer of the Soviet spy ring Rote Kapelle (Red Orchestra) prior to and during World War II.
Leopold Trepper was born to a Jewish family on February 23, 1904, in Nowy Targ, Poland (part of Austria-Hungary in that time). His family moved to Vienna, Austria, when he was child. After the October Revolution he joined the Bolsheviks and worked in the Galician mines. In 1923, he organized a strike in Kraków and was imprisoned for eight months.
In 1924 Trepper emigrated from Poland to Palestine as a member of the Zionist socialist movement Hashomer Hatzair. He joined the Palestine Communist Party and worked against the British forces in Palestine. He was identified as a communist agent and expelled in 1929. He went to France and worked for an underground political organization called Rabcors until French intelligence broke it up in 1932.
Trepper escaped to Moscow and worked as a GRU agent for the next six years, traveling between Moscow and Paris. He escaped the Stalinist purges with support from Soviet military intelligence, one of the few forces still relatively immune from Stalin's influence and where the influence of old Bolsheviks remained strong...
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