THE LINSE KIDNAPING
The Investigating Committee of Free Jurists (UfJ) was, in many ways, exactly the kind of organization that was the most useful to the American intelligence groups (CIC and CIA), that were operating in West Berlin during the 1950s. It had solid anticommunist credentials, a highly respected membership with international connections, and the ability to publicize its work.
As with the other West Berlin groups that attracted American attention, the UfJ had extensive refugee contacts, focused its activities on what was happening in East Germany, and accumulated data interesting to the CIC and CIA. A recently published work on the Berlin spy wars in this early period credits an American agent in the West Berlin CIA office with the original idea for creating the UfJ: “The group’s influence certainly accounted for the scope and ferocity of Soviet and East German efforts to blunt its effects in the GDR and abroad. This same success caused the CIA to involve the organization in wholly incompatible and disastrous paramilitary activities. Indeed, the eventual destruction of the reputation of the group’s leader and founder, and of the group itself, was apparent at the group’s creation.”1
The founding of the Free Jurists in West Berlin in 1949, was a modest affair, as were its stated goals of collecting and publicizing legal injustices that were occurring in East Germany. The founding figure used the name Dr. Theo Friedenau, although his real name was Horst Erdmann
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Publication information: Book title: Kidnap City: Cold War Berlin. Contributors: Arthur L. Smith - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 113.
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