On April 15, 1954, in response to the news of the disappearance of Dr. Alexander Truschnowitsch, the New York Times wrote that it was “the most spectacular kidnaping in West Berlin since July 1952, when Dr. Walter Linse was seized in daylight on a United States sector street.” It was described as an intriguing affair, “involving such evidence as a poodle with its teeth knocked out, a missing carpet and the voice of a mysterious woman on the phone.”1
Der Tagesspiegel reported that the police regarded the abduction (“Ein zweiter Fall Linse?” or “A Second Linse Case?”) as one of the most brutal to have occurred in West Berlin. However, a Soviet broadcast said that not only had Dr. Truschnowitsch come over to East Berlin willingly and with proof of the despicable activities of the American CIA, but had brought an agent from the Gehlen Organization with him.2
By 1954, kidnapings from West Berlin were not a new story, but they were still a frightening one. Many of the residents of West Berlin must have asked themselves, how was it possible, that, time and again, the communists could drive into their sector, kidnap someone, and escape back into East Berlin so easily? How much truth was there to the communist charges that the “arrested” victims were agents of the CIA? Was the failure of the West to secure the return of the kidnaped victims a sign that they did not really care because they had many more people to take their places? Were returned victims actually working for the com
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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: 143.
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