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Frederick Prior


Jim Root
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Does anyone have any information about this person?

As I understand it he was imprisoned by the Soviets for spying and was exchanged on the same day (but at a diferent location) as the Abel Powers trade.

Jim Root

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  • 1 month later...

Additional information:

The actual spelling of this man's name is Frederick Pryor.

I recently received this information about him:

"Most people don't know I was in an East German prison. In September 1961, I was 27 years old and working in West Berlin on my dissertation on communist foreign trade. I went to East Berlin to hear a speech by Walter Ulbricht, then leader of the East German Socialist Unity Party. Afterward, I went to visit the sister of a West Berlin friend to ask whether or not she had any message for me to deliver to her brother because telephone connections between East and West Berlin were cut after the wall went up. But she wasn't there and coming down from her rooming house, I was stopped by two secret policemen, the Stasi, who asked where I had been. I said it was a wrong address, but they arrested me. It turned out the woman I went to visit had escaped from East Berlin. They thought I was coming for her possessions. It was a mistake. I knew nothing, and I certainly wasn't spying for anyone. For five-and-a-half months, I shared a cell that was 6 paces long by 2 paces wide with another prisoner. I was released as part of a prisoner exchange on Feb. 10, 1962. In these kinds of exchanges, everyone had two lawyers: a capitalist lawyer and a communist lawyer. My communist lawyer was also the lawyer for the Russian spy Lt. Colonel Rudolph Abel. My capitalist lawyer was also the lawyer for American U-2 pilot Capt. Francis Gary Powers. So when the two lawyers were negotiating between Powers and Abel, they tossed in their common client, namely, me."

Jim Root

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Jim,

Sorry I missed your original post. Pryor was a student at Ann Arbor in Michegan.

After his release from prison he wrote several articles and the like credited as Frederick L. Pryor. One such piece in 1963 was titled, "The Communist Foreign Trade System'.

FWIW.

James

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James

I exchanged emails with Fred Pryor and asked if he was familiar with Calvin Hoover and his work. He denied ever having met him but was aware of his work and did admit that there were areas of similarity in their research. When I attempted to move the discussion to his captivity and exchange during the Abel - Powers incident he didn't reply.

I sometimes believe that silence speaks very loudly.

Jim Root

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James

I exchanged emails with Fred Pryor and asked if he was familiar with Calvin Hoover and his work. He denied ever having met him but was aware of his work and did admit that there were areas of similarity in their research. When I attempted to move the discussion to his captivity and exchange during the Abel - Powers incident he didn't reply.

I sometimes believe that silence speaks very loudly.

Jim Root

Jim,

Too true.

If you are still in a position to communicate with Pryor, it might be interesting to ask him about Victor Pankey and Gilbert Ferrey. These guys were American students imprisoned along with Pryor.

The American commandant in Berlin who was heading up diplomatic negotiations for their releases was Maj. Gen. Albert E. Watson. There was also a State Department official involved here as well. I wonder if Frederick Pryor knows who that person was.

Cheers,

James

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