Rudolf Abel - Arrest and Transfer

This silent historical footage depicts several events in the arrest and transfer of Rudolf Abel, a Soviet spy whose real name was William ("Willy") Fisher.

After his arrest and brief confinement in New York, Abel was transferred to Texas where he was questioned at the Alien Detention Center. It was there where he admitted that he was a citizen of the Soviet Union and was illegally living in the U.S.

It was also during the Texas interrogation that Fisher gave his name as Rudolf Ivanovich Abel. In Brooklyn, where he was living on Fulton Street, he was known as Emil Goldfus.

Why did Fisher use the name "Abel" when he was being interrogated in Texas? To let his colleagues, in the Soviet Union, know that he had been captured.

Why would using that name communicate such a message to Soviet officials? Because they knew that Willy Fisher had a deceased friend whose name was Rudolf Ivanovich Abel.

U.S. officials, of course, had no clue that the spy they had captured—and were about to prosecute—was using a fake name.

Media Credits

Historical footage—depicting scenes of Rudolf Abel's prisoner transfers, trips to the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn and other similar scenes—online via YouTube.


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"Rudolf Abel - Arrest and Transfer" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 28, 2015. Apr 25, 2019.
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