Director Steven Spielberg’s latest film Bridge of Spies, in theaters this past weekend, tells the story of American insurance lawyer James Donovan (played by Tom Hanks), who first defended accused Russian operative Rudolf Abel, and then negotiated his swap for Central Intelligence Agency pilot Francis Gary Powers, who was being held by the Soviet Union following the 1960 U-2 incident.
But Powers wasn’t the only American Donovan demanded be released in the swap; he also negotiated the return of Oberlin College alumnus Frederic Pryor ’55, who had been arrested and held by East German authorities without charge for six months. Read more about Pryor’s role in the swap as well as the distinguished academic career that followed his imprisonment in the Mansfield News Journal.
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