Journalist among spies released in Germany

BONN, West Germany -- A West German journalist was released by East Germany as part of the prisoner exchange deal that gained freedom for several top communist spies, authorities said Saturday.

East German spy Christel Guillaume, whose husband caused the resignation of Chancellor Willy Brandt after it was revealed he had gained Brandt's confidence, was released Thursday with at least four other agents in return for about the same number of Western prisoners held in East Germany.


The exact number was not disclosed.

Authorities said that among those released by the East Germans was Peter Felten, a reporter for the Cologne newspaper Koelnischer Rundschau, who was serving a 12-year-term on an espionage charges.

Felten was arrested in East Berlin Aug. 16, 1979, and sentenced in December of that year. He would not discuss the espionage charge with reporters.

Mrs. Guillaume, 53, who acted as a spy courier for her husband, Guenther, served six years of an eight-year sentence. Guillaume, 54, who was Brandt's personal aide, still has seven years of a 13-year sentence to serve.

Brandt resigned as chancellor May 6, 1974, one week after the arrest of the Guillaumes. He said he had been careless in keeping Guillaume on his staff despite suspicion about him.


West German newspapers published reports accusing Guillaume of procuring women for Brandt.

Along with Mrs. Guillaume, the West Germans released Frank and Christine Gerstner, masters of a spy ring in the West German Defense Ministry.

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