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Pole Who Defected to Israel to Join Woman He Loves Finds She's Engaged

August 13, 1988|Associated Press

JERUSALEM — A Polish dancer who defected to Israel to join a woman he fell in love with has learned she already is engaged to be married, Israel Radio and the woman's friends said Friday.

Polish officials in Israel said they would not force the dancer, identified as Sigmund Irinauch, to return, and Israeli officials said he can stay at least until his visa expires Aug. 29.

Irinauch, in his late 20s, disappeared Tuesday after his 46-member Slovianki dance company performed at a festival in the northern port of Haifa.

Haifa police said he defected to join an Israeli folk dancer he met when both were performing in Canada two years ago. The daily Maariv newspaper said Irinauch wrote regularly to the woman, whom the radio identified as Mira Katz, a nurse and a member of the Hora Jerusalem dancing troupe.

The woman's friends said in interviews that Irinauch told Katz that he planned to defect, but that she then disclosed she is engaged to be married.

Irinauch still decided to defect, partly because he is Jewish, the friends said. They said Katz and her fiance, Doron Alter, agreed to help.

The radio said Irinauch is hiding at Alter's home in the town of Bir Yaakov near Tel Aviv.

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