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Robert Soblen, Convicted Spy, Attempts Suicide

July 1, 1962 - Dr. Robert A. Soblen slashed his left wrist and stabbed himself in the abdomen with a dinner knife he had confiscated aboard an airliner carrying him back to New York from Israel. The Israeli Government had expelled Soblen earlier this morning, refusing the haven the 61-year-old psychiatrist had sought to escape a life sentence in the U.S. for wartime spying for the Soviet Union. Following the suicide attempt, Dr. Soblen was carried off the El Al Israeli airliner in London and taken to Hillingdon Hospital. He was conscious on his arrival, but a hospital spokesman said he had lost about two pints of blood and had received a transfusion. On arrival, his condition was described as “very poor.” A hospital report a few hours later noted improvement. Dr. Soblen has been suffering from lymphatic leukemia, cancer of the blood-forming system.

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