Irving Isaacson was one of America’s OSS operatives during World War II serving with the Dutch, but after the war, he traveled across Europe and spied on the Soviets. He passed away last week in Maine at the age of 102.
Like his wife, who died three years ago, Irving Isaacson did what he knew to be right regardless of how difficult the task might be and rarely worried about the uncertain future that lies before all of us.
“I was so blessed to have both of my parents. They were both fearless and I think it was the war that taught both of them that,” said Isaacson’s son Mark Isaacson of Cumberland, referring to World War II.
“They didn’t worry about tomorrow or what was going to happen in the future.”
Family members said that Irving Isaacson died at Hospice House in Auburn on Wednesday. The Auburn native and well-known lawyer, whose practice was based in Lewiston, was 102.
His law firm, Brann and Isaacson, still carries on today, a practice that he actively participated in until he finally retired at the age of 95.
Isaacson’s wife, Judith Magyar Isaacson, died in 2015 at the age of 90.
The couple first met in Leipzig, Germany, which had been destroyed in 1945. At the time, Isaacson was serving in the Army as an intelligence officer for the Office of Strategic Services, or OSS – the wartime predecessor of the CIA.
Jutka (Judith) Magyar was a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland as well as the slave labor camp in Hessisch-Lichtenau, Germany, where people were forced to work in an underground munitions factory.
After being liberated by American troops in 1945, she was waiting to be transported back to her native Hungary when she met Isaacson.
He fell in love with her on the spot.
“She was tall and beautiful. He was short, rugged and cute,” his family wrote in his obituary. “They were married in the bombed out Nuremberg City Hall on Dec. 24, 1945. They were married and had three children.
Once asked how long they were married, he said, “not long enough.” He served with OSS in Holland with the Dutch, something his son said he loved. After the war, he traveled around Europe and kept tabs on the Russians, befriending many of them during their drinking escapades in the towns of conquered Europe after 1945.
He wrote a book on his experiences, “Memoirs of an Amateur Spy.”
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Photo courtesy Wikipedia