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Wolfgang Vogel, East German spy swapper, dies at 82

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by higge, Aug 24, 2008.

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  1. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    Dear Kai-Petri.
    Great hearing from you. A couple of answers.
    The address of your Mom's pen-pal is unusual Magdeburg has now a zip code
    of 39104 - 39130 (five number system since 1 July 1993. From 25th July 1941
    it had a two digit system. Magdeburg would start with "3" and Berlin with "1".
    Bergman is quite a common name, and can be with one "n" or two "nn"
    Bergman and Bergmann. The Magdeburg "c" is interesting. This could be
    Magdeburg chaussee (causeway or road) in 1 Beriin ? or it could be
    Magdeburg chaussee in Burg, (bei Magdeburg) If you can check the address
    again, I can do some research to see if it is Berlin or Magdeburg. ?

    Re. My Stasi files. I do know for certain, that I was a "Person of Interest" and
    files exist. My room at the Palast hotel near the Palast of the Nation building
    was bugged. The hotel was pulled down because of asbestos problems after
    the fall of the wall, as was the Palast of the Nation. many of the staff were
    working as informers for the Stasi. One of them was a famous East German
    actor, and showman, appearing on DDR T.V. I remember being invited to go
    for a drink with him .We drove in his Trabi to the Palast of the Nation.
    My two friends whom I would meet in East Berlin, and were captured after
    trying to escape, were pursued by the Stasi, and questioned about me. The
    Stasi had recordings given to them, when I met one of my friends at the Gellert
    Hotel in Budapest. I was also addressed by name at the East German / Czech
    border. with them saying "Your name is known to us". Ihr name ist uns bekannt"
    A room in Yerevan, Armenia was also bugged. (Microphone in the television).
    I knew this, as I changed my room with a lady in our group, and the KGB heard
    her voice. I learned of this from the Intourist (KGB) guide, who told me that they
    were annoyed that I had changed my room. The Stasi and KGB were predictable.
    As to getting my Stasi files. I gave it some thought mainly because of curiosity.
    but decided not to pursue it. Betrayal is ugly, deception and disloyalty is best left
    to those whom thought they would benefit by it.

    Lance Shippey
     
  2. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    Heisenberg and the Mann's trivia.
    Dr. Christine Heisenberg, daughter of Werner Heisenberg married Frido Mann,
    grandson of Thomas Mann in 1966. Writer, Thomas Mann was a friend of
    English writer Christopher Isherwood, and asked him if he would consider a
    marriage of convenience with his daughter Erika, so she could be issued with
    a British passport. Isherwood, from High Lane, near Disley, Cheshire U.K. wrote
    "Goodbye to Berlin" whilst living in Berlin. declined the offer of marriage, but
    told Erika he knew someone who would. Isherwood's close friend and writer
    W.H.Auden agreed to the marriage which would allow her to move to England
    to avoid persecution by the Nazis. She broadcasted Anti Nazi messages from
    the studios of the BBC. Her father Thomas moved to New York, where he
    recorded Anti Nazi messages which were sent every month to the BBC in London
    for broadcast. The marriage to W.H.Auden was never annulled despite his
    homosexuality. He died in a small hotel room in Vienna prior to a planned trip
    to England.
    Although fairly famous in Britain, I never saw much point to him, apart from his
    marriage to Erika. I always compared him to a "Bidet" , everyone wanted one,
    because it was fashionable, but few knew what it was for.

    Lance Shippey.
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Cheers Lance,

    I found the possible complete address:

    Bodo Bergeman, Mehringstrasse 2, Magdeburg c. 1, DDR
     
  4. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    Hi KaI-Petri,
    Thanks for the new info.
    Magdeburg "c" means Magdeburg Cracau. This is a
    pleasant suburb 1.8 to 2.0 kms from the centre of
    Magdeburg. The address is one of several apartment
    blocks near the Alt Elbe (River) on the east bank.
    There was a Stasi prison holding 10,000 prisoners
    which became a Stasi Museum after the fall of the wall.
    Lance.
     
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  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Hello Lance,

    interesting info. My mother always thought he was a top officer in the DDR army, which I cannot deny, but perhaps he wanted to get the letters from Finland to this address. He must have been in a way a trusted man as he was able to come to Finland and have money to go to restaurants/night clubs and buy drinks etc to Finnish (women). I do not know if the letter sending ended when my parents got married but they had quite frequent contact for a couple of years. My mother told he was a very handsome man and I think there still is a couple of photos of him running ( and winning) 400-800 meter races in local/DDR competitions.

    I always thought that the DDR ice hockey series was a funny one as they had some 4-5 teams and played four rounds against each other, after which there was a play offs and then some team won the champioship. That is until they beat the Finns a couple of times...But back in the 80´s our team players liked to have a "wet" evening before games. Just like our top ski jumper Matti Nykänen, I think he was more drunk than sober during the competitions. Yet he was our golden boy who could do no wrong even if he was sent home a couple of times because he was too dunk to compete.....
     
  6. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    Hi Kai-Petri.
    If your Mom met Bodo Bergeman in August 1975 the KSZE - Schlussakte was signed in Helsinki.
    It was also the first meeting of FRG Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, and DDR leader Erich Honecker,.
    Before the signing, there were several meetings and conferences on security and co-operation in
    Europe. 1st August 1975 saw "The Helsinki final act" known also as the "Helsinki Accords" or the
    Helsinki declaration. Herr Bergeman could have been part of the DDR team, and no-doubt would
    have had money in his pocket. Also in Helsinki for the signing were Gerald Ford (USA) Bruno Kreisky
    (Austria) Leonid Brezhnev (USSR) Henry Kissinger (USA), Harold Wilson (UK) Pierre Trudeau (Canada)
    Valery Giscard d'Estaing (France) (trivia , born in Koblenz Germany) were just some of the World
    leaders signing the accords in the Finlandia Hall.
    The USA sought a provision that would prohibit radio jamming, but failed to find consensus due to
    Soviet opposition. The West believed that jamming was illegal and the Soviets believed jamming was
    justified. I remember to mentioning that Herr Bergeman left when Russians entered a bar.
    With so many leaders, diplomats being in Helsinki, It would have been "One upmanship"
    The opening speech for the accords was given by Austrian Kurt Waldheim, then the Secretary General
    of the U.N..
    A mere athlete, would have every move watched, and not able to go to a restaurant without a "Minder"
    also, would not have had the funds to pay for meal in a good Western restaurant. I know personally
    that at the World figure skating championships in Helsinki, The East Block skaters would always have
    the KGB guard with them. Helsinki had wonderful temptations for young communists wishing to have
    a taste of the high life..

    Lance Shiipey.
     
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  7. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    Deutschland 89 T.V. Mini series
    The latest series (8 episodes) of Deutschland 89
    appear to have been released in the USA, Australia,
    Germany, and Austria. The series is to be released
    in the U.K. in early 2021, (Possibly February) by one
    of the "4" network. channels. Staring Jonas Nay,
    Deutschland '89' brings the storyline to the fall of
    the wall.

    Lance Shippey.
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Thanx Lance again!

    My mother met Bodo or Mr DDR officer in the early 60´s. My mother said the East Germans left because the Russians had so much more money they would get all the girls by buying them expensive drinks and all the more fun you could get in Helsinki.

    Funny but true. My mother was so stubborn that once they had a Finnish Army top party and once a taxi arrived my mother pushed a Finnish Admiral aside with his wife and they took the cab. My father tried to hide his face so that the Admiral would not recognize him again.....

    I recall 1989 very well. My memory seems to have forgotten the exact time of the wall being smashed 1989/1990 but we had the cable for the first time on telly and we watched 24/7 what was happening especially the Caucescu family. Most of the sending was live so it was a bit horrendoud as they had a 1-2 hour court hearing after which they were executed. And it was shown live the bodies included. I think they were trying to escape but failed and were shot soon after.

    I tried to find my friend´s DDR wife but I guess she lives in Schwerin now. I would like to find if they took footage of me with a small boat around the lake as the head of Stasi lived next door in his summer cottage. I was some 12-13 years old then and did not understand a thing of politics. Thinking there were men with guns and following me with binoculars would not seem quite possible to me.

    All the Best to you Lance
     
  9. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    Hi Kai-Petri,
    Loved reading your stories. It brought back memories for me. I too, saw the "Fall of the Wall" on T.V. in England.
    An East German friend of mine (not in jail) went to Berlin on the evening of Nov. 9th 1989. Gunter Schabowski
    gave a press conference, in which he made a mistake about the relaxation of conditions concerning the Wall.
    His improvised comments caused massive crowds to gather along the wall. The Stasi and the army were mobilised
    to try and contain the mobs, however many of the young soldiers said that they either had not been able to access
    their boots. (possibly because they could not get into the changing rooms due losses of keys) and therefore were
    not equipped to fulfil their duty. 21.00 hrs. saw the first breaks in the wall, 23.00 hrs. saw the opening of the border
    at Bornholmer Strasse. Commander of this border crossing Harald Jager advised his guards to open the checkpoint
    without checking identities. 2 million East Germans visited West Berlin.

    As the days went by, some of the prisoners on Wolfgang Vogel's "Freikauf" list (Ransom list) were still in jail, Including
    my friend in Neu Brandenburg jail. I called the East German embassy in London, and asked for the personal telephone
    number of Egon Krenz (General secretary of the SED and successor to Erich Honecker) A pleasant lady gave me the
    number immediately. Unfortunately, Herr Krenz was out giving TV interviews, and not at his desk. I called the news
    editors of the BBC and ITV, and asked them if they would have their reporter put the question to Herr Krenz about the
    release of political and military prisoners still in jail.. My friend was released a couple of weeks later, and sent to
    Duesseldorf, where he was then interrogated by the West Germans, as to how he got there.

    Terms had been discussed between the SED and the FRG Kohl government, as to when the final payment would be
    made for the release of the prisoners, which brought to an end the "Freikauf" programme.
    I always remember the news coverage of the State visit of Erich Honecker in Sept. 1987 to West Germany. Kohl stood
    at the side of Honecker The disparity in the men's size made Honecker look like Kohl's "Lunch"
    After German socialist chancellors Willy Brandt, and Helmut Schmidt, Germany had a CDU leader in Helmut Kohl.
    Kohl served 1982 - 1998. Brandt resigned due to the Guillaume affair, Schmidt had to go after a vote of no confidence.
    It was suspected that the DDR may have had a hand in the de-stabilization of the Kohl government with the Guenter
    Kiessling affair, involving the "Tom Tom" bar in Cologne.

    A little trivia about Helmut Kohl. He was born in Friesenheim, and died in Oggersheim which are both suburbs of
    Ludwigshafen which is in the Federal State of Rheinland Pfaelz. The Worlds largest integrated chemical complex and
    headquarters of BASF are here. The BASF (Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik) name may suggest that the headquarters
    may be in the State of Baden (Wurttemberg) but the town council in Mannheim, (Baden) was afraid of air pollution.
    BASF simply went to the opposite bank of the river Rhine, and built the plant and headquarters in Ludwigshafen, bringing
    prosperity to Ludwigshafen (Rheinland Pfaelz) . One certain days, the wind blows the pollution away from Ludwigshafen
    and over to Mannheim. Margaret Thatcher was treated to Herr Kohl's favourite meal "Suelze" (Brawn) when he invited
    her to Ludwigshafen. Maggie said of him "The man is so German". She was opposed to German unification. It appears
    that she was also opposed to "Suelze" Helmut Schmidt was a devoted "Anglophile" , spoke excellent English, but did
    often clash with British government of Wilson, Callaghan, and Thatcher due to their views on the integration of the
    European Union. Willy Brandt was described by a Bonn based diplomat as "Indecisive" however he was a strong supporter
    of Britain joining the Common Market. and spoke good English.

    Lance Shippey
     
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  10. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    Wolfgang Vogel "The day of the Fall".

    9th.November 1989. Frank Meehan, U.S. Ambassador to the GDR during President Reagan's famous speech
    "Mr Gorbachev tear down this wall" Had been replaced by Ambassador Richard Clark Barkley Dec.1988 - Oct 1990.
    I appears however that the deputy Ambassador J.D.Bindenagel had his finger on the pulse of the beleaguered
    nation. Bindenagel of German heritage served in East Berlin from 1989 to 1990 was aware that his telephone was
    tapped, and his family under strict surveillance. He attended a reception at the Aspen Institute Deutschland, at
    Friedrichstrasse 10, East Berlin. He knew that one of the attendees was Frank Meehan's friend and Erich Honecker's
    lawyer Wolfgang Vogel. J.D. Bindenagel was on familiar terms with Vogel, and after the reception in the late afternoon
    at the Aspen Institute, he offered Vogel a lift back, hoping that he was willing to share information regarding the
    deepening crisis. Vogel planned to "Buy Time" by easing travel restrictions in the next days. at 7.30pm. his plans
    were overtaken by events, when an Italian journalist had asked Gunter Schabowski when the wall would be opened.
    The rest is history,

    Lance Shippey
     
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  11. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Cheers Lance

    Back in time.

    Did JFK say I am a Berliner ( citizen ) or I am a Berlin dougnhut?

    Thanxx!
     
  12. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    Wolfgang Vogel. Erich Honecker Timeline.

    1912-1994.

    Politician from 1971 to 1989, !st. Secretary of the Central Committee.

    Born the 3rd, child of a coal miner in Neunkirchen, Saarland, west Germany. His father was a member of the SPD,
    Then the Independent Social Democratic Party, before becoming a member of the Communist party in 1919.

    1918 - 1926 Erich went to school in Wiebelskirchen.
    1922 - 1926 Member of the Communist youth organization.
    1926 - 1938 Worked as a Land worker in Pommern,
    1928 - 1930 Became an apprentice roofer, qualified, but then stopped. Became a member of the wood workers union.
    1929 Became a leader in the local Communist youth group.#
    1930 Became a member of the Communist party in Germany.
    1930 - 1931 Attended the International Lenin School in Moscow.
    1931 Political leader of the local young Communists, responsible for the Saarland, He became involved in
    propaganda and agitation. also involved in the underground.
    1934 He was imprisoned for a short time. After his release fled to the Netherlands for 9 months, before
    returning to the Netherlands. He worked against the anschluss which would bring Saarland into the
    German Reich.
    1935 Fled to France, then to Berlin under a false name.
    1937 Arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
    1945 Escaped from a building team, and found his way to a "Bombed out" Berlin.
    1947 His first wife Charlotte Schanuel dies, The had been married just over one year.
    1946 - 1955 He was chairman of the Free German Youth.
    1947 - 1953 He marries Edith Baumann, and She has a child named Erika. The GDR Typewriter ERIKA is named
    after their daughter. Erika would marry a diplomat, and would serve with him in South Yemen, Cyprus,
    and the Hague, (the Netherlands) She liked warm weather, and was against a posting for her husband
    in Scandinavia. She apparently shared her parents arrogance.
    1949 Erich becomes a member of the central committee of the Socialist Unity Party (SED)
    1950 - 1958 He was candidate for the Polit Buro of the Central Committee.
    1952 He has a child with Margot Feist, whist still married to Edith Baumann. The child is named Sonja. He
    divorces Edith Baumann a year later.
    1958 Becomes the most important person in the SED after Walter Ulbricht.
    1961 He leads the planning of the Berlin Wall. with was erected on 13th August 1961. He refers to the wall
    as an "Anti Fascist defence shield"
    1971 Becomes the 1st Secretary of the central committee of the SED.
    1980 Makes his first State visit to a Western Country. and visits Vienna, Austria.
    1981 Attends a summit meeting in Werbellinsee and Gustrow with Helmut Schmidt from West Germany.
    1983 Bavarian State minister Franz Josef Strauss meets Honecker to arrange a secret billion mark loan
    to the GDR,
    1984 East Germany host State visits of Pierre Trudeau of Canada, Andreas Papandreou of Greece,
    Olaf Palme of Sweden, and Bettino Craxi of Italy.
    1985 Honecker meets Pope John Paul 11. and visits Italy.
    1987 After the visit of Edward Schewardnadse in East Berlin, He distances himself from Gorbachev ,
    and says that economic and social reforms would not be accepted in the GDR,
    1989 After a visit to Moscow, Henecker defends the wall, saying that it will last another 50 or 100
    years, On 18th October, Honecker is forced to resign , and on the 8th November is accused
    of "Misuse of Power, and corruption" Wolfgang Vogel agrees to defend him.
    1994 Dies in Santiago, Chile.

    Lance Shippey
     
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  13. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    Hi Kai-Petri.
    JFK said "Ich bin ein Berliner". which is "I am a doughnut" (Jam Filled) or (Jelly Filled)
    He should have said " Ich bin Berliner" without the "ein" which means "I am a Berliner
    or citizen" It's a simple mistake, and JFK had not asked for any assistance in making the
    statement, It came to him on the spur of the moment. Although many people smile at the
    mistake, It brought him closer to the Berliners. Germany has many bridges, avenues, and
    roads named after Kennedy. which shows respect for him.

    Lance
     
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  14. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    Wolfgang Vogel

    Honecker's "Hard Line" to enemies of the state was clear and short. "Get rid of them". Enemies
    must go, so that he had peace and quiet on the political floor. After Honecker's arrest, In the hospital
    of Beelitz he would discuss his defence with Vogel. Honecker addressed Vogel as "Du" The German
    familiar term for "You" rather than "Sie" the polite term, which he used with most other people.
    Honecker asked Vogel about the economic misery which caused peoples discontent, such as having
    to wait up to 15 years for a Wartburg car, which Vogel had not told him about. Vogel replied "Had I
    told you, you would have thrown me out". Before Honecker's fall from grace, the two men would
    meet on the 2nd. floor of the Central Committee building in office number vii. On the right hand side
    of the office was a desk with three telephones. One of them had a different ring tone to the others.
    This must be answered immediately, and only in Russian, was a direct link to Moscow. One of
    the other two was a link to House Viktoria, a villa in West Berlin's posh Gruenewald suburb, and home
    to "Go Between" Swedish diplomat Carl Gustav Svingel, A clandestine headquarters where spy
    swaps would be discussed, and cash started its journey to East Berlin. On the left hand side of the
    office stood a large book case with dictionaries.

    In the office of Vogel, stood a telex machine number !! 3023 VOBE dd. which ran red hot, and was
    copied by the Stasi. All telex's from the Bonn government were marked "Top Secret" Vogel was a
    collector of pocket watches, and mantle clocks. Honecker looked upon Vogel as a "Man for Humanity".

    Frederic Pryor's parents, Millard and Mary paid US$25,000 to Vogel to hopefully free their son. The
    Pryor family were wealthy, and stayed at the Kempinski Hotel in West Berlin. After visiting the U.S.
    mission on Clay Allee in West Berlin, they were given a list of lawyers who were licenced to practice
    on both sides of the wall. Vogel's name was second on the list. The Pryor's met him several times
    and liked the fact that he was of a strong Catholic faith, He also told them that he had ulcers caused
    by the devotion he gave to his clients. More importantly, he thought that their son was innocent.
    Millard and Mary were fearful that their meetings with Vogel could be dangerous, and result in their
    possible detention, when leaving East Berlin via the Friedrichstrasse border. They decided to hire
    a go-between via the U.S. mission . His name was Bruce, and he turned up to see them in a VW Beetle
    with registration number B-ND-???. Bruce was a likeable chap, and made many visits to Vogel. On
    one occasion Vogel asked Bruce to deliver a letter for him to an Opel car dealer in West Berlin, as he
    wanted to upgrade his car from an Opel Rekord to an Opel Kapitan.

    Vogel admitted that had Frederic would have probably been found guilty had the case gone to trial.
    Frederic had lived in West Berlin from 1959 to 1961 and wrote a dissertation for Yale University on
    the foreign trade system in the Soviet bloc. He used East Germany as a case study. He conducted
    around 35 interviews. His dissertation was found in his car (Not snatched from him, as depicted in
    the Spielberg film "Bridge of Spies") He was incarcerated at Hohenschoenhasuen prison.

    In 1992 Frederic applied to the German government to see his files, and after a delay of 18 months,
    permission was finally given. He found that there were reports of his daily interrogations during his
    five month incarceration, reports of people he had interviewed in East Berlin, together with 22 pieces
    of paper they had found in my wallet, in my car, and on my person. They had also a first rate translation
    they had made into German of my dissertation. 250 notes were written by his cell mate (Stool pigeon)
    whilst he was out of the cell, being interrogated. It would appear from the files, that the Stasi used three
    tactics. The Stasi officer repeatedly told him that he would remain in Hohenschoenhausen prison until
    he confessed. That he was not able to contact the American embassy, his parents or his lawyer, and
    thirdly, the interrogator would try and obtain a completely consistent story on every detail.
    They did not use certain tactics, normally used, such as Bully yelling, drugs, bribes, nor sleep deprivation.
    as he was a heavy sleeper, and it would probably not have worked.

    Frederic wanted to meet his interrogator, after he had read his Stasi file, and tracked him down. In a 45
    minute meeting in a bar close to the Stasi-man's home , the interrogator said "You were spying , You
    WERE Spying, and we did our duty".

    Lance Shippey
     
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  15. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    Wolfgang Vogel Attempt to Assassinate Erich Honecker.

    With breakneck speed, a green Lada 1300 overtook a convoy of Volvos, and the black Citroen
    carrying Erich Honecker. He was on his way from the "Fat cat" ghetto at Wandlitz with invited
    SED guests, and Stasi security officers on a hunting excursion to Schorfheide.
    on 31st December 1982 at around 2pm. The Lada brought the convoy to a halt outside no 5,
    Red Army Street (aka. Highway 109) in the small viillage of Kloesterfelde. The Lada driver
    Paul Essling, got out of his Lada with a 7.65 Walter pistol in his hand. Essling was a father
    of 3, had recently broken up with his partner, who worked at the "Fat cats" ghetto at Wandlitz.
    He wanted to celebrate News Years eve with her, with the possibility of getting back together.
    After she refused, he stormed off.
    Essling discharged his 70 year old weapon and shot a Stasi security guard in the sternum,
    severely injuring him. a second Stasi officer returned fire with a kalaschikow, but only hit the
    door of the Lada. It was reported that Mr Essling then shot himself twice, and died at the scene.
    The story was "Hushed up" by the DDR, reporting only that a "Bad accident" had happened on
    the road.in Kloesterfelde that afternoon. (They didn't want the true story to be revealed to the
    rest of the World.. The prosecutors office in Neuruppin looked at the case in 1995, and if Herr
    Essling had shot himself, or had been shot by the Stasi security guard. The investigation
    concluded that it was highly probable that it was suicide. An autopsy at the time had also
    revealed that he had alcohol in his blood. He was 41 years old, and disgusted by the leadership's
    opulent life styles, witnessed when he worked occasionally as heating engineer at Wandlitz.

    On New Years day 1983 Erich Honecker shot 9 Wild Deer. If Herr Essling had been successful
    with his quest, The beautiful animals who were "Unarmed" would have been able to live their
    lives out, and their would have been no need to have ransomed prisoner exchanges pay for
    his constant supply of Range Rovers. (Wolfgang Vogel hated the term "Kopf Geld" or "Head
    Money") as the communists had taken the motto "Money doesn't stink from the capitalists".

    Lance Shippey
     
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  16. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    Margot Honecker.

    During her time as "First Lady" in East Germany, she was known as the "Blue Eminenz" referring
    to her blue rinse hair. Her personal hairdresser used the rinse from the 1970's.
    She also had the nickname "Miss Bildung" (Miss Education), Before she became Erich Honecker's
    third wife she had an affair with him. She was born Margot Feist in 1927, the daughter of a shoemaker
    father, and a factory worker mother. As she got older, she knew that she would marry for her career.
    When she met Erich, she knew that she had found the right man. No one knew how much influence
    she would have on her husband. In 1945 she was 18, and joined the new communist party of Germany
    which would become the SED. Within a year she rose within the party, becoming involved with the
    secretariat for the SED youth organization in Halle. In 1950 her career advanced once more, and she
    became candidate for the central committee of the SED. She met Erich in Halle, where their affair
    started. The Erich / Margot marriage was said to be "Not Ideal" Whilst on holiday, it was said that they
    slept in separate bedrooms. She showed little affection to her husband, She also was a chain smoker
    and had Western cigarettes procured for her. Her relationship with Erich became stronger after his
    fall from power, and his illness before his death.

    Lance Shippey.
     
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  17. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Thanx Lance,

    so it seems Stasi was as evill or more so than the Gestapo.

    Was Stasi members put to court and prison later on or were people still too scared to do so? I read some 11 members were sent to jail which would suggest not many were considered guilty?

    Love all the details you can give, you defintely know your DDR.
     
  18. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    Hi Kai-Petri,
    Gestapo (Nazi period) had 40,000 members.
    Stasi had 90,000 members
    Stasi also had 200,000 informers
    Wiki stats say 85,000 Stasi members and 170,000 informers, but this is an under estimation.
    The Chief of the Stasi was Erich Miekle. He was the most highly decorated man in the DDR.
    If Stasi files were put end to end, they would stretch 110 miles. Members of the Stasi were not
    punished, hunted down, or executed. It was said that they would make good "Taxi Drivers" as
    they knew everyone's name and exactly where they lived. 17,000 ex Stasi employees were
    admitted for employment in the Unified German civil service, after the fall of the wall.

    The former head of Hohenschoenhausen prison, Siegfried Rataizik said after a visit of Stasi
    officials to the prison after it had be closed on Oct. 3rd, 1990, and opened as a museum in 1995.
    "You present yourself as victims, and declare us the perpetrator"
    "Most of all, are unrepentant". "They want to rehabilitate themselves in the public eye, and save
    their biographies". In 1989, there were still 200,000 political prisoners in 80 East German prisons.

    Erich Miekle had O.C.D. (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). His kitchen next to his office, had a
    hand drawn plan of how his breakfast tray must be laid out. Coffee Pot to extreme left, with the
    milk to the right of the pot. 2 x Eggs boiled for 4.5 minutes, and the tops pricked beforehand.
    bread, and margarine above the eggs. knife to the right of the bread. The tray should be covered
    a white cloth. The kitchen and office were at Stasi headquarters at Normannenstrasse, East Berlin.
    In his office were three direct dial telephones on his desk, 2 x black and 1x white. One was a line
    to the SED Officials, and one to the Soviets in Moscow. the third , an outside line.
    Mielke spent 1904 days incarcerated in JVA Moabit prison, and was declared mentally not competent
    to stand trial. He died on 21st May 2000. Mielke had ruled with his iron fist from 1971 until 1989.

    The Stasi document stores.

    Further to information regarding the BBC German Service, and "Letters without Signature". Mielke's
    store revealed the BBC German Service was a secret department of the British Foreign Office, which
    was known as the "Independent Research Department", which was tasked to spread "Anti Communist"
    propaganda. In 1974, following improved relations between East and West German governments, the
    programme was scrapped. The BBC destroyed copies in its archives, however recordings were found
    in the Stasi stores.

    Lance
     
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  19. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Thanx Lance,

    Was DDR having a dfiferent kind of politics compared to the USSR in the end anyway? We used to think the Eastern Bloc was the same as the Ussr anyway
     
  20. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    Hi Kai-Petri
    Really interesting question regarding the change of politics toward the end of the DDR and some
    interesting facts. In the beginning the Soviet Union installed (Imposed) a "Soviet controlled Marxist,
    Communist regime" in the Eastern Bloc. This was to be adopted by the :
    Socialist Unity party of East Germany (SED),
    Party of Labour of Albania,
    Romanian Communist Party,
    Hungarian Working People Party.
    Polish United Workers Party,
    Communist Party of Czechoslovakia,
    Bulgarian Communist Party,
    League of Communists of Yugoslavia.
    15 million residents from the Eastern Bloc countries left for the West in the early 1950's
    The Sovient Union was from the start given prominence and title "Most Prominent Nation",
    status.
    The Soviet KGB employed 480,000 full time agents to oversee 280,000,000 residents
    this represents 1 x agent per 4830 citizens.
    The DDR's Stasi employed 1 x agent per 66 citizens.
    Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania had one of the most brutal police forces in the East Bloc.
    The DDR modelled their secret police on the KGB, They took permanent control of the
    Administration, Political organs, Police, and economic structures so that no effective opposition
    could arise.
    From 1973 onward, Hans Modrow was SED leader in Dresden, East Germany's 3rd largest city.
    He was widely reckoned to be one of the truly competent leaders in the DDR hierarchy. and one
    who dared to publicly criticise SED chief Erich Honecker. When Honecker was topple, in October
    1989, Gorbachev hoped that Modrow would become the new leader. This was not to be, as
    Egon Krenz was elected instead. Krenz . This would be short lived, as Krenz resigned on 3rd
    December 1989, and Modrow became the de-facto leader of the DDR. He remained premier
    until the elections of 18th March 1990. After reunification Modrow aerved as a member of the
    European Parliament. (1999-2004.)
    In March 1985 Mikael Gorbachev took over in the Kremlin as General Secretary of the USSR.
    In May 1985 Gorbachev spoke at length with Willy Brandt at the Kremlin. Brandt, resigned
    as Bundes Chancellor because of the Guillaume affair on 7th May 1974, However retained his
    seat in the Bundestag and remained Chairman of the Social Democrat Party until 1987, when
    he became Honorary Chairman of the Social Democrat Party. Gorbachev was very impressed
    with Brandt, and said that his political views were similar to his own. Gorbachev maintained a
    close relationship with Willy |Brandt up to his death, and referred to him as "My Old Friend".
    It would appear that the Brandt / Gorbachev relationship was more important than the relationship
    the USSR had with the SED in East Germany.
    November 9th the wall would fall, but Willy was moving to a new house with his wife in Unkel,
    a small village on the banks of the Rhine river. They had not put the TV on., so knew nothing
    about the wall falling/ On November 10th 1989, a journalist called him, to ask what he thought.
    of the previous evening. Brandt flew to West Berlin that morning, on board a British military plane.
    He was deeply moved by the events, and said "I thank the Lord that I was able to experience
    this".
    Gorbachev and President Reagan had met in Moscow in 1988, months after the famous Reagan
    speech "Mr Gorbachev tear down this wall" in Berlin 1987. Gorbachev would decide to allow
    elections in the USSR. on on 26th December 1991, the USSR collapsed. Gorbachev resigned,
    and Yeltsin became first President of Russia. 1991-1999.
    I don't think that the USA were expecting the collapse of the USSR in the way the events unfolded.
    nor did Gt. Britain expect the fall of the East German wall happen as quickly as it did.

    On September 20th 1992, Mr Gorbachev was in West Germany, and wanted to visit Willy Brandt
    at his home in Unkel. He knew that Willy was seriously ill, with colon cancer. He arrived at the
    house, and pushed the intercom button. A ladies voice answered, and asked "Who are you" ?
    The reply "Gorbachev". Willy's wife thought it was a joke, and did not open the door.
    Willy died in Unkel a couple of weeks later on 8th October 1992. He was buried however in Berlin,
    where his simple tombstone has the name "Willy Brandt" inscribed. (Brandt was a Pseudonym).

    Lance Shippey
     
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