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Wolfgang Vogel, East German spy swapper, dies at 82

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

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Jul 31, 2002
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    Looking forward Lance!
    Maybe I remember some golden oldies 40 year back....


  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Jul 31, 2002
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    Great talking to you! Kph
  3. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

    Oct 11, 2018
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    Dear Kai-Petri,
    Broadcasting in the GDR, and fear of Radio and T.V. from the West.

    After the construction of the Berlin Wall, in 1961, The GDR wished for a possibility to
    prevent its citizens from watching broadcasts from West German T.V. This would have
    broken a treaty they had signed, and by jamming the West German channels, may have
    interfered with T.V. in West Berlin, and Western Germany. The GDR started its own T,V.
    Channel, DFF (Deutscher Fernsehfunk which was an outlet of the Stasi. Moving the aerial
    to point to West Berlin, or Western Germany could access the transmissions from West
    German channels ARD and ZDF. Difficult to police, School teachers would ask their
    children, especially those in primary school what T.V. they had been watching. If the
    programme was from a Western Channel, the Stasi would be informed, and the parents
    paid a visit. In the 1980's one of the most popular programmes was "Das denver clann"
    or "Dynasty" and watched by illegally in the GDR. Only two small areas of East Germany
    were not able to get reception for West T.V. They were in the far North East, and far South
    East. These were known as "Valley of the clueless"

    Radio in the GDR. Radio Berlin International started in May 1959, to counter the Deutsche
    Welle in the FRG, carried reports and information about the GDR in German and English.
    Its transmitters were in Leipzig, Koenigs-Wusterhausen, and Nauen. It had the most powerful
    shortwave service in the Ost-bloc. The Studios were at Nalepastrasse 50, on the banks of
    the river Spree. The building was an old furniture factory, and had several shops within the
    building, including a small shop where bread and butter could be purchased, occasionally
    the shop would have a consignment of oranges and bananas which were considered luxury
    items. There was a sauna, and bath, where the RBI employees could take a bath, as many
    apartments did not have bathrooms. On 2nd Oct. 1990, the last transmission was made, Its
    last words in English were "Take care and good luck". The building was later used in the
    filming of "Bridge of Spies", and was the office of Harry Ott, with men on bicycles delivering
    documents within the long building.

    BBC. German Service, played a very important role in chipping away at communism in the
    GDR. In 1949, it had decided to create a bespoke programme targeting East German listeners
    to part with information about East Germany, This could be achieved by East Germans
    addressing their mail to addresses in West Berlin. The addresses were either fake, or linked
    to a West Berlin bombsite. which alerted the West Berlin postal services to divert the letters
    to the BBC's West Berlin office on Savignyplatz From West Berlin, the letters would be sent
    with the "Diplomatic Bag" by air to the BBC in London, where they would be included in a
    programme called "Letters Without Signature" The letters would be read anonymously in
    German, usually by two German Jewish actors. One of the actors was Josef Stein, the other
    Alfred Pollack. Pollack was one of three children, born in Koblenz, Rheinland Pfalz in 1916
    of a Jewish father, and non Jewish mother.. The father was a wealthy store owner on the
    main street in Koblenz. The authorities considered him Jewish, His identity papers of the
    30's would have the name "Israel" added, to highlight his Jewish heritage. He was also,
    allegedly, Homosexual, Alfred didn't have much on this side, especially when the Third
    Reich gathered a large following, A "Thing-Platz " (outdoor Nazi amphitheatre) was built
    in the town. His father sent him, and Alfred's two sisters to Berlin, then Vienna, where it was
    thought a large city would be easier to loose yourself in, rather than the provincial town of
    Koblenz, where many of the Koblenzer's knew the family. The wife of the Burgermeister,
    (Mayor) of Koblenz had been thrown out of the Nazi party because she' bought a newspaper
    from a Jewish owned store. The situation was becoming very bad, His father survived the
    war, having been hidden by friends. His mother had spent time in Switzerland due to her ill
    health. On arrival in England, Alfred was classified as a German Jewish refugee, showing his
    profession as "Actor". He appeared in two British (propaganda) war film, before his fate was
    to change again.Upon the Germans entering the Netherlands in 1940, Churchill announced
    the "Rounding Up" of all German refugees, and send them to Internment camps. Alfred was
    sent to Canada, and interned, but soon released, became a translator in a p..o..w.. camp,.
    usually working in the letter censorship office of the camp. He remained in Canada, and did
    some acting on stage, With a very strong German accent, he became friends with a voice
    coach, and actress, but admitted he was lazy in changing his spoken English. The U.S.A
    would prove disappointing for work after Canada, so he returned to England. Securing work
    with the BBC German service, Alfred became a broadcaster on the "Letters Without Borders"
    programme. which ended in 1975. His career in acting flourished, usually playing "The Nasty
    German" in numerous war movies. and eventually, a role in "Doctor Who" before his death in
    France on 19th May 1989. , a few months before the wall, that he had helped to destroy, came
    to an end.. His ashes were brought back to England, where one of his two sisters was living.
    Alfred Pollack is the unforgettable talent of Anton Diffring. known to close friends as Tony
    Diffring.He had taken the maiden name of his mother,Three pieces of the Berlin Wall were
    brought to Koblenz, and stand near the Deutsches Eck. where the Mosel river flows into the
    Rhine as part of a reunification monument.

    Lance Shippey
    Kai-Petri likes this.
  4. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

    Oct 11, 2018
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    Wolfgang Vogel, Some new "Revelations" with Erich Honecker.
    The Timeline of Honecker's "End Game" is somewhat vague, and conflicting
    This is what really happened : up to their flight to Moscow.
    17th, Oct. 1989 Erich Honecker relieved from his office and not allowed to leave his
    house in Wandlitz. (one of 23 homes for the Politburo members in a secure, gated
    compound.) The salary for a politburo member in 1989 was 60,000 Ostmarks. The
    Honeckers lived at no.11. A Wartburg used by Margot Honecker,her driver parked
    outside, to show the people she was not special. A small Citroen was parked away
    from view in a garage to be used when she went "West" on shopping trips. Designer
    labels on the front of pullovers would be carefully taken off, and replaced with a label
    of a less expensive brand, usually from Austria.
    Erich Honecker had been 18 years at the helm.
    Wolfgang Vogel asked the leadership of the Evangelical Church Brandenburg to give
    the Honecker's asylum. as it was feared that their lives would be in danger, due to
    very angry citizens. The Honecker's remained under house arrest at Wandlitz.
    09th Nov. 1989 The fall of the wall.
    29th. Jan. 1990 He was arrested and held in the prison hospital of Rummelsburg remand
    centre. He was charged with embezzling $100.000 in State property, and appropriating
    $10.000 in 1988 / 1989 to provide a "Life of Luxury" for communist functionaries .
    30th. Jan 1990. He was released in the evening, after only one day in the prison. due
    to medical reports certifying that he was unfit to remain in the detention centre, and
    face interrogation.
    30th. Jan 1990, After being released the Honecker's would take up the offer of asylum
    set up by Wolfgang Vogel at the time of his removal from office on Oct 17th 1989..
    All the houses at Wandlitz had to be vacated by 1st February, So the Honecker's went
    directly to Lobertal. A large establishment which was being used as a hospital for Neurology,
    Psychiatry, and epilepsy.The director of the "Hoffnungs Anstalten" (Hope Institution) from
    1983, was not only a priest, but mayor of Lobertal, Uwe Holmer. The had married twice
    and had 10 children, and 5 stepchildren. They had a house next to the main hospital
    building, and two of his sons, Thurgott, and Cornelius gave up their bedroom to accommodate
    the Honeckers, Margot would have use of a kitchen on the first floor. The Priest described
    the guests as "Normal" people. They stayed a few months, and then moved to the Soviet
    Military Hospital at Beelitz. before flying to Moscow. Priest Uwe Holmer said he and his wife
    had given them asylum out of charity during the hostility.

    Lance Shippey
  5. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

    Oct 11, 2018
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    Wolfgang Vogel "Hoffnungs Anstalten" = Should know !!!.

    During the Nazi years, it was disclosed that the director of the "Hope Institution" had been
    against the Nazi policy for euthanasia of Jewish patients. The director, Paul Gerrhard Braune,
    revealed he could not stop it. The establishment was built in a pine forest, which formed an
    umbrella, hiding it from the air, and surroundings. 2 km's west of the hospital building was a
    different establishment. Since 1939., Belonging to the "Hope Institution". "Lager Koralle" with
    buildings and bunker, was firstly a German Naval Training School. Chosen because it was
    insulated from the possibility of bombing raids, Later in January 1943 became the home
    of Grand Admiral Doenitz. The bunker became the headquarters of the senior staff and
    operations / communications staff for U-boat operations, after it moved away from Berlin on
    30th January 1943 The Red Army moved in toward the end of WW2. blowing up most of the
    but failed to destroy the house, and bunker of Doenitz. Before the arrival of the Red Army,
    Doenitz had fled to Ploen, and "Objekt Forelle". 8 days later to Flensburg - Murwik On 3rd
    May 1945 .and new headquarters for the 3rd Reich was established.by Doenitz here.
    Doenitz was arrested near the sports school in Flensburg - Murwiker on 23rd May 1945.
    The U.S. America Times reported "The German Reich died on a sunny morning on 23rd May
    near the Baltic harbour of Flensburg"..
    Also living at Lager Koralle in his service apartment was Berthold Graf Schenk von
    Stauffenberg,brother of Claus, who attempted to kill Hitler on 20th July 1944.
    Claus had taken the oath to assassinate Hitler whilst visiting his brother at Korrale

    POST Nazi period. 2km's North of the "Hope Institution" and Honecker's asylum, was an
    exclusion zone, regulated by the NVA and part of the Ministry of Home affairs. Locals
    had observed regular "Ikarus" buses between 1985 and 1990 carrying men between 20 and
    40 years of age from African and Latin American origin, possible heading for a clandestine
    military training camp for guerilla warefare training.

    2km's South of the "Hope Institution" beneath the lonely pines, was also a training centre for
    GDR border dogs

    Honecker admitted to Beelitz Soviet military hospital. to undergo surgery, as he was suffering
    from liver cancer. Adolf Hitler was to be admitted to Beelitz Heilstatten in 1916, after being
    wounded in the leg in the Somme. During WW2, The hospital was used as a Nazi friend
    hospital, until the Red Army occupied the area, and stayed until 1994.Small sections of the
    hospital are still used for Parkinson patients

    Lance Shippey
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  6. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

    Oct 11, 2018
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    Wolfgang Vogel. The Aftermath of Mr and Mrs Honecker.
    After Erich Honecker was determined "Too ill" to stand Trial" he boarded at flight to join his
    wife at La Reina, ( A gated number of terraced houses in Santiago, Chile ) She had moved
    there in July 1992. He arrived in 1993, and would spend the last months of his life with her.
    He died 29th May 1994. Wife Margot, escaped trial in the GDR, by saying that "Forced
    Adoption " did not exist in the GDR, safe in the knowledge that she would avoid criminal
    charges. Instead, she received a $2000.00 monthly pension.
    Lothar Hertzog worked as their butler, A tall, good looking family man He would also accompany
    Erich on State visits within the the Ostblok, and the "Free World". Dressed as an Interflug flight
    attendant whilst travelling on board Honecker's "Airforce One" aircraft. He was armed with a
    pistol, and given western "Pocket Money" when arriving in the Free World. Lothar would write
    a book entitled "Honecker Privat" revealing his experiences with the "Arch Communist Couple"
    The book also covers the relationship between Erich and Margot, on their yearly three and a half
    weeks to the Island of Vilm.
    Lothar Herzog had met Erich Honecker for the first time in 1962, when he would come to the
    clubhouse in Waldlitz to play skat. He would have a beer or brandy. He was "Unemotional and
    Humourless" reports Mr. Herzog. Honecker changed when he succeeded Walter Ulbricht as
    General Secretary of the GDR. He was a heavy smoker, which he stopped, and no more
    alcohol. When living at Wandlitz, Margot Honecker, as Education minister would leave at 08.00am.
    for Berlin. They had a maid. and were cool toward each other. (cool - distant) He would spend
    many weekends, at hunting estates, where he would use the Range Rover, and enjoy life away
    from his wife. Mr Herzog was eventually "Let Go" because he couldn't get along with the
    "Honecker Dog" at Waldlitz.

    In an interview Margot gave to German broadcaster "Deutsche Welle" during her final months
    in Santiago, she said.
    "She never understood why people tried to escape to the West over the Berlin Wall, when so
    many died in the attempt., There was no need for that". "There was no need for them to climb
    over the wall, It's certainly bitter to have to pay for so much stupidity with their lives"

    The CIA observed that the GDR Airline, Interflug's "Free World" (Western) service is extremely
    limited, and uneconomical. The East German regime, however views the Interflug "Free World"
    service as an Instrument in the struggle for International recognition, than a revenue producer.

    Austrian actor Oskar Werner, born in Vienna 1922 died in Germany 1984. featured in many plays
    and films, including "The Spy Who came in from the Cold" and the 1951 War movie "Decision
    before Dawn" made the following statement.
    "I have never believed in Nationalism. Even as a boy, I did not. I believe only in the idea of a
    native Country, and this means, one speaks the language. Nationalism the reason why there
    are so many wars. People see their Countries. as though they can do no wrong".

    It would appear to me, that the Honecker's went to their graves, still believing that they had not
    done any wrong. The families and loved ones of the 943 reported deaths at the borders would
    have a different view. It was revealed that the number is likely to be 950 - 1000. deaths.

    Lance Shippey.
  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Jul 31, 2002
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    Thanx for all the interesting info Lance.

    BTW we watched in the 80´s the east German puppet before going to sleep. The story says there was always something political teachings taking place behind the puppet. DDR sold the show to every country except West Germany. Wonder why....


    New Exhibition Looks at Daily Life in East Germany | DW | 02.04.2007

    Lots of interesting items and "stuff" in the museum. Visited in 2011 if I rember correctly.
  8. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

    Oct 11, 2018
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    Dear Kai-Petri,
    Thanks so much for bringing the "Sandman" or" Sandmannchen" topic to my attn.
    This is indeed very interesting, in the brainwashing of the GDR.
    It was the original idea of Dr. Ilse Obrig. and being developed by Berliner rundfunk
    in the Soviet Zone in the 1950's. She defected to the West the same year, The
    Sandman was based on "Ole Lukoje". a character by Hans Christian Andersen.
    The sandman granted dreams to come true to children, if they had been good.
    The programme lasted 8 minutes, and was first aired on the 22nd November 1959.
    on East German Television DFF1. and on 1st December 1959 on ARD in the West.
    The transmissions were different in the East and West. and ended in the West in
    1991. after re-unification. The puppet master was Gerhard Behrendt.
    In GDR the programme was called "Unser Sandmaanchen (Our Sandman)
    In FRG the peogramme was called "Das Sandmaachen (The Sandman)
    It was also shown in Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. In Finland it was
    called "Nukkumatti" The Norwegians produced at documentary of 52mins called
    "The History of a Socialist Superman".
    In the East German version, the sandman travelled to the USSR to see his brothers
    and sisters. and to see fellow cosmonauts. Also a visit to North Vietnam.
    He travelled to Angola, where they drove around in a Western "Land Rover", which
    caused problems with some of the SED dictatorship.
    A visit to Sadam Hussein in Iraq. The one programme which was controversial was
    about balloons, which was said to have given GDR viewers, Ideas about the possible
    escape by Balloon.

    The reason the Sandman featured a visit to Angola, was that the GDR were involved
    in training SWAPO Guerilla troops. 400 Angolan children who were orphaned, were
    bought to the GDR during this time. North Vietnamese Children were brought into
    the GDR with their parents, due to a labour shortage. The Angolan Land Rover
    possibly used to mitigate any jealousy against Honecker's fleet of them at his numerous
    hunting lodges.

    I remember watching the sandman for the first time in West Germany, but also the
    GDR version, In Copenhagen, when Denmark received transmissions from the East
    German channels. (and also BBC Wales)

    The Danish Island of Gedser is connected by a ferry from Rostock. East Germany. It
    takes 1hr.45mins. Shortly after the fall of the wall, a friend and I rendezvoused in
    Copenhagen. The first time he had visited a Western country apart from West Germany.
    He couldn't believe that English was widely spoken in Denmark. He had always been
    told that German was a "World Language" and spoken everywhere. He had a shock
    in Denmark.

    Lance Shippey.
  9. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

    Oct 11, 2018
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    Wolgang Vogel and Herbert Frahm.
    HERBERT FRAHM, was born in Lubeck in 1913. The left wing journalist
    studied at the university of Oslo, and was sent to cover the Spanish civil
    war (17/7/1936 - 1/4/1939) He based himself in Barcelona. Returning to
    Norway. Arrested, but not identified as German, he was released as a
    Norwegian. With Norway being occupied in 1940, he fled to Sweden.
    Stockholm would become home until 1945. At wars end he worked for
    a Scandinavian newspaper, as German correspondent, before becoming
    Press officer at the Norwegian mission. 1948 saw the start of his political
    career with the West German SPD (Social Democrats). He also decided
    to use the pseudonym he had been using, to avoid capture by the Nazis.
    In 1948, he formally adopted the name Willy Brandt.
    1957 - 1966 Willy Brandt became mayor of West Berlin and was to welcome
    President Kennedy, when JFK made his famous speech "Ich bin ein Berliner".
    on the steps of the City hall (Town Hall) at Schoeneberg, Berlin in front of
    120,000 spectators in June 1963. Brandt became Chancellor of West
    Germany from 1969 to 1974 at the countries provisional capital , Bonn.

    Bonn known as "Bundesdorf" or "Federal Village" on the banks of the
    Rhine river, was growing quickly, It had been chosen as" Provisional
    Capital" in 1949. and would remain until reunification in 1990.
    During Brandt's tenure as chancellor, he had married couple, Gunter
    and Christel Guillaume working as closest aides to him. July 1973,
    he invited them to share a holiday with him and his second wife, Rut.
    Rut Brandt, nee. Hansen was a Norwegian born, German writer from
    Hamar, Norway. married to Willy from 1946 until their divorce in 1980.
    During the Brandt's and Guillaume's stay in Hamar, Brandt did some
    preparation for the" Helsinki Accords" scheduled for 30th July 1975.
    The Accords would follow two years of negotiations known as the
    "Helsinki Process" which was an attempt to improve detente between
    the Soviet Bloc and the West. The preparation documents in the hands
    of Willy Brandt were sensitive and secret.
    On 24th April 1974 there was a knock at the door of Gunther and Christel
    Guillaume's door. A voice shouted "I am a citizen of the DDR (GDR) and
    your officer, respect that". Arrested, they had been under suspicion since
    the end of May 1973. This was one of the biggest political scandals in
    West German history. In 1975, Gunter Guillaume was sentenced to 13
    years in jail, Christel 8 years in jail., both exposed as Stasi agents. They
    were exchanged in 1981 for 8 Westerner's jailed in the GDR, through the
    efforts of Wolfgang Vogel.
    Gunter Guillaum returned to the Stasi in the East, as a trainer of spies.
    Christel , returned to the GDR, divorced her husband, and reverted to
    her maiden name "Boom" after unification, she retired to Wilmersdorf
    district of West Berlin. (Near Ka.De.We..department store).
    Son, Pierre 17 years old at the time of his parents, arrest said he had
    three fathers. one before my parents were arrested. one, a father in
    jail, and one, my father in the GDR. Pierre changed his name to his
    mothers maiden name, "Boom". He had his passport taken from him
    when visiting his parents in the GDR , preventing him from leaving the
    GDR. until reunification.
    Willy Brand's chancellorship came to an end with his resignation in 1974.
    He died 8th October 1992, at his apartment in Unkel, a small village on
    the Rhine. He is buried in the Waldfriedhof, Zehlendorf, Berlin.

    Lance Shippey
  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Jul 31, 2002
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    After visiting GDR in1988 And previously 1982 I truly understand the local problems. For a 12-year the political problems not so much as 20 years later. Would have been interesting to talk back then and already now as I love to visit Germany quite often.
  11. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

    Oct 11, 2018
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    Hi, Kai-Petri
    Great hearing from you. I see, nowadays Kotka has an overnight sea link
    to Rostock and partner Baltic city Lubeck. Was the service operating
    during the 80's, with a stop in Rostock ? I remember travelling close to
    Kotka in 1987, when I travelled from Helsinki to Vyborg, then on to
    Leningrad. We picked up an 'Intourist' (KGB) guide in Vyborg. She was
    a 'Hard Liner' and possibly one of the worst human beings I have met.
    On arrival in Leningrad, I learned from a Finnish friend that Mathias Rust
    had landed his Cessna 172, near Red Square in Moscow. Our guide was
    not amused that I had received this information, and she was still in the
    dark. On departing the USSR via the Brest / Polish border crossing, I was
    strip searched by the KGB. The guide would surface again in St. Petersburg
    as a hotel sales manager in the 90's Aged, but still with a face that could
    sour milk.

    Lance Shippey
  12. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

    Oct 11, 2018
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    Wolfgang Vogel. Leonid Brezhnev and Honecker's "Kiss of Death", but perfect
    " Bed Partners."
    Leonid Brezhnev shared a love of expensive automobiles as Erich Honecker did.
    The only difference being, Brezhnev didn't want to pay for them. Brezhnev, a real
    "Motor Head" had the word put around, that during state visits, an automobile would
    be an ideal gift. The "Gift" would become part of his own personal vehicle fleet, and
    be driven by himself on his private property, to avoid the people from seeing them.
    Brezhnev was head of the USSR for 18 years. On meeting President Nixon in 1973,
    he was given a Lincoln Continental. Nixon had the ride of his life, when he sat with
    Brezhnev on his test drive. On a visit to Great Britain, he was given a Rolls Royce
    Silver Shadow, which he crashed. The car, still unrepaired, is in the Riga motor museum
    .He received a Maserati Quattroporte from the Italian communist party. A Citroen SM
    from France. During his stay at luxury hotel Petersburg, overlooking the Rhine, he was
    given a Mercedes sports car by Chancellor Willy Brandt. It never made it back to the
    USSR, as Leonid drove it into a ditch, on the very windy road down from the hotel.
    The Hotel Petersburg, best reached by helicopter, served to accommodate Neville
    Chamberlain, during talks with Adolf Hitler. President Clinton, Queen Elizabeth 11.
    The Shah of Persia, Yasser Arafat, and Konrad Adenauer took over the Instruments
    of the new German State from the envoys of the allies.
    Brezhnev's gifts were added to his collection, which included a Chevrolet Bel air
    sports, Cadillac, Chrysler 800, Mercedes 600 Pullman, and Opel Kapitan.
    For use at the Kremlin, the official ZIL or Tschaicka would be used along with his

    Lance Shippey.
  13. ARWR

    ARWR Active Member

    Aug 2, 2020
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    The Shire
    Comrade Lenin likewise liked big powerful cars particularly Rolls Royces and Buicks
  14. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

    Oct 11, 2018
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    Dear ARWR.
    Comrade Stalin had rather a penchant for Packard's He was given
    a Packard 12 by President Roosevelt, and observed the ruins of
    Berlin from a Packard. The Soviet Likhachev automobile factory
    was named ZIS after Stalin. "Zavod Imeni Stalina" The ZIS115.
    32 models of the ZIS115 were made 1948/1949. The ZIS factory
    was renamed ZIL in 1956, after the "De-Stalinization" of the USSR.

    Nikita Khrushchev wanted to catch up and overtake America.

    Leonid Brezhnev had designers copy the lines of the Lincoln
    Continental. The ZIL was not good for occupants who were tall.
    Yeltsin chose the Mercedes W140 S Class, and the Mercedes
    W220. It was rumoured that Helmut Kohl presented him with a
    Mercedes S600 Pullman Limo Guard, in 1994.

    Putin replaced his Mercedes Pullman Limo Guard S600, with a
    Soviet Aurus Senat Limo.

    Lance Shippey
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  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Jul 31, 2002
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    Tonight a document on letters from East Germany read for twenty years on BBC until 1975 by Austin Harrison. The idea was to learn about life in the communistic part of Germany. It says that Stasi truly kept Harrison enemy of the Eastern Germany and wanted to make him quiet. I guess like Voice of America, radio free europe etc but the power was so efficient that the Soviets could not interfere with the broadcasts ( or so I recall)..Maybe somebody can tell more exactly.

    Letters without Signature
  16. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

    Oct 11, 2018
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    Dear Kai Petri.
    Good to see that Finnish TV aired "Letters without Signatures" last night. It is due to have a second airing on Saturday
    17th October 2020 at 07.00am on Finland TV1. (Arena programme)
    Regarding the jamming of Western stations. From 1949 to 1987 "Jamming" by the Soviets consumed vast amounts of
    money and technical expertise. A large part of the USSR broadcasting system tried to block the BBC Russian service
    but was never totally effective. Mikhail Gorbachev had been a long time listener to the BBC's Russian service. It is more
    than likely that the GDR would have had the same technical and financial constraints as the Soviets. plus trade embargoes,
    denying it access to technology. Western programmes from RIAS were as popular especially an entertainment programme
    entitled "Mystery Sunday". It was said in the GDR "The population lived in East Germany during the day, but in West Germany
    during the night".
    The Letters without Signatures programme lasted from 1949 to 1974. Great Britain recognised the existence of the GDR by
    opening an embassy in East Berlin in 1973, so discontinued the programme in 1974.
    SED Politburo member Albert Norden stated "What the BBC is doing, is direct meddling with the internal affairs of our state."
    "The BBC calls for the overthrow of the existing social and political system." Norden, a Jewish communist emigrated to the
    USA in 1941, His son John Konrad (Johnny) was born in New York. The family returned to Germany in 1946. Johnny would
    become cultural attache at the East German embassy in Santiago Chile during the Pinochet Putsch of September 11th 1973.
    Johnny was to offer supporters of the overthrown Allende government asylum in the GDR. Johnny went on to serve in Cuba.
    Soviet publication "Izvestia" revealed a specific liaison between the BBC and MI6.
    Actors, Josef Stein, and Anton Diffring were photographed with Austin Harrison at the BBC's Bush House in 1967.
    During WW2, The BBC played a large role in passing coded messages to Germans, working for the British. One such case
    was regarding "The Oslo Report" . An anti NAZI German Spy, Hans Ferdinand Mayer (1895-1980) who supplied the
    British invaluable information. He eventually was arrested, and sent to Dachau concentration camp. guilty of listening to
    the BBC. His passing of secrets was never discovered, until after his death in 1980.

    Lance Shippey.
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  17. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Jul 31, 2002
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    Yes, the "letters without signatures" was a very interesting document. They received once the program had established itself up to 5,000 letters per week. The program was financed by Foreign office and its department IRD ( information research department ) if I got it right, not at all a BBC program. Totally propaganda program meant to cause inside crises in the DDR. Actually they made Stasi work hard to try to break the chain how the letters left DDR and ended being read in the BBC program. Harrison told often a fake address in Berlin where to send the mail and as it did not cross the border there was no possibility to censorship, only inform the post office to stop sending mail to certain addresses but this did not work well as the radio program was on Friday evening, and the post office was closed on saturday, they had already sent the mail forward when they got the forbidden addresses from Stasi on Monday.

    Stasi had prepared to arrest Harrison in ca 1968 but he might have had a hint as he did not come to DDR like he had promised. Later on Stasi had decided to withdraw from arresting him.

    Stasi caught some letter senders because they gave too many hints who they were in the letter even if the name was not there. They seem to have gotten 2 years of prison for sending a letter. Or letters.
  18. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

    Oct 11, 2018
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    Wolfgang Vogel Cold War Bunker
    Bonn became "Provisional Capital" of West Germany in 1949 until 1990. It was known as
    "Bundesdorf" or Federal Village. The four allies (USA / France / Gt. Britain, and Soviet Union.)
    established civilian high commissions from 1949, which changed to Embassies in 1955.
    Two Embassies were established outside Bonn. The French resided in Schloss Ernich,
    overlooking the river Rhine at Remagen from 1955 until 1955. The Soviet embassy occupied
    Hotel Groyen, near Remagen on the B9 road at Rolandseck from 1955 until 1975, when it
    moved to Bonn Viktorshoehe. The Hotel Groyen was originally owned by the Groyen family
    from France, They had settled in the area, and another part of the family settled in
    Konigswinter, on the opposite bank of the Rhine. In 1923 Herman Hartmann took over the
    hotel During WW2 the hotel was converted into a military hospital serving soldiers returning
    from Poland. It became an orthopedic klinik of the university of Cologne. The Hartmann
    family remained at the hotel during WW2. The Soviets moved in in 1955, and left in 1975
    It was sold in 1983 to a Cologne businessman who converted it into apartments. Between
    the Soviets moving out in 1975 and 1983 cars with embassy CD plates other that Soviet.
    were seen parked outside the building, possibly from the Far East.

    Sixteen miles south of Bonn, and not far from Remagen, the Ahrweiler an area of vineyards
    producing red wine was chosen by the West German government for the site of a "Nuclear
    Bunker". The "Regierungsbunker" Dernau was built between 1960 and 1972 under Marienthal
    Vineyard. next to two tunnels, which were used to construct V2 mobile rocket launchers.
    (The launchers were used for launching the V2's despatched to France and London from
    an area near the Dutch Royal Palace of Ten Bosch at Wassenaar / The Hague ), Netherlands.
    The bunker could hold 3000 persons for 30 days inside, without contact to the outside World.
    The two abandoned railway tunnels were converted into 897 offices, 936 bedrooms, and had
    25,000 doors. It was used for the first time in Oct. 1966. and last used in March 1989.
    The "Regierungs" bunker was top of the list for GDR spies. From 1970 to 1985 there were
    273 documents filed by GDR spies originating from the bunker. Most were not important.
    There were ca. 4000 Communist Spies in West Germany. 2500 - 3000 originate in the GDR.
    Most East German espionage was conducted by the Ministry of State Security (Stasi). 80%
    of activities focused on Internal control and repression, and 20% of work was dedicated to
    external espionage. The 2500 - 3000 agents who managed to penetrate the West German
    Government were usually using names of dead people.

    Lorenz Betzing, born in Andernach am Rhein, (close to Ahrweiler) was recruited by the GDR
    in 1966, worked on the construction of the bunker.. His partner Ursula Richter (real name
    Erika Reissmann|) controlled a ring of spies. Both Betzing and Richter fled to East Berlin in
    1985. The Bunker also had part of the A61 autobahn converted into a runway, and control
    Helge Berger, Chief secretary in the West German ministry of foreign affairs was sentenced
    to five years in jail after being caught as a spy.
    Sonja Luneburg was smuggled into West Germany in 1967 and worked as secretary for the
    FDP (Free Democratic Party) The real Sonja Luneburg was confined to a psychiatric ward
    in East Germany.. The secretary's real name was Johanna Olbrich. Her position in the FRG
    came to an end when she left her handbag in a Rome taxi. in 1985.

    Lance Shippey
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  19. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Jul 31, 2002
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    By the way,

    I have bought several DDR medals and badges plus cuffs and One border soldier's uniform. They are still very cheap and
    perhaps stay that way. However when the USSR collapsed all the Soviet medals were cheap but these days Many are quite expensive. I guess they have gold in them as well.

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