Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by higge, Aug 24, 2008.
Looking forward Lance!
Maybe I remember some golden oldies 40 year back....
Great talking to you! Kph
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
Comrade Lenin likewise liked big powerful cars particularly Rolls Royces and Buicks