Stasi Files

1998 - 2000s

Materials presented chronologically.

Theurmer, Angus MacLean. "My Stasi File: Tattered Cloak, Not Much Dagger." Christian Science Monitor, 13 Jul. 1998, 11.

See T. Rees Shapiro, "Angus Thuermer dies at 92; former journalist, CIA official," Washington Post, 9 May 2010, C8.

The author was CIA chief of base in West Berlin from 1975 to 1978. He wrote to the West German office in charge of old East German intelligence documents, and received his Stasi file -- 18 pages of tailing reports. He was still waiting for his FBI file.

Pincus, Walter. "Cold War Footnote: CIA Obtained East Germany's Foreign Spy Files." Washington Post, 22 Nov. 1998, A2. "CIA to Germany: What Spy Files?" Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 30 Nov. 1998, 17.

"[T]he complete original files from East Germany's foreign spy operations, including the true identities of its thousands of agents,... are in the possession" of the CIA "and are stored at the agency's Langley headquarters.... Sources ... said the files were obtained after the fall of East Germany's communist government. They had been removed from Stasi offices in Berlin well before the Berlin Wall fell by members of the East German clandestine service....

"[R]ecords from the files were used in the espionage trial in Virginia of Theresa Marie Squillacote and Kurt Alan Stand.... In an affidavit, FBI special agent Katharine G. Alleman said she had 'inspected copies of certain HVA file records and I have been provided information concerning other HVA file records,' without noting where or from whom she obtained the records.... As one former intelligence official aware of the operation ['Operation Rosewood'] said recently, 'When the complete history of the closing days of the Cold War is written, this will be one of CIA's greatest triumphs.'"

U.S. Department of State. "Daily Press Briefing." 23 Nov. 1998.

Asked to confirm the report that the U.S. Government had the Stasi files, State Department Spokesman James Rubin acknowledged that "[f]ormer East German opposition leaders did present a petition to the US Embassy in Berlin on November 9," 1998. He, then, noted: "The German Democratic Republic State Security Service was an intelligence and police agency. We do not comment on intelligence matters."

Associated Press. "Germany Demands US Return Spy Files." 9 Dec. 1998. [http://www.ap.org]

In a television interview, German intelligence chief Ernst Uhrlau demanded "that the United States return former communist East German spy files the CIA allegedly grabbed at the end of the Cold War."

Boyes, Roger. "CIA to Return Stasi Papers." Times (London), 19 Jan. 1999. [http://www. the-times.co.uk]

The CIA "has agreed to hand over thousands of files on agents who spied for communist East Germany." See also, Washington Post, "U.S. to Release E. German Intelligence Files," 19 Jan. 1999, A14.

Pincus, Walter. "U.S. Won't Hand Over E. German Spy Files: CIA Obtained Data Sometime After '89." Washington Post, 20 Jan. 1999, A17. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"[I]nformed government sources" say that the "United States has no plans to hand over to the German government" the files from East Germany's foreign spy operations, "which the CIA obtained in a clandestine operation sometime after 1989." These statements were in response to earlier reports that an agreement had been reached for the return of the files. See also, Roger Boyes, "U.S. Denies Deal to Hand Over Stasi Spy Files," Times (London). 21 Jan. 1999.

Associated Press.

1. "Germany Expects Stasi Files Back." 21 Jan. 1999. [http://www.ap.org]

Johannes Legner, the spokesman for the German government agency that oversees the Stasi files in Berlin, said that the agency "expects the United States will eventually hand over secret files that were spirited away to Washington shortly after the Berlin Wall fell."

2. "Germany, U.S. to Discuss Spy Files." 27 Jan. 1999. [http://www.ap.org]

During a 8-9 February 1999 visit to Washington, Bodo Hombach, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's chief of staff, will meet with DCI George Tenet and probably national security adviser Sandy Berger to "press efforts to recover former East German spy files believed taken by the CIA."

Cole, Deborah. "U.S.-Held Files Seen Uncovering E. German Spies." Reuters, 4 Feb. 1999.

"Files thought to be in the hands of the CIA could blow the cover of former agents in communist East Germany's international espionage network, according to [State Ombudsman for the Documents of the Former East German State Security Service (Stasi) Joachim Gauck].... The remark comes before a German government delegation ... travels to Washington [on 8 February 1999] to ask for the return of Cold War files on East German spying that ended up in the United States after the fall of the Berlin Wall."

Drozdiak, William. "The Cold War in Cold Storage: Washington Won't Part With East German Spy Files; Bonn Wants Them Back." Washington Post, 3 Mar. 1999, A17. [http:// www.washingtonpost.com]

When German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder visited the United States last month, he "was fervently hoping he would return home with ... the top-secret archives of East Germany's foreign spy operations that the CIA spirited away after the fall of the Berlin Wall." However, President Clinton would not even discuss the issue. The Chancellor's "senior aides said privately" that he "was outraged by the ... refusal to surrender files that Germany considers its property. They warned that the impasse soon could seriously damage cooperation on intelligence and other matters between the countries."

Goetz, John, and Matthew Campbell. "Germany Seeks CIA Spy Dossier." Sunday Times (London), 21 Mar. 1999.

The CIA "is ready to return files from the former East German Stasi spy agency which include the names of 3,000 agents who spied on West Germany for the communists." Ernst Uhrlau, the coordinator of German secret services, said he had "assurances from George Tenet ... that the files will be handed over.... He said the CIA and the German secret services had agreed to make 'intensive joint use' of the files." Associated Press, 22 March 1999, quotes German television ZDF as stating that the United States has agreed to turn over the Stasi files. The report adds that a "government spokesman confirmed the report, but said the two sides agreed not to discuss details."

The Independent (UK). "How the CIA Stole East German Files." 20 Sep. 1999. [http:// www.independent.co.uk]

"The unmasking of British spies and 'agents of influence' was made possible by a remarkable CIA coup -- the stealing of the secret archive of agent files of the East German spy service. In the thousands of files the Americans discovered the names of dozens of spies in the West who had worked for the East German secret service... The American coup is seen to be on a par with MI6's brilliant operation to spirit Colonel Vasili Mitrokhin and his archive out of Russia in 1992."

Pincus, Walter. "Berlin to Get CIA Copies of 320,000 Stasi Files." Washington Post, 27 Oct. 1999, A27. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

U.S. and German officials stated on 26 October 1999 that the CIA will turn over to Germany "copies of a significant part, but not all," of the Stasi files obtained after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. According to U.S. officials, "[f]iles relating to foreigners who worked for the Stasi in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere will not be turned over."

New York Times. "U.S. Gives Cold-War Spy Files to Germany." 6 Apr. 2000. [http://www. nytimes.com]

According to a German government spokesman on 5 April 2000, the CIA "has handed over the first of a large cache of East German files listing intelligence agents and their code names."

Tony Czuczka, "Former Spy Files Returned to Germany," Associated Press, 5 Apr. 2000, reports that German government spokesman Uwe-Karsten Heye said that "the first CD-ROM arrived at Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's office [on 31 March 2000]. It was still sealed and had not yet been analyzed, he said. Some 1,000 further discs are to follow over the next 1 1/2 years."

Aris, Ben. "Fresh Stasi Files Could Name German MPs." The Guardian, 8 Jul. 2003. [http://www.guardian.co.uk]

"The CIA has handed over to the German authorities highly sensitive files that name tens of thousands of former East German secret service agents.... The so-called Rosewood files contain more than 200,000 names, including up to 50,000 active Stasi agents who have so far escaped detection."

Glees, Anthony. The Stasi Files: East Germany's Secret Operations against Britain. London: Free Press, 2003.

Maddrell, I&NS 19.3 (Autumn 2004), comments that "[p]oor judgement and relatively weak material make this an unsatisfactory book." The author "makes excessive use of speculation, presumption and unconvincing reasoning.... [H]e does not identify a single British informant with access" to classified information. In addition, "Glees' willingness to make claims about the [British] Security Service's operations, even though he had no access to its records, goes much too far."

In a response, Glees, I&NS 19.3 (Autumn 2004), argues that the reviewer "completely ignored the witness testimony" in the book. "The material ... may not be complete but that does not make it 'weak.' ... [By] ignoring the witness testimony, Meddrell fails to understand that in fact I rely as much on witness testimony as on the evidence in the files."

Peake, Studies 47.4 (2003), notes that the author "considers only HVA (East German foreign intelligence) operations involving British subjects.... This is not an easy book to read and understand. It is awkwardly organized and its analysis is steadfastly mediocre. There is doubt that the conclusions are supported by the evidence and [there is] no way to check" since Glees' "research is based on Stasi files that are no longer available to public examination."

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