Preliminary Inventory to the GDR Oral History Project Interviews 1990-1994

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Title: GDR Oral History Project interviews
Date (inclusive): 1990-1994
Collection Number: 94066
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
Language of Material: German
Physical Description: 8 manuscript boxes, 9 card file boxes (5 linear feet)
Abstract: Sound recordings and transcripts of interviews of East German government and Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands leaders, and East German dissidents, relating to political processes and policymaking in East Germany from 1945 to 1990. Project directed by A. James McAdams, and sponsored by the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace and other organizations.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
creator: GDR Oral History Project

Access

Collection open for research. Use copies of all sound recordings in this collection are available for immediate access.

Publication Rights

Photocopying limited to two pages per transcript without permission of Archivist. (use request for extra photocopies)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], GDR Oral History Project interviews, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

Accruals

Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

Acquisition Information

Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1994.

Introduction

by James McAdams, Principal Investigator
In 1994, the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University opened a major new archive, a collection of over 80 oral histories of leading politicians and policymakers from the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). The GDR Oral History Project was initiated in 1990 by Professor A. James McAdams of the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. It was made possible largely through the financial assistance of the National Council for Soviet and East European Research. Other supporters included the Center for German Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and the John Foster Dulles Program in Leadership Studies at Princeton University. The Hoover Institution supported the transcription of all of the interviews in the collection.
The aim of the GDR Oral History Project was to record on tape some of the still vivid memories of the former leaders of East Germany, so that in 50 or 100 years (the amount of time Socialist Unity Party [SED] general secretary, Erich Honecker, predicted the Berlin Wall would last) future students of German history would have a unique source for assessing the driving motivations of the individuals who once made up the country's dominant political culture. Of course, no series of interviews alone can realistically relate the entire history of a state. Nevertheless, the researchers felt they could preserve for posterity a segment of that experience by interviewing a select group of individuals who could reasonably be characterized as the East German political elite.
In particular, the Oral History Project chose to interview four types of politically significant individuals. In the first group, we emphasized well-known representatives of the SED, such as former members of the ruling politburo and central committee, like Kurt Hager, Karl Schirdewan, Günther Kleiber, Herbert Häber, Werner Eberlein, Egon Krenz, and Gerhard Schürer. The second group was broader, comprised largely of members of the party and state apparatus. In this case, our goal was to identify a sample of policy implementers, from diplomats to department heads. Thus, we focused on key departments of the SED central committee, such as Agitation and Propaganda and International Affairs, and sections of state ministries, such as the foreign ministry department charged with East German-Soviet relations. Our third group of interviewees was comprised of so-called policymaking intellectuals. This disparate group, with representatives ranging from economist Jürgen Kuczynski to socialist theoretician Otto Reinhold, primarily included individuals who had some tangential relationship to policymaking; we particularly emphasized former members of SED policy institutes, such as the Academy of Social Sciences and the Institute of Politics and Economics. Finally, as the Oral History Project grew, we decided to develop a fourth group of interviewees in order to cast light upon the transition from the GDR to unified Germany. This category was drawn from former dissidents who became politicians, including such wide-ranging personalities as Markus Meckel, Lothar de Maiziere, Jens Reich, and Wolfgang Ullmann. [Footnote: Since the opportunity arose to conduct interviews with individuals in the former Soviet party apparatus who had dealings with the GDR, we also conducted several interviews in Moscow. However, the Soviet-East German relationship never evolved into a formal interview category.]
From the beginning of the project, the organizers were confronted with a question that all oral historians face: how to find an appropriate balance between the competing norms of "richness" and "rigor." Rigor involves the kind of rigidly-structured interviews that will lend themselves to social scientific generalization and even quantification; richness, in contrast, favors the unique political and personal story of each individual to be interviewed. On the side of rigor, we provided all our interviewers with a concrete set of core questions to guarantee that the interviews would not be entirely random. Nearly everyone interviewed was asked previously formulated questions about their family background and social class, their particular path to political engagement, their views on the German national question, their perceptions of the outside world, and their personal experience with policymaking in the GDR.
Yet, if we leaned in any particular direction in developing the project, it was in favor of richness. Clearly, we did not have the resources to interview the number of representatives of the GDR elite that would have been required for quantitative social-science analysis. We also found that it was best to tailor many of our questions to the individuals' own experiences, since we were dealing with very different sorts of people, with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Some, for example, had worked closely with major figures like Walter Ulbricht; others had been uniquely positioned to understand major events, such as the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. We did not want any of these memories, however idiosyncratic, to be lost to future historians. Finally, we believed that after the formal questions were posed, it was crucial to let our discussion partners speak for themselves about what mattered most in their lives. Sometimes they took the interview in directions that we could not have anticipated.
Not surprisingly, we initially approached our interviews with certain guiding preconceptions about how our discussions might progress and what we might discover. As the Oral History Project developed, some of these assumptions were borne out; but provocatively, others were not. In every case, however, our successes and failures turned out to be enormously revealing about the nature of the project itself and about East German history.
Our first preconception was that we might have a hard time getting some of the most senior SED officials to talk openly about their past. This concern turned out not to be serious; in the majority of cases, they seemed to speak freely about their experiences, particularly when we assured them that we were not interested in "sensationalist journalism." With only a few exceptions-primarily, those facing criminal prosecution-it was quite easy to gain access to these former leaders, even to individuals who had granted no other interviews to westerners. We had an unexpected advantage: for the most part, we were Americans, indeed Americans from the well-known Hoover Institution. In the perception of many of our interviewees, we were worthy victors. Many were actually thrilled to welcome representatives of the "class enemy" into their living rooms, provided that we would not turn over their interviews to one of the "boulevard newspapers," like the Bildzeitung. Three eastern German social scientists also conducted interviews for us. They had the advantage of knowing how to speak the "language" of their former leaders. On balance, our main advantage seemed to be that no members of the Oral History Project came from former West Germany, which was still regarded by our interviewees with suspicion.
In retrospect, the readiness of these individuals to speak with us should probably not have been so surprising. After all, by depositing their thoughts in a major archive, we were assuring them that we were taking their experiences seriously and perhaps even guaranteeing that their lives had not been lived in vain. This is no mean consideration in view of what happened to the GDR. Naturally, future scholars will have to come to their own conclusions about the honesty and sincerity of each interview. Occasionally, we detected moments of outright dishonesty. Sometimes our interviewees simply refused to talk about embarrassing moments in their lives (e.g., association with the Stasi). There was also a recurring tendency for younger individuals, or those lowest in the old hierarchy, to portray themselves as something they were not before 1989-such as, closet reformists or enthusiastic supporters of Mikhail Gorbachev. There were also frequent problems with memory; some older interviewees could remember the "anti-fascist struggles" of the late 1920s with absolute clarity, but could not recall the 1950s at all.
These sorts of problems afflict all oral histories. Yet, there were many moments when we could not help but be struck by the candor of our interviewees. Many showed a surprising readiness to talk about issues that we expected to be embarrassing to them. The best example of this was the Berlin Wall, which they nearly always defended in animated terms. From the first days of the interview project, there was also a telling recognition among the leading representatives of the SED elite that they had lost the battle with the West and that they were beginning to accept this reality. Thus, there was none of the crazed rambling and denial that one found in previously published interviews with Erich Honecker. Among several interviewees, there was even a notable respect for their former opponents, such as East German dissident, Bärbel Bohley, and the late West German Green, Petra Kelly. Undoubtedly, there were many points where one wanted more self-criticism from our discussion partners. Yet, some of our interviewers wondered whether this same quality would have been available from comparable politicians in the West. As one eastern German interviewer reflected: "Any political elite has to confront issues involving moral integrity in the daily course of its activities, and each individual must make his peace with truth as he can."
Our second preconception was that we could use such interviews to uncover new facts about the GDR. No doubt, anyone listening to the hundreds of hours of tapes in this collection will encounter a number of interesting facts about distinct events in the East German past (for example, about the mysterious death of planning minister Erich Apel in 1965, about the lack of East German involvement in the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and about the banning of the Soviet publication, Sputnik, in 1988). Moreover, the interviews also serve to undermine many of the stereotypes that scholars have cultivated about some of East Germany's best-known politicians; sometimes the "good guys" turn out to be not so good in the recollections of their former associates, and the "bad guys" not nearly so bad.
Yet, one of our most interesting findings is how little most policymakers, including many members of the SED's highest circles, actually knew about some of the most important events and controversies of the East German past. We feel that this says a lot about the nature of politics in the GDR. This really was a system that kept all politically significant facts restricted to very few people. We discovered that even at politburo meetings, leaders discussed very little of substance. The most important decisions were frequently made by two or three individuals walking in the woods on a weekend. In these instances, expertise rarely played a major role.
Even if we did not acquire the full stories about some of the events in the East German past that interested us most, the opportunity to discuss such issues as the construction of the Berlin Wall or the SED's opposition to Gorbachev was unique. Indeed, future scholars may find that these interviews provide a natural complement to the mountains of written documents that have recently become available to us in such collections as the Central Party Archives in Berlin. For in the latter case, we have huge new reservoirs of historical facts, but we frequently lack the personal perspectives necessary to interpret them.
A third preconception was that we would learn much more about policymaking processes in the GDR. This turned out to be true, although not for the reasons we envisioned. Initially, we thought that by interviewing individuals at different levels of the decision-making apparatus of the SED, we would be able to construct a rough flow chart of authority, showing how decisions moved upward, downward, or outward in a complex hierarchy. Not only did we never encounter such structures, but we received constant affirmation that, but the 1980s, no well-established hierarchies existed at all. As we have already suggested, absolute power was concentrated in very few hands, and all other expressions of political activity took place on a highly informal and personalistic basis. Even the SED politburo had the character of a rubber stamp; to the extent that there were differences among its members-and these did exist on some questions-they were only expressed on a private basis over the lunch table at the ruling body's Tuesday meetings. It is striking that even those who might have been considered personal cronies of SED General Secretary Erich Honecker did not feel that they controlled very much. They, too, felt like cogs in the socialist wheel.
In contrast to this image of a faceless, even amorphous policymaking culture, there was also provocative agreement in many of the interviews that politics in the GDR had not always been so uniform and that it had changed particularly since the 1950s. Those individuals who were politically active in East Germany's first decade were practically unanimous in conveying an image of policymaking during that period that is conspicuously more collegial than anything later experienced in the GDR. Among them, there was a consensus that East Germany's first leader, Walter Ulbricht, was only a primus inter pares in the early 1950s, and that those around him could and did oppose his views on a regular basis. These findings seem to concur with the written records of the Central Party Archives.
Finally, we came closest to meeting our fourth preconception: that we could record our interviewees' views on the great issues and great debates of the GDR past. In this case, we were listening to people's perceptions that they could remember, regardless of how well they know the details of an issue. They could say what was important to them, and what was not. Many spoke passionately about matters that had once been life or death questions for their country. This was, above all, true of the long-disputed German national question. In contrast to some Western scholarship, which has held the GDR's national policy to be little more than a tactical diversion, all of the interviews conveyed a strong sense that, at least until the early 1960s, if not later, the SED leadership really did believe that it was offering a valid German path to socialism. Walter Ulbricht emerges as practically obsessed with the issue, and much of his downfall in 1970-1971 can be explained in terms of this obsession.
Similarly, the Oral History Project offers a very nuanced perspective of the complex relations that existed between the GDR and its superpower ally, the Soviet Union. It will not surprise anyone to hear that some differences existed between East Berlin and Moscow. But future scholars may be impressed by the extent of these differences, as recorded in the interviews, and by how far back they reach in East German history (e.g., in Ulbricht's efforts to push through the economic reforms of the New Economic System in the 1960s, despite manifest Soviet opposition). Additionally, the Oral History Project affords a unique perspective on the East German-Soviet conflict that emerged in the 1980s with the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev's reformist leadership. Standard Kremlinological approaches to the study of communist leadership might lead one to expect the East German politburo to have been divided into factions of "Gorbachev opponents" and "Gorbachev supporters," with comparable divisions existing with the Soviet leadership over policy to the GDR. But aside from a few slight exceptions, we were surprised to find almost no evidence of factional divisions over the GDR's relationship with Moscow.
Of all the great issues of the East German past, the interviews offer a very clear picture of the evolution of East Berlin's relations with the Federal Republic of Germany. They depict an exceptionally close relationship between the two German states, in fact, one that defies all assertions that the essence of West German policy was to hold the German question open for some future resolution. With German reunification now an accepted fact, future scholars may be intrigued to hear, form the eastern German perspective, how seriously Bonn took the leaders of the GDR and how much of West German policy was based upon the assumption that the Berlin Wall would remain in place for "50 or even 100 years."
In sum, while the GDR Oral History Project does not presume to offer a complete or unbiased perspective on East Germany's history, we believe it is a valuable source of information and interpretations for future scholars to use as they seek to make sense of the GDR's past. We are not aware of any comparable, publicly accessible projects on the GDR's history, particularly in Germany itself, although much smaller interview collections on the history of inter-German relations in the 1960s and the roots of the East German revolution of 1989 are being assembled. Nor do we know of any similar efforts to capture the memories of comparable political elites in other East European states, although the Hoover Institution is now beginning a similar interview project on the old Soviet elite. Therefore, we hope that the Oral History Project will serve as an inspiration to researchers seeking to lay the foundations for future scholarship on countries as diverse as Poland, Romania, Hungary, and the former Czechoslovakia.
The GDR Oral History Project would not have been possible without the generous assistance of a number of experts on the history of the GDR. Aside from A. James McAdams, interviewers for the project included Thomas Banchoff, Heinrich Bortfeldt, Catherine Epstein, Dan Hamilton, Gerd Kaiser, Jeffrey Kopstein, Olga Sandler, Matthew Siena, John Torpey, and Klaus Zechmeister. Elena Danielson of the Hoover Archives played a central role in the project, cataloguing all of the interviews and arranging for their transcription.
All of the interviews in the collection are equally accessible to any interested scholars, provided that interviewees have not previously requested copyright restrictions on the use of the material. For further information on the collection, contact the Hoover Archives.
For background information, contact: Professor A. James McAdams, Helen Kellogg Institute of International Studies, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace.
McAdams, A. James.
Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands.
Communism--Germany (East)
Communism.
Dissenters--Germany (East)
Germany (East)--Politics and government.
Germany.
Phonotapes.

Mixed Materials 1, Box 9, tape 1

Lev Bezymenskii interview by Olga Sandler June 25, 1992

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000086

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 1 cassette and transcript (in Russian). Regards Soviet-German relations. Narrator is a journalist
Box 9, tape 2

Lothar Bisky interview by Heinrich Bortfeldt April 6, 1993

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000088

Scope and Contents note

1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is head [?] of Zentralinstitut für Jugend-forschung; Kultursoziologe at the Akademie für Gesellschaftswissenschaften; Rektor der Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen.
Box 9, tape 3-4

Siegfried Bock interview by A. J. McAdams May 18, 1992

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000089

Scope and Contents note

CV, 1 photo, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is a diplomat; Envoy to the European Conference of Safety and Cooperation in Helsinki and Geneva; ambassador to Romania.
Box 9, tape 5-6

Bärbel Bohley interview by John Torpey April 2, 1993

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000091_a01 and 94066_a_0000092_a01

Scope and Contents note

CV, 2 cassettes, no transcript (audio quality poor). Narrator is an artist; co-founder of the oppositonal group Neues Forum; co-founder of Frauen für den Frieden.
Box 9, tape 7-8

Joachim Böhm interview by A. J. McAdams December 5, 1990

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000091

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is deputy director, ZK Dept. Regards relations with socialist countries.
Box 9, tape 9

Michael Brie interview by Matthew Siena December 23, 1991

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000092

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is professor für sozialphilosophie at the Humboldt-University, Berlin.
Box 9, tape 10-11

Manfred Buhr interview by K. Zechmeister December 23, 1992

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000093

Scope and Contents note

CV, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is a philosopher; director of Zentralinstitut für Philosophie at the Academy of Sciences; vice president of the International Hegel-Society; co-editor of Philosophisches Wörterbuch.
Box 9, tape 12

Peter-Michael Diestel interview by Bortfeldt December 15, 1992

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000094

Scope and Contents note

CV, 1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is dr. jur.; co-founder of DSU; member of the Volkskammer DDR-Innenminister; president of the CDU-Fraktion im Landtag Brandenburg.
Box 9, tape 13-14

Stefan Doernberg interview by Bortfeldt November 10, 1992

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000095

Scope and Contents note

CV, 2 cassettes and transcript (not literal). Narrator is a historian; Generalsekretär des DDR-Komitees für europäische Sicherheit; director of the Institut für Internationale Beziehungen (Potsdam-Babelsberg).
Box 9, tape 15

Stefan Doernberg interview by Gerd Kaiser July 27, 1993

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000096

Scope and Contents note

1 cassette and transcript
 

Stefan Doernberg interview January 15, 1993

Scope and Contents note

1 [?] tape and transcript missing
Box 10, tape 16-17

Fred Ebeling interview by Torpey August 23, 1991

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000097

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 2 cassettes (echoing, but understandable). Narrator is a member of Demokratischer Aufbruch
Box 10, tape 18-19

Fred Ebeling interview by Torpey January 28, 1992

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000098

Scope and Contents note

2 cassettes (echoing, but understandable)
Box 10, tape 20-21

Werner Eberlein interview by Torpey February 2, 1992

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000101

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, CV, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is a member DDR Politbüro 1983-89; son of KPD co-founder Hugo Eberlein; member of the edit. board of Neues Deutschland; Russian interpreter for Ulbricht & Honecker.
Box 10, tape 22

Konrad Elmer interview by Thomas Banchoff December 5, 1991

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000102

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, CV, 1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is a SPD member, Bundestag
Box 10, tape 23

Rainer Eppelmann interview by Dan Hamilton November 9, 1991

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000104

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 2 CV, 1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is a pastor; co-founder of Initiative Demokratischer Aufbruch (DA), its candidate for Berlin in 1990.
Box 10, tape 24-25

Rainer Eppelmann interview by Banchoff December 5, 1991

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000105

Scope and Contents note

2 cassettes and transcript
Box 10, tape 26-27

Oskar Fischer interview by McAdams March 9, 1993

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000106

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, CV, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is a party official; Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Box 10, tape 28-29

Peter Fischer interview by Siena December 23, 1991

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000107

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is an engineer and economist; assistant at the Hochschule für Ökonomie, Berlin; assistant of Sigmund Rothstein, Verbandsprasident der jüdischen Gemeinden in Berlin; friend of Biermann and Irene Runge.
 

Peter Florin interview by McAdams March 10, 1994

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000120_a01, 94066_a_0000121_a01 and 94066_a_0000122_a01

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, CV, 3 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is a government official; member of SED-ZK; representative of GDR by UN in New York; chairman of UNESCO committee; ambassador to CSSR.
Box 11, tape 33

Hans-Dieter Fritschler and Landolf Scherzer interview by Kaiser September 7, 1992

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000109

Scope and Contents note

1 cassette and transcript. Narrators are SED leaders in Thüringen. Also includes 2 newspaper articles (with photos of Fritschler and Scherzer): (1) · Peter Pragal, "Jetzt kocht 'Der Erste' auch mal Kaffee für die Partei," in Berliner Zeitung, May 16-17, 1992, p. 61; and (2) · Landolf Scherzer, "Das letzte Gefecht," in Die Zeit, January 2-5, 1990, pp. 9, 10, 12
Box 11, tape 34-35

Joachim Gauck interview by Torpey April 23, 1993

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000111

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, CV, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is Bundesbeauftragter für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen DDR; Pastor, co-founder of Neues Forum.
Box 11, tape 36

Lea Große interview by Kaiser February 13, 1992

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000112

Scope and Contents note

1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is a communist since 1927 who was sentenced to 5 years in prison in 1935 for communist underground activities; Programmleiter beim Sender "Freies Deutschland" in Moscow, hefredakteurin beim Rundfunk Dresden.
Box 11, tape 37

Gregor Gysi interview by Bortfeldt July 6, 1993

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000113

Scope and Contents note

CV, 1 cassette and transcript (corr., pencil marks). Narrator is a lawyer; one of the few to have defended oppositionists; advocate of Neues Forum; Leader of the renewed SED-PDS
Box 11, tape 38

Klaus Gysi interview by Siena January 3, 1990

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000114

Scope and Contents note

2 photos, CV, 1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is a government official; Head of the Department of Publishing House Volk und Wissen; minister of Culture; ambassador to Italy; secretary of state for church matters.
Box 11, tape 39-40

Klaus Gysi interview by Siena December 28, 1991

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000115

Scope and Contents note

2 cassettes and transcript
Box 11, tape 41-42, Mixed Materials 3

Herbert Häber interview by McAdams March 19, 1990

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000116

Scope and Contents note

2 photos, CV, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is a party official; Member DDR Politbüro.
Box 11, tape 43-44

Herbert Häber interview by McAdams March 8, 1993

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000117

Scope and Contents note

2 cassettes and transcript
Box 11, tape 45-46

Kurt Hager interview by McAdams December 3, 1990

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000118

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, CV, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is a Government official; leading ideologist; member of the ZK of SED, secretary responsible for the ZK für Kultur und Wissenschaft.
Box 11, tape 47-48

Kurt Hager interview by McAdams July 11, 1991

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000119

Scope and Contents note

2 cassettes and transcript
Box 12, tape 49-50

Kurt Hager interview by Catherine Epstein August 6, 1993

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000120

Scope and Contents note

2 cassettes and transcript (corr., pencil marks)
Box 12, tape 51

Erich Hahn interview by Bortfeldt February 28, 1991

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000121

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, CV, 1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is a Professor of Marxist and Leninist Philosophy; candidate of SED-ZK since 1976.
Box 12, tape 52

Brunhilde and Helmut Hanke interview by K. H. Plagemann July 22, 1991

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000122

Scope and Contents note

1 cassette (beginning missing) and transcript. Narrator is Mayor of Potsdam since 1961; member of the Staatsrat.
Box 12, tape 53-54

Wolfgang Harich interview by McAdams December 1, 1990

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000132

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, CV, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator taught Marxist Philosophy at the Humboldt Univ. until arrested for "Bildung einer konspirativen staatsfeindlichen Gruppe" in 1956; released from prison in 1964; publisher's reader at the Aufbau Verlag.
Box 12, tape 55

Wolfgang Herger interview by Torpey September 16, 1991

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 84066_a_0000133

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, CV, 1 cassette (audio quality poor, echo), no transcript. Narrator is a party official; member DDR Politbüro.
Box 12, tape 56-57

Wolfgang Herger interview by Torpey January 30, 1992

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000134

Scope and Contents note

2 cassettes and transcript
Box 12, tape 58-59, Mixed Materials 4

Frank-Joachim Herrmann interview by McAdams March 11, 1994

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000135

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, CV, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is a Mitarbeiter des ZK der SED; editor-in-chief of the "Berliner Zeitung".
Box 12, tape 60

Uwe-Jens Heuer interview by Banchoff November 14, 1991

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000136

Scope and Contents note

CV, 1 cassette and transcript, 1 election brochure. Narrator is a Professor of law; was advising the ZK in questions concerning Staats-und Wirtschaftsrecht at the Zentralinstitut für sozialistische Wirtschaftsführung.
Box 12, tape 61

Stephan Hilsberg interview by Banchoff June 14, 1991

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000137

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, CV, 1 cassette. Narrator is a Computer scientist; co-founder of the SPD (East); member of the Bundestag.
Box 13, tape 62

Gustav Just interview by Torpey July 14, 1991

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000138

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is a Member of Gruppe Harich, SPD member Brandenburger Landtag.
Box 13, tape 63-64

Gustav Just interview by Torpey February 1, 1992

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000139

Scope and Contents note

2 cassettes. 1 article: Hanno Kühnert, "Die Schüsse im Leben des Gustav Just," in Die Zeit, Apr. 16, 1993, p. 16.
Box 13, tape 65

Dietmar Keller interview by Banchoff November 25, 1991

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000140

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, CV, 1 cassette and transcript. Narrator held Various positions within the Kultur-ministerium; minister of culture in 1989, open to reforms.
Box 13, tape 66-67

Karl-Heinz Kern interview by McAdams May 22, 1992

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000141

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, CV, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is a Chemist; diplomat; GDR ambassador to Great Britain.
Box 13, tape 68-69

Günther Kleiber interview by Zechmeister November 26, 1992

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000142

Scope and Contents note

CV, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is an Electrical engineer; various party positions linked to the fields of Elektrotechnik, Elektronik, data processing; Stell-vertretender Ministerprasident der DDR; Minister für Allg. Maschinen-, Landmaschinen-und Fahrzeugbau.
Box 13, tape 70-71

Gerd König interview by McAdams March 9, 1993

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000143

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, CV, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is a Diplomat; ambassador to the CSSR.
Box 13, tape 72

Ernst Krabatsch interview by Banchoff March 25, 1992

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000150

Scope and Contents note

CV, 1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is a Diplomat; member of the GDR delegation to intern. conferences on various occasions.
Box 13, tape 73-74

Egon Krenz interview by Bortfeldt May 31, 1990

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000151

Scope and Contents note

CV, 1 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is General secretary and head of Staatsrat after Honecker's retirement; chief executive of the country during the transition period (Oct. 18 - Dec. 3, 1989); expelled from the SED in Jan. 1990.
Box 13, tape 75, Mixed Materials 5

Jürgen Kuczynski interview by Bortfeldt January 10, 1991

Scope and Contents note

CV, 1 cassette and transcript, 1 note anouncing K's new book: Ein hoffnungsloser Fall von Optimismus. Memoiren 1989-94, Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, 1994. Narrator is an old communist; economist; professor of Economic History at Humboldt Univ., Direktor des Instituts für Geschichte der Wirtschaftswiss. der Akad. der Wissenschaften.

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000152
Box 13, tape 76

Manfred Lötsch interview by Torpey February 27, 1991

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 1 cassette (bad audio quality), no transcript. Narrator is a Reform-oriented sociologist at the Acad. of Social Sciences, Berlin.

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000153
Box 13, tape 77-78

Manfred Lötsch interview by Torpey January 28, 1992

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000154

Scope and Contents note

2 cassettes (audio OK in the beginning), transcript missing.
Box 14, tape 79-81

Lothar de Maizière interview by Hamilton November 12, 1991

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000155

Scope and Contents note

CV, 3 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is a Lawyer; becomes head of the CDU of the DDR in 1989; last Prime Minister of the GDR.
Box 14, tape 82

Lothar de Maizière interview by Bortfeldt November 4, 1992

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000156

Scope and Contents note

1 cassette and transcript
Box 14, tape 83-84

Moritz Mebel interview by Bortfeldt February 27, 1991

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000157

Scope and Contents note

CV, 1 photo, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is a Chefarzt für Urologie an der Charité.
Box 14, tape 85

Markus Meckel interview by Banchoff June 10, 1991

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000158

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 2 CV, 1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is a Pastor; co-founder of the East German Social Democratic Party; foreign minister of the DDR (April - August 1990).
Box 14, tape 86

Daniil Efimovich (Melanid) Mel'nikov interview by Sandler July 1, 1992

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000159

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 1 cassette (in Russian) and transcript. Regarding German-Soviet relations. Narrator Worked at TASS and for the SovInformbiuro.
Box 14, tape 87

Hans-J. Misselwitz interview by Bortfeldt June 3, 1993

Scope and Contents note

1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is a Biochemist; pastor; Parlamentarischer Staatssekretar (SPD) beim Außen-ministerium (under de Maizière) .

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000160
Box 14, tape 88

Hans Modrow interview by Bortfeldt March 17, 1993

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000161

Scope and Contents note

CV, 1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is a Dr. phil. in Wirtschaftswissenschaften; within the SED for democratic reforms; on Nov. 13, 1989, elected head of the DDR- Ministerrat, successor of Stoph; Proposes gradualist unification plan in Feb. 1990.
Box 14, tape 89

Claus Montag interview by McAdams July 9, 1991

Scope and Contents note

1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is Head of Abteilung Außenpolitik der USA des Inst. für internat. Beziehungen an der Akademie für Staats- und Rechtswissen- schaft der DDR . Publications on East-West relations. Botschaftsrat.
Box 14, tape 90-91

Erwin Müller interview by McAdams May 21, 1992

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000163

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is a Schlosser. Jounalist. Editor-in-chief of " Was und Wie. "
Box 14, tape 92

Harald Neubert interview by McAdams December 4, 1990

Scope and Contents note

2 photos, 1 cassette and transcript. No commercial use without permission. Narrator is a Professor of History . Leiter des Instituts für internationale Arbeiterbewegung an der Akademie für Gesellschaftswissenschaften beim ZK der SED.

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000164
Box 14, tape 93-94, Mixed Materials 6

Erich Nickel interview by McAdams March 12, 1994

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is a Librarian. Historian. Author of Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. In the GDR published under the title: Die BRD. Ein Überblick. Emigrated in 1989.

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000165
Box 14, tape 95

Boris Orlov interview by Sandler June 23, 1992

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 1 cassette (in Russian) and transcript. Narrator is a Historian at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow ( Institut nauchnoi informatsii po obshchestvennym naukam). Special interest: German Social Democrats.

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000166
Box 15, tape 96

Rainer Ortleb interview by Banchoff December 19, 1991

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 2 CV, 1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is a Mathematician. Since 1968 member of the LDPD, then LDP. Head of the LDP (Feb. 2, 1990).

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000167
Box 15, tape 97

Karl-Ernst Plagemann interview by McAdams November 17, 1990

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000168

Scope and Contents note

1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is a Mitarbeiter am Institut für internat. Beziehungen an der Akad. für Staats-und Rechtswissenschaft der DDR, Potsdam-Babelsberg.
Box 15, tape 98

Jens (and Christian in Engl.) Reich interview by Siena December 28, 1989

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000169

Scope and Contents note

2 photos, CV, 1 cassette. Side A: Christian (in Engl.), no transcript Jens (in German and Engl.) and transcript, quality ok; Christian (in Engl.), no transcript. Side B: Christian (in Engl.), no transcript. Narrator is a Microbiologist. Co-founder of the protest movement Neues Forum.
Box 15, tape 99

Jens (and Christian in Engl.) Reich interviwe by Siena December 23, 1991

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000170

Scope and Contents note

1 cassette and transcript
Box 15, tape 100

Klaus Reichenbach interview by Banchoff May 6, 1992

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000171

Scope and Contents note

CV, 1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is an Engineer. Lawyer. 1990 Landesvorstand der CDU Sachsen. Member of the Volkskammer. GDR minister.
Box 15, tape 101-102

Otto Reinhold interview by McAdams March 23, 1990

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 2 cassettes and transcript with errata sheet. Narrator is Director of the Academy of Social Sciences [ Akad. für Gesellschaftswissenschaften]

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000172
Box 15, tape 103-104

Otto Reinhold interview by Bortfeldt January 29, 1991

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000173

Scope and Contents note

2 cassettes and transcript
Box 17, tape 105-106

Rolf Reißig interview by McAdams May 19, 1992

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000174

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 2 cassettes and transcript with errata sheet. Narrator is a Professor at the Acad. of Social Sciences.
Box 15, tape 107-108

Irene Runge interview by Siena December 19, 1991

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000175

Scope and Contents note

2 photos, 2 cassettes and transcript (corr., many pencil marks). Narrator is a Sociologist, anthropologist, journalist.
 

Landolf Scherzer (see Fritschler)

Scope and Contents note

Narrator is a Writer. Author of Der Erste, Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 1986, an account of Fritschler's political work.
Mixed Materials 7, Box 15, tape 109-110

Hans Schindler interview by McAdams October 3,1991

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is a Dipl. Staatswissenschaftler, Fachrichtung Außenpolitik (Potsdam/Babelsberg). Secretary at the ambassy in Moscow. tellvertretender Botschafter in Bonn (1979-85). 30 Jahre Mitarbeiter Karl Seidels.

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000176
Box 16, tape 111-113

Karl Schirdewan interview by McAdams July 9, 1991

Scope and Contents note

CV, 3 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is an old communist. Member of ZK Politbüro. Together with Wollweber dismissed for opposing Ulbricht. Then Leiter der Staatl. Archivverwaltung der DDR in Potsdam.

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000177
 

Gregor Schirmer interview by McAdams March 7, 1993

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, CV, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is a Govern. official. Deputy Minister of Education.
Box 16, tape 116

Gerhard Schürer interview by McAdams July 10, 1991

Scope and Contents note

CV, 1 cassette and transcript with errata sheet. Narrator is a Member of ZK. Head of Staatliche Plankommission.
Box 16, tape 117

Karl Seidel interview by McAdams July 8, 1991

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000203

Scope and Contents note

CV, 1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is a Diplomat. Botschaftsrat in Moscow. Leiter der Abteilung BRD im Ministerium für Auswärtige Anglegenheiten.
Box 16, tape 118

Wolfgang and Regina (called "Lotte") Templin interview by Torpey August 29, 1991

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0000204

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is Wiss. Mitarbeiter am Zentralinstitut für Philosophie der Akad. der Wissenschaften. Co-founder of Initiative Frieden und Menschenrechte (IFM). 1988 arrested and expelled . 1989 Sprecher der IFM am Runden Tisch. (Lotte: IFM activist. Arrested together with Wolfgang T.)
Box 16, tape 119-121

Wolfgang and Regina (called "Lotte") Templin interview by Torpey February 3, 1992

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0010873

Scope and Contents note

3 cassettes and transcript [Lotte on tape #3], no transcript of last cassette (poor audio quality: it is late, W.T. telling jokes.)
Box 16, tape 122-123, Mixed Materials 8

Ferdinand Thun interview by McAdams March 10, 1993

Conditions Governing Access note

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0003441

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is Foreign Ministry chief of protocol
Box 16, tape 124

Wolfgang Ullmann interview by Banchoff November 12, 1991

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0010881

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 2 CV, 1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is Dr. theol, pastor , Dozent für Kirchen-geschichte. Delegate of the movement Demokratie Jetzt to the Round Table. Minister under Modrow.
Box 17, tape 125-126

Manfred Uschner interview by McAdams April 10, 1991

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0010884

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is Mitglied des Politbüros des ZK der SED. For 14 years Hermann Axen's personal referent.
Box 17, tape 127-128

Manfred Uschner interview by Zechmeister March 10, 1993

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0010890

Scope and Contents note

2 cassettes and transcript
Box 17, tape 129-130

Hans Voss interview by McAdams May 22, 1992

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, CV, 2 cassettes and transcript. Narrator is a Diplomat. Consul in Burma and Cambodia, ambassador to Romania and Italy.

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0010897
Box 17, tape 131-133

Günther Wirth interview by Zechmeister December 2, 1992

Scope and Contents note

3 cassettes and transcript, 1 postscriptum by Wirth. Narrator is a Member of the Hauptvorstand der CDU der DDR, editor-in-chief of the journal Standpunkt.

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0010901
Box 17, tape 134

Vincent von Wroblewski interview by Siena December 17, 1991

Access

Use copy reference number: 94066_a_0010908

Scope and Contents note

1 photo, 1 cassette and transcript. Narrator is a Philosopher. Interpreter (French). Editor of the Rowohlt Sartre-edition.