Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Heinrich Bortfeldt interviews
Date (inclusive): 2001-2006
Collection Number: 2002C60
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
Language of Material:
3 manuscript boxes, 3 oversize boxes
(2.4 Linear Feet)
Abstract: Sound recordings and transcripts of interviews of leaders of the Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands and of the Partei
des Demokratischen Sozialismus, and of other German political and cultural figures, relating to political conditions in East
Germany and in reunified Germany.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives
The collection is open for research; materials must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use.
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.
Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 2002.
[Identification of item], Heinrich Bortfeldt interviews, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Heinrich Bortfeldt Collection consists of several series of oral history interviews conducted by Bortfeldt, a German historian,
between 2001 and 2006. These interviews were a follow-up to an earlier series of interviews conducted in the former East Germany
during the period of transition following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and German reunification in 1990. These earlier
interviews, in which Bortfeldt and a number of others participated, can be found in the GDR Oral History Collection in the
Hoover Institution Library & Archives. The oral history interviews are available as sound recordings on audio cassette tapes.
For the latter interviews that are represented in this collection, Bortfeldt initially sought to interview leading East German
political and governmental figures, such as Egon Krenz, Hans Modrow, Lothar de Maizière and Herbert Häber, as well as West
German business and political leaders whose work brought them into contact with East Germany during the 1970s and 1980s, such
as Edzard Reuter, Lothar Späth, Kurt Biedenkopf and Björn Engholm. The last major series of interviews in this collection
focused on intellectual and artistic figures from the former East Germany, who reflected on their experiences in that country,
including the novelist Christoph Hein, the artist Walter Womacka, screenwriter Wolfgang Kohlhaase, theatrical producer Manfred
Wekwerth, and actress Gisela May, among others. In addition, a handful of subsequent interviews were conducted with former
East German governmental leaders, including the chief of the foreign espionage division of the Ministry of State Security
(Stasi), Markus Wolf.
With a few exceptions, transcripts were provided by Bortfeldt for all of the recorded interviews. The first series in this
finding aid, the transcripts, is arranged by chronologically-grouped subseries, according to when the interviews were conducted,
and then alphabetically within each subseries.
GDR Oral History Project interviews, Hoover Institution Library & Archives
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Communism -- Germany
Socialism -- Germany
Germany (East) -- Politics and government
Germany -- Politics and government -- 1990-
Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands
Partei des Demokratischen Sozialismus (Germany)