Location of Originals
Scope and Content of Collection
Title: John O. Koehler papers
Date (inclusive): 1934-2008
Collection Number: 2001C75
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
Language of Material: In German and English
74 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box, 3 card file boxes
(31.1 Linear Feet)
Abstract: Correspondence, news dispatches and news stories, photocopies of East German secret police documents, photocopies of United
States government documents, post-reunification German governmental reports, clippings, other printed matter, photographs,
sound recordings, and video tapes, relating to political conditions in Germany, the East German secret police, the attempted
assassination of Pope John Paul II, and Soviet espionage within the Catholic Church. In part, used as research material for
the books by J. O. Koehler,
Stasi: The Untold Story of the East German Secret Police (Boulder, Colo., 1999), and
Spies in the Vatican: The Soviet Union's War against the Catholic Church (2009).
Koehler, John O.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives
The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual
or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 2001
[Identification of item], John O. Koehler papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives
Location of Originals
This collection contains photocopies of documents in the Bundesbeauftragte für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes
der ehemaligen Deutschen Demokratischen Republik (BStU) and the United States National Archives and Records Administration.
||Full Name (in German)
||Bundesbeauftragte für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen Deutschen Demokratischen Republik, Abteilung
Bildung und Forschung
||Research and education department of the Federal Commission for the Papers of the State Security Service of the former German
||Bundesanstalt für gesamtdeutsche Aufgaben
||Federal Institute for pan-German Tasks
||Federal Republic of Germany (FRG)
||Die Bundesbeauftragte für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen Deutschen Demokratischen Republik
||Federal Commission for the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic
||Deutsche Demokratische Republik
||German Democratic Republic (GDR)
||Deutsche Kommunistische Partei
||German Communist Party
||Chief Department I (Army)
||Chief Department II (Counterintelligence)
||Chief Department III (Technology and Radio)
||Chief Department V (Culture, Education)
||Chief Department VII (Prisons)
||Chief Department XVIII (Economy/Industry)
||Chief Department XX (Dissidents and Culture)
||Chief Department XXII (Terrorism)
||Hauptverwaltung für Aufklärung
||Chief Administration for Intelligence (Foreign espionage)
||Inoffizielle Mitarbeiter - Blickfeld
||Senior IM with close contact to the target
||Commercial Coordination (department responsible for acquiring western currency and products)
||Ministerium für Staatssicherheit
||Ministry for State Security (Stasi)
||National People's Army
||Offizier im besonderen Einsatz
||Officer in special service
||Zentrale Auswertungs- und Informationsgruppe
||Central evaluation and information group
||Zentrale Ermittlungsstelle Regierungs- und Vereinigungskriminalität
||Center for discovery of governmental and reunification crimes
|June 11, 1930
||Born, Dresden, Germany
||Freelance newsman for McGraw Hill Publications, Overseas Weekly, and Associated Press in Germany.
||Sub-editor and reporter for Frankfurt bureau of Reuters.
||Reporter for The Canadian Press, Vancouver, WA.
||Reporter for United Press Association and British United Press, covering Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Seattle.
||Covered, wrote and edited local news for the Anacortes American (Washington).
||Served in the United States Army and United States Army Reserve, entering the Army as a corporal and holding the rank of captain
when discharged. Assignments included intelligence collection, counter intelligence, criminal investigation, and public affairs.
||Concurrent with Army service, reporter and editor for United Press Association in Phoenix, AZ.
||AP Correspondent for 28 years, served as head of bureau in Bonn (1959-1962), chief correspondent in Berlin (1962-1965), and
bureau chief for New Jersey (1965-1967). Also serves as deputy director and general manager for Personnel, and assistant general
manager and managing director for the World Services Division at Associated Press headquarters in New York.
||Assistant to the President and Director of Communications under Ronald Reagan.
Stasi: the Untold Story of the East German Secret Police is published by Westview Press.
Spies in the Vatican: the Soviet Union's War Against the Catholic Church is published by Perseus Books Group.
Scope and Content of Collection
The collection documents John Koehler's career as a journalist, intelligence officer, and writer; it consists of correspondence,
news stories, photocopies of East German and United States government documents, post-reunification German governmental reports,
clippings, printed matter, photographs, sound recordings, and videotapes. Includes papers related to the Associated Press,
the U.S. Army, political conditions in Germany, espionage, and especially the East German secret police. The bulk of the papers
were collected by Koehler while researching and writing his book, entitled
Stasi: The Untold Story of the East German Secret Police.
The Professional Files series includes news stories written by Koehler for the Associated Press (AP) and other news organizations,
many of them dating from his time as chief correspondent in Berlin, and it also includes speeches and lectures given about
journalism. Additionally, the Professional Files contain a small amount of material relating to the U.S. Army, Koehler's consulting
company, and his work as President Reagan's communications director. The Correspondence series records Koehler's duties at
the AP, particularly after he began working in the AP administrative offices in the United States. The Photographs series
is mainly composed of AP photographs from Koehler's time as a reporter, depicting escapes from East Germany as well as photographs
of Koehler himself.
The Stasi Research Materials series comprises the bulk of the collection. In the course of writing
Stasi: the Untold Story of the East German Secret Police, Koehler collected information from a wide variety of sources. Thus, the series includes photocopied records from the East
German Ministry of State Security (MfS), interviews with former MfS officers and victims, post-reunification German government
reports, photocopied documents from various United States government agencies, and an extensive subject file of clippings
and published material. The series reflects Koehler's interest in MfS abuses of power and extensively documents international
espionage, terrorism, and repression of the East German population during the Cold War.
The collection is organized into four series: Professional Files, 1946-1989; Correspondence, 1960-1997; Photographs, 1960-1979;
and Stasi Research Materials, 1931-2002. The Stasi Research Material series is further divided into five subseries: German
Democratic Republic State Security Ministry files, 1931-1993 [bulk 1952-1989]; Federal Republic of Germany reports, 1990-1998;
United States government documents, 1943-1997; Interviews and broadcasts, 1991-1997; Subject Files, 1931-2002.
Jürgen Perduss collection, Hoover Institution Library & Archives
GDR Oral History Project interviews, Hoover Institution Library & Archives
Heinrich Bortfeldt interviews, Hoover Institution Library & Archives
Christian Joppke papers, Hoover Institution Library & Archives
Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands miscellaneous records, Hoover Institution Library & Archives
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Secret service -- Soviet Union
Germany -- Politics and government -- 1945-1990
Secret service -- Germany (East)
Espionage, East German
John Paul, Pope, II, 1920-2005
Germany (East). Ministerium für Staatssicherheit