10. IMV “Kurt” and IMV “Julia”

I first met Kurt’s wife IMV “Julia” in Altrosenthal, a country village near Frankfurt an der Oder where three writers (Plenzdorf, Schlesinger, Stade) and their physician friend (Stefan Schnitzler, son of the infamous SED-propagandist Karl-Eduard von Schnitzler) had purchased a cluster of four farm houses they used mainly as weekend and vacation retreats. Not far from this settlement, Kurt and Julia had a dilapidated farm house that they were in the process of renovating. Their apartment in Berlin, also in a state of disrepair, was located in the Prenzlauer Berg district, not far from the apartments occupied by the Plenzdorfs, Klaus Schlesinger, and his wife Bettina Wegner, the dissident songwriter/singer and political activist. On the weekends, which they liked to spend in the country, they would all gather for coffee and cake or a cookout, usually at the Plenzdorfs’ house, which was the largest and nicest. On one such occasion, on my first visit to Altrosenthal, I got together with Kurt and Julia along with their friends from West Berlin, Brigitte and Hellfried Kellner. The Hotel Berolina, where I stayed in November 1975, was located not far from Prenzlauer Berg. Kurt and Julia invited me to their apartment for dinner now and then, and I occasionally would meet Kurt at a nearby pub for a bite to eat and a beer in the evening. Perhaps I should have suspected, since both were evasive about their line of work and alluded vaguely to SED Party connections, that they might somehow be involved with the Stasi.

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