27. Return to Berlin: June, 1977

In early June 1977, shortly after the conclusion of Oberlin College’s spring semester, I returned to Berlin for a week. I stayed with friends in West Berlin, Brigitte and Hellfried Kellner, who kindly let me use the guest bedroom in the basement of their lovely villa in the district of Lichterfelde. During this time, I made several day trips to East Berlin, where I visited some friends and writers. A report in my file dated June 6, 1977 refreshes my memory of this visit and its purpose. According to the Stasi, I was interested as an operative or provocateur in meeting with GDR writers they viewed as enemies of the state.

Unofficially, it became known that the USA citizen

Dr. ZIPSER, Richard
born: 1/23/1943
residence: Oberlin, Ohio 44074 (USA)
employed as: Assistant Prof. German Dept. Oberlin College
known operatively as active contact of hostile-
oppositional GDR writers

who for about a week now, since 6/4/1977, has been staying with the KELLNER family (Tel. [blacked out]) in Westberlin, is trying to set up  meetings with GDR writers

Jurek BECKER
Ulrich PLENZDORF and
Sarah KIRSCH.

On 6/5/1977 ZIPSER got together with Sarah KIRSCH in her apartment.
ZIPSER has arranged to meet with Ulrich PLENZDORF on 6/6/1977, at noon, in the capital of the GDR.
The specific reason for ZIPSER’S discussions with Sarah KIRSCH and Ulrich PLENZDORF could not be determined.
ZIPSER wants to invite Jurek BECKER to visit the USA in 1978 and have preliminary discussions about that now.

[ . . . ]

A get-together with Jurek BECKER is scheduled for the afternoon of 6/9/1977.
In addition to that, Dr. ZIPSER contacted Gerhard WOLF and arranged to meet with him as well on 6/9/1977.