The first document in what I am calling the Fries/Zipser file is dated May 23, 1978, and reports on a May 22, 1978 meeting between Fries and his Stasi-handler, First Lieutenant Gerhard Hoffmann. There are three pages, a two-page form labelled “Treffbericht” (Report on Meeting) with four sections, into which Hoffmann entered information, and an attachment. In the first section one finds the names of the informant and his handler, the date, time and place of the meeting; the second section is titled “Treffvorbereitung” (Preparation for Meeting) and makes reference to the attachment; the third section, on page two, is for an evaluation of the meeting (“Treffauswertung”); and the fourth section, also on page two, is for information related to the informant’s new assignment (“Neuer Auftrag und Verhaltenslinie”). The third page is an attachment with Fries’s notes on preparation for the meeting (“Treffvorbereitung”) he would be having with me on May 23, 1978, and some other matters he was planning to look into. All the information on the form and attachment, most of which I have reproduced below, is handwritten.
Service Unit: Regional Headquarters Frankfurt(Oder), Dept. XX/7
Report on Meeting
Category/Code Name IMS “Pedro Hagen”, V/MOG/72
Date/TimeMeeting PlaceStaff Member
Next MeetingTimeMeeting Place
Reports 2 oral
Preparation for meeting:
(e.g., meeting planned / scheduled on short notice, brief summary of the agenda for the planned meeting, focal points of the assigned mission, instructions, preparation and qualification)
– planned meeting
– preparation for meeting (see attachment)
Evaluation of meeting:
(e.g., reference to content of the reporting, conforms to assigned direction of the mission, behavior of the unofficial collaborator, signs of dishonesty / unreliability / deconspiration, operative value and objectivity of the reporting, utilization of the gathered information, ideological problems, disciplinary measures, benefits)
In follow-up to our last meeting the IM [informant] once again raised questions about further collaboration. It was made clear to the IM again that the main goal is to guide those GDR writers who recently addressed problematic issues publicly to realistic positions, in the sense that they accept the existing circumstances and not seek refuge in illusory viewpoints.
The IM accepted the statements concerning this matter and agreed to continue collaborating on that basis with the MfSS.
The IM communicated an operatively valuable piece of information related to the behavior of the American professor of literature, Dr. Zipser.
In addition, he provided an assessment of problems that are connected to the 8th Writers Congress.
It may be presumed that the conversations held during the last two meetings have contributed significantly to improving the relationship between the IM and the MfSS and to further reducing the reservations that existed previously.
The IM seemed more relaxed and more open-minded with respect to the operative problems.
Regarding the information and assessment communicated by the IM, it must be emphasized that on the part of the IM there is evidence of comprehension of the set of issues and a higher degree of trust in the MfSS than before.
Also, the IM was active and constructive in the setting up of another meeting.
The IM did not receive an invitation to a meeting of and with other authors at Klaus Schlesinger’s residence in Berlin or at the home of another writer, in advance preparation for the Congress! [Many GDR writers were wary of Fries, suspecting—although not knowing—that he was collaborating with the Stasi. Hence, they avoided his company and did not invite him to participate in informal private gatherings like the ones mentioned above. Fries’s Stasi-handler clearly wishes the informant had received invitations, but the exclamation point is the only indication of his displeasure.]
New assignment and guidelines
For the meeting with Prof. Zipser on 5/23/78
1. Find out and clarify what has become of Zipser’s project, the reason
why he was doing research in the GDR about two years ago.
2. Clarify who else is participating in the project, in whose company the
IM is going to find himself.
3. Whom does Zipser still intend to call on, for what period of time will
he be in the GDR, where is he staying during the Writers Congress?
4. Which GDR writers is Prof. Zipser considering for a period of residency
at USA universities?
Preparation for meeting “P. Hagen”, 05/22/78
– Delegation for the Congress
– Executive Committee?
– Smooth sequence of events at the Delegates Conference
– What played out in the background?
– Many of those who were expected to be delegates are not, how was
– How did circle of friends react to selected delegates?
– Is there a desire to speak at the Congress?
– Are there plans for authors who are not delegates and want to meet
before or during the Congress?
– Have Zipser, Gross, publishers made appointments for visits
even before the Congress?
>Concrete travel plans W[est] B[erlin] Sarah [Kirsch]
>Expectation of apartment in Berlin
>Meeting in Rüdersdorf
-Meeting during the Congress > readiness
going to be driven home each day?