57. Report on May 24, 1978 Meeting: IMS “Pedro Hagen” and His Stasi-Handler

As planned, Fries met with Stasi officer Hoffmann on May 24, 1978, to report on his meeting with me the previous day. According to the handwritten “Report on Meeting,” which Hoffmann completed on June 12, 1978, the meeting took place in Petershagen, where Fries was living, from 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. The form indicates that they would be meeting again during the GDR Writers Congress, May 29 – 31, 1978. The information in the report appears below.

Preparation for meeting:

– planned meeting
– reporting on meeting with Prof. Zipser on 05/23/78

Evaluation of meeting:

The IM reported that the meeting with Zipser has taken place.
Z. will be in the GDR until 6/16/78. He refers to himself as a GDR scholarship holder and indicates that he is able to continue working in the GDR due to an agreement between the governments of the GDR and the USA. His project has been sanctioned by the GDR Ministry for Culture.
He has an apartment in the capital city, Berlin [blacked out].
His project involves, first and foremost, paying visits to the authors with whom he already spoke during his last residency.
Z. expresses reservations with regard to the provision of lecture invitations at USA universities, asserting that his “benefactor” dislikes the GDR and for that reason it would be difficult for him to set up lecture bookings for GDR authors in the USA.
With respect to the IM, Z. declined to take action on his behalf in relation to planned lectures at USA universities.
As a result of the first exploratory talk, the IM and Z. agreed to meet again on 5/29/78, at 7:00 p.m., in “Lindencorso.”
The IM consented to another meeting after Z.’s meeting with him.

New assignment and guidelines:

Identify Z.’s work plans, what is he intending to do?
When is the book that Z. intends to publish going to appear in print, in what form?
What stance is Z. taking on the 8th Writers Congress?

Fries was very eager to visit the United States and tried several times to persuade me either to invite him to be German writer-in-residence at Oberlin College or help arrange a lecture tour at US universities. Many GDR writers expressed interest in coming to Oberlin, as Christa Wolf and Ulrich Plenzdorf had done, but none of them were as pushy as Fries. In 1981, Fries was rewarded for his excellent work as a Stasi collaborator and permitted to visit the US, albeit with a special assignment related to me.


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