In January 1977 I had entered into an agreement with a small academic press, Nordland Publishing Company, for the publication of DDR-Literatur im Tauwetter (GDR Literature During the Thaw). The GDR authorities were understandably eager for information about this publisher, and Fries provided what he could in the June 1981 report that appears below.
Department XX/7Frankfurt (O), 6/15/1981
source: IMB “Pedro Hagen”
received: Capt. Hoffmann
Activities of the Nordland Publishing Company, Houston USA
On 6/9/81 the IM received a letter from Nordland Publishing International, Houston USA. With reference to that he provided the following information orally:
The letter, dated May 14 and signed by one [name blacked out], is apparently directed towards all of the GDR authors who were interviewed by the American literary scholar, Dr. Richard Zipser. It announces that the Nordland Publishing Company is about to publish Dr. Zipser’s book, “DDR-Literatur 1971–1978” [“GDR Literature 1971–1978”]. It supposedly is going to be a three-volume work, the third volume of which will be reserved exclusively for Dr. Zipser’s interviews with the GDR authors.
This announcement coincides completely with the statements Dr. Zipser made during the IM’s visit to the USA.
The publishing company indicates that it has also received offers to publish the interview section abroad and that a possible preprinting of excerpts in a scholarly journal is under discussion.
Due to this situation the publisher is now seeking a broadening of the copyright.
Accompanying the letter is an attachment which lists all of the questions that Dr. Zipser asked (the questions are indeed identical to the ones Dr. Zipser asked) and a declaration of consent for a worldwide publication in book format both in the German language and in translation. This copyright declaration is supposed to be sent back to the Nordland Publishing Company.
It seems reasonable to assume that this letter was sent to all of the authors Dr. Zipser interviewed, because only the interviews taken as a whole would be of interest and because the letter itself is one of multiple copies made.
The IM took it upon himself to report on this matter. The details are verified through the presentation of the letter by the IM as well as through information from Department V. In addition, this information is consistent with the information the IM gathered in the USA.
The IM raised the question of how he should proceed with respect to the copyright declaration.
[. . .]
Agreement was reached with the IM to hold off on this decision and possibly consult with other colleagues.
Measures to be taken
– Preparation of a report for Main Department XX/7.
– Evaluation in reports by Main Department XX/AI.