77. IMB “Pedro Hagen” Plans a Second Trip to the United States

Attached to the report discussed above are two handwritten pages, prepared and signed by Stasi officer Gerhard Hoffmann, which focus on Fries’s upcoming travel plans. These notes, which are based on information Hoffmann gathered in his November 20 meeting with IMB “Pedro Hagen,” are cited below.

Department XX/7Frankfurt (O), 11/24/81

Comment on travel plans of IMB “Pedro Hagen”

At the meeting on 11/20/81 the IM related that he is thinking about travelling to the USA again, perhaps in the second half of 1982.
In order to look into the feasibility of such an undertaking, he is going to take the following steps:

— There is an invitation from [blacked out], to give lectures again at Saint John’s University, Minnesota. [Blacked out] would have to make this invitation more specific and guarantee that the cost of the flight and expenses related to the stay will again be covered. If this commitment is made the IM would

— Contact Dr. Richard Zipser and take him up on his offer to arrange for the IM to give readings at Oberlin College. Dr. Zipser would have to be made to feel responsible for the remainder of the stay in the USA.

— In order to persuade Dr. Zipser to organize this stay, the IM plans to write him immediately and inquire if he is still intending to come to the GDR in the spring of 1982—in case he has planned this trip, the IM would issue an invitation to him.

— The length of trip should amount to approximately 12 weeks, according to the IM.

— If commitments from the American side are in place, then the Writers’ Union, the PEN Center, and the publisher would be called upon to sanction the trip properly. [PEN Center: a branch of PEN International, the world’s leading international literary organization.]

Issues were raised during the meeting. It was pointed out to the IM that it seems appropriate, before starting to make arrangements in the USA, to check with the GDR Writers’ Union and see the extent to which it is interested in such a trip, in order possibly to be able to proceed from the outset with the approval of the Union. If the approval is forthcoming, one should move forward as proposed. Importance should be attached, in particular, on coming into contact with Dr. Zipser. The IM agreed to proceed in the approved manner and to provide information on all goals that are achieved.



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