In this document, which is based on information Fries communicated orally to his Stasi-handler Gerhard Hoffmann, there is further speculation about the reason for my presence at the Leipzig Book Fair as well as the nature of my association with John Wiley & Sons, the publisher of my textbook edition of Ulrich Plenzdorf’s Die neuen Leiden des jungen W. (The New Sufferings of Young W., 1979). At the conclusion of the report, which appears in its entirety below, Hoffmann specifies the next steps that needed to be taken by way of follow-up.
Department XX/7Frankfurt (O), 3/18/1985
Prof. ZIPSER, Richard
During his stay in the GDR from 6/03 to 17/03/1985, Zipser planned to attend the spring Leipzig Trade Fair, the Book Fair in particular at the same time.
A short note with information about Zipser was enclosed with an invitation to a reception in his honor on 3/07/1985 at the USA Embassy in the GDR. This note indicates that Zipser received the Ph.D. in German studies from the
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
in 1972. At the present time he is working in the German Department at
The note also indicates that he is associated with
JOHN WILEY AND SONS
The term “associated” is taken verbatim from the note and cannot be construed clearly in the translation. There is the possibility that ZIPSER is employed by the publishing house that is named, which would explain his participation in the Leipzig Trade Fair. On the other hand, a connection to this publisher would be inconsistent with his needing to offer the publication of “DDR-Literatur im Tauwetter” to a Swiss publisher. Thus, it is not possible to say with certainty what assignment brought ZIPSER to the GDR and especially to the spring Leipzig Trade Fair.
Information was provided by the IM as an addendum to the report he gave on 3/08/1985. A precise interpretation of the term “associated” was not possible, not even with the aid of its context. The above-mentioned information about ZIPSER also revealed that he had numerous publications on GDR literature in the USA and has invited many GDR authors to visit the USA.
The information is meaningful inasmuch as it names specifically the entity that may have made ZIPSER’s stay in Leipzig possible. If ZIPSER was in Leipzig as a representative or assignee of the publishing house named above, that explains why he did not launch into any additional activities.
Measures to be taken
– Evaluation of Trade Fair reporting by XX/AI
– Addendum for evaluation in monthly report
– Information as a copy to Main Department XX/7 for operative