97. Final Report in My Stasi-File: August, 1986


The subject of the last report in my file, according to its heading, is “Activities of American Germanists vis-à-vis GDR Writers.” Two professors from the US are mentioned, Thomas Fox (Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri) and Otmar Drekonja (St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota), both of whom had participated that summer in a seminar for Germanists held in East Berlin and Leipzig. The information in the report came from an unofficial source, probably an East German informant who also attended the seminar. At some point, Fox and Drekonja were asked for their opinion of my book, DDR-Literatur im Tauwetter, and both gave a positive response. Excerpts from this document appear below.

The American Germanists

Prof.  Fox,  Thomas
[personal information omitted]

Dr.  Drekonja,  Otmar
[personal information omitted]

made use of a stay in the GDR, the purpose of which was to attend an international seminar for Germanists that took place in Berlin and Leipzig, in order to contact GDR writers.

[ . . . ]

F. und D. were aware, among other things, that operatively known

Dr.  Z i p s e r,  Richard
University Oberlin

has published his book “GDR Literature 1971 to 1978” [the reference is to “DDR-Literatur im Tauwetter”] as a three-volume edition in Switzerland. Zipser had conducted extensive investigation for this project in 1976 and established connections to GDR authors, in particular to those who had strong reservations about the GDR’s cultural policies.

This publication was adjudged to be important by F. and D., since it presents an enormous amount of material.

Unofficially, there have been no references as yet to writers having received complimentary copies.