28 September 1990* (06/2-439) GDR Archives

Central Committee. Periodic threat that the East German Party archives will be seized by the FRG authorities; the response of the CPSU, September 1990 to March 1991. [R: 28 Sep 90, No 06-2-439], 7 pp. (excerpt)


[page one of seven]

Send to Politburo members
and Secretaries of the CPSU Central Committee for voting

 October 1990


[page two]


To the CPSU Central Committee

In accordance with instructions (Pb 2/III) we present
a revised draft of the Resolution.

Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee

[signed] V. Falin

28 September 1990

No 6/2-439


[page three]

Top Secret


On measures in response to the persecution
of the Party of Democratic Socialism (GDR)

1. Acknowledge the expediency of an appeal by the USSR President M.S. Gorbachev to the FRG Chancellor H. Kohl.

1. 2.  In implementation of the resolutions of the 28th CPSU Congress the Ideological and International Departements of the CPSU Central Committee are to organise the systematic publication of reports in the Party press and other mass media about incidents of harassment and persecution of former SED members, their dismissal from their jobs for political motives, classifying such acts as a violation of the principles of democracy and human rights.

Particular attention must be paid to charges of “treason” being brought against individuals who were employed by the State in the GDR or engaged in Party work, especially as concerns their cooperation with the USSR.

2 3. In reports about the course of German reunification due attention must be paid to the activities of the PDS. React to attempts to infringe the constitutional rights of the Party and deprive it of its lawfully owned property.

The Central Committee International Department should ensure it regularly receives information from the PDS about cases of harassment of Party members, and also of publications that reveal the anti-socialist nature of the measures carried out by the West German side during the course of reunification.


[page four]

3 4. Constantly monitor and respond promptly to attempts to exacerbate tensions around the Western Forces Group, sowing a hostile attitude to Soviet people.

4 5. Provide for the possible evacuation to the USSR of persons who cooperated closely with Soviet organisations and have now become the object of harassment and persecution on the part of Bonn. This could apply, before all else, to Party workers, the security services and the GDR National People’s Army, cultural, scientific and academic figures, experienced factory managers who have lost their jobs due to political repression in the united Germany. Take the necessary measures to find them work and provide for their material well-being.

6. The International Department of the CPSU Central Committee is to inform the PDS leadership about the measures taken as part of this Resolution.


18 October 1990


[page five]

Top Secret


Comrade V.A. Ivashko

Dear Vladimir Antonovich

On the instructions of V.M. Falin, Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, I am reporting:

1. When I was on business in the FRG from 7 to 12 March this year, I met with Comrade Gysi, the chairman of the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS). He requested that I privately communicate the following to the leadership of the CPSU. In the next few days the Federal government intends to put a draft law before the Bundestag proposing the confiscation from the PDS of the archives of the former state security services and their transfer to the State. In anticipation of the Bundestag decision, which is certain to approve the aforementioned draft law, the archives have already been sequestrated.

The archives contain a great many secret documents and their publication would lead to the most undesirable consequences, not only for the PDS but also for the CPSU. In particular, this concerns: detailed minutes of almost all meetings and conversations between the leaders of the SED and of other communist and workers’ parties, beginning with the CPSU; documents concerning the activities of illegal communist parties that received material support from the German government security service (with our agreement); reports on the financial aid provided by the SED to progressive organisations in the FRG before German reunification, and so on.

In Gysi’s words public access to the documents in the archive would be a ‘genuine catastrophe’. The PDS chairman urgently requests the Soviet leadership ‘while there is still time’, to bring influence to bear on Chancellor Kohl, and get him either to release the SED archive, i.e. return it to its lawful owner, the PDS, or if the Chancellor considers that impossible, to destroy the archive.


[page six]

This is the second time that Comrade Gysi has raised this issue. At the beginning of this year on the personal orders of Comrade M.S. Gorbachev the Soviet embassy in the FRG made a confidential appeal to the administration of the Federal Chancellor but without success. Gysi believes that the only solution is to include the matter in the next high-level telephone conversation between Moscow and Bonn. (Perhaps it would make sense to raise the matter in conversation with Comrade M.S. Gorbachev during the course of the visit to Moscow on 18 March of FRG Foreign Minister H-D. Genscher.)

2. At the beginning of March this year the Department was visited by Markus Wolf, the former head of the GDR foreign intelligence service (the former first directorate of the State Security Service of the GDR). In conversation with Comrade Falin, Wolf reported that “dark clouds were gathering over his head”. Under pressure from the right wing of the ruling coalition, the German leadership was not abandoning its intention of bringing criminal charges against him.

This was unlawful since, having recognised in 1973 the sovereignty of the GDR, the leadership of the FRG thereby recognised that it was entitled to all State functions including, naturally, the pursuit of intelligence activities. Therefore, the regular employees of the former GDR intelligence service could not be subject to judicial prosecution, if they had not committee criminal offences, and in Wolf’s case that was indisputably so. Whatever accusations might be made against the former GDR Ministry of State Security [Stasi], they could not be extended to the regular staff of the intelligence service which operated within its framework. You might just as well make a similar accusation against staff of the [West German] BND for their activities  on East German territory, Wolf suggested. […]


[page seven]

[signed] N. Portugalov

International Department of the CPSU Central Committee

13 March 1991




1. Notes by translator and editor are bracketed, thus [ ];
2. text written by hand is indicated in italic script;
3. when a handwritten phrase, figure or word has been added
to a previously typed document this is indicated by underlined italic script.

Translation, JC