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Table of Contents

* Revenge Versus the Rule of Law * Erich Mielke: Moscows Leader for the Red Gestapo * KGB and Stasi: Two Shields, Two Swords * The Sword of Repression * The Invisible Invasion: Espionage Assault on West Germany * The Stasi Against the United States and NATO * The Stasis Spy Catchers * Stasi Operations in the Third World * The Stasi and Terrorism: The La Belle Bombing * Playground for International Terrorists * Safe Haven for the Red Army Faction * Shattered Shield, Broken Sword

About the Author

John O. Koehler served as foreign correspondent for the Associated Press for 28 years, including stints as chief for both the Berlin and Bonn Bureaus. He also served as Assistant to the President and Director of Communications under Ronald Reagan.


A former U.S. Army intelligence officer and an AP correspondent for 28 years (including a stint as Berlin bureau chief), Koehler does much to illuminate the workings of the Stasi, the much feared East German secret police. To illustrate the Stasi's formidable reach, he cites some astounding numbers provided by famed Nazi hunter Simon Weisenthal: while Hitler's Gestapo policed 80 million Germans with a force of 40,000, the Stasi kept 17 million people in line with 102,000 officials, a number that doesn't even include the legion of casual informers that made the notion of privacy in East Germany something of a cruel joke. Following a swaggering yet hair-raising account of his own meeting with Stasi chief Erich Mielke in 1965, Koehler delves into many incidents that show how the Stasi frequently operated beyond the borders of East Germany and, with connections to the KGB, conducted espionage operations against the West and colluded with terrorist organizations. Reading in part like an insider's jargon-filled report, this thorough and engrossing work is replete with such heavy-handed Communist spy tactics as sexual blackmail, but it also contains fresh tidbits‘such as the case of the "Delicatessen Spy," who hid espionage paraphernalia beneath her dead son's ashes in a cremation urn. Photos. (Feb.)

An AP Berlin bureau chief and a U.S. Army Intelligence officer, Koehler offers a study spanning the history of the GDR, a time in which Stasi brutality sustained an illegitimate Communist regime. Interviews and documentary evidence reveal a violent war against internal "enemies," a "hugely successful" infiltration of most West German institutions, and collaboration with international terrorists. Koehler is at his best depicting such personalities as Stasi chief Erich Mielke, Col. Rainer Wiegand, and the infamous Gunter Guillaume, whose exposure brought down the government of Chancellor Willy Brandt. The Stasi's often uneasy relations with the Soviet KGB and the claim that the "most" Stasi recruits in West Germany were Social Democrats are surprising. While the absence of broader political and theoretical considerations linked to the regime may narrow the book's importance, it is the most complete work available in English. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries.‘Zachary T. Irwin, Pennsylvania State Univ., Erie

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