The January 16th Reuters article “Sinister Stasi museum kills kitschy East German image” by Alexandra Hudson describes the reopening of the former headquarters of the East German State Security Police or Stasi.
The article is especially relevant to me for two reasons:
First, the screenplay THE WIDOW SPRINGER that my husband Mitch Miller began and then I joined in the writing deals in part with exactly this situation described in the Reuters article of learning who informed on whom:
Since the collapse of East Germany in 1989 which led to a euphoric storming of the old Stasi headquarters, some 2.8 million people have applied to see their Stasi file, a process which for some has brought damaging revelations, such as that close friends or partners had been informing on them.
The screenplay is currently under option, and perhaps the reopening of the Stasi headquarters will help kindle interest in producing the movie.
Second, the novel that I am currently working on, CIA FALL GUY, begins with a visit in 1997 to the Stasi files:
Prologue – Berlin – 1997
The letters shimmered on the plain of the yellowed paper, the moisture in his eyes fogging the squiggles into botches. Letters birthed by an ancient East German typewriter, standard issue.
David Ward coughed. The dust in these old East German Stasi — State Security Police — files penetrated his lungs. He was alone in the basement room eight years after the fall of the Berlin Wall had brought down the Stasi.
He had taken precautions not to be recognized.
A black trim wig enclosed his blond longish hair. One of those ridiculous German hats with the little feathers, as if he were about to climb the Zugspitze, held itself up next to the file. A cheap “East German” polyester suit hung loosely on his muscled body. He had even padded his flat midriff with a cushion of cloth — the typical beer belly. He could be mistaken for a gastarbeiter — foreign worker — or one of those worker drones of the former German Democratic Republic.
His clothes concealed his weapons.
He pushed his disguise glasses farther up the bridge of his nose, then rose to return the file. He had people to see.
The Reuters article also reported that a Cold War museum is planned for the site of Checkpoint Charlie, one of the roadblocks between the old East and West Germany.
Mitch and I visited Checkpoint Charlie while we were stationed in Munich, Germany, from September 1970 to May 1972 with the U.S. Army. Because Mitch was an intelligence officer, we could not enter East Berlin. Instead we stood on the viewing platform at Checkpoint Charlie and looked over into the bleak landscape of East Berlin.
Read the entire Reuters story now including the argument over the color of a sofa.
© 2012 Miller Mosaic, LLC