Document Type: 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
January 19, 2012
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Publication Date: 
August 25, 1985
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00965R000201720010-2.pdf109.51 KB
Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/01/19: CIA-RDP90-00965R000201720010-2 Bonn Starts , Overhaul of Spy System Official's Defection Is Said to Trigger Recall of Agents By William Dnisdisk WP Pwi s...e. BONN, Aug. 24-The West Ger- man government embarked on a high-level security review and a massive overhaul of its intelligence services today following the defect tion of one of its leading counter- espionage officials to East Ger- many. Interior Ministry officials said that a thorough reconstruction of West Germany's domestic counter- espionage system must take place quickly and that foreign operations would have to be altered. Some Bonn agents reportedly were re- called from the East for protective purposes as soon as the defection became evident. The revelation yesterday that Hans Joachim Tiedge, the man in charge of tracking Eastern Bloc spies inside West Germany, had arrived in East Berlin to seek po- litical asylum stunned Chancellor Helmut Kohl's ruling center-right coalition and caused consternation in capitals of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. NATO officials and western dip- lomats said the scandal would lead allied governments to curtail ex- changes of sensitive material with the Bonn government because of its vulnerability to penetration by Communist agents. As the third-ranking official for counterintelligence operations, Tkdgs. 48, had access to a broad range of top-secret ithrmstioo. Besides information on western intelligence contacts in Eastern Eu- rope, security sources said, Tiedge knew the methods used in rooting out East German agents and the names of suspects under surveil- lance. One of the enigmas dominating the urgent security review under- taken by the Kohl government is ARTICLE APJEARtED ON PAGE - J--" WASHINGTON POST 25 August 1985 whether Tiedge served as a long- term mole for East Germany during his 19 years in counterintelligence work, or whether his betrayal oc- curred after he fell victim to serious alcohol and debt problems in the wake of his wife's death three years ago. Interior Ministry officials said they believe Tiedge may have been turned" only within the past six months as his personal troubles grew more acute. But some nongovernment ex- perts said that West Germany's fail- ure to capture any important East German spies since 1979 could in- dicate that Tiedge had worked for the Communists for a long time. Even so, some intelligence spe- cialists said knowing when the trai- tor changed loyalties may be irrel- evant. "What Tiedge did not betray be- fore, he will tell now in East Berlin," said Richard Meier, a former head of the Office for Protection of the Constitution, which handles coun- terespionage activities. "He knew practically everything. He carried virtually all of the se- crets of our spy defense network in his head," Meier said. [East German media highlighted the defection but simultaneously underlined that country's close re- lationship with West Germany, Reuter reported from East Ger- many.] The scandal has provoked intense criticism of Tiedge's superiors be- cause they apparently knew of his drinking and financial difficulties yet failed to relieve him of his sensitive post. One of Tiedge's neighbors said on West German television that he personally informed Heribert Hel- lenbroich, then head of internal se- curity, about the spy hunter's drunken and disorderly habits but his warnings were ignored. Hellenbroich, 48, who was pro- moted earlier this month to become chief of foreign intelligence, said today that he had nothing to be ashamed of in keeping Tiedge in his job and insisted he would not resign from his ned post. But Hans Jochen Vogel, leader of the opposition Social Democrats, insisted on a full investigation of the intelligence authorities, who he said had been made to look like "utter and complete fools" in disregarding Tiedge's problems as a potential security risk. Besides Hellenbroich, Interior Minister Friedrich Zimmermann and the chancellor's adviser on se- curity affairs, Waldemar Schrecken- berger, are facing political pressure to accept responsiblity for the spy scandal and resign. The Tiedge affair is only the lat- est in a series of espionage betray- als that periodically underscore the security problems confronted by West Germany. Government institutions and po- litical parties are considered to be easy prey for East German agents, who face no language or cultural barriers when they seek to infiltrate West Germany. East Berlin's Ministry for State Security, which calls itself the "sword and shield of socialism," draws on formidable resources and wields vast power in suppressing internal dissent as well as carrying out foreign espionage tasks. In contrast, West Germany's in- telligence services are divided to thwart the growth of any overly powerful security apparatus. The Interior Ministry oversees counterespionage operations, the chancellor's office controls foreign espionage, and the Defense Minis- try manages military intelligence. Under Markus Wolf, considered East Germany's master spy. Com- munist agents have developed so- phisticated ways of exploiting West Germany's open society, its protec- tive privacy laws and its willingness, to grant passports and full citizen- ship to all Germans regardless of their birthplace. East German spies usually re- main dormant for the first few years after entering West Ger- many, often by posing as political refugees or assuming identities of West Germans who have settled in the East. Two other spy suspects who have vanished here recently, including the secretary of Economics Minis- ter Martin Bangemann, lived and worked in West Germany under false identities for the past two dec- ades. Those two and another alleged spy- who served as a messenger for the West German Army-are believed to have fled to East Berlin, possibly after being informed by Tiedge that they were in danger of being captured. Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/01/19: CIA-RDP90-00965R000201720010-2