How do Austrians see Indians

How the Stasi spied on Austrians in the GDR

Main pictureChancellor Franz Vranitzky during his visit to the GDR.BStU

Neutral Austria and the workers 'and peasants' state of the GDR got along well with each other. This did not prevent the Stasi from mercilessly spying on the Austrians - with wiretapped telephones, cleaning women and the attempt to record "intimate contacts", as documents from inside the informant state showed.

On May 9, 1989, at 10:21 am, a man "with a weak Saxon dialect" called the Austrian embassy in East Berlin. He doesn't give his name. He suspects that “the embassy equipment is being bugged”. The anonymous caller points out that the local elections in the GDR were manipulated at the weekend, more precisely he could “give a tip” “where the electoral fraud took place”, and that it was “in the international interest if you know how that is done ".

The man was right about everything. The elections were of course falsified. And the embassy phones were tapped. The Stasi overheard the conversation. The 30-year-old tapping log is slumbering in the archives of the “Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records” near East Berlin's Alexanderplatz. It is available to the “press”, as well as hundreds of other once secret documents from the heart of the Ministry for State Security, ie the Stasi, which were prepared in the last few years of the GDR via Austria's embassy.

Some of it has only entertainment value, such as a rarely well-preserved tape recording in which a German journalist inquires about the process of Chancellor Franz Vranitzky's visit to the GDR in 1988 and the embassy employee rummages through the documents: “With all my cassettes, I don't know myself at all more. "