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June 10, 1985

Speech, East German Minister of State Security Mielke, 'At the Enlarged Collegium Meeting on 7 June 1985 about Further Preparation of the XI SED Party Congress'

This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)

Council of Ministers
of the German Democratic Republic
Ministry for State Security
The Minister


7 June 1985


Highly Confidential Matter MfS 0008-14/85
Copy Number: 35






at the enlarged collegium meeting about further preparation of the XI SED Party Congress



Council of Ministers
of the German Democratic Republic
Ministry for State Security
The Minister


Berlin, 10 June 1985


MfS Units


Attached you receive my speech at the enlarged collegium meeting on 7 June 1985 about further preparation of the XI SED Party Congress. It is for your personal use and supposed to be granted a differentiated analysis, according to my instructions conveyed at the enlarged collegium meeting.


You are personally responsible for the handling of this material.


Army General   




Return to the documentation department by 30 April 1986.


[pages 1 to 15 not available]


[…] This is about [Western] technological and intellectual empowerment of leadership and troops to launch a surprise preemptive strike against the countries of the Warsaw Treaty. Simultaneously, the adversary is organizing a targeted ideological preparation of its armed forces and population for war as a part of anti-communist slander.


Just recently, the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, Comrade Mikhail Gorbachev, and other leading politicians of the USSR have again warned the United States and NATO against harboring political and military illusions. They unmistakably expressed that the Soviet Union and the other countries of the Warsaw Treaty will not allow for undermining of the military strategic balance. However, our historic experiences and our concrete knowledge of thinking and intentions of the class enemy tell us that the latter can also launch war adventures based on wrong assumptions. It also does not necessarily have to occur at the end of a longer phase of preparation. It can happen surprisingly without letting such intentions show in advance. This is the adventurist manner in which imperialism proceeds.


Especially in the context of developments and, in particular, of military actions in various global crisis spots we face real dangers. Such conflict spots can expand and lead to direct confrontation between the United States, the other NATO states, and the Warsaw Treaty.


In light of this possibility, and in accordance with general tasks for preserving peace as stated in decisions made by the Central Committee of our party and the Central Committee of the CPSU, further Chekist measures are to be undertaken based on respective agreements with the Committee for State Security [KGB] of the USSR. This is to increase our contribution towards prevention against an imperialist aggression, in particular against a surprise nuclear missile attack.


In addition to already existing main intelligence targets of military strategic concepts, and to the adversary's operation and mobilization planning based on them, this is about targeted use of existing options and the creation of additional ones – in order to enable us to submit timely and reliable information about acute hostile intentions of aggression to the party and state leadership and our fraternal organs. This is a basic necessity of strategic importance in order to avert threatening dangers or, in worst case, to make timely decisions for military defeat of the aggressor. So this is about penetration of the adversary's secret decision-making, and about the reliability and speed of gathering, submitting, and evaluating according information.


My order Number 1/85 from February 15 this year first stated the most basic decisions to begin organization of work necessary to meet those requirements.


Of course, gathering intelligence about hostile intentions of aggression and surprise are not only a task for the state security organs. Our specific responsibilities entail both intelligence about military planning and measures, in particular about the entire complex of the adversary's political decision-making and corresponding activities by its intelligence services, as well as the guarantee of the GDR's internal security.


In contrast, intelligence services of the [GDR] army have to concentrate more on monitoring the status of combat and mobilization readiness of the adversarial forces. Obviously this does not suspend the basic principle that each organ has to utilize every opportunity that is opening up. Efficient collaboration is to be guaranteed here.


It is of decisive importance to be more present with agents in those centers and institutions where the above mentioned processes take place and which get included, respectively directly confronted, with according consequences. For that we have to focus and utilize existing options, create new positions, and organize respective implementations and qualifications.


This task is solvable only if we use in general all appropriate options available to both [our] foreign intelligence and counterintelligence. Needed here is a systematic exploitation of all potential we have, and which we are capable to apply in this regard.


This task extends itself to a continuous, thorough analysis, in order to identify those people in the operation area [West Germany], humanists, anti-war activists, personalities, who have the courage to fight against nuclear weapons, and who are also ready to do something against the threat of a nuclear missile war. Here we also have to examine to what extent [those people's] political and moral positions, their activities, and their knowledge can be utilized even stronger for the fulfillment of our mission. This has to become a regular part of our continuous analysis.


As it is known, the appeal by more than 700 members of the Academy of Sciences of the United States for a ban of space weapons was also signed by 54 nobel prize winners. Although some of them have signed because they are cautious, the major part of them did sign because they are honestly interested in peace.


This shows us that there exists potential, which we know and have to utilize for ourselves. However, this requires continuous exact analysis where those forces exist and how we can win them over for collaboration; not only on the basis of recruitment, but also on honest collaboration with people who are against war and for peace.


To utilize all the potential, this is primarily requiring


- comprehensive utilization of opportunities based on intelligence work concerning people and institutions directed within, and against, the operation area [FRG]


- targeted utilization of the large potential of travel cadres [GDR citizens approved by MfS for temporary business travel to Western countries] IM [Unofficial Collaborators]


- sounding out IM who travel to non-socialist states and West Berlin for private reasons, respectively those who receive visitors from non-socialist states or West Berlin.


Obviously further deliberations are required, like for instance how to work with such IM; what measures to apply to enable such IM to fulfill such tasks; how to provide cover for such missions in order to make them unidentifiable to the adversary; and other such issues. Operative experiences teach us insistently to secure the steadfastness and loyalty of our IM even under most complicated conditions. This is a decisive question.


We are faced with the task to research and evaluate thoroughly the entire agent potential of our foreign intelligence and counterintelligence units on the basis of instructions still upcoming, in order to utilize those in a targeted, concretely organized manner to fulfill these tasks.


If needed, we have to review a HV A takeover of IM from counterintelligence units who have potential for development in decision-making positions in order to identify such plans and intentions.


It is the logical consequence of this task that respective US objects have special priority. As I stated in my order, the work with such IM who have solid capabilities in early recognition [of adversarial intentions] must be controlled personally by heads of MfS units. One also has to provide them [IM] with means of instant communication.


In light of the extraordinary importance of early recognition, of expected precautions by the adversary to shield its war decision-making process, and of concrete activities to prepare military actions (in many cases this can result in a limitation of operative capabilities of important IM) – it is necessary to implement comprehensive measures in order to gather signs of tension, so-called indicators, suitable for the assessment of concrete dangerous situations, through agents, technological-operative, and other means and methods.   


In all of this, the time factor is of decisive essence. Usually an outdated information is of only very little value. Each minute won, however, can be of utmost importance to thwart an aggression or a provocative act. This is applying the same way to signals and reports from the operative area [FRG] as to the report flow on our territory, and to reaction capacity of our central organ in charge of the situation and information. This is linked to multiple new and complicated problems, which we have to solve though in order to meet our responsibilities.


We can assume that the adversary as well is subject to certain constraints in its effort towards achieving maximum surprise - when it comes to war preparations in all kinds of areas of society including non-military ones. Those can be the following, for example: measures to stock up certain reserves of strategic commodities; using pipeline networks for military fuel components; activation of agent activities in operatively important directions and in objects of socialist states; travel by families of high-ranking politicians, government officials, or top military brass in militarily non-perilous parts of the world; unusual transactions in international banking; measure to protect the trade fleet and seize large shipping spaces of capitalist states; and many other things more.


In order to illustrate this also from a different perspective:

The FRG participated in the mentioned command staff exercise Wintex/Cimex 85 with altogether 2,150 exercise staffs, including 1,350 civilian ones. Such were 1,200 more staffs than in 1979. Participating were: representatives from all federal ministries, state government, as well as organs of so-called civil defense at the level of districts and counties.


This highlights how war preparations include a not insignificant number of government organs, institutions, and agencies all the way up to companies. We have to take this scope into account in order to exclude surprises in the military area.


Almost all areas in imperialist states are offering indicators. So it is essential that we gather this information. This of the utmost importance. Therefore we have the insistent demand directed to counterintelligence units to open up all opportunities and make required decisions and arrangements. This is about gaining all appropriate insights and utilize them for a rapid, but also objective assessment of the situation.  


Based on our current level of knowledge, early indicator signs are grouped into 5 categories:




Intelligence activities

Civil defense

Economy (including research, science, banking, transportation, et cetera)


Obviously, also identification of enemy camouflage, deception, and disinformation is significantly gaining in importance in this context. From there possibly wrong assessments can derive, with all their related dangerous effects.


Coordination for all tasks in this context, especially responsibility for coordinating work and analysis activity within the MfS, lies with my deputy and head of the HV A, Comrade Colonel General [Markus] Wolf.


All units of the MfS Berlin and [MfS] district agencies have to provide required support.


Together with instructions for implementation of my order and the catalogue of indicators -and to the extent it is necessary- the head of the HV A has to work out manuals and provide them to the heads of units in charge.


Comrades in charge of this special work at the HV A have to work out detailed arrangements about issues of content and organization with heads of selected MfS units. As far as it is needed, collaboration agreements have to be made in writing.


When analyzing and implementing my order Number 1/85, it is important to provide clarity for all heads and employees to be included in realization [of these tasks] about the relevance of the these assignments and concrete measures required.


Necessary conditions for centralized analysis of respective information are to be created in HV A and Department VII, including the staffing with qualified cadres. For this purpose, also a situation room open around the clock has to be established which will assume his tasks in early November 1985.


Heads of all units to be included in implementation of these tasks should immediately begin thorough deliberations how to tackle concrete implementation in their area of responsibility, and by what proposals and thoughts they can contribute to the success of the overall mission.

(In this context also hinting that Order Number 40/68 will cease to be in force and be withdrawn.)


I am emphasizing it again:

The elimination of surprise in the military area remains an absolutely prioritized task, and therefore a very important aspect of our political-operative work.

Everybody has to act accordingly!


Also, we have to continue to do everything to exclude surprises in other areas. I repeatedly talked about this extensively and gave according assignments. I just want to reiterate the close connection and the comprehensiveness of this overall mission to prevent surprises.


In context of such measures, we also note the ever increasing penetration of academies and other scientific institutions and agencies by the [Western] intelligence services. This way the latter want to prevent that, in a context of normal academic-technological collaboration between East and West, insights useful to us will flow from there.


Simultaneously, existing contacts are supposed to be used against us for intelligence activities in a targeted manner. Also, a part of this entire complex of restrictive measures is the increasing blocking of participation by academics from the GDR and other socialist countries in scientific conferences and congresses in Western countries. We have to register this concretely and analyze it exactly and permanently.


Justice and prosecution organs in Western countries have recently increased their efforts to classify trade with embargo goods and technology transfer into socialist countries as agent intelligence activities and prosecute them as state crimes.


Also, state organs within and outside the NATO area increasingly apply different types of sanctions against suppliers in the operation area [FRG], as well against cadres from import institutions of socialist countries. In ever growing numbers there occur arrests of, and trials against, those kind of people.


My instructions from February 15, 1985 (GVS 4/85) to increase quality and effectiveness of political-operative work, and its coordination and guidance in fighting hostile institutions and forces in the operation area, have established further important conditions. Based on responsibilities, targets, and tasks commissioned there, it is now important to perform centralized, complex, and coordinated foreign and counterintelligence work which guarantees high effectiveness in fighting hostile institutions and forces – and not just for ourselves but for all fraternal organs, for the protection of all socialist states.


It has to be guaranteed that political-operative work focuses on the most active institutions and forces in the operation area, on gathering intelligence about their concrete plans and activities against the GDR and other socialist states and, in this context, especially on uncovering and tackling, respectively controlling, their contacts and links to the GDR. Here we have to consider even more comprehensively their personal and in part institutional ties, the tendency towards joint preparation and implementation of subversive activities, and the complexity of those subversive actions.   

This speech by East German Minister of State Security Mielke is about technological, intellectual, and ideological preparations for war by the west and how to uncover and organize indicators of a potential attack.

Document Information


BStU, MfS, BdL/Dok. Nr. 008185, S. 16-28. Translated by Bernd Schaefer.


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