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July 11, 1981

Stasi Note on Meeting Between Minister Mielke and KGB Chairman Andropov

This document was made possible with support from Blavatnik Family Foundation




N o t e

About the Talks of Comrade Minister [Erich Mielke] with the Chairman of the KGB, Comrade [Yuri] Andropov on 11 July 1981 in Moscow





from the KGB:

Comrade Army General Andropov

Comrade Army General Zvigun

Comrade Lieutenant General Grigorenko

Comrade Lieutenant General Kryuchkov

Comrade Lieutenant General Shumilov

Comrade Major General Gryushko

Comrade Captain Markov


from the MfS [Ministry for State Security]:

Comrade Army General Mielke

Comrade Major General Damm

Comrade Lieutenant Colonel Kempe


At the beginning, a private 75-minute talk between Comrades Andropov and Mielke took place (without interpreters).


Comrade Andropov:


Official welcome. Greetings from CPSU General Secretary, Comrade L. I. Brezhnev, to SED General Secretary, Comrade Erich Honecker.


Comrade Mielke:


Greetings from SED General Secretary, Comrade Erich Honecker, to CPSU General Secretary, Comrade L. I. Brezhnev. Comrade E. Honecker is highly interested in the visit by Comrade Minister [Mielke to Moscow].


Many thanks for the invitation (also to the family). High educational value especially for the children and grandchildren, and for the continuation of our traditional friendship with the Soviet Union and the preeminent fighters for peace and progress.


This is the children’s assessment: the Soviet Union, that is where the good people live. Capitalist countries, that is where the bad people are. They have no other judgment yet. But they know where the good people are. That is important.


During the short time of our stay we have already seen and experienced a lot. Many new things have surprised us, but also the Soviet comrades who accompanied us as well; they often could not tell us what the new buildings are for. It is like the Berlin taxi driver who replies to the American: That was not here yesterday.


It is a pleasure to view the beauty of Moscow. We have seen the magnificent Olympic buildings. This is an ideological issue. It also explains why the Americans have not sent their people. They would have seen how socialism provides for sports and for the people.


We had a wonderful view from the television tower – 25 to 30 kilometers wide. We have seen the full beauty of Moscow from above, but we were also able to see how much work is left to do for our descendants.


Thank you very much for these few hours.


Greetings from my deputies, Comrade Beater, Comrade Wolf, Comrade Mittig, Comrade Neiber, and from all the GDR’s Chekists.


I want to report straightforwardly that we [the MfS] continue to feel – and quite comfortably so – as if we are a division of the glorious Cheka. This is how we work ideologically. This serves as a guarantee for the successful implementation of the tasks resulting from the XXVI [CPSU] and X [SED] Party Congresses.


There is a unanimity of views between us regarding all the problems that were discussed (a continuation of our good tradition of private talks).


We must strengthen our work, approach it even more cleverly in a Chekist fashion, and develop bold ideas. Better legends ought to be applied in order to defeat the enemy even more effectively.


Comrade Andropov:


Once again, greetings from Comrade L. I. Brezhnev with the request that you forward them.


Glad that you came and that our meeting provided an opportunity to exchange our opinions. As our meeting with Comrade Wolf already demonstrated, our opinions are unanimous. No differences of opinion exist.



Statements by Comrade Andropov:


Concerning the domestic situation in the Soviet Union:


The implementation of the decisions of the XXVI Party Congress remains the focus of our attention. We discuss these issues regularly in the Politburo -- i.e. problems of the 5-Year-Plan,; ideological, political, cultural work, etc. There are objective and concrete discussions of all these issues in order to arrive at the most suitable forms, means, and ways to solve them. We have more than a few problems.


Regarding the situation in the economy: The result of the first half of 1981 is more or less normal. The plan was fulfilled by 102 percent. Production growth amounts to 3.9 percent. But this is not as high as we wanted, namely 4.5 percent. In order to balance the plan, we had to keep growth low.


The process of intensification is not easy. Disparities have arisen. Especially Department B -- i.e. consumer goods production – is lagging behind. We are now accelerating in this regard. This is essential for the people. It also has relevance for the circulation of money.


Another difficulty has arisen with regard to the exploitation of raw materials. Old sources of raw materials like oil, natural gas, and metallic ores in the European part [of the USSR] are being exhausted (Bashkiria, Tatarstan). We have to move into the Tundra and into the Tyumen regions. These are swampy areas. Everything will become more expensive. Not all comrades understand this already. Thus, currently our valuable natural resources are not being used effectively.


Comrade L. I. Brezhnev has posed the task of making the economy more efficient. This is very hard. The rapid growth of our economy in recent years has nurtured a type of manager who fulfills plans at all costs. Now, one must educate them to count every kopek. Not everyone can do this. It is my personal opinion that not all our managers will pass this test.


In addition, we have an unfavorable economic situation on the world market, along with the discrimination [against the Soviet Union]. Banks have suddenly stopped giving us loans (USA, FRG [West Germany]). We are now negotiating with the FRG and France about the gas pipeline. This is beneficial for us and also for them. But the US is putting pressure on other countries, allegedly telling them that they will thus become dependent upon us. However, in the end, the business people [in the West] will prove stronger than the rulers.


Still, the difficulties persist. We are optimistic. We have survived the grain embargo, and we will also survive the credit issue, even if we have to wait for a while.


The [agricultural] spring work duties were carried out well. It is a positive sign that more and more state [sovkhoz] and collective [kolkhoz] farms are already working independently without waiting for instructions first. Yet, there are still some problems in our agricultural sector. There are very different climate zones. They begin in the Ukraine and end in Siberia; in territories that are called risk zones in the United States. Usually, you can harvest there only once every 3 years.


These complicated conditions also apply to issues of irrigation in the Central Asian republics. There is discussion of a potential diversion of rivers but this would bear dangers for the ecology of the entire world.


Meat production has reached the level of the previous year; milk is down by 2 percent, eggs are up by 7. This year we have a drought in the Volga region similar to 1921, when many people died of hunger. It will not be so bad this time, but we have to import animal fodder. Now, it has started to rain. But this came too late. We can re-seed corn and other fodder plants for silage.


In order to improve the material situation, we have implemented a large social program on the basis of the XXIV, XXV, and XXVI CPSU Party Congresses. The circulation of goods has increased 6 percent compared to last year – that is, the plan was fulfilled by 101 percent.


Industrial products were fulfilled. Meat, poultry, and milk are deficient. The main problem with industrial goods is the lack of quality. When industrial products were still scarce, the people bought everything that was produced. Now we import, for instance, shoes, textiles, etc. Now the people compare and say that imported products are better. Our products remain on the shelves. These are “good” problems: They force us to do something about them.


The most complex problem is that we cannot avoid the strains of military expenditures for us and the other socialist countries. Reagan has confirmed that he will spend 220 billion dollars for the military. Thus, we must do it all as well and provide our defense industry with corresponding means. We must not fall behind.


The balance of forces is currently as follows:

Aircraft = slight advantage for the US

Tanks/submarines = parity

Missiles = parity


The Americans know that parity exists. We cannot allow us to be overtaken. If we did not have to make these expenditures, we could solve all the other problems in 2 or 3 years.


On top of that, there is the assistance for Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, Angola, Cuba, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and others. Poland recently received 4 billion dollars so that it could remain creditworthy.


Despite these problems, we can approach the situation optimistically. Overall, the political situation in the country is healthy. The workers are fighting to implement the decisions of the XXVI Party Congress.


Our main efforts are directed towards rolling back the influences arising from ideological subversion from abroad. The West is undertaking the most strenuous efforts to stoke ideological and psychological warfare against us. They want to sow doubts, disbelief, and fear in the countries of the socialist commonwealth. In general, we have no problems. Our population is stiffened. There is some hysteria, but we are preparing the people to be ready for potential provocations.


We are for peace and will continue to fight for it. Still, one does not know how the Reagan Administration will act. Comrade Brezhnev has demanded that we draw the appropriate conclusions.


It is necessary to develop extensive prophylactic work. Laws must be consistently applied against people who violate our order. Previously, we could speak and discuss with such people, but given the current tense conditions, we must arrest and punish them so that no hostile groups will form around these people.


For the most part, the Polish events have had no impact on our country. In general, people hold negative opinions of those events. However, in the western regions of the USSR, there has been some influence. There was a small group of workers who went on strike. The situation was clarified with party methods. Still, other occurrences are possible. We must be prepared.


In our opinion, we have the situation reliably under control and can provide the necessary support to the Party and its political work.


We are fighting for a clean and healthy atmosphere among the people.



On the international situation:


I agree with Comrade Mielke’s assessment that a substantial increase in military tensions has arisen. The reasons for this development were laid out in the documents of the XXVI [CPSU] Party Congress and the X [SED] Party Congress, as well as at the party congresses of the other socialist countries.


This is not a question of individual political aspects, but of imperialism’s strategic goal. Imperialism wants to alter the international correlation of forces to its advantage. It wants to stave off its defeat and impose its line upon us. This is also the case in the young nation-states.


The struggle will be very long and arduous.


We are prepared for this.


We have to explain to the peoples [of the world] why the imperialists were initially in favor of détente and are now coming out against it. This has nothing to do with the different US presidents, of course. It is related to objective processes developing in the world. The correlation of forces is changing, and the imperialists realize this. When the US agreed to the policy of détente, it had to realize that socialism’s strengths are real. Then there was the American defeat in Vietnam. They thought they could achieve their objectives through a policy of détente. They sought many freedoms for their diplomats analogous to those conceded to journalists. None of this was conceded to them.


Reagan’s vulgar speeches show the true face of the military-industrial complex. They have long sought such a figure. Now, they have finally found it in the form of Reagan.


The imperialists have grasped that the situation is developing to their disadvantage – e.g. in Angola, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Central America. They have understood that maintaining the policy of détente will benefit us more and cause greater damage to them. Thus, they have attempted on various occasions to abandon the policy of détente (increase of anti-Sovietism, Reagan’s electoral campaign, etc.).


The imperialists fear for their future before the movement of the masses and are trying to develop a system that will enable them to intervene at every point around the globe. They have at their disposal, among other means, the US’s mobile rapid reaction forces.


The Soviet Union will continue the struggle for détente because it is in the interests of the peoples of the world. The American people also share this interest in détente. We have no illusions whatsoever. If Reagan cuts 40 billion dollars in social spending in favor of military expenditures, he will receive no applause. In response, protests against this policy will increase in the United States.


Reagan wants to use the arms race as an instrument to solve several problems of foreign and domestic policy. Through the arms race they not only to attain superiority over us, but also to deal with several economic problems at home. We have to concede that they have been able to achieve something. Naturally, only in the initial stage. Later, they will run into difficulties.


Altogether, the US will need 1.5 trillion dollars to develop and modernize various weapons systems, such as


The MX system

Pershing missiles

Trident submarines

B1-Bombers in modernized versions

Laser-signal weaponry

Space Shuttles

The deployment of medium-range missiles in Western Europe


We see all that. We cannot overlook and ignore it.


We have the missiles necessary to protect socialism. We do not want to use them. But because the Americans are unwilling to reach appropriate agreements, we must take measures to prevent a shift in the strategic balance. The US, however, refuses to recognize this. They want to surpass us not only in the number of missiles, but also to rapidly surpass us in quality.


Perhaps this is [only] my subjective opinion:

The US is preparing for war, but it is not willing to start a war. They are not building the factories and palaces in order to destroy them. They strive for military superiority in order to “check” us and then declare “checkmate” against us without starting a war. Maybe I am wrong.


This is what they want, but we will not allow it.


The main method in the current struggle is political-ideological subversion. We were both absolutely right [in predicting this]. Yet the forms of political-ideological subversion keep changing. The Polish events are a case in point. They prove the effectiveness of US special services in the broadest sense. They want to differentiate among the socialist states and foment nationalism. They are backing away from individuals such as Sakharov, and are trying to infiltrate the working class. They are trying to fuel unrest and exploit weaknesses in our economy – where our economists are not flexible enough and have forgotten how to work with the people.


We have this problem in our country, too. For example, there was a strike in a factory because of the introduction of new norms. An investigation revealed that nobody had spoken with the workers [before].


We have now commissioned the Chekist groups to work more strongly in the factories in a preventative manner.


Or take, for instance, a gas explosion in a mine. Things like that develop gradually, but nobody reports anything, nobody implements timely measures. The Americans are banking on these flaws, these deficiencies and inflexibility, and are attempting to exploit them for their own objectives.


Why did “Solidarnosc” come about in Poland?


Because our trade unions do not work properly, because they do not correctly represent the interests of the workers. We need the kind of trade unions that actually advocate for the workers’ interests. Lenin spoke of trade unions as the schools of socialism and communism. However, they must properly advocate for the interests of the working class.


Most of the problems with our intelligentsia have been solved. There only remains Sakharov in Gorky, and Shcharansky in prison. He will stay in prison.


We have bluffed the West with all these dissidents, beginning with Solzhenitsyn, and with our common “friend” [Heinrich] Böll who offered asylum to Solzhenitsyn. Now the latter sits in the US; he is not a nice guy for them, and no longer a problem for us.


About 120 active dissidents have ended up in the West over the course of time, and they are no longer a problem for us. They portrayed it as their victory, but we have no more problems over here.


There is still a problem with emigration among parts of the German population [in the Volga region]. They do not want to leave for the GDR, but to the West, to the FRG. They are working-age people. This is why we will not let them emigrate to the FRG. The Jewish population first left to Israel, and from there they moved on to the United States and other countries. Now we say: It’s over. Work here! There were demonstrations by larger groups demanding possibilities to emigrate. Now, there are only scattered individual cases. We have not arrested these protesters but re-settled them from Moscow to other regions of the Soviet Union.


Another focus of attention is the Caribbean with potential provocations against Cuba. Indirectly, this is related to the situation in Poland. The US does not hide this fact.


In Afghanistan there is no more major fighting. The largest groups have been crushed. There are still bands left with 40 to 50 people. The most important task is to rebuild the Afghan army. In recent years, they have had 4 different supreme commanders. The soldiers have lost their orientation. There are also two factions within the party, which exert different influence on the officer corps. In general, there is progress.


It is true that many people, including many communists, especially in capitalist states, do not grasp what is at stake here. There are also some communists like that in our own country.


We have a 2,400 km border with Afghanistan. If [former Afghan President Hafizullah] Amin were still sitting there [in power in Kabul] and fomenting Islam with the support of the US, this would be a highly dangerous abscess for us. Still today, the Central Asian Soviet Republics are not on par with Europe. There is still major religious influence there. Illegally-working mullahs are very active. Until 1936 we were still fighting there with the Basmachi movement. Many of them went to Afghanistan. [If Amin had stayed in power,] we also would now have the US with its signal intelligence right next to our border.


Religion is anyway a colorful picture in our country. In the central part of the Russian Soviet Republic it does not constitute a problem. However, in the Western Ukraine and in the Baltic Soviet Republics there are problems. The [Roman Catholic] Pope wants to install a coordinator. We are against this. Also, the Poles are very impudent.


We intend, depending on the concrete situation, to arrest soon two of the worst church activists. Obviously, we have to consider problems such as the role of the church within the anti-war movement in Western Europe (e.g., the demonstration in Hamburg). We must not run any risk and must seize the opportune moment.


There is not much to say about China. At the last [CCP] Plenum there was a certain reshuffling of forces. In the army there are signs of some displeasure with regard to Xiang [sic] who has now taken over the Military Commission.[1] The US wants to play the “Chinese card.” It matters to us how the Chinese are preparing for war.


Regarding Western Europe.


At the NATO meeting our most important initiatives for détente and disarmament were rejected. The May meeting re-confirmed the decision on missile deployments in Western Europe.


The hardening of relations is also on display [at the CSCE follow-up conference] in Madrid. We want disarmament and the limitation of strategic weapons. For them, the most important thing is not to talk with us unless we promise to behave properly towards them in all parts of the world. This also means that we should not support national liberation movements any more.


Or consider our proposal to extend confidence-building measures to the Urals in the East and to the Atlantic coast in the West. “To the Urals” they have understood; in the Western direction, however, they do not want to make concessions.


They attach the utmost importance to Basket III.


Our comrades think there might be a chance to pass a resolution regarding a disarmament conference. We will work in this direction.


With our proposal to extend confidence-building measure to the Urals we have a strong lever in hand towards the neutral countries. The US does not want this. However, the Western European neutral countries are in favor. The Americans are openly saying they are not interested in a disarmament conference. However, taking into consideration the opinion of the Western European countries, they are for it on the basis of the French proposal.


We wanted more in Madrid. Yet it would be a big thing already if we can achieve the conference. It is important that the US argues with its European partners. Currently, the accords are being prepared. The US is not very talkative. They are always raising excessive demands so that the [Madrid] CSCE meeting will collapse. It could be that it will come to this. Our delegation has a directive to work irrespective of this.


I want to emphasize that “confidence-building” measures refer only to issues of controlling military movements. There will be no concessions on human rights questions. Our delegation has detailed instructions in this regard.



On Poland:


A definitive assessment of developments in Poland must be left to our party leadership. My private opinion is this: Reasons [for current events] are rooted in history.


Poland never had a real communist party. Many times it had to be dissolved because it was full of agents and provocateurs. Poland entered the [Second World] War without a communist party. There were only individual cells. First, [Wladyslaw] Gomulka was active. Then came [Boleslaw] Bierut who united the party with the Social Democrats and the “Armia Krajowa.”[2] This party was not ready to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. Bierut attempted it. However, Gomulka declared that what Bierut had done was wrong and dissolved the collective farms, the basis for socialism in the countryside. Then, small-goods production re-emerged. Then, they had to deceive themselves by creating larger collectives with 25 to 30 hectares. These could obviously not work without assistants. This is how the kulaks developed who today constitute “Rural Solidarnosc.”


On the working class.

In contrast to Germany with its industrial population centers, heavy industry, and a corresponding ideology and psychology in the working class, Poland was dominated by small industry with so-called half-proletarians. One third worked in industry, two thirds in agriculture. When heavy industry was developed, e.g. the shipyard industry in Gdansk and Szczecin, those half-proletarians seemingly became workers. Yet two thirds of them remained peasants. This is why in these two particular cities the biggest tensions occurred in 1968, 1970, 1975, and 1980. Thus, the ideological education of these workers had to be overseen more strongly.


The Polish comrades have forgotten to take Lenin’s teaching to heart, i.e. that you constantly have to work ideologically with the working class. This is why there is now no progressive working class in Poland. To the contrary. The working class was influenced ideologically by the [Catholic] church, [the dissident] KOR [Workers’ Defense Committee], [the dissident Leszek] Moczulski, and others. The current events in Poland have developed over a course of several years. We in the KGB had noticed this long ago and raised alerts accordingly. Our ambassador [in Poland] rated the KGB information he received as “bleakest.” Comrade L. I. Brezhnev had many talks with [Edvard] Gierek, among other things about the [1979] visit of the Pope, the development of the Catholic Church, and the loans. We told them straightforwardly: With such a policy you will go down the drain.


Gierek always rejected this. When the [1980] events developed, he was on vacation in the Crimea. He did not deem it necessary to return to Warsaw. He underestimated the developments. Only after a direct demand from Warsaw did he return.


They ignored basic patterns for the development of socialism. They violated the norms of the party to work with the masses. This is why we have the reaction we see today. We have told them this frequently and openly. In February/March of this year we met in Brest with [Stanislaw] Kania and [Wojciech] Jaruzelski and criticized their thesis of “renewal.” Building-up socialism can only succeed the Leninist way. However, the Poles have their own objectives.


Now, on the eve of the [Polish communist] party congress the counterrevolution openly spreads in the country. Comrade L. I. Brezhnev has repeatedly told them so.


But for them, there is no such thing as a counterrevolution. There are only a few hostile, anti-socialist elements. They did not mention the term “counterrevolution” even once. Nonetheless, the counterrevolution is alive ([Jacek] Kuron, [Adam] Michnik, [Leszek] Moczulski, and others).


The revisionist elements are very active; not only in the working class and among the intelligentsia but also right within the party ([Jozef] Klasa, [Andrzej] Werblan, [Andrzej] Bratkowski). Nobody is saying: “Get rid of socialism!” The socialist shell should remain. They also still want to stay in the Warsaw Pact. Yet inside the country “we want to do what we want!”


They are not afraid of a military invasion. Now they believe we will not embark on this road. I do not want to discuss this question right now.


They are afraid of economic sanctions. Poland exists thanks to our oil, gas, electricity, ores, timber, etc. We have told them openly: “If you cross the line, you will receive nothing any more. And no loans, either.” Kania understands this, Jaruzelski as well.


It was best understood by [the late Stefan Cardinal] Wyszynski. He had the position: “You can do everything, but beware of the East! The West will not help you. They can send money, but you receive raw materials from the Soviet Union!”


We will exploit this lever according to the situation.


The counterrevolution and revisionist organizations are active. In this context it is really true that the party fell apart. Despite having 3 million members in the communist party, they do not feel in a position to mobilize 300,000 members for a fight against revisionism.


A difficult economic situation exists. The West provides loans to keep Kania and Jaruzelski in power. But the situation is complicated. The system of food ration cards has not solved the problem.


Without overestimating this: There are preliminary indications that people have begun to understand that although “Solidarnosc” might have doubled salaries and wages, there is nothing to buy with them. Yet they want to earn more and work less. This is what the trade union promised. Yet they cannot guarantee this.


Kania was not our first candidate. We had our doubts. We were for Jaruzelski. He was well acquainted with comrades Brezhnev and [Minister of Defense Dmitry] Ustinov. We thought we knew him. But it turned out that he was not any better. Kania we did not know.


Since Jaruzelski declined, only two candidates remained:




We thought that [Stefan] Olszowski was the worst of those two.


With Olszowski we are now seeing step by step how he does not have a fully pro-Soviet attitude. He plays into the hands of the nationalists. First he played along with [Mieczyslaw] Moczar, now with Kania. First he allied with [Tadeusz] Grabski. But when Grabski came to the Plenary Session with the proposal against Kania, Olszowski was the first in the Politburo who attacked Grabski viciously and accused him of being in favor of Soviet military intervention. Olszowski cannot become first man. His positions vis-à-vis the West are unclear. Nonetheless, we continue to talk to him.


At the 12th Plenary Session yesterday, [Kazimierz] Barcikowski outlined proposals for the agenda of the Party Congress. They will certainly be approved. At the Party Congress, they first want to elect the First Secretary. We told Kania right to his face that this is wrong. Yet Kania wants to monopolize everything.


After Barcikowski, it was Olszowski who spoke and had prepared all the basic documents. Kania told Olszowski that he can work with him. He [Kania] has learned a lot recently.


After Olszowski’s statement there were reports by the party’s revision and control commission. Then Grabski’s reported about the work of a commission he directed. He talked very sternly and proposed to forward materials to the revision and control commission in order to review whether to expel the people investigated by his commission from the party. The plenary session approved his proposal.


Kania does not enter the Party Congress without some worries. In different voivodeships [provinces] there are different candidates nominated for the position of First Secretary ([Tadeusz] Fiszbach, Jaruzelski, Olzsowski, [Mieczyslaw] Rakowski, and others).


Rakowski is currently very active. There is an impression that he influences Kania and Jaruzelski. Kania wants to give us the impression that he evades Rakowski’s influence. Rakowski wants to get elevated to the Politburo. [Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei] Gromyko categorically came out against this since Rakowski is linked to right-wing elements. Kania said he is not in favor of having Rakowski in the Politburo, but what “if a proposal comes from the floor [of the Party Congress]?”


We have confirmed the directives for the role of our [CPSU] delegation [at the Polish Party Congress]. It will be headed by Comrade [Viktor] Grishin. He has orders not to interfere openly in Polish party matters. Yet he is supposed to outline from a Marxist-Leninist perspective how our party and other fraternal parties build up socialism, and he will also support the healthy forces among the Polish communists.


In a talk with Gromyko, Kania stated that in principle he wants the Politburo to stay as it currently is. On Gromko’s objection that there are some who are no good, Kania responded that he still sticks to his position. Gromyko told him he has to support the healthy forces. Kania’s opinion was: Olszowski, [Andrzej] Zabinski, [Stanislaw] Kociolek = yes; but I cannot support Grabski though I also will not come out against him and criticize him. Grabski’s situation is thus not easy.


The Party Congress will take place. We cannot prevent it. Even the healthy forces declare that trying to thwart it would be suicidal.


There are 2 variants:


  • the Party Congress runs more or less smoothly
  • there will be a row


Zabinski and Grabski do not want to come out against Kania at the Party Congress but instead raise the general issue of fighting against the rightist elements in the party.


We support this line as well.


The Party Congress is not the end of the struggle. Kania and Jaruzelski will certainly be re-elected. In my own opinion, there will not be any sudden change even after the Party Congress. Though there are some objective developments and processes going on. Those who assess these process correctly and exploit them must come out at the top of the party.


On Kania we had the opinion that he is spineless and weak. It looks, however, like he is not so weak. He is “a sly dog.”


This raises the question of to what extent Kania, Jaruzelski, and Olszowski themselves are behind this policy of “renewal.” They could never answer the question of what “renewal” actually meant. There are several Polish comrades who do not want a counterrevolution but “Polish socialism,” such as reforms following the Yugoslav model or something similar.


I have growing doubts about the direction. The Party Congress is not a final point. We will fight for Poland. Poland must remain a member of the Warsaw Pact. I have outlined the possible ways we can go about it. It is clear that we will keep in mind the transit routes into the GDR in case we issue economic sanctions. We will take care of that.


I do not consider a coordinating meeting of the [Soviet-bloc] security organs on the Polish problem to be necessary. [Czechoslovak] Comrade Obzina had made such a proposal. Coordination is better done bilaterally.


A meeting by the leading comrades on the political level is considered necessary. Only the exact date is still unclear.


We are very pleased with the cooperation of our two agencies, both foreign intelligence- and counterintelligence-wise. It is very multi-layered and corresponds to the interests of both our countries and those of the other socialist countries. You have greater opportunities than the other countries. We value your contribution very highly. Major tasks lie ahead for our foreign intelligence work. Under all circumstances we must gather intelligence on the plans of the imperialists. We must coordinate better.



Comrade Mielke:


This is why we have to organize a multilateral meeting of foreign intelligence agencies in Moscow. It is ideologically and psychologically important for everybody to know where the center is located.



Comrade Andropov:


I agree!

Many thanks for your comprehensive support to our KGB representatives in Berlin. Also special thanks for all your information provided, especially on West German tank production, defense technology, and the NATO manual. We will also give you information. Comrade Kryuchkov can provide even more.


Comrade Mielke:


The quality is crucial!


Comrade Andropov:


We rate your information very highly. I agree that concrete assessments are needed. Comrade Kryuchkov will have to implement this.


Comrade Mielke:


Many thanks. I am very pleased. This was how a meeting should be in order to exchange and coordinate various opinions; not because they are contradictory, of course. It is all about the basic question: Peace or war! It is necessary to increase active measures to support the [Western] peace movement. This is why we need to have a multilateral meeting in Moscow, so that all ministers know where the coordination lies.


I want to use this opportunity to express my highest respect to our Soviet comrades for their mission in Afghanistan. Many lost their lives for this great cause. I have been commissioned in person to say this. Our hearts are beating for you and the Soviet army that again puts their lives on the line for a great cause not even understood by communists. We are ready to do everything to support you.


It is necessary to increase our signal intelligence efforts. We also need an assessment of the NATO manual and NATO’s preparations for war.


It would be highly useful for us to receive a copy of the KGB chairman’s instructions for working vis-à-vis China. Excerpts are also ok. This could give us fresh ideas for operations.


Thank you for rating our information highly. We will do out best to continue to work successfully.


Especially important is the issue of preventing the enemy from gaining a foothold within the working class. This is extraordinarily topical [considering Poland].


Very frequently it happens that people do not work preventively, and things are not changed although they actually could be. The workers write down resolutions. They are right, and then things get changed anyway. This is a validation for us. We have to be extremely alert in the factories of how plans are fulfilled, how the trade unions work, how the relationship between workers and directors unfolds.


The main issue in Poland lies in the fact that the working class turned against the party. This is how the parties in England and Italy are talking. Thus this is not just an issue of the Polish party. It is a direct hit against the socialist commonwealth of states, and against the people we have to convince. This is why the Polish comrades afflict extraordinary damage on us.


I just wanted to underline this. If the enemy does not succeed in gaining a foothold within the working class, then nothing will happen to us.


The working class in the GDR does very well. We have edged our plan by 1.8 to 2 days. The standard of living was raised. Still, there are many problems we have to solve.


We have noticed that the [Protestant] church has begun to get lively. The Protestant Church works actively in the context of the Polish events. Two extreme reactionaries tried to establish contact with [the GDR dissident Robert] Havemann.


They are trying to build up a church cult and attract quite a number of youth. They are trying to infiltrate the working class. They want to establish certain centers. There is no organization yet; but they are constantly trying to establish such centers.


When we express our mutual gratitude for the information exchanged, then this should also serve as an incentive to collaborate even better and exchange even more – in order to fight the enemies even more, and identify and acquire even more new technology for our economy (WTA [Scientific-Technological Intelligence]).


We cooperate very well with the KGB representative [in Berlin] and military foreign intelligence and counterintelligence ([General] Saizev).


We must be on alert that political-ideological subversion does not get a foothold in the army. (We recently had a very serious incident). I just mention this since political-ideological subversion is also targeting our armed services. Political-ideological subversion is ultimately the origin of all kinds of enemy activity. Investigations of respective incidents always confirm this pattern. This has special relevance also for the ideological education of the members of the security agencies, in particular the young foreign intelligence employees who are exposed to the “glittering façade” of capitalism. Thus I listened with great attention to the remarks by Comrade L. I. Brezhnev at the central KGB conference.


During the Plenary Session Comrade Mielke awarded to Comrade Andropov at the request of Comrade [GDR Minister of Interior Friedrich] Dickel the title “Distinguished People’s Policeman of the GDR,” and Comrade Andropov awarded to Comrade Mielke the “Medal of Brother-in-Arms of the USSR.”



[1] Probably a phonetic mistake. The CCP Military Commission was taken over by Deng Xiaoping in June of 1981.

[2] “Home Army,” the dominant Polish resistance movement in World War II.

KGB Chairman Andropov and East German Minister for State Security Mielke meet to discuss ongoing Stasi/KGB cooperation and international affairs. Topics of conversation include the Ronald Reagan administration, the Polish Solidarity Crisis,

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Office of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records (BStU), MfS, ZAIG 5382, p. 1-19. Translated from German for CWIHP by Bernd Schaefer.


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Blavatnik Family Foundation and Leon Levy Foundation