December 2, 1964
Stasi Report on Meetings with the KGB, 30 November-1 December 1964
This document was made possible with support from Blavatnik Family Foundation
Berlin, 2 December 1964
R e p o r t
On Meetings with the KGB of the USSR on 30 November and 1 December 1964
Participants at these meetings initiated by the MfS [Ministry of State Security.] of the GDR were the following:
- Soviet side:
Comrade Semichastny, Chairman of the Committee
Comrade Sakharovsky, Head of Main Department 1
Comrade Pavlov, Deputy Head of Main Department 1
Comrade Skomorokhin, Division Head of Main Department 1
Comrade Beskrovny, Head of KGB apparatus in the GDR
- MfS of the GDR:
Comrade Mielke[Minister for State Security]
Comrade Wolf [Deputy Minister, Head of HVA [Foreign Intelligence Division]
On both days there was one exchange held by the individuals listed above. In addition, there were individual talks with the Deputy Head of Main Department 2, Comrade Babkov, the Deputy Head of the Mobilization Department, Comrade Piskunov, and with Comrade Sakharovsky, joined by the Head of the Africa Department, Comrade Vinogradov, and the Deputy Head of the Information Department, Comrade Zitnikov.
In response to a questionnaire forwarded by us, Comrade Semichastny discussed the following issues:
- On the international situation
Assessment of US Government Policy
Currently the Johnson Administration is reviewing the basis of its foreign policy. Johnson’s electoral victory is the largest ever by an American president. However, the 20 million votes for Goldwater must not be overlooked. The US government will have to consider the changes at the top in the Soviet Union, the changes in Great Britain, the nuclear test explosion in China, and the attitudes of de Gaulle.
Probably the US administration will put in place a couple of tougher measures. This shows, for instance, through its campaign against the alleged Soviet debt towards UN organizations. This is to exert pressure on the non-aligned states and Secretary General U Thant. There is no chance for a compromise on this issue. The US pursues a tough line, and it looks like they are ready to go to extremes. A similar line becomes evident in the Congo and in Vietnam.
Yet even if US election results have somewhat strengthened right-wing forces, the US still understands that acute tensions are unhelpful. It would only lead to closer cooperation between the socialist states and others. Therefore, the US has to maneuver.
The people in charge in the United States are fully aware that a nuclear war will be deadly for them. Yet they make efforts to influence the balance of power according to their own interests. Thus we have to expect an (albeit slower) continuation of the arms race, as well as attempts to further strengthen NATO and divide the socialist camp. In the latter regard, the US is banking on certain nationalist tendencies there.
During his visit to the US, [British Prime Minister Harold] Wilson talked in particular about how nationalist tendencies in European socialist countries might be better exploited.
The United States is moving one to two additional divisions to South Vietnam, and they conduct air strikes against the liberation movement’s bases outside of South Vietnam. The communiqué about the Johnson/Taylor meeting does not state anything about intentions, yet in fact the US is embarking on a course of escalation. However, sooner or later the US will have to agree to the neutralization of South Vietnam. There are also tendencies to negotiate in this regard within the Democratic Republic of Vietnam [DRV]. Yet Beijing is against it and demands, at the expense of the Vietnamese people, to fight until total victory. The DRV leadership sometimes openly expresses to the Chinese its dissatisfaction with Chinese aid, especially in economic regard. The war places a major burden on the DRV.
Concerning Cuba, there are no expectations for an open attack by the US with forces of its own. However, the Cuban counter-revolution, though basically destroyed within Cuba itself, is actively supported by the US from outside of Cuba. The United States tightens its economic blockade to create dissatisfaction within Cuba. One cannot exclude the possibility of aggressive actions by a group of other Latin American countries, triggered by certain provocations. Such a plan was already discussed by military representatives from some of these countries.
Regarding relations with the USSR, the US makes efforts to negotiate in order to reach agreements on certain issues. In a conversation with the Soviet Ambassador [Dobrynin in Washington] Vice President [Hubert] Humphrey has made very positive comments that are, however, of relative value only. The US wants to improve relations. Yet its position on the funding of the UN is counter to this intention.
The conference held in Moscow with a large number of influential US business people and mega capitalists, as well as other facts, demonstrates that the US is currently reviewing its options to expand trade relations. It is their official line to do so without haste. In early 1965 we will probably sign a consular agreement. The Americans value highly the recently signed agreement on the extraction of fresh water from the ocean. Negotiations about direct flights between the USSR and the US are very tedious. All this shows how the US wants to avoid raising tensions but undertakes only a few practical steps in this regard.
Major difficulties are to be expected, and major efforts are required, on issues like disarmament, the solution of postwar problems in Europe, the prevention of West Germany’s nuclear armament, and on other European questions. No rapid progress is to be expected here.
On the Position of the British Labour Government
The Wilson government operates to a certain extent on the basis of détente. Its main tactics are: Flexibility and firmness. It supports peaceful coexistence, in particular with regard to trade. It stresses its own position and measures. In the interest of détente, it is their opinion that the Western alliance must be strengthened.
Before the elections Wilson had his own position concerning the GDR. Yet it is not known whether this will have actual consequences.
There is a certain interest in détente where the Labour government sees some opportunities for solutions on individual issues. The Labour government is against any form of nuclear war and supports in principle the creation of nuclear-free zones – also with the inclusion of both German states.
In contrast to its positions before the elections, the Labour government now conditionally supports the MLF [Multilateral Force]. Probably it is pursuing certain tactics here; in fact it does not believe in the realization of the MLF, and therefore slows it down.
On de Gaulle’s Position
It is well known and openly promulgated. His main objective is the elimination of American hegemony and the formation of a Western European defense union with a French-German alliance at its core. De Gaulle’s plans are threatened by decisive countermeasures from the US and West Germany. The US does not want to share its leadership, nor do they want France to gain influence. De Gaulle is angry about [FRG Chancellor Ludwig] Erhard for his support of American positions. According to reliable information, the French government will absolutely advocate against building the MLF and all its consequences. The British government’s position is also directed against de Gaulle’s plans.
The West German government is against a pro-French line and clearly supports the US course.
A sharp breach between France and the other Western powers has emerged and created a complicated situation within NATO. De Gaulle’s visit to Latin America is interesting. For now, France’s efforts have not led to results. France is in a difficult economic situation and undertakes certain efforts towards rapprochement with the Soviet Union in particular in economic regards. It has also showed an interest in joint ventures concerning production of passenger airplanes for high altitudes, and also in cooperation on color television systems. The visit by [Gaston] Palewski, [French] Minister of Information [sic], to the Soviet Union was interesting. He expressed the same policy when meeting with leading government representatives from Romania, Bulgaria, and Czechoslovakia in Paris. There also is a certain interest in trade with the GDR. France was one of the first countries to sign trade and loan agreements with the USSR.
This French policy is not innocent when it comes to exploiting nationalist tendencies in order to create fissures in the socialist camp. It is unknown what they actually talked with Romania. What has been leaked, however, displays this tendency. It also shows with regard to ideological subversion.
On Positions of the West German Government
(Comrade Semichastny remarked here that we [the MfS] are more knowledgeable on this.)
No initiative is to be expected from the Western powers to settle postwar European issues, especially with regard to West Berlin. The West German government wants to force the Western powers to negotiate about the German question based on the FRG concept of “self-determination.” This leads to the discomfort of the other Western powers, as became evident during the leadership change in the Soviet Union. For instance, the West German position has also created problems for the preparation of a treaty banning nuclear tests in the atmosphere. The Western powers were afraid the Soviet Union might fully withdraw from it.
The West German government plans to increase activities regarding its relations with the People’s Republic of China and the European socialist countries. It wants to exploit Soviet-Sino differences and China’s interest in normalizing its relations with the Federal Republic.
The [FRG] Federal Government also reviews its position vis-à-vis the GDR. Devious methods are to be expected from that.
Due to increasing contradictions within NATO, the West German government is pleading for US favors, e.g. by making financial concessions. Contradictions mount with France and England, for instance because of the British proposals concerning the MLF. De Gaulle’s pressure has created a difficult situation. Hence the West German government currently still weighs its options on all those issues.
The NATO council meeting in December will be of major importance. The agenda features: An assessment of the international situation by [US Secretary of State Dean] Rusk coupled with expert presentations; a report by General Secretary [Manlio] Brosio about the state of cooperation within NATO with regard to proposals for NATO’s reorganization; a statement by the chairman of NATO’s Standing Military Committee on the socialist countries’ military potential; reports by the NATO commanders and the Military Committee on NATO’s combat readiness in 1964; a report by Brosio on the strategic concept; a presentation by the US commission to prepare for the MLF; a statement on cooperation in areas of scientific-technological and military-technological research; the confirmation of NATO’s annual report; and votes on corresponding proposals.
The contradictions within NATO become most evident on the issue of NATO strategy. Extensive explanation [by Semichastny] of the American strategy of flexible response (already known to us [the MfS]). This is creating the main point of dissent from France which holds the opinion that the US will not actually defend Europe by using its strategic nuclear potential.
West Germany supports the French concept in principle but wants to integrate with the US positions.
The American concept envisages the option of local wars with the US reserving the right to determine the location, time, and means of war efforts. This concept is based on an increase in all types of armaments, and of course the growth of strategic nuclear potential as well. Particular emphasis is placed on special forces to conduct “guerrilla wars.” Their numbers have increased six-fold between 1961 and 1964. We have to take this into consideration in order not to allow surprises and to implement appropriate countermeasures.
On Contradictions within the European Economic Community (EEC)
Efforts to reach a common trade policy vis-à-vis the socialist camp are not supported by all EEC member states. In part, they even violate their obligations towards the EEC. West Germany is strenuously opposing loans for socialist countries especially because of Soviet positions on the German and West Berlin question. Vis-à-vis the GDR, the FRG attempts to trade loans for political concessions.
Italy is against any restrictions and granted to the Soviet Union a small 5-year bank loan. France has granted loans for 7 years. England is against any restrictions in this area. Belgium, for instance, opposes any restrictions on imports from the socialist camp while some of its industrial branches are in danger of getting crippled. Negotiations between the Soviet Union and the Benelux countries are imminent.
In the context of problems regarding the common agricultural market and the uniform grain price, France is even reviewing whether to leave the EEC.
The US is expecting an increase in exports during the Kennedy Round negotiations in November. Johnson is considering whether to move towards bilateral negotiations if there are no results in November. France strongly opposes an increase of imports from the United States. Major differences were created by the 15 percent increase of import tariffs by Great Britain.
On Covert and Subversive Activities of the Imperialist Powers and their Intelligence Services against the Socialist Camp
This activity is planned as a long-term strategy to divide the socialist camp and to create a hostile atmosphere towards the socialist order in individual countries. Offensive actions by the Chinese facilitate the emergence of favorable conditions for this kind of activity. NATO experts assess that the Chinese attitude will be the main lever used by the West to instigate nationalist positions [in socialist countries].
Important aspects consist in plans to target economic relations between socialist countries within Comecon. There have been consultations within NATO on how to sell goods and equipment to individual socialist countries that previously received them from other socialist countries. This is objectively directed against the purpose and intentions of Comecon. Economic subversion is undertaken through loans and technological exports to develop economic sectors in individual socialist countries that are not really essential. Yet those sectors create competition with other socialist countries and result in overproduction, and thus in additional problems and differences.
Ideological subversion is primarily directed at praising the Western lifestyle, standard of living, democracy, and so on – and compromising the socialist order by portraying certain economic weaknesses and deficiencies as a consequence of the socialist order. It is directed against alleged flaws of the [socialist] democratic system, and it exaggerates both real and nonexistent conflicts. The West is acting as a promoter of national independence for socialist countries and speaks out against alleged pressure on them by the USSR.
On plans for covert activities.
The US hardly counts on solutions through armed domestic counterrevolution. Besides economic and ideological subversion, the US therefore emphasizes in its covert activities the improvement of spy networks and the build-up of small counter-revolutionary groups. It aims at asserting itself through gaining a capacity to stifle unrest in case of international complications. Through these activities the US keeps its own hopes for potential change alive.
More than in previous times, the US intelligence services focus on gathering internal and economic information, such as on difficulties, contradictions, and problems within Comecon; but also obviously about the combat strength of the socialist armies and Soviet arms deployed in socialist countries and the Soviet Union itself, etc.
In part, intelligence agencies are tasked with disseminating rumors, sending anonymous letters, and distributing leaflets especially in case of domestic troubles.
In the context of strengthening the US special forces (Rangers), the US services have created a special operative group in Europe to prepare for sabotage and the activities of gangs in socialist countries.
After the changes in the Soviet leadership no particular attempts by the adversary were noted to exploit the situation inside the Soviet Union. The NTS [National Alliance of Russian Solidarists] attempted to create false impressions abroad concerning the existence of certain resistance groups within the Soviet Union. Yet all this must not make us complacent. In certain reviews, we sometimes noted a dangerous overconfidence on the side of our counterintelligence services despite the fact that there are still many open channels left for the infiltration of enemies into the Soviet Union (he [Semichastny] explained this by giving examples of opportunities exploited by criminals).
On this entire complex of issues we [MfS] made extensive comments during our second meeting. Drawing on differences within the FRG leadership, we outlined how it does not make much sense to simply talk about a rejection of the French and a clear support of American concepts by the West German government. There are noteworthy differences within the West German leadership on core issues regarding NATO, MLF, and other problems. The leading exponents of West German imperialism have one thing in common: They are eager to exploit differences between other NATO members in order to pursue their revanchist concept and related strategic positions, and to gain larger concessions and rights pertaining to nuclear arms. We see the different options involved but currently the MLF is the biggest danger. In stressing this line of argumentation, we also noted that due to differences within NATO especially favorable opportunities exist to stall this project by mobilizing all our political forces. We explained the connection, and emanating danger, between West German imperialism’s basic concept of its own positions on forward-based strategies and the issue of “covert war” and its respective preparation. We also emphasized the link between this dangerous particular West German concept and undertakings of political and economic subversion.
Comrade Semichastny agreed with our opinions and stressed the high value of our information for the KGB.
[Semichastny said:] Everything must be done in order to prevent West German access to nuclear weapons in any form. If West Germany receives nuclear weapons or gets just one finger on the trigger, anything can be expected from the West German revanchists. A lot is depending on us to prevent this in any form. The Soviet Union’s line is clear: No proliferation or transfer of nuclear weapons to anybody.
As far as the US is concerned, they do not currently count on the possibility of armed insurrections. They hardly infiltrate major forces from outside or deploy them, not even in Cuba.
If West Germany is training its own special forces, the possibility of provocations and perhaps the deployment of larger forces cannot be dismissed outright. There are no certain indications but politically you can expect them to undertake anything. They might have interests in creating preconditions by way of provocations to involve other NATO states in their plans. They might also have interests in demonstrating domestic instability in the GDR to keep hopes alive for realizing their plans.
On 30 November 1964, “Pravda” published an article about West Germany’s options to build its own nuclear weapons. The KGB provided us [MfS] with an assessment of the military potential of West German nuclear research based on our information and other sources.
Comrade Semichastny does not attribute any significance to the postponement by one month of the Warsaw Pact’s Political Consultative Committee meeting requested by the GDR.
Comrade Semichastny added here that the US and Great Britain do not want a nuclear war and that the BND [West German foreign intelligence service] is aware of this. De Gaulle uses his nuclear weapons to exert pressure on the other European countries but he will not start a nuclear war either. West Germany knows this as well. However, West Germany is a different case. From them you can expect an initiation [of nuclear war] as soon as they have the means to do it.
Regarding our statement on the effects of [Nikita Khrushchev’s son-in-law Alexei] Adzhubei’s visit to West Germany in increasing political subversion, the Soviet comrades responded: When this information arrived [in Moscow], the Chairman of the KGB approached the Presidium of the [CPSU] Central Committee. This question played an essential role [in the Soviet leadership change].
Furthermore, the KGB raised the issue that other Soviet institutions, especially academic ones, are often too passive towards hostile subversion and underestimate the impact of the adversary. It is necessary not only to be reactive but also to act offensively and outline our own position.
When dealing with this question [Adzhubei’s visit to West Germany], Comrade Semichastny stated that the KGB leadership takes every piece of information seriously and follows through on this line. He reiterated his statement, and he again expressed his thanks for the information and important hints provided by the MfS.
- On Relations with China and Albania
On this issue raised by Comrade Mielke there was the following response by Comrade Semichastny:
The relationship with the Chinese is complicated, and it remains that way. With their visit [to Moscow] on 7 November the Chinese wanted to demonstrate that they have taken the initiative. It became clear during the talks in Moscow that the Chinese insist on the precondition to annul the decisions of the XX and XXII CPSU Party Congress; otherwise talks would make no sense. They pretended to have come to establish contacts and clear this issue but had no authority to negotiate. To every proposal by the Soviet comrades they just responded that they would report it back to Beijing. Yet in fact they rejected everything. Since the CPSU sticks to its line on basic questions, there is no real basis for talks with the Chinese.
During the meeting they [USSR] offered to meet with the Chinese on any level and at any location. They just responded that they would report this back.
Before, during, and after this stay in Moscow the Chinese press constantly published statements from Albanian, Japanese, and New Zealand newspapers with heavy attacks on the Soviet Union and repetitions of previous Chinese positions. The speeches by Comrades Brezhnev and Kosygin were published but typeset in such a way that the Chinese position became evident. An editorial published in [the Chinese newspaper] “Red Flag” reiterated all the old attacks and confirmed their insistence on maintaining their previous line. The “Red Flag” article was constantly re-broadcasted on radio.
The Soviet proposal for mutual cessation of interferences in internal affairs was met without any reaction. The Chinese press printed the nefarious attacks by the Japanese Communist Party, containing the demand that Khrushchev was just the tip of the iceberg and now the entire CPSU leadership has to be eliminated.
In the context of a CPSU proposal to move the preparatory meeting of the parties to March 1965, a corresponding letter by the CPSU Central Committee was supposed to be delivered to Mao Zedong or Liu Shaoqi. However, the Soviet ambassador [in Beijing] was only received by Deputy Foreign Minister Liu Xiao who commented himself on the letter’s contents and rejected it; though he was told the letter was addressed to the CCP Central Committee. He argued against any consultations and just repeated the same old attacks.
Thus there is nothing indicating an improvement in relations; not even the slightest hint in this direction exists. Countering our proposal to cede public polemics, the Chinese openly declared that they considered polemics useful.
For half a year, a Soviet delegation conducted negotiations in Beijing on border issues. Now these negotiations have been moved to Moscow where they are scheduled to resume on 15 November. Yet until now there has been no Chinese response to this proposal. The Chinese side demands the inclusion of a provision in the border treaty which states that 2.5 million square kilometers of Chinese territory were unjustly and violently incorporated by Tsarist Russia. They declare they do not want this territory returned, only this injustice recognized. Concerning concrete issues, they are demanding, for instance, to have the borderline running next to Khabarovsk at the Amur River, i.e. right along the city.
The Soviet inquiry about Mao Zedong’s statement on the border made to the Japanese socialists has so far not received any response.
Currently there are fewer incidents along the border. However, winter has to be considered here. Until recently the situation was not normal: Constant border transgressions, impudent demeanor. This represents a major challenge to the nerves of the Soviet border units.
A similar picture exists in other fields of bilateral relations like trade and culture. Here as well there is no ray of hope, everything stands as it was.
During our [MfS] stay [in Moscow] the following incident occurred:
A Chinese doctoral student working with a Soviet professor had indicated he probably would not want to return to China. Subsequently he was ordered to come to the Chinese embassy and was supposed to be returned to China against his will. He fled from the embassy, and since then the Chinese are searching for him. Since they assume he is staying in his professor’s house, the Chinese have basically blocked this house and monitor it constantly. A Soviet protest was filed to the Chinese ambassador [in Moscow].
In China the atmosphere is further fueled by a strong anti-Soviet campaign. The splittist activities against other parties are continuing. The Communist Party of India has basically split apart. The Communist Party of Japan is treated as a vanguard, a progressive group has been excluded. Similar phenomena occur in Ceylon, Burma, Belgium, and so on. The splittist groups are officially supported by China.
The future perspective:
The Soviet Union is undertaking steps to find ways to come to at least decent bilateral relations. It is hard to say what the result will be. The CPSU leadership has to stand tall vis-à-vis the party and cannot tolerate letting the authority of the CPSU be constantly dragged through the mud.
On the Chinese atomic bomb:
It is impossible to assess whether this was a real bomb or a propagandistic one (laboratory experiment). One can hardly talk at the moment about a serious military production. The Chinese statement that they will not be the first to use the bomb seems to indicate this line of interpretation. Yet new problems are to be expected due to the course of the Chinese leadership.
On the Albanians:
Nothing is changing here. They did not send a delegation to the 47th anniversary [of the October Revolution] and also rejected a corresponding suggestion of the Chinese to do so. According to Comrade Semichastny’s personal opinion, the joint Albanian article that used the pretext to comment on [Italian Communist leader Palmiro] Togliatti’s memorandum was not drafted by the Albanians but by the Chinese. One week after the ouster of Comrade Khrushchev this was to serve as a trial balloon.
The Albanians demand an apology from the Soviet comrades, a concession of their mistakes, and the cessation of decisions by the XX and XXII CPSU Party Congress.
They may consider inviting the Albanians to the meeting of the Warsaw Pact Consultative Committee and to the Comecon meeting in order to test their reaction and deprive them of arguments [against the Soviet Union].
Inside Albania everything is repressed, they bolster security measures and the police apparatus. They hold trials, but people also disappear without trials. Albania’s economic situation is difficult. A message was sent to them on the 20th anniversary of liberation.
Concerning the situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: It is hard to come up with detailed information. They are sailing along Chinese straits. Yet they are less polemical towards the Soviet Union. The same can be said about the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
Characteristic of the attitude of the Chinese regarding Vietnam are their constant exhortations to others to fight without exposing themselves. They are eager to drag the Soviet Union into conflicts with the United States. When Vietnam demanded and received from the Soviet Union aircraft for certain types of combat the Chinese were asked to provide pilots, yet they refused. As a result, some Soviet pilots had to expose themselves in a very risky manner.
The main Chinese demand leveled against the Soviet Union is to provide evidence for a decisive struggle against US imperialism. They basically demand this conflict.
- On Liberation Movements in Africa
Our questions regarding this subject were answered by Comrade Semichastny in principle, and in more detail by Comrade Sakharovsky in a separate meeting.
The work in Africa is complicated. The adversary has major Africa experiences and a strong intelligence base. We are just at the beginning. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations by socialist countries, and the improved opportunities resulting from those, the adversary undertakes active measures to diminish our influence. The struggle for the African continent is a tough fight conducted with high stakes and corresponding means. In particular the US and West Germany have recently increased the number of experienced agents. There are strong contradictions between the Western powers. They fight over influence, but they are united against the socialist countries. In order to prevent the establishment of progressive beachheads, institutions or socialist associations, they resort to every conceivable provocation and lie. In part they were successful with this, like in Guinea where relations with the Soviet Union deteriorated due to French and American efforts. Now there have been disappointments in Guinea, and a delegation has come to the Soviet Union with a long list of requests.
The Soviet Union supports the liberation movement and progressive forces in their unforgiving struggle against imperialism. Soviet foreign intelligence maintains contacts with the leaders of various liberation movements and conducts extensive political work to counter the influence of imperialist forces.
Following our submitted questionnaire, a general Soviet assessment was given on the various liberation movements and basic information provided about which organizations are pushed and supported by the Soviet Union.
Noted as most deserving of support were:
- the MPLA of Angola;
- the FRELIMO headed by Dr. [Eduardo] Mondlane of Mozambique;
- the UPC under Mussaga in Cameroon;
- in Congo the group around [Gaston] Soumialot (i.e. also [Antoine] Gizenga and [Pierre] Mulele).
Concerning the liberation movements of Mocambique and South Rhodesia which currently lack a firm base in the country, and whose current leaders cannot be vouched for with certainty, it is now particularly important to identify and study positive individuals in order to develop leaders who are actually capable and can guarantee a proper utilization of our aid and support.
Concerning the Tanzanian Union:
The Union is a victory of Western powers and [President Julius] Nyerere. The latter has played an extraordinarily negative role in all this. The Union exerts strong pressure against any preservation of Zanzibar’s independent rights. Tanganyika has built a volunteer reserve of 4,000 men and in October issued a decree pertaining to the armed forces. Zanzibar has little prospect of an autonomous development. Nyerere will not establish diplomatic relations with the GDR and has given corresponding guarantees to the Western powers.
In our meeting with Comrade Sakharovsky this assessment was based on our statements regarding this issue. Zanzibar must be supported as a base for progress and a fist within Tanzania. It has to be strengthened against all efforts of restoration by colonial and neo-colonial powers. All attacks by imperialist powers must be parried. Zanzibar needs economic support.
Another threat emanates from plans for an East African federation, and also must not be allowed.
MfS activities on Zanzibar are rated positively. All expenses for Zanzibar are justified. It is now particularly important to solidify the personal contacts with, and influence on, [President Abeid] Karume, to always make accurate assessments of the domestic situation in Zanzibar, and to study also the policy of the Union closely. The activities by our security services [in Zanzibar] have to be legally certified and covered in order not to deliver a pretext for an outside intervention.
It is crucial to have exact knowledge of English and American plans concerning the Union and against Zanzibar.
We reached agreement about our assessment of [Abdullah] Hanga and [Abdulrahman] Babu, also about the need to influence them.
Coordination measures were agreed upon, especially in light of the upcoming delegation of KGB representatives [to Zanzibar].
On the Bureau of African Affairs (BAA), Ghana:
In principle the Soviet Union supports all wishes expressed by President [Kwame] Nkrumah, though they are frequently complicated and difficult. Nkrumah sees himself as a leader for all of Africa and harbors corresponding plans.
After the first attack on Nkrumah, the Soviet Union provided support by sending an adviser to help with building a personal security service. It also provided equipment and arms for a Guard Battalion including the delivery of heavy armaments. The KGB has also sent an officer to help with the creation of intelligence services. He is still on site in Ghana but can hardly become active. The security apparatus is not yet purged of imperialist elements. Support is also given for the build-up of border guard units. Ten people are to be trained in the Soviet Union for the struggle of liberation movements.
Our information concerning the tasks of the Bureau of African Affairs were confirmed. Information was given about which liberation movements are supported by this office, and which are not. The head of the office, [A.K.] Barden, is a confidant of Nkrumah. Information exists according to which Barden is involved in financial machinations and arms smuggling. In this context, some express opinions that he discredits the liberation movements and Ghana’s prestige. African leaders, like those of Zambia, are said to have stated their displeasure with the office’s activities.
The BAA has requested and received a Soviet instructor for the camps it is running to train fighters for Angola. They were trained for six months. Now they asked for equipment, arms, and education material for an alleged training center. There is the assumption that in fact they want to build up a special force capable of being deployed abroad as well as inside Ghana.
The Czechoslovak comrades have had experiences with similar requests from Guinea and Mali. They provided their knowledge as advisers but they were never shown anything. Afterwards they were pushed out.
Concerning such type of work, it is important in general to recognize that the influence of imperialist intelligence and corruption are still quite strong. From Soviet remarks we [MfS] could fathom that requests ought to be met when there is a direct confirmation by Nkrumah. Arms shipments to Ghana will also be supported.
On Assessing the Situation of the Cuban Security Services:
The security services have existed since 1959 and are part of the Ministry of Interior. The heads of foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, and personal security are basically autonomous and report directly to the leadership. Mostly they are young, good, and energetic people, former members of the 26th of July movement or Cuban communists. They do not have much experience. There are no party cells within the organization.
A noteworthy element is a certain guerilla mentality and the desire to instigate revolutions in other Latin American countries without taking practical conditions there into consideration. Foreign Intelligence has existed since 1961 and is kept very busy with such issues.
Counterintelligence has done great work against the counterrevolution, achieved good success in 1961-62, and pushed back the active underground. Soviet advisers gave support to the struggle against banditry. According to Cuban assessments there are currently only 70 to 80 active bandits left.
Since 1960 our relationship with the KGB has been close. There is solid cooperation, constant support through specialists, training in the Soviet Union, delivery of operative technology, and informational exchanges. The large Cuban requests in the field of technology are not always justifiable. [KGB] advisers on Cuba are also working with [Cuban] Foreign Intelligence. The [Cuban] comrades have problems keeping contact with [foreign] agents [abroad]. Sometimes they do not know where they are, and what they are doing.
The Soviet comrades help with information about regime questions, documentation issues, information on objects in the US, and support the struggle against agents from capitalist states in Cuba. The Cuban comrades are attentive and apply their advice. Working with them requires major diligence, support, and insights into their problems.
Concerning our questions about certain phenomena in Cuba, Comrade Sakharovsky explained: Fidel decides everything in Cuba. This leads to discontent. Incorrect decisions are taken, and then subordinate leaders are held responsible for subsequent deficits and problems. There are difficulties in building party organizations. There are no party cells yet in the security services. There are problems and tensions based on different origins of members coming from the 26th of July movement, the Directorate, and the communists. The leadership’s position is unclear in context of the [Anibal] Escalante affair, the [Heriberto] Rodriguez trial and the current investigation against Ordoka. It is not clear whether this represents, intentionally or inadvertently, an anti-communist tendency of Fidel. The political situation is complicated and indeed major discontent exists.
We were asked [by the KGB] to establish, according to our interests, official contact between the MfS and the Cuban services. We ought to emphasize our interest in supporting anti-American tendencies in Latin America through our activity. Concrete cases [unofficial agents] must not be uncovered.
- On Questions of Mobilization Work
Comrade Semichastny agreed that a meeting will be held by experts on this issue.
- On Registration and Operative Evaluation of Tourism
[Based on a] meeting with Comrade Babkov, a visit to the electronic center, and to the news center in the 2nd Main Directorate. Registration is currently done according to the following criteria:
- Entry and exit by foreigners from non-socialist states;
- Travel routes and geography of travel activity;
- Agents and suspicious foreigners;
- Diplomatic travel.
Entry and exit stubs have replaced the visa and contain a photo. Currently we [MfS] are working with the Institute of Criminology on the problem of picture registration and analysis. In the long run registration is envisaged of important links with information from mail control, of suspicious Soviet citizens, and of repercussions concerning confidential information that was revealed to the adversary.
- Joint measures against the statute of limitations of war crimes.
The Soviet comrades will forward a proposal to the GDR State Prosecutor via the Soviet Embassy in Berlin in the name of the USSR State Prosecutor to delegate GDR experts to USSR archives to study Nazi documents. After a review and selection of related material, the latter will be officially and publicly handed over to the GDR. The USSR will issue a statement by the Committee of War Veterans or the Soviet government. Also there will be an appeal by Soviet lawyers filing an appropriate protest.
The Soviet comrades expect the MfS to be involved in this. They expect a delegation of 5 or 6 individuals to come to the USSR soon, preferably with Russian language skills.
- The Soviet comrades are preparing information on the contents of existing documents to be used for the unmasking of Nazi diplomats.
- The comrades returned to the issue of the International Seminar to expose the Nazi generals in the West German army.
- The KGB attributes major importance to measures revealing the cooperation between the West German Federal Republic and Israel. Previous measures were already successful, and the efforts of the MfS in this regard were recognized. The Soviet comrades have certain opportunities in Syria. They have already resulted in an extensive evaluation by the Syrian Foreign Ministry for the [Syrian] government on West German-Israeli cooperation confirming the information we provided beforehand. The Syrian Foreign Ministry noted in this context that FRG attitudes [toward Israel] might lead to the establishment of [Syrian] diplomatic relations with the GDR, which will automatically result in breaking off relations with West Germany. All state bodies in Syria are requested to conduct an exact analysis of relations with the GDR and FRG, and reflect on expected consequences in case relations with the FRG might be severed.
- The Soviet services have information about a former assistant of [Adolf] Eichmann residing in Syria. He was supposed to be liquidated by the BND since he knows too much.
- Comrade Semichastny reiterated the special interest of the KGB in the cases of St. and Ch. We agreed that the KGB will forward any new information to the MfS.
- Concerning the question by Comrade Minister Mielke about experiences with the subordination of border guard units under the KGB, Comrade Semichastny stated that this subordination has turned out fully satisfactory like in similar earlier cases. The border guard units share this opinion. Border service is not just simple guard duty. It is about guaranteeing operative security at the border using agents and all available means. Working with agents is necessary on both sides of the border. Thus the KGB has to be active along the border anyway, and maintaining parallel responsibilities and authorities would make no sense. Any other line of authority would make principal and practical decisions in dealing with border violations much more complicated. The same applies to dealing with border crossings by foreigners at the checkpoints. This way a close and uncomplicated cooperation between counterintelligence, foreign intelligence, and border units is guaranteed. The Ministry of Defense, in contrast, has completely different assignments. This becomes especially relevant when dealing with incidents at the Chinese border. All issues are flexibly and correctly decided by the KGB which functions as a political body. Border guard units are best associated with the KGB. They are not a major burden but a big help for counterintelligence and foreign intelligence.
- Concerning the “Tag [Day]” case, Comrade Semichastny said it is very possible that the US have such equipment. The Soviet Union does not have such portable apparatuses. In this context we also discussed issues of secure codes and deciphering by the adversary. Applying these means, the latter gains major insights in particular on military data. An employee of the US deciphering agency is said to have received an award of 100,000 dollars.
- Following our request, the Soviet comrades handed over a number of scientific-technological information as well as documentation on scientific-technological intelligence in the areas of chemistry, in particular the production of artificial plastics and fibers.
Comrade Semichastny rated the relationship with the MfS as good. He thanked us in particular for our good information and emphasized some of the sites where this information was obtained. This type of information is of great help for the orientation of the party and government of the Soviet Union.
Information in the field of scientific-technological foreign intelligence is also very valuable and important. He thanked us for this in particular.
A great and valuable help is also the work of the MfS concerning the support of Soviet military counter-intelligence to safeguard the Soviet Army on GDR territory.
Therefore the Soviet comrades would like to present, at the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the MfS , awards to a large number of MfS employees who have distinguished themselves in the acquisition of political and scientific-technological information; and also for merit in security issues concerning the Soviet Army. They ask for our consent on this and expect appropriate suggestions of names.
At the end of the meeting Comrade Mielke thanked us for the valuable information provided during the course of our talks.
He noted a full agreement of views and praised the value of this kind of meeting. They offer the opportunity to achieve rapid clarifications and solutions for general and practical issues of operative work. He again reiterated the consent reached regarding certain issues concerning an aggravation of the overall situation, and the need to apply respective countermeasures. Comrade Mielke thanked us for the openness and cordiality of our relations. He stressed our good cooperation with the KGB apparatus in the GDR and invited Comrade Semichastny to visit the GDR.
Comrade Mielke forwarded greetings from Comrades Ulbricht and Honecker to Comrade Semichastny and the leading comrades of the KGB.
Comrade Semichastny shared his assessment about the value of the meeting. He was grateful for the good cooperation with the KGB and its apparatus in the GDR. He thanked for the greetings from Comrades Ulbricht and Honecker and asked to return his own warm greetings.
 Palewski was actually Minister of State in charge of Scientific Research, Atomic Energy and Space Questions.
 NTS, the National Alliance of Russian Solidarists, an anti-communist Russian exile organization.
Meetings between KGB Chairman Semichastny and East German Minister for State Security Mielke. Topics of discussion include Lyndon B. Johnson's recent election in the United States, Khrushchev's ouster from the Kremlin, Sino-Soviet relation, and Khrushchev's son-in-law Alexei Adzhubei.
Associated People & Organizations
- Nuclear weapons--China
- European Economic Community
- National liberation movements--Africa
- Germany (East). Ministry for State Security (Stasi)
- Soviet Union. Committee for State Security (KGB)
- Intelligence service--Soviet Union
- Espionage, Soviet
- China--Foreign relations--Soviet Union
- Intelligence service--Germany (East)
The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.
To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].
Original Uploaded Date