German civilian member of Communist Party of Germany and Socialist Unity Party in East Berlin and lecturer at Karl Marx Party Academy in Russian Occupation Zone of Germany, 1947-1949; defector in Yugoslavia, 1949-1950
REEL 1 Recollections of period as member of Communist Party of Germany in East Berlin in Russian Zone of Germany, 1945-1949: work as radio announcer for Radio Free Germany in Moscow, Russia, 1944-1945; belief in possibility of reforms in Communist regime, 1944-1945; joining Ulbricht Group in Moscow, 4/1945; description of journey from Moscow to Berlin, 4/1945-5/1945; impressions of Berlin on arrival, 2/5/1945; task of setting up political apparatus in different districts of Berlin; aim to increase influence of Communist Party in Berlin; order from Allied powers that all administrative organisations to remain in power; orders to build up Communist Party of Germany, 6/1945; belief in multi-party democratic process, 1945.
REEL 2 Continues: effect of behaviour of Russian troops and reparations on German populace in Berlin; attitude of Russians towards De-Nazisification and working with former Nazis; degree of awareness of NKVD activities; question of anti-Western attitudes prior to 1947; focus of Communist Party activists; reasons for orders to support Social Democratic Party from 10/1945; background to merging of Communist Party and Social Democratic Party to form Socialist Unity Party of Germany, 4/1946; methods of increasing pressure for party merger; his propaganda role. Aspects of period as lecturer at Karl Marx Party Academy in Russian Occupation Zone of Germany, 1947-1949: joining academy, 9/1947; degree of discussion on Berlin Airlift, 1948; reaction to expulsion of Yugoslavia from Cominform; decision to defect to Yugoslavia, 3/1949.
REEL 3 Continues: fate if caught escaping; character of officials who thrived in Stalinist system including Walter Ulbricht. Aspects of period as defector in Yugoslavia, 1949-1950: degree of awareness of Communist Yugoslavia prior to defection; character of Yugoslavian Communism, 1947-1970; reasons for leaving Yugoslavia for West Germany, 1950. Reflections on Cold War, 1945-1991: question of who won Cold War; question of whether Cold War was necessary; question of how framework of rigid ideology creates the conditions for Cold War; difference between Josip Tito and Josef Stalin’s view of Communism; question of worst moment of Cold War; question of significance of Germany during Cold War.