Paul Maddrell – The CIA and the GDR in the Cold War


Event Date: 29 April – 1 May 2011
East Midlands Conference Centre
University of Nottingham  
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RJ

Landscapes of Secrecy: The CIA in History, Fiction and Memory

Dr Paul Maddrell (Aberystwyth University) – The CIA and the GDR in the Cold War

This paper uses the records of one division, Line IX, of the East German Ministry of State Security (MfS or Stasi) to examine the espionage of the Central Intelligence Agency in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) during the Cold War. These are important records which shed much new light on the Agency’s operations. Most importantly, they reveal its spies, which no other source does. They establish that the CIA was the most successful intelligence service running human sources to operate against the GDR. Most of its success it achieved in the 1950s and early 1960s. Thereafter, it increasingly left the collection of intelligence from human sources in East Germany to its close partner, the West German Federal Intelligence Service. The CIA achieved its success because it was very well funded, ambitious and skilful. Some of its spies were outstanding ones who belong in the First Division of any league table of covert human sources. The CIA’s espionage in the 1950s and early 1960s represents an extraordinary attempt to use human sources to achieve a wide-ranging understanding of the activities and plans of the East German and Soviet Communist regimes in East Germany.

Paul Maddrell is a lecturer in International Politics at Aberystwyth University, where he teaches courses on the history of twentieth-century German and Soviet international relations and intelligence history. He is the author of Spying on Science: Western Intelligence in Divided Germany, 1945-1961 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), as well as many articles and book chapters on intelligence and German history. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Contact information: Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, Penglais, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3FE.







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