Siegfried Suckut: Mielke versus Hoffmann. How the Stasi tried to dismiss its Secretary of Defense. A case study of the relationship between the Stasi and the SED.

Abstract

In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2012. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, pp. 265-302.

The secret political police of the communist party in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), the Ministry for State Security (MfS), was generally not allowed to observe the leadership of the party. Alarmed by the reports of its official and unofficial employees in the Sixties, however, the MfS collected lots of information concerning the Minister for Military Defense, army-general Heinz Hoffmann and his staff. According to these reports, many of them given by generals, the army suffered from an extreme lack of leadership, frequent alcohol abuse and immoral treatment of female soldiers at the top levels of the ministry. The head of the MfS, Erich Mielke, in 1963/64 even tried to achieve Hoffmann’s dismissal. His efforts failed because the Soviets were still backing him, whom they regarded as their special confidant. The MfS-reports on Hoffmann and his ministry are an outstanding historical source, informing us about the inner situation of the East-German army, its difficult relationship to the political police and the influence of the MfS on the communist party.

Über den Autor

Siegfried Suckut, Dr. rer. pol., geb. 1945, Politikwissenschaftler, 1978 Promotion, 1978–1992 wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter im Arbeitsbereich Geschichte und Politik der DDR an der Universität Mannheim.1992 Mitbegründer der Abteilung Bildung und Forschung in der Behörde des Bundesbeauftragten für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der DDR, Berlin, Fachbereichsleiter/stellvertretender Abteilungsleiter, 1997–2005 Leiter der Abteilung. Veröffentlichungen vor allem zur Betriebsrätebewegung in der Sowjetisch Besetzten Zone Deutschlands 1945–1948, zur DDR-Gründungsgeschichte sowie zur Geschichte der Blockparteien und des Staatssicherheitsdienstes in der DDR, zuletzt als Hg.:

  • Die DDR im Blick der Stasi. Die geheimen Berichte an die SED-Führung 1976, Göttingen 2009