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.