A Short Story by Ernest N.Whitenack
~ CHAPTER FIVE ~
Von Schmidt heaved a sigh and seemed to relax following the near confrontation
with Clancy. He produced a silver tamper and thoughtfully dressed the top ash
in his pipe and lit it again, raised his head slowly and addressed Clancy.
“The Foreign Intelligence Service - APN - of the GDR was formally founded
in 1951 under the guise of the Institute for Economic Research with Anton
Ackermann as its leader. Naturally this took place under the watchful eye
of The Socialist Unity Party and Germany’s Ministry of State Security
(“Stasi”), Moscow and the KGB”.
“However, spies and Eastern Block sympathizers have been filtering
into the west almost from the end of the war. It is estimated that one in
five who crossed into West Berlin did so with GDR sanction, for one purpose
or the other, to aid the Stasi in their intelligence gathering. Recently we
have learned that spies infiltrated public institutions, political parties
and government offices. Industrial and technical espionage is being carried
out within West German companies”.
“Ian, there are two areas of activity the APN and Stasi are engaged
in where we need your help. One involves a bit of historical explanation and
the other involves US forces in Bavaria. First, there is the matter of a huge
fortune in gold and diamonds supposedly hidden in the forest near Mittenwald,
Bavaria and close to the Austrian border.”
It seems some sheet music, that was allegedly marked-up by Bormann, containing
code revealing the location of this alleged loot has reappeared several times
since 1945 – enough times to cause the security service to look into
the legend. The most common theory, according to code breakers, has the hiding
place around Mittenwald.
“The pages contain scribbles and unfathomable annotations. There's
nothing exceptional about the music – Gottfried Federlein's Marsch-Impromptu”.
However, the GDR has agents looking for the stash as do some unofficial military
remnants of the past war, and the Bundeswehr.”
“The German Intelligence Agency (BND) needs some verification that
this hidden treasure does or does not exist at Mittenwald or elsewhere. What
is the need for an outsider, and not the German or a BND agent? There is a
good bit of activity in the area surrounding the treasure with many factions
trying to keep an eye on each other.
You, being an American civilian, might go unnoticed while investigating.
But more about that when the time comes”. “The second problem
we all face, and particularly the U.S., is continued attempts to obtain military
information from soldiers; troop movements, improvements in equipment, special
training efforts and just about anything that will give Moscow and the GDE
a continuing update on western occupation forces”.
At the emphasis on the U.S., Clancy stiffened a little and became almost offended.
“Why particularly the U.S.” Clancy asked. Are you saying these
soldiers are more prone to reveal things they shouldn’t than theFrench
or English military”?
“Not at all Von Schmidt replied”. “It’s that there
are more of them; they have more money, have finer places to spend it and
are generally more outgoing and friendly”. .
He went on to explain “The majority of U.S. troops in the occupation
forces today were not in the war, nor were they as close to it as the French
and English. They do not hold the degree of resentment their predecessors,
who fought the Nazis, naturally have”. Also, the U.S. occupation area
is the largest in the country. “Further more, Stasi has trained and
assigned attractive young women to areas where military personnel find recreation.
For example; The U.S. Army has practically taken over the resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen
and provides the finest in hotels, sports and evening activities at extremely
low cost. We estimate Munich and Nuremberg, very popular cities, have more
female Stasi Agents than the rest of Germany that are specifically trained
to extract information from solders. And, as always, young men far from home
desire female company.”
“I must admit I have not been close to the occupation situation since
my military activities ended.” Clancy replied. “I can see the
problem. To eliminate agent activities on a one by one effort is a huge undertaking
for the Military Police and Intelligence groups.
Starting at the top, cutting the snake’s head off, as it were, would
certainly be more effective and provide information on individual agent. Then,
follow up with a mass round-up of agents.”
“Exactly right!” shouted Von Schmidt, with a fist pound to his
desk. “That’s where you come in. I want you to take two or three
days, before your first lecture here, and try to form a plan to attack these
two problems. Look the town over and be seen as a tourist. Your lecturing
at the university has been well advertised within the academic community and
you are already somewhat of a celebrity. So, don’t be surprised if you
are recognized anywhere around the campus; or even in the community. I figure
it is the best way to establish that you are nothing more than a visiting
noted professor of political science. Now, let us have lunch and meet some
of the staff. Then, I’ll show you around the campus and then take you
to your office.”
Copyright © Ernest N. Whitenack 2015
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Ernie Whitenack was born in 1928 in Springfield,
Illinois and moved to Massachusetts in the mid 1930's. He is a Korean
War veteran, worked as a photographic illustrator for 43 years and is