What we have discovered about the Cold War is what we already knew: Julius Mader and the Western secret services during the Cold War

John Paul Maddrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Throughout the Cold War East German propagandists churned out books and articles denouncing the West. One, Julius Mader by name, was particularly active in claiming to expose the aims, methods and organizers of Western espionage. More than five million copies of his books were sold, chiefly in Soviet Bloc countries. If his information were true, it had to come from East Germany's Ministry of State Security (MfS, or ‘Stasi’). To date, despite the scarcity of primary source material on espionage during the Cold War, Mader's status as a Communist propagandist has meant that his works have been little used by Western historians. However, by consulting the MfS' records it is now possible to find out whether or not his allegations were true. If they were, the MfS blew significant holes in the secrecy of Western espionage for decades, starting more than 40 years ago, and Western historians have been very neglectful in not referring much more to Mader's books. Many of his allegations were indeed true and his works, though very obviously products of an ideology, represent a valuable resource for the historians of today. Moreover, they show that during the Cold War the Communist regimes were talking more sense than we thought and were telling us much that our own governments did not want us to hear. The Cold War over, we surely have a right to know what secret activities the Western governments undertook during their struggle with the Communist Bloc and should make use of every reliable source.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-258
Number of pages24
JournalCold War History
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'What we have discovered about the Cold War is what we already knew: Julius Mader and the Western secret services during the Cold War'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this