The Stauffenberg Service
The Stauffenberg Service (also called the Confidential Information Service or the CDU Service) was a private political intelligence service in Germany from 1969 to 1982.
The intelligence service was to provide the conservative CDU- and CSU-parties with confidential information after they lost their 20 year uninterrupted government rule in 1969. In addition, its task was to liaison with "viable connections with politically significant people of the Christian-democratic-conservative political direction abroad" and to give advice to selected German and foreign journalists.
The service worked specifically against Social Democrat Chancellor Willy Brandt's foreign policy concept of an easing of the Cold War and conclusion of treaties with countries in Eastern Europe. The sabotage worked for example through the targeted disclosure of collected information to the press.
After the signing of the Eastern Treaties (peace treaty with Poland, recognition of the GDR etc), the main focus in the period 1972-1982 was collecting information on covert Eastern strategies, presumed infiltration, but also communist support for terrorism.
Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg, Wolfgang Langkau and Hans Christoph von Stauffenberg (code name: Scheffer) played key roles in the development of the private service in autumn 1969. The latter two brought in their intelligence experience as former employees of the German Federal Intelligence Service. In on the deep state network were also former Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger, the former head of the Chancellor's Office, Hans Globke, who died in February 1973, and the then CSU Chairman Franz Josef Strauß. In June 1972, shortly before Guttenberg's death on October 4, Werner Marx took on his role in the organization.
The East German spy Inge Goliath, an employee of Marx, revealed the existence of the Stauffenberg service to the headquarters of the East German security services (MfS). On November 6, 1973, the Ministry received a seven-page record from Goliath entitled "About Individuals Working for an Internal CSU Information Service, Their Business and Financial Practices, and Their Relationships with the BND". 
Stauffenberg, who was formally employed by the Bavarian State Chancellery, retired in 1976 when he turned 65.
One of the service's greatest successes since October 1980 was acquiring reports from the GDR Politburo. Who was the source is still unknown. However, their reports were confirmed to be correct after the collapse of the GDR in 1990. Other successes were reports in connection with the Solidarność protests, the imposition of martial law in Poland and the attitude and reactions of the GDR leadership.
The service lasted until spring 1982. By then, increased interest from the press ensured that most of the sources gave up their cooperation. In addition, the Union parties (Christian Democratic Union|CDU/CSU) under Chancellor Helmut Kohl again took over the government a short time later. This ensured the Union politicians access to the findings of the BND, so that the Stauffenberg service lost its reason to exist. It is not known whether the BND took over sources from the Stauffenberg service.
In November 2012, the service was treated for the first time by the political scientist and journalist Stefanie Waske in a book that was based on archive material that had meanwhile been released, including from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
The reports from the informants from abroad reached the service by courier or telex. For messages from Moscow, the courier service and telex connections of a western embassy could be used. In the case of so-called "urgent information", the findings were also transmitted by telephone. Radio connections may also have been used.
Initially, the service processed the information that its agents could get abroad. Specific requests for information were later given to the informants. The sources were mainly doing this for cash payments; few worked on a voluntary basis.
The employees included the eponymous Hans Christoph von Stauffenberg, Wolfgang Langkau, a retired close colleague of the former BND President Reinhard Gehlen, and Hans Langemann. As cover, he was officially adviser for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, a position under to the Bavarian State Ministry for Education and Culture. However, Langemann did not move there, but - allegedly due to lack of space - moved in a rented office in Bruckmannstrasse in the Munich district of Nymphenburg. Under him was two employees who, like him, also came from the BND. After the end of the Olympic Games, Langemann moved to the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior at Odeonsplatz and vacated his Nymphenburg office in May 1973. From 1973 he was head of the State Protection department of the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior.
Financing a private intelligence service can be difficult because it cannot easily rely on government budgets.
Casimir Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, who later became the treasurer of the CDU in the state of Hesse and became a key figure in a party donation scandal, sought donations from business representatives. In mid-February 1971, he had a conversation about this with Hermann Josef Abs, the former CEO of Deutsche Bank. In May 1971, Sayn-Wittgenstein had achieved pledges of between DM 60,000 and 80,000. Bavarian Minister of State Franz Heubl worked to encourage grants from Bavarian big corporations.
A think-tank/club, The Working Group for the Study of International Issues played an important role in financing the Stauffenberg service. The club was registered on January 13, 1971. Chairman throughout its existence was Otto B. Roegele, deputy Heinrich Krone. Treasurer was Alfred Seidl until July 23, 1980, then Florian Harlander. The club was liquidated in 1986. At the end of June 1971, the association had accumulated 50,000 DM in debt. From 1976 to 1981 the working group received DM 95,500 from the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior. Stauffenberg transferred at least 300,000 DM to Langemann in the same period as "reimbursement of expenses for informants."
Langemann received DM 91,254 from the State of Bavaria in 1971 and DM 108,491 in 1972 for operational purposes, which also paid for sources of the service. The deputy Gustav Stein helped the service in a financial emergency in 1971 with DM 25,000 from its own resources. The service may also have received money from Axel Springer, for which Guttenberg had campaigned.
One of the first objectives of the service was to find out more about the Willy Brandt negotiations in Moscow in 1970. Other reports included the Italian Communist Party, the relationship between the Vatican and the Soviet Union, situation reports on the situation in Egypt and Sudan, and the US position on the Middle East. Later t opics were the change of government in Poland and the associated uprisings in the late 1970s. The service also received reports on the political stance of Western countries abroad with regard to Germany. One of the source appeared to have access to the CIA.
The service reported in a study of the "infiltration, subversion and propaganda" of the GDR against West Germany, despite the detente treaties. One of the driving forces behind this approach is said to be the Politburo member Hermann Axen. In July 1972 the service reported a connection between the East German security services (MfS) and the Red Army fraction, which was confirmed after 1989.
An analysis of "Palestinian Terrorism" was essentially based on a CIA report, as was an analysis of Frelimo that interested the Stauffenberg service because a delegation visited Bonn in August 1973. In 1972 the Stauffenberg service warned of a terrorist threat at the Olympic Games in Munich (something that actually took place on September 5, 1972) and in 1973 that the SPD district of Munich could be controlled by communist cadres.
Information about the Hungarian Foreign Minister Frigyes Puja was obtained for CDU-politican Karl Carstens, who became a supporter of the service and had intelligence expertise due to his time in the Federal Chancellery.
Political personal reports accounted for about two percent of the total. These included analyzes of Willy Brandt's alcohol consumption (“He ordered several large cognacs for breakfast at the meeting”) or a character study about future Chancellor Helmut Schmidt (“His great self-confidence is unmistakable”).
A normal reporting format was a foreign policy summary every 14-days, which summarized the reports from the past two weeks without citing the source. The readers were allowed to use them carefully outside, without quoting verbatim.
The reports sometimes bore a "Personal" stamp for "exclusive and sensitive" information or the notes "For reasons of source protection, we ask for particularly confidential treatment", "endangering the information path or the informant" or "endangering the informant". In very sensitive cases, please: "Destroy after reading". Informants are described as "experienced experts" or "very well-informed politicians". In case of accidental knowledge, one speaks of "opportunity information".
In the first year of service alone, 250 reports were produced, after only a few a month in the first half of 1970. In 1970/71, most reports reached the service from (but not about) the United States, followed by Italy and France.
The informants of the service were often found in diplomatic missions. Embassy staff from the Soviet Union, the GDR and the People's Republic of China were frequent contacts. Representatives from China, Japan, Yugoslavia, Poland and the Soviet Union were quoted in reports from Paris. There are also contacts with the ambassadors of the USA and France in Germany. The service also uses the connections of the former German diplomat Karl Werkmeister to collect information. Source reports reach the service from Rome, Ankara, Beirut, Istanbul, Belgrade, New York and Algeria, among others. In 1976, contributors from Bangladesh, South Africa and Zimbabwe were included.
A key informant of the service was George Meany, who was boss of the conservative US union AFL-CIO, and his foreign policy advisor and anti-communist Jay Lovestone. Further contacts and connections were the publicist Klaus Dohrn and the American Christopher Emmet. Stauffenberg also had contact with the German ambassador to Moscow, Helmut Allardt.
The journalist Simon Malley, who is also said to have worked for the BND, was led under the alias 'Petrus'. For his work and his office with secretary, he received DM 6000 per month plus DM 5000 travel expenses. The high-ranking Israeli dialogue partners of the service included the then chairman of the Zionist Executive Committee Ehud Avriel, the later President Shimon Peres and the ambassador to Paris Asher Ben-Natan. Another informant was Brian Crozier, who wrote in his memoirs that Stauffenberg had built up a “substantial network of agents”.
The main sources are Simon Malley ('Petrus') and 'Spiritus'. 'Fritz' reports on the GDR leadership, 'Alex' on Poland, 'Savoy' on Soviet-Portuguese relations, 'Heinez' on Cuba, 'Jonathan' on the journalist Carlos, 'Paul' on the basics of NATO strategy, 'Consul' on Eastern policy, 'Anton' on the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and 'Mosaic' about the European Economic Community. Other sources bear the aliases 'Norbert', 'Jonathan', 'Burg' and 'Romulus'. The latter reports from Italy, among other things, about the Red Brigades and bases his reports also on information from the Italian civilian intelligence service Sicurezza. A Austrian Communist Party official and an emigrated Czech communist are also informants. The Prelate Aristide Brunello in the Vatican was also one of the informants.
The intelligence network had no contacts in German internal security services such as the Federal Criminal Police Office or the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution; however, its intelligence efforts was directed towards foreign countries. The service was only able to write reports on German left-wing terrorism in the 1970s based on reports from abroad.
The recipients of the messages from the service were grouped into different categories. At the beginning of 1971 there were exclusive, normal and extended distributors, as well as one on Ecclestial topics.
The recipients in the exclusive distribution list were Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg (Member of the Bundestag), Hans Globke (former State Secretary), Franz Heubl (Bavarian Minister of State) and Otto B. Roegele (Editor of the newspaper Rheinischer Merkur). Content that was distributed via this distribution list was mostly special information with a risk to informants. Therefore, in order to minimize the risk, the number of recipients were to be kept small. From 1973, the exclusive distributor included the following people: Karl Carstens, Alfred Dregger, Franz Heubl, Heinrich Krone, Alphons Horten, Werner Marx, Alois Mertes, Heinrich Seewald, Franz Ludwig Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, Casimir Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, and 'Kirchert' and 'Spiritus'.
In addition to the recipients of the exclusive distributor, Hans Neusel (formerly personal assistant to Kurt Georg Kiesinger), Friedrich Voß (office manager for Franz Josef Strauß in Bonn), Rainer Barzel (CDU / CSU parliamentary group chairman), Heinrich Krone (former Federal Minister) ), Karl Forster (Secretary of the German Bishops' Conference), Karl Gumbel (former State Secretary), Werner Marx (Member of the Bundestag), Franz Josef Bach (Member of the Bundestag), Bruno Heck (Secretary General of the CDU), Reiner Kessler(Head of the Bavarian State Chancellery), Casimir Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein (CDU Hessen) and 'Kirchert'.
Journalists who wrote in the spirit of the service's policy and were sufficiently discreet were also allowed to receive reports. These included in particular the then editor-in-chief of the Bild newspaper, Peter Boenisch, the ZDF television presenter Gerhard Löwenthal and the foreign policy director of the newspaper Die Welt, Dieter Cycon. In some cases, similarities between articles and reports from the Stauffenberg service can be identified.
Later (possibly 1973/74) the following were added as recipients of the reports: Walter Wallmann, Gerhard Reddemann and Kurt Birrenbach, who is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and praised the "excellent secret reports", Hans Graf Huyn, the foreign policy adviser the CSU, the former ambassador Gustav Böx, the financier Gustav Stein and the entrepreneur Heinrich Gattineau. The identity of the report recipient with the code name 'Marianne' is unclear.
- This text mostly a translation of the German Wikipedia article by user Asperatus, which again is based on the book by Stefanie Waske: Nach Lektüre vernichten! Der geheime Nachrichtendienst von CDU und CSU im Kalten Krieg. Hanser, München 2013, ISBN 978-3-446-24144-2.
- „Über Personen, die für einen CSU-internen Informationsdienst arbeiten, deren geschäftliche und finanzielle Gepflogenheiten, sowie ihre Verbindungen zum BND“ |not available online