ENIGMA 2000 Newsletter - Issue 31

November 2005
Articles, newsreports and Items of interest :enigma2000-owner@yahoogroups.com

Morse stations | Voice stations | Oddities | Polytones
Beginners corner | German branch | Numbers predictions
Confirmed end user of number transmissions
Verwaltung Aufklärung | E10 schedule research
HJH's watch | Secret service on the short wave | Killing of Colonel Callan
News Items | Web sites | Contribution deadlines
Index | E2K NL Home


Verwaltung Aufklärung

The following interesting piece was sent to PLondon for inclusion in the NL, It is informative and historical and will, judging by the author’s comment be soon followed up:

VA Article, by Jörg Eberhardt

In the German Democratic Republic the MfS (Ministry of State Security) was the most important intelligence agency. The HVA (Main Directorate Reconnaissance) as a part of MfS was responsible for external intelligence. There are many books and articles about HVA and Markus Wolf who was its commander for more than 30 years. This article deals with another less known agency – the Reconnaissance Agency of the NVA (National People´s Army).

During its existence from 1952 to 1990 it had eight names. The name “Verwaltung Aufklärung” (Directorate Reconnaissance) was used for the longest time, from 1964 to 1983. I will use this name with the non-official abbreviation VA. The VA was responsible for SigInt activities within the army. The MfS also had its own SigInt department (HA III, main directorate III). Of course there was co-operation between army and civil intelligence on SigInt activities. Since 1974 the military attaches were members of the VA. About 1000 people worked for this organisation (plus soldiers in the SigInt units).

The Verwaltung Aufklärung had its own “espionage” department called Agenturische Aufklärung. Like HVA they had their own agents abroad. They were to gather information about military tactic and the equipment of foreign armies especially about the West German Bundeswehr. But you shouldn’t forget that HVA also had spies in western military installations. The top spy in the NATO “Topas” was led by them. It’s important for the former members of VA to emphasise that only 15 to 20 % of their soldiers were involved in espionage, most did military reconnaissance. That’s why a lot of their soldiers never had the impression that they work for an intelligence agency.

In the beginning of its existence the VA had some problems. The first leader of the service had to resign because his housekeeper worked for the CIA. An even bigger problem was Dombrowski, a vice leader of the service. There was an investigation because he was not discreet and gave wrong information about his life during Nazi time. That's why he decided to go to Western Germany in 1958. Dombrowski knew everything about the structure and installations. Maybe he even knew names of some of the agents.

Later he went to the USA for half a year before he returned to Germany. It is assumed that he didn't have contact with western intelligence services before he left the GDR though this was claimed. In 1959 Dombrowski's desertion was made public.

After that you could find information on VA in public available books e.g. in “Spionage in Deutschland” by H.E. Jahn and A. Roth from 1962 (with emphasis on spies). Later the agency wasn't mentioned very often but usually mistaken for HVA.

It’s interesting to know that the MfS was responsible for counterespionage within the army. So whenever there were problems MfS started its work, even within VA. Now this is the job of the German military counter intelligence (MAD). So there is no similarity between MAD and VA. The BND is the only German intelligence agency which is working abroad and leads agents.

Maybe you can remember that G03 was already identified as the number station of VA. It was operated in USB and could be received daily, usually in the evening. There is a clip of this station on Simon Mason's web page. He also describes the transmission format of G03. The last transmission was broadcast on 23rd May 1990. You could hear some men singing a children song. If you listened to part 3 of Jochen Schäfers numbers special for RHI you can probably remember it (37 minutes after the start of the programme). Of course there were meetings during that time to officially end the spies' work for the GDR military intelligence.

The transmissions to spies abroad started already in 1959 from Bernau near Berlin. It is possible that this was already the station G3 (Gong Station). Since 1961 two-way radio traffic was possible. I couldn't find any other indications that there were Morse transmissions by spies to the VA. In the last years of VA there was definitely no regular Morse station.

In the next part of this short article I want to give some information about the transmitter sites that were used by VA. There is a very interesting report in the Internet by Peter Blümer, the last commander of the NVA transmitter site in Scheuder near Dessau, unfortunately in German only. The main unit for radio intelligence in the GDR (FuAR 2, Radio Intelligence Regiment 2) was in Dessau. It was the only unit which was directly led by VA. This site was not only used by the regiment e.g. to keep contact with its own mobile units but also by VA as a reserve station to communicate with its spies abroad. On this occasion Mr. Blümer gives some interesting details on other transmitter sites.

The most important transmitter station was the “Funkamt der NVA” near Angermünde. Angermünde is a town situated about 70 km northeast of Berlin.

The second most important transmitter site for VA was “Objekt 137” in Berlin Mahlsdorf. This object is situated at the end of Grunowstraße in the wood. It is not a part of the big MW transmitter site which is situated about 3 km away. The third transmitter station Scheuder was used to send messages to agents while Objekt 137 was reconstructed.

These NVA stations used three kinds of SW-transmitters: KN 1-E, KN 5-E and KN 20-E with 1, 5 and 20kW power. The producer was the firm RFT in the GDR. These transmitters were also used by civil broadcasters. The station near Angermünde used 4 KN 20-E, 8 KN 5-E and 1 KN 1-E.

This article wouldn't be complete with at least one story of a G03 listener in Western Germany: Joachim Preuß worked for VA from 1967 to 1990. His wife also worked as a courier. She became curious because her husband listened to strange short wave programmes with numbers. They included details on the time and place for meetings here the material was to be submitted. Preuß worked as a printer for the air force and later became the vice leader of the printery in Colone-Wahn. He received a copy of everything which was printed there because he had to check the quality. Preuß took the papers home to take photos. From 1980 on he couldn't burn the papers so he collected them in a cupboard. When he was arrested they found 16618 pages. There was even a film in his camera (the political changes in the GDR happened in 1989 !). It was possible to show exactly what Preuß gave away during the last 10 years.

He was sentenced to 10 years but could leave the prison earlier.

Two days before the elections in the GDR in March 1990 (after the collapse of the Berlin Wall) the old Minister of Defence ordered the destruction of files of VA until 31st July 1990 so that these files can't be used to identify persons. Even files in the military archive were destroyed. But nevertheless a lot of files survived. All agreements with agents were to be finished until the same date. At this time 138 citizens of Western Germany co-operated with VA. The Minister also gave order to stop the illegal work of military reconnaissance on 31st March 1990. Now only open information was used for the analysis. With the reunification of Germany on 3rd October all facilities were given to Bundeswehr. The Internet page shows some pictures of the devastated Scheuder transmitter station from 1995. The German forces had no use for it.

Thanks to Mr. Blümer for answering my questions.

Sources and links:

Some weeks ago Bodo Wegmann published his book about VA. It includes a lot of details (more than 700 pages!) and is considered to be the best book about VA. I don't have it but also couldn't find it in the library yet.

Comments, corrections and questions are welcome.

The next article will deal with Stasi stations. If you know something about other transmitter sites than Nauen send it directly to me or to the list.

Jörg Eberhardt


Morse stations | Voice stations | Oddities | Polytones
Beginners corner | German branch | Numbers predictions
Confirmed end user of number transmissions
Verwaltung Aufklärung | E10 schedule research
HJH's watch | Secret service on the short wave | Killing of Colonel Callan
News Items | Web sites | Contribution deadlines
Index | E2K NL Home

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