for the fiftieth anniversary of the first permanent SIGINT collection presence on Teufelsberg, the operational home of Field Station Berlin
Read an interview with T.H.E. Hill in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about Reunification: A Monterey Mary Returns to Berlin.
From T.H.E. Hill, the author of
Mike Troyan’s peaceful retirement from the CIA is derailed when he gets an academic fellowship to reunified Berlin to write a book about the Stasi. His career had started as a Monterey Mary at the Army Security Agency Field Station in Berlin, and one of the ghosts of his Berlin past sent him to the ER to be stitched together on the evening of his first day back. This does not bode well for his project, because this ghost is Ilse, the mother of the Director of the Stasi Archive where Mike will be working. Mike’s personal problems are cubed when his daughter falls in love with the Director of the Archive, who just might be her half-brother.
Mike’s professional problems are no less complex. When he reads his own Stasi file, he discovers that someone was reporting on him to the Stasi while he was at the Field Station. Standard counter-intelligence logic suggests that the Stasi source was Ilse, but Mike does not want that to be the case, because it would mean that he was wrong, and Security was right. He scours the darkened recesses of his memory in search of other suspects for the title of MUZIEK, the codename for the Stasi asset. Wearing his case-officer hat, Mike imagines how easy it would have been for him to recruit each of the rogues’ gallery of characters he served with in ASA at Field Station Berlin.
Then add an IRA informant in witness protection who thinks that Mike is a hit man sent to rub her out, and serve stirred, not shaken in the form of a classic espionage whodunit, garnished with a dash of moral ambiguity provided by the people that Mike meets in his travels around Berlin who force him to compare the Old Berlin to the New, and the CIA to the Stasi.
Who was MUZIEK?
That would be telling, and that’s Mike’s rice bowl. He’s the narrator. You’ll have to hear it from him. Read a sample of what he has to say.
German authors and screen-writers have already begun the process of seeking the literary truth of the meaning of reunification from the German perspective. Wolfgang Becker’s Good Bye Lenin, Thomas Brussig’s Am kürzeren Ende der Sonnenallee, and the Oscar-winner for Best Foreign Picture of 2007, Das Leben der Anderen by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck are thought-provoking, poignant literary and cinematographic treatments of German reunification from the German perspective. They are sure to become classics. They are being joined by non-fiction works like Andreas Glaeser’s Divided in Unity: Identity, Germany, and the Berlin Police, and Jana Hensel’s After the Wall, which looks at the last generation of East-German children.
The American perspective of the reunification of Berlin, however, is sadly lacking. For almost fifty years—from 1945 to 1994—there was a large and vibrant American Community in Berlin. It stood shoulder-to-shoulder beside the Berliners during the Airlift, and through the Wall from rise to fall. It deserves to have a literary resolution to its disappearance. Reunification will tell that story.