Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Gunther K. Rosinus
ROSINUS: I quite agree.
Q: He was sort of a weathervane rather than an ideologue.
ROSINUS: I quite agree. There was an interesting example that I can cite on that, to go back to that visit that he made with us in East Berlin. He came to East Berlin, I guess, it must have been about — I went there in '81. I think he must have come maybe in '82, let's say, and it was his first exposure to a communist country.The ambassador and I got together at luncheon at the Residence for him with some of our key contacts in the East German government's policy advisory councils, councils that advise both the Politburo and the Foreign Ministry, and we had a hell of a good discussion all afternoon about The Wall and why it was up and what they thought and what we thought, and it was a lot of give and take on this thing.
Q: This was in East Berlin?
ROSINUS: This was in East Berlin, right, a lot of give and take on this. This was Charlie Wick's first exposure, as I say, to real communists, and, of course, the Germans are perhaps the most sophisticated of the lot. He had never sat with any apparently, so he left that afternoon and went back West and Len Baldyga, who was Area Director at that time, Len subsequently told me that in talking about this experience, Mr. Wick had expressed some amazement to him.“You know,” he said, “talking this afternoon with these fellows, they really believe what they are saying.” Well, that was a lesson well learned, wasn't it? You know, this tendency to dismiss communists, to feel that they must know that they talk nonsense — this faded that afternoon and gave him a much more solid picture of the kind of thing that we were confronting in the ideological conflicts of the time.
Q: Well, why don't you go on from here now. I think we have covered your West Berlin experience pretty well.
1977: Back to the Agency as Senior Inspector