Over the Top

Part Seven – Modern Major General On Top

Structures on the Brocken
In 2005 tourists could ride to the once off-limits summit of the Harz Mountains.

From 1961 into 1989, the 1142-meter summit of the Brocken, highest of the Harz Mountains, was off-limits due to its adjacency to the east-west border between the two Germanies.  During part of that period the Ministry for State Security (Stasi) installed a monitoring station to intercept microwave telephone traffic between West Berlin and West Germany.  Today, as in these 2005 photos, it is once again a popular rail excursion destination.

Celebrating having reached the Brocken summit – by steam train.

The 1980’s were years of continued development for Department III [HAIII].  Whereas by 1978, there were 2,202 working in the combined Abteilung Funk (F) and Abteilung III, their combined numbers in the restructured Department III reached 3,011 in 1985.  Some support functions were shifted out of Department III , but by 1988 staff under now Major General Männchen still totalled 2,848.

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Sources for this section:

1. Schmidt, Thorsten and Korsch, Jürgen; “Der Brocken – Berg zwischen Natur und Technik”; Schmidt-Buch-Verlag; Wernigerode; 2003 edition.

2. Schmidt, Andreas; “Aufklarung” des Funkverkehrs und der Telefongespräche in Westdeutschland – Die Hauptabteilung III; in Knabe, Hubertus; West-Arbeit des MfS; Ch.Links Verlag; Berlin; 2nd edition 1999.

3. Eichner, Klaus and Dobbert, Andreas; “Headquarters Germany – Die US-Geheimdienste in Deutschland”; edition ost; Berlin; 2001/2008.

Additional information:

http://www.manfred-bischoff.de/ha_iii.htm