Heinrich Boell: "State Directed"


BERLIN/COLOGNE/PARIS (Own report) - The German writer Heinrich Boell had worked for several front organizations of the US secret service. This is alleged in a TV documentation of the French-German television channel ARTE, which was introduced to the press in Berlin. "We all worked for the CIA", admitted the former business administrator of the base of cultural operations in Cologne, that enlisted Boell's services for CIA actions all over Europe. But this background was unknown. It was believed that the Ford Foundation (USA) was doing the financing. Also Boell's colleague, Guenter Grass, who was interviewed in the film, considers improbable that Boell was deliberately engaged in CIA activity. As proven by documents in the film, the CIA paid Boell's travel expenses. It also subsidized appearances in the international cultural scene of various other writers. Boell "was a diamond in the CIA's collection", says the author of the film in a discussion with german-foreign-policy.com.

A reconstruction of the relationship to the CIA, that the future Nobel laureate and eponym of the Green Party's foundation [1], can be traced back to the beginning of the 50s. At that time, the little known Boell was invited to West Berlin for readings where he became involved with the milieu of the (West) "German front organizations (...) in the Battle of the Cultures".[2] They are said to have been directed by the CIA.


It was further reported, that these contacts congealed into Boell's becoming a regular member of a CIA front organization. Their couriers contacted intellectuals in Poland, the Soviet Union and in the GDR and supplied them with material from the west. This is how dissidents were recruited and presented to the international public during Boell's subsequent trips to the eastern bloc countries. Boell is said to have made reports about his trips, that landed on the desk of the CIA's base of cultural operations in Cologne - in the publishing house of the former Kiepenheuer and Witsch, a reputable address for German and international literature.


Given this secret service background, the film says, the expulsion of the Soviet writer and dissident, Alexander Solschenizyn, appears in a new light. Solschenizyn was briefly arrested in Moscow in 1974, and expelled to Cologne, where he was cared for by Heinrich Boell. This arrangement was reached through intervention of the German foreign ministry. Boell likewise was active on behalf of Yugoslav dissidents, using his position in the international PEN Club. He was considered to be an incorruptible democrat and an author, independent of the state. But, according to the documentation, Boell was in fact active for the objectives of the US government, and its West German partners. Boell was regarded as so important, in the milieu of the CIA's base of cultural operations in Cologne, that he was offered the chairmanship.


According to a program information of ARTE [3], the "most important representatives of West German journalism and publishing world" convened in the Cologne circle. An internal objective was to restrain, above all, leftist intellectuals from "yielding to Marxist temptations" [4] and neutralize their journalistic influence. "(H)ighranking (...) contacts (...) to editors of all major TV stations" was to avail a public of a million viewers to the German influence agents of the CIA.[5] The CIA's undercover agents succeeded "superbly" in "obtaining access to the microphones and cameras of the public radio and TV broadcast institutions and dominating the social-democratic educational press."[6]


As the documentation demonstrates, the CIA's bases of cultural operations in Cologne, (West) Berlin, Munich and Hamburg were directed by US agents, camouflaged as associates of the "Congress for Cultural Freedom" in Paris. This uncontested assertion has already been published by the London author, Frances Stonor Saunders, in her book, "Who Paid the Piper?"[7] She presented corresponding documents from US archives, showing that, among the personnel of this organization, were internationally famous writers, artists and intellectuals. The organization's network included Austria, Switzerland and Italy. In these countries cultural magazines were published with CIA financing, whose true origins remained unknown to the public. Also in the Arab world as well as in Africa, the CIA extended its subsidiaries, in search of perspective agents among the intellectuals. Promising candidates were led to the CIA center in Paris with scholarships and other privileges.


"The German, European and international public have all been deceived for decades. What had seemed to be a non-state dispute over politics and culture, was in fact being directed by the state", the film's author stated at the press conference in Berlin. "Writers such as Boell were systematically deployed by the CIA."

Please read also Interview mit Hans-Rüdiger Minow.

[1] see also Ökologisch veredelt, Dummy Foundations and Härtere Gangart
[2] Benutzt und gesteuert. Künstler im Netz der CIA; Film von Hans-Rüdiger Minow, ARTE, 29.11.2006
[3] ARTE Programminfo, 29.11.2006
[4] Diamant in der Sammlung; Interview mit Hans-Rüdiger Minow, 23.11.2006
[5] ARTE Programminfo, 29.11.2006
[6] Diamant in der Sammlung; Interview mit Hans-Rüdiger Minow, 23.11.2006
[7] Frances Stonor Saunders: Wer die Zeche zahlt. Berlin 2001