It’s probable that German teacher and German Studies specialist William ‘Bill’ Meyers of Detroit had no idea back then that Claus Küchenmeister – alias ‘Kaminski’ – was a so-called ‘unofficial employee’ of the Stasi – the GDR’s Ministry of State Security, whose International Press Office in Berlin coordinated the project from the start. The supervisor, a certain Hannes, was likewise a member of the ‘firm’. The first interview that Bill Meyers was able to conduct with the Familie Strassburger of Dresden was accordingly carefully staged: a model GDR family explains to the American – three years before the fall of the Berlin Wall – why life in the GDR is so good. Certain ruptures are evident in the interview nonetheless: the son wears a by no means politically correct Mickey Mouse T-shirt – perhaps in homage to the guest – and in particular the answers given by Mrs. Strassburger, a teacher, suggest that she was well aware of ‘Hannes the cameraman’s’ real job with the Stasi.
William Meyers, DDR/US 1986, 20 Min.