Monday, February 22, 2010

DPA: Romanian-German author confesses spying in 1970s

Mainz,Germany - German author and theatre festival director Peter Grosz confessed on Saturday to having spied on fellow authors for Romania's Securitate Communist secret police during the 1970s. Grosz, an ethnic German born in Romania, wrote a 10-page statement, in which he admitted to having spied on, amongst others, fellow writer Richard Wagner, the ex-husband of Nobel literature prize winner Herta Mueller - both of whom are also of German-Romanian origin.Mueller accused Grosz of "denunciation of the worst kind," in Mainz's daily Allgemeine Zeitung. 

The 2009 Nobel laureate had previously called on Germany to find and prosecute former Romanian Securitate agents.Last year, Wagner confronted Grosz with the suspicion that he had been a spy. Grosz said he had confessed to Wagner at the time, explaining the conditions "that forced me into this reprehensible collaboration."Grosz said Securitate had put pressure on him to monitor ethnic German authors from 1974 until he left the country in 1977. 

Grosz said the accusations had launched a "public campaign" against him, which he described as a "public exposure which ominously recalls late Stalinistic show trials."Since coming to Germany, the author has helped promote young authors and theatric talent, "in part to try and dissipate the guilt and shame of my ability to be blackmailed in Romania," Grosz wrote in his statement.It was up to others to decide whether Grosz should retain his position as the director of the Oppenheim theatre festival, he added.

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