Media high-flyer unmasked as ex-spy, by Tony Paterson
- 17th May 2004
The Sydney Morning Herald)
vice-president of the publishing giant Conde Nast,
the publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair and Glamour,
has been unmasked as a "highly ambitious
and determined" agent for the Stasi secret
police in East Germany.
has been alleged that for eight years he spied
on friends, colleagues and even his own sister
to help the country's communist regime.
allegations, involving 43-year-old Bernd Runge,
the head of Conde Nast Germany and one of the
parent company's four vice-presidents, have emerged
in hitherto unseen Stasi files handed to the CIA
in 1989 and returned to Germany only last year.
documents, released last week by a German government
agency, state that Mr Runge spied under the codename
"Olden" for the secret police organisation
from 1981 until the fall of the Berlin Wall in
was open, approachable and prepared to help his
state security comrades in every respect,"
noted a Stasi officer, Colonel Herbert Heckerodt,
in Mr Runge's file.
Runge, who has refused to comment on the allegations,
joined Conde Nast in 1996 after working as an
editor for glossy magazines in Germany and France.
He was named Media Man of 2003 in Germany last
year for his role in building up the company's
business interests in Russia, South Africa, Greece
Stasi file, however, contains detailed revelations
about a secret police career: it states Mr Runge
was initially hired by the Stasi in 1981 when
a student in Moscow.
divulged all private contacts concerning his schoolmates
regardless of who they were," the file noted.
"He is determined and highly ambitious."
show that the Stasi rewarded him with numerous
small payments. His file also suggests that Mr
Runge did not baulk at spying on his own sister,
Cathrin. "He reported in detail about [her]
attempts to leave East Germany," his file