A star in the sights of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution: Peter Kraus was once mistaken for an East German spy at the airport.
Only a few German artists had huge successes in both the Federal Republic and the former GDR before the fall of communism. One of them was the popular rock’n’roll musician and pop star Peter Kraus (84). As the historian Professor Michael Wala writes in his new book “The Stasi Myth”, one of his numerous German-German border crossings even ensured that he was observed in Munich by an observation team from the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. They thought he was an East agent.
How did this come about? that it was a case of mix-up: “The border officer recognized Peter Kraus and greeted him. The observation team misunderstood that.” The officer had previously touched his cap, which was interpreted as a secret sign.
An agent photographs Peter Kraus at the airport
An agent then walked close to Kraus and even took photos of the musician with a camera hidden in a handbag. A little later, however, the measure was canceled and the photo no longer exists. This was a standard procedure: Young men who traveled alone and with little luggage were frequently observed. Grabbing the hat was the starting signal for the teams.
Peter Kraus himself was amused by the story in an interview with the “Bild” newspaper: “I find it very funny today that security staff thought I was a spy at the time.” If he had noticed that he was being targeted by the agents, he would have greeted them politely back then.
In the GDR he was even briefly detained by officials. “I was traveling in my car from West Berlin on the transit route through the GDR to Munich,” remembers the artist. However, his car broke down, which is why he had to leave the motorway illegally: “The police took me away. Fortunately, I was allowed to leave again after a few hours.”
I am an author and journalist who has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. I currently work as a news editor at a major news website, and my focus is on covering the latest trends in entertainment. I also write occasional pieces for other outlets, and have authored two books about the entertainment industry.