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Celebrating Our 17TH Year!

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No. 115 / 2017

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Florence Felig
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Tim Boxer


Nina Boxer
Dan Hotels' e-Dan Club

Stasi headquarters, now a museum
Stasi headquarters, now a museum
Stasi uniform
Stasi uniform

Uniform patch
Uniform patch

A World Of James Bond
At East German Spy HQ

HE East German Ministry for State Security, popularly known as the dreaded Stasi, flourished during the Cold War. Its underground recruits used all sorts of ingenious technical devices in their trade to spy on real and imagined opponents of the regime.

The trade secrets from one of the most feared spy agencies in history are on public display at the Museum on the Round Corner, the Stasi Museum, at Dittrichring 24, in the old city area of Leipzig. The structure was built in 1911-13 as the head office of a fire insurance company. After the Second World War it was occupied by the American Army, followed by the Soviet KGB and then the Stasi in 1950. The peaceful revolution of 1989 transformed the building into a people’s museum.

On my tour of the building I was amazed to learn to what lengths the secret police engaged in surveillance and control of the citizens of the German Democratic Republic (GDR).

The fascinating exhibit reveals the communist spy technology with its secret methods and apparatus that enabled them to infiltrate Western industrial and defense complexes to extract valuable information for the benefit of the communist economy.

On view are officer uniforms and armaments, as the Stasi was a military organization—even cooks and cleaners had military ranks—and everyone had a uniform and was armed.

along with such spy artifacts as hidden cameras and vanishing ink, and the reconstruction of jail cells and interrogation rooms. The disguise workshop featured false beards, wigs, makeup kits, glasses and even false stomachs. There were cameras in women’s purses, listening bugs of all types in a fountain pen holder, wristwatch and on a bedpost, and scent specimens from citizens preserved in bottles.

Out of a total of 2,401 fulltime agents of the repressive apparatus of the Stasi in the city, a thousand worked in this headquarters building.

Seduced by Secrets
For an extensive knowledge of the Stasi you must read Seduced by Secrets: Inside the Stasi’s Spy-Tech World. Kristie Mackrakis, a professor of history, technology and society at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, delves deeply in the history, methodology and spymastercraft of "one of the most effective and feared spy agencies and secret police in the world."

Mackrakis shows how the Stasi, whose chief target was West Germany, was so effective that "it was capable of helping its East Bloc allies as they fought the ‘imperialists’ abroad and extended communist influence. Clearly the eavesdroppers’ main focus was not dissidents; instead they took part in the worldwide espionage game of spy-versus-spy and targeted their counterparts in the West. It was a real surprise to unsuspecting politicians when they fund out so many of their conversations had been recorded."

It’s an intriguing book that reads like a spy novel—only it’s Cold War truth. U.S. Naval Institute, softcover, 392 pages, $24.95 at usni.com/store/books.

Officer’s wardrobe
Officer’s wardrobe
Photographing prisoners
Photographing prisoners
Detention Cell
Officer's Room


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Rafi Baeri
Rafi Baeri
Dan Hotels Winners Again

HE Dan Carmel and the Dan Panorama in Haifa, together with Dan Caesarea, and Dan Tel Aviv were all pronounced winners in their categories in the annual competition run by the Council for a Beautiful Israel. The council, sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism in cooperation with the Israel Hotel Association, aims to raise awareness of the importance of aesthetics and environmental care in the hotel industry.

In addition Dan Tel Aviv won the prestigious award for 2014's Best Business Hotel out of hundreds of hotels around the country.

In order to qualify for these awards the hotels undergo extensive examinations in many areas, including guest room quality, facilities for the disabled, staff services, guest facilities such as spa and pool, as well as its energy conservation and environmentally friendly operations.

Rafi Baeri, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for the Dan hotel chain, is proud to have these properties acknowledged this way as "it confirms our efforts to always provide our guests with an excellent hospitality experience."

TravelCell - Unlimited Internet & Calls!travelcell.com

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David Maimon
David Maimon

Paul Dell’Isola
Paul Dell’Isola

EL AL Flies Boston

OU can now book tickets on EL AL Israel Airlines for nonstop flights between Boston and Tel Aviv. This first-ever service will launch on June 28.

The flight schedule will include three weekly nonstop flights (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evening) on a Boeing 767-300, departing Logan International Airport at 9 p.m. and arriving the following day at Ben Gurion International at 3:05 p.m. The return nonstop flights will depart Ben Gurion on the same three days at 12:30 am and arrive in Boston the same day at 5:45 a.m.

The airline has assigned Paul Dell’Isola as Manager, Northeast Region, to lead the sales and marketing effort on the newest EL AL route.

The 767 aircraft will be configured with 218 seats, including 22 bed-like seats in Business Class and 28 in Economy Class Plus, an affordable class of service offering great value, extra legroom and additional seat recline, a curtain for privacy and more. Kosher food and a selection of Israeli wine will be provided in all classes of service.

"We see strategic value in reinforcing our activities in North America," said EL AL President/CEO David Maimon. "With the opening of this new nonstop route, we expect that the New England region will become a popular vacation destination for Israelis. For Americans living in this area, it will be easier to travel to Israel."

Governor Deval Patrick is confident that "nonstop service to Tel Aviv will open up new commercial and economic opportunities for Massachusetts and the region. This and similar service expansions are how we bolster the Commonwealth’s competitiveness."

International Food-Wine-Travel Writers Association

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