BND Standort Pullach, now iPad compatible, redesigned, new pictures added and for the first time, a MagBook coming with an interview, held by Jürgen König, Deutschlandfunk, 2006.
After prolonged security checks the OK for the BND project arrived in August 2004 and I interrupted my work on "Vogelsang" and set out on my journey to Munich.
There'd been an initial visit in 2003. An invitation, the black limousine at the railway station, the top-class hotel in Pullach, and the car again at 7 p.m.
Then the announcement of the destination, the headquarters, 30 Heilmann Street, a brick wall to the left, right a 4.5 m high barrier made of steel.
The wide gate opens, shuts behind us, the driver hands over my identity card. A short, twisting drive, our first here, takes us through the site, devoid of people at this time of night, to Building 37, built once for Hess, afterwards called the Bormann Villa, Dr. House, and now the president's residence, No. 37.
A small drive, a lit entry hall, uniformed staff.
A member of staff leads us to the reception hall, a large fireplace, grand staircase, red carpet, and all the former presidents smile at us from the wall.
We'd half finished our aperitif and the vice-president comes down the stairs. Is it the atmosphere, the excitement, the countless projection surfaces, Sean Connery was there first, but the man coming towards me was of the same ilk.
We dine in the Bismarck Room, three of us, texture and silver, printed cards, good food, "Indigo" serves us, dressed in Bavarian costume – where are the cameras, the microphones?
Marienthal was already known, I lay Garzweiler on the table, then Auschwitz-Birkenau: history suddenly takes a positive turn.
Sixty years ago: Hess, Bormann, the Wannsee conference, Foreign Armies-East, Dr. Gehlen, the Sonnenhof housing estate, Gefängnisstrasse – everything is here, but not tonight, not even as a ghost, 12 x 12 cm, Marceline lies on the table.
The evening passes quickly, back to the hotel, the site entrance, my identity card returned – the night in flames.
And now, here I am, living under Dr. Schmidt and driving daily to Pullach for five months.
Autumn 2004, I move into my office in Building 37, the steel gates are open during the day, my identity card handed in, a different one clipped on – 008.
For the first weeks I'm accompanied by a guard from the site entrance to the villa, even when I come by bike there's a guard in the vehicle driving alongside, from the villa I'm always accompanied by someone from Security.
Each minute is special, every day full of impressions, excited. No one has ever worked their way through all the departments, at least no one with a 4 x 5" plate camera with high resolution film. Winning trust is my main task despite the directive from upstairs – then I can take photos.
First of all, six months going through the historical East, the Sonnenhof estate and Building 37 are, after all, my residence, the atmosphere almost friendly. After lunch in the canteen often a dessert in the Bismarck Room, again served by "Indigo" – proper names aren't used...
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