The disappearance and apparent defection to East Germany of still another woman secretary to a top West German political figure has driven the standard level of spy mania that grips the divided German states to new heights.
It was revealed here today that Christel Broszey, 32, secretary to the deputy chairman of the Christian Democratic Party, Kurt Biedenkopf disappeared over the weekend and is presumed to have fled to the East.
Biedenkopf, 49, is a key man in the Christian Democratic opposition and is well known in the United States where he was educated. He is a former executive secretary of the party, a leading intellectual force within it, and a potential future candidate for Chancellor of West Germany. Last week, he was elected chairman of the Economic Committee of the lower house of the Bonn Parliament.
Broszey's disappearance comes just two days after Inge Goliath, 37, the secretary to the Christian Democrat's chief foreign policy spokesman, Werner Marx, showed up in East Germany along with her husband.
Goliath fled one-day after West German counterintelligence forces arrested still another secretary in Christian Democratic Party headquarters, Ursula Hoef, 34, along with her husband, on suspicion of spying. Police said Hoef's 40-year-old husband was an East German citizen who came here in 1965. They married in 1973 and police speculated he probably persuaded his wife to take on spying duties.
Two days before that case unfolded, North Atlantic Alliance officials in Brussels and West German security forces here were severely jolted by the disappearance of Ursel Lorenzen, 40, a cool and efficient German secretary in a key job at NATO headquarters. She showed up on East German television two days later, on March 8, telling viewers she knew of NATO's top secret military plans to deal with an emergency and that all NATO training exercises involve the projected use of atomic weapons against the Eastern bloc.
The East Germans traditionally have used handsome male spies as so-called "handlers" to court lonely female secretaries in key positions and then gently press them into espionage service.
The situation now has become so widespread and alarming that a common joke in Bonn is that West Germany is running out of secretaries.
Counter intelligence agencies are putting up posters in ministries that warn that "there is a code-word that opens safes -- love."
A leaflet being distributed by the government here says, "It begins innocently. You get to know each other. There is affection and trust. You gladly discuss your life -- intimate, private things. And your work. Then you do small favors. They become bigger and bigger. For love. And it ends up treason. For at times, the love is planned. Your partner has been married for a long time -- to the East German state security service. Please think about it."
The key to the flurry of spy flights is believed to lie in the defection to the West in January of a major East German intelligence official, Werner Stiller, although Western intelligence officials say they still are not sure of the exact extent to which all these cases are linked.
Stiller's defection triggered what West German officials claim is the most successful counter intelligence coup and round up in many years. About 10 East German spy suspects are now in custody as a result of Stiller's defection. Several dozen others are under investigation, and about two dozen have fled, apparently being tipped off by their headquarters in the East.
Western intelligence officials see three reasons behind the recent defections of secretaries to the East.
Some may be fleeing because they remain uncertain about how much Stiller disclosed.
Some may have been called back intentionally by East Germany and publicized in order to help recapture the propaganda initiative from the West which was lost when Stiller defected.
Some may have been recalled because the East German intelligence service, one of the best in the world, prides itself on looking after its people and may want to preserve its professional reputation internally that it will not unnecessarily expose its agents to danger.
"This has been an extraordinary burst of activity," one souce said, adding that "it may not be over. Our side doesn't like to take this lying down," he said, implying that the West Germans may now seek to expand their arrests.
It has been unofficially estimated that there are close to 1,000 top quality East German spies operating in West Germany -- where language and origin makes it easy -- with between 6,000-15,000 lower level agents or contacts.
Precisely how much damage was done by the secretaries is not precisely known, intelligence sources say. Police today said they found copying equipment in Broszey's apartment. Foreign policy specialist Marx has said Goliath was involved mostly with his political constituency rather than foreign policy matters but other party sources said privately she had access to policy material as well.
By far the most important case is that of the NATO secretary, Ursel Lorenzen. Bonn sources call the case "very signifcant" and unattributed reports from Brussels soon after she disappeared called it NATO's greatest espionage case.
Informed sources, however, say that in fact the detailed assessment of how much damage to security Lorenpleted and they express doubt that it will top numerous other such cases in the past.
Lorenzen fled along with her conact, a German man -- Dister Will -- working at the Brussels Hilton Hotel, now believed to have been an East German agent handling her.