From Stasi: The Untold Story of The East German Secret Police by John O. Koehler:
"Between 1963 and 1989, West Germany paid DM5 billion [nearly US$3 billion] to the communist regime for the release of 34,000 political prisoners. The price per head varied according to the importance of the person or the length of the sentence. In some cases the ransom amounted to more than US$56,000." (bold text mine- CN)
"Such ransoms were fully controlled by the Stasi."
You need to read my posts again because it’s clear from your reply you were not paying attention when you did so before.
- I never disputed that the USG would pay ransom for captured CIA agents. Quite the contrary, I disputed the absurdly low value Rothstein claims to have paid or that the KGB and Stasi would haggle when he was already in East Berlin with a suitcase full of cash.
Thus your citation actually undermines Rothstein claim he paid only $7500 for two American spies. By contrast according to your source the West Germans paid an average of about $88,000 per East German dissident.
2. Nor did I ever dispute that Rothstein could have crossed into East Berlin. Coincidentally I also crossed into East Berlin and even elsewhere in the DDR a few times in the mid-80s. Not sure how our experiences from back then are relevant to the reality of 1961, but the only person who indicated this might have been tricky was Doug.
3. I acknowledged that comparing the Essex’s 1961 crew to the 2001 general population was imperfect but for Rothstein’s fable to make sense we would have to assume the former for some reason was 80x less likely to speak German than the other. If you can find stats for the US military or the USN specifically post them here; ditto for the general population closer to or before 1961. Also if you know anyone who served in the USN who could shed light on this ask him/her