Hans Tigde

Hans Tigde

Country: Germany

Biography of Hans Joachim Tidge

Early Life

Hans Joachim Tidge was born in 1937 in Berlin, Germany, into a well-off family. During World War II, his family was evacuated to Wustensaksen. Tidge attended school there and later in Frankfurt am Main, graduating in 1957. He then studied law and passed the state exams in 1966. During this time, he met Yuta, who was working as a teacher, and they got married.

Career in the Federal Bureau for the Protection of the Constitution (BFF)

In September 1966, Tidge started working at the BFF in Cologne, alongside his friend Herbert Gelenbroich. He quickly became a respected specialist in counterintelligence, leading a group and dealing with issues related to East German espionage. In 1975, he was appointed as the head of Group V, responsible for the protection of secrets. In 1979, he was transferred to the most important department of the BFF, Department IV (counterintelligence). He became the leader of a group of analysts, implementing his own style of reactive counterintelligence operations. Tidge had over 100 employees under his command.

Personal Struggles

Unfortunately, Tidge's personal life took a turn for the worse. After the death of his wife, Yuta, he spiraled into alcoholism. His addiction to alcohol started to affect his professional life as well. Despite his excellent work performance, his colleagues at the BFF became concerned about his excessive drinking and its potential impact on national security. Tidge's behavior at home became increasingly violent, and his three daughters suffered from neglect. His financial situation deteriorated, and he accumulated significant debts.

Disappearance and Defection

On August 18, 1985, Tidge disappeared. Initially, the BFF believed that he had taken his own life out of despair. However, it was later revealed that Tidge had defected to East Germany. He had managed to cross the border and seek political asylum. The news of Tidge's defection shocked the BFF and the German government. They feared that he would provide classified information about their counterintelligence operations to the East German authorities.

After Defection

After his defection, Tidge settled in East Germany. There are conflicting reports about his life there. Some sources suggest that he lost weight, got in shape, and worked as a simple lawyer. Other reports claim that he was offered a position as a professor at the Humboldt University in Berlin. The full extent of Tidge's activities and the information he provided to the East German authorities remains unclear.


Tidge's defection had a significant impact on the BFF. The organization had to review all of his cases and operations, causing major disruptions and forcing many employees to retrain. It took over a year for the BFF to recover from the crisis and regain its effectiveness. Tidge's actions also led to the resignation of Holger Pfalz, the president of the BFF, who was held responsible for the security breach.

Despite the aftermath of his betrayal, Tidge's story stands as a reminder of the dangers of personal struggles and the potential impact they can have on national security.