Life

The Listener: A Story of Secret Surveillance and Unexpected Humanity

   A few years ago, I saw a German film called “Eavesdropping Storm”. Germany in the 1980s was still divided into East and West. There is a very important playwright in the movie, a very handsome gentleman. His wife is very beautiful.
   At that time, a secret service organization in Germany decided to target the playwright, sent a team to monitor him, broke into his house while he was away, and installed wiretapping equipment on all the electrical conduits. The job of a small leader of this secret service organization is to hide in a room next to the playwright for long-term secret monitoring.
   The process of monitoring is very interesting. He has to report to his boss every day. The team leader was very curious. He couldn’t understand why the playwright would say these things to his friends. He even once sneaked into the playwright’s room to steal a book of poems.
   He eavesdropped on everything about the playwright, and even learned horrible things that the playwright himself didn’t know. The head of the secret service organization, an old man, in order to intimidate the playwright’s beautiful wife to sleep with him, and threatened her that if you don’t sleep with me, I will kill your husband. So the beautiful wife also cheated her husband and gave him a cuckold. It is very sad that she has been unfaithful to her husband in a horrible surveillance environment.
   The West German weekly Der Spiegel secretly sent the playwright a transmission typewriter whose contents would not be leaked, and asked the playwright to write an anonymous article. The topic of that article was to discuss the phenomenon of suicide in East Germany and talk about totalitarian tyranny. The article was later published in West Germany. This was a very big mistake for the secret service organization, so the secret service organization was withdrawn.
   During the monitoring process, the listener’s heart changed softly, and he began to silently protect the object he monitored. He falsified many reports that should have been handed in. The ending is that when the secret service organization went to investigate the typewriter, the playwright’s wife betrayed her husband and told where the typewriter was hidden. The wife was very sad and ashamed because of this, and rushed out the door, but was hit by a car at the door and died. However, the secret service organization did not find the typewriter, and the playwright was thus protected.
   Then the separation of East and West Germany came to an end, and it all came to an end. Of course, the listener’s boss was very angry, thinking that he was incompetent, or that he was against them secretly, so he was demoted to the post office and became a low-level clerk who sent letters.
   In the era of freedom and security, the playwright has been wondering why he is safe and sound? So many things happened in his room, he knew it well, but why didn’t the country target him and punish him? Later, he went to check the national archives, and finally found a person code-named HGWXX/7 who had been silently protecting him.
   The end of the movie is so touching that the playwright wrote a book called Sonata for a Good Man.
   At this time, the down-and-out low-level employee, the spy who had been monitoring him before, opened the book in the bookstore, and suddenly saw the title page of the book: This book is dedicated to HGWXX/7, no matter where you are, I am forever grateful to you.

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