The Press: Friend in Dresden

Day after day, solemn, black-browed Seymour ("Top") Topping, 36, chief of the Associated Press Bureau in Berlin, pestered officials of Communist East Germany for a seemingly impossible story: an interview with the nine U.S. soldiers held incommunicado in East Germany since their helicopter was forced down last month (see NATIONAL AFFAIRS). One night last week Topping's phone rang, and a voice said with no explanation: "Please come to the East Berlin Foreign Ministry tomorrow morning at 0845."

At the ministry next morning, Topping was greeted by a press officer: "I am happy to advise you that your request to see your countrymen...

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