Stasi
Overview
The Ministry for State Security (German: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS), commonly known as the Stasi (ˈʃtaziː) (abbreviation , literally State Security), was the official state security service of East Germany. The MfS was headquartered in East Berlin
East Berlin
East Berlin was the name given to the eastern part of Berlin between 1949 and 1990. It consisted of the Soviet sector of Berlin that was established in 1945. The American, British and French sectors became West Berlin, a part strongly associated with West Germany but a free city...

, with an extensive complex in Berlin-Lichtenberg
Lichtenberg
Lichtenberg is the eleventh borough of Berlin, Germany. In Berlin's 2001 administrative reform it absorbed the former borough of Hohenschönhausen.-Overview:...

 and several smaller facilities throughout the city. It was widely regarded as one of the most effective and repressive intelligence
Intelligence agency
An intelligence agency is a governmental agency that is devoted to information gathering for purposes of national security and defence. Means of information gathering may include espionage, communication interception, cryptanalysis, cooperation with other institutions, and evaluation of public...

 and secret police
Secret police
Secret police are a police agency which operates in secrecy and beyond the law to protect the political power of an individual dictator or an authoritarian political regime....

 agencies in the world.
Encyclopedia
The Ministry for State Security (German: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS), commonly known as the Stasi (ˈʃtaziː) (abbreviation , literally State Security), was the official state security service of East Germany. The MfS was headquartered in East Berlin
East Berlin
East Berlin was the name given to the eastern part of Berlin between 1949 and 1990. It consisted of the Soviet sector of Berlin that was established in 1945. The American, British and French sectors became West Berlin, a part strongly associated with West Germany but a free city...

, with an extensive complex in Berlin-Lichtenberg
Lichtenberg
Lichtenberg is the eleventh borough of Berlin, Germany. In Berlin's 2001 administrative reform it absorbed the former borough of Hohenschönhausen.-Overview:...

 and several smaller facilities throughout the city. It was widely regarded as one of the most effective and repressive intelligence
Intelligence agency
An intelligence agency is a governmental agency that is devoted to information gathering for purposes of national security and defence. Means of information gathering may include espionage, communication interception, cryptanalysis, cooperation with other institutions, and evaluation of public...

 and secret police
Secret police
Secret police are a police agency which operates in secrecy and beyond the law to protect the political power of an individual dictator or an authoritarian political regime....

 agencies in the world. The MfS motto was "Schild und Schwert der Partei" (Shield and Sword of the Party), that is the ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany
Socialist Unity Party of Germany
The Socialist Unity Party of Germany was the governing party of the German Democratic Republic from its formation on 7 October 1949 until the elections of March 1990. The SED was a communist political party with a Marxist-Leninist ideology...

 (SED).

Creation of the Stasi

The MfS was founded on 8 February 1950. It was modeled on the Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 MGB
Ministry for State Security (USSR)
The Ministry of State Security was the name of Soviet secret police from 1946 to 1953.-Origins of the MGB:The MGB was just one of many incarnations of the Soviet State Security apparatus. Since the revolution, the Bolsheviks relied on a strong political police or security force to support and...

, and was regarded by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 as an extremely loyal and effective partner. Wilhelm Zaisser
Wilhelm Zaisser
Wilhelm Zaisser was a German communist politician and the first Minister for State Security of the German Democratic Republic .- Life :...

 was the first Minister of State Security of the GDR, and Erich Mielke
Erich Mielke
Erich Fritz Emil Mielke was a German communist politician and Minister of State Security—and as such head of the Stasi —of the German Democratic Republic between 1957 and 1989. Mielke spent more than a decade as an operative of the NKVD during the rule of Joseph Stalin...

 his deputy. Zaisser, who tried to depose SED General Secretary Walter Ulbricht
Walter Ulbricht
Walter Ulbricht was a German communist politician. As First Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party from 1950 to 1971 , he played a leading role in the creation of the Weimar-era Communist Party of Germany and later in the early development and...

 after the June 1953 uprising
Uprising of 1953 in East Germany
The Uprising of 1953 in East Germany started with a strike by East Berlin construction workers on June 16. It turned into a widespread anti-Stalinist uprising against the German Democratic Republic government the next day....

 was after this removed by Ulbricht and replaced by Ernst Wollweber
Ernst Wollweber
Ernst Friedrich Wollweber was Minister of State Security of the German Democratic Republic from 1953 to 1957.-Biography:...

. Wollweber resigned in 1957 after clashes with Ulbricht and Erich Honecker
Erich Honecker
Erich Honecker was a German communist politician who led the German Democratic Republic as General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party from 1971 until 1989, serving as Head of State as well from Willi Stoph's relinquishment of that post in 1976....

, and was succeeded by his deputy, Erich Mielke
Erich Mielke
Erich Fritz Emil Mielke was a German communist politician and Minister of State Security—and as such head of the Stasi —of the German Democratic Republic between 1957 and 1989. Mielke spent more than a decade as an operative of the NKVD during the rule of Joseph Stalin...

.

Early on the Stasi waged a campaign against Jews, who were already subject to widespread discrimination and violence in the Soviet Union
Antisemitism in the Soviet Union
The Russian Revolution overthrew a centuries-old regime of official antisemitism. The Soviet Unions success, during its existence, in struggling with this legacy, and the degree to which its government fought against, or was itself guilty of antisemitism, is a topic of some debate...

. The Stasi censored the fact that Jews had been victims during the previous regime and in one instance, took gold from the bodies of Jews. The Stasi labeled Jews as capitalists and criminals. Gypsies were also blamed in the Stasi propaganda.

In 1957, Markus Wolf
Markus Wolf
Markus Johannes "Mischa" Wolf was head of the General Intelligence Administration , the foreign intelligence division of East Germany's Ministry for State Security . He was the MfS's number two for 34 years, which spanned most of the Cold War...

 became head of the Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung (HVA) (General Reconnaissance Administration), its foreign intelligence section. As intelligence chief, Wolf achieved great success in penetrating the government, political and business circles of West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 with spies. The most influential case was that of Günter Guillaume
Günter Guillaume
Günter Guillaume , was an intelligence agent of East Germany's secret service, the Stasi.Guillame was born in Berlin. During the Hitler era, he was a member of the Nazi party NSDAP. In 1956, he and his wife Christel emigrated to West Germany on Stasi orders to penetrate and spy on West Germany's...

 which led to the downfall of West German Chancellor Willy Brandt
Willy Brandt
Willy Brandt, born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm , was a German politician, Mayor of West Berlin 1957–1966, Chancellor of West Germany 1969–1974, and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany 1964–1987....

 in May 1974. In 1986, Wolf retired and was succeeded by Werner Grossmann
Werner Grossmann
Werner Großmann is an East German former deputy leader of the Ministry for State Security .Born in Ober-Ebenheit, Grossman started his career as a bricklayer, but in 1952 he joined the Ministry for State Security where he studied political and military espionage...

.

Relationship with the KGB

Although Mielke's Stasi was superficially granted independence in 1957, until 1990 the KGB
KGB
The KGB was the commonly used acronym for the . It was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and was the premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time.The State Security Agency of the Republic of Belarus currently uses the...

 continued to maintain liaison officers in all eight main Stasi directorates, each with his own office inside the Stasi's Berlin compound, and in each of the fifteen Stasi district headquarters around East Germany. Collaboration was so close that the KGB invited the Stasi to establish operational bases in Moscow and Leningrad to monitor visiting East German tourists and Mielke referred to the Stasi officers as "Chekists
Cheka
Cheka was the first of a succession of Soviet state security organizations. It was created by a decree issued on December 20, 1917, by Vladimir Lenin and subsequently led by aristocrat-turned-communist Felix Dzerzhinsky...

 of the Soviet Union". In 1978, Mielke formally granted KGB officers in East Germany the same rights and powers they enjoyed in the Soviet Union.

Organization

The Ministry for State Security also included the following entities:
  • Main Administration for Reconnaissance: focused its efforts primarily upon West Germany
    West Germany
    West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

     and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but it also operated East German intelligence in all foreign countries.
  • Main Coordinating Administration of the Ministry for State Security: coordinated its work with Soviet intelligence agencies.
  • Main Department for Communications Security and Personnel Protection: provided personal security for the national leadership and maintained and operated an internal secure communications system for the government.
  • Administration for Security of Heavy Industry and Research and Main Administration for Security of the Economy: protection against sabotage or espionage.
  • Main Administration for Struggle Against Suspicious Persons: was charged with the surveillance of foreigners — particularly from the West — legally traveling or residing within the country. This included the diplomatic community, tourists, and official guests.
  • Division of Garbage Analysis: was responsible for analyzing garbage for any suspect western foods and/or materials.
  • Administration 12: was responsible for the surveillance of mail and telephone communications.
  • Administration 2000: was responsible for the reliability of National People's Army (NVA)
    National People's Army
    The National People’s Army were the armed forces of the German Democratic Republic .The NVA was established in 1956 and disestablished in 1990. There were frequent reports of East German advisors with Communist African countries during the Cold War...

     personnel. Admin 2000 operated a secret, unofficial network of informants within the NVA.
  • Penal System: to facilitate its mission of enforcing the political security of East Germany, the Stasi operated its own penal system, distinct from that of the Ministry of the Interior. This system comprised prison camps for political, as opposed to criminal, offenders.
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky Guards Regiment: the armed force at disposal of the ministry, named for the founder of the Cheka
    Cheka
    Cheka was the first of a succession of Soviet state security organizations. It was created by a decree issued on December 20, 1917, by Vladimir Lenin and subsequently led by aristocrat-turned-communist Felix Dzerzhinsky...

    , the Bolshevik secret police. The members of this regiment, who served at least 3 years, were responsible for protecting high government and party buildings and personnel. The regiment was composed of six motorized rifle battalions, one artillery battalion, and one training battalion. Its equipment included PSZH-IV armored personnel carriers, 120mm mortars, 85mm and 100mm antitank guns, ZU-23 antiaircraft guns, and helicopters. A Swiss source reported in 1986 that the troops of the Ministry of State Security also had commando units similar to the Soviet Union's Spetsnaz
    Spetsnaz
    Spetsnaz, Specnaz tr: Voyska specialnogo naznacheniya; ) is an umbrella term for any special forces in Russian, literally "force of special purpose"...

     forces. These East German units were said to wear the uniform of the airborne troops, although with the violet collar patch of the Ministry for State Security rather than the orange one of paratroopers. They also wore the sleeve stripe of the Felix Dzerzhinsky Guards Regiment.

Personnel

Between 1950 and 1989, the Stasi employed a total of 274,000 people in an effort to root out the class enemy. In 1989, the Stasi employed 91,015 persons full time, including 2,000 fully employed unofficial collaborators, 13,073 soldiers and 2,232 officers of GDR army, along with 173,081 unofficial informants inside GDR and 1,553 informants in West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

. In terms of the identity of inoffizielle Mitarbeiter (IMs) Stasi informants, by 1995, 174,000 had been identified, which approximated 2.5% of East Germany's population between the ages of 18 and 60. 10,000 IMs were under 18 years of age.

While these calculations were from official records, according to the federal commissioner in charge of the Stasi archives in Berlin, because many such records were destroyed, there were likely closer to 500,000 Stasi informers. A former Stasi colonel who served in the counterintelligence directorate estimated that the figure could be as high as 2 million if occasional informants were included.

Infiltration

Full-time officers were posted to all major industrial plants (the extensiveness of any surveillance largely depended on how valuable a product was to the economy) and one tenant in every apartment building was designated as a watchdog reporting to an area representative of the Volkspolizei
Volkspolizei
The Volkspolizei , or VP, were the national police of the German Democratic Republic . The Volkspolizei were responsible for most law enforcement in East Germany, but its organisation and structure were such that it could be considered a paramilitary force as well...

 (Vopo). Spies reported every relative or friend who stayed the night at another's apartment. Tiny holes were drilled in apartment and hotel room walls through which Stasi agents filmed citizens with special video cameras. Schools, universities, and hospitals were extensively infiltrated.

The Stasi had formal categorizations of each type of informant, and had official guidelines on how to extract information from, and control, those who they came into contact with. The roles of informants ranged from those already in some way involved in state security (such as the police and the armed services) to those in the dissident movements (such as in the arts and the Protestant Church). Information gathered about the latter groups was frequently used to divide or discredit members. Informants were made to feel important, given material or social incentives, and were imbued with a sense of adventure, and only around 7.7%, according to official figures, were coerced into cooperating. A significant proportion of those informing were members of the SED; to employ some form of blackmail, however, was not uncommon. A large number of Stasi informants were trolley conductors, janitors, doctors, nurses and teachers; Mielke believed the best informants were those whose jobs entailed frequent contact with the public.

The Stasi's ranks swelled considerably after Eastern Bloc
Eastern bloc
The term Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc refers to the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact...

 countries signed the 1975 Helsinki accords
Helsinki Accords
thumb|300px|[[Erich Honecker]] and [[Helmut Schmidt]] in Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe held in Helsinki 1975....

, which Erich Honecker
Erich Honecker
Erich Honecker was a German communist politician who led the German Democratic Republic as General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party from 1971 until 1989, serving as Head of State as well from Willi Stoph's relinquishment of that post in 1976....

 viewed as a grave threat to his regime because they contained language binding signatories to respect "human and basic rights, including freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and conviction." The number of IMs peaked at around 180,000 in this year, having slowly risen from 20,000–30,000 in the early 1950s, and reaching 100,000 for the first time in 1968, in response to Ostpolitik
Ostpolitik
Neue Ostpolitik , or Ostpolitik for short, refers to the normalization of relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and Eastern Europe, particularly the German Democratic Republic beginning in 1969...

 and protests worldwide
Protests of 1968
The protests of 1968 consisted of a worldwide series of protests, largely participated in by students and workers.-Background:Background speculations of overall causality vary about the political protests centering on the year 1968. Some argue that protests could be attributed to the social changes...

. The Stasi also acted as a proxy for KGB to conduct activities in other Eastern Bloc countries, such as Poland
People's Republic of Poland
The People's Republic of Poland was the official name of Poland from 1952 to 1990. Although the Soviet Union took control of the country immediately after the liberation from Nazi Germany in 1944, the name of the state was not changed until eight years later...

, where the Soviets were despised.

The MfS infiltrated almost every aspect of GDR life. In the mid-1980s, a network of IMs began growing in both German states; by the time East Germany collapsed in 1989, the MfS employed 91,015 employees and 173,081 informants. About one of every 63 East Germans collaborated with the MfS—one of the most extensive police infiltrations of a society in history. In 2007 an article in BBC stated that "Some calculations have concluded that in East Germany there was one informer to every seven citizens." Additionally, MfS agents infiltrated and undermined West Germany's government and spy agencies.

In an extreme case, Stasi informant Knud Wollenberger (code name Daniel) married civil rights and peace activist Vera Lengsfeld
Vera Lengsfeld
Vera Lengsfeld is a German politician, civil rights activist and representative of the German Christian Democratic Union .-Early life:...

 specifically to keep a watch on her.

Executions of dissidents

People were imprisoned for such reasons as trying to leave the country, or telling political jokes. Prisoners were kept isolated and disoriented, knowing nothing of what was going on in the outside world.

After the mid-1950s, Stasi executions were carried out in strict secrecy, and were usually accomplished with a guillotine
Guillotine
The guillotine is a device used for carrying out :executions by decapitation. It consists of a tall upright frame from which an angled blade is suspended. This blade is raised with a rope and then allowed to drop, severing the head from the body...

 and, in later years, by a single pistol shot to the neck. In most instances, the relatives of the executed were not informed of either the sentence or the execution.

After the Berlin Wall fell, X-ray machines were found in the prisons. Indeed, three of the best-known dissidents died within a few months of each other, of similar rare forms of leukaemia. Survivors state that the MfS intentionally irradiated political prisoners with high-dose radiation, possibly to provoke cancer in them.

International operations

Other files (the Rosenholz Files
Rosenholz files
The Rosenholz files are a collection of 381 CD-ROMs containing 280,000 files with information on employees of the Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung , one of the intelligence agencies of the former GDR...

), which contained the names of East German spies abroad, led American spy agencies to capture them. After German reunification, it was revealed that the MfS had secretly aided left-wing terrorists such as the Red Army Faction
Red Army Faction
The radicalized were, like many in the New Left, influenced by:* Sociological developments, pressure within the educational system in and outside Europe and the U.S...

, even though no part of the RAF had ever been ideologically aligned with the GDR.

Directorate X was responsible for disinformation. Rolf Wagenbreth, director of disinformation operations, stated "Our friends in Moscow call it ‘dezinformatsiya'. Our enemies in America call it ‘active measures
Active measures
Active Measures were a form of political warfare conducted by the Soviet security services to influence the course of world events, "in addition to collecting intelligence and producing politically correct assessment of it". Active measures ranged "from media manipulations to special actions...

,’ and I, dear friends, call it ‘my favorite pastime'".

Examples

  • Stasi experts helped to build the secret police of Mengistu Haile Mariam
    Mengistu Haile Mariam
    Mengistu Haile Mariam is a politician who was formerly the most prominent officer of the Derg, the Communist military junta that governed Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987, and the President of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia from 1987 to 1991...

     in Ethiopia
    Ethiopia
    Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

    .
  • Fidel Castro
    Fidel Castro
    Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

    's regime in Cuba was particularly interested in receiving training from Stasi. Stasi instructors worked in Cuba and Cuban communists received training in East Germany. The Stasi chief Markus Wolf described how he set up the Cuban system on the pattern of the East German system.
  • The Stasi's experts worked with building secret police systems in the People's Republic of Angola
    People's Republic of Angola
    The People's Republic of Angola was a self-declared socialist state that was established in 1975 after it was granted independence from Portugal, akin to the situation in Mozambique. The newly-founded nation enjoyed friendly relations with the Soviet Union, Cuba, and the People's Republic of...

    , the People's Republic of Mozambique
    People's Republic of Mozambique
    The People's Republic of Mozambique , was a self-declared socialist state that lasted from June 25, 1975 through December 1, 1990, becoming the present day Republic of Mozambique.After gaining independence from Portugal in 1975, the People's Republic of Mozambique was established shortly...

    , and the People's Republic of Yemen (South Yemen).
  • Stasi experts helped to set up Idi Amin
    Idi Amin
    Idi Amin Dada was a military leader and President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Amin joined the British colonial regiment, the King's African Rifles in 1946. Eventually he held the rank of Major General in the post-colonial Ugandan Army and became its Commander before seizing power in the military...

    's secret police.
  • Stasi organized, trained, indoctrinated Syria
    Syria
    Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

    n intelligence services.
  • Stasi experts helped Kwame Nkrumah
    Kwame Nkrumah
    Kwame Nkrumah was the leader of Ghana and its predecessor state, the Gold Coast, from 1952 to 1966. Overseeing the nation's independence from British colonial rule in 1957, Nkrumah was the first President of Ghana and the first Prime Minister of Ghana...

     to build his secret police. When Ghanaians overthrew the regime, Stasi Major Jurgen Rogalla was imprisoned.
  • The Stasi sent agents to the West as sleeper agents. For instance, sleeper agent Günter Guillaume
    Günter Guillaume
    Günter Guillaume , was an intelligence agent of East Germany's secret service, the Stasi.Guillame was born in Berlin. During the Hitler era, he was a member of the Nazi party NSDAP. In 1956, he and his wife Christel emigrated to West Germany on Stasi orders to penetrate and spy on West Germany's...

     became a senior aide to social democratic chancellor Willy Brandt
    Willy Brandt
    Willy Brandt, born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm , was a German politician, Mayor of West Berlin 1957–1966, Chancellor of West Germany 1969–1974, and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany 1964–1987....

    , and reported about his politics and private life.
  • The Stasi operated at least one brothel
    Brothel
    Brothels are business establishments where patrons can engage in sexual activities with prostitutes. Brothels are known under a variety of names, including bordello, cathouse, knocking shop, whorehouse, strumpet house, sporting house, house of ill repute, house of prostitution, and bawdy house...

    . Agents were used against both men and women working in Western governments. "Entrapment" was used against married men and homosexuals.
  • Martin Schlaff
    Martin Schlaff
    Martin Schlaff is an Austrian entrepreneur who was occupied in trade with East Germany before the German reunification. According to the German parliament's investigations, Schlaff was an unofficial employee of the Stasi...

    —According to the German parliament's investigations, the Austrian billionaire's Stasi codename was “Landgraf” and registration number "3886-86". He made money by supplying embargoed goods to East Germany.
  • Sokratis Kokkalis—Stasi documents suggest that the Greek businessman was a Stasi agent, whose operations included delivering Western technological secrets and bribing Greek officials to buy outdated East German telecom equipment.
  • Red Army Faction
    Red Army Faction
    The radicalized were, like many in the New Left, influenced by:* Sociological developments, pressure within the educational system in and outside Europe and the U.S...

     (Baader-Meinhof Group)—A terrorist organization which killed dozens of West Germans and others.
  • The Stasi ordered a campaign in which cemeteries and other Jewish sites in West Germany were smeared with swastikas and other Nazi symbols. Funds were channelled to a small West German group for it to defend Adolf Eichmann
    Adolf Eichmann
    Adolf Otto Eichmann was a German Nazi and SS-Obersturmbannführer and one of the major organizers of the Holocaust...

    .
  • The Stasi channelled large amounts of money to Neo-Nazi groups in West, with the purpose of discrediting the West.
  • The Stasi worked in a campaign to create extensive material and propaganda against Israel.
  • Murder of Benno Ohnesorg
    Benno Ohnesorg
    Benno Ohnesorg was a German university student killed by a policeman during a demonstration in West Berlin.- Death :On June 2, 1967, Ohnesorg participated in a protest held near the Deutsche Oper, aimed against the state visit of the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was attending a...

    —A Stasi agent carried out the murder, which stirred a whole movement of left-wing protest and violence. The Economist describes it as "the gunshot that hoaxed a generation".
  • Operation Infektion
    Operation INFEKTION
    Operation: INFEKTION was a KGB disinformation campaign to spread information that the United States invented HIV/AIDS as part of a biological weapons research project at Fort Detrick, Maryland. The Soviet Union used it to undermine the United States’ credibility, foster anti-Americanism, isolate...

    —The Stasi helped the KGB to spread HIV/AIDS disinformation that the United States had created the disease. Millions of people around the world still believe in these claims.
  • Sandoz chemical spill
    Sandoz chemical spill
    The Sandoz chemical spill was a major environmental disaster caused by a fire and its subsequent extinguishing at Sandoz agrochemical storehouse in Schweizerhalle, Basel-Landschaft, Switzerland, on November 1, 1986, which released toxic agrochemicals into the air and resulted in tons of pollutants...

    —The KGB reportedly ordered the Stasi to sabotage the chemical factory to distract attention from the Chernobyl disaster
    Chernobyl disaster
    The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine , which was under the direct jurisdiction of the central authorities in Moscow...

     six months earlier in Ukraine.
  • Investigators have found evidence of a death squad that carried out a number of assassinations (including assassination of Swedish journalist Cats Falck
    Cats Falck
    Maureen Cathryn Harriet "Cats" Falck was a Swedish television journalist who, together with her friend Lena Gräns, disappeared in Stockholm in 1984 while she was investigating a scandal comprising the smuggling of weapons from Sweden to communist states in Eastern Europe...

    ) on orders from the East German government from 1976 to 1987. Attempts to prosecute members failed.
  • The Stasi attempted to assassinate Wolfgang Welsch, a famous critic of the regime. Stasi collaborator Peter Haack (Stasi codename "Alfons") befriended with Welsch and then fed him with hamburgers that were poisoned with thallium
    Thallium
    Thallium is a chemical element with the symbol Tl and atomic number 81. This soft gray poor metal resembles tin but discolors when exposed to air. The two chemists William Crookes and Claude-Auguste Lamy discovered thallium independently in 1861 by the newly developed method of flame spectroscopy...

    . It took weeks for doctors to find out why Haack had suddenly lost his hair.
  • Documents in the Stasi archives state that the KGB ordered Bulgarian agents to assassinate Pope John Paul II, who was known for his criticism of human rights in the communist block, and the Stasi was asked to help with covering up traces.
  • A special unit of the Stasi assisted Romanian intelligence in kidnapping Romanian dissident Oliviu Beldeanu from West Germany.
  • In 1975 Stasi recorded a conversation between senior West German CDU politicians Helmut Kohl
    Helmut Kohl
    Helmut Josef Michael Kohl is a German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 and the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union from 1973 to 1998...

     and Kurt Biedenkopf. It was then "leaked" to the Stern magazine as a transcript recorded by American intelligence. The magazine then claimed that Americans were wiretapping West Germans and the public believed the story.


Fall of Communism

Recruitment of informants became increasingly difficult towards the end of the GDR's existence, and after 1986, there was a negative turnover rate of IMs. This had a significant impact on the Stasi's ability to survey the population, in a period of growing unrest, and knowledge of the MfS's activities became more widespread. The Stasi had been tasked during this period with preventing the country's economic difficulties becoming a political problem, through suppression of the very worst problems the state faced, but it failed to do so.

Stasi officers reportedly had discussed rebranding East Germany as a democratic capitalist country to the West, but which would be in practice taken over by Stasi officers. The plan specified 2,587 OibE officers who would take over power (Offiziere im besonderen Einsatz, “officers on special assignment”) and it was registered as Top Secret Document 0008-6/86 of March 17, 1986.
According to Ion Mihai Pacepa, the chief intelligence officer in communist Romania, other communist intelligence services had similar plans.
On 12 March 1990 Der Spiegel reported that the Stasi was indeed attempting to implement 0008-6/86.
Pacepa has noted that what happened in Russia and how KGB Colonel Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

 took over Russia resembles these plans. See Putinism
Putinism
Putinism is the ideology, priorities, and policies of the system of government practiced by Russian politician Vladimir Putin...

.

On 7 November 1989, in response to the rapidly changing political and social situation in the GDR in late 1989, Erich Mielke resigned. On 17 November 1989, the Council of Ministers (Ministerrat
Ministerrat
The Council of Ministers of the German Democratic Republic was the chief executive body of East Germany from November 1950 until the GDR was unified with the Federal Republic of Germany on 3 October 1990...

 der DDR) renamed the MfS as the "Office for National Security" (Amt für Nationale Sicherheit - AfNS), which was headed by Generalleutnant Wolfgang Schwanitz. On 8 December 1989, GDR Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 Hans Modrow
Hans Modrow
Hans Modrow is a German politician, best known as the last communist premier of East Germany. He currently is the honorary Chairman of the Left Party....

 directed the dissolution of the AfNS, which was confirmed by a decision of the Ministerrat on 14 December 1989.

As part of this decision, the Ministerrat originally called for the evolution of the AfNS into two separate organizations: a new foreign intelligence service (Nachrichtendienst der DDR) and an "Office for the Protection of the Constitution of the GDR" (Verfassungsschutz der DDR), along the lines of the West German Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, however, the public reaction was extremely negative, and under pressure from the "Round Table" (Runder Tisch), the government dropped the creation of the Verfassungsschutz der DDR and directed the immediate dissolution of the AfNS on 13 January 1990. Certain functions of the AfNS reasonably related to law enforcement were handed over to the GDR Ministry of Internal Affairs. The same ministry also took guardianship of remaining AfNS facilities.

When the parliament of Germany investigated public funds that disappeared after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, it found out that East Germany had transferred large amounts of money to Martin Schlaff
Martin Schlaff
Martin Schlaff is an Austrian entrepreneur who was occupied in trade with East Germany before the German reunification. According to the German parliament's investigations, Schlaff was an unofficial employee of the Stasi...

 through accounts in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, in return for goods “under Western embargo”.
Moreover, high-ranking Stasi officers continued their post-DDR careers in management positions in Schlaff’s group of companies. For example, in 1990 Herbert Kohler, Stasi commander in Dresden, transferred 170 million marks to Schlaff for "harddisks" and months later went to work for him.
The investigations concluded that “Schlaff’s empire of companies played a crucial role” in the Stasi attempts to secure the financial future of Stasi agents and keep the intelligence network alive.
The Stern
Stern (magazine)
Stern is a weekly news magazine published in Germany. It was founded in 1948 by Henri Nannen, and is currently published by Gruner + Jahr, a subsidiary of Bertelsmann. In the first quarter of 2006, its print run was 1.019 million copies and it reached 7.84 million readers according to...

 magazine noted that KGB
KGB
The KGB was the commonly used acronym for the . It was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and was the premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time.The State Security Agency of the Republic of Belarus currently uses the...

 officer Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

 worked with his Stasi colleagues in Dresden in 1989.

In the Soviet Union, about 50 billion U.S. dollars were transferred out of the country (see FIMACO
FIMACO
Financial Management Company Ltd was a Jersey company founded in 1990.In a 1991 report, former KGB Colonel Leonid Veselovsky, whose responsibility was to manage Communist Party commercial affairs overseas, told that he had found ways to funnel party money abroad...

).

Recovery of the Stasi files

During the Peaceful Revolution of 1989, MfS offices were overrun by enraged citizens, but not before the MfS destroyed a number of documents (approximately 5%).

Storming the Stasi headquarters

As the GDR began to fall, the Stasi did as well. They began to destroy the extensive files that they had kept, both by hand and with the use of shredders.

When these activities became known, a protest erupted in front of the Stasi headquarters. In the evening of 15 January 1990, a large crowd of people formed outside the gates in order to stop the destruction of personal files. In their minds, this information should have been available to them and also have been used to punish those who had taken part in Stasi actions. The large group of protesters grew and grew until they were able to overcome the police and gain entry into the complex. The protestors became violent and destructive as they smashed doors and windows, threw furniture, and trampled portraits of Erich Honecker
Erich Honecker
Erich Honecker was a German communist politician who led the German Democratic Republic as General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party from 1971 until 1989, serving as Head of State as well from Willi Stoph's relinquishment of that post in 1976....

, leader of the GDR. Among the destructive public were officers working for the West German government, as well as former MfS collaborators seeking to destroy documents. One explanation postulated as to why the Stasi did not open fire was for fear of hitting their own colleagues. As the people continued their violence, these undercover men proceeded into the file room and acquired many files that would become of great importance to catching ex-Stasi members.

Controversy of the Stasi files

With the German Reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

 on 3 October 1990 a new government agency was founded called the Office of the Federal Commissioner Preserving the Records of the Ministry for State Security of the GDR
BStU
The Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Archives is a federal government agency of Germany that preserves and protects the archives and investigates the past crimes of the former Stasi, the secret police and intelligence organization of the communist German Democratic Republic . Since March 2011,...

 (BStU). There was a debate about what should happen to the files, whether they should be opened to the people or kept closed.

Those who opposed opening the files cited privacy as a reason. They felt that the information in the files would lead to negative feelings about former Stasi members, and, in turn, cause violence. Pastor Rainer Eppelmann
Rainer Eppelmann
Rainer Eppelmann , is a German politician. Known for his opposition in the German Democratic Republic, he became Minister for Disarmament and Defense in the last cabinet. He is now a member of the CDU....

, who became Minister of Defense and Disarmament after March 1990, felt that new political freedoms for former Stasi members would be jeopardized by acts of revenge. Prime Minister Lothar de Maiziere
Lothar de Maizière
Lothar de Maizière is a German christian democratic politician. In 1990, he served as the only democratically elected Prime Minister of the German Democratic Republic, and as such was the last leader of an independent East Germany....

 even went so far as to predict murder. They also argued against the use of the files to capture former Stasi members and prosecute them, arguing that not all former members were criminals and should not be punished solely for being a member. There were also some who believed that everyone was guilty of something. Peter Michael Diestel, the Minister of Interior, opined that these files could not be used to determine innocence and guilt, claiming that "there were only two types of individuals who were truly innocent in this system, the newborn and the alcoholic". Other opinions, such as the one of West German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble
Wolfgang Schäuble
Wolfgang Schäuble is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union , currently serving as the Federal Minister of Finance in the Second Cabinet Merkel....

, believed in putting the Stasi behind them and working on German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

.

Others argued that everyone should have the right to see their own file, and that the files should be opened to investigate former Stasi members and prosecute them, as well as not allow them to hold office. Opening the files would also help clear up some of the rumors that were floating around. Some also believed that politicians involved with the Stasi should be investigated.

The fate of the files was finally decided under the Unification Treaty between the GDR and Federal Republic of Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 (FRG). This treaty took the Volkskammer law further and allowed more access and use of the files. Along with the decision to keep the files in a central location in the East, they also decided who could see and use the files, allowing people to see their own files.

In 1992, following a declassification ruling by the German government, the MfS files were opened, leading people to look for their files. Timothy Garton Ash
Timothy Garton Ash
Timothy Garton Ash is a British historian, author and commentator. He is currently serving as Professor of European Studies at Oxford University. Much of his work has been concerned with the late modern and contemporary history of Central and Eastern Europe...

, an English historian, after reading his file, wrote The File: A Personal History while completing his dissertation research in East Berlin.

Between 1991 and 2011, around 2.75 million individuals, mostly GDR citizens, requested to see their own files. The ruling also gave people the ability to make duplicates of their documents. Another big issue was how the media could use and benefit from the documents. It was decided that the media could obtain files as long as they were depersonalized and not regarding an individual under the age of 18 or a former Stasi member. This ruling not only gave the media access to the files, but also gave schools access.

Tracking down former Stasi informers with the files

Even though groups of this sort were active in the community, those who were tracking down ex-members were, as well. Many of these hunters succeeded in catching ex-Stasi; however, charges could not be made for merely being a member. The person in question would have had to participate in an illegal act, not just be a registered Stasi member. Among the high-profile individuals who were arrested and tried were Erich Mielke
Erich Mielke
Erich Fritz Emil Mielke was a German communist politician and Minister of State Security—and as such head of the Stasi —of the German Democratic Republic between 1957 and 1989. Mielke spent more than a decade as an operative of the NKVD during the rule of Joseph Stalin...

, Third Minister of State Security of the GDR, and Erich Honecker, head of state for the GDR. Mielke was given six years for the murder of two policemen in 1931. Honecker was charged with authorizing the killing of would-be escapees on the East-West frontier and the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

. During his trial, he went through cancer treatment. Due to the fact that he was nearing death, Honecker was allowed to spend his final time in Chile. He died in May 1994.

Reassembling the destroyed files

Document shredding is described in Stasiland. Some of it is very easy due to the amount of archives and the failure of shredding machines (in some cases "shredding" meant tearing paper in two by hand and documents could be recovered easily). In 1995, the BStU began reassembling the shredded documents; 13 years later the three dozen archivists commissioned to the projects had only reassembled 327 bags; they are now using computer-assisted data recovery to reassemble the remaining 16,000 bags estimated at 45 million pages. It is estimated that this task may be completed at a cost of 30 million dollars.

The CIA acquired some MfS records during the looting of the MfS archives. The Federal Republic of Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 has asked for their return and received some in April 2000. See also Rosenholz files
Rosenholz files
The Rosenholz files are a collection of 381 CD-ROMs containing 280,000 files with information on employees of the Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung , one of the intelligence agencies of the former GDR...

.

Museum in the old headquarters

The Anti-Stalinist Action Normannenstraße (ASTAK), an association founded by former GDR Citizens' Committees, has transformed the former headquarters of the MfS into a museum. It is divided into three floors:
  • Ground floor

The ground floor has been kept as it used to be. The decor is original, with many statues and flags.
  • Between the ground and first (upper) floor:
    • Surveillance technology and MfS symbols: Some of the tools that the MfS used to track down their opponents. During an interview the seats were covered with a cotton cloth to collect the perspiration of the victim. The cloth was placed in a glass jar, which was annotated with the victim's name, and archived. Other common ways that the scents would be collected is through breaking into a home and taking parts of garments. The most common garment taken was underpants, because of how close the garment is to the skin. The MfS would then use trained dogs to track down the person using this scent. Other tools shown here include a tie-camera, cigarette box camera, and an AK-47
      AK-47
      The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62×39mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is officially known as Avtomat Kalashnikova . It is also known as a Kalashnikov, an "AK", or in Russian slang, Kalash.Design work on the AK-47 began in the last year...

       hidden in luggage.
    • Display gallery of Directorate VII. This part of the museum tells the history of the MfS, from the beginning of the GDR to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

  • First (upper) floor
    • Mielke's offices. The decor is 60s furniture. There is a reception room with a TV set in the cafeteria.
    • Office of Colonel Heinz Volpert
    • Lounge for drivers and bodyguards
    • Office of Major-General Hans Carlsohn, director of the secretariat
    • Secretariat
    • The Cafeteria
    • Kitchen
    • The Minister’s Workroom
    • The Conference Room with a giant map of Germany on a wall—one of the most impressive rooms.
    • The cloakroom

  • Second (upper) floor
    • Repression—Rebellion—Self-Liberation from 1945 to 1989


Photo gallery:


Recruitment by Russian state-owned companies

Former Stasi agent Matthias Warnig (codename "Arthur") is currently the CEO of Nord Stream.
German investigations have revealed that some of the key Gazprom Germania
Gazprom Germania
GAZPROM Germania GmbH , a company registered in Berlin, Germany, is headquarters of a diversified conglomerate, GAZPROM Germania Group, operating in more than 20 countries, and is a 100% subsidiary of the world's largest natural gas company, Gazprom....

 managers are former Stasi agents.

Lobbying

Ex-MfS officers continue to be politically active via the Gesellschaft zur Rechtlichen und Humanitären Unterstützung e. V. (Society for Legal and Humanitarian Support) (GRH). Former high-ranking officers and employees of the MfS, including the last MfS director, Wolfgang Schwanitz, make up the majority of the organization's members, and it receives support from the German Communist Party
German Communist Party
The German Communist Party is a Marxist-Leninist party in Germany.-History:The DKP was formed in West Germany in 1968, in order to fill the place of the Communist Party of Germany , which had been banned by the Federal Constitutional Court in 1956...

, among others.

Impetus for the establishment of the GRH was provided by the criminal charges filed against the Stasi in the early 1990s. The GRH, decrying the charges as "victor's justice", called for them to be dropped. Today the group provides an alternative if somewhat utopian voice in the public debate on the GDR legacy. It calls for the closure of the museum in Hohenschönhausen and can be a vocal presence at memorial services and public events. In March 2006 in Berlin, GRH members disrupted a museum event; a political scandal ensued when the Berlin Senator (Minister) of Culture refused to confront them.

Behind the scenes, the GRH also lobbies people and institutions promoting opposing viewpoints. For example, in March 2006, the Berlin Senator for Education received a letter from a GRH member and former Stasi officer attacking the Museum for promoting "falsehoods, anticommunist agitation and psychological terror against minors". Similar letters have also been received by schools organizing field trips to the museum.

Alleged informants

  • Vic Allen
    Vic Allen
    Vic Allen is a British academic who is a former Professor of Economics at Leeds University who was revealed to have been an "agent of influence" for the East German Stasi secret police....

  • Richard Clements
  • Gwyneth Edwards
  • Football club Dynamo Dresden
    Dynamo Dresden
    SG Dynamo Dresden are a German association football club, based in Dresden, Saxony. They were founded in 1950, as a club affiliated with the East German police, and became one of the most popular and successful clubs in East German football, winning eight league titles...

     had more than 18 agents
  • Ingo Steuer
    Ingo Steuer
    Ingo Steuer is a German pair skater and skating coach.With partner Mandy Wötzel, he was the 1998 Olympic bronze medalist the 1997 World champion, the 1995 European champion, and a four-time German national champion...

    , figure skater and now trainer
  • Robin Pearson (Lecturer at the University of Hull)
  • John Roper, Baron Roper of Thorney Island
  • Bernd Runge, CEO of Phillips de Pury auction house
  • Holm Singer,


  • In the arts

    • Unknown featured a retired Stasi agent, Ernst Jürgen, played by Bruno Ganz
      Bruno Ganz
      Bruno Ganz is a Swiss actor, known for his roles as Damiel in Wings of Desire and Adolf Hitler in Downfall.- Early life :Bruno Ganz was born in Zürich to a Swiss mechanic father and a northern Italian mother. He had decided to pursue an acting career by the time he entered university...

      .
    • The 2006 German film Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others
      The Lives of Others
      The Lives of Others is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The film involves the monitoring of the cultural scene of East Berlin by agents of the Stasi, the GDR's secret police...

      ) involves the monitoring of the cultural scene of East Berlin by agents of the MfS.
    • The Legend of Rita
      The Legend of Rita
      The Legend of Rita is a 2000 German film about fictionalised exiled West German radical left Red Army Faction members, though the fictional characters all have close parallels to several real-life RAF members...

       (Die Stille nach dem Schuß), a 2000 film directed by Volker Schlöndorff
      Volker Schlöndorff
      Volker Schlöndorff is a Berlin-based German filmmaker who has worked in Germany, France and the United States...

      , dwells heavily on the relationship between the MfS and the general population of East Germany. The second-most prominent character is the MfS "control" for the title character.
    • Stasiland
      Stasiland
      Stasiland: Oh Wasn't it so Terrible - True Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall Stasiland: Oh Wasn't it so Terrible - True Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall Stasiland: Oh Wasn't it so Terrible - True Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall (Stasiland: Ach, war es nicht so schrecklich - Wahre...

       is a 2004 best-selling book by Anna Funder
      Anna Funder
      Anna Funder is an Australian writer who grew up in Melbourne. She studied creative writing at the University of Melbourne, also later studying at the Free University of Berlin as the recipient in 1994 of a DAAD Scholarship...

      . It was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize
      Samuel Johnson Prize
      The Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction is one of the most prestigious prizes for non-fiction writing. It was founded in 1999 following the demise of the NCR Book Award and based on an anonymous donation. The prize is named after Samuel Johnson...

       in 2004.
    • In the episode "Music to Die For" of the British crime series Lewis contemporary murders in Oxford are linked to Stasi informers in East Germany in the 1980s.
    • In the movie Die Hard with a Vengeance, the character of Simon Gruber, played by Jeremy Irons
      Jeremy Irons
      Jeremy John Irons is an English actor. After receiving classical training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Irons began his acting career on stage in 1969, and has since appeared in many London theatre productions including The Winter's Tale, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the...

      , McClaine's antagonist, is shown to be a former Stasi Officer during the NYPD meeting with the FBI just before they leave to search for the newly planted bomb.
    • In the MacGyver
      MacGyver
      MacGyver is an American action-adventure television series created by Lee David Zlotoff. Henry Winkler and John Rich were the executive producers. The show ran for seven seasons on ABC in the United States and various other networks abroad from 1985 to 1992. The series was filmed in Los Angeles...

       episode "The Wall" season 6 episode 5 a German toyshop owner friend of MacGyver's is looking for his long lost granddaughter who was captured by the Stasi during an escape attempt.
    • The novel Kleifarvatn by Arnaldur Indriðason
      Arnaldur Indriðason
      Arnaldur Indriðason is an Icelandic writer of crime fiction. He has repeatedly proved to be the most popular writer in Iceland in recent years — topping bestseller lists year after year...

       tells how the Stasi destructs the life of two young students in Leipzig
      Leipzig
      Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

      .


    See also

    • Verfassungsschutz
    • Mass surveillance
      Mass surveillance
      Mass surveillance is the pervasive surveillance of an entire population, or a substantial fraction thereof.Modern governments today commonly perform mass surveillance of their citizens, explaining that they believe that it is necessary to protect them from dangerous groups such as terrorists,...

    • Stasiland
      Stasiland
      Stasiland: Oh Wasn't it so Terrible - True Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall Stasiland: Oh Wasn't it so Terrible - True Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall Stasiland: Oh Wasn't it so Terrible - True Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall (Stasiland: Ach, war es nicht so schrecklich - Wahre...

    • Felix Dzerzhinsky Watch Regiment
      Felix Dzerzhinsky Watch Regiment
      The Felix Dzerzhinsky Guards Regiment was an elite motorized rifles regiment under the command of the Ministry for State Security of the German Democratic Republic . It was named in honor of Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police...

    • Stasi 2.0
      Stasi 2.0
      The phrase Stasi 2.0 is the catchphrase of a civil rights campaign currently under way in Germany.The term is a portmanteau that originated in the blogosphere. The term combines the name of East Germany's former Ministry of State Security, commonly known as the "Stasi", with the concept of software...

    • BFC Dynamo
    • Werner Teske
      Werner Teske
      Werner Teske was a Hauptmann of the Ministry for State Security of East Germany who was executed after having been found guilty of "planned treason". He was the last person to be executed in the German Democratic Republic, and the last person to be executed in Germany.- Life :Werner Teske was...

    • Telephone tapping in the Eastern Bloc
      Telephone tapping in the Eastern Bloc
      Telephone tapping in the countries of the Eastern Bloc was a widespread method of the mass surveillance of the population by the secret police.-History:...

    • Eastern Bloc politics
      Eastern Bloc politics
      Eastern Bloc politics followed the Red Army's occupation of much of eastern Europe at the end of World War II and the Soviet Union's installation of Soviet-controlled communist governments in the Eastern Bloc through a process of bloc politics and repression...

    • Economic and industrial espionage
      Industrial espionage
      Industrial espionage, economic espionage or corporate espionage is a form of espionage conducted for commercial purposes instead of purely national security purposes...


    The Controversy of the MfS Files

    • Serge Schmemann, “Angry Crowds of East Germans Ransack Offices of Spy Service,” The New York Times, January 16, 1990.
    • Serge Schmemann, “East Berlin Faults Opposition on Raid,” The New York Times, January 17, 1990.
    • Glenn Frankel, “East Germany Haunted by Stasi Legacy; Secret Police Files Stir Allegations,” The Washington Post, March 31, 1990.
    • John Gray, “Secret Police Gone but not Forgotten East Germans Agonize over Where all the Informers and Massive Files are,” The Globe and Mail, September 8, 1990.
    • The Economist’s Berlin Reporter “East Germany’s Stasi; Where have all the Files Gone,” The Economist, September 22, 1990.
    • Stephen Kinzer, “Germans anguish Over Police files,” The New York Times, February 12, 1992.
    • Derek Scally, “Kohl Wins Court Battle on Stasi Files,” The Irish Times, March 9, 2002.
    • Garton Ash, Timothy. The File, New York: Random House, 1997.
    • David Childs (David H Childs
      David H Childs
      David Childs is an Emeritus Professor of Politics whose considerable contribution to the advancement of German studies has equipped academics, business leaders, government ministers and students develop a greater knowledge of Germany and the politics behind the country.-Education:* Thornleigh...

      ) and Richard Popplewell. The Stasi: East German Intelligence and Security Service, Washington Square, NY: New York University Press, 1996.
    • Childs, David. The Fall of the GDR, Essex, England: Pearson Learning Limited, 2001.
    • Koehler, John. Stasi: The Untold Story of the East German Secret Police, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1999.
    • Dennis, Mike. The Stasi: Myth and Reality, London, England: Pearson Education Limited, 2003.
    • Colitt, Leslie. Spymaster, Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1995.

    German


    English

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