The Ministry for State Security (German: Ministerium für
Staatssicherheit, MfS) or State Security Service
(Staatssicherheitsdienst, SSD), commonly known as the
[ˈʃtaːziː]), was the official state security service of the
German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic (East Germany). It has been described as
one of the most effective and repressive intelligence and secret
police agencies to have ever existed. The
headquartered in East Berlin, with an extensive complex in
Lichtenberg and several smaller facilities throughout the city.
Stasi motto was "Schild und Schwert der Partei" (Shield and Sword
of the Party), referring to the ruling Socialist Unity Party of
Germany (German: Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, SED).
Erich Mielke was its longest-serving chief, in power for thirty-two of
the GDR's forty years of existence.
One of its main tasks was spying on the population, mainly through a
vast network of citizens turned informants, and fighting any
opposition by overt and covert measures, including hidden
psychological destruction of dissidents (Zersetzung, literally meaning
Main Directorate for Reconnaissance
Main Directorate for Reconnaissance (German:
Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung) was responsible for both espionage and
for conducting covert operations in foreign countries. Under its
long-time head Markus Wolf, this directorate gained a reputation as
one of the most effective intelligence agencies of the Cold War.
Stasi officials were prosecuted for their crimes after 1990.
After German reunification, the surveillance files that the
maintained on millions of East Germans were laid open, so that any
citizen could inspect their personal file on request; these files are
now maintained by the Federal Commissioner for the
2 Relationship with the KGB
4.1 Personnel and recruitment
5 International operations
6 The fall of the Soviet Union
7 The recovery of the
7.1 Storming the
7.2 Controversy of the
7.3 Tracking down former
Stasi informers with the files
7.4 Reassembling the destroyed files
8 Museum in the old headquarters
Stasi officers after the reunification
9.1 Recruitment by Russian state-owned companies
10 Alleged informants
11 See also
13.1 The controversy of the
14 External links
Stasi was founded on 8 February 1950.
Wilhelm Zaisser was the
first Minister of State Security of the GDR, and
Erich Mielke was his
deputy. Zaisser tried to depose SED General Secretary Walter Ulbricht
after the June 1953 uprising, but was instead removed by Ulbricht
and replaced with
Ernst Wollweber thereafter. Wollweber resigned in
1957 after clashes with Ulbricht and Erich Honecker, and was succeeded
by his deputy, Erich Mielke.
Markus Wolf became head of the Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung
(HVA) (Main Reconnaissance Administration), the foreign intelligence
section of the Stasi. As intelligence chief, Wolf achieved great
success in penetrating the government, political and business circles
West Germany with spies. The most influential case was that of
Günter Guillaume, which led to the downfall of West German Chancellor
Willy Brandt in May 1974. In 1986, Wolf retired and was succeeded by
Relationship with the KGB
Eastern Bloc politics,
Eastern Bloc information
dissemination, and Active measures
Stasi was superficially granted independence in
1957, until 1990 the
KGB continued to maintain liaison officers in all
Stasi directorates, each with his own office inside the
Stasi's Berlin compound, and in each of the fifteen
headquarters around East Germany. Collaboration was so close that
KGB invited the
Stasi to establish operational bases in
Leningrad to monitor visiting East German tourists and Mielke referred
Stasi officers as "Chekists of the Soviet Union". In 1978,
Mielke formally granted
KGB officers in
East Germany the same rights
and powers that they enjoyed in the Soviet Union.
The Ministry for State Security also included the following entities:
Administration 12 was responsible for the surveillance of mail and
Administration 2000 was responsible for the reliability of National
People's Army (Nationale Volksarmee, NVA) personnel. Administration
2000 operated a secret, unofficial network of informants within the
Administration for Security of Heavy Industry and Research and Main
Administration for Security of the Economy: protection against
sabotage or espionage.
Division of Garbage Analysis: was responsible for analyzing garbage
for any suspect western foods and/or materials.
Felix Dzerzhinsky Guards Regiment: the armed force at disposal of the
ministry, named for the founder of the Cheka, the Bolshevik secret
police. The members of this regiment, who served at least three 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
PSZH-IV armored personnel carriers, 120 mm
mortars, 85 mm and 100 mm 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 GRU 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.
Main Administration for Reconnaissance: focused its efforts primarily
West Germany and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but it
also operated East German intelligence in all foreign countries.
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.
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
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,
Eastern Bloc politics
See also: Censorship in East Germany
Personnel and recruitment
See also: Informal collaborator
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 people 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.
Stasi officers were recruited from conscripts who
had been honourably discharged from their 18 months' compulsory
military service, had been members of the SED, had had a high level of
participation in the Party's youth wing's activities and had been
Stasi informers during their service in the Military. The candidates
would then have to be recommended by their military unit political
Stasi agents, the local chiefs of the District (Bezirk)
Volkspolizei office, of the district in which they were
permanently resident, and the District Secretary of the SED. These
candidates were then made to sit through several tests and exams,
which identified their intellectual capacity to be an officer, and
their political reliability. University graduates who had completed
their military service did not need to take these tests and exams.
They then attended a two-year officer training programme at the Stasi
college (Hochschule) in Potsdam. Less mentally and academically
endowed candidates were made ordinary technicians and attended a
one-year technology-intensive course for non-commissioned officers.
By 1995, some 174,000 inoffizielle Mitarbeiter (IMs)
had been identified, almost 2.5% of East Germany's population between
the ages of 18 and 60. 10,000 IMs were under 18 years of age.
From the volume of material destroyed in the final days of the regime,
the office of the
Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records
Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records (BStU)
believes that there could have been as many as 500,000 informers.
Stasi colonel who served in the counterintelligence
directorate estimated that the figure could be as high as 2 million if
occasional informants were included. There is significant debate
about how many IMs were actually employed.
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 (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
Stasi agents filmed citizens with special video cameras.
Schools, universities, and hospitals were extensively infiltrated.
Stasi had formal categorizations of each type of informant, and
had official guidelines on how to extract information from, and
control, those with whom they came into contact. 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 tram conductors, janitors, doctors, nurses and
teachers; Mielke believed that the best informants were those whose
jobs entailed frequent contact with the public.
The Stasi's ranks swelled considerably after
Eastern Bloc countries
signed the 1975 Helsinki accords, which GDR leader Erich Honecker
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 that 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 and protests
Stasi also acted as a proxy for
KGB to conduct
activities in other
Eastern Bloc countries, such as Poland, where the
Soviets were despised.
Stasi infiltrated almost every aspect of GDR life. In the
mid-1980s, a network of IMs began growing in both German states; by
the time that
East Germany collapsed in 1989, the
91,015 employees and 173,081 informants. About one out of every 63
East Germans collaborated with the Stasi. By at least one estimate,
Stasi maintained greater surveillance over its own people than any
secret police force in history. The
Stasi employed one full-time
agent for every 166 East Germans. The ratios swelled when informers
were factored in: counting part-time informers, the
Stasi had one
informer per 6.5 people. By comparison, the
Gestapo employed one
secret policeman per 2,000 people. This comparison led Nazi hunter
Simon Wiesenthal to call the
Stasi even more oppressive than the
Stasi agents infiltrated and undermined West Germany's
government and spy agencies.
In some cases, spouses even spied on each other. A high-profile
example of this was peace activist Vera Lengsfeld, whose husband, Knud
Wollenberger, was a
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Main article: Zersetzung
Stasi perfected the technique of psychological harassment of
perceived enemies known as
[ʦɛɐ̯ˈzɛtsʊŋ]) – a term borrowed from chemistry which
literally means "decomposition".
Stasi often used a method which was really diabolic. It was
called Zersetzung, and it's described in another guideline. The word
is difficult to translate because it means originally
"biodegradation". But actually, it's a quite accurate description. The
goal was to destroy secretly the self-confidence of people, for
example by damaging their reputation, by organizing failures in their
work, and by destroying their personal relationships. Considering
East Germany was a very modern dictatorship. The
try to arrest every dissident. It preferred to paralyze them, and it
could do so because it had access to so much personal information and
to so many institutions.
—Hubertus Knabe, German historian 
By the 1970s, the
Stasi had decided that the methods of overt
persecution that had been employed up to that time, such as arrest and
torture, were too crude and obvious. It was realised that
psychological harassment was far less likely to be recognised for what
it was, so its victims, and their supporters, were less likely to be
provoked into active resistance, given that they would often not be
aware of the source of their problems, or even its exact nature.
Zersetzung was designed to side-track and "switch off" perceived
enemies so that they would lose the will to continue any
Tactics employed under
Zersetzung generally involved the disruption of
the victim's private or family life. This often included psychological
attacks, such as breaking into homes and subtly manipulating the
contents, in a form of gaslighting – moving furniture, altering the
timing of an alarm, removing pictures from walls or replacing one
variety of tea with another. Other practices included property damage,
sabotage of cars, purposely incorrect medical treatment, smear
campaigns including sending falsified compromising photos or documents
to the victim's family, denunciation, provocation, psychological
warfare, psychological subversion, wiretapping, bugging, mysterious
phone calls or unnecessary deliveries, even including sending a
vibrator to a target's wife. Usually, victims had no idea that the
Stasi were responsible. Many thought that they were losing their
minds, and mental breakdowns and suicide could result.
One great advantage of the harassment perpetrated under
that its subtle nature meant that it was able to be plausibly denied.
This was important given that the GDR was trying to improve its
international standing during the 1970s and 80s, especially in
conjunction with the
Ostpolitik of West German Chancellor Willy Brandt
massively improving relations between the two German states.
See also: Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung
Other files (the Rosenholz Files), which contained the names of East
German spies abroad, led American spy agencies to capture them. After
German reunification, revelations of Stasi's international activities
were publicized, such as its military training of the West German Red
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', and I, dear friends, call it ‘my favorite pastime'".
Stasi experts helped to build the secret police organization of
Mengistu Haile Mariam
Mengistu Haile Mariam in Ethiopia.
Fidel Castro's regime in Cuba was particularly interested in receiving
training from the Stasi.
Stasi instructors worked in Cuba and Cuban
communists received training in East Germany. The
Markus Wolf described how he set up the Cuban system on the pattern of
the East German system.
Stasi officers helped in initial training and indoctrination of
Egyptian State Security organizations under the Nasser regime from
1957–58 onwards. This was discontinued by
Anwar Sadat in 1976.
The Stasi's experts worked with building secret police systems in the
People's Republic of Angola, the People's Republic of Mozambique, and
People's Republic of Yemen
People's Republic of Yemen (South Yemen).
Stasi organized and extensively trained Syrian intelligence
services under the regime of
Hafez al-Assad and
Ba'ath Party from 1966
onwards and especially from 1973.
Stasi experts helped to set up Idi Amin's secret police.
Stasi experts helped the President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, to set up
his secret police. When Nkrumah was ousted by a military coup, Stasi
Major Jürgen Rogalla was imprisoned.
Stasi sent agents to the West as sleeper agents. For instance,
Günter Guillaume became a senior aide to social
democratic chancellor Willy Brandt, and reported about his politics
and private life.
Stasi operated at least one brothel. Agents were used against both
men and women working in Western governments. "Entrapment" was used
against married men and homosexuals.
Martin Schlaff – 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 (Baader-Meinhof Group)—A terrorist organization
which killed dozens of West Germans and others, which received
financial and logistical support from the Stasi, as well as shelter
and new identities.
Stasi ordered a campaign in which cemeteries and other Jewish
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.
Stasi channelled large amounts of money to
Neo-Nazi groups in
West, with the purpose of discrediting the West.
Stasi worked in a campaign to create extensive material and
propaganda against Israel.
Benno Ohnesorg – A
Stasi informant in the West Berlin
police, Karl-Heinz Kurras, fatally shot an unarmed demonstrator, which
stirred a whole movement of Marxist radicalism, protest, and terrorist
violence. The Economist describes it as "the gunshot that hoaxed a
generation". The surviving
Stasi Records contain no evidence
that Kurras was acting under their orders when he shot
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
Sandoz chemical spill—The
KGB reportedly ordered the
sabotage the chemical factory to distract attention from the Chernobyl
disaster 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) on orders from the East German government from
1976 to 1987. Attempts to prosecute members failed.
Stasi attempted to assassinate Wolfgang Welsch (de), a famous
critic of the regime.
Stasi collaborator Peter Haack (
"Alfons") befriended Welsch and then fed him hamburgers poisoned with
thallium. It took weeks for doctors to find out why Welsch 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 bloc, and the
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.
Stasi in 1972 made plans to assist the Vietnam People's Public
Security in improving its intelligence work during the Vietnam
In 1975, the
Stasi recorded a conversation between senior West German
Helmut Kohl 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.
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The fall of the Soviet Union
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 Stasi's activities became more widespread. 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 re-branding
East Germany as a
democratic capitalist country to the West, but which in practice would
have been taken over by
Stasi officers. The plan specified 2,587 OibE
officers (Offiziere im besonderen Einsatz, "officers on special
assignment") who would have assumed power as detailed in the Top
Secret Document 0008-6/86 of 17 March 1986. According to Ion
Mihai Pacepa, the chief intelligence officer in communist Romania,
other communist intelligence services had similar plans. On 12
Der Spiegel reported that the
Stasi was indeed attempting
to implement 0008-6/86. Pacepa has noted that what happened in
Russia and how
Vladimir Putin took over Russia resembles
these plans. See Putinism.
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 der DDR) renamed
Stasi as the "Office for National Security" (Amt für Nationale
Sicherheit – AfNS), which was headed by
Schwanitz. On 8 December 1989, GDR
Hans Modrow 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" (
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
through accounts in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, in return for
goods "under Western embargo".
Stasi officers continued their post-GDR 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 magazine noted that
KGB officer Vladimir Putin
worked with his
Stasi colleagues in Dresden in 1989.
The recovery of the
Peaceful Revolution of 1989,
Stasi offices were overrun by
angry citizens, but not before the
Stasi destroyed a number of
documents (approximately 5%) consisting of, by one calculation, 1
billion sheets of paper.
Citizens protesting and entering the
Stasi building in Berlin; the
sign accuses the
Stasi and SED of being Nazi-like dictators. 1990.
With the fall of the
German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic the
Stasi employees began to destroy the extensive files and
documents they held, by hand, fire and with the use of shredders. When
these activities became known, a protest began in front of the Stasi
headquarters, The evening of 15 January 1990 saw a large crowd
form outside the gates calling for a stop to the destruction of
sensitive files. The building contained vast records of personal
files, many of which would form important evidence in convicting those
who had committed crimes for the Stasi. The protesters continued to
grow in number until they were able to overcome the police and gain
entry into the complex. Once inside, specific targets of the
protesters' anger were portraits of
Erich Honecker which were trampled
on or burnt. Among the protesters were former
seeking to destroy incriminating documents.
Controversy of the
German Reunification on 3 October 1990, a new government
agency was founded called the Federal Commissioner for the Records of
the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic
(German: Der Bundesbeauftragte für die Unterlagen des
Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen Deutschen Demokratischen
Republik), officially abbreviated "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
Stasi members, and, in turn, cause violence. Pastor
Rainer Eppelmann, who became Minister of Defense and Disarmament after
March 1990, felt that new political freedoms for former
would be jeopardized by acts of revenge.
Prime Minister Lothar de
Maizière 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, believed in putting
Stasi behind them and working on German reunification.
But why did the
Stasi collect all this information in its archives?
The main purpose was to control the society. In nearly every speech,
Stasi minister gave the order to find out who is who, which meant
who thinks what. He didn't want to wait until somebody tried to act
against the regime. He wanted to know in advance what people were
thinking and planning. The East Germans knew, of course, that they
were surrounded by informers, in a totalitarian regime that created
mistrust and a state of widespread fear, the most important tools to
oppress people in any dictatorship.
—Hubertus Knabe, German historian 
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 currently circulating. 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 (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,
Stasi files were opened, leading people to look for their files.
Timothy Garton Ash, an English historian, after reading his file,
wrote The File: A Personal History.
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
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 to have
participated in an illegal act, not just be a registered
Among the high-profile individuals who were arrested and tried were
Erich Mielke, Third Minister of State Security of the GDR, and Erich
Honecker, head of state for the GDR. Mielke was sentenced to six years
prison 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. During his trial, he went through cancer
treatment. Because he was nearing death, Honecker was allowed to spend
his final time in freedom. He died in Chile in May 1994.
Reassembling the destroyed files
Some of it is very easy due to the number 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.
CIA acquired some
Stasi records during the looting of the Stasi's
archives. The Federal Republic of Germany has asked for their return
and received some in April 2000. See also Rosenholz files.
Museum in the old headquarters
Statue of workers and Police officer in front of the
Mitte district, Berlin.
The Anti-Stalinist Action Normannenstraße (ASTAK), an association
founded by former GDR Citizens' Committees, has transformed the former
headquarters of the
Stasi into a museum. It is divided into three
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
Stasi symbols: Some of the tools that the
Stasi 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
Stasi 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 hidden in luggage.
Display gallery of Directorate VII. This part of the museum tells the
history of the Stasi, from the beginning of the GDR to the fall of the
First (upper) floor
Mielke's offices. The decor is 1960s 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
The Minister's Workroom
The Conference Room with a giant map of Germany on a wall—one of the
most impressive rooms.
Second (upper) floor
Repression—Rebellion—Self-Liberation from 1945 to 1989
Stasi officers after the reunification
Recruitment by Russian state-owned companies
Matthias Warnig (codename "Arthur") is currently
the CEO of Nord Stream. German investigations have revealed that
some of the key
Gazprom Germania managers are former Stasi
Stasi officers continue to be politically active via the
Gesellschaft zur Rechtlichen und Humanitären Unterstützung e. V.
(GRH, Society for Legal and Humanitarian Support). Former high-ranking
officers and employees of the Stasi, including the last Stasi
director, Wolfgang Schwanitz, make up the majority of the
organization's members, and it receives support from the German
Communist Party, 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.
Dynamo Dresden had more than 18 agents
Anetta Kahane, German journalist, activist and the founder of the
Amadeu Antonio Foundation.
Robin Pearson (Lecturer at the University of Hull)
John Roper, Baron Roper of Thorney Island
Bernd Runge, CEO of Phillips de Pury auction house
Ingo Steuer, figure skater and now trainer
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
Stasi covert prisoner transport vehicle based on the B1000
van. On display at the Hohenschönhausen prison memorial in Berlin.
Barkas (van manufacturer); Barkas B1000 van
Eastern Bloc politics
Felix Dzerzhinsky Watch Regiment
Global surveillance disclosures (1970–2013)
Global surveillance disclosures (2013–present)
Economic and industrial espionage
Stasi Records Agency
Telephone tapping in the Eastern Bloc
The Lives of Others, movie centered on the Stasi
^ Vilasi, Antonella Colonna (9 March 2015). "The History of the
Stasi". AuthorHouse – via Google Books.
^ a b Murphy, Cullen (17 January 2012). God's Jury: The Inquisition
and the Making of the Modern World. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
ISBN 978-0-618-09156-0. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
^ An abbreviation of Staatssicherheit.
^ Chambers, Madeline,No remorse from
Stasi as Berlin marks fall of
Wall, Reuters, 4 Nov 2009.
^ Angela Merkel 'turned down' job from Stasi, The Daily Telegraph, 14
^ Connolly, Kate,'Puzzlers' reassemble shredded
Stasi files, bit by
bit, The Los Angeles Times, 1 November 2009.
^ Calio, Jim, The
Stasi Prison Ghosts, The Huffington Post, 18
^ Rosenberg, Steve, Computers to solve
Stasi puzzle, BBC, 25 May 2007.
^ New Study Finds More
Stasi Spooks, Der Spiegel, 11 March 2008.
^ Glees, Anthony (1 August 1996). Reinventing Germany: German
political development since 1945. Berg. p. 213.
ISBN 978-1-85973-185-7. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
^ Google Books pp. 53–85
^ a b c Koehler 2000, p. 74
East Germany - Agencies of the Ministry of State Security".
Country-data.com. July 1987. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
^ a b c d e Koehler 2000, pp. 8–9
^ a b c Fulbrook 2005, pp. 228
^ Gieseke 2001, pp. 86–87
^ Müller-Enbergs 1993, p. 55
^ Gieseke 2001, p. 58
^ a b c d Koehler 2000, p. 9
^ Fulbrook 2005, p. 241
^ a b Fulbrook 2005, pp. 242–243
^ Fulbrook 2005, pp. 245
^ a b Sebetsyen, Victor (2009). Revolution 1989: The Fall of the
Soviet Empire. New York City: Pantheon Books.
^ Koehler 2000, p. 142
^ Fulbrook 2005, pp. 240
^ Koehler 2000, p. 76
^ Gieseke 2001, p. 54
^ Computers to solve stasi puzzle-BBC, Friday 25 May 2007.
^ "Stasi". The New York Times.
^ a b Hubertus Knabe: The dark secrets of a surveillance state, TED
Salon, Berlin, 2014
^ Kinzer, Steven (28 March 1991). "Spy Charges Widen in Germany's
East". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
^ Translated from paragraph 6 of the German article "Einmal in der
Der Spiegel 29/1991. P. 32. Online version (or )
viewed on May 29, 2013.
^ A brave woman seeks justice and historical recognition for past
wrongs. 27 September 2007. The Economist.
^ a b c d THE FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE-GATHERING OF THE MfS'
HAUPTVERWALTUNG AUFKLÄRUNG. Jérôme Mellon. 16 October 2001.
^ Seduced by Secrets: Inside the Stasi's Spy-Tech World. Kristie
Macrakis. P. 166–171.
^ The Culture of Conflict in Modern Cuba. Nicholas A. Robins. P. 45.
^ Rafiq Hariri and the Fate of Lebanon (2009). Marwān Iskandar. P.
^ Gareth M. Winrow. The Foreign Policy of the GDR in Africa, p. 141
^ Stasi: The Untold Story of the East German Secret Police (1999).
John O. Koehler.
^ Craig R. Whitney (12 April 1995). "Gunter Guillaume, 68, Is Dead;
Spy Caused Willy Brandt's Fall". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 May
^ Where Have All His Spies Gone?. New York Times. 12 August 1990
^ a b c "The Schlaff Saga / Laundered funds & 'business' ties to
the Stasi". Haaretz. 7 September 2010.
^ Olympiakos soccer chief was 'spy for Stasi'. The Independent. 24
^ Koehler (1999), The Stasi, pages 387-401.
^ a b E. Germany Ran Antisemitic Campaign in West in '60s. Washington
Post, 28 February 1993.
^ Neo-Nazism: a threat to Europe? Jillian Becker, Institute for
European Defence & Strategic Studies. P. 16.
^ The Truth about the Gunshot that Changed Germany. Spiegel Online. 28
^ The gunshot that hoaxed a generation. The Economist. 28 May 2009.
^ Kulish, Nicholas (26 May 2009). "East German
Stasi Spy Killed
Protester, Ohnesorg, in 1967" – via NYTimes.com.
^ "Karl-Heinz Kurras: Erschoss er Benno Ohnesorg? Gab Mielke den
^ Koehler, John O. (1999) Stasi: The Untold Story of the East German
Secret Police ISBN 0-8133-3409-8.
^ Operation INFEKTION - Soviet Bloc Intelligence and Its AIDS
Disinformation Campaign. Thomas Boghardt. 2009.
KGB ordered Swiss explosion to distract attention from Chernobyl."
United Press International. 27 November 2000.
Stasi accused of Swiss disaster. The Irish Times. 23 November 2000.
^ Sehnsucht Natur: Ökologisierung des Denkens (2009). Johannes
^ Hall, Thomas (25 September 2003). "Svensk tv-reporter mördades av
DDR" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. Archived from the original on 16
December 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2008.
^ Svensson, Leif (26 September 2003). "Misstänkt mördare från DDR
gripen" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter/Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå.
Archived from the original on 16 December 2004. Retrieved 20 January
^ "Misstänkte DDR-mördaren släppt" (in Swedish). Dagens
Nyheter/Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå. 17 December 2003. Archived from
the original on 17 December 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2008.
^ Seduced by Secrets: Inside the Stasi's Spy-Tech World. Kristie
Macrakis. P. 176.
Stasi Files Implicate
KGB in Pope Shooting". Deutche Welle.
^ The Kremlin's Killing Ways—A long tradition continues. 28 November
2006. National Review.
Stasi Aid and the Modernization of the Vietnamese Secret Police".
20 August 2014.
^ Stasi: Shield and Sword of the Party (2008). John C. Schmeidel. P.
^ Fulbrook 2005, pp. 242
^ a b Von OibE durchsetzt.
Der Spiegel 12.03 1990
^ a b c "Symposium: From Russia With Death" (a partial transcript:
part1, part2) on 19 January 2007. The panel contained Oleg Kalugin,
Richard Pipes, Vladimir Bukovsky, Jim Woolsey, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai
Pacepa, David Satter, Yuri Yarim-Agaev and Andrei Piontkovsk.
^ a b A tale of gazoviki, money and greed Archived 28 January 2011 at
the Wayback Machine.. Stern magazine, 13 September 2007
^ "Piecing Together the Dark Legacy of East Germany's Secret Police".
Wired. 18 January 2008.
Stasi Headquarters now a museum open to the public.
^ Functions of the BStU, from the English version of the official BStU
^ The File, Information about "The File"
^ Pidd, Helen (13 March 2011). "Germans piece together millions of
lives spied on by Stasi" – via www.theguardian.com.
^ Wired: "Piecing Together the Dark Legacy of East Germany's Secret
^ BBC: "MfS files return to Germany."
^ Nord Stream,
Matthias Warnig (codename "Arthur") and the Gazprom
Lobby Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 114
^ Gazprom's Loyalists in Berlin and Brussels. Eurasia Daily Monitor
Volume: 6 Issue: 100. 26 May 2009
^ "Police investigate Gazprom executive's
Stasi past". 7 May
Stasi Offiziere Leugnen den Terror. Berliner Morgenpost 16 March
2006. (subscription required)
^ Backmann, Christa. Stasi-Anhänger schreiben an Bildungssenator
Böger. Berliner Morgenpost 25 March 2006. "Archived copy". Archived
from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2006.
^ Schomaker, Gilbert. Ehemalige Stasi-Kader schreiben Schulen an. Die
Welt, 26 March 2006. 
^ a b "I regret nothing, says
Stasi spy". BBC. 20 September
^ "Spying Who's Who". BBC. 22 September 1999.
^ "H-Soz-u-Kult / Mielke, Macht und Meisterschaft".
^ Rogalla, Thomas. "Eine Stasi-Debatte, die nicht beendet wurde".
Berliner Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 2017-01-05.
^ "DDR: Birthler-Behörde ließ Stasi-Spitzel einladen - WELT". DIE
WELT. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
^ "Olympiakos soccer chief was 'spy for Stasi'". Independent. 24
^ "Socrates Kokkalis and the STASI". cryptome.org.
Stasi spy claims hit Greek magnate".
BBC News. 20 February
^ "Respected lecturer's double life".
BBC News. 20 September
Stasi spy (cont)". The Guardian. London. 14 June 2003.
^ Reyburn, Scott (26 January 2009). "Former
Stasi Agent Bernd Runge
Gets Phillips Top Job (Update1)". Bloomberg.
^ Palmer, Carolyn (25 March 2008). "E.German
Stasi informant wins
battle to conceal past". Reuters.
^ "Court Decision Paves Olympics Way for Stasi-linked Coach - Germany
- DW - 06.02.2006". Deutsche Welle.
De La Motte and John Green, "
Stasi State or Socialist Paradise? The
German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic and What became of it", Artery
Gary Bruce: The Firm: The Inside Story of Stasi, The Oxford Oral
History Series; Oxford University Press, Oxford 2010
Funder, Anna (2003). Stasiland: Stories from behind the Berlin Wall.
London: Granta. p. 288. ISBN 978-1-86207-655-6.
Fulbrook, Mary (2005). The People's State: East German Society from
Hitler to Honecker. London: Yale University Press.
ISBN 978-0-300-14424-6. .
Gieseke, Jens (2014). The History of the Stasi. East Germany's Secret
Police 1945-1990. Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-1-78238-254-6. ;
translation of 2001 book
Harding, Luke (2011). Mafia State. London: Guardian Books.
Koehler, John O. (2000). Stasi: the untold story of the East German
secret police. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-3744-5. .
Macrakis, Kristie (2008). Seduced by Secrets: Inside the Stasi's
Spy-Tech World. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Pickard, Ralph (2007). STASI Decorations and Memorabilia, A
Collector's Guide. Frontline Historical Publishing.
Pickard, Ralph (2012). STASI Decorations and Memorabilia Volume II.
Frontline Historical Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9797199-2-9.
Komets-Chimirri, Arik (2014). Operation Falsche Flagge be.bra
wissenschaft verlag. How the
Stasi undermined a human rights
group that was financed by the CIA. ISBN 978-3-95410-039-2. Only
available in German.
The controversy of the
Serge Schmemann, "Angry Crowds of East Germans Ransack Offices of Spy
Service", The New York Times, 16 January 1990.
Serge Schmemann, "
East Berlin Faults Opposition on Raid", The New York
Times, 17 January 1990.
Glenn Frankel, "
East Germany Haunted by
Stasi Legacy; Secret Police
Files Stir Allegations", The Washington Post, 31 March 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, 8 September 1990.
The Economist's Berlin Reporter "East Germany's Stasi; Where have all
the Files Gone", The Economist, 22 September 1990.
Stephen Kinzer, "Germans anguish Over Police files", The New York
Times, 12 February 1992.
Derek Scally, "Kohl Wins Court Battle on
Stasi Files", The Irish
Times, 9 March 2002.
Garton Ash, Timothy. The File, New York: Random House, 1997.
David Childs (David H. Childs) 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
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.
Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of
German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic – Official site
Museum in the former
Stasi headquarters, Berlin-Lichtenberg
Homepage of the Gesellschaft zur Rechtlichen und Humanitären
"Interview with a
Stasi victim". Amadelio Vlog.
Media Archive with records of the Records of the State Security
Service of the former German Democratic Republic
Official website of the award winning film The Lives of Others
Stasi Headquarters in Berlin
Pham, Khuê (11 June 2007). "Support Group For Spies: From East German
Spooks to West German Victims". Spiegel Online.
Official website of the award winning film The Burning Wall
The documentary film Germany's Records of Repression on YouTube
Knabe, Hubertus (2014). "The dark secrets of a surveillance state".
TED Salon. Berlin.
"Over the Top". Berlin1969.com. Describes West Berlin and Allied
radio links passing above
East Germany and the
Stasi effort to
intercept and interrupt them.
StasiPrison.org - The true story of a stasi prisoner
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