Thursday, October 29, 2009



"The need to know everything about the lives of others" - The History of Stasi-the notorious and bygone East Germany intelligence agency:

Ministry for State Security (Mfs) also known known as "Stasi" - the East German Intelligence Agency Strategies:

Torture, Harassment, assassinations, persecution of dissent, illegal surveillance, mobbing and on:

As the enforcement arm of the German Democratic Republic's Communist Party, the Stasi at its height in 1989 employed 91,000 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 and 1,553 informants in West Germany. 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.
A bureaucracy almost three times the size of Hitler's Gestapo was spying on a population a quarter that of Nazi Germany. 10,000 IMs were under 18 years of age.

MfS has been accused of a number of assassinations against political dissidents and other people both inside and outside the country. Examples include the East German football player Lutz Eigendorf and the Swedish journalist Cats Falck.

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 oppositionalist movements (such as dissidents 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.(pp. 242-243 - The People's State: East German Society from Hitler to Honecker,Fulbrook, Mary (2005), London: Yale University Press, ISBN 9780300144246)

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 that stayed the night at another's apartment. Tiny holes were bored in apartment and hotel room walls through which Stasi agents filmed citizens with special video cameras. Similarly, schools, universities, and hospitals were extensively infiltrated.After the mid-1950s, Stasi executions were carried out in strict secrecy, and usually were accomplished with a guillotine 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.

More :
Stasi:The untold story of the East German secret police - Koehler, John O. (2000), , Westview Press, ISBN 0813337445

The Lives of Others - Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film-winning German film Das Leben der Anderen (aka as The Lives of Others) involves the monitoring of the cultural scene of East Berlin by agents of the MfS - Stasi

Piecing together the Dark Legacy of East Germany's Secret Police