8 Stories

Despite Concerns, Germany to Put Stasi Files in Archives

East German secret police kept records on millions of citizens

(Newser) - Over the objections of historians and dissidents of the era, Germany is moving the files of the notorious East German secret police to the national archives. Parliament approved the transfer on Thursday, the BBC reports. The Stasi compiled millions of files on citizens during the Cold War and tried to...

Germany Opens Massive Spy Headquarters

4K agents will work in the massive complex

(Newser) - The largest foreign intelligence service headquarters on the planet just opened its doors in Berlin, reports the Guardian —just not to the public. The new home of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service took 12 years to build and cost $1.23 billion. Covering a site where an East German...

Reassembly of Shredded Stasi Files Hits a Snag

'We currently don’t have a scanner that we can work with'

(Newser) - "Sometimes, I got so engrossed that I forgot to go home," Elke Kinzel told Pacific Standard back in August. "How could one not get engrossed in such kind of work? It is like you have been given fragments of people's lives and are asked to tell...

Teen Writes to Favorite Radio Program, Gets 2 Years in Prison

How a BBC program gave East Germans a way to speak their minds

(Newser) - Karl-Heinz Borchardt is a lecturer at Germany's University of Greifswald. But 47 years ago, he was an 18-year-old being removed from his family's home in East Germany and hauled off to jail by the secret police. Borchardt's crime? Writing letters to his favorite radio program. The BBC...

Lightning-Rod W. German Cop Unmasked as Stasi Spy

Revelation likened to discovering Kent State shooters were KGB agents

(Newser) - The West German cop whose shooting of an unarmed protester in 1967 changed the country forever has been unmasked as an East German spy by historians going through Stasi files, the New York Times reports. The shooting sparked a wide, sometimes violent left-wing protest movement many believe spawned Germany's current...

Spy Scandal at German Phone Giant Grows

Company tracked reporters' movements, bank accounts

(Newser) - Deutsche Telekom apparently didn’t stop at looking through the phone records of board members and journalists in its bid to end leaks. The German phone giant also tracked their movements and may have snooped into personal bank records, Der Spiegel reports. Top executives also worked with a detective agency...

Berlin Journos Say They Were Stasi Spies

Two top Zeitung editors admit informing for East German police

(Newser) - Two top journalists for a Berlin paper have admitted they worked as informants for the Stasi, East Germany’s secret police, prompting an investigation of the paper’s editorial staff, the Guardian reports. Berliner Zeitung’s top editor ordered an inquiry after a senior stafffer was identified as a 1970s...

Stasi Ordered to Shoot First
Stasi Ordered to Shoot First

Stasi Ordered to Shoot First

Defectors stood little chance at Berlin Wall

(Newser) - During the Cold War, East German border police were ordered to shoot all attempted defectors, a newly discovered Stasi document confirms. “Do not hesitate with the use of a firearm, including when the border breakouts involve women and children, which the traitors have already frequently taken advantage of,”...

8 Stories