Ex-Stasi staff still work at archives of East Germany's former secret police

tags: Communism, EAST GERMANY




It was set up as a unique historical experiment: an agency that would open up the secret service's files to those it had spied upon. But now the commissioner in charge of the East Germany's secret police archive has admitted that his agency still counts 37 former Stasi employees among its staff.

The Federal Commission for the Stasi Archives was established by the German government in 1991 and tasked with protecting the Stasi archives from former agents eager to destroy records of their deeds, as well as allowing access to anyone with a reasonable suspicion that they may have been watched over by the state.

In 2007, a leaked German government report revealed that the archive had since its inception employed as many as 79 former Stasi members, some of them without the knowledge of parliament, fuelling suspicions that incriminating files could have been destroyed or been tempered with.

In his inaugural speech in March 2011, the current commissioner, Roland Jahn, a former dissident journalist, had described it as "intolerable" that Stasi victims seeking access to their files would have to deal with former employees of the secret police. "Every former Stasi collaborator who is still employed by the agency," he said, "is a slap in the victims' faces."...




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