Piecing together history -- some 600m shreds of Stasi documents
The German Government has now earmarked €6.3 million (£4 million) for the project: fitting together about 600 million shreds of secret police files ripped up in panic by Stasi agents after the Berlin Wall came down in 1989.
When the puzzle is complete, the files are likely to shed light on some of Germany’s most elusive secrets –- on betrayed politicians, on Communist attempts to recruit Nato secretaries and foreign academics, on undercover operations across the globe.
“Even the small samples we have glued together so far have shown that the files deal with important matters,” says Günter Bormann, of the government agency in charge of analysing the Stasi archives.
Until now employees at the agency have been sticking the pieces together by hand, spreading the fragments across large desks and trying to find names, handwriting and signatures that match.
Since 1991, 25 officials have painstakingly processed 350 sacks of paper secrets. Altogether there are 16,250 sacks –- at the present rate it would take several centuries to solve the Stasi jigsaw.
comments powered by Disqus
- Martin Kramer blasts MESA and Steven Salaita
- L.A. schools adopt history curriculum from Stanford University
- Raleigh Trevelyan, Chronicler of a Notable Family, Dies at 91
- Former spokesman of B.C. anti-immigration group wants UBC history prof fired
- Harvard's Steven Shapin Wins History of Science Award