Stasi spy shot West German protester in inflammatory 1967 killing

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Sifting through reams of old files from the communist state security apparatus in East Germany, two historians, Helmut Mueller-Enbergs and Cornelia Jabs, say they accidently uncovered information that the policeman, Karl-Heinz Kurras, was a so-called unofficial employee of the East German Ministry for State Security (MfS) and a member of the country's Socialist Unity Party (SED).

In reports published separately on Thursday by ZDF public television network and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper and based on the historians' findings, Kurras had been in the service of the Stasi secret police since 1955 and had been charged with spying on the West Berlin police.

Documents change a chapter in German history

The documents found in the archives of the Birthler Agency – the authority which manages files from the former East Germany – also contained a message radioed to Kurras by the MfS after the fatal shooting of Ohnesorg, which read: "Destroy all material. Cease work for now. View events as very regrettable accident."

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