The secret police of East Germany and its role in the Peaceful Revolution of 1989/1990 (Lecture)

From 30.06.2021 13:00 to 30.06.2021 14:30 (your local time)
Alternatively from 30.06.2021 7:00 to 30.06.2021 7:00 (your local time)

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“Comrades, we want to know everything!” Under this credo of the Minister for State Security Erich Mielke gathered his subordinates in the GDR and beyond information. The unbridled acquisitiveness of important and unimportant information left behind by the authority of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records (Stasi), inter alia, 111 kilometers of files and 1.7 million photos.

In the lesson, the methods of the Ministry for State Security (Stasi) are illuminated, but also presented the results of the advanced monitoring. The study of the SED dictatorship has lost none of its relevance, as the debate in Germany about the activities of NSA and GCHQ shows in the repeatedly referring to the work of the East German secret police. The participants go issues of comparability of the interaction of the Stasi and other secret services.

Required Literature

Additional Readings:

BStU (Ed.): Access to Secrecy. Exhibition on the Stasi Records Archive. Berlin 2020. Download for free:

Stasi records act

Münkel, Daniela (Ed.): State Security. A Reader on the GDR Secret Police. Berlin 2018. Download for free:

Münkel – State Service

Childs, David: The Fall of the GDR. London 2001.

Gieseke, Jens: The History of the Stasi. East Germany’s Secret Police 1945-1990. New York 2012.

Link to download the movie: .

Recorded video of the Lecture:

About the lecturer

Dr. Michael Heinz gained his Ph.D. researching on agricultural industrialization in the GDR. He is currently head of the department for research, media, and political education of Rostock’s branch office for the documents of the former secret police “Stasi” in the GDR. He is working and researching agriculture and rural life in the GDR as well as the peaceful revolution.


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