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  1. #1
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    Ex-Stasi staff still work at archives of East Germany's former secret police

    Ex-Stasi staff still work at archives of East Germany's former secret police | World news | theguardian.com



    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."
    But on Friday it emerged that the archive still employs 37 workers who have previously worked for the Stasi among its 1,600 staff members. In an interview with Tagesspiegel newspaper, Jahn admitted that resolving the issue had proved harder than anticipated. Under German employment law, public servants can only be moved on to "comparable" posts in other agencies.
    "There are still 37 of them here. Five [out of 48 he had to deal with originally] have been moved on, five have left for age reasons, and one of them has died. All other transfers are on the way. But many employees say: no way am I moving on. And so the whole affair is delayed."
    By the time of its collapse, the Stasi is estimated to have had 91,000 full-time employees and between 110,000 and 190,000 informants. While it is likely many of those re-hired by the government agency were mere technicians or archival clerks, at least two were high-ranking officers.
    The latest revelations also throw up uncomfortable questions for the German president, Joachim Gauck, who was the inaugural commissioner for the Stasi archives between 1990 and 2000. In his 1991 book The Stasi Files, Gauck had defended re-hiring old Stasi personnel: "We couldn't have done without their specialist knowledge of certain branches and the Stasi's archiving system." Originally hired on short-term contracts, Gauck had personally lobbied to make their jobs permanent in 1997.
    Klaus Schroeder, a historian at Berlin's Free University who looked into the deployment of Stasi at the agency in 2007, told the Guardian: "Ultimately, the responsibility for giving these people uncontrolled access to high-profile files lies with Gauck."
    Jahn, the current commissioner, also used his interview in Tagesspiegel to dismisses comparisons between the US National Security Agency and the Stasi: "I find it absurd to equate the NSA and the Stasi it's a smokescreen. It doesn't help us in clearing up the current intelligence scandals, and it trivialises the work of the Stasi. They didn't just gather information but also lock up those who criticised the state. But the NSA debate has shown how important it is to raise your voice when basic human rights are being violated."
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  2. #2
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Nice to hear Rainfall's gainfully employed. Still......

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    79 out of 1,600 staff are surprisingly few, the BND must have been eager to comb through the Stasi foreign intelligence records. I think the findings of the NSA are used to lock up people who don't agree with the state, islamic fundamentalists for example, but yes, comparisons between Stasi and US law enforcement are absurd. They didn't do strip and cavity searches, so raise your voice when basic human rights are violated.
    Boon Mee: 'Israel is the 51st State. De facto - but none the less, essentially part & parcel of the USA.'

  4. #4
    I am in Jail
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainfall View Post
    79 out of 1,600 staff are surprisingly few, the BND must have been eager to comb through the Stasi foreign intelligence records. I think the findings of the NSA are used to lock up people who don't agree with the state, islamic fundamentalists for example, but yes, comparisons between Stasi and US law enforcement are absurd. They didn't do strip and cavity searches, so raise your voice when basic human rights are violated.
    5% is more than enough to irretrievably corrupt the archive, which rightly ought to be preserved, and imho your kind are not the right people to trust with that task.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainfall View Post
    They didn't do strip and cavity searches,
    Just a tidy 7mm round from a Mauser at the back of the head?

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    Wrong time, Boner. 9mm Makarov to the back of the head of those who did it before with Mausers. We called them war criminals. You, political prisoners. DDR abolished the death penalty, you didn't. Spare me the hypocrisy.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainfall View Post
    I think the findings of the NSA are used to lock up people who don't agree with the state, islamic fundamentalists for example,
    Although people arent locked up for merely "disagreeing" .

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainfall View Post
    Wrong time, Boner. 9mm Makarov to the back of the head of those who did it before with Mausers. We called them war criminals. You, political prisoners. DDR abolished the death penalty, you didn't. Spare me the hypocrisy.
    For once I agree with you.

    The "Homeland Security" bunch has gotten completely out of hand.

    Little children being subjected to 'cavity searches' - it's beyond the pale...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee
    The "Homeland Security" bunch has gotten completely out of hand.
    A group that you supported and people like you helped to create.

    Now you want to jump on the libertarian bandwagon. Hypocrite.

  10. #10
    I don't know barbaro's Avatar
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    Rainfall can hold her own on this topic.

    Cheers, Rainfall.

    I have been thinking about the recent acts and laws of the United States.

    The US - nor its citizens - have the right to "advise" or "condemn" others more than their own govt and citizenry.

    The days of the US being "moral model" are long gone.
    ............

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