The truth about the gunshot that changed Germany.
On June 2, 1967, a West Berlin police officer named Karl-Heinz Kurras killed a leftist protester named Benno Ohnesorg. This killing galvanized the West German student movement, and led to a decade of protesting and actual armed conflict (notably by the Red Army Faction
, aka the Baader-Meinhof gang [previously
]). It turns out that the police officer was a member of the Stasi, the infamous East German secret police. [more inside]
posted by norm
on Feb 1, 2010 -
"That half-destroyed paperwork is a tantalizing secret." The Stasi fostered a pervasive and justified paranoia. And it generated an almost inconceivable amount of paper, enough to fill more than 100 miles of shelves. The agency indexed and cross-referenced 5.6 million names in its central card catalog alone. Hundreds of thousands of "unofficial employees" snitched on friends, coworkers, and their own spouses, sometimes because they'd been extorted and sometimes in exchange for money, promotions, or permission to travel abroad.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Stasi tried to destroy its records. Now, with the help of computer science, the "billion-piece puzzle"
is finally coming together. The article is an interesting update on the one featured in this 2003 Metafilter post . [more inside]
posted by amyms
on Jan 30, 2008 -
Recovering the files of the Stasi
A group of German scientists has developed a computer scanning system that will be used to reconstruct millions of files torn up by the East German secret police after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.
posted by Irontom
on Nov 18, 2003 -
Katarina Witt's Stasi connection.
SECRET police files on Katarina Witt have revealed that the most glamorous and popular sporting figure in the former East Germany was so close to the Stasi that she considered them a "partner".
posted by skallas
on May 12, 2002 -