In 1965, Carl-Wolfgang Holzapfel was arrested by East German border guards and spent nine months in solitary confinement in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, the notorious prison run by the Stasi [previously]. Starting today, Holzapfel is back behind bars in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen to remind people how they felt before the Wall came down 20 years ago. You can ask him about his campaign and watch him live here. [more inside]
"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]
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".