Simon Menner: Images from the secret STASI archives
February 8, 2011 9:03 AM   Subscribe

Shhhh...The coffeepot is listening...
posted by Thorzdad at 9:16 AM on February 8, 2011

That is REALLY friggin cool. I love the Madonna posters room.
posted by spicynuts at 9:23 AM on February 8, 2011

(Man, I just made a note to post this!)

These pictures are so cool.
Especially the shots of the spies taking pictures of each other.
An entire series of that would be fantastic.
posted by artof.mulata at 9:25 AM on February 8, 2011

Nice post...too bad there isn't more info on the pics. The statement about the coffee pot and 10 years in prison is chilling.
posted by lobstah at 9:36 AM on February 8, 2011

More images here.
posted by circular at 9:45 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Not even the guinea pigs were above suspicion.
posted by Beardman at 9:55 AM on February 8, 2011

Yeah this was great. At first I thought it was some guy staging photos as if they had been Stasi images - when I figured out that it was real, it was that much cooler. Thanks circular for the link to the extra pix!
posted by slackdog at 11:11 AM on February 8, 2011

These are fantastic. I visited the Stasi museum in Berlin recently. The amount of effort the Stasi put into surveillance was astonishing. Button cameras, cameras in watering cans, in treestumps, in petrol cans, and fake rocks. They'd have needed an army of technicians just to process all the film.
posted by jonesor at 2:03 PM on February 8, 2011

This picture reminds me of a story a former colleague told me. He was a West German border guard during the 70's sometime. He was on patrol right on the border in the middle of nowhere and went to the bushes to take a leak. While taking care of his business, he thought he noticed a tiny glint out of the corner of his eye. He waited a minute until he saw it again and turned to see a long telephoto lens on the East German side taking pictures of him.

Apparently this happened to a lot of West German soldiers on patrol. My colleague said that since the wall came down, he was always curious if somebody searching through the archives ever came across a photo of him with his dick in his hand while peeing in a bush.

His stint on border patrol was also during a time when some parts of the border were not yet heavily fortified. Some of the earliest guard towers were hastily set up to give the appearance of a constant presence. Supposedly he and his colleagues would go over to the East late at night when they knew no guards were there and knock the towers over.
posted by chillmost at 2:30 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]

They all look like chillwave album covers to me.
posted by kersplunk at 3:19 PM on February 8, 2011

I recall reading a claim from someone (I think it's either Julian Assange or Slavoj Žižek) claimed recently that, after the collapse of the DDR, former Stasi officers had infiltrated the Stasi archives, and were secretly but systematically destroying the documents they were meant to be guarding, to the point where now there is very little of the Stasi's files left.
posted by acb at 4:36 PM on February 8, 2011

A friend who grew up in E. Germany once told me a great Stasi story. They would send someone to gradeschool classrooms and instruct the kids to draw a picture of the clock that came on the television at the end of the broadcast day. (Like many channels here back in the day, they only broadcast so late.) The kids who drew a regular round clock with hands, okay. But the ones who drew a digital clock - their families had obviously been watching West German TV and were maybe in some trouble.
posted by zoinks at 5:58 PM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]

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