Thousands of requests to be considered for Stasi’s files

Activity report

Roland Jahn holds the fifteenth and final Activity Report to the Stasi Records Authority. Photo: Angret Hills / Reuters / Paul / DPA

(Photo: dpa)

The former opposition member of the GDR confirmed Friday in Berlin that the files remained open even after millions of documents were transferred from state security in the GDR to the Federal Archives. Dpa summarizes specific questions, opinions, and points about future work with Stasi’s legacy.

What will become of the STASI Documentation Authority?

By summer, the special authority will be dissolved, and the archive containing the state security files of the GDR will be part of the Federal Archives. About 1,300 employees will be undertaken. The Stasi Records Act continues to apply. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, courageous civil rights activists saved a large portion of the Stasi files from being destroyed. The establishment of the commission and the archive is an achievement of the peaceful revolution.

Who will take care of the victims in the future?

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The position of the Ombudsman for Victims is directly determined in the Bundestag. Your team has not been identified yet. Jean’s term ends in June. He himself does not want the new position with his words. Now the 67-year-old said young people must take responsibility. Achieving justice for the victims of the SED dictatorship while building a bridge for future generations is a constant of the future.

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Why does archiving STASI documents come into the Federal Archives?

According to the report, the reform aims to pool skills, technology and resources. Then there is the digitization – many papers are in poor condition. She said working with the Stasi files should be a guide to the future.

Will STASI documents be transferred?

No. The Bundestag stipulated in law that the archive in the historic site of Stasi’s former headquarters in Berlin as well as in 13 sites in East Germany would become fully part of the national memory in the Federal Archives, Jahn explained. File scan requests can be performed as before.

Are people still interested in looking at STASI files?

In 2019 and 2020, up to 4,500 people applied per month to obtain files that the State Security had opened illegally. From the start of 1992 through the end of 2020, requests to look at Stasi’s files have been filed more than 3.3 million times, according to the Records Authority. In the 30th year of German reunification, about 37,400 people applied for this in 2020. In addition, there were about 4,500 requests for rehabilitation requests in the previous year. Since its inception, the Special Authority has received a total of 7.3 million requests and requests, including from authorities and scholars.

What is the stock under the roof of the Federal Archives?

Stasi’s legacy alone includes over 111 kilometers of written material. There are also hundreds of thousands of photos and audio documents. In addition, more than 15,000 bags contain leaves that have been torn and yet to be opened. Large-scale planned hypothetical reconstruction has yet to materialize. According to Yan, that’s still important.

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Is dealing with a previous GDR still needed?

From Jan’s point of view, Stasi files can aid in an intergenerational dialogue. They can be used to increase awareness of democracy and human rights. Documents of the injustice committed will be preserved, but also evidence of the will to emancipate. The opportunity to deal with a piece of German history has no expiration date.

Stacy Records Authority

Activity report

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