Is the Stasi Records Agency still necessary?: past and current debates and its uncertain future

Charlesworth, Zoe (2014) Is the Stasi Records Agency still necessary?: past and current debates and its uncertain future. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    As the German Democratic Republic (GDR) collapsed in 1989, citizens’ movements stormed and occupied the offices of its state security service, the Ministry of State Security (Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, MfS or the Stasi) to prevent the destruction of their records. The Stasi kept files on six million GDR citizens. After reunification, it was arranged that these files were preserved and organised by a special new agency, the Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic (der Bundesbeauftragte für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen Deutschen Demokratischen Republik or BStU). Stasi victims, academic researchers and journalists are able to access the files and their use is regulated by a special law, the Stasi Records Act (Stasi-Unterlagen-Gesetz or StUG).
    This dissertation considers how successful the work of the BStU has been and attempts to determine whether the agency is still needed today, by focusing on various issues and controversies which have arisen over the agency’s lifetime. It explores revelations about high profile Stasi informers, the BStU’s employment of former Stasi employees and the debate over the publication of information from Stasi files concerning Helmut Kohl. The debate over the future of the agency and the proposed relocation of the files to the Federal Archives in 2019 are also examined. It uses a range of primary and secondary sources, drawing extensively on German articles from newspapers and academic journals and official BStU documents. Ultimately this dissertation concludes that while much of the BStU’s work is still important, the agency itself is no longer necessary.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 11:45
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:45

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