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Big, Mucky Balls of Secrets at the Former Stasi Headquarters in Leipzig

Rick Steves | Posted 08.20.2016 | Travel
Rick Steves

Like the USSR had the KGB, East Germany had the Stasi. This amazing museum smells like the musty files that it kept on its citizens. The old vinyl floor is yellowed, and the camera lenses actually look like buttons.

ruth, Transparency, Democracy and the Surveillance State

Coleen Rowley | Posted 05.05.2015 | Politics
Coleen Rowley

When a powerful government like "Top Secret America" enjoys maximum "privacy" while private individuals are subjected to full transparency, it might be time to turn that boat around!

Dealing With the Stasi

John Feffer | Posted 11.10.2014 | World
John Feffer

Today David Crawford reports for The Wall Street Journal from Berlin. When I met him 23 years ago, he was one of the most knowledgeable researchers into the Stasi. Through careful investigation, he put together a series of lists that exposed the inner workings of the organization.

The Lives of Others: Lessons Not Learned

K.J. Wetherholt | Posted 06.16.2014 | Politics
K.J. Wetherholt

That history repeats itself is a known truth borne from both philosophical reminders and from experience, for humanity has a way of forgetting its most important lessons, even those from fewer than three decades ago.

The Largest Human Rights Movement in the East

John Feffer | Posted 05.03.2014 | World
John Feffer

In East-Central Europe prior to 1989, the faces of the human rights movement were the signatories of Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia, the dissident writers in Hungary, the Solidarity trade union leaders in Poland, the renegade Party members in Romania. Roland Jahn doesn't disagree that these were important human rights movements. He was, after all, a part of them.

The File

John Feffer | Posted 04.30.2014 | World
John Feffer

As researchers patiently reconstruct the materials that Stasi employees tried to tear up before the archive passed out of their hands, the piles of files only grows higher. Tens of thousands of people each year go through the process of looking at their files. Marcel Rotter is one of those people.

Maintaining a Moral Politics

John Feffer | Posted 01.23.2014 | World
John Feffer

In the early days of the changes in 1989, a new kind of politics emerged within the opposition movements poised to enter parliaments and governments. Many dissidents had a deep distrust of political parties and of political compromise.

What Happened to East Germany's Workers?

John Feffer | Posted 11.30.2013 | World
John Feffer

The first major challenge to the new Communist authorities in East-Central Europe came from the workers in East Germany. What started out as a strike of 300 East Berlin construction workers upset at higher work quotas quickly became an insurrection.


John Feffer | Posted 11.11.2013 | World
John Feffer

Every country in Eastern Europe had "them" - the Communists who put the Soviet Union above any national priorities. But in East Germany, a more potent "them" eventually emerged: the Stasi.

Pushed to the Margins

John Feffer | Posted 09.17.2013 | World
John Feffer

After the Berlin Wall fell, sociologist Irene Runge talked openly about her collaboration with the Stasi even as she participated in the new political structures, like the Round Table.

The Stasi's Long Shadow

John Feffer | Posted 09.14.2013 | World
John Feffer

It's been 24 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the effective end of the East German state security service known as the Stasi. But the Stasi issue continues to haunt Germany.

From the Jewish Museum to the Stasi Museum and From Berlin Straight to Havana

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 07.10.2013 | World
Yoani Sanchez

The Jewish Museum in Berlin. Photo: Yoani Sanchez The building is shaped like a dislocated Star of David. Gray, with a zinc-clad facade and little o...

Dictator's Widow Brands Regime's Victims 'Criminals'

The Huffington Post | Mark Hanrahan | Posted 04.03.2012 | World

Margot Honecker, the widow of East Germany's communist dictator Erich Honecker, has given a defiant interview in which she defends her late husband an...

The Past That Awaits Us; What Will They Tell Their Children?

Yoani Sanchez | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Yoani Sanchez

Today's guest post is from Reinaldo Escobar's blog: Desde Aqui/From Here. Image source: The Past That Awaits Us By Reinaldo Escobar ...

Revealing Secrets

Belinda Cooper | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Belinda Cooper

East Germans stormed the Stasi 19 years ago today and began to dismantle the secret police apparatus. As a new administration takes over in the US, we might take to heart the lessons learned about openness.