GDR State Security: Still thousands of applications for access to Stasi files

Even after the Stasi files were transferred to the Federal Archives, interest in the documents continued unabated.

GDR State Security: Still thousands of applications for access to Stasi files

Even after the Stasi files were transferred to the Federal Archives, interest in the documents continued unabated. About 2,400 to 2,500 requests for personal inspection of GDR state security files were received on average every month, a spokesman for the Federal Archives said when asked by the German Press Agency.

There were a total of 39,820 such applications (as of the end of October 2022). In addition, there are inquiries from authorities, science and the media, so that the Federal Archives have received 57,417 inquiries since June 17, 2021.

At this point in time, the Stasi Records Authority had been dissolved after around three decades and the holdings had been transferred to the Federal Archives. 1300 employees were taken over. Among the millions of documents once kept by GDR civil rights activists are files on the state security spying on citizens, but also photos and sound recordings. At the time, there were fears that interest in the holdings might wane and that insight might become more difficult.

About a year and a half after the files were taken over by the Federal Archives, its President Michael Hollmann emphasized: "The Stasi documents are and will remain open. They make a decisive contribution to coming to terms with the SED dictatorship." This remains so - "completely independent of usage booms, of more or fewer inquiries."

According to statistics, the number of inquiries from citizens has steadily decreased in recent years. In 2019, on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Wall on November 9, 1989, it reached a higher level again with a total of 56,526 applications. In the following year there were 37,407 applications, in 2021 there were 30,603.

Stasi Records Archive

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