By John Christian Schmeidel
This ebook is a fascinating new exam of 1 of the main feared and effective mystery providers the area has ever recognized, the Stasi. The East German Stasi used to be a jewel one of the communist mystery providers, the main depended on by way of its Russian mom association the KGB, or even extra effective. In its try at ‘total assurance’ of civil society, the Ministry for kingdom defense got here with regards to knowing the totalitarian excellent of a political police strength. in keeping with examine in archival documents unlocked simply after the autumn of the Berlin Wall and on hand to few German and Western readers, this quantity information the Communist Party’s try to regulate all points of East German civil society, and units out what's identified of the regime’s aid for foreign terrorism within the Seventies and Eighties. STASI might be of a lot curiosity to scholars of intelligence reviews, German politics and diplomacy.
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Additional info for STASI: Sword and Shield of the Party (Studies in Intelligence)
First, the Party apparatus within the MfS headquarters had the status of a full geographical district (Kreis) and numbered a substantial 158 employees. Beyond their professional duties, all MfS officers as loyal Party members were expected to attend self-criticism and propaganda meetings. Automatic tasks were listening to readings of SED formal declarations, spending weekend leisure time on Party work, and attending seminars offering a finer understanding of Marxismus-Leninismus, customarily abbreviated to ‘ML’.
The Stasi chief and his deputy were members of the Central Committee, and the chief himself part of the Politburo after 1972. Senior officers always had immediate access to their Party counterparts at the top of the DDR pyramid. Cozy proximity was no bar to infighting, but at least one always knew one’s enemy. The small size and everyday intimacy of the DDR élite – thrown together with each other since youth, living in the same compounds and children attending same schools – resembled the political structure of pre-1914 England or modern Israel far more than sprawling America or Russia.
The participants were drilled in a fall-back story if they were discovered. Other specialists came along as needed, like locksmiths or counter-intelligence officers familiar with Western clandestine radio equipment or espionage paraphernalia. Lookouts covered all approaches to warn of danger. Striking to a Western policeman would be that they never bothered to bring a prosecutor, whose job in the democracies is to make sure the search conforms to the letter of the warrant. Although a warrant requirement was written into the DDR criminal code, as in all the communist states, it was generally added as a rubber stamp after the fact.