When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 the inexorable march towards a united Germany began. As part of this process, the Stasi, East German's secret police, was disbanded, and many of its henchman arrested. Among the most brutal and successful intelligence surveillance organizations of the Cold War Years, the Stasi had informers in virtually every factory, office, military unit, school, university, hospital, and church.
The Stasi, the first English-language account of the East German secret police, tells the story of the Stasi from its origins in the dreaded Cheka, the notorious Russian secret police, to its abolition in 1989. Based on years of personal experience with the Stasi, interviews with former Stasi members and their victims, archival research, interviews with members of the German parliament, and street interviews conducted in several East German towns, David Childs and Richard Popplewell uncover a fascinating yet horrifying story of unbridled power, misguided idealism, treachery, widespread opportunism, and the occasionally courageous dissenter.