The Stasi worried that young people would attempt to crash through the forbidden zone near Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate in the heart of the city in an attempt to listen to the concert near the Wall.
“Certain youngsters (in some cases named specifically) are planning a confrontation with the police,” said a Stasi file dated May 4, 1988, cited by Bild.
To prevent this, the Stasi planned a “diversionary concert” to keep people away. The idea was to draw the youths to a stadium deeper inside East Berlin where the concert would be retransmitted on a large screen with a two-minute delay.
If the authorities got a whiff of “political provocation” on the part of the West, the transmission would be replaced with a tape of an old Jackson concert.
But the plan was never put into action. Instead the Stasi reverted to type and police violently dispersed those who attempted to get close to the Wall when the concert took place on June 19.