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Cottbus chamber of commerce head resigns after Stasi allegations

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Cottbus chamber of commerce head resigns after Stasi allegations
Photo: DPA
13:19 CET+01:00
The president of the Cottbus Chamber of Commerce, Ulrich Fey, has resigned in the wake of allegations he worked with East Germany's notorious secret police. While admitting to contacts with the Stasi, he said he was never an informant.

“I feel it is necessary to step down immediately so I don't become a burden to the Cottbus Chamber of Commerce,” Fey said on Wednesday.

Public broadcaster RBB had accused Fey in its television program Klartext of having worked for the Stasi under the alias “Köste” from 1974 to 1986 during which he allegedly gave information to the secret police about co-workers at the Schwarzheide chemical factory where he worked.

On Tuesday, Fey admitted that he did have contact with the Stasi, but denied being an informant, saying he never signed any kind of agreement with the organization.

Fey added that despite ten months of research, RBB had found “no credible evidence” of the allegations and any conversations with the secret police had in no way harmed anyone. He said his antipathy toward the East Germany's political system, which could be proven, began as a child and lasted until the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Numerous calls had gone out for his resignation, including from several Cottbus city officials, local business leaders and groups representing people persecuted by the communist regime.

Fey's resignation follows the suspension last week of Bernd Fleischer, a Cottbus police spokesman, who was also accused by RBB of being an “unofficial informant,” or IM, for the Stasi.

DPA/DAPD/kdj

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