• Germany's news in English

Computer will soon piece together torn Stasi files

The Local · 2 Oct 2011, 11:49

Published: 02 Oct 2011 11:49 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Thousands of sacks of torn and shredded paper files were recovered from offices of the feared East German secret service in 1989 and 1999 after the Berlin Wall fell and the East German government collapsed.

Currently 12 workers painstakingly try to piece them back together, and have, over the last 16 years, managed to reconstruct around a million pages. But there are more than 15,000 sacks of torn up pieces which still need to be dealt with.

Head of the authority administering the Stasi files Roland Jahn said at the weekend that tests on a computer system to piece the bits back together should begin next year.

“We are hoping to get new understanding of the functioning of the Stasi – particularly during the last phase of the GDR, as they continued to try to push back the peaceful revolution,” he said.

The first shredded files to be submitted to the computer system will come from the Stasi’s main section XX which was responsible for political opposition – as well as the HVA, which was responsible for foreign operations.

In an interview to mark Monday’s 21st anniversary of German reunification, Jahn said he could see how far the country had come.

“Young people no longer ask about east or west,” he said, while older generations needed to feel respected. “It is important to inform ourselves about each other and to narrate biographies.”

Story continues below…

DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

15:34 October 2, 2011 by catjones
The 'It Wasn't Us' (IWU) Stasi Committee has demanded the reconstructed files be blurred. It's believed the court will rule in their favor.
14:58 October 3, 2011 by Englishted
Wow a computer that can use sticky tape ,next thing you know they will come out with sliced bread.
18:36 October 7, 2011 by McNair Kaserne
It's not news that many STASI employees are now in positions of influence and authority (the education system, the judicial system, etc.) in the reunited Germany. I doubt very much that they wish to be exposed for their actions and their history.. Small wonder they do not wish these efforts to proceed, and hope that their sins will be forgotten. If only they were Nazi totalitarians instead of Communist ones, then they could be pursued to the ends of the earth.
Today's headlines
Anger as Berlin scraps 'Armenia genocide' concert in Turkey
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd