Thousands of Stasi agents still to be unearthed: official

6th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Thousands of informers of the former East German Stasi secret police who operated in West Germany have still not been identified, an official was quoted as saying Saturday.

Roland Jahn, Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Archives, told the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung that some 12,000 people in the former West Germany had worked for the Stasi between 1949 and 1989.

In the decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification, some 3,000 investigations were launched but only 500 resulted in charges and 360 spies were sentenced, he said.

This meant that most Stasi agents active in the West had still not been unearthed, Jahn added.

He said that as Germany marked 50 years since the construction of the Berlin Wall, many former West Germans were anxious to know what files the Stasi had kept on them.

In the past 20 years they made 340,000 applications to search the archives, compared with 2.7 million for the country as a whole.

Jahn called on the left-wing Die Linke party, which includes former East German communists in its membership, to shed light on the relations between the Stasi and the ruling communist party, the SED.

© 2011 AFP

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