The Limits of Secret Police Power

The Magdeburger Stasi, 1953-1989

by Edward N. Peterson (Author)
Monographs VI, 330 Pages


Governmental control was largely exercised by the secret police of the Communist German Democratic Republic, popularly called the «Stasi». This book is based on the Stasi’s internal documents at the district level in Magdeburg, which describe the popular reactions to government policy, a constant discontent that increased to an explosive level. These documents also reveal that the secret police reported internal problems and that by 1987 they were aware that national problems were not being solved by communism and that some radical change was necessary. By the fall of 1989 they saw a justification for the overthrow of the «Old Men» running the republic.


VI, 330
ISBN (Hardcover)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2004. VI, 330 pp.

Biographical notes

Edward N. Peterson (Author)

The Author: Edward N. Peterson earned his Ph.D. in German history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1953, and has taught history from 1954 at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He is the author of several books focusing on the limits of authority’s power including: The Limits of Hitler’s Power: Retreat to Victory; The American Occupation of Germany; The Many Faces of Defeat, Germany in 1945; An Analytical History of World War II; Russian Commands-German Resistance; and The Secret Police and the Revolution.


Title: The Limits of Secret Police Power