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The Limits of Secret Police Power

The Magdeburger Stasi, 1953-1989


Edward N. Peterson

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.