The secret police of former East Germany, the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Headquartered in East Berlin it was a repressive intelligence and secret police agency.
The Ministry for State Security (German: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, MfS) was commonly known as "Stasi" – which is an abbreviation of the German word for State Security: "Staatssicherheit." One of its main tasks was spying on the population, mainly through a vast network of citizens turned informants, and fighting any opposition by overt and covert measures. It was also responsible for both espionage in foreign countries in the time of the the Cold War. Numerous Stasi officials were prosecuted for their crimes after the fall of the GDR in1990. After German reunification, the surveillance files that the Stasi had maintained on millions of East Germans were laid open, so that any citizen could inspect their personal file on request. Here you can find a chronological compilation of all DW content referring to the "Stasi."
Child abuse was even more a taboo in the former GDR than in West Germany, an independent committee has found. The "high degree of secrecy" left victims in a state of "extreme helplessness" from which many still suffer.
This week: the harrowing story of a German family trying to find out what really happened to their 2-year-old son, who was declared dead 40 years ago under suspicious circumstances in a hospital in the former East Germany. And we take a closer look at Ceuta, a frontier town on the front line of migrant clashes in North Africa.