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."
Germans who lived in the GDR have been able to view the files kept on them by East Germany's notorious Stasi secret police. Now, East Germany's last prime minister is demanding to see what the West knew about him.
State Housing Secretary Andrej Holm has admitted to having been a full-time employee of the Stasi before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. His original appointment to the post one month ago caused intense debate.