Times Higher Education: How the Stasi archive handles potentially incriminating information

Times Higher Education: How the Stasi archive handles potentially incriminating information. “These are the archives of the Stasi, the German Democratic Republic’s infamous secret police, known officially as the Ministry of State Security. To put the size of this unique record of everyday collaboration and resistance in context, the entire German state since unification in 1870 has produced 300km (205 miles) of documents. The Stasi managed, over the course of just 40 years and operating in only about a third of German territory, to create at least 111km of material. ‘The Stasi were like a vacuum cleaner’, hoovering up information on every aspect of life in the GDR, says Karsten Jedlitschka, a research manager at the archives. Less well known than the archives’ vast scale is the huge ongoing operation to regulate what information is released into the public domain. Nearly 500 officials, working across 13 locations, are employed to assess requests for files. They find, read and redact documents depending on how sensitive they are.”