GHDI logo

Stasi Report on the Size and Structure of the East German Opposition (June 1, 1989)

page 2 of 2    print version    return to list previous document     

In addition, there are over 10 personal alliances with specific coordinating functions and assignments, such as the "Follow-Up Committee – Concretely for Peace," the "Working Circle Solidaristic Church" (in 12 regional groups), the "Church from Below" (in 4 regional groups), the "Green-Ecological Network Ark," the "Initiative Peace and Human Rights," and the "Circle of Friends of Conscientious Objectors" [ . . . ]

Over half of all these kinds of alliances were formed before 1985. Political and social efforts to reduce their total number have not thus far succeeded. Personal alliances that have been dissolved are countered by an equally large number of newly formed [alliances] – thus, in 1988 alone, 7 new regional groups of the "Working Circle Solidaristic Church" were formed, as well as 8 new "peace circles" and 8 new "ecological groups."

The total potential of these alliances – including peripherally affiliated forces, which generally represent mere participants in activities/events, who do not pay dues – amounts to ca. 2500 persons total. (Not included in this figure are sympathizers or the politically misled, who are frequently drawn to their activities to influence the public as a result of the calculated influence of the above-named forces – including, among other things, the creation of so-called solidarity effects – and thereby considerably increase the potential and effectiveness of such alliances.) About 600 persons may be categorized as members of the executive committees, while the so-called hard core is made up of a relatively small number of fanatical, frequently obstinate enemies of socialism, driven by a so-called sense of mission, a craving for personal recognition, and a mania for political distinction. In this category there are ca. 60 persons, among others the pastors EPPELMANN, TSCHICHE, and WONNEBERGER, as well as Gerd and Ulrike POPPE, Bärbel BOHLEY, and Werner FISCHER; [and] the persons RUDDENKLAU, SCHULT, Dr. KLEIN, and LIETZ. They are the leading inspirers/organizers of political underground activity and – with their connections at home, abroad in the West, and to anti-socialist forces in other socialist states – they determine the specific content of the hostile activity of personal alliances and their nationwide radius of action.

The composition of the above-mentioned personal alliances demonstrates a broad spectrum extending from those with a strong religious affiliation to those holding atheistic positions, most of them young people, who possess a complexly hostile, oppositional attitude towards the socialist state and social order. The greater part of these forces is characterized by politically indifferent, unstable, wavering attitudes and positions. They also represent, in part, "alternative" or pseudo-alternative views, ideas, positions, and ways of life with regard to socialist development. The proportion of workers and others employed in the productive sector is relatively small. Considerable, by contrast, is the proportion of persons without legally recognized employment (12 percent of all active members/executive leaders).

[ . . . ]

Source: “Stasi Bericht über ‚Persönliche Verbindungen oppositioneller und anderer negativer Kräfte’” [“East German Secret Police Report on ‘Personal Ties to Oppositional and Other Negative Forces’”], in Armin Mitter and Stefan Wolle, eds., „Ich liebe Euch doch alle!” Befehle und Lageberichte des Ministeriums für Staatssicherheit [“But I Do Love You All!” Orders and Updates from the Ministry for State Security]. Berlin, 1990, p. 46 ff.

Translation: Jeremiah Riemer

first page < previous   |   next > last page