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German History in Documents and Images
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Shredded Stasi Files at Stasi Headquarters in Berlin-Lichtenberg (1990s)
During the demonstrations in the autumn of 1989, GDR citizens made growing demands for the abolition of the Ministry for State Security [Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, MfS], also known as the Stasi. Additionally, demonstrators often gathered directly in front of its various district offices. In light of these protests, Minister for State Security Erich Mielke gave the first order to destroy “official regulations” in the district offices on November 6, 1989. Shortly thereafter, employees began destroying documents in the ministry’s East Berlin headquarters as well. This photograph shows one of numerous sacks of shredded files found during the occupation of the former Stasi headquarters. Photo: Keikus Karsten.