The Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Archives
is a federal government agency
that preserves and protects the archives and investigates the past crimes of the former Stasi
, the secret police
organization of the communist German Democratic Republic
(East Germany). Since March 2011, Roland Jahn
has been head of the agency. He succeeded Marianne Birthler
as federal commissioner.
The agency is subordinate to the Representative of the Federal Government for Culture (Bernd Neumann
, CDU). As of 2010, it has 1 687 employees.
The agency is formally called the Office of the Federal Commissioner Preserving the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic
(, usually referred to as the Bundesbeauftragte für die Stasi-Unterlagen
and abbreviated BStU
In German, the office is informally often referred to as the Gauck office (), Birthler office () or Jahn office () after the first, second and third federal commissioners respectively.
During the regime's final days, Stasi officials shredded documents with paper shredders and by hand. As people heard of this, they quickly formed committees of citizens
and occupied local Stasi-Branches, the first on December 4, 1989 in the east-German town of Erfurt. In a public demonstration they finally gained access to the Stasi headquarters on January 15, 1990 and halted the destruction.
With the German Reunification
on October 3, 1990 a new government agency was founded to... Read More