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Zeitschrift: Jahrgang 11, 2014, Heft 2

Stasi konkret? Zur gesellschaftlichen Wirksamkeit der Staatssicherheit / The State Security and ist Social Impact in the GDR

Einführung | Editorial Open Access

Aufsätze / Articles

Anita Krätzner:
Politische Denunziation in der DDR – Strategien kommunikativer Interaktion mit den Herrschaftsträgern (S. 191–206)


For the time being, the analysis of denunciation in the GDR has mostly been limited to State Security IMs. Other ways of cooperation with the authorities have been neglected. This essay has a look at the denunciating behaviour of those involved. Communicative strategies are supposed to be worked out and presented. By way of this analysis the author shows how new perspectives for the research on denunciation and for dealing with relevant sources can be developed.

Rainer Erices:
Im Dienst von Staat und Staatssicherheit: Bezirksärzte der DDR in einem maroden Gesundheitssystem (S. 207–220)


In contrast to the broad public, district medical officers in the GDR were at all times well informed about the flaws of the medical system. Functioning as an interface between the Health Ministry and regional medical institutions, they were of outstanding significance. The here analysed MfS files on district medical officers in the GDR give evidence to the close connections of district medical officers to state authorities and State Security. The boundaries between official cooperation and acting as spies were blurred. Also, the files present a frightening picture of the state of the GDR’s health system in the 1980s.

Francesca Weil:
Unangepasst in zwei Diktaturen? Amtshauptmann von Annaberg Freiherr Kurt Karl Adolf von Wirsing (1879–1964) (S. 221–233)


In his function as Amtshauptmann ( District Head ) of Annaberg (1928–1945), Freiherr Adolf von Wirsing belonged to that elite of public officials who are considered the representatives of authoritarian, traditional national thinking. However, in both German dictatorships he also appeared as a stubborn character who dared open criticism. Nevertheless, during the NS period Wirsing was a loyal public servant. In the GDR, however, he risked opposition. Several institutions were involved in the respective issues connected to Wirsing, State Security among them.

Renate Hürtgen:
Herrschaft im Kreis Halberstadt (S. 235–249)


This article is based on a monograph providing a micro - historical analysis of the way of dealing with applicants in the District of Halberstadt in the 1970s and 1980s. In the following the author describes in particular the role of State Security as part of the “societal front for pushing back applications”, of IMs, as well as some features of their repression practice. She leaves the logic of apparatuses and turns towards actual power relations, presenting astonishing results concerning rule and everyday life in the GDR.

Andreas Malycha:
Staatssicherheit und Wirtschaftskrise – Warnungen des MfS vor dem ökonomischen Niedergang der DDR in den 1980er Jahren (S. 251–265)


Internal reports and information by the MfS more or less clearly addressed the actual economic situation in the GDR, also naming some of the causes. The secret analyses Mielke was presented with by the MfS Hauptabteilung (Main Department ) XVIII uncovered some of the functional flaws of the planned economy, naming Günther Mittag as being responsible for a misguided economic policy. However, the MfS by its analyses was not able to offer any conceptual or personal alternative to the SED’s economic course which could have been enforced under the prevailing political conditions.

Tytus Jaskułowski:
Das Ministerium für Staatssicherheit und das Innenministerium der Volksrepublik Polen 1974–1990 –Grundriss einer konfliktreichen Beziehung (S. 267–278)


The following contribution, thanks to new, previously inaccessible archive sources, presents a clearly differentiated picture of the mutual relationship of the MfS to the Polish Ministry of Interior ( PMI ) between 1974 and 1990. The Author means, that the PMI was no passive actor in this relationship and that the myth of a weak Polish intelligence service and strong East German one in Poland is false. Against the MfS, the PMI used the same instruments, methods, and means of defense ( counter - measurers ) that the Stasi in the GDR used against Polish spying.

Andreas Kötzing:
Vom Mythos der Allmacht – Die Darstellung der Staatssicherheit im DDR-Spielfilm der 1960er Jahre (S. 279–291)


The article deals with stylising State Security, by the examples of the DEFA spy films “Reserviert für den Tod” ( Spared for Death, 1963), “For Eyes only – Streng Geheim” ( For Eyes only – Strictly Confidential, 1963) and “Schwarzer Samt” ( Black Velvet, 1964). The author analyses by way of which narratives and stylistic means the MfS was presented in the early 1960s. Topically, these films reproduce all those threat scenarios employed by the SED propaganda to justify the building of the Wall. At the same time State Security acts as an almighty secret service always ready for the defence which is not used to control the population but rather protects it from imminent danger.

Buchbesprechungen / Book Reviews

Adolf Hitler. Biographie, Band 1: Die Jahre des Aufstiegs 1889-1939
Frankfurt a.M. (Fischer Verlag) 2013 / Autor: Volker Ullrich
Rezension: Manfred Zeidler (S. 295–298)

Zur Lage der Kirche. Die Wochenbriefe von Landesbischof D. August Marahrens 1934-1947
Göttingen (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht) 2009 / Autor: Thomas Jan Kück
Rezension: Gerhard Lindemann (S. 298–303)

Kollaboration des Geistes. Deutsche und französische Rechtsintellektuelle 1933-1940
Berlin (Duncker & Humblot) 2012 / Autor: Sebastian Liebold
Rezension: Hans-Christof Kraus (S. 304–306)

Mahler, Maschke & Co. Rechtes Denken in der 68er Bewegung?
Paderborn (Ferdinand Schöningh Verlag) 2013 / Autor: Manuel Seitenbecher
Rezension: Wolfgang Kraushaar (S. 306–310)

Ausnahmezustand. Carl Schmitts Lehre von der kommissarischen Diktatur
Baden-Baden (Nomos) 2013 / Autor: Rüdiger Voigt
Rezension: Lothar Fritze (S. 311–312)