This work gets its name from the Stasi – which was the internal army by which the East German government kept control (just like NKVD in USSR). Its job was to know everything about everyone, using any means it chose.
In its forty years, ‘the Firm’ generated the equivalent of all records in German history since the middle ages. Laid out upright and end to end, the files the Stasi kept on their countrymen and women would form a line 180 kilometres long.
The paragraph below would render a general idea how deeply it affected lives of people under its “rule”:In Hitler’s Third Reich it is estimated that there was one Gestapo agent for every 2000 citizens, and in Stalin’s USSR there was one KGB agent for every 5830 people. In the GDR, there was one Stasi officer or informant for every sixty-three people. If part-time informers are included, some estimates have the ratio as high as one informer for every 6.5 citizens.
Anna Funder depicts perfectly the “logic” behind the Wall:So, according to Koch, Ulbricht, the head of state, decided he needed to build an ‘anti-fascist protective measure’. I have always been fond of this term which has something of the prophylactic about it, protecting easterners from the western disease of shallow materialism. It obeys all the logic of locking up free people to keep them safe from criminals.