Ministry for public security

Wappen des Ministeriums für Staatssicherheit der DDR
coat of arms of the Ministry for public security of the GDR
rechts Blick auf Haus 1, Büro der Leitung des Minsteriums
on the right of view of house 1, office of the line of the Department
Hauptgebäude Abteilung Nachrichten, Berlin-Lichtenberg
main building department of message, Berlin Lichtenberg
memorial place high beautiful living, Berlin

the Ministry for public security (abbreviation: “MfS state security service”) was” colloquial “the inland and foreign countrysecret service of the GDR and at the same time determination authority (investigation organ) for “political criminal offences”. Above all however the MfS was a suppression and a spying on instrument of the SED against system-critical citizens of the GDR. In accordance with condition of the SED the MfS was in the political linguistic usage „signand sword of the party “. The MfS was created 1950 and was responsible for substantial monitoring, terror and torture against the civilian population in the GDR.

There was a further secret service in the GDR, the military clearing-up of the NVA (seat in Berlin - Treptow,Tarnbezeichnung at the object entrance:Mathematical-physical Institut of the NVA). The MfS Militärabwehr - head department I (see arrangement) did not belong to this service and also not to the NVA.

Table of contents

history and tasks of the MfS

forerunners of the MfS

the Ministry for public security built when its establishment to 8. February1950 on two indirect predecessor organizations up:

On the one hand the Soviet Ministries for inside and for public security (NKWD/NKGB would install and/or. MWD/MGB) under Lawrentij Berija a set of independent, extensive apparatuses in the Soviet zone of occupation, under thatLine of the general-upper Iwan A. Serow, starting from 1946 Nikolai K. Kowaltschuk, stood.

On the other hand in August 1946 the German administration of the inside (DVdI) was created, which standardized the political police under the designation K5. The K5 became very early alreadyentrusts to accomplish as well as care for secretofficial operations and tasks. At first the K5 had a personnel status of approximately 160 (1946) and later an existence of nearly 700 (April 1948) coworkers.


the basis for the structure of oneindependent secret police the Politbüro of the CPSU put to 28. December 1948 with the resolution for the formation of the “head office for the protection of the national economy”. With this resolution itself Ulbricht , William Pieck and Otto Grotewohl knew walter against the fears of theSoviet Minister for public security, Victor S. Abakumow, intersperse, which was anxious because of the effect of this resolution on the westallied.

To 24. January 1950 seized the Politbüro of the SED the resolution for the formation of the MfS. Later those recommended already two days Government of the GDR parallel to the own “resolution over the protection from sabotage likewise the formation of the MfS. To 8. February 1950 decided the people chamber of the GDR unanimously the formation of the MfS. As a leader eight days became late William Zaisser begun. Erich Mielke was its deputy in the rank of an undersecretary of state.

After the MfS with the prevention of the rising of the people to 17. June 1953 “malfunctioned” had, the Ministry in July 1953 to „the office of the secretary of state for public security (SFS) “was transformed and the ministry of the Interiorsubordinated; only to 24. November 1955 received it again to Ministry rank. Director/conductor of SFS and/or. Minister of the MfS was Ernst Wollweber, the walter Ulbricht 1957 by Erich Mielke, which replaced past deputy. Mielke led the MfS up to 7. November 1989, the day of the resignation of the Council of Ministers of the GDR to the turn.

To 17. November 1989 selected the people chamber of the GDR a new Council of Ministers. The MfS is renamed in office for national security (AfNS), its leaders became the pastDeputy by Erich Mielke, Wolfgang Schwanitz. In the morning 4. December 1989 was occupied the district place of the MfS in Erfurt by citizens, after it admits had become that the state security service documents should be destroyed. In the evening of the same daily the agencies becamein Leipzig and Rostock occupies; the other district cities followed, last to 15. January 1990 the center in Berlin. In the case of occupations it partly came to chaotic conditions. With the mechanism of citizen guards and citizen committees the forced dissolution and processing beganthe MfS. No month later, to 14. December, decided the Council of Ministers the dissolution of the “new” AfNS and the structure of a protection of the constitution as well as an intelligence service (in obvious support to the secret service structures in the Federal Republic). For the setting up the protection of the constitution cameit however because of citizen protests and after resolution of the Council of Ministers of 13. January 1990 not.

Later the round table approved of the self dissolution of the foreign clearing-up of the MfS (head office clearing-up, briefly HV A), its leaders of 1955 - 1986 Markus wolf, a deputy Erich Mielkes, was. Despite the following destruction to nearly all documents and data medium of the HV A 1990 their mobilization arrived - (mobilization) to card indices under unsettled circumstances into the hands of the CIA. They became later under the name rose wood documents admits.

To 29. December 1991 came into force the state security service document law (StUG), which the German Bundestag with large majority had passed. The central request of this law is the complete opening of the documents of the former public security service, in particular the entrance of the concerning toothe information, which the public security service stored to them. For the first time citizens got opportunity to see in documents which a secret service had put on over it. This was guaranteed by particularly for this the imported office Federal Commissioners for the documents of the state security agencythe former GDR (after the owners usually briefly Gauck - and/or. late Birthler - authority mentioned).

Legal basis for the activity of the MfS formed „the law over the formation of a Ministry for public security “, the statutes of SFS/MfS of 1953 and/or. 1969(those strictest secrecy were subject and in those the secretofficial powers by the government or the national defence council were sanctioned) as well as the code of criminal procedure and the people police regulation of 1968, whose paragraph 20 equipped the members of the MfS with police powers. However movedthe secret service also outside of these legal bases and offended itself with its work also against condition warranties of the own GDR condition.

By formal resolution of the SED Politbüros of 23. Septembers 1953 were assigned to the GDR secret service the following tasks:

extent of the MfS

it becomes estimated,that 1989 about 91,000 humans worked full-time for the MfS. Since this understood itself as „sign and sword of the party “, the majority of its coworkers was at the same time member in the SED. Within the organization of the MfS were the director/conductor of the district administrationsat the same time members of the SED semidirect lines. The procedural instructions to the Ministry came from the guidance of the party, which later took responsibility for its acts at no time officially, also not after their renaming in Party of Democratic Socialism.

The MfS was formal thatCouncil of Ministers of the GDR subordinated, led however like each secret service an internal independent existence. In addition far more than 100,000 „unofficial coworkers so mentioned came “(IN), from those many as informers and abroad than Saboteure, Zersetzer and feeler gauges (official linguistic usage: Scouts of the peace) acted.

The numbers specified above show that related to the total number the COM and IN e.g. 200.000 and the total number of the citizens of the Federal Republic of (80 million) each 400. for the MfS worked. Under exclusion thatChildren and old persons (18-80 years) would have probably each 200. to 300. Citizens in all-German country for the MfS worked. One goes from the main emphasis of the coworkers in the GDR (16 million inhabitant) out, and of it that two thirds (140.000) the coworkerthere, was probably about each 50 was active. Humans between 18 and 80 years for the MfS actively (those are 2% of the population). Many in were full-time policemen, officials of state and army officers, in addition, private people such as colleague, coworker, even relativethe citizen supervised by the MfS.

At the time of the collapse of the GDR there were approximately 1500 active MfS feeler gauges, predominantly in West Germany, in the Federal Republic how the published evaluation of the rose wood files in such a way specified resulted in in March 2004. The amount of in, whichfor the head office clearing-up in the GDR were active, thereby with 20.000 one numbered.

An entry as IN is to be rated first only as indication for a secret service activity: It cannot be excluded surely that pure establishments of contacts of the MfSby a document voucher as IN documented. Alone from notes and other entries on record sheets cannot be determined always free of doubts, how close the relationship of a person with the MfS was; they supply only indications. The events can often only on the basisthe interlaced documents to be comprehensively reconstructed. These are received for some IN still, for others IN destroyed. However is cross reference in other reports, which can a picture over the activity IN give. The mandatory undertaking (to co-operation alsothe MfS) no more is not often to be found in these cases, since a substantial number of documents before the collapse of the authority was destroyed.

arrangement of the MfS

Stasi-Bezirksverwaltung Leipzig "Runde Ecke" Dittrichring
state security service district administration Leipzig “round corner” Dittrichring
Amtsschild der Stasi-Bezirksverwaltung Leipzig
office sign of the state security service district administration Leipzig

the “state security service”was arranged into several head departments as well as in subsections and also working groups, which were located closely with one another all in connection. The main groups were durchnummeriert usually with Roman numbers and everyone of them worked on their it assigned field of activity in the far spectrum ofTravel affairs over visual monitoring, protection of individuals up to espionage.

The MfS was locally arranged into the Ministry in Berlin Lichtenberg, the district administrations (BVs) in each district city and the circle agencies (KDs) in each district town and/or. circle-free city. In addition came someObject agencies (ODs), which were furnished for monitoring in particularly large and economicalally important enterprises.

  • Minister for public security
    • department 26 - telephone monitoring
    • department of armament and chemical services (BCD)
    • department of finances
    • department of message - Sicherstellung of the intelligence
    • department of X - international connections
    • Department XI - Coding service
    • department XIV - remand and execution of sentences
    • working group range commercial coordination (AG BKK)
    • working group of the Minister (AGM) - mobilization, buildings of protection
    • Working group E with the deputy of the Minister, colonel general Mittig (AG E)
    • working group XVII - visitor office Berlin (west)
    • office of the line (BdL) - internal security of the MfS
    • office of the centers line of the sport combination direct current generator
    • head department I (hectar I) - NVA and border troops(NVA internal designation of the hectars I:Administration 2000)
    • Head department II (hectar of II) - counter-espionage
      • department of M - post office control
    • of head department III (hectar of III) - radio clearing-up, radio defense
    • head department VI (hectar of VI) - passport check, tourism, interhotel
    • head department VII (hectar of VII) - “defense” inMinistry of the inside (MdI) and the German people police (DVP)
    • head department VIII (hectar of VIII) - observation, determination
    • head department IX (hectar of IX) - investigation organ
      • head department IX/11 (clearing-up of Nazi and war crime)
    • head department XIX (hectar of XIX) - traffic, post office, intelligence
    • head department XVIII (hectarXVIII) - national economy
    • head department XX (hectar of XX) - state State of, culture, church, underground
    • head department XXII (hectar of XXII) - “terror defense”
    • head department protection of individuals (hectar HP)
    • head department cadre and training (hectar of KuSch)
      • (legal) university of the MfS
      • of central medical service (ZMD)
    • operational-technical sector (OTS)
    • administrationRear services (VRD)
    • center working group secret protection (ZAGG)
    • center analysis and group of information (ZAIG)
      • department XII - center information/memory
      • department XIII - center computing station
      • right place
    • center group of coordinations (ZKG) - fight against escape and removal
    • central operational staff (ZOS)
  • head office clearing-up - foreign country espionage (HVA)

training centres of the MfS

to 16. June 1951 opened walter Ulbricht in presence of William Zaisser „the school of the Ministry for public security “in Golm with potsdam. Ernst Wollweber, the successor Zaissers, designated her 1955in better sounding „university of the Ministry for public security “over, although it was at this time still no university strictly speaking, but only to it became. Only 1963 one could acquire a diploma. Since June 1965 it became outward„legal university potsdam “mentioned. Internally from 1976 to 1989 the name was used „university of the Ministry for public security “. To 18. June 1968 received the university graduation right (Dr. jur. (Graduation A), starting from 1. June 1981 also Dr. sports club[scientiae] jur. [juris] (graduation B)). All work was subject to the usual secrecy rules of a secret service. A goal of the training was it to train leading officers for the MfS.

To 1961 a chair became „legal training “, a working group „Kriminalistik “and institutes for marxism Leninism, right andSpecial discipline furnished.1988 was added chairs for „basic processes of the political-operational work “, „espionage “, „political and ideological various ion activity (PID) “, „political underground activity (PUT) “and „basic questions of the work in and to the area of operations “.

To 19. June 1970 became „the legal technical school of the Ministry forPublic security “based and to 4. November 1970 of Erich Mielke opens. It was attached the legal university potsdam. Possible was here completing a specialized school technical or specialized school remote study. Condition for entrance was the previous cooperation for the MfS. Until 1984 it gave6,343 graduates, in accordance with computer forecasts were it up to the dissolution of the school about 10.000. (Literature (1))


acquaintance official coworkers (COM)

executions in the GDR

the death penalty was until 1987 inGDR right embodies, but death sentences and executions were treated as secret matter. Until 1981, so the current conditions of the determinations, on behalf of the MfS 64 death sentences were imposed and these humans were then executed. In the penal institution at the Alfred Kästner road in Leipzig becamethe Exekutionen accomplished. The latter to death was Dr. condemned. Werner Teske, an officer of the public security, which 1981 were executed there.

coworkers of the MfS in the FRG (so far published)

Victims or persons of the public life were observed, (so far publicly admits)

MfS center Ministry Berlin Lichtenberg

house 1, seat of the Minister, now (research and memorial place Normannenstrasse, 2005)
head office of the HVA in the Ministry complex Berlin Lichtenberg

alone the center of the Ministry in Berlin took onewhole house block: Frankfurt avenue - Magdalenenstrasse - Normannenstrasse - frill road, in addition the complex Gotlindestrasse. Impressive main building, in which among other things also the former Minister for public security had Erich Mielke and its secretariat its offices, is since 1990 tooa museum developed (“research and memorial place Normannenstrasse”, frill road 103, house 1, U-Bahnhof Magdalenenstrasse; see Web on the left of). Accessible are among other things the original received office space of Minister Erich Mielke (see photos) as well as several exhibitions to GDR history with reference to the MfS.

see also

further GDR:


  • Jürgen Aretz/Wolfgang stick, the forgotten victims of the GDR, Lübbe 1997, ISBN 3-404-60444-X,
  • Thomas Auerbach, employment command at the invisible front, CH. On the left of 1999, ISBN 3-86153-183-6,
  • Klaus Behnke/Jürgen wolf (Hrsg.), state security service on the schoolyard, Ullstein 1998, ISBN 3-548-33243-9,
  • Günter Förster, the legal university of the MfS, Federal Commissioner for thoseDocuments of the public security service of the former German ones Democratic Republic (BStU), department of education and research; Berlin, 1996,
  • Karl William Fricke, file inspection, CH. On the left of 1997 (4. durchges. and. aktual. Aufl.), ISBN 3-86153-099-6,
  • Stefan Gerber, for the training of diploma lawyers at thatUniversity of the MfS (legal entities), paperback, German Federal Armed Forces publishing house, ISBN 3-83050-008-4,
  • Jens Gieseke: The Ministry for public security (1950-1990). In: Torsten Diedrich, Hans Ehlert, Ruediger Wenzke (Hrsg.): In the service of the party. Manual of the armed organs of the GDR, Berlin 1998, side371 to 422, ISBN 3-86153-160-7,
  • Jens Gieseke: The GDR public security: Sign and sword of the party, Bonn: Federal center for political education, 2000, ISBN 3-89331-402-4,
  • Hubertus boy, west work of the MfS, CH. On the left of 1999, ISBN 3-86153-182-8,
  • Hubertus boy, thatdiscrete charm of the GDR, Ullstein 2002, ISBN 3-549-07137-X,
  • Hubertus boy, which suffers infiltrated Republic of, Ullstein 2001 , ISBN 3-549-05589-7
  • , Henry, LV criminals and public security, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2005, ISBN 3-525-35018-X,
  • Werner quiet: In the center thatEspionage, v. Hare & charcoal burner, Mainz 1986, ISBN 3-7758-1141-9
  • Michael judge the public security in the last year of the GDR, Böhlau Weimar among other things 1996, ISBN 3-412-04496-2
  • Hans Joachim harmful (Hrsg.), on record, Rowohlt 2001, ISBN 3-87134-057-X
  • refuge cutter, the Gruselkabinettthe Dr. Hubertus boy (lari) (preface: Klaus chicken); Berlin: Spotless publishing house 2005, ISBN the 3-937943-14-5
  • Gabriele fast: Youth in the visor the state security service. Potsdam, 2001, ISBN 3-932-50231-0
  • Hannes Sieberer, harsh ore Kierstein, uses for heating and forget. A US agent and the GDR counter-espionage, edition east 2005, ISBN 3-36001-065-5
  • Peter Wensierski: The revenge of the pensioners, in mirror 13/2006 S. 44 FF.

Web on the left of


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