Stasi

Harper’s Bazaar isn’t celebrating Chrissy Metz because she’s “morbidly obese.”
Like the USSR had the KGB, East Germany had the Stasi. This amazing museum smells like the musty files that it kept on its citizens. The old vinyl floor is yellowed, and the camera lenses actually look like buttons.
When a powerful government like "Top Secret America" enjoys maximum "privacy" while private individuals are subjected to full transparency, it might be time to turn that boat around!
Today David Crawford reports for The Wall Street Journal from Berlin. When I met him 23 years ago, he was one of the most knowledgeable researchers into the Stasi. Through careful investigation, he put together a series of lists that exposed the inner workings of the organization.
That history repeats itself is a known truth borne from both philosophical reminders and from experience, for humanity has a way of forgetting its most important lessons, even those from fewer than three decades ago.
In East-Central Europe prior to 1989, the faces of the human rights movement were the signatories of Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia, the dissident writers in Hungary, the Solidarity trade union leaders in Poland, the renegade Party members in Romania. Roland Jahn doesn't disagree that these were important human rights movements. He was, after all, a part of them.
As researchers patiently reconstruct the materials that Stasi employees tried to tear up before the archive passed out of their hands, the piles of files only grows higher. Tens of thousands of people each year go through the process of looking at their files. Marcel Rotter is one of those people.
In the early days of the changes in 1989, a new kind of politics emerged within the opposition movements poised to enter parliaments and governments. Many dissidents had a deep distrust of political parties and of political compromise.
The first major challenge to the new Communist authorities in East-Central Europe came from the workers in East Germany. What started out as a strike of 300 East Berlin construction workers upset at higher work quotas quickly became an insurrection.
Every country in Eastern Europe had "them" - the Communists who put the Soviet Union above any national priorities. But in East Germany, a more potent "them" eventually emerged: the Stasi.
After the Berlin Wall fell, sociologist Irene Runge talked openly about her collaboration with the Stasi even as she participated in the new political structures, like the Round Table.
It's been 24 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the effective end of the East German state security service known as the Stasi. But the Stasi issue continues to haunt Germany.
"There was no need for them to climb over the wall, to pay for this stupidity with their lives," she said. Honecker branded
There is also something ineffable about the Stasi Prison. You walk through, conscious that not so long ago it was the nerve center for one of the most violently sadistic governments of the 20th Century.
East Germans stormed the Stasi 19 years ago today and began to dismantle the secret police apparatus. As a new administration takes over in the US, we might take to heart the lessons learned about openness.