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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Requesting access to Stasi documents for research or media


You can apply for access to the Stasi documents at the Federal Archives – Stasi Records Archive (Stasi Records Archive). You can inspect the file on one or more days and request the surrender of duplicates or request the duplicates independently of the file inspection.

With access to Stasi documents, you can:

  • the activities of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR),
  • the mechanisms of rule of the former GDR or the former Soviet occupation zone (SBZ) or
  • the National Socialist past

and publish your results.

With your application, the Stasi Records Archive initiates subject-specific research or personal research in its archives. The results of the search are evaluated and the documents are reviewed for any personal information worthy of protection. Only then will you have access to topic-relevant information from the documents of the State Security Service.  

You will receive access to the Stasi documents in the form of:

  • the inspection of the file,
  • the release of duplicates.

You must apply in writing for access to Stasi documents for research or media at the Stasi Records Archive.

For the publication of your reappraisal results, you will be informed when you hand over documents that you

  • do not use the copies for purposes other than the reprocessing purpose specified at the time of application or pass them on to other bodies, and
  • the publication of personal information must not impair any overriding interests worthy of protection of the persons mentioned.

They are

  • Researcher at an established research institution
  • Private individual with research project
  • Representatives of the media (press, radio, film) or
  • Representative of an institution of civic education

Your research project must:

  • be thematically definable, and
  • Political and historical reappraisal
    • the activities of the State Security Service
    • the mechanisms of rule of the former GDR or the former Soviet occupation zone, or
    • of the National Socialist past
  • They demonstrate a recognizable interest in publishing the research results or media contributions, for example
    • through publication in ongoing research projects at universities
    • by using the findings for books
    • for radio and television broadcasts, or
    • for newspaper and magazine articles

For research, especially private research:

  • Concept
  • Exposé or
  • detailed explanations of the project and the intended use

Media representatives:

  • Copy of press card
  • Project assignment or
  • letter from the client, or
  • other suitable proof of journalistic-editorial activity

for applications from public bodies: none
for applications from non-public bodies:

  • Dues:
    • Inspection for research purposes: EUR 38.35
    • Inspection for media purposes: EUR 76.69
    • Publication of duplicates for research purposes
      • without prior inspection: EUR 10.23
      • after prior inspection: EUR 5.11
  • Publication of duplicates for media purposes
    • without prior inspection: EUR 76.69
    • after prior inspection: EUR 38.35
  • Outlay:
    • Expenses for the surrender of duplicates of paper originals or filmed files: EUR 0.10 to EUR 0.18, depending on the size and type of copy
    • the provision of this data via the issuance platform is free of charge
    • Production and publication of duplicates of other information carriers (e.g. image and sound recordings, films, maps, plans): in full (even if made available via the publication platform)

Details can be found in the Special Fees Ordinance of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (Special Fee Ordinance BKM BKMBGebV) with a list of fees and expenses on the website of the Stasi Records Archive.

The processing time depends largely on the type and scope of the respective research or media project.

  • Contradiction
  • administrative court action

Forms: yes

Written form required: yes

Personal appearance required: no

Online procedure possible: no

You must apply in writing for access to the Stasi documents for research or media from the Stasi Records Archive:

  • Download the application form from the website of the Stasi Records Archive.
  • Fill it out completely, sign it and send it together with all the necessary documents by post to the Stasi Records Archive.
  • Upon receipt of your research or media application, it will be checked for completeness, admissibility and costs incurred. If necessary, you will be asked to submit information or documents.
  • If all legal admission requirements are met, a decision will be made according to your reappraisal topic as to whether the processing will take place in Berlin or, in the case of regional references, in another office of the Stasi Records Archive.
  • If no information on your reappraisal topic could be determined during the research, you will receive a notification.
  • If documents are available, they are requested from the archives. The archive material will be evaluated, read and prepared for access with regard to the subject of your application.
  • The material will be prepared for you to inspect files and/or hand over duplicates.
  • You will always receive an invitation to inspect the file with a proposed date by post or the vote will be sent by e-mail.
  • The duplicates will be sent to you by post or can be picked up in person by appointment. These can also be made available via an online platform if desired.

The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM)

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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