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Access to Records

Viewing and Examining Files

The Stasi Records Agency (BStU) is responsible for making the records of the State Security Service of the former GDR accessible to the public. The legal basis for this is provided by the Stasi Records Act. It regulates, among other things, the application process to view files and the conditions under which the files are made available.

Every individual has the right to request to view his own personal file. Limited access to records on missing or deceased persons is available to near relatives for specific purposes.

In the central archive of the BStU.In the central archive of the BStU. Source: BStU / Dresen

The Federal Commissioner supports scholarship, civic education agencies, the press, radio and film (media) in their political and historical reappraisals of the past. Within the scope of an admissible application, records of the State Security Service will be made available on topics related to the activities of the State Security Service. Also on it's power mechanisms in both the former GDR and Soviet zone of occupation. The BStU also provides records to support research related to an examination of National Socialism.

In response to petitions from public and private agencies, the BStU will disclose whether any evidence exists to suggest that certain individuals in prominent social and political positions collaborated with the MfS. These include members of government, members of the Bundestag and state parliaments, state secretaries, judges, sports officials as well as certain groups of public service employees.

The BStU also processes petitions concerning pensions, unresolved property issues and the awarding of medals. The Federal Commissioner provides information related to cases of criminal prosecution, danger prevention as well as rehabilitation and compensation.

For more information about access rights follow the links on the navigation bar on the left. The assistance hotline for private individuals offers advice on all questions pertaining to requests and petitions to view files.

Application Form for Private Individuals

Download and print out the application form.

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