The British Twitter Stasi

When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 it took with it the East German State security force known as the ‘Stasi’. At the time of its demise, the Stasi employed 91,015 people and relied on 173,081 informants. This works out as one secret police officer for every 166 East Germans, making the Gestapo look like lazy amateurs with their trifling one per 2,000. The Stasi were dangerous because of their embrace of ‘Zersetzung’  (‘decomposition’ or ‘biodegradation’). The aim of ‘Zersetzung’ was to destroy the psychological integrity of an individual, by gathering information to damage their reputation and their personal relationships.

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