Berliners' outrage over 17000 Govt staff being ex Stasi members revelation

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Berlin, July 11 (ANI): Citizens of East Germany are shocked by Berlin Free University's latest revelation that 17,000 staff currently employed by nation's five federal states were former members of the dreaded Stasi secret police.

According to evidence compiled by historians at Berlin's Free University, thousands of local civil servants, police officers and teachers employed by the Eastern Germany or Berlin were once working for all pervasive communist secret organization.

Shocking cases came to light after the fall of the Berlin Wall, including a husband who spied on his dissident wife for years, and a mother who informed the Stasi about her son after he reached puberty because she considered him a threat to the state.

Researchers said their findings exposed the extent to which regional administrations appeared to have kept their employment of former Stasi agents a secret.

"This has achieved a dimension no one expected," the Independent quoted Klaus Schrvder, the head of the research team, as saying.

Groups representing the victims of the Stasi's blanket surveillance of the former East Germany's 17 million inhabitants said they were appalled by the disclosures.

Ronald Ldssig, of the Victims of Stalinism Association, described them as a "slap in the face for every Stasi victim" and demanded that efforts to properly vet civil servants be redoubled.

Last Wednesday, Germany's Federal Criminal Police admitted that 23 former Stasi employees, who were given jobs after reunification, were still working there.

The Stasi disclosures have sparked a political row.

Wolfgang Bosbach, the deputy parliamentary leader of Angela Merkel's conservatives, demanded that all civil servants in the east should be re-vetted.

But Stephan Hilsberg, a Social Democrat MP, said: "The problem is where they end up. It is perfectly all right for them to work as janitors but if they end up in positions of authority, it becomes a problem." (ANI)

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