Holodomor AvatarStasi Colloquially known as East Germany following the brutal division of Germany post WWII, the Ministry for State Security commonly known as the Stasi was the official state security service of the Communist ‘German Democratic Republic’ or GDR. It was one of the most repressive secret police agencies to ever have existed and one of its main tasks was spying on the population. Although the Stasi was superficially granted independence in 1957, until 1990 the KGB continued to maintain liaison officers in all eight main Stasi directorates, each with his own office inside the Stasi’s Berlin compound, and in each of the fifteen Stasi district headquarters around East Germany. Collaboration was so close that the KGB invited the Stasi to establish operational bases in Moscow and Leningrad to monitor visiting East German tourists. Stasi officers were referred to as “Chekists” of Bolshevism. In 1978 KGB officers in East Germany were formally granted the same rights and powers they enjoyed under the Bolshevik regime. By the 1970s, the Stasi had decided that methods of overt persecution which had been employed up to that time, such as arrest and torture, were too crude and obvious. The Stasi perfected the technique of psychological harassment known as Zersetzung, a term borrowed from chemistry which literally means “decomposition”. Tactics employed under Zersetzung generally involved the disruption of the victim’s private or family life. This included psychological attacks such as breaking into homes and messing with the contents – moving furniture, altering the timing of an alarm, removing pictures from walls or replacing one variety of tea with another. Other practices included property damage, sabotage of cars, purposely incorrect medical treatment, sending falsified compromising photos or documents to the victim’s family, wiretapping, bugging, and mysterious phone calls. The great advantage of the harassment perpetrated under Zersetzung was that its subtle nature meant that it was able to be plausibly denied. Zersetzung techniques have since been adopted by other Jewish Zionist security agencies.

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