Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Former Stasi employees to be banned from working at Stasi archive

The law relating to the records of the State Security Service (Stasi) of the former German Democratic Republic is to be amended, the cultural spokesman for Germany's Free Democratic Party said on Monday.
Reiner Deutschmann told the regional daily Mitteldeutsche Zeitung that Germany's governing coalition had agreed to add a clause dictating that former Stasi employees are unable to work for the authority that now administers the files compiled by Communist East Germany's secret police.
Under the new law, "anyone who officially or unofficially worked for the Stasi is not allowed to work for the authority," Deutschmann told the paper.
It would also retrospectively apply to the 47 former Stasi workers currently working at the archive.
According to Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, the federal commissioner of the authority, Roland Jahn, has joined the Christian Democratic Union and FDP in advocating this change to the 1991 Stasi Records Act. Since taking the helm in March, Jahn has questioned the continued employment of former Stasi workers, claiming it undermines the credibility of the authority.
After several failed attempts at encouraging the employees to leave voluntarily, Jahn commissioned a report into the legality of their employment by the Berlin lawyer Johannes Weberling.
In the report published in July, Weberling recommend a change in the law, with the proviso that the former Stasi employees currently in the agency should be provided with "equivalent jobs [elsewhere] in the federal administration."

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