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The Firm: The Inside Story of the Stasi (Oxford Oral History)


The Firm: The Inside Story of the Stasi (Oxford Oral History) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Based on previously classified documents and on interviews with former secret police officers and ordinary citizens, The Firm is the first comprehensive history of East Germany's secret police, the Stasi, at the grassroots level.

Focusing on Gransee and Perleberg, two East German districts located north of Berlin, Gary Bruce reveals how the Stasi monitored small-town East Germany. He paints an eminently human portrait of those involved with this repressive arm of the government, featuring interviews with former officers that uncover a wide array of personalities, from devoted ideologues to reluctant opportunists, most of whom talked frankly about East Germany's obsession with surveillance. Their paths after the collapse of Communism are gripping stories of resurrection and despair, of renewal and demise, of remorse and continued adherence to the movement. The book also sheds much light on the role of the informant, the Stasi's most important tool in these out-of-the-way areas.

Providing on-the-ground empirical evidence of how the Stasi operated on a day-to-day basis with ordinary people, this remarkable volume offers an unparalleled picture of life in a totalitarian state.

About the Author

Gary Bruce is Associate Professor of History at the University of Waterloo and author of Resistance with the People: Repression and Resistance in Eastern Germany, 1945-1955.

Table of Contents


1. Districts Gransee and Perleberg under the Nazis

2. In the service of the Firm: The full-time Stasi employees

3. The candidate: Stasi informants

4. In the line of sight: Targeted by the Stasi

5. The Stasi in everyday life

6. The Downfall




Product Details

Bruce, Gary
Oxford University Press, USA
World History-Germany
History, World | European | Germany
Publication Date:
9 b/w halftones, 3 maps
6.1 x 9.2 x 0.6 in 0.85 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Europe » Germany » Modern Germany
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » Russia » Post Soviet Republics
History and Social Science » World History » England » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Germany » General

The Firm: The Inside Story of the Stasi (Oxford Oral History) New Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780199896578 Reviews:
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