L’infiltrazione dei collaboratori non-ufficiali del ministero per la sicurezza dello stato ai danni delle chiese nella repubblica democratica tedesca

Luca Todaro


The purpose of this article is to illustrate the actions of unofficial collaborators against the churches in the German Democratic Republic - GDR, in the context of the secret activities carried out by the Stasi, i.e. the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit. The period analyzed goes from 1949, the foundation of the GDR, to its fall in 1990, the year of German reunification. In particular, the causes that led those pastors, who became collaborators, to betray their congregations, the forms of recruitment and, concretely, what their roles were will be analysed. Attention is particularly focused on the so-called "Office of the Church", i.e. Department XX/4, the one specifically dedicated to the control of the Christian Churches. Its job was to infiltrate churches by turning pastors, priests and employees into informants for the MfS (the Stasi) and was one of nine sub-divisions of the Hauptabteilung XX, whose mandate was to ensure that cultural and religious institutions, both official and covert, were not a threat to the state. The MfS carried out this espionage under the orders of the Socialist Unity Party ("SED", in its German acronym) whose relations with the Churches are briefly illustrated in the initial section of this article. Subsequently, what the SED wanted at an operational level from the MfS is described, what was the mandate entrusted to the latter, what were the intentions and final objectives. Furthermore, an attempt was made to concisely detail the role that the churches played in the fall of the German Democratic Republic. Furthermore, the second section will examine the spying conducted by the Stasi on the churches and will try to describe the policy of the SED, its relations with the churches and the idea of the role they had to play in a socialist state. It is also important to understand what space was given to religious freedom beyond the Iron Curtain and what was the role of the Churches in the fall of the East German dictatorship and more.

Parole chiave

Espionage; role of pastors; Christian churches; fall of the ddr

Full Text


DOI: https://doi.org/10.15162/2612-6583/1609


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