• Sweden edition
 

Court gives access to Swedish Stasi archives

Published: 24 Jun 2010 16:27 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Jun 2010 16:27 GMT+02:00

Documents containing the names of Swedes who worked for the Stasi, East Germany’s security service, must be made available to researchers, a court ruled on Friday.

The Supreme Administrative Court ruled on Friday that Professor Birgitta Almgren, a professor in German at Södertörn University (Södertörns Högskola), should be allowed to see the documents, which are held by the Swedish Security Service (Säpo). Säpo has consistently opposed releasing the material.

Almgren will not be given access to all documents, however. The court itself will decide exactly which papers she will be able to read. She will also not be allowed to take the documents off Säpo premises, will not be permitted to make copies of the documents and will have to destroy her notes within a year.

It is believed that most of the files she will access come from the Swedish parts of the Rosenholz Files. These were top secret Stasi documents, containing names of foreign agents and details of their activities. Most of the agents were active in West Germany.

The Rosenholz Files ended up in CIA hands in unclear circumstances following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Almgren last year published a book about Swedish relations with East Germany’s communist dictatorship. In it, she describes the very close relationship between Social Democratic politician Stellan Arvidson and his wife Britta, and their admiration for the country’s totalitarian regime.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:32 June 24, 2010 by rufus.t.firefly
What is it about SD's that so many of them have admired totalitarianism, both left and right? It is always good to lift the carpet and shine a light on the roaches.

I wonder why Birgitta Almgren's access is so limited. Why should the court decide? Wait, I know, national security! These are old files from a defunct nation. They cannot compromise anything relevant to present security. What they can compromise are those whose names appear in them, and rightly so.

I guess I should also say that the Moderates also have a thing about totalitarians, but only the right variety. I guess that makes the SD's more equal opportunity sycophants.
18:29 June 24, 2010 by The Nine
I am sure THF will be on the case.
18:32 June 24, 2010 by tadchem
WWII ended 65 years ago, but we are still sweeping old war criminals out of the cracks in the woodwork, mostly due to captured documents. One must wonder who is trying to protect whom, and why, by keeping these 21-year old documents out of the daylight.
19:48 June 24, 2010 by Nemesis
Anyone who has worked for the Stasi in any capacity should be publicly named.

The entire archive of Stasi people, should be made public and posted on the internet for all to see.
20:10 June 24, 2010 by Jimmy
Why the opposition in disclosing these documents you ask? Think a bit the Swedish government at the time was probably involved in assisting their old ally.

Don't want the facts to come out because then they would have to admit they were/are not as innocent or righteous as they have/do preach now a days
20:59 June 24, 2010 by Nemesis
@ Jimmy

The simple reason is this.

So many of the people who were involved in late 60's disturbances, went on to become stodges for the Stasis, then later became civil servants in Sweden, it is embarrassing.

Most of theose people are now at the top of the civil service, making major management decisions.

There is even some idiots who moved to East Germany, became Stasi spies and came back telling everyone how wonderful they thought East Germany was. The east Germans being treated like dirt and used as slave labour did not seem to register with them. Some of them are now senior civil servants as well.

I look forward to reading the list of names when it is released.
00:55 June 25, 2010 by kzjh72
This reminds me of a couple of incidents during the 70-ies. At that time I was a young, outspoken opponent against the Swedish left's admiration of all Communist dictators around the world. On a couple of occasions I was photographed and threatened by Swedes openly saying that I will be registered and could expect problems in the future. When visiting Poland a couple of years later I was harassed by the customs both on my way in and out of the country. On my way out I was detained without explanation and released just after my ferry back to Sweden already had left. No reason was given, but I noticed that the custom officials checked my passport against a printed list of names before the harassment started.
01:04 June 25, 2010 by Swedesmith
Publish the names then each offender should be tarred and feathered and sent to Instanbul.
09:47 June 25, 2010 by Nemesis
@ kzjh72

Yup, you got it.

Just think you might find out which Swede was responsible for that and maybe you can sue the culprit responsible. Hopefully the Swedish courts would throw the case out and you could take it to the European Court of Justice and get a god settlement.

@ Swedesmith

I hope all there names are released, without exception. A no fly list would be a good place to start:)
14:37 June 25, 2010 by Audrian
Any person who spies for another foreign country has broken his/her country's law; this applies spying for the US or UK, for example. Contrary to the claim above, admiring a communist East Germany is not a crime. In East Germany all children had a decent standard of living, better than children in a low income bracket in UK and the US today, where such children suffer from lack of adequate food and nutrition. GDR's GDP per capita was comparable with Britain's just before Mrs Thatcher took power.

East Germany today is economically depressed area of Germany. The standard of living of the majority declined dramatically and has not recovered since the wall fell down. Government's faulty policy and Germany suffered from it over 20 years. The young from East Germany migrated to better their lives, but did not make lots of money, as the propaganda had made them believe before the fall of the Berlin wall. Out of East Germans only one woman, the present Chancellor, made it all the way to the top of government job. She was the daughter of a priest in East Germany.

There are things that one might not like in a communist states. There are also good parts. The Social democrates might have adminred the good parts. There is nothing wrong with it.
18:13 June 25, 2010 by Nemesis
@ Audrian

I was talking about those from Sweden who made a point of working for the Stasi, knowing full well that ordinary Germans were suffering at the hands of the Stasi.

As for your nonsense that all children and adults in East Germany had a descent standard of living. That is complete nonsense.

East Germany was noting more than a concentration camp for a large proportion of the German population in Europe.

The sooner every Stasi member, supporter, employee and sympathiser of the Stasi's name is made public, the better. The sooner we can start removing them from positions were they can do damage to our soceities, assuming they have not already.
19:15 June 25, 2010 by Audrian
@Nemesis

I have never been a fan of East Germany. What I was telling is based on hard economic statistics. If you have time, try to have a look at UN or OECD statistics covering the specified date and you will have a glimpse of what I was saying. Propaganda or echoing cold-war propaganda is not scientific information; it is repeating CIA misinformation meant to discredit the enemy. In a discussion board like this we have to be honest and stick to the facts. If we do this we will learn rather spread confusion.

I call upon you to tell me your source of information that will discredit what I identified. If your data is authentic and shows that I have misread the statistics I will stand to be corrected. If you repeat the same claim in one form or the other I will ignore them because the discussion will not have any merit..
20:16 June 25, 2010 by Nemesis
@ Audrian

Speak to someone from East Germany.

They will put you right.
15:34 June 26, 2010 by USA Is Number 1
Persons acting as foreign agents in their own country deserve to be outed, whether acting on behalf of totalitarian regimes or not. Besides agents for Communist East Germany, there were also Swedes acting as agents for the US, UK as well as various military regimes around the world at the time.

Let the sun shine on all of it.
17:09 June 26, 2010 by Nemesis
@ USA Is Number 1

100% right.

Out them all.
01:45 June 28, 2010 by kzjh72
@Audrian

I'm not sure if you are referring to me as claiming that admiring a communist East Germany is a crime. If that's the case then you misunderstood me (read my post again). My point was that I didn't like being threatened and registered for not admiring East Germany myself. The discussion in regards to how good or bad things was in former Eastern Europe is a different one, where I (by the way) are much less critical against the East now days then when I was young.
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