• Sweden edition
 
Sweden's Stasi spies detailed in new book
Stasi files in Chemnitz, eastern Germany, in a 2007 file photo

Sweden's Stasi spies detailed in new book

Published: 15 Sep 2011 07:40 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Sep 2011 07:40 GMT+02:00

The activities of more than 50 Swedes who spied on their fellow citizens for the East German intelligence service during the Cold War have been described in a new book.

The book's author, history professor Birgitta Almgren of Södertörn University College in Stockholm, based her findings on information gathered from the archives of Swedish security service Säpo which included details about Swedes who had helped the German Democratic Republic's (GDR) much feared Stasi intelligence service.

“The Stasi's infiltration in Sweden was much larger than people thought and Säpo didn't really understand the importance Sweden had as a heavyweight country, a buffer state, between the east and west during the Cold War,” Almgren told Sveriges Radio (SR).

Almgren's research was made possible by a 2010 court victory which forced Säpo to open its Stasi archive.

Altogether, nearly 3,000 reports were written about Sweden between 1950 and 1989, focusing on domestic politics, education, industry, and defence issues.

In the book, entitled “Inte bara spioner…: Stasi-infiltration i Sverige under kalla kriget” ('Not just spies...: Stasi infiltration in Sweden during the Cold War'), Almgren details the activities of 57 Swedes who were investigated by Säpo for suspected ties to the Stasi.

Between 1969 and 1989, the Stasi had around 32 agents living in Sweden, as well as 21 “contact people”. In addition, there were 71 East German agents who were sent to Sweden on shorter missions.

According to Almgren's book, which was released on Thursday, the group included 12 educators and researchers, ten engineers, nine businessmen, nine journalists, six secretaries, as well as 6 others from the cultural and social services field.

The book tells of “the tough-minded social democratic journalist” who “without blinking” betrayed party friends and of the high school teacher who was trained in the air force's techniques for surveillance and observation.

There is also an account of a businessman who offered information in exchange for advantageous business contracts, Almgren writes in an opinion article in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

However, she was prohibited from naming or contacting the people mentioned in Säpo's Stasi archive.

As Almgren feels their perspectives are missing from the book, she makes an appeal to them in the book's forward.

“If you are one of those that this book is about, you certainly have views about what I've written. Maybe I've misunderstood something,” wrote Almgren.

“No other Nordic country produced so many Stasi reports. Just like during the Second World War, Stockholm became a meeting place for representatives from both power blocs,” she writes in DN.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

08:35 September 15, 2011 by RobinHood
Names! names! Who are these traitors?

These are only the spies and informants identified by a rather lethargic SÄPO. How many more did they miss?

These people should be exposed and prosecuted, if possible. Those on public pensions should have them cut to the legal minimum. People appointed to their positions by these spies should be investigated to ensure there is no "second generation" spying still going on. Come on SÄPO, there are other dangers to Sweden than terrorism.
10:25 September 15, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
You just never know who you can trust....

Whats "the book's forward"? Could it perhaps be 'foreword'?
12:32 September 15, 2011 by cogito
Swedes are best in the world at snoop and snitch.
13:33 September 15, 2011 by Nemesis
What is wrong with the local?

Why has the local not printed a full list of the names?

The names need to all be public so that everyone knows who these traitors are, who spied on there fellow citizens for another country.
14:57 September 15, 2011 by 15U
Thank you for posting
15:19 September 15, 2011 by Tysknaden
I am from Germany, the western part. I say: Publish the names of those backstabbers!
15:57 September 15, 2011 by Bender B Rodriquez
@NemesisL Nobody knows the names except the researcher and SÄPO. It is still classified information and you have to ask SÄPO why. The author was not allowed to reveal any names, nor to try to contact any of them.
Today's headlines
Sponsored Article
On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends
House keys: Shutterstock.

On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends

Finding somewhere to live when you move to Sweden is a challenge. With changes afoot The Local caught up with an expert from letting agency Residensportalen to find out in what direction the market is going, and how Google Glasses may just help you find your dream home. READ () »

The Local List
Ten most disgusting Swedish foods
Salty liquorice, anyone? Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Ten most disgusting Swedish foods

Swedish food is, of course, a matter of taste. But it's mostly disgusting. Our loyal followers on Twitter and Facebook shared what they thought were the worst of them all. READ () »

Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'
Defence Minister Karin Enström. File photo: TT

Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'

The Swedish government has announced plans to beef up its defence forces by fitting its fleet of Gripen fighter jets with long-range cruise missiles. READ () »

Swede of the Week
Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'
Swedes vote in the 2010 elections. File photo: Dan Hansson/TT

Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'

Gösta Arvedson, 89, is the oldest Riksdag candidate in Sweden, but our Swede of the Week explains that the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) had to make some unusual promises for him to put his name forward. READ () »

Elections 2014
Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote
The Green Party is one of only two parties devoting their websites to the EU elections. Here campaign manager Emma Rung presents the party's posters. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote

The majority of Swedes feel the country's political parties are not doing enough to inform them about the upcoming European Parliament elections. Only two of the eight parties have dedicated their homepages to the May 25th polls. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping Brawl
Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders
Swedish police on the scene following Monday's fatal brawl. File: TT

Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders

The Syrian-Orthodox Church in Ektorp had tried to quell tensions between two rival families just hours before bad blood spilled into a massive brawl and two brothers lost their lives. READ () »

JobTalk Sweden
'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'
The bridge that connects Sweden to the European continent. File: L.E. Daniel Larsson/Flickr

'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'

The Swedish agency that helps Europeans fight impediments to the EU principle of free movement has revealed an increase in complaints, including one from a foreign citizen unable to open a bank account in Sweden. READ () »

Eurovision 2014
Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip
Sanna Nielsen in the new clip. Photo: YouTube (screenshot)

Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip

Sweden's Eurovision hopeful Sanna Nielsen released the official video for the song Undo on Wednesday, a clip featuring leather, slow motion destruction, and a frozen pig's heart and some violence. READ () »

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds
Swedish apartments. File: The Local

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds

A Swedish landlord suspects that a property fixer has set up a software robot to sign up for new flats on the market within seconds, and is charging house hunters to use the service. READ () »

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'

Twenty-five fire fighters were on hand on Wednesday night when a fire broke out in a southern Sweden animal park. The vast majority of the animals were unharmed, but the cluster of spiders wasn't so lucky. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 23
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Advertisement:
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

718
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com