• 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
Police seeking missing Swede in London
Sofie Marie Jansson, who is currently missing in London. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
A Swedish Easter witch holding daffodils. File photo: TT

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter

In India, I'd notice Easter only from the traffic jam outside the churches, but here witches, egg hunts, and feathers mark the Christian holiday. The Local's Deepti Vashisht brings you the various shades of Swedish Easter. READ () »

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Chemtrails?: Shutterstock.

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe

A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied. READ () »

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid
Fredrik Reinfeldt answers the constitutional affairs committee's questions. Photo: TT

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid

Sweden's prime minister on Thursday said Vattenfall itself, not its owners the Swedish state, had responsibility for the loss-making Nuon deal. READ () »

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer
Photo: TT

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer

A Swedish lawyer says the Swedish military may have broken the law when it raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
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
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
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 »

771
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