• Sweden edition
Swedish pastor admits to serving as Stasi spy

Swedish pastor admits to serving as Stasi spy

Published: 26 Jul 2012 11:34 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Jul 2012 11:34 GMT+02:00

"I deeply regret the whole event and will work through my life story in the near future," Aleksander Radler wrote in an email to DN.

In response to a direct question from the newspaper if her husband had worked for the feared East German secret service, Bettina Radler replied "yes".

68-year-old Aleksander Radler is already the subject of a Church of Sweden investigation over reports that he served as a spy for the Stasi while working as a pastor in Burträsk in northern Sweden, a claim he has hitherto denied.

The investigation is being led by Church of Sweden lawyer Anna Wernqvist, who told The Local on Thursday that they are awaiting Radler's response.

"The most important thing is what he is going to say to the cathedral chapter. He has received all the papers and we have a meeting in August," she said.

Luleå cathedral chapter had previously considered the matter after Radler was implicated in a book by researcher Birgitta Almgren in October 2011. The investigation was however closed due to insufficient evidence.

In discussions with the bishop, Radler furthermore flatly denied the allegations forwarded in Almgren's book, which was based on the Swedish Stasi files.

But following further revelations in a report based on the Stasi archives in the Expressen daily in April 2012, the Church of Sweden reopened the case against the pastor.

Anna Wernqvist visited the archives in Berlin and returned in no doubt that Aleksander Radler and the Stasi spy known as "IM Thomas" were the same person.

"According to the German authorities there is no doubt whatsoever that the pastor has handed over information to the Stasi," Wernqvist said in a statement in June.

According to information in Thursday's Dagens Nyheter report, Radler was part of the elite ranks of the Stasi which numbered 3,900 of a total 189,000 Stasi agents.

The newspaper cites a new report drafted by international Stasi expert Helmut Müller-Enberg which details Radler's involvement in reports, which among other things, concerned defectors and escape routes from East Germany to Sweden.

The report contains signed receipts for payment and other handwritten notes which further established the link between Aleksander Radler and "IM Thomas".

The Church of Sweden investigation will consider whether the retired pastor should be stripped of his licence to preach, although Anna Wernqvist does not expect him to face criminal charges.

"I am no criminal lawyer, but as I understand it he can't be charged in East Germany because it wasn't a crime there," she told The Local.

"In Sweden, he has not been charged and even if the actions could have constituted an offence, it is so long ago that they would fall under the statute of limitations."

Peter Vinthagen Simpson

Follow Peter on Twitter here.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:58 July 26, 2012 by prince T
The guy is sorry and honest about the whole issue. I am waiting to see if the church will forgive or not
10:57 July 27, 2012 by Osk
Oh that wil be Ok then - if the church forgives him, don't worry about anyone whose life has been affected by his actions
17:58 July 27, 2012 by Extranjero
The tennis expert Janne Gunnarson (SVT) was almost expelled from his work. His crime was that he was temporarily politically incorrect. Now that he has been converted to political corectness he will report from OS. Nothing has changed really.
19:34 July 27, 2012 by Britt-Marie7
What about if he caused innocent people to die? He definitely should be criminally charged. It should never be too late to put him away for the rest of his life. Sorry doesn't cut it.
19:26 July 28, 2012 by prince T
@ osk. would suspending him those that have died to rise up from the dead. revenge begets revenge. from what we have read so far, a court case will not be suscessful and this will increase the wound caused.
Today's headlines
Swedish government promises cash to combat Russia threat

Swedish government promises cash to combat Russia threat

Sweden's government has pledged to invest an extra 1.3 billion kronor in the military as Russia ramps up its activities in the Baltic Sea area. READ  

Two terror plots stopped in Sweden
Swedish Security Service Headquarters in Stockholm Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Two terror plots stopped in Sweden

The Swedish Security Service (Säpo) says it has stopped two terror attacks being planned by violent Islamist extremists living inside the country. READ  

Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Forecasters have predicted sunshine across Sweden this week, with a warm front moving in from Russia and temperatures of up to 25C. READ  

International police hunt
Swedish killer arrested after European hunt
Photo: Police

Swedish killer arrested after European hunt

UPDATED: Police arrested a man on Tuesday afternoon after he went missing from a psychiatric ward in western Sweden at the weekend. The man had been convicted of murdering a five-year-old schoolgirl in 2003. READ  

The five best Swedish songs of the month
Swedish singer Tove Lo. Photot: TT

The five best Swedish songs of the month

The summer may be (almost) over but the music will keep on playing here at The Local. Our resident music guru Paul Connolly will be selecting his top new Swedish tracks for us in a new monthly feature. READ  

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

African pygmy hedgehogs are being bought by growing numbers of Swedes, as a trend for keeping exotic pets sweeps the country, the Department for Animal Welfare and Health tells The Local. READ  

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden
The mushroom in this picture is not the same as the one from the story. Photo: Shutterstock

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden

A person selling freshly-picked mushrooms in Gothenburg has come under fire after it turned out the delicacies were not only poisonous but also hallucinogenic. READ  

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

The largest hacking case in Danish history began in confusion on Tuesday, after lawyers representing Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg accused the prosecution of "unreasonable" tactics. READ  

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

As H&M expands into Ethiopia, Sweden's state venture capital unit Swedfund has announced that it will back the clothing giant, in a move hoped to create more jobs for local women. READ  

Elections 2014
Social Democrats reveal election manifesto
Photo: TT

Social Democrats reveal election manifesto

UPDATED: Sweden's main opposition party the Social Democrats has revealed its election manifesto at a press conference at a high school in Stockholm, with a key focus on education and welfare benefits. READ  

The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Blog updates

02 September

America night (Blogweiser) »

" There was an event this weekend for the ‘Americans in Sweden’ Facebook group. I’m a member, and I brought my girls to the evening. The gathering was at a Boston-themed sportsbar in a mall. There were loads of screens, a bowling alley, a game room and a jumbotron. It was as good a place as any to..." READ »


25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

How immigration became a key election issue
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
People-watching August 27
Top ten false friends in Swedish
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
People-watching August 22-24
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

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 Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

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:
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: