The citizens' committees formed spontaneously, beginning on December 4, 1989 early in the morning in Erfurt , in all district towns and several district towns in the GDR, and occupied the district administrations and district offices of the MfS. These citizens' committees consisted of members of the local opposition as well as courageous citizens of the cities who wanted to prevent the MfS from continuing to work and the destruction of files. Only the headquarters of the MfS in Berlin's Normannenstrasse was spared for a long time. Therefore, the opposition in the round table negotiations with the government, the citizens' committees from the district towns and the new forum became active in January 1990. On the evening of January 15, 1990, the Berlin Citizens' Committee was formed after a demonstration initiated by the New Forum of several thousand people and the forced opening of the gates of the MfS headquarters. The government had to give in and completely dismantle state security by March 1990.
In order to secure the files, the Stasi records authority was founded with German unification on October 3, 1990. Therefore, initially there was no longer any function for the Berlin Citizens' Committee. But in 1991 the Citizens Committee 15. January eV was founded as an association of former Citizens Committee members, civil rights activists and sympathizers in order to support civil society in dealing with the Stasi. The Citizens Committee 15. January eV was reactivated after a reorganization in September 2016 and on the premises of the former Ministry for State Security is devoted to dealing with the Stasi and the GDR.
Successor associations of these citizens' committees, which are committed to the Peaceful Revolution in the GDR and its legacy, still exist in Berlin, Leipzig, Magdeburg and Suhl. In other places there are reappraisal groups or individuals who deal with the history of the Stasi dissolution and that of the citizens' committees.
- Citizens' Committee Erfurt
- Offers, activities and events of the Citizens Committee January 15th eV Berlin
- Citizens Committee Leipzig eV (Leipzig)
- Citizens' Committee Saxony-Anhalt eV (Magdeburg)
- events of 15.01.1990 - buergerkomitee1501berlin.de. (No longer available online.) In: buergerkomitee1501berlin.de. Archived from the original on October 16, 2016 ; accessed on October 16, 2016 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Christian Booß: History without a master plan: The storm on the Stasi 1989/90. bpb, accessed October 16, 2016 .