Stasi victim

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As a Stasi victim used to describe people whose lives, health , personal freedom or property due to political persecution by measures of the Ministry of State Security or consequences in the time of the GDR to injustice has been compromised.

Stasi injustice

All cases in which the law or the constitution of the German Democratic Republic have been violated are clearly to be regarded as an unjust measure . As a rule, measures that violate human rights are also described as injustices .

Incidentally, the assessment is sometimes difficult, especially in the case of some “ decomposition ” measures , Stasi jargon for psychological oppression and the destruction of personality. On the one hand, the Ministry of State Security made use of legally permissible means according to the GDR understanding, on the one hand, and on the other hand, it also exerted influence on persons at management level who in turn - formally lawful - could harm those affected by, for example, refusing to be allocated living space, withdrawing their driving license or that Terminated employment.

Even the refusal to work as an IM or the rejection of membership in a social organization of the GDR, such as the SED or even the Society for German-Soviet Friendship , could cause the disadvantages described.

As a result, the persons concerned were harmed by defamation , professional bans , restriction of the right to education , de-registration , relocations , deductions from earnings (through instructions in the companies), influencing legal proceedings ( perversion of justice ), but also through the destruction of private relationships, social isolation or decomposition up to to accept suicide .

Injustice was also exercised as a reaction to a failed escape from the GDR , an application to leave the country or as general persecution for political reasons, including expropriation or poor prison conditions. The state-organized doping of athletes, especially among young people, can also be seen as an SED injustice.

Stasi prisons

The Ministry for State Security had its own pre-trial detention centers in all districts of the GDR . It also controlled detention centers. Examples are the prisons in Bützow, Brandenburg ( Brandenburg prison ), Berlin ( Berlin-Hohenschönhausen memorial ), Halle ( red ox ), Cottbus, Bautzen ( yellow misery ), Chemnitz ( Chemnitz prison ) and in Hoheneck ( Hoheneck prison ). Victims from these prisons have reported conditions and interrogation practices that are considered torture . However, since no external traces of these practices could be seen and the victims instead suffered psychological damage ( trauma ), these interrogation methods are also known as white torture .


Under the heading "Rehabilitation", Article 17 of the Unification Treaty concluded as part of the state unification of the Federal Republic and the GDR states:

The contracting parties reaffirm their intention to immediately create a legal basis so that all persons can be rehabilitated who have been the victims of a politically motivated criminal prosecution measure or any other judicial decision that is contrary to the rule of law and unconstitutional. The rehabilitation of these victims of the SED injustice regime must be combined with an appropriate compensation scheme.

After reunification , the Federal Republic of Germany passed four rehabilitation laws.

Criminal Rehabilitation Act

The First Act to Rectify SED Injustices - First SED Injustices Act, which came into force in 1992, contains provisions for the repeal of grossly unlawful penalties and deprivation of liberty. Social compensation benefits (lump-sum compensation, victim's pension, benefits under the Federal Compensation Act) are linked to rehabilitation under criminal law.

The Criminal Rehabilitation Act was amended in 2007 with the Third SED Injustice Act and a special allowance for victims of imprisonment (victim pension) was introduced in Section 17a StrRehaG . It amounts to € 300 per month for those illegally imprisoned between May 8, 1945 and reunification, provided that they have been imprisoned for at least 180 days and are particularly affected in their economic situation. Beneficiaries are considered to be particularly impaired in their economic situation if the income of single beneficiaries is three times, in the case of married beneficiaries or beneficiaries living in a civil partnership, and those living in a cohabiting or civil partnership-like community four times the standard requirement level 1 according to the annex to Section 28 of Book Twelve of the Social Code does not exceed. The entitlement to the special care for prison victim is excluded from attachment .

Administrative and Professional Rehabilitation Act

The Second SED Injustice Correction Act includes the law on the repeal of unlawful administrative decisions in the accession area and the subsequent claims and the law on the compensation of professional disadvantages for victims of political persecution in the accession area of ​​June 23, 1994.

With the Fourth Act to Improve Rehabilitation Law Regulations, the application deadlines under the Criminal, Administrative and Professional Rehabilitation Acts were extended to December 31, 2019 and 2020, respectively, and a tax-free child allowance was introduced.


By December 31, 2016, 81,224 victim pensions had been applied for nationwide, 43,763 of which were approved. As of December 31, 2016, spending on paid victim pensions amounted to over 1.4 billion euros.


The political and legal discussion about the activities of the Ministry of State Security and its victims is very emotional. In part, the measures of the Ministry for State Security are defended as the right of a sovereign state, in part the GDR is equated with the Nazi regime. A separate section is dedicated to this topic in the book The Black Book of Communism .

According to the victims' associations, the rehabilitation laws do not fully capture the disadvantages suffered by Stasi victims and are therefore still the subject of political discussions. For example, a wrongly suffered imprisonment or an occupational ban or reduced income are not taken into account in the pension calculation, with the result that those affected now live below the poverty line , while employees of the Ministry for State Security receive a pension based on their GDR earnings. The regulations on victim pensions that were added to the Criminal Rehabilitation Act in 2007 were not yet sufficient either.

Further examples


  1. ^ Sandra Pingel-Schliemann: Zersetzen - Strategy of a dictatorship . Robert-Havelmann-Gesellschaft eV, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-9804920-7-9 , p. 277 ff .
  2. Fourth law to improve rehabilitation regulations for victims of political persecution in the former GDR of December 2, 2010 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 1744)
  3. Compensation for SED Victims Website of the Hessian Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration , accessed on October 16, 2017
  4. Utilization of services in accordance with the SED injustice laws. Answer of the federal government to a small inquiry, BT-Drs. 18/13332 of August 16, 2017, Annex I.
  5. ^ "Red painted fascists". Stasi dispute in Berlin. In: Spiegel Online. April 12, 2006, accessed April 7, 2019 .
  6. Irène Bluche: The Stasi life was funny. In: Deutsche Welle . April 12, 2006, accessed April 7, 2019 .

Literature and film

Web links

State representative for the Stasi files or dealing with the consequences of the communist dictatorship

The following state representatives for the Stasi documents (LStU) offer advice on rehabilitation issues:

LStU Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

LAkD Brandenburg

LStU Berlin

LStU Saxony-Anhalt

LStU Saxony

ThLA Thuringia

Rehabilitation laws

Related Links