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A V-Mann ( Confidant , V-Person , V-Woman , V-People abbreviated VP , in Austria also Confident, with the Federal Intelligence Service, an intelligence connection ) is a private confidant whose regular, long-term cooperation as a human source with the police , an intelligence service or is not known to customs by third parties and who in this function collects information that is of interest to the respective client, including personal data . By exploiting trust, a V-Person can gain the opportunity to receive information in private conversations and situations and, if necessary, to make word and image recordings of this.

The V-Person often acts in politically extremist or criminal organizations as well as in milieus suspected of being criminal , such as the drug scene or in the red light area .

The guidelines for criminal proceedings and fine proceedings define a V-Person as a person who, without belonging to a law enforcement agency, is willing to support them in the investigation of criminal offenses for a long time and whose identity is kept secret . According to the legal definition of § 9b BVerfSchG valid for the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), the Military Counter-Intelligence Service (MAD) and the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), shop stewards are private persons whose regular, long-term cooperation with an intelligence service is not known to third parties.

The undercover person is to be distinguished from the informant who only acts in individual cases, from the undercover investigator who is a police officer and from the undercover employee who is a member of a state intelligence service. ( § 9a BVerfSchG)

In recent times, the practice of using informers in the right-wing extremist scene by German constitutional protection authorities has come under increasing criticism, in particular because of the failed NPD ban proceedings and the unresolved events surrounding the Nazi underground terrorist group .

In the GDR , the Ministry for State Security (MfS) called a V-Person an " unofficial employee " (IM). The IM was not a full-time employee for the MfS whose job it could not only be to obtain covert information, but also to influence events or people.

Word origin

In common parlance, the term V-person is a partial acronym for confidant or liaison. The reading "confidant" is just as common in the intelligence and criminalistic jargon as in the specialist literature of historians, whereby not a person is meant who can be trusted and trusted, but a person to whom a confidential, namely secret, connection is made.

In her handbook on constitutional protection law (2007), Bernadette Droste puts forward the thesis that the V does not stand for connection or trust, but for vigilante . The sources given by Droste make no statement about this; but they refer to the provocative statement of the lawyer Adolf Arndt from 1961 that “the V should stand for betrayal, not for trust” (without sharing his opinion). Occasionally, the possible derivation from Vigilant is also pointed out elsewhere. In fact, the word "vigilante" was used in the sense of "informant of the police, informant" into the 20th century. As the predecessor of the term V-Mann / V-Person, it is equivalent to words such as spy , informant , confidant or denunciator , a closer linguistic relationship is unproven.


V-persons are used - for the purposes of criminal prosecution - in the Federal Republic of Germany on the basis of the joint guidelines of the justice ministers / senators and the interior ministers / senators of the federal states on the use of informants and the use of confidants (V- Persons) and undercover investigators in the context of criminal prosecution , some of which were put into effect in different variants in the individual federal states.

The authority norm for the use of V-people by the BfV can be found in § 9b BVerfSchG. The paragraph applies accordingly to the MAD in accordance with Section 5 of the MAD Act and for the BND in accordance with Section 5 sentence 2 of the BND Act .

For the German security authorities, informers are among the most effective intelligence tools . They are considered an indispensable instrument for all intelligence services in the world and the most important source of information for the constitution protection authorities .

The V-Person acts as an administrative assistant . Therefore, their actions are attributable to the state. The legal relationship between the intelligence service and the V-Person is based on a contract under private law . As a result, disputes do not fall under administrative jurisdiction , but under ordinary jurisdiction .

V-people of the federal intelligence services are allowed to commit criminal acts in or for their groups of persons whose efforts they are to clarify, provided that these do not interfere with individual rights, are expected of those involved in the efforts in such a way that they are inevitable to gain and secure access to information and these are not disproportionate to the importance of the facts to be clarified. ( Section 9a (2) sentence 1 in conjunction with Section 9b (1) sentence 1 BVerfSchG). In this respect, there is a reason for justification . In addition, the public prosecutor's office may refrain from prosecuting offenses committed in the field in accordance with ( Section 9a (3) in conjunction with Section 9b (1) sentence 1 BVerfSchG).

V-people are not allowed to exert any controlling influence in endeavors. ( Section 9a (2) sentence 1 in conjunction with Section 9b (1) sentence 1 BVerfSchG) V-people may also participate in criminal associations. (ibid.)

V-people of the protection of the constitution can be formally obliged according to the obligation law.

Working method

In contrast to an undercover agent , the undercover agent does not belong to any authority, but is a private person who usually belongs to the milieu in which he is deployed. The motives for working as a V-person can be diverse: They range from financial interest in the rewards paid by the authorities to ideal and personal motives such as revenge or envy of competition to interest in perks such as not prosecuting . Because the V-Person is integrated into the structures of the respective group, information from the group should be passed on to the client at first hand.

A V-person can become an agent provocateur ; the boundaries to complicity are partly fluid.

V-persons are led by a specially assigned employee ( VP leader ) of the authority responsible for them, i.e. act on behalf of their specifications. This, above all, distinguishes them from an informer who informs an authority on his own initiative.

Another special form is the counterman (CM) or double agent who works for his own side as well as a member of a foreign intelligence service.


V-people can receive remuneration, bonuses, fees, reimbursement of expenses (reimbursement of costs), recognitions and allowances. For the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the amount of the payments of bonuses to V-people is regulated by the “Regulations on the Management of Title 532 04” (for the protection of the Constitution), which are classified as CONFIDENTIAL. The paying government agencies pay 10 percent of the premium amount to the federal states' financial coffers as a lump-sum taxation. Payments can be made in cash or by bank transfer, with the former being the rule. Cash receipt must always be acknowledged by the undercover agent. V-people are not allowed to disclose the payments they have received to tax and other authorities, because when recruiting they are obliged to maintain confidentiality about their cooperation with intelligence services.

According to information from the online edition of the news magazine star , the Federal Criminal Police Office has a non-public, but official tariff system that regulates the payment of informants depending on the weight or number of objects seized. The tariff regulation bears the name " General principles for the payment of informants and informants ".

Known cases

V-people of the German constitution protection came into the focus of the media in the context of the NPD prohibition procedure through numerous exposures of V-people in leadership positions of the NPD . In the course of investigations into the NSU trial and various parliamentary investigative committees , the activities of several people in the environment of the right-wing extremist terrorist group National Socialist Underground and their series of murders against migrants were uncovered.

Known as V-man was Klaus Steinmetz , who succeeded in contact with the command level of the RAF to get. Other well-known V-persons were Ulrich Schmücker and Peter Urbach . Schmücker was murdered as a result of his activities, the investigation and the subsequent process are considered a judicial scandal. Urbach played a role in the emergence of the terrorist RAF, which has not yet been fully clarified, and he also procured a bomb for an attack on the Jewish community building by the Tupamaros West Berlin in 1968. After his exposure, he received a new identity abroad.

Adolf Hitler was trained in 1919 as an undercover agent for the newly established intelligence and reconnaissance department of the group command of the " Transitional Army " under Captain Karl Mayr, in order to act as the shop steward among the demobilized soldiers and to monitor political parties as an undercover agent. As part of such a mission, on September 12, 1919, he was commissioned to attend a meeting of the German Workers' Party , later the NSDAP .

V-people of the state authorities for the protection of the constitution :

Political Debate in Germany

In contrast to undercover investigators / employees and occasional informants, the use of undercover agents as permanent news providers requires continuous support with money and other measures that maintain participation in the work of the monitored organizations, such as reprieve , leniency and withholding of information from others investigating Authorities. This support of V-persons contradicts the principle of justice of the judiciary, without determining the reputation of the person and promotes the work of V-persons for the monitored organizations. While in April 2013 Alliance 90 / The Greens called for the complete abolition of V-persons, the SPD , CDU / CSU and FDP are sticking to the use of V-persons.

See also


  • Anna Luise Decker: The V-Manning by police and constitution protection . Peter Lang, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-631-76697-2 .
  • Jan-Hendrik Dietrich: Secret employees of the intelligence services . In Jan-Hendrik Dietrich, Sven-R. Eiffler (Hrsg.): Handbook of the law of the intelligence services . Boorberg, Stuttgart 2017, ISBN 978-3-415-05921-4 , pp. 1017-1093 .
  • Schleswig-Holstein : Guidelines on the use of informants and the use of confidants (V-persons) in the context of criminal prosecution
  • Brandenburg : Use of informants, use of undercover agents and undercover investigators. Joint circular of the Ministry of Justice (4110 - III. 15) and the Ministry of the Interior (IV / 2 - 2701) of February 21, 1994
  • Klaus Detter (PDF; 118 kB): Some thoughts on audiovisual interrogation, undercover agent in the main hearing and the decision of the Federal Court of Justice in the El Motassadeq case
  • Volker Krey (PDF; 127 kB): Fighting crime at any price? - To continuously expand the area of ​​undercover investigations

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Answer of the Federal Government to the Small Inquiry - State premiums for V-people and the notification and tax liability. (PDF) Retrieved December 9, 2018 .
  2. BVerfG, judgment of April 20, 2016 - BvR 966/09, 1 BvR 1140/09 marginal no. 160
  3. Guidelines for criminal proceedings and fine proceedings , Annex D 2.2
  4. ^ V-man . In: Duden, universal dictionary, 7th edition. 2011 (also online ). Likewise Brockhaus / Wahrig: German Dictionary . 9th edition. 2011. Likewise Mackensen : German Dictionary . 11th edition. 1986. V-people . In: Brockhaus Encyclopedia online; Retrieved May 27, 2013.
  5. ^ V-people . Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution , online glossary; accessed on May 27, 2013. Shop steward . In: Kriminalistik-Lexikon . 4th edition. Heidelberg u. a. 2011. Likewise dictionary of the police . 2nd Edition. Munich 2010.
  6. Exemplary: Weyrauch: Gestapo V-People . Frankfurt 1989. Mallmann: The Gestapo informants . In: Paul, Mallmann: The Gestapo - Myth and Reality . Darmstadt 1995.
  7. Lisken, Denninger: Handbuch des Polizeirechts . 5th edition. 2012, Chapter E, paragraph 262.
  8. ^ Droste: Handbook of the protection of the constitution . Stuttgart u. a. 2007, pp. 266/267.
  9. ^ Droste: Handbook of the protection of the constitution . Stuttgart u. a. 2007, p. 267, footnote 858. Borgs, Ebert: The law of the secret services . Stuttgart 1986, A §3 Rn. 157 [also recital 158]. Friedrichs: The use of "V-people" by the offices for the protection of the constitution . Göttingen 1981. Gusy: Legal status and activity of informants in the intelligence services . In: RiA , 1981, pp. 101 ff. [This means 1982, Zeitschrift Recht im Amt , online , first paragraph, reference fn. 3].
  10. ^ Arndt: The rule of law and its police protection of the constitution . In: NJW , 1961, p. 897 ff., Here p. 899, footnote 3.
  11. Lisken, Denninger: Handbuch des Polizeirechts . 5th edition. 2012, Chapter E, Paragraph 262 with footnote 314, for example, refers to Waechter: Polizei- und Ordnungsrecht, 1st edition. 2000, marginal note 629 with footnote 210 [meaning footnote 201], where unassigned reference is made to other passages: "In some cases, the term [...] is traced back to [...] 'vigilante' or 'liaison person' [...]." Otherwise Waechter uses the words confidant and V-person.
  12. Vigilante. In: Jacob Grimm , Wilhelm Grimm (Hrsg.): German dictionary . 16 volumes in 32 sub-volumes, 1854–1960. S. Hirzel, Leipzig ( woerterbuchnetz.de ). Mackensen: German Dictionary . 11th edition. 1986. Duden, The large foreign dictionary . 4th edition. 2007.
  13. Anna Luise Decker: The V-Manning by police and constitution protection . Peter Lang, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-631-76697-2 , pp. 26 .
  14. ^ A b Anna Luise Decker: The V-Manning by police and constitution protection . Peter Lang, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-631-76697-2 , pp. 36 ff .
  15. a b Joachim Büge , Kurt Graulich , Wolfgang Bier : Decision of May 26, 2010 - BVerwG 6 A 5.09. In: bverwg.de. Federal Administrative Court , May 26, 2010, accessed on January 1, 2019 (guiding principle: The legal relationship between the Federal Intelligence Service and a person of trust within the meaning of § 3 sentence 1 BNDG in conjunction with § 8 paragraph 2 sentence 1 BVerfSchG is based on a private law contract).
  16. ^ Thuringian Constitutional Protection Act. In: https://www.thueringen.de/ . August 8, 2014, accessed January 2, 2019 .
  17. Werner Mathes: Secret BKA "Tariff Regulations"
  18. blog.lucidaintervalla.com ( Memento from December 27, 2012 in the web archive archive.today )
  19. Tobias Birzer: Adolf Hitler's rise in the National Socialist German Workers' Party . GRIN Verlag , Munich 2003, p. 2.
  20. Ulrich Chaussy: The three lives of Rudi Dutschke. A biography. ISBN 3-472-86576-8 , p. 253.
  21. ^ Party congress: Greens want to abolish informants completely. April 27, 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2013 .