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September 15 2012

Stasi files: The world's biggest jigsaw puzzle


More than 20 years after the Berlin Wall fell, you might think the Stasi had been consigned to history. But a new generation wants to know what the East German secret police did to their parents, and computing wizardry is about to make it easier to find out.

The German Democratic Republic (GDR) and its agencies did not disappear immediately once the Berlin Wall fell.

For some weeks afterwards many Stasi staff remained in their offices, trying to destroy evidence that could land them in jail or expose their spies in foreign countries.

But they ran into technical difficulties.

"The Stasi was an organisation that loved to keep paper," says Joachim Haussler, who works for the Stasi archives authority today.

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