“On a cold January 15 evening, hundreds of thousands of Berliners — mainly young people — gathered near the huge complex of buildings that looked like a fortress, where the main intelligence service of the GDR was located,” Berlin Associated Press correspondent John Köhler described the events of that memorable Monday in mid-January 1990. - Stones and bricks thundered on the iron gate. Calls by representatives of national committees to maintain order and calm were drowned in the roar of the crowd chanting: “We are the people!” A small police unit inside the building surrendered, and at about five in the evening the gates were open. The crowd burst inside and rushed to various buildings, knocking out doors and windows and systematically freeing office rooms from former tormentors of the people. ”
30 years later, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, visiting the former headquarters of the GDR Ministry of State Security, better known as Stasi (Stasi, abbreviated from it. Ministerium für Staatssicherheit), called the storming revolutionaries, "writing the history of democracy." After all, they stopped the destruction of the Stasi archives “in the bastion of repressions,” thanks to which secret documents became available to a wide circle of people. A little earlier, crowds of protesters and specially created national committees took control of the archives of the MGB units in Erfurt, Rostock, Dresden and other cities of the German Democratic Republic. Steinmeier thanked for the courage of all those involved in the capture of the Stasi buildings in late 1989 and early 1990.
In the archives of the once closed and powerful East German Institute, information was stored on 274 thousand employees of the MGB, 624 thousand Stasi informants, dossiers for more than 6 million citizens of the GDR. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, state security officers began to cover up their tracks, destroying their incriminating acts. The smoke above the buildings of the MGB practically did not dissipate, and the shredders at the disposal of the East German security officers worked for wear and tear. Nevertheless, about 95% of all documents were saved and made available. “Due to the fact that the Stasi archives were opened, we - that is, all Germans - have the opportunity to see the mechanisms of the dictatorship and realize its consequences." The world does not know of another similar example of working with archives, and it is “admirable,” Steinmeier said at the celebration of the anniversary of the assault.
Part of those five percent of the documents that were still able to be crushed was collected in 15 thousand bags. For many years, employees of the Office of the Federal Commissioner for Document Management of the Ministry of State Security of the German Democratic Republic manually sorted through scraps of documents, restoring them. In 2013, ePuzzler came to their aid - a computer program that allows you to collect a whole document from shreds. Things went faster. However, over eight years it was possible to collect puzzles from only 23 bags, and it was spent about 14 million euros. Exposing dictators is expensive.
However, now everyone can try himself in the role of "tormentors of the people", destroying the Stasi archives. For pleasure. The board game “Stasi raus, es ist aus!” Released by the jubilee gives such a chance (German Stasi, over, it's over). There are English and German versions. The goal of the game is to destroy as many documents as possible until the moment activists prevent them from doing this. You can play as a family or with friends. The rules are simple, they do not even need to be studied before the start of the game: I took it out, laid out the cards and go! Cost - 16.95 euros.