As a great local writer prepares to take leave, here is a link to the article. An excerpt:
Perhaps more than any other Soviet bloc nation, East Germany devolved into
a frightening, oppressive police state. The dreaded secret police, or Stasi,
made it its mission to "know everything" about its citizenry. By 1989, when the
Berlin Wall came down, it was estimated that the Stasi had as many as 91,000
full-time employees and a terrifying 300,000 citizen "informants."