Request access to the Stasi files for research or media purposes Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.
If you work in research or the media, or if you represent a civic education institution, you can gain access to Stasi records relevant to your topic.
You apply for access to the Stasi files at the Bundesarchiv - Stasi-Unterlagen-Archiv (Stasi files archive). You can inspect files on one or more days, requesting the release of duplicates, or request the duplicates independently of the file inspection.
With access to Stasi files you can
- the activities of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR),
- the ruling mechanisms of the former GDR or the former Soviet occupation zone (SBZ), or
- the National Socialist past
and publish your findings.
With your application, the Stasi Records Archive will initiate factual or personal research in its archives. The results of the research will be evaluated and the documents will be examined for personal information that may be worthy of protection. Only then will you be granted access to subject-relevant information from the records of the State Security Service.
You will receive access to the Stasi documents in the form of
- the inspection of files,
- the issue of duplicates.
You must apply in writing to the Stasi Records Archive for access to the Stasi records for research or media.
For the publication of your reappraisal results, you will be informed when documents are handed over that you
- not to use the copies for purposes other than the reappraisal purpose stated when submitting the application or to pass them on to other bodies, and
- when publishing personal information, you must not prejudice any overriding interests of the persons named that are worthy of protection.
For research, especially private research:
- Exposé or
- detailed explanations of the project and the intended use
- Copy of press card
- Project order or
- letter from the client or
- other suitable proof of journalistic/editorial activity
Written form required: yes
Personal appearance required: no
Online procedure possible: no
Antrag auf Zugang zu Stasi-Unterlagen für Forscher, Medienvertreter und Einrichtungen der politischen Bildung
- a researcher at an established research institution
- Private individual with a research project
- representative of the media (press, radio, film) or
- representative of an institution of political education
Your research project must
- be thematically definable and
by political and historical reappraisal
- the activities of the State Security Service
- the mechanisms of rule in the former GDR or the former SBZ, or
the National Socialist past
You demonstrate a discernible interest in publishing the research results or media articles, for example
- by publication in ongoing research projects at universities
- by using the findings for books
- for radio and television contributions or
- for newspaper and magazine articles
§§ 32 bis 34 Gesetz über die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen Deutschen Demokratischen Republik (Stasi-Unterlagen-Gesetz - StUG)
Erläuterungen zu den Zugangsrechten für Forscher, Vertreter von Presse, Rundfunk und Film (Medien) sowie Einrichtungen zur politischen Bildung auf der Internetseite des BStU
Stasi-Unterlagen-Gesetz (StUG) auf der Internetseite des Bundesministeriums der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz
Stasi-Unterlagen-Kostenordnung (StUKostV) auf der Internetseite des BStU
You must apply for access to the Stasi files for research or media in writing to the Stasi-Unterlagen-Archiv:
- Download the application form from the Stasi Unterlagen-Archiv website.
- Fill it out completely, sign it, and mail it to the Stasi Unterlagen-Archiv along with all required documents.
- Upon receipt of your research or media request, it will be reviewed for completeness, admissibility, and costs incurred. If necessary, you will be asked to submit additional information or documents.
- If all legal requirements for access are met, a decision will be made according to your topic of reappraisal as to whether processing will take place in Berlin or, in the case of a regional reference, in another office of the Stasi Records Archive.
- If no information on your reappraisal topic could be found during the research, you will receive a notice about this.
- If documents are available, they will be requested from the archives. The archive material will be evaluated with regard to the topic of your request, read and access prepared.
- The material will be prepared for you to inspect the files and/or to receive duplicates.
- You will generally receive an invitation to inspect the files with a proposed date by mail or the coordination will be made by e-mail.
- Duplicates will be sent to you by mail or can be picked up in person by appointment. Likewise, they can be made available on request via an online platform.
Responsible for the content
The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM)
Last update or date of publication