Request access to the Stasi files for research or media purposes Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

If you are a researcher, media representative or representative of an institution of political education, you can gain access to Stasi files relevant to your topic.

You apply for access to the Stasi files at the Office of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Files (BStU). You can either inspect files on one or more days and/or apply for duplicates to be issued.

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 BStU will initiate subject-related or personal research in its archives. The results of the research will be evaluated and the documents will be checked 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.

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
the publication of personal information must not prejudice any overriding interests of the persons named that are worthy of protection.

For research, especially private research:

  • Concept
  • Exposé or
  • detailed explanations of the project and the intended use

Media representatives:

  • Copy of press card
  • Project order or
  • letter from the client or
  • other suitable proof of journalistic/editorial activity
  • Forms: yes
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance required: no
  • Online procedure possible: no

Related Links

  • Antrag auf Zugang zu Stasi-Unterlagen für Forscher, Medienvertreter und Einrichtungen der politischen Bildung
Bundesbeauftragter für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen Deutschen Demokratischen Republik (BStU)


You are

  • a researcher at an established research institution
  • Private individual with a research project
  • Representative of the media (press, radio, film) or
  • representative of a political education institution

Your research project must

  • be thematically definable and
  • 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


demonstrate a recognizable interest in publishing the research results or media contributions, 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

Related Links

  • §§ 32 ff. Gesetz über die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen Deutschen Demokratischen Republik (Stasi-Unterlagen-Gesetz - StUG)

Related Links

  • 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 Stasi documents in writing to the BStU:

  • Download the application form from the BStU website.
  • Complete it in full and send it by post to the BStU together with all the necessary documents.
  • After receipt of your research or media application, it will be checked 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 fulfilled, a decision will be made on the basis of your reappraisal topic as to whether processing will take place at the Central Office in Berlin or, in the case of a regional reference, at one of the BStU's field offices.
  • If no information on your reappraisal topic could be found during the research, you will be informed accordingly.
  • If documents are available, they will be requested from the archives. The archive material will be evaluated with regard to the subject of your application, read and access prepared.
  • The material will be prepared for you to inspect and/or obtain duplicates.
  • You will generally receive an invitation to inspect the files with a proposed date and time by post, or you will be notified by e-mail.
  • Duplicates will be sent to you by post or can be collected in person by appointment. Upon request, they can be made available to media representatives via an online platform.

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