Request access to the Stasi files on your own person, missing or deceased relatives Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

You can apply for access to the Stasi files at the Office of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Files (BStU). You can request information, file inspection and/or the issue of duplicates. Access to information about your own person: You have the right to inspect all information about yourself contained in the existing and indexed records of the State Security Service of the former GDR ("Stasi"). If the documents contain aliases of employees of the State Security Service who collected or used information about you, you can find out the names of these persons. To do this, you can apply for the code names to be decoded after you have inspected the files. As a former employee or beneficiary of the State Security Service, you have limited access rights. You can inspect the information contained in the files kept by the Stasi on your person. On the other hand, you will generally not be able to inspect reports made by you. Access to information on other persons: Access to information concerning other persons is generally not permitted. However, exceptions apply to close relatives of missing or deceased persons. As a close relative, you may be granted access to files if you can credibly demonstrate a justified interest in connection with the purpose of the Stasi Records Act. Such an interest exists, for example, if the application is concerned with rehabilitation, the protection of personal rights or the clarification of the fate of the missing or deceased person. You must therefore justify an application relating to a missing or deceased close relative accordingly. Contact the BStU for advice on whether the requirements are met in your case. You can obtain access to the Stasi files in the form of written information the inspection of files or the handing over of duplicates. For many persons there are no files in the archives that have been set up specifically for this purpose. If you suspect that you are mentioned in files on other persons, you can also apply for access to this information. In order to do so, you will need to provide information that will enable you to locate the information. In this case, the staff of the authority will be happy to advise you. Note: The BStU is still indexing Stasi files and making them usable. After a file has been inspected or if no documents were initially found in the first application, a repeat application after a few years can therefore lead to new results.

Access to personal information Application with personal signature confirmation of identity (not older than one year) Confirmation is either information from the population register a certificate from the registration office with official seal or an officially certified copy of a valid identity document if applying in person at a BStU office: valid identity card or passport when applying online: identity card with activated online ID function Access as a close relative of a missing or deceased person Proof that the person in question is missing or has died (e.g. copy of the missing person's report or death certificate) Proof of relationship (e.g. copies of civil status certificates); in the case of close relatives up to the third degree, also proof that there are no longer any close relatives Information on the purpose or the legitimate interest for which access to the documents is requested. If necessary, please contact the BStU for advice on whether you need to submit further evidence in your specific case.


Form: yes Online procedure possible: yes Written form required: yes Personal appearance required: yes (for file inspection)

Related Links

Bundesbeauftragter für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen Deutschen Demokratischen Republik (BStU)
+49 30 232450
www.bstu.de/ Opens in new window

Preconditions
Access to information on own person: No legal requirements Access as a close relative of a missing or deceased person: You are the spouse, child, grandchild, parent or sibling of the missing or deceased person and can credibly demonstrate a justified interest in connection with the purpose of the Stasi Records Act. You are a relative up to the third degree (grandparent, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or great-grandchild of the missing or deceased person) and can credibly demonstrate that there are no closer relatives. An application may be filed for the purpose of rehabilitation, protection of the right of personality and clarification of the fate of missing or deceased persons. Within the scope of the asserted legitimate interest or admissible purpose of the application, you will be granted access to the files, insofar as this does not impair any overriding interests of other persons that are worthy of protection. Access may not be granted if the missing person or deceased person has left an appropriate disposition or if his or her contrary will is clear from other circumstances.
You must apply for access to Stasi records in writing to the BStU: Written application: You can obtain the application form from all BStU offices, and it can be sent to you by post on request. You can also download and print out the application form from the BStU website. Complete the form in full and send it to the BStU by post together with all the necessary documents. Note: An informal written application signed by you personally is sufficient. We recommend using the application form provided by the BStU, which can be used to record all data relevant for processing. Online application: With your identity card and activated online ID function, the application is also possible via an online form. You will need a card reader or a suitable smartphone to read the ID document. With the online procedure, the data required for authentication is read directly from the ID card via the online ID card function. Application verification: If the card searches do not reveal any record of you or the missing or deceased person, then you will receive information accordingly. This concludes the processing of your application. If your personal data are recorded in the MfS files, but no further documents are available, we will send you final information with copies of the file cards. If there are indications of the existence of further documents in the indexes, the search will be continued in the archives of the BStU. You will then receive a corresponding interim notification stating that you must expect a waiting period. After the examination, all documents available on your application will be prepared for file inspection. As your right to inspect files only relates to information concerning yourself, passages of text may be blacked out or covered up. However, this does not apply to the names or aliases of full-time or unofficial employees of the State Security Service; these remain identifiable. Once the preparatory work has been completed, you will be invited to view the files in person at the BStU office of your choice. Before and after the inspection of the files, staff members of the authority will be available for discussions and questions. In the case of smaller file volumes or if you have expressly requested this, the documents and, if necessary, explanations will be sent to you by post instead of a file inspection.

Responsible for the content
The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM)

Last update or date of publication
21.07.2020