Classified! The Stasi Photographs Steglitz and Zehlendorf

MfS-Mitarbeiter | Stasi Employees

The office of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Archives of the former German Democratic Republic (BStU) holds hundreds of photographs that were taken in the West Berlin boroughs of Steglitz and Zehlendorf from the 1950s until May 1989 by employees of the East German Ministry of State Security. Many of the photographs bear legends that reveal why they were taken. Alleged meeting places of Western secret service agents were photographed, for example. There are also photos of individual streets and buildings. Many photographs were shredded in late 1989 and reassembled by the BStU. Even disregarding the Stasi context, the photographs create a panorama of historic scenes. The majority of the photos date from the 1950s and ’60s and bear witness to the conditions in Steglitz and Zehlendorf during the post-war period. The high-rise Kreisel building was also photographed after being completed. The last photos, from May 1989, are colour photographs of Schlossstrasse in Steglitz. The exhibition is supplemented by various written materials from the BStU, including a description of a Stasi meeting point in front of the Adria cinema.