by Caroline Senkel © 2007
Apart from the official employees of the Stasi, in the DDR there also were unofficial ones, the so called IM, unofficial employees (inoffizielle Mitarbeiter). These were individuals with a more or less close personal relationship with the person under surveillance, who were hired specially. Sometimes it happened that people who caused traffic accidents or committed other offences were treated leniently to lure them into service. Sometimes members of the same family were blackmailed into spying on each other. IM's wrote their reports using a fake name. Anyone could have been an IM: colleagues, neighbours, friends, even one’s spouse. Some people did not report in an objective manner but cranked up their reports by passing moral judgements. Those reports got lauded by the Stasi. The “victims” usually did not know what was going on. The Stasi also had briefs on both of my parents. They were able to examine the part of the document that could be retrieved in 1993.