Stasi : Shield and Sword of the Party book cover
1st Edition

Shield and Sword of the Party

ISBN 9781138010413
Published April 28, 2014 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

This book is a fascinating new examination of one of the most feared and efficient secret services the world has ever known, the Stasi.

The East German Stasi was a jewel among the communist secret services, the most trusted by its Russian mother organization the KGB, and even more efficient. In its attempt at ‘total coverage’ of civil society, the Ministry for State Security came close to realizing the totalitarian ideal of a political police force. Based on research in archival files unlocked just after the fall of the Berlin Wall and available to few German and Western readers, this volume details the Communist Party’s attempt to control all aspects of East German civil society, and sets out what is known of the regime’s support for international terrorism in the 1970s and 1980s.

STASI will be of much interest to students of intelligence studies, German politics and international relations.

Table of Contents

1. Origins and Development of the East German Secret Police  2. The Inoffizieller Mitarbeiter Informant System  3. In Unequal Battle: Stasi and the Churches  4. Stasi Penetration of the Artistic Community and Universities  5. Foreign Espionage Operations  6. Cooperation between the Red Army Faction and Staatssicherheit

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John Christian Schmeidel is a graduate of Columbia Law School and Pembroke College, Cambridge University, where he earned a Ph.D. in modern history. He was for eight years a banker in Europe, briefly a consultant to the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California on middle eastern terrorism and a U.S. government-sponsored Fulbright Scholar in Tunisia. He is presently a criminal prosecutor in northern Arizona."


Finally, a concise, readable history of the Stasi. John Schmeidel has done a wonderful job. Western intelligence agencies agreed that the Stasi was the most efficient and successful of the former communist intelligence services. The number of damaging  East German spies uncovered  after the fall of the Wall confirmed this.

Why should one care today? Not only because the Stasi  once trained radical Latin American, Asian, Middle Eastern and African intelligence organizations still active in 2007. Since 1990, former Stasi officers have gone into business as "security consultants" around the world to governments, private industry, organized crime and terror groups. Stasi skill has improved the lethality of modern terrorism.

Richard Palmer, CEO of Cachet International, twenty year CIA operations veteran and former Chief of Station in Europe.