This catalogue to the permanent exhibition “Access to Secrecy” sheds light on the bureaucratic information system, working methods and everyday tasks of the Stasi. It also offers insight into the current work of the Stasi Records Archive, which preserves for future generations the files left behind by the State Security, thereby assuring that they remain accessible to the people who were personally affected by the Stasi as well as to the broader public.
The following pages provide an overview of all the topics addressed in the exhibition, from the establishment of the Stasi Records Archive to the Stasi’s extensive indexing system and the vast and varied records it left behind. Furthermore, the single case of a person directly targeted by the Stasi is presented in the catalogue and demonstrates the effects of Stasi surveillance.
In addition to historical photos showing the everyday work and surveillance measures of the Stasi, the catalogue also contains reprints of original documents from the Stasi Records Archive. All the exhibition objects, most of which are presented to the public for the first time, are listed in the catalogue appendix with detailed information on the sources and picture credits.
The catalogue includes a preface addressing the origins and development of the exhibition concept, an epilogue on the history of the former Stasi headquarters site where the exhibition is presented, and photos providing an impression of the construction phase of the exhibition. The colour photographs allow readers to experience the exhibition and room atmosphere without personally visiting the site or exhibition. Thus, they too can become acquainted with the mission and work of the Stasi Records Archive.
The title is also available in German translation "Einblick ins Geheime".