If you are interested in the GDR history, you cannot avoid the topic State Security (Stasi). It is really important to understand the life of the people in the GDR, to understand why a lot of them escaped out of the state and it is important to understand how the dictatorship worked.
In 2002 the German Federal Office for Political Education published in cooperation with the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records a brochure which deals with the GDR State Security.
The brochure, written by Jens Gieseke and edited by Doris Hubert, presents a broad insight into structures, methods and consequences of the activities of the East German Ministry for State Security (MfS) from its beginnings under Soviet occupation after World War II until its disbandment in 1990. So it gives an interesting overview about the history, the structure and the work of the GDR State Security.
The brochure is recommendable for schools and universities, but also for every interested international reader. It is based on the German brochure "Die DDR-Staatssicherheit".
The following chapters you can find in it:
1. "A Special Organ of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat"
2. Forerunners in the Soviet Occupation Zone
3. Foundation and Consolidation
4. From 17 June 1953 until Destalinization
5. Development into a State Security Bureaucracy
6. Inner Defence Organ against Détente
7. The Fully-Developed Apparatus
8. Decline of Power and Disbandment
Besides that you can find a chronicle and selected English literature in it.
You can order the brochure for 2.00€ directly at the homepage of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records.
(Picture: Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records)