Another mini-bombshell went off in the discovery of the Stasi’s activities: as many as 189,000 were employed as “unofficial” agents of East Germany’s security services just at the time of the fall of the Berlin. Mainly motivating them: political ideals and money, not force. That number is staggering. Not only does it reveal the penetration of the state into the private lives of citizens, but also the extent to which citizens were willing to participate in their own repression.

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