June 20, 2021

The Stasi’s in-house doctorates should be relabeled, says official

East Germany’s secret police had a secret university faculty where agents could graduate. Their qualifications are recognized in Germany now. But the man overseeing the old Stasi vaults wants them renamed for all to see.

The German official in charge of overseeing and facilitating public access to the old East German secret police archives, Roland Jahn (pictured above), has called for the in-house university graduates of the “Stasi” to no longer be permitted to use the academic title “Dr.” like other PhD graduates.

One of the terms of reunification between East and West Germany was equal recognition for academic qualifications on either side of the Berlin Wall, something that even applies to those who graduated at the secret Ministry of State Security (MfS) facility outwardly disguised as the Potsdam Law School.

“Doctor of the Stasi — that would be true transparency,” Jahn said in an interview with German news agency dpa, using the MfS’s widely-used nickname Stasi.

The former East German opposition figure, in his current role since 2011, said that Stasi “graduates” even wrote theses documenting interrogation techniques and ways of breaking down dissidents.

“These were instructions on how to abuse human rights,” said Jahn.

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