responsibility finder
Schleswig-Holstein

Applying for access to Stasi files as a public or non-public body

Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Schleswig-Holstein (Linie6PLus)

Service Description

Public and non-public bodies may submit requests to the Stasi Records Archive for purposes defined in the Stasi Records Act (StasiUnterlagen-Gesetz - StUG) if they require information

  • for the purpose of investigating persons with regard to activities for the State Security Service of the former GDR,
  • in the context of rehabilitation and restitution proceedings,
  • in pension matters (conditional),
  • in matters relating to religious orders or
  • in security and background checks.

Access to the documents of the State Security Service can take the form of

  • written notification,
  • inspection of files or
  • the release of documents

whereby written notification is the rule.

Upon request, the requesting body may be sent a supplementary notification with additional copies, if necessary, if the notification raises technical questions or there is a need for further explanation.

If no information on the purpose is available, a corresponding notification will also be sent.

The public or non-public body must apply in writing or online to the Stasi Records Archive for access to the Stasi records.

Please note:
Due to the legally prescribed purpose limitation, the requesting body may only use the information sent for the respective purpose. This also means that the communication and the information it contains may not be passed on.

This access option to Stasi records is primarily aimed at public bodies. Access for non-public bodies is very limited. If you are unsure, we recommend that you seek personal advice from the specialist department due to the complexity involved.


Process flow

As a public or non-public body, you can request access to the Stasi records in writing or online from the Stasi Records Archive.

Written application:

  • Download the form from the Stasi Records Archive website,
  • Complete the application form in full and send it by post to the Stasi Records Archive together with all the necessary documents. If there are several people, an XLSX file can be used, which must then be submitted on CD-ROM. You can download this from the Stasi Records Archive website.

Online application:

  • Complete the application on the federal website (federal portal) and upload all the required documents.
  • upload all the necessary documents.
  • Once the application has been received, the Stasi Records Archive will check whether the request is admissible, complete and subject to a fee.
  • If necessary, you will be asked to submit additional information or documents.
  • If all legal access requirements are met, research will be carried out in the indexed holdings of the State Security Service. If documents are available, they will be examined and evaluated according to the purpose of the research.
  • If no information on the purpose of use could be determined, you as the requesting public or non-public body will receive a notification.
  • As a rule, you as a public or non-public body will then receive a notification by post, which may include duplicates of the original files.

Note:
Under special conditions, you as a public or non-public body may be granted access to the files subsequent to the notification.

Requirements

A request for access to Stasi records is permissible if:

  • a public or non-public body within the meaning of the Federal Data Protection Act makes the request,
  • it is a request for a permissible purpose, such as
    • the examination of persons with regard to activities for the State Security Service of the former GDR
    • in the context of rehabilitation and restitution proceedings,
    • in pension matters (conditionally),
    • in matters relating to religious orders or
    • in security and background checks,
  • the request is within the scope of your duties,
  • the use is necessary for the stated purpose.
Which documents are required?
  • Written application or online application with details of the requested persons
    • Surname, first name, maiden name
    • Date of birth, place of birth
    • Addresses after the age of 18 and up to 1989
  • depending on the intended use, proof that the person making the request is aware of the application is required
What are the fees?

No fees and expenses are charged for the processing of requests from public bodies for access, information and the provision of copies.

For requests from non-public bodies, fees and expenses are charged in accordance with the Stasi Records Cost Regulations and the Schedule of Fees and Expenses as follows:

  • Fees for written communications
    • Documents available: EUR 38.35
    • Documents not available: EUR 12.78
  • Fees for inspection:
    • Inspection without prior written information: EUR 38.35
    • Inspection after prior written information: EUR 10.23
  • Fees for the issue of duplicates
    • Handover without prior inspection: EUR 10.23
    • Issue after prior inspection: EUR 5.11
  • Expenses per DIN A4 copy of paper documents: EUR 0.10
  • Expenses per DIN A3 copy of paper documents: EUR 0.15
  • Reproductions of filmed records per page: EUR 0.18
  • Production of copies or duplicates of other information carriers: in full

Details can be found in the Special Fee Ordinance of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (Special Fee Ordinance BKM - BKMBGebV) with a list of fees and expenses on the website of the Stasi Records Archive.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

There is no deadline.

Processing duration

The processing time depends largely on the scope of the search and any documents to be evaluated. Requests for specific purposes are given priority.

Legal basis
Appeal
  • if the request of an authority is rejected: Application for a review of the refusal in the context of a decision procedure before the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg. Preliminary proceedings are not required.
  • in the event of rejection of requests from other public and non-public bodies: Objection and administrative court action
Author
Technically approved by

The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM)

Process flow

As a public or non-public body, you can request access to the Stasi records in writing or online from the Stasi Records Archive.

Written application:

  • Download the form from the Stasi Records Archive website,
  • Complete the application form in full and send it by post to the Stasi Records Archive together with all the necessary documents. If there are several people, an XLSX file can be used, which must then be submitted on CD-ROM. You can download this from the Stasi Records Archive website.

Online application:

  • Complete the application on the federal website (federal portal) and upload all the required documents.
  • upload all the necessary documents.
  • Once the application has been received, the Stasi Records Archive will check whether the request is admissible, complete and subject to a fee.
  • If necessary, you will be asked to submit additional information or documents.
  • If all legal access requirements are met, research will be carried out in the indexed holdings of the State Security Service. If documents are available, they will be examined and evaluated according to the purpose of the research.
  • If no information on the purpose of use could be determined, you as the requesting public or non-public body will receive a notification.
  • As a rule, you as a public or non-public body will then receive a notification by post, which may include duplicates of the original files.

Note:
Under special conditions, you as a public or non-public body may be granted access to the files subsequent to the notification.

Requirements

A request for access to Stasi records is permissible if:

  • a public or non-public body within the meaning of the Federal Data Protection Act makes the request,
  • it is a request for a permissible purpose, such as
    • the examination of persons with regard to activities for the State Security Service of the former GDR
    • in the context of rehabilitation and restitution proceedings,
    • in pension matters (conditionally),
    • in matters relating to religious orders or
    • in security and background checks,
  • the request is within the scope of your duties,
  • the use is necessary for the stated purpose.

Which documents are required?

  • Written application or online application with details of the requested persons
    • Surname, first name, maiden name
    • Date of birth, place of birth
    • Addresses after the age of 18 and up to 1989
  • depending on the intended use, proof that the person making the request is aware of the application is required

What are the fees?

No fees and expenses are charged for the processing of requests from public bodies for access, information and the provision of copies.

For requests from non-public bodies, fees and expenses are charged in accordance with the Stasi Records Cost Regulations and the Schedule of Fees and Expenses as follows:

  • Fees for written communications
    • Documents available: EUR 38.35
    • Documents not available: EUR 12.78
  • Fees for inspection:
    • Inspection without prior written information: EUR 38.35
    • Inspection after prior written information: EUR 10.23
  • Fees for the issue of duplicates
    • Handover without prior inspection: EUR 10.23
    • Issue after prior inspection: EUR 5.11
  • Expenses per DIN A4 copy of paper documents: EUR 0.10
  • Expenses per DIN A3 copy of paper documents: EUR 0.15
  • Reproductions of filmed records per page: EUR 0.18
  • Production of copies or duplicates of other information carriers: in full

Details can be found in the Special Fee Ordinance of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (Special Fee Ordinance BKM - BKMBGebV) with a list of fees and expenses on the website of the Stasi Records Archive.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

There is no deadline.

Processing duration

The processing time depends largely on the scope of the search and any documents to be evaluated. Requests for specific purposes are given priority.

Legal basis

Appeal

  • if the request of an authority is rejected: Application for a review of the refusal in the context of a decision procedure before the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg. Preliminary proceedings are not required.
  • in the event of rejection of requests from other public and non-public bodies: Objection and administrative court action

Author

Technically approved by

The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM)

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