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Promiscuity and the East German Stasi
Third Place

In Socialist East Germany, different state actors had their own reasons for becoming involved in women’s private sexual lives. As civilian law enforcement agencies like the People’s Police worked with health authorities to curb the prostitution market and remove individuals they percieved as morally and medically dangerous from society, the Ministerium fur Staatssicherheit (MfS, Stasi) had a vested interest in turning ‘sexually permissive’ women into secret police informants. Their historical experiences are the subject of my doctoral dissertation. This image contains the headshots of women characterized as prostitutes or 'women with frequently changing sexual partners' and recruited as informers by the East German Secret Police. Stuffed into observation files between 1950-1989 and held in Berlin's Stasi Archives until now, these partially redacted photographs help bring an otherwise untold story to light.     
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Department / Faculty:
Faculty of Arts, History