Wednesday, May 27, 2009

1967 Killer Exposed As Stasi Agent

In 1967 a young, unarmed demonstrator in West Berlin was shot and killed by a police officer. The slaying sent West Germany lurching to the left and was the inspiration for violent action by terrorist groups like the Red Army Faction and the Second of June Movement.

Now a discovery in the archives of the East German secret police, known as the Stasi, has upended Germany’s perception of its postwar history. The killer, Karl-Heinz Kurras, though working for the West Berlin police, was at the time also acting as a Stasi spy for East Germany.

The most insidious question raised by the revelation is whether Mr. Kurras might have been acting not only as a spy, but also as an agent provocateur, trying to destabilize West Germany. As the newspaper Bild am Sonntag put it in a headline, referring to the powerful former leader of the dreaded East German security agency, Erich Mielke, “Did Mielke Give Him the Order to Shoot?”

New York Times

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