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Education and Continuing Education

Students and Graduates

Between 1963 and 1984, 4,240 students graduated from the Academy of Law of the MfS (JHS). All of them were already Stasi employees and members of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany when they began their studies. In addition, 45 percent of the students in officer school had at least one Stasi employee among their close relatives or in their social environment. The rest of the student body was comprised primarily of people who had relatives in their family in other armed institutions, the state or Party leadership, or the educational sector.

The courses of study were set up for men and women, even if there were only 13 female graduates among the law diploma graduates. In addition, the military rules of the Stasi applied so to speak in the Academy of Law, which is why the students were called both “Kursants” (students of military and police academies) and “officer students.” This military orientation was also reflected in course content and the leisure time activities offered to students enrolled in the direct program. Mandatory uniforms and weapons training were a fundamental component of everyday life at this institution of higher education. The JHS therefore cannot be regarded as a pure research institution because up to 11 percent of the entire curriculum conveyed military content and skills. The secret service academy was run like a barracks, and also had numerous weapons on campus as well as shooting ranges close by.


The scholarly and teaching staff at the Academy of Law of the MfS (JHS) was subject to continuous changes of both qualitative and quantitative character. While in 1964 only 56 percent of the teaching staff held a university degree, when the JHS was created in 1965, all members of teaching staff had a degree (36 percent in history, philosophy and economics; 19 percent in criminology). [CHECK] At the time, however, only three percent of staff held the title of dr. sc. jur. and were graduates of a B-class doctoral program.

Over the 25 years of the institution’s existence, the qualifications of the scholarly and teaching staff at the JHS changed profoundly. In 1980, the JHS employed 627 people, of whom 178 were working in teaching and research. About half of the teaching staff held a doctoral degree in jurisprudence. In 1989, half of a total of 726 employees worked in teaching and research. JHS graduates comprised 90 percent of these employees. Only a few of them had been educated at a civilian university, or had even graduated from one. The JHS recruited its staff overwhelmingly from its own ranks. The average seniority at the MfS in 1980, however, was merely 5.8 years, with an average age of 42.

The greatest staff demand came from a broadly conceived special discipline field that should be considered equivalent to special training for induction into later service in the MfS.