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The Academy of Law in Potsdam

New building for the Academy of Law for the Ministry of State Security in Potsdam, 1989
Event celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the Academy of Law for the Ministry of State Security in Potsdam, 1981

New building for the Academy of Law for the Ministry of State Security in Potsdam, 1989

Event celebrating of the Academy of Law for the Ministry of State Security in Potsdam, 1981

Although the “Stasi school” was an educational institution that moved into former barracks, the complex’s military character remained intact until 1990. People wore uniforms and only Stasi employees were admitted to studies. The institution in Golm grew along with the increasing importance of the Stasi. In 1955, the “Stasi school” was replaced by the “Academy of the Ministry for State Security.” Ten years later, it received the status of an “academic institution for education in law.” The “Academy of Law in Potsdam” was opened in June 1965 and existed until 1989. Although the institution’s name suggested otherwise, the educational focus on law was secondary. The primary purpose was to provide ideological training to students and training in secret services theory and methodology. The tools of the trade taught served above all for spying on the GDR’s own population. A total of about 30,000 Stasi employees completed their studies here and at affiliated educational institutions. About 40 percent of the top staff in the Ministry for State Security held a university or higher education degree from the Academy of Law. When the Stasi was dissolved in November 1989, the Academy of Law was renamed the “Academy of the Office for National Security.” On March 1, 1990, ownership was transferred to the “Karl Liebknecht” College of Education (which in October 1990 became the Brandenburg State University). Teaching and research activities had already been shut down in late January 1990.

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The University of Potsdam