109. Arrival of My Stasi-File: January 22, 1999

After sixteen months had passed, the Stasi-file arrived without any forewarning on January 22, 1999, one day before my 56th birthday. What a surprise and unusual birthday present that was!

In the package containing my 396-page file, I found a six-page cover letter from Ms. Jabs, a Stasi Records Agency case worker. The letter is dated January 15, 1999, and makes reference to my application to gain access to my file, which the Agency had received on April 20, 1993. Ms. Jabs addresses and explains a number of important matters in her letter, most of which have already been discussed in the “Introduction” to this book.

Ms. Jabs points out that the information I have received comes from Stasi records that have been compiled to date. One cannot rule out the possibility that additional documents related to my person will be found as the ongoing organizational work continues at the Agency and other repositories. But due to the large number of applications she has to process, she is unable to inform individual applicants when new documents have been discovered. Therefore, I should consider contacting her again in about two years with regard to supplemental information. Moreover, she also recommends that I submit a renewal application to the central Stasi Records Agency in Berlin.