Protest against Egon Krenz being installed as chairman of the State Council outside the State Council building in East Berlin, 24 October 1989.
Source: picture-alliance/dpa/Wolfgang Kumm

Occupying the Regional Stasi Offices

On 4 December 1989 women in Erfurt decided to put a stop to files being destroyed in the regional Stasi headquarters. They called upon the people of the city to surround the building. Several thousand followed this appeal.
Demonstrators in front of the regional Stasi headquarters in Leipzig on 4 December 1989. Despite the fear that the secret police might defend themselves by force of arms, protesters managed to gain access. They formed their own surveillance groups and sealed off the rooms. The district headquarters were also occupied on the same night.
Source: ullstein bild/Weber
The local secret police headquarters in Eisenach were occupied on 4 December 1989. Weapons were seized and the rooms were sealed.
Source: Robert Havemann Society/Lutz Mittelbach
The people of Rostock besieged the regional Stasi headquarters on 4 December 1989. After long negotiations, the people inside gave up around 10 p.m. They all left the building, which was then occupied by the citizens.
Source: Heiko Petzold/Archiv Schmidtbauer
The district attorney (l.) and the deputy chief of police of Suhl (r.) protected the head of the regional Stasi headquarters (back) on 5 December 1989 from the fury of the people. Although the New Forum had sealed off rooms in the building during the previous night, files were still being destroyed. Buses had been blocking the entrances since midday.
Source: Reinhard Wenzel
Five thousand people demonstrated in front of the regional Stasi headquarters on 5 December 1989. They then stormed the building and the head of the office was forced to surrender his arms. The surveillance cameras kept rolling until they were switched off by the occupiers.
Source: picture-alliance/ZB/Ulrich Hässler
The Stasi in Gera used various tricks to avoid a public inspection. Demonstrators did not manage to get into the building until 4 January 1990. From 6 January a citizens’ committee supervised its dissolution. Members found mountains of shredded files.
Source: Michael Beleites
New Forum’s appeal dated 3 December 1989 was an important trigger leading to Stasi buildings being occupied throughout the entire GDR.
Source: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
Stasi officers took action to forestall occupation of the regional headquarters in Berlin. They arranged to invite representatives of the civil rights movements to meet them by using their connections in the police headquarters and the old parties. On 14 December 1989 a “Control Committee for Supervision of the Dissolution” was formed. Several Stasi informers were members.
Source: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
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