Project materials

On this site we share materials that illustrate our research findings and which were developed for secondary-level teachers (especially of German and History) and the interested public. 


Film The Open Secret

A bi-lingual (German and English) poetic documentary by film makers Nick Jordan and Jacob Cartwright created in collaboration with the team behind  'Knowing the Secret Police'. The project explored what GDR citizens could know about the infamous Stasi and how such knowledge was shared within wider social networks. The Open Secret/Das Offene Geheimnis reflects on the results.

Watch it now online on Vimeo. With English subtitles, German subtitles can be switched on when accessing the film. 

 open secret image


CPD workshop with teachers: Knowing the Stasi 

In May 2022 we ran a workshop with A-level school teachers of German to share project findings for use in the class room. Here you can find short talks which summarise key findings and contextualise the teaching materials listed below (brochure and vignettes). We also include lesson sketches developed by the teachers during the workshop.

Lesson sketch 1

Lesson sketch 2

Lesson sketch 3

Short Talks for Teachers and Students

Follow the links for recordings of the short talks given by the project team at the teacher CPD day. The speakers explain some of our key research findings and how they relate to the printed materials.

Introduction and overview 

Chapter I - Literary encounters

Chapter II - In the Church

Chapter III - In the workplace

Chapter IV - The Right to respond


Brochure Was Wusstet Ihr ('What did you know')

This illustrated brochure tells stories from research findings and was developed by Rahel SüßkindThis illustrates some of the stories uncovered in our research in an accessible way. It is currently only available in German. You can download a pdf of the brochure online. Or email us at wissen(at) for hard copies. We have a limited number of these brochures available in print. 

pic of brochure frontpage

German-English Vignettes

The vignettes exemplify research findings responding to the questions of:

  • What could be known about the Stasi?
  • How was such knowledge shared?
  • And how did relationships play into this?

The vignettes are available in German and in English.

Vignettes in English

Vignettes in German