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Public debate in Germany, particularly in the western German
media, grew heated in 1991 and 1992 over the role of intellectuals in
East German society and their collaboration with or resistance to the
Stasi. Sparks flew with particular intensity when Wolf Biermann,
former East German dissident musician and poet, accused Sascha
Anderson, erstwhile East German dissident poet, of being a Stasi
informant and an “asshole” (while there was some disagreement
over the latter charge, the former, at least, turned out to be accurate).
As the debate raged, some observers commented that it seemed
more a clash of male egos than a serious attempt to analyze the past.
In a 1993 book on the dissident literary community, a West German
commentator suggested the Stasi debate was a conflict among “three
egomaniacs … [Wolf] Biermann, [writer Lutz] Rathenow, [Sascha]
Anderson.” East German author Gabriele Stötzer-Kachold had
made a similar suggestion in 1992.
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