Patriarchy Within a Patriarchy: Women and the Stasi

in German Politics and Society
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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.