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International Initiatives

Although the BStU’s statutory mandate does not specifically call for the commissioner’s support of historical reappraisal in other countries, the work of the BStU has sparked strong international interest. Efforts to address past injustice by making secret police files that document human rights violations publicly accessible has become an established instrument of "transitional justice." Germany’s Stasi Records Agency was the first institution to do this and it has been pleased to share its experiences with guests from all over the world.

The BStU follows the activities of other countries in this field through these direct exchanges and by participating in international conferences. Making the archives of secret police institutions, other security service agencies and witness documentation accessible, allows past injustices to be identified and helps new societies find ways to address them. Here is a partial list of institutions, with whom the BStU has or had contact:

Network on Archives and Dealing with the Past

Since 2019 the Stasi Records Archive is part of a pool of advising organisations for the network on archives and dealing with the past. This effort, funded by the German Robert Bosch Foundation with a secretariat at Swiss Peace, brings together different actors working at the nexus of archives, human rights and dealing with the past in different contexts across the globe. It fosters peer to peer exchange and support among different actors by strengthening their capacities and their expertise, and thus contributing to the professionalization of the field.

Provisional website of the network:
https://www.swisspeace.ch/projects/mandate/network-on-archives-and-dealing-with-the-past

One of the first efforts in knowledge exchange is an expert workshop on access to national security / intelligence documentation held online on July 15, 2020.