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February 14, 1994 | Daily News Wire Services
Gerd Leopold, an assistant German bobsled coach, admitted yesterday that he was employed as an officer by former East Germany's secret police, the Stasi, from 1982 to 1990. Leopold, 35, said he compiled reports on his sledders under standard East German procedures, but denied actively spying for his Stasi handlers. German team officials closed ranks and said Leopold would remain at the Games because they were satisfied he had harmed no one. Leopold said he was offered a bobsled coaching job by the Dynamo Zinnwald club on condition that he would join a Stasi regiment.
NEWS
January 15, 1992 | By Dan Stets, Inquirer Staff Writer
Heinz Eggert is the sort of man who expected hostility from the repressive regime that ruled East Germany for more than four decades. After all, the outspoken Protestant pastor had used his pulpit to denounce the Communist government. He counseled dissidents. He collected money for the families of those imprisoned for their views. But Eggert was not prepared for what he found last week when he went through the 2,800-page dossier that the East German secret police, the dreaded Stasi, had assembled on him over 21 years.
NEWS
July 31, 1998 | By Trudy Rubin
Is Jan Kavan, the new Czech foreign minister, a hero or a traitor? That Czechs are still asking this question shows how hard it is for Central and East Europeans to exorcise their communist past and build democracy. The question bothers me personally, because I have known and admired Kavan since his days as a student leader during the 1968 Prague spring. Let me tell you his story. Jan Kavan was the son of a Czech communist and resistance fighter who barely escaped to London during World War II. Married to a British schoolteacher, Pavel Kavan became a diplomat in post-war Prague.
SPORTS
February 17, 1992 | By Jere Longman, INQUIRER OLYMPICS BUREAU
Katarina Witt, who reigned as the world's ice queen through two Olympics, revealed yesterday that she had been asked to spy for the East German secret police. The figure skater also said that even with all the benefits afforded her, she became disillusioned with a system that used sports as a tool to promote communist ideology. She felt tremendous pressure to win a second gold medal at the 1988 Calgary Games, Witt said. "It was much harder," said Witt, who is working at these Games as a commentator for CBS. "I first knew how important the Olympics are. In 1984, it was just another competition.
NEWS
January 9, 1990 | From Inquirer Wire Services
About 100,000 people furious over the continuing power of the East German Communist Party marched through Leipzig yesterday chanting, "Down with communists. " Speakers at the rally said they feared a resurgence of communist power and believed that the hated secret police, officially disbanded last month, were still active. "While many citizens have traveled freely over the border, the 'others' have re-formed," Pastor Christian Fuehrer said at a church service at the start of the protest.
NEWS
December 11, 2012
Karel Vas, 96, a prosecutor who came to symbolize unlawful trials during the post-1948 communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, has died. Czech public television reported that Mr. Vas died Saturday in a home for retirees in Prague where he had lived. Details were not available. During World War II, he moved to the Soviet Union where he began to collaborate with dictator Josef Stalin's much-feared secret police. Historians say Mr. Vas one of the state prosecutors who played a key role in show trials that used fabricated evidence to hand out death sentences to opponents of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.
NEWS
September 3, 1992 | Daily News wire services
BONN EX-STASI TYPES BUSTED IN RIOTS Four members of the former East German secret police were arrested for involvement in right-wing riots against refugees in the port of Rostock, the Bild newspaper reported yesterday. Bild quoted Erwin Marschewski, a spokesman for the government in parliament, as saying the secret police, known as the Stasi, had "plotted the riots to bring down democracy. " He called for an inquiry into connections between neo-Nazis and the Stasi.
NEWS
September 13, 2010
Baerbel Bohley, 65, a prominent figure in the pro-democracy movement that helped end communist rule in the former East Germany, died of cancer Saturday in Berlin. Ms. Bohley, a painter who endured harassment by East Germany's secret police, and several others in September 1989 established New Forum. It became the most prominent opposition group in the final phase of hard-line rule. The group advocated free elections, greater openness in East German society, and a free press. East Germany opened its heavily fortified border on Nov. 9, 1989, after mounting peaceful protests helped undermine the communist government.
NEWS
February 5, 1987 | By Ken Fireman, Inquirer Washington Bureau
A Chilean army officer pleaded guilty yesterday in the 1976 car-bombing murders of Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier and an American woman. He said his superiors had ordered him to conceal his role in the crime. In entering the plea to a federal charge of being an accessory after the fact to the murder, Armando Fernandez Larios said he had been told that Chilean President Augusto Pinochet had ordered the assassination. Fernandez came to the United States voluntarily last month and agreed to testify against two high-ranking officers of the Chilean secret police.
NEWS
September 6, 2002 | Daily News wire services
No problem, says chief of breached arms depot Officials at a Utah Army depot where nerve gas and other chemical weapons are stored found no trace of a reported intruder after an alert sounded yesterday. Col. Peter Cooper, commander of the Deseret Chemical Depot, said the facility's security was never at risk. A person who was spotted within the heavily guarded perimeter fled, Cooper said, but he added, "We're not sure if it was an employee who was not in the right area.
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NEWS
March 24, 2013
By Ismail Kadare Grove Press. 176 pp. $24 Reviewed by Rhonda Dickey It was one of history's worst regime changes: Nazi occupation during World War II, then postwar communism. For millions, one form of suffering gave way to another. Albanian writer Ismail Kadare crafts The Fall of the Stone City as a microcosm of what happened to the citizens of the small countries that were conquered by big ones. It's a slim fable whose star-crossed characters linger painfully with the reader.
NEWS
December 11, 2012
Karel Vas, 96, a prosecutor who came to symbolize unlawful trials during the post-1948 communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, has died. Czech public television reported that Mr. Vas died Saturday in a home for retirees in Prague where he had lived. Details were not available. During World War II, he moved to the Soviet Union where he began to collaborate with dictator Josef Stalin's much-feared secret police. Historians say Mr. Vas one of the state prosecutors who played a key role in show trials that used fabricated evidence to hand out death sentences to opponents of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.
NEWS
November 23, 2012 | By Llazar Semini, Associated Press
TIRANA, Albania - An Albanian court convicted the country's fugitive former intelligence chief Thursday of murder for the 1995 death of a suspect who was illegally detained for an alleged plot to murder Macedonia's president. The court, which tried Ilir Kumbaro in absentia, also sentenced him to 15 years in prison. The victim, businessman Remzi Hoxha, an ethnic Albanian from Macedonia, was abducted by the secret police 17 years ago along with two other suspects for allegedly planning to kill then-Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov during a visit to Albania.
NEWS
November 23, 2012 | By Daniel Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
If you're riding through Roxborough and Manayunk today on SEPTA's Route 35 bus, you might want to tip your hat to the driver. He's a national hero of Poland. Official recognition came earlier this fall to Andrzej Sekowski, and 25 years after the fact. His signature act of protest involved a can of black paint, a red ribbon, some grease, and a pig. It was actually the second pig that earned Sekowski a year in prison for activities found subversive to the communist state. The first one went off as planned.
NEWS
April 20, 2012 | By Bashir Adigun and Jon Gambrell, Associated Press
ABUJA, Nigeria - Nigeria is opening a secret detention center to hold and interrogate suspected high-level members of a radical Islamist sect responsible for hundreds of killings this year alone, a security official has told the Associated Press. While the facility could create a more cohesive effort among disparate and sometimes feuding security agencies in Nigeria to combat the sect known as Boko Haram, it raises concerns about its possible use for torture and illegal detentions.
NEWS
October 15, 2011
Britain to probe ex-agent's death LONDON - A coroner has agreed to open a full inquest into the radiation poisoning of the former KGB officer Alexander V. Litvinenko, potentially bringing the case before a British legal forum for the first time, opening new seams of information about his death and possibly raising tensions with Moscow. The decision by the coroner, Andrew Reid, on Thursday came five years since Litvinenko died after ingesting a rare radioactive isotope, Polonium 210, believed by the police to have been slipped into a teapot at an upscale hotel on Nov. 1, 2006, just weeks after Litvinenko had acquired British citizenship by naturalization.
NEWS
August 14, 2011
William Collins Donahue is chairman of the department of Germanic languages and literature at Duke University The Berlin Wall would have turned 50 this weekend. It's long gone, but its legacy lives on in the complicated relationship modern-day Germans maintain with it. During a recent trip to Berlin, I found many people still grappling with that relationship. To them, the wall represents not only the successful reunification of the German people in November 1989, when the wall came down, but also the brutal police state that existed during the prior 28 years.
NEWS
September 13, 2010
Baerbel Bohley, 65, a prominent figure in the pro-democracy movement that helped end communist rule in the former East Germany, died of cancer Saturday in Berlin. Ms. Bohley, a painter who endured harassment by East Germany's secret police, and several others in September 1989 established New Forum. It became the most prominent opposition group in the final phase of hard-line rule. The group advocated free elections, greater openness in East German society, and a free press. East Germany opened its heavily fortified border on Nov. 9, 1989, after mounting peaceful protests helped undermine the communist government.
NEWS
September 24, 2008 | By Kathleen Brady Shea and Derrick Nunnally INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
To his Chester County neighbors, Thomas C. Daley was a loner who kept his five-acre lot immaculate, decorating lavishly for Halloween and Christmas. To Montgomery County investigators, he was a law-breaking Norristown landlord so obsessed with spying on his female tenants that he spent hours watching surreptitious videos each day. Yesterday, police charged Daley, 45, of Phoenixville, with multiple new offenses stemming from his use of 20 clandestine cameras at four rental units he owns in the 1400 block of Green Valley Road, Norristown.
NEWS
April 1, 2007 | By Trudy Rubin
On a glorious, sunny day in Germany's reunited capital, I found myself in the dimness of the Stasi museum - a two-story concrete building that exhibits the tools that East Germany's secret police used to spy on most of its citizens' lives. I came to this museum not out of perversity, but because I was impelled by the German movie The Lives Of Others, which just won the Oscar for best foreign film. It offers a chilling and emotionally powerful portrait of Stasi surveillance of a fictional writer and artist couple.
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