23rd Oct: It's time for the Second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest! Details here.
The Staatsicherheit was the Secret Police / State Sec of East Germany. Their job was to find dissenters and torture them into becoming productive members of the state. From this emerged the most frighteningly effective and efficient secret police in Europe. An old saying is "The Gestapo were bone breakers. The Stasi were soul breakers." At their height, they had one officer for every 166 East German citizens. The FSB in Putin's Russia can work about 1 officer for 273 citizens. The best the Gestapo could manage was one officer for 2000 citizens. No one was sure if they were being watched or not, and could never tell if their friends or family were informing on them. Often people had no choice. Being people of good humour, the East Germans had numerous jokes about their Big Brothers:
Just about anything that takes place in East Germany has a good chance to include the Stasi: