Take A Look At These Creepy Cold War Images From The East German Stasi's Archives

stasi 1A photo from a course on the art of disguising

The East German spy agency ‘Stasi‘ was once the biggest spy agency per capita in the world, and provided up to 80 per cent of all information about NATO countries before the Warsaw Pact, according to the CIA. Berlin-based artist Simon Menner searched through Stasi’s archives, and found some amazing photos, including a photo guide on “the art of disguise.”

The photos are all original photos taken during the 1960, 70s and 80s in East Germany.

The photos are currently on display at Morgen Contemporary Gallery in Berlin.

On the exhibit’s website, they say that:

“Many of these snapshots seem absurd; they may even be amusing. And yet we ought not to loose sight of the intention that led the STASI agents to take them. These photographs document the repressive measures taken by a totalitarian state in order to create terror and fear among the population.”

The exhibit runs until August 20th, and the gallery tells Business Insider that the reception has been great so far but that many visitors are finding it hard to believe that the pictures are real and not satire.

The agents took photographs of each other to give examples of disguises.

Here a spy poses as a tourist.

Typical fashion for the time (presumably).

Another disguise is shown.

Here a man dresses in uniform.

What a bedroom looked like before the Stasi searched it. The Stasi took pictures before they searched through apartments to show the condition of a place before they ransacked it.

A spy shows how to give secret hand signals.

He demonstrates touching his head as a secret signal to other spies.

Want to see more photos from Communist Europe?

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