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Readers of AAD know of our research into the story of the Stasi a rapacious secret police of the defunct East German regime whose manipulation of the art trade at the expense of its law abiding citizens was used to further the dark aims of a darker regime. The screen shots seen below are the results of a number of trips to Berlin in 2015.

The extremely thorough records of such an enterprise constitute a rare insight to the thought process of a criminal enterprise on a macroeconomic scale. The activities of KoKo (established in 1964 and the financial arm of the GDR) were, primarily, to generate foreign exchange, by bypassing the official legal ways of foreign trade. Independent sources of western hard currency in the Stasi's / KoKo's hands could be used to finance off the books operations in the west since anyone in East Germany would be forced to accept the local DDR marks. Serving as the blueprint for this operation was the (now deceased) art plunderer Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski and his doctoral thesis, which describes various methods of economic crime.

Methods employed included espionage, treasonous acts, human trafficking, sabotage and acts of sabotage, terror, acts of significant violence, political and ideological diversion and operational acts of smuggling, amongst other methods. Profits from Kunst und Antiquitäten and other shill operations flowed through to KoKo, and then directly to the SED or the Stasi, serving mainly to finance the afore-mentioned secret operations and to keep the East German communist regime afloat. 

For latter day Westerners too naive to believe such intrigue would be committed to paper, this 189 page thesis (published Pt. 1 of 3) shows in the original German text, the strategic types of operations that the Stasi would finance with the KoKo cash flow, and provides in depth access to the GDR operating system from 1970 onwards. 

F021E188 60D7 4023 8F90 AD9BA5215DD1Dr. Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski, Art Plunderer and Secretary of State of Finance for the GDR and feared Stasi Agent

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0F783132 1C22 4779 B56C 1E3B0B599C44Eric Mielke - GDR Army General and head of the Stasi, the most feared person in the whole of East Germany. Signatory to the following thesis and still quoting from it almost 20 years after its conception, can be seen, here 
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 1DD7CE37 24E8 45FF AC50 FFEF43D2DE2BThe logo for The Ministry for State Security (German: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, MfS or State Security Service (Staatssicherheitsdienst, SSD), commonly known as the Stasi

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4518ED6A 1F36 4999 A5BE 703B617A17D0Erich Honecker - East German communist politician and Soviet puppet who led the East German Democratic Republic (GDR) from 1971 until shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989  C19F1FFA 9DDA 4B77 A061 DCAFBCAF86CD

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  F16E2597 37A8 4B63 A8AF 032C95167900The good old days - Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski (far left) Gerold Tandler (second from left) Gunther Mittig (signatory to this thesis, third from left) Josef Strauss (German politician),  Theodore Waigel (German Politician) and Erich Honecker, leader of the GDR 1971-1989 Bundesarchiv Bild (183-1990-0226-315)

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F707C2AB 7DF8 4D2C 90C6 BEDEB69EB106East German guard Hans Conrad Schumann (August 15th 1961) escaping East Berlin's communist regime prior to erection of the Berlin Wall - image taken by Peter Leibing.

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Page 32 missing from original document. 
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9E36A5A3 CD08 4740 9DBB AFB936F48C08The Berlin Wall effectively held 17 million East German people as prisoners 1961-1989

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8B9CB756 8D13 4544 A351 80DE284AE13ADr. Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski

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Part 2 tomorrow, part 3 the following day. 

Thank you for reading


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