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The Stasi spied on Silke Orphal and Ilona Seeber for years – after they applied to go to the West. Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, they both look back at their Stasi files. The Stasi files of Silke Orphal and Ilona Seeber include intercepted letters, official documents and countless reports by spies who meticulously noted everything about their lives, including the turning on and off of lights.
When Silke Orphal and Ilona Seeber, who were both ordinary typists at Neues Deutschland – the official newspaper of the Socialist Unity Party – applied to leave the GDR, it was considered scandalous. They were ostracized at work, threatened and subjected to interrogations that lasted hours. What did the experience do to them? How do they look back on that time today? A report by Axel Rowohlt.