Wired.com reports on the legacy left by the East German secret police:
For such an organized state, East Germany fell apart in a decidedly messy way. When the country's eastern bloc neighbors opened their borders in the summer of 1989, tens of thousands of East Germans fled to the West through Hungary and Czechoslovakia. By autumn, protests and riots had spread throughout East Germany, with the participants demanding an end to restrictions on travel and speech. In the first week of October, thousands of demonstrators in Dresden turned violent, throwing rocks at police, who broke up the crowd with dogs, truncheons, and water cannons. The government described the thousand people they arrested as "hooligans" to state-controlled media. But on October 9, the situation escalated. In Leipzig that night, 70,000 people marched peacefully around the city's ring road — which goes right past the Stasi office. Agents asked for permission from Berlin to break up the demonstration, but this was just a few months after the Chinese government had brutally shut down pro-democracy protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, to international condemnation. The East German government didn't want a similar bloodbath, so the Stasi did nothing. A week later, 120,000 people marched; a week after that, the number was 300,000 — in a city with a population of only 530,000.Interesting connection of events.
Crossposted at Sense of Events.