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Germany prosecutors investigating East German Stasi order to shoot defectors

[JURIST] German Federal Commissioner Marianne Birthler [official profile] said Monday that a written order instructing border guards in the former German Democratic Republic [Wikipedia backgrounder] to shoot defectors is being scrutinized by prosecutors to determine whether the document, dated October 1, 1973, could lead to the prosecution of former East German officials. The order, issued by the East German Ministry for State Security [Wikipedia backgrounder], infamously known as the Stasi, encouraged border guards to "not hesitate with the use of a firearm" to prevent East German citizens from defecting to the West. German Federal Ministry of Justice [official website] spokesperson Henning Ploeger confirmed that prosecutors were studying the document.

The Office of the Federal Commissioner [official website] is tasked with recovering and preserving documents from the so-called "Stasi Archives." AP has more.

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