Logo: Deutsches Institut für Internationale Pädagogische Forschung

Pedagogical Science and Secret Service in the GDR

Pedagogical Science and Secret Service in the GDR

Analyses on the inofficial (and official) relationship between pedagogical science and the secret service in the German Democratic Republic (GDR)

Project description

The investigation into the relationship between pedagogy and the politics in the GDR, which was completed in 2007 with the publication of the book "Die Akademie der Pädagogischen Wissenschaften der DDR im Spannungsfeld von Wissenschaft und Politik" (i.e. "The Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the GDR caught between science and politics"), did not take into account the relationship between pedagogical science and the "Staatsicherheitsdienst (Stasi)", which means "secret service". Nevertheless, the editor has continually collected and researched archival documents and personal data throughout the past decade, and further research has been carried out by staff at the Federal Commissioner’s Office for Records of the State Security Office of the Former GDR (BSTU), thus roughly 700 former members of the APW (Academy for Pedagogical Science of the GDR) were investigated regarding a possible activity as "Inoffizielle Mitarbeiter/-innen der Stasi" (inofficial secret service collaborators).

This project continues the work of the DFG-funded project on the history of the APW in a specific way. In 2015 the book "Agenten – Patrioten – Westaufklärer. Staatssicherheit und Akademie der Pädagogischen Wissenschaften der DDR" was published, which analyses the inofficial and official relationships between the secret service in the GDR and pedagogical science, taking the example of the APW. A focal interest lies in the influence of the secret service on the production of knowledge in the APW, and, in so far as this can be reconstructed, the the reception of this (mostly pedagogical-psychological) knowledge by the secret service. Wiegmann relates by using the archival material on the inofficial secret service collaborators under their alias, how educational scientists were recruited, what their clandestine duties were und how they behaved during the reform of APW after the German reunification in 1990. About 14 procent of the academic staff of the APW were traceably working for the secret service.


The project is financed by the DIPF.

Project management

Ulrich Wiegmann

Project team

Ulrich Wiegmann

Project details

Current projects
Research topic: School, educational science and educational policy in Germany during the Cold War
Department: Research Library for the History of Education
Contact: Ulrich Wiegmann
last modified Mar 01, 2016