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stasi files

Woman speaks out against spying "accusation"

Published lördag 5 november 2011 kl 13.53
Files from the East German intelligence agency, aka the Stasi, at an exhibition in Berlin. Photo: Soeren Stache/Scanpix

A Swedish woman says that she has been unjustly accused by new book on the East German Stasi intelligence agency.

Marianne Ersson from Hudiksvall says that she is the person named as "Agent 6" in the book Inte bara spioner (Not only spies), by Birgitta Almgren.

"I was struck speechless. Never in my life would I have thought that I would be accused of being a spy, or a Stasi agent", says Marianne Ersson to Swedish Radio News.

For many years Marianne Ersson was an auxiliary volunteer in the Swedish airforce (a so-called 'flyglotta') and she also taught in an East German university for a year in the 1980s. She was also married to an East German man for almost 20 years. According to the description in the new book, a marriage like this was how many were recruited to the Stasi.

But Marianne Ersson says this kind of scenario is impossible. That during her decades of marriage she met her husband's family, the man that he defected with and his entire circle of friends. She says that Birgitta Almgren has got it completely wrong.

Birgitta Almgren says that her claims are based on extensive research, not just in the archive of the Swedish Intelligence Service (Säpo), but also material in Berlin itself, and also documents held by the CIA.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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