And while I’m rummaging around on the BBC’s site – there’s also a piece on the Stasi.
“The Stasi was an organisation that loved to keep paper,” says Joachim Haussler, who works for the Stasi archives authority today.
It therefore owned few shredders – and those it did have were of poor East German quality and rapidly broke down. So thousands of documents were hastily torn by hand and stuffed into sacks. The plan was to burn or chemically destroy the contents later.
But events overtook the plan, the Stasi was dissolved as angry demonstrators massed outside and invaded its offices, and the new federal authority for Stasi archives inherited all the torn paper.
Typical feminists, eh? Can’t even tear up the records properly.