from The Jerusalem Post http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2000/08/14/News/News.10900.html August 14th 2000 By Douglas Davis
LONDON (August 14) - Stasi agents of the former East German secret police fostered the rise of neo-Nazi groups in the West in an attempt to discredit the West German government, according to a report published yesterday in Germany's Welt am Sonntag.
The paper noted that even as the East German regime was proclaiming its hatred of fascism, Stasi agents were plotting its revival, deliberately provoking antisemitism and resentment of Turks.
Former agents are quoted as saying the Stasi launched the operation during the 1961 trial of chief Holocaust engineer Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem.
The paper said Stasi agents sent forged letters, supposedly from well-known German antisemites, to other neo-Nazis and also to Jews in an attempt to stir up a backlash.
"You Jews still have not understood that you have got to disappear from Germany," read one such letter.
The letters were then published in East Germany's state-controlled press in order to demonstrate the rise of antisemitism in the west, particularly West Germany.
In succeeding years, Stasi agents intensified their activities, feeding West German journalists with false documents purportedly demonstrating past Nazi sympathies, while continuing to encourage right-wing extremism.
As Turkish guest workers arrived in West Germany in the 1970s, Stasi agents threatened violence in leaflets circulated by fictitious right-wing groups.
One documented Stasi order stipulated that the material should "wind up with certainty in the hands of foreign workers."
The Stasi also planted agents in genuine far-right groups, such as Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann, to stir up extremism.
"We had an especially dense network of agents in this group," a former major in Stasi chief Markus Wolf's unit told Welt am Sonntag. "It ensured that we were able to steer the activities of these right-wing radicals in the right direction."
The disclosures come as German officials ponder whether to outlaw far-right groups following a spate of attacks on foreigners this year, including a bombing which injured eight Jewish immigrants.