Dubrovnik by Tom Royal on Flickr
Dubrovnik by Tom Royal on Flickr
Dubrovnik by Tom Royal on Flickr
Dubrovnik by Tom Royal on Flickr
Dubrovnik by Tom Royal on Flickr
Dubrovnik by Tom Royal on Flickr
Dubrovnik by Tom Royal on Flickr
Dubrovnik by Tom Royal on Flickr
Dubrovnik by Tom Royal on Flickr
Dubrovnik by Tom Royal on Flickr

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The lives of others

February 1st, 2008

The former Stasi headquarters in Berlin – above – is one of the creepiest places I've ever visited. It's been mothballed, and now functions as a museum – not a very popular one, so after paying the lady at the door Helen and I were left to wander around the corridors, which still smell vaguely of cigarette smoke, alone.

The compound was also home to a large part of the Stasi's epic archive of informant material, a large amount of which was torn up – by hand – in the final days of the DDR. There's a fascinating article in Wired this month about the Fraunhofer institute's attempts to develop a computerised scanning system that can piece it all back together – to do so by hand would take 700 years.

The article is online here.

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