German Stasi Director. Reviled head of the Stasi, or Ministry for State Security (Staatsicherheit). Founded in 1950 by German communists in the Russian sector of occupied Germany soon after World War II and dissolved shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Mielke headed the Stasi from 1957 until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. His network of 85,000 full-time domestic spies and 170,000 voluntary informers kept tabs on millions of people. So many people collaborated with the Stasi that when the records were opened, it was discovered that in every public building, at least one of it's members kept the Stasi informed on all the activities within it. Under his aegis and with his full knowledge, Stasi officers also engaged in arbitrary arrest, kidnapping, brutal harassment of political dissidents, inhumane imprisonment, even torture of tens of thousands of citizens. Mielke oversaw financial corruption on a very large scale, as well. He was one of the most powerful – and most hated – men in East Germany, feared even by members of his own Stasi.Mielke died on May 22 2000 aged 92 in an Berlin nursing home. About 100 people reportedly attended the funeral. He is buried in the Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde in Berlin.
Bio by: Malcolm Nicoll