Zersetzung (German for "decomposition")
Zersetzung is a psychological warfare technique used by the Ministry for State Security (Stasi) to repress political opponents in East Germany during the 1970s and 1980s.
The Ministry for State Security (German: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, MfS), commonly known as the Stasi, was the main security service of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany or GDR), and defined Zersetzung in its 1985 dictionary of political operatives as follows:
.. With Zersetzung one can influence hostile and negative individuals across different operational political activities, especially the hostile and negative aspects of their dispositions and beliefs,
so these are abandoned and changed little by little,
and, if applicable, the contradictions and differences between the hostile and negative forces would be laid open, exploited, and reinforced.
Zersetzung is generally translated into English as "decomposition", although it can be variously translated as "decay", "corrosion", "undermining", "biodegradation", or "dissolution".
The goal of Zersetzung is the fragmentation, paralysis, disorganization, and isolation of the hostile and negative forces, in order to preventatively impede the hostile and negative activities, to largely restrict, or to totally avert them, and if applicable to prepare the ground for a political and ideological reestablishment.
Zersetzung is equally an immediate constitutive element of "operational procedures" and other preventive activities to impede hostile gatherings. The principal forces to execute Zersetzung are the unofficial collaborators. Zersetzung presupposes information and significant proof of hostile activities planned, prepared, and accomplished as well as anchor points corresponding to measures of Zersetzung.
Zersetzung must be produced on the basis of a root cause analysis of the facts and thePost too long. Click here to view the full text.