Research and Policy
Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records
Roland Jahn is the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records and heads the Stasi Archives. Born in 1953 in East Germany, he became a co-founder of the oppositional peace community in Jena that protested against the lack of freedom of speech and the increasing militarization of the GDR. In 1983, he was expelled from the country of his birth against his will and thrown onto a train to West Germany. In West-Berlin, he maintained contact with the GDR opposition and set up an informal information network between East and West. As a journalist for West German national television (ARD and ZDF) he used this "underground" network to cover human rights violations and environmental destruction in the GDR. After 1989, he continued to work as an ARD editor with a focus on the consequences of the effects of the East German dictatorship on united Germany. He was appointed Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records in 2011 by the German Bundestag and confirmed for a second five-year-term in 2016.