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DR. GERHARD SÄLTER

Dr. Gerhard Sälter
Historian, born 1962.

1984 to 1992, study of history, philosophy and political science at the Free University of Berlin, afterwards dissertation.

Specialization on the practices of ruling, the history of authority and power relations in their social context.

1999 to 2001 as a freelancer at the Bautzen Memorial and the "Landesbeauftragter für die Unterlagen der ehemaligen Staatssicherheit in Sachsen".

Since 2001 at the Berlin Wall Memorial; present job profile: historical research, library and curator of the memorial’s permanent exhibition.

2012 to 2015 sabbatical term; during this time scholarly staff of the “Unabhängige Historikerkommission zur Erforschung der Geschichte des Bundesnachrichtendienstes 1945 bis 1968”, position at the Philipps-Universität Marburg.

Publications on the history of deviance, police, denunciation, criminal justice and imprisonment, on the East German secret police (MfS, the so-called Stasi), on the East German border regime and the Berlin Wall, and on the West German intelligence service, the BND.

Exhibitions

  • 1961 │ 1989. The Berlin Wall. Permanent exhibition at the Berlin Wall Memorial, Documentation Center, opened Nov. 9, 2014 (historical and conceptual advice).
  • Der weiße Strich. Vorgeschichte und Folgen einer Kunstaktion an der Berliner Mauer, traveling exhibition, realized 2011 (co-curator).
  • The Berlin Wall. Permanent exhibition at the Berlin Wall Memorial, Memorial Grounds, consecutively opened May 21, 2010, to Nov. 9, 2014 (curator).
  • Border stations and Ghost stations in divided Berlin, Nordbahnhof S-Bahn station, opened Oct. 3, 2009 (curator).

Documentaries, historical advice

  • The Berlin Wall. Introductory film at the Berlin Wall Memorial, 2010, 14 min., English and German.
  • Walled in! – The inner German border, Deutsche Welle tv, 2009, 11 min., English, German, Spanish, French, Arabian, and Russian.

Selected publications

1. Books

  • Grenz- und Geisterbahnhöfe im geteilten Berlin. Begleitband zur Ausstellung im Nordbahnhof, Berlin: Ch. Links, 2013, 2nd edition 2014 (co-edited with Tina Schaller).
  • Ultima Ratio: Der 13. August 1961. Der Mauerbau, die Blockkonfrontation und die Gesellschaft der DDR, Sankt Augustin and Berlin: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 2011 (with Manfred Wilke); read online.
  • Weltende – Die Ostseite der Berliner Mauer. Mit heimlichen Fotos von Detlef Matthes, Berlin: Ch. Links, 2011 (co-edited with Tina Schaller and Anna Kaminsky).
  • „Verschüttet“. Leben, Bombentod und Erinnerung an die Berliner Familie Jaschkowitz, Berlin: Hentrich & Hentrich, 2011 (with Christian Dirks and Axel Klausmeier).
  • Grenzpolizisten. Konformität, Verweigerung und Repression in der Grenzpolizei und den Grenztruppen der DDR (1952-1965), Berlin: Ch. Links, 2009.
  • Kassiber aus Bautzen. Heimliche Briefe von Gefangenen aus dem sowjetischen Speziallager 1945-1950, Dresden: Stiftung Sächsische Gedenkstätten, 2004 (co-edited with Cornelia Liebold and Jörg Morré).
  • Interne Repression. Die Verfolgung übergelaufener MfS-Offiziere durch das MfS und die DDR-Justiz (1954-1966), Dresden: HAIT, 2002.

2. Contributions to handbooks and catalogues

  • The Berlin Wall. The Berlin Wall Memorial Exhibition Catalog, Axel Klausmeier (ed.), Berlin: Ch. Links, 2015:

    • The SED, its Wall and GDR Society, pp. 17-19;
    • Surveillance of the Wall: The Example of Bernauer Strasse, pp. 94-96.

3. Articles

  • Un doppio compito. Funzioni poliziesche e militari della polizia di frontiera della Germania dell’Est, 1946-1962; in: Polizia Militare, Military Policing (Seminario di studi, Messina 11/12 dicembre 2009), Livio Antonielli (ed.), Soveria Manelli: Rubbettino, 2013, pp. 311-318.
  • The Double Task of the East German Border Guards: Policing the Border and Military Functions, German politics and society 29 (2011) 2, pp. 23-39 (with Jochen Maurer).
  • The Berlin Wall Explained in Context: Rebuilding the Berlin Wall Memorial; in: C’era una volta il muro. A vent’anni dalla svolta tedesca, Emilia Fiandra (ed.), Roma: Proteo, 2011, pp. 191-206.
  • From an Instrument of Power to a Memorial Site: The Berlin Wall; in: Wall Journey. Expedition into Divided Worlds, Michael Jeismann und Hans-Georg Knopp (eds.), Göttingen 2010, pp. 251-255.
  • De bewaker bewaakt. Stasi-spionnen aan de grens, Historisch Niewsblad 8/2006, S. 40-45 (with Beatrice De Graaf).
  • „Hier wordt een misdaad begaan“. Reacties van de Oost-Berlijnse bevolking op de bouw van de Muur, Historisch Niewsblad 5/2001, S. 26-30 (with Beatrice Jansen–De Graaf).

4. Lectures

  • Behind the Berlin Wall. Policing the Restricted Border Area in East Berlin, 1961–1989. Paper presented at the section Geographies of transgression in the history of the city at the 10th International Conference on Urban History, Gent, September 2010.
  • Between State and Community: Voluntary Assistants to the GDR Border Police (Grenzpolizeihelfer) During the 1950s. Paper presented at the 33rd Annual German Studies Association Conference, Washington, October 2009.


Full research profile [PDF, 50,00 KB]