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East German spies' disguises made them look like... spies

Artist Simon Menner uncovered images of a typical Stazi ‘disguise’ during a hunt of its archives. Now they’re on display.
Aug 5th 2011, 2:10 PM 992 8

A NEW EXHIBITION in Berlin has revealed the disguises used by East German spies when they were sent elsewhere – and shows that they weren’t particularly good at throwing people off their scent.

Simon Manner’s exhibition, comprising of images found during a trawl of archived Stazi documents rescued from their premises across the old East Germany, includes images of prototype disguises used by spooks during foreign missions.

But it would appear that no matter how much they tried to shake off their covert image, the spies only met with limited success – because most of their outfits looked distinctly… well, spy-like.

The images are among the few to have survived the downfall of East Germany, which saw most Stazi documents burned and shredded after its former communist regime collapsed.

More images from Simon Menner’s exhibition can be seen on his website. His exhibition runs in Berlin for another two weeks.

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Gavan Reilly

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