[You happen to come along an old tape. You dust it off, putting in your cassette player as you hit play.] TRANSLATED FROM GERMAN "I had never dreamed in all my life that, just before my thirty-fourth birthday, that I would turn to writing my memoirs; to writing the part of my life which has been ever so tragic and unfortunate. Of course, it did not start this way. One can only fall after they have rose. My life as I remember it started in 1980, when I managed to secure a position in education and, in no small part due to the aid of my father as a civil servant, I managed to avoid conscription for another 3 years. I would describe these years as the happiest in my life - I had ambitions of practising law in Berlin, and perhaps even a political appointment in the future. In this way, I began to become ever more active in SED circles and even was elected the party group organiser on campus. I represented my comrades at the university, and they, in turn, put their trust into me and into the party. I did not, however, have my trust in the party secretary 'Friedrich Erhard'. This man, if you could call him that, had no business organising party conferences and watching over the party's members. I would not trust this man to hold a door open. Friedrich and I had a tenuous relationship; He understood that my appointment was temporary on the basis that I represented my fellow students, and that I had not yet completed my conscription, yet he still seemed driven to drive me out of the party. More driven to remove me from the party than to run it - It shows you the type of man he is. On April 2nd, 1982, he attempted to remove me after submitting 'concerns' about my leadership in his monthly 'Stimmungen und Meinungen' report. I was not sure if God had intervened, or that he had rivals of his own above him, but the regional directorate found it fit to remove him instead and to offer the position to another man, 'Otto Drach'. I would describe Otto as an uninspired yet satisfactory leader. I do not remember much of him, as my time as a PGO was soon finished after he had been appointed. After completing my university undergraduate degree in 1983, it had now come time for conscription. It was not technically necessary for one to serve in a combat unit; Baueinheiten units had come into force recently after conscription was first announced. However, if one had career aspirations beyond a factory then serving in this unit would certainly stunt those. For those with political aspirations, the Felix Dzerzhinsky guards was a sound option. I was among them. I'd known of the reputation of the regiment, how they were close to party officials and how they were the only uniformed part of the Stasi. It would be a great honour to serve in this regiment. I picked a bad time to be conscripted, however. 1983 was not known for being a peaceful year, indeed it may go down as the bloodiest in the world's history. I did not see much combat, as I was still in training for the majority of the year and, by the end of the year, the only combat left to see was guerrilla resistance among the liberated states. The socialist world was becoming reality, and I was on the front lines of ensuring that it happened. I did not know whether to be honoured or to be intimidated. I decided both. I heard stories of the regiment in Paris, about how they draped the colours over the Palace of Versailles, symbolic of their victory over the imperialist state and the liberation of the French people. I spent the next 6 years with the regiment, well over my required 3 years of conscripted time - Well, that was originally. I was kept in service until it was safe to return. By 1989, the dust had settled and socialist republics had been established in all of the liberated territories in Europe, meaning that we were able to go home. It was on this road back home that I was approached by an officer of the Ministry for State Security. He explained that he was impressed by how the regiment had handled itself in the war and subsequent conflicts and, for our efforts, I was being awarded a job with the HVA on home soil. I was relieved, finally I would be able to spend more time with my family and in my home country. Things however, were not as they seemed, a̸̡͞͠͡ņ̀͏̕d͟͏̕͜---" [The tape cuts off. You take the next tape, placing it into the cassette player and slamming the play button once more. It plays a live rendition of Dance of the Knights, the recording of questionable quality as crackles and scratches can be heard during the tape.] [Beneath both tapes, you find an photo. It is scratched and weathered, but you can barely make out the man on it.] Name (Steam and Primary Forum): friendly / friendlyman SteamID: STEAM_1:0:429585076 Timezone: BST Expected Activity, Possible Inactivity: I can't give you any idea of any delays as I have no idea when the server is coming up. If there are any issues when the release date is announced, i'll edit this accordingly, but i'll be on the server as much as I can fit in. Obviously around Christmas and other holidays i'm not going to be on as much as i'm with family and what not but I think that's to be expected. Previous Infractions, Forum or Server (WW3RP & HL2RP): Perma'd on HL2RP around December, i'm sure you're aware of this. If you have any questions pertaining as to the reasoning, add me on steam and we can talk about it. Edit : I was unbanned around April. Are you aware of the differences in the Stasiland iteration for WW3RP compared to earlier ones?: From my understanding, Stasiland no longer focuses on the front lines of the war directly (World War 3 has already occurred in the Stasiland timeline and resulted in a Warsaw Pact victory) but instead on the aftermath of the war. In particular, the reunification of Germany and how the West Germans would have reacted to a forceful Eastern unification. The gamemode is much slower paced, relying on guerrilla activities in a sort of frontier-style setting within Western Germany, instead of the purely combat nature of the original WW3RP. How familiar are you with the history and ideology of the German Democratic Republic?: I'd say I have a fairly decent understanding of the GDR and what life was like under it. While visiting Germany a couple of years ago, I managed to speak to quite a few people that had lived under the GDR and asked them what is what like living under said system - There was a variety of opinions. Some believed that the GDR was better, citing social programs and free healthcare as reasons that they wished it were like old. Others, in particular the people I managed to speak to who were imprisoned in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, disagreed and said that the widespread oppression by the Stasi could not be justified by any means, and that they would rather live in a more free country than one in which they are provided the necessities of life. Both sides, however, recognised that the GDR was not entirely good nor entirely evil, and that the majority of citizens within it were simply trying to get by day to day. I think the most shocking thing talking to these people was the amount of nostalgia they had for a system that is commonly shown to have been one of the most oppressive in history. A lot of East Germans genuinely believed in the system and a few wish that it had been the system to unite Germany. Whether that be genuine or due to the barrage of propaganda, i'll never personally know, but it was really interesting to talk to these people and find out their stories anyway. Describe, summarily and to the best of your understanding, the role of the Stasi and their practices in a broad sense: The Stasi was a secret police and intelligence service that operated in both East and West Germany. One of the most impressive feats of the Stasi was the way that they were able to have an unprecedented amount of surveillance and knowledge over it's people, with millions of people being indirectly or directly involved in it's policing activities. It was extremely common for people to inform on each other, the majority of the time this information was given without coercion, with most doing it for some sort of reward. The Stasi did not only survey it's citizens, and was also used for espionage and convert operations - Often the Stasi would dispatch of undesirables by not murdering them directly, but instead pushing them towards insanity and, eventually, suicide. This gave them plausible deniability, often times people having no idea it was the Stasi behind the psychological torture. In a slightly less important note, it also served as a proxy for KGB agents to operate in Warsaw Pact countries and in East Germany, as Stasi agents were often seen as more tolerable than Russian KGB agents, which were despised universally. The KGB did have it's own agents in Germany, and they were granted equal powers to those that they had in Russia.