Trade of a city – power and banality


The city of Leipzig has a long tradition of civic liberty. The city of the ‘Messe’ or trade show, has developed into a centre of commerce, since it was granted market privileges in 1165 C.E.

“Macht und Banalität”
Hannah Arendt’s thesis of the Banalität des Bösen forms the outset of the exhibition at the former Headquarter of the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS)

In the Stasi museum, one also inds the uniform of Manfred Hummitzsch, the former leuitenant-general of the Ministerium fur Staatssicherheit (MfS) in the Bezirk Leipzig. Hummitzsch, the Leipzig Stasi chef, now heads the ‘Gesellschaft zur rechtlichen und humanitaeren Unterstuetzung (GRH)’ which for its part is a member of the ‘Gesellschaft zum Schutz von Bürgerrecht und Menschenwürde (GBM)’, an organization that fights against the restriction of civil rights and discrimination of East Germans. Hummitzsch, like many other former members of the SED and Stasi were never tried or they were acquited, because Einigungsvertrag of 1990 had defined that for the period of DDR rule East Germans could only be tried under DDR law (NB! Helmut Kohl is still fighting a fierce legal battle to keep ‘his’ Stasi files secret, although a court recently decided that at least those files that deal with state affairs should be made available for the public).

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