Stasi's official pornography department finally exposed

Western pornography was banned under communism, but the armed forces of the former East Germany made their own sex films featuring bare-breasted female soldiers that were enjoyed by senior officers and outwardly prudish hard-line politicians.

Evidence of the former communist state's secret porn industry surfaced yesterday in a documentary made by eastern Germany's MDR television channel. It showed original film clips of nude subalterns kissing, and female army privates in helmets posing semi-naked on parade.

The programme, Pornography made in the German Democratic Republic, revealed that the East German army, which at the time was one of the most feared in the Warsaw Pact, ran a 160-man film unit which had a secret amateur circle of 12 porn enthusiasts.

Dietmar Schürtz, 57, a former sound technician and actor in the porn film circle, who works in the reunited German army's media department, said in an interview that the unit was set up in 1982. It managed to make a total of 12 erotic films before the collapse of communism in 1989.

"All of the films were made in secret but partly with the permission of senior officers," he said, adding that the premieres were an event not to be missed by the country's ruling elite: "All the bosses came to these showings – either because they were just inquisitive or simply out of pure lust," he said.

Mr Schürtz said the movies were shot on 16mm film cameras and that a military hospital was used as a studio. Most of the apparently sex-hungry women who starred in the films were civilian employees of the army. "We asked them whether they wanted a role and nearly all of them said yes immediately," he said.

The style of the erotic film clips shown in the documentary was reminiscent of early Scandinavian pornographic cinema. Perhaps surprisingly for a former front-line Warsaw Pact state, the films were not without humorous jabs at the failures of communism.

One scene depicted a male worker in a medical consulting room waiting to be seen by a female doctor. She enters and orders the man to strip to the waist. "But I am your mechanic!" insists the male worker. The doctor immediately unbuttons her white coat and offers the worker instant sex because she is so grateful to have found somebody to repair her car in a country almost devoid of mechanics.

The secret clips included "Carry On" film-style shots of a female army private in a helmet exposing herself on a parade ground to the command "Breasts Out !" The scenes are in marked contrast to the atmosphere of public prudery that prevailed in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Although nudism and naked bathing were permitted, the regime banned Western sex films and visitors to the country who dared to try to import erotic magazines from the West would have the publication confiscated by border guards and risked being denied entry.

After 1989, one of the first addresses for the millions of East Germans who were suddenly able to visit the West was an erotic-film cinema or a sex shop.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview