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
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...

Tradewind Recruitment: History Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Recruitment Genius: Transport Administrator / Planner

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee