Stasi spywear: the inept art of commie disguise


33 Responses to “Stasi spywear: the inept art of commie disguise”

  1. Art says:

    Isn’t that John Candy?

  2. So the staged photo was staged? WOW!

  3. Phoc Yu says:

    I recommend The Lives of Others as an interesting movie about the fall of the Stasi if this kind of thing piques ones interest.

  4. satn says:

    If these were taken in the 80s, popped collars were normal.

    So would wearing that coat and hat in a soviet influenced area.

  5. Rich Keller says:

    When I looked at the slideshow of these pictures on another news site yesterday, I kept thinking that these looked like stills from Kids in the Hall episodes. What is German for “I’m crushing your head”?

    • Ich bin zerquetscht deinen Kopf is a loose translation.  If you’d like to see it in action, may I present this video:

      • 秀平 月 says:

        Your (hilariously incorrect) German literally translates to “I am crushed your head” which is awesome in and of itself.

  6. SamSam says:

    You know, the sunglasses here may not have actually been part of the disguise. It may have been actually to protect the identity of the man in the photos from other spies or viewers of the photos.

    This seems pretty clear once you get to the last photo, where he isn’t wearing glasses but his face is blurred out.

    Wait…. except…. why is his face blurred out using modern digital techniques? Did the current German government censor these photos so that even today you couldn’t discover that this person was a member of the Stazi?

  7. irksome says:

    “Please for to be not observing your observation yes?”

  8. ernunnos says:

    The point of camouflage is to blend in with the prevailing conditions. We’re talking about Soviet Europe in the ’80s. It’s not supposed to look normal to hipsters a culture and a quarter century away. It would have been a total failure if it had. My wife was an exchange student in a Soviet-bordering nation in that time period, and got to visit Russia. I’ve seen the snapshots. Disguise 6? Genius, at least for that time & place.

    • Brainspore says:

      The point of camouflage is to blend in with the prevailing conditions. We’re talking about Soviet Europe in the ’80s.

      Yeah, but the dude in that photo was assigned to infiltrate a middle-school swim team.

    • Coming from Austin, Texas, I would say that these outfits DO look normal to hipsters here and now.

  9. mattatlaw says:

    You are seeing the hat and coat, not the person wearing them. That’s the point. He’s making it difficult for people to remember what he looks like. So that when when he shoots a political dissident in the middle of a crowded street, the witnesses will only remember the tacky clothing.

    The guys who whacked Paul Castellano in front of Sparks Steakhouse used this exact technique, wearing cassock fur hats and trench-coats.

  10. Cunning says:

    Also, the 4″ baseboard in photos 4 through 7 are poorly disguised as 6″ baseboard. 

  11. dav von TRI says:

    Ivan Ivanovitch, is jealous. i mean look at that coat, style.

  12. Church says:

    Yeah, there’s disguise (like a plainclothes officer in jeans) and then there’s disguise (like a riot cop wearing a baclava.) This seems to be more of the latter.

  13. As a former East German army officer, I noticed that a bunch of things in the second disguise (East German army uniform) are wrong.
    Which leads me to believe those pictures are a spoof.

  14. Guest says:

    Maybe the love child of Dr. Strangelove and Bill Murray?

  15. Mister44 says:

    O.M.G. #3 is none other than Stuart Smalley.

    “I’m going to do a terrific job today! And I’m gonna spy people!
    Because I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and, doggonit, if people don’t like me, I’ll shoot them in the face.”

  16. hairfool says:

    The photos reminded me of the Butterfield Detective Agency

  17. MooseDesign says:

    Every minute you don’t tell us why you are here, I cut off a finger. Mine or yours? Yours. Damn! 

  18. SedanChair says:

    It’s all very well to make fun of the Stasi now that there’s absolutely no chance of them coming for your ass.

  19. Somebody needs to write a play based on this one guy in these various disguises. It can’t go wrong. Gold. Comedy gold.

  20. HenryPootel says:

    Und now, Evefenink Vear

  21. VibroCount says:

    Have you seen Moose and Squirrel?

  22. Gyrofrog says:

    Looking at 4 and 5: man, and I thought I had small feet. I suddenly feel better about myself! Thanx

  23. echolocate chocolate says:

    #7 is Tim from Braid.

  24. willyboy says:

    In America, art make you.

  25. JoshP says:

      As hilarious as candid East German secret police snap shots are and always will be, if you read books like Tim Weiner’s Legacy of Ashes you get the impression that the stasi, NKVD, etc actually had their duckies pointing in the proper direction.  While our spooks may have looked liked Robert Redford, we usually got fed our intel from some second floor office with a nice view over Red Square.  Just saying, and how many muskrats has the fall of Soviet Communism saved??  Fur is murder, comrade.  Sheeesh.

  26. Robert says:

    The article says that the artist was allowed to “reproduce” the photos.

    As written, it could be taken that the artist recreated and rephotographed the scenes, and then hung them alongside a body of other genuine pictures from the time.

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