Berlin Taiwan and Germany signed a letter of intent (LOI) to boost cooperation on transitional justice in Berlin on Thursday.
Taiwan's representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey signed the LOI with Thomas Prinz, Germany's envoy to Taiwan, on behalf of the respective authorities in their countries.
Noting that this year marks the 40 anniversary of the Kaohsiung Incident, Shieh said many people helped build the democracy that Taiwan enjoys today.
Chen Chu now the secretary-general of Taiwan's presidential office, is one of those who was helped by German friends while serving a jail term as a political prisoner for her involvement in the incident, Shieh said.
Roland Jahn, the federal commissioner for Stasi records who heads the Stasi Records Agency, said two-way exchanges with Taiwan on human rights started back in 2016, when Taiwan Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun paid a visit to the Stasi archives.
The inking of the LOI, the first that the Stasi Records Agency has signed with a foreign agency, is proof of the faith in democracy and freedom shared between the two sides, he said.
Jahn, who attended the plague-unveiling ceremony of the National Human Rights Museum in Taiwan, said he was impressed by Taiwan's efforts to pursue transitional justice.
He promised that Stasi Archives will cooperate with Taiwan's Transitional Justice Commission, the National Human Rights Museum and the Ministry of Culture to hold workshops and exchange programs alternatively in Germany and Taiwan on a regular basis.
Germany's Ministry for State Security, commonly known as the Stasi, was the official state security service of the former German Democratic Republic.
After German reunification, the surveillance files that the Stasi had maintained on millions of East Germans were laid open, so that any citizen could inspect their personal file on request. These files are now maintained by the Stasi Records.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel