Solzhenitsyn had a sweet short story about meeting a delightful old gent in the park…
Whilst the DDR, obviously, never attained the cruelty nor even a proportional bodycount of the CCCP’s achievements in studying Humanities, it was far more extensive and thorough. I made a post elsewhere which recently referenced Wikipedia’s calculations:
*Stasi efforts with one agent per 166 citizens dwarfed, for example, the Nazi Gestapo, which employed only 40,000 officials to watch a population of 80 million (one officer per 2,000 citizens) and the Soviet KGB, which employed 480,000 full time agents to oversee a nation of 280 million residents (one agent per 583 citizens). *
*When informants were included, the Stasi had one spy per 66 citizens of East Germany. *
When part-time informer adults were included, the figures reach approximately one spy per 6.5 citizens.
I’ve no particular knowledge of how contemporary Germans treat these wise old souls, but, considering how they slipped down the slope from monarchy to capitalist republic to nazi republic to socialist republic to hit rock-bottom with the present social democratic republic ( which of course, won’t last forever ) in as quick a succession as did the French in the centuries following the Revolution, I should assume they understand life is mutable if you live in the centre and are pragmatic enough to not look too closely — following the South African reconciliation pattern rather than the earlier populist schemes of mass vengeance with law made up on the trot.
Particularly when one in seven — or one in five bearing in mind mortality — might bear investigation.