What one can see at the museum “Runde Ecke” is really a bit devastating. Of course one has heard or seen reports about the DDR Stasi (Staatssicherheit). But seeing the mini cameras taking up to 470 pictures and how they have been hidden in clothes or accessories is a different story. There were even specially constructed machines to open letters and seal them again.
On the microphone and listing front, they of course also had quite small devices. Not really a big thing today in the iPhone age, but this was 20 up to 50 years ago in a country where such resources where really limited. In terms of technology, they where in fact so limited, that the tapes they used to record their eavesdropping sessions to are not new tapes, but music tapes, they have taken from the incoming and outgoing mail.
Reading and seeing what that Government did to its people is really sad. For example for a sport event they infiltrated one IM (Inoffizieller Mitarbeiter), kind of Government spy, for each group of 50 visitors or athletes. This dies not yet include the countless officers or other Government employes also observing each other.