Friday, 11 October 2019 Pastor spies and Cold War espionage in the East German Church

Blog | Author Interviews

Elisabeth Braw is an expert in her field. She has written for several leading news outlets and is associated with some of the most prestigious universities and think tanks in the world. For the first time, with Lion Hudson, she turns her hand to authorship.

Braw’s new book focusses on the incredible experiences of clergymen in the East German Church. God’s Spies: The Stasi’s Cold War Espionage Campaign Inside the Church profiles the pastors, students, and bishops recruited by the East German secret police during the forty years before the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.

The Stasi aimed to maintain a level of control over all aspects of East German life, and endeavoured to assume this same control over the predominantly Lutheran Church too. By recruiting members of the Church, from clergymen to seminary students, the Stasi hoped to learn more about members of the public and their plans. However, it was from within this same Church that protests in 1989 rose up, leading to the felling of the Berlin Wall and an end to a dark chapter of German and European history.

A unique insight into the East German Church, the Secret Police, and Christian Germans behind the Berlin wall.

Elisabeth Braw, daughter of a Swedish pastor herself, leverages her extensive knowledge and connections to build a picture of the East German Church and the impact of Stasi surveillance in the lead-up to the Berlin Wall being pulled down – one of the most significant events of the twentieth century. You can see some of her work on the subject in this Newsweek article.

Braw has cultivated a global reputation for her journalism within the defence sector. She has regularly written for the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung among others. She has also served as Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford, and is currently director of RUSI’s Modern Deterrence project, which aims to strengthen the global defence against existing and emerging threats.


­Elisabeth Braw’s new book, God’s Spies, can be found here. To hear more from the author follow her on twitter @ElisabethBraw or take a look at her author profile.