Last weekend I was in Berlin so I've visited Stasi Museum. The reason is that I've made the fragrance connected to what they exhibit. The fragrance was "the body odor of Susanne whose body odor got preserved by Stasi" made for the exhibition If there ever was.
On December 28, 1989, a slim young woman named Susanne Böden was handing out leaf lets in East Berlin with her little sister. The leaf lets promoted free speech for citizens of the Deutsche Democratic Republic. Shortly after she started handing them out, Susanne was arrested by the
Stasi, or East German secret police. She stood trial at Stasi headquarters in East Berlin and was served with a caution. Before being released, the Stasi gave her a square of fabric to wipe against the back of her neck. This fabric was then kept by the Stasi in a sealed jar with her name on it.
A persons body odour is as distinctive and traceable as a fingerprint. The Stasi tracked the movements of suspected dissenters with trained sniffer dogs. To get the scent of their suspects, the Stasi employed a variety of methods such as breaking into apartments and stealing dirty clothes or sitting suspects in a heated room for questioning. The Stasi would then save a patch of fabric from this chair’s upholstery that had absorbed the suspect's body odour.
The Berlin Wall fell within months of Susanne's trial. During the ensuing celebrations Stasi Headquarters were ransacked. Inside a small room at the headquarters, revellers found hundreds of jars labelled with people's names and stuffed with bits of fabric.
text by Robert Blackson
The front side of Stasi headquarter
The smell jars
Now let's see the other exhibitions.
There's no clear sign nor entrance to this court, so I had to walk around the block many times.
Stasi headquarter is in the house nr. 1.
All the buildings were somehow related governmental buildings.