Spy-Tech Monday

That’s it for Kristie Macrakis and her treasure trove of Stasi gizmos. Thanks for joining us. I’ll make it easier for everyone, and post all the pictures in a gallery below. Seduced by Secrets is available nationwide; get the full story! Many thanks to Kristie for sharing images from her own research.

[UPDATE] Check out the comments section – a reader has posted a series of very cool, very outlandish spy cameras.


A tile mosaic at the former Stasi headquarters

The back room at the German Federal Criminal Police

Insert a pin and voila, your very own Minox spy camera.

Why, what an ordinary-looking ash tray.

Insert a pin, and voila, your very own… yeah, another Minox.

A desktop lighter contains a cypher.

Photograph dignitaries and other folks of interest at your next spy-function, even from under your summery dress.

Dust some evidence, stick it in a jar. Later, dogs will identify the person by scent. Or not. There are conflicting reports as to whether a dog can identify the scent of someone based upon their handling of, say, a protest leaflet. The scary thing: the current German police still may be doing it.

This cigarette case conceals…

A very pricey, high-precision Swiss Tessina wristwatch-camera. Click for a bigger image, and dig the controls. The manual settings are all there.

The Microdot. This camera is the size of a thumbnail, with a remote shutter release.


7 Responses

  1. Reader John from the Cambridge University Press blog tips us off to these crazy East German police (Stasi) gadgets used during the cold war. Lots of these gadgets are what you’d expect cold war gadgets to be—spy gear covertly inserted into everyday objects—but others are for surveillance. One of them, a spy camera shoved inside a bra, look dangerous…

  2. dieser:

    Thanks for posting them — do you know if any are of Stasi-creation?

  3. Cupblog, these are 100% Stasi:

    Stasi Praktica


    I would not call them “spy cameras” in the full meaning of a “spy” word though. Just another secret service :)

  4. Dear diser (?),
    I very much enjoyed the exotic spy cameras on the first posting.

    The ROBOT camera is actually a WEST German creation. The Stasi bought and moidfied the Robot observation cameras.I notived one example of a Stasi modified camera. I have a section in my book on the Robot and how it was used by the Stasi. I also have more ROBOT modified pictures I show in my book presentations if you’re interested in seeing some more I can post them on the website.
    I couldn’t open the Stasi praktika, but the Praktika was a commercially available camera also modified by the MfS.

    Kristie Macrakis

  5. Kristie, that would be nice! I’d love to see those photos!

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