"'Puzzle women? Puzzle women?' Uwe said, trying to remember the story. 'They sit in Nuremberg puzzling together the shredded files the Stasi couldn't burn or pulp.'"

Anna Funder describes her visit to the Stasi File Authority in Zirndorf, just outside Nuremberg, on page 262 of Stasiland. She finds a small group of men and women, working long and hard with nothing but sellotape and a love of jigsaw puzzles. Thankfully, things have moved on since then.

In this article from May 2007, Kate Connolly reports that the German government have finally given the go-ahead to proceed with the new software (the so-called E-Puzzler) that will piece together the shredded Stasi files in a fraction of the time that the 'puzzle women' could ever have done.

Below, DW-TV reporter Georg Matthes investigates the Stasi file store and the process by which people can request information which may have been kept about themselves. The German government have recognised the ongoing need for the Stasi file archive, as requests for access to information continue to stream in, as reported in this article from January 2010.