"'I was prohibited from studying. And I couldn't get any kind of job at all,' Miriam says."

Many ex-Stasi men thrived after the Wall came down, largely because they had been well educated and had a solid history of work, as this extract from an article in The Independent explains:

           The creeps and bullies aside, many of the Stasi agents come across as disturbingly normal folk. With their sound career records, plenty of lower-level Stasi operatives did well in the reunited Germany. It's no surprise that they flourished in sectors such as marketing and insurance, which can involve a measure of deception or disguise. And, yes, some of them did become estate agents.