Until 1989, Germany was a divided country. East Germany was under communist rule. The powerbase of the communist government was its secret service – the infamous “Staatssicherheit,” also known as the Stasi. As a West German, I knew that the Stasi was likely to open the envelope when I sent a letter to my friends in the east part of Berlin. I also knew that the Stasi was likely to listen in when I called, so we were careful not to talk politics (or the music tapes I would smuggle across the border on my next visit) on the phone.