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The E-Puzzler

Via plime: the Toronto Star reports on the E-puzzler, the world’s only mass-unshredding machine, and its progress in piecing together 16,250 bags full of shredded or torn up STASI documents.

Prior to the creation of the E-puzzler, a team of 15 Germans had laboriously been putting the pieces together by hand. But they managed to rebuild only 10,000 documents from 300 bags during 12 years. The German government estimated it would take a further 600 to 800 years to finish the job.

But having uncovered heartbreaking stories of espionage – like that of Vera Lengsfeld, a 54-year old German politician who was shocked to learn she had been spied on by her husband for 11 years – the German public demanded the files be put together more quickly. An estimated 3.4 million Germans have officially requested to see the information the STASI gathered on them.

With the E-puzzler, Nickolay says the government will be able to un-shred the remaining documents by 2013.