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The AIDS Conspiracy: KGB and Stasi Disinformation

In the second half of the 1980s, the KGB conducted an international disinformation campaign accusing the U.S. of having artificially constructed the virus that causes AIDS at the Pentagon’s laboratory for biological warfare in Fort Detrick, Maryland. On the basis of his research with scholar Christopher Nehring in the archives of the former communist secret police in Bulgaria, Germany, and the Czech Republic, Douglas Selvage will present new details about the disinformation campaign and the key supporting role played by the KGB’s “fraternal organ,” the East German Ministry of State Security or Stasi.

Date & Time

Tuesday
Oct. 28, 2014
3:00pm – 5:00pm ET

Location

5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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Overview

The Woodrow Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program, in cooperation with the Office of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records, presents

The AIDS Conspiracy: KGB and Stasi Disinformation

Tuesday, 28 October, 2014, 3:00pm-5:00pm
Woodrow Wilson Center, 5th Floor Conference Room

Image removed.Event description: In the second half of the 1980s, the KGB conducted an international disinformation campaign accusing the US of having artificially constructed the virus that causes AIDS at the Pentagon’s laboratory for biological warfare in Fort Detrick, Maryland. On the basis of his research with scholar Christopher Nehring in the archives of the former communist secret police in Bulgaria, Germany, and the Czech Republic, Douglas Selvage will present new details about the disinformation campaign and the key supporting role played by the KGB’s “fraternal organ,” the East German Ministry of State Security, or Stasi.  Among the findings: The free media in West Germany played a central, if unwitting role, as multipliers of the KGB’s disinformation thesis; a cycle of misinformation and disinformation arose between conspiracy theorists in the US and the Soviet bloc’s secret police; and the Fort Detrick-thesis continues to circulate around the globe yet today with dire political and medical consequences.  

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History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program strives to make public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, to facilitate scholarship based on those records, and to use these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

Cold War International History Project

The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more

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