Being mostly a uniform collector, I am really impressed by the chapter about the Wachregiment, the impressive display of uniform jackets from the very early KVP to the open collar era, and the most useful tables depicting the different collar tabs patterns etc...The period photographs, both B/W and colours, some of which from the very early '50s, are IMHO worth the book's price, not to mention the overall quality of the project, of the hundreds of photographs (mostly in colour) and of the printing itself, that make this book a jewel - the previews on Ralph's website do not do it justice!

Moreover, I found several other chapters, from the Juristische Hochschule to the relations between the MfS and the KGB, illuminating and helpful in understanding how would a career in the Stasi develop (a very interesting chart with a few samples of promotions during some members' careers made me smile about pointless discussions among some reenactors about the correct number of service medals to be worn by an officer of this or that rank... ).

Ralph's expertise, as Greg Collins correctly pointed out, makes this book into something more than just a reference catalogue: through the hundreds of different items, from military uniforms, to plates and medals, birthday cards and gifts, this book turns into a political and sociological study, sometimes amusing, sometimes almost touching, about what really life in a state of Real socialism meant, in which the boundaries between private and public were so thin to verge between dread, insanity and naïvety.

Great job, Ralph, I'm really impressed!!!

Filip Stefanovic
DDR Militaria Collector
02 February 2012