Eastern Europe Below the Speed Limit

As Communist leaders cruise slowly toward reforms, the people urge swifter action -- and perhaps new drivers

Under the old East German regime, no institution was more loathed than the Stasi -- the nickname for the Staatsicherheitdienst, or state security police. So it was hardly a surprise that the angriest protests since the November revolution were ignited last week when the government of Communist reformer Hans Modrow proposed that the Stasi, declared defunct on Dec. 17, be revived in a revamped form. It was also revealed that the ministry, which had 85,000 employees when it was officially disbanded, still has some 50,000 agents on the job.

What did seem shocking was the violence of the protest. While an...