By the 1970s, the Stasi had decided that the methods of overt persecution that had been employed up to that time, such as arrest and torture, were too crude and obvious. It was realised that psychological harassment was far less likely to be recognised for what it was, so its victims, and their supporters, were less likely to be provoked into active resistance, given that they would often not be aware of the source of their problems, or even its exact nature. Zersetzung was designed to side-track and "switch off" perceived enemies so that they would lose the will to continue any "inappropriate" activities.
Starting with the 1 Pf. in 1960, followed by the 10 Pf. in 1963, and the 5 Pf. in 1968, the old style coins were gradually replaced with new coins depicting the state name "Deutsche Demokratische Republik." Aluminium 1 Mark, 2 Mark and 50 Pfennig pieces were released for circulation in 1956, 1957 and 1958, respectively. In 1969, brass 20 Pfennig coins were introduced, with nickel-bronze (later cupro-nickel) 5 Mark coins issued from 1968. In 1973 and 1974, 1 and 2 Mark coins were redesigned dropping the former "Deutsche Mark" title. The brass 20 Pfennig coins were issued partly because pay telephones had a standard charge of 20 Pf. and were having problems with smaller aluminium coins jamming due to their light weight. Commemorative 5, 10, and 20 Mark coins of various types have also occasionally made it into circulation.