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Stasiland : true stories from behind the Berlin Wall
Funder, Anna
Adult Nonfiction DD881 .F86 2003

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From Publishers' Weekly:

"Its job was to know everything about everyone, using any means it chose. It knew who your visitors were, it knew whom you telephoned, and it knew if your wife slept around." This was the fearsome Stasi, the Ministry for State Security of the late and unlamented German Democratic Republic. Funder, an Australian writer, international lawyer and TV and radio producer, visiting Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall, finds herself captivated by stories of people who resisted the Stasi-moving stories that she collects in her first book, which was shortlisted for two literary awards in Australia. For instance, Miriam Weber, a slight woman with a "surprisingly big nicotine-stained voice," was placed in solitary confinement at the age of 16 for printing and distributing protest leaflets; she was caught again during a dramatic nighttime attempt to go over the Wall. Filtered through Funder's own keen perspective, these dramatic tales highlight the courage that ordinary people can display in torturous circumstances. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In this notable debut, Australian author Funder presents a fascinating investigation of an important issue in present-day Berlin, namely, the legacy of East Germany's pervasive secret police, the Stasi, who created the most perfect surveillance state of all time, and of those who had the courage to resist during the Communist regime. Funder, who became captivated by Berlin while working there in the 1990s, gathers stories of those with firsthand experience of the cruel Stasi mind-set during the Cold War. For instance, teenager Miriam Weber was imprisoned for attempting escape over the Berlin Wall, Frau Paul was denied access to her ill infant in West Berlin, and East German rock star Klaus Renft was declared by authorities to no longer exist. If these stories were the only ones Funder recounted, the book would lack balance. But here we also meet Stasi agents and informers, including Hagen Koch, the cartographer of the wall, and Karl-Eduard von Schnitzler, a propagandist for the regime and a particularly odious example of the Stasi attitude. Although this is his first book, Funder writes with skill and style. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries.-Janet Ross, formerly with Sparks Branch Lib., NV (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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