Greta's Reviews > Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

Stasiland by Anna Funder
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Jul 12, 12

bookshelves: general-non-fiction
Read in July, 2012 — I own a copy

The Berlin Wall may not exist anymore, but thanks to Anna Funder, its story has been told. This book takes the reader behind The Wall, behind the scenes, into the hearts and minds of a sampling of the people whose lives were permanently rent when The Wall, and everything it stood for, went up and more often than not exacerbated when The Wall came crumbling down. The Stasiland that was created was far more insidious, evil and horrific than most Westerners can ever imagine. Anna Funder allows us to see the devastating effects and devastated lives the Stasi produced. Her interviews with the victims of Stasi persecution, the Stasi themselves, and various other people from The East are written in a plainspoken way that make you feel you're there. She sets the scene, provides plenty of background information and uses dialogue to tell the story of what happened to the people in the GDR while we, in The West were going about our daily business, more or less oblivious to the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent control the Stasi had over the lives of the people. That that type of spying took place not so long ago and was used against innocent citizens and, if one allows oneself to imagine the extent it is now possible with the latest technological innovations to do the same or take it to the next level, gives one pause for thought. That things could somehow go horribly wrong, or perhaps already are heading in that direction, gives one a chill. Anna Funder's book, while telling a tale from the past, is also an alarming reminder that we need to tread carefully lest we find ourselves wandering down the same path in the future. Honestly, I couldn't put this book down it was so gripping. And incredible because it's a true story.
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