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Stasiland (2003)

av Anna FUNDER

Andra författare: Stasi (Associated Name)

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,605528,532 (4.09)76
A book of travel, history and biography that reads like a documentary novel. Anna Funder tells astonishing stories from the underbelly of the former East Germany. As her narrative builds, Stasiland records heartbreaking tales of bravery and betrayal, of suffering and stoicism amid the daily chaos.
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» Se även 76 omnämnanden

engelska (47)  italienska (3)  nederländska (1)  franska (1)  Alla språk (52)
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I realize this has been a disappointment. I expected an assemblage of short narratives, telling distinct stories of people who've survived their own encounters with the Stasi. Instead I read an Australian woman's Berlin travelogue, tinted throughout with her overbearing opinions about the GDR and interspersed with about ten interviews of some former Stasi agents and their victims. This is not the work of an expert historian, nor of an expert writer.

That's not to say it wasn't interesting. The topic itself fascinates me, which is why I kept on reading. But in the hands of this author, the writing became much more of a struggle than it should have been. She's good at narrating things -- this happened, then that happened, then I thought about this event in history and looked into this person's eyes which reminded me of this -- but her style is unadorned, and the adornments that are there feel so forced and obvious that they diminish from the overall style.

I learned a lot, though, and the author did embed these people's sordid histories into the post-Cold War context.

( )
  Gadi_Cohen | Sep 22, 2021 |
Australian Author, Anna Funder, explores the stories of those who lived in East Berlin (and beyond) under the Communist rule and how the falling of the Berlin Wall impacted on their lives. She offers up a fascinating collection of individual's stories of life, love and persecution by the Stasi, and recollections of those who were part of the 'machine'. It is an interesting examination of the recent past history of one of Europe's most dynamic and cosmopolitan cities. ( )
  SarahEBear | Jun 19, 2021 |
Read. ( )
  sasameyuki | Apr 28, 2021 |
This book is such a strange journey through the personalities of East Berlin that I can’t help but enjoy it, even though it is less of a proper narrative than a meandering stroll through history. Paired alongside the classic memoir Zönenkinder (After the Wall), this journalistic take on the experiences of those who lived in and worked for the GDR is one which I feel will benefit any historian of the post-war era. It explores the real life stories of a myriad of characters, ranging from those who instigated the tight controls over the populace and those who were persecuted by the Stasi, to create a narrative that is extremely human in its finished form. It may have a certain amount of distance from the subject, as it is not a memoir, but this serves to strengthen its perspective as the author can see the dichotomies between both sides of the regime with less judgement than those who actively experienced it. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
I was recently in Germany touring around and was struck by the complete lack of any war memorials to dead German soldiers. I am told it is something they would like to forget and I have also been told of German men and boys going to war and not coming back and their families not knowing where or when they had died. On visiting some of the cities that were bombed flat, it was somewhat marvellous to see them re-constructed as if the bombing had never happened but you are left with the feeling that it is more as if the war had not happened, like it has been erased.

Which brings me to Stasiland. The author brings us a description of the absolute power of the Stasi regime. She talks to people greatly affected by the Stasi, including one woman whose husband was murdered by them, and pretty much it is a book in peoples' own words. It is about the lies that have been left behind and the continuing willfull desire to "forget" this short but tragic episode in modern history. She also discovers how many former Stasi people are still in the local/government/police/judicial systems. She says that for the most part you'd no longer know where the Berlin Wall previously went and some of the preserved bits are reconstructions and not original. More erasing of history.

The book does not romanticise or nostalgicise its existence. It details many of the horrors perpetrated on people in such a fashion that people around them had no idea. About secret torture prisons in the heart of Berlin completely unknown by the locals around them and about how many met horrible deaths there. About prisoner transport vehicles disguised as normal delivery vans so the population would have no idea about any of it.

A regime besotted with spying on its citizens and dutifully recording everything in words, audio and film. Such was their proclivity for this that in its short (41 years) history the Stasi accumulated more records than had previously existed in all of Germany since the Middle Ages.

One of the most interesting bits was how the East Germans distanced themselves from the Nazis. They re-wrote their history to imply that all the Nazis were in what was now called West Germany. This was epitomised by the author seeing a plaque on a bridge in Dresden over the Elbe that "commemorated the liberation of East Germans from their Nazi oppressors by their brothers the Russians". So where we once had just Nazis we now have the existence of East Germans 4 years before East Germany existed!

Less than 27 years before I was there this year, all that existed and yet now, there is hardly a trace of it left, except inside people.

I know for certain what shaped my world and I cannot imagine what it would be like to be born into a world that disappears without a trace in just a few short years. ( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
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While the life-stories are touching and infuriating, she fails to offer insights that would have given her book a wider theme. Nevertheless, taken with a pinch of salt, Stasiland is worth reading. In the end, German history is too serious to be left solely to the Germans.
tillagd av SamuelW | ändraThe Independent, Henning Hoff (Jul 31, 2003)
 

» Lägg till fler författare (5 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
FUNDER, Annaprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
StasiAssociated Namemedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Kloos, CarolaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Wikipedia på engelska (3)

A book of travel, history and biography that reads like a documentary novel. Anna Funder tells astonishing stories from the underbelly of the former East Germany. As her narrative builds, Stasiland records heartbreaking tales of bravery and betrayal, of suffering and stoicism amid the daily chaos.

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