What Is Stasiland?

Decent Essays
After World War Two, Germany was war ravaged and destroyed. The Allies, Britain, France, United States and the Soviet Union occupied the war-torn and defeated Germany. Germany was split into two sections. The Western part controlled by the U.S., France, and Great Britain. The Eastern part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union. Tensions between the West and East emerged during what became known as the Cold War period (1945-1989). The difference in ideologies and ideas led to close calls to war between the west and east. Within the Eastern part of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), society was being controlled ruthlessly by the government. In Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall, Anna Funder discussed the struggles East Germans…show more content…
For example, a woman named Julia was interrogated for having an Italian boyfriend. The Stasi believed Julia's boyfriend was a potential spy and a threat to the GDR. Julia was constantly under surveillance of the Stasi. She would notice black cars following her outside her home, her telephone were intercepted and recorded. She was also naturally being searched. The Stasis made her life worse when they ruined here dreams of becoming a language interpreter. She was fascinated with learning different languages as she communicated with others outside the world in different languages. She was hoping that her future career path would embrace her talents. However, the Stasi controlled her future and decided her education path. She was sent to a boarding school that made sure she did not attend a university, despite her good grades and knowledge (Funder 94-117). Julia was one of the many people who were constantly under surveillance by the…show more content…
Some East Germans felt the Stasi and government were doing their duty to defend and protect the GDR. In East Germany, information was closely controlled by the government and its press outlets. The government controlled magazines, newspapers, and television. Censorship was an ongoing issue that put pressure on writers (Funder 17). In Stasiland, Anna Funder interviewed a man named Karl-Eduard von Schnitzler. Von Schnitzler’s role in the GDR was to use propaganda through his television show “The Black Channel” to speak out against the evils of Capitalism and bolster up GDR’s reputation. Von Schintzler served during WWII in Hitler’s army and was captured by the British and sent to England as a POW where he was able to make broadcasts for the BBC. He returned to Germany in 1945 and worked in broadcasting in the British Occupied Zone but was more applied to Communist ideas. He left to the Soviet controlled zone of Germany (Funder 130-131). When Funder interviews Von Schintzler and you really get a sense of a strong supporter of the GDR. He was asked by Funder what he thought about the people shot trying to escape over the Berlin Wall. He stated, “It was absolutely necessary…It was a historical necessity… It was the most useful construction in all Germany’s history (Funder 134). Von Schintzler was an extreme believer in the GDR and told Funder that he is still loved by the
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