Berlin Wall Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… The Stasi were against wasteful industries and practices that existed only to generate profit. The wall was an attempt to ebb Capitalism, to separate and protect East Berliners from what the Stasi saw as a poisonous economic design. The wall was also constructed to force Communism upon East Berliners, and eradicate Imperialism from the GDR. The idea of central command and control of the state was favoured by the Stasi. The wall assisted this idea as, by knowing the profiles and whereabouts of each citizen, the Stasi would be able to control and treat each citizen as equals. Funder examines the notion that power corrupts, and the power of the Stasi is misused by preying on citizens unnecessarily, with vile mistreatment. Eventually the pressure within the GDR becomes too much to control. “It was an experiment, and it failed.” The Stasi effectively suffocated people through extreme techniques such as smell samples, where Stasi informers would trespass and collect articles of clothing, keeping them in jars. In theory, all citizens had “their own identifying odor, which [they] leave on everything [they] touch”. The Stasi would then use sniffer dogs to trace people, and map out their actions. Effectively, all citizens were treated as …show more content…
The Berlin Wall cast a shadow over Berlin from 1961 until 1989, but its devastating consequences were uneasily forgotten. Eighteen years of mental and physical trauma is still smudged over the people of East Berlin. Miriam Weber, at the age of sixteen, became an “enemy of the state”, fighting for a cause she didn’t yet understand, and her whole life is dictated by that impression. She attempts to escape East Berlin to no avail, her hands covered in “definite white scars” from barbed wire laid on the wall. Years later, her husband, Charlie, said to have committed suicide in prison under suspicious circumstances, and this continues to haunt Miriam, who is unconvinced that her husband would have had reason to take his life. Her point is validated when the Stasi refuse her access to see the body. She isn’t allowed to work and she is constantly interrogated, with each aspect of her life examined under a magnifying glass. Miriam is tainted by her past experiences her entire life; The Wall’s overwhelming impact indelibly stamped on her mind, even after the Stasi is dethroned. The wall was more than a structure – it made freedom impossible for people like Miriam, and the challenges it presented shaped her future as well as her past.

The Wall was a power of its own; a force to be reckoned with. Anna Funder’s evocative “Stasiland” traces the history of The Iron Curtain,

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