Of all the people Anna Funder interviews over the course of Stasiland, Miriam Weber is perhaps the most important to the book’s themes. Miriam grew up in East Germany during the 1960s, the same decade during which the Communist government built the Berlin Wall, dividing East and West Berlin for the next twenty-eight years. As a teenager, she tried and nearly succeeded to sneak past the Wall into West Berlin, but she was caught and sentenced to jail time for her “crime.” Later, Miriam’s husband Charlie was mysteriously arrested, and supposedly hanged himself in his cell. Miriam has spent the last forty years trying to learn the truth about Charlie’s death, and whether he was murdered by Stasi guards. Miriam’s ongoing ordeal represents the relationship between present-day Germany and its recent past. The back-to-back nightmares of the Holocaust and the Stasi police state cannot be forgotten so easily, and Miriam and millions of other Germans continue to suffer from their memories of these atrocities.
Miriam Weber Quotes in Stasiland
The Stasiland quotes below are all either spoken by Miriam Weber or refer to Miriam Weber. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of Stasiland published in 2011.).
Chapter 3 Quotes
Chapter 4 Quotes
Even in that terrible light, I could still see his head injuries. And I could see his neck—they'd forgotten to cover it up. There were no strangulation marks, nothing.
Miriam Weber Character Timeline in Stasiland
The timeline below shows where the character Miriam Weber appears in Stasiland. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Berlin, Winter 1996
The curator of the Stasi Museum, Frau Hollitzer, tells Funder about a woman named Miriam, whose husband was arrested by the Stasi. Fascinated and horrified, Funder decides to research “the... (full context)
Chapter 2: Miriam
Chapter 3: Bornholmer Bridge
Chapter 4: Charlie
Chapter 5: The Linoleum Palace
Chapter 8: Telephone Calls
Chapter 18: The Plate
Chapter 24: Herr Bohnsack
Chapter 25: Berlin, Spring 2000
...the same apartment in which she lived previously. Before arriving, she’s sent a letter to Miriam, explaining that she’d tried to write Miriam’s story, but found that she needed to do... (full context)
Chapter 27: Puzzlers
...documents—and there are only 31 people in the office. Funder is stunned. She thinks about Miriam and the hidden files that changed her life forever, and wonders when, if ever, these... (full context)
Chapter 28: Miriam and Charlie