Stasiland

The Berlin Wall Symbol Icon

The central symbol of Stasiland—and of Cold War Germany—is the Berlin Wall. For almost thirty years, the Wall divided East and West Berlin, and stood as a symbol for the divide between Western, capitalist society, led by the United States, and Eastern, Communist society, led by the Soviet Union. At various points in the book, Funder characterizes the Wall as a “scar,” cruelly cutting families in half and causing an inestimable amount of pain and damage. Ultimately, the Berlin Wall doesn’t just symbolize the lengthy, morally ambiguous conflict that was the Cold War—it’s also a poignant symbol for the devastation caused by the Cold War, and the deep emotional wounds with which many Germans live even in the 21st century.

The Berlin Wall Quotes in Stasiland

The Stasiland quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Berlin Wall. 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:
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of Stasiland published in 2011.
Chapter 1 Quotes

‘Have you travelled yourself since the Wall came down?’ I ask. She throws her head back. I see she is wearing purple eyeliner which, at that angle, phosphoresces.
‘Not yet. But I'd like to. Bali, something like that. Or China. Yes, China.’

Related Characters: Anna Funder (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Berlin Wall
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Stasiland quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Chapter 19 Quotes

Klaus worked for years in the west as a sound-man in the theatre. After the Wall came down, he found out that ‘we'd become a cult band in the GDR—our records were more expensive than a Pink Floyd album’.

Related Characters: Anna Funder (speaker), Klaus Jentzsch (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Berlin Wall
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire Stasiland LitChart as a printable PDF.
Stasiland.pdf.medium

The Berlin Wall Symbol Timeline in Stasiland

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Berlin Wall appears in Stasiland. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Berlin, Winter 1996
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Grief and Memory Theme Icon
...was unable to visit him, since he lived on the other side of the Berlin Wall. Skeptical, Funder asks if the woman has traveled to the other side since 1989. The... (full context)
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Museums and Artifacts Theme Icon
Funder visited Leipzig in 1994, five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. The city was at the heart of a “turning point” in German... (full context)
Chapter 2: Miriam
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Surveillance and Privacy Theme Icon
Grief and Memory Theme Icon
Bravery and Heroism Theme Icon
...caught a train to Berlin, hoping that she’d be able to escape over the Berlin Wall. (full context)
Chapter 3: Bornholmer Bridge
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Surveillance and Privacy Theme Icon
Bravery and Heroism Theme Icon
...Weber was released from prison in East Berlin, and tried to get past the Berlin Wall, to no avail. Dejected, she prepared to board a train back to Leipzig. However, she... (full context)
Chapter 6: Stasi HQ
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
...and West Germany. Within hours of the announcement, East Germans had rushed to the Berlin Wall to cross into West Berlin. The next day, “people from east and west were climbing,... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Smell of Old Men
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Surveillance and Privacy Theme Icon
Grief and Memory Theme Icon
Bravery and Heroism Theme Icon
Museums and Artifacts Theme Icon
...The woman mutters that there’s no unity in the new Germany—some people even want the Wall back. She draws Funder’s attention to a smudge on the wall, where a Stasi officer... (full context)
Chapter 9: Julia Has No Story
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Grief and Memory Theme Icon
...and Julia explains that there were no homeless people before the fall of the Berlin Wall. She tells Funder than men look at Funder because she’s clearly foreign—apparently, she’s too pale... (full context)
Surveillance and Privacy Theme Icon
Grief and Memory Theme Icon
Bravery and Heroism Theme Icon
...and Funder are the same age, which means that Julia was 23 when the Berlin Wall came down. She’s currently studying Eastern European languages at Humboldt University. Her parents, Irene and... (full context)
Chapter 12: The Lipsi
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Surveillance and Privacy Theme Icon
...first broadcast in 1960. In the years leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall, von Schnitzler was much despised: one of his main jobs was providing live commentary for... (full context)
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Surveillance and Privacy Theme Icon
Grief and Memory Theme Icon
Museums and Artifacts Theme Icon
...West German broadcasting. Later, in 1965, von Schnitzler announces that the building of the Berlin Wall is a “humane” act that will guard East Germany from invaders. In another tape, von... (full context)
Chapter 13: Von Schni-
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Surveillance and Privacy Theme Icon
Grief and Memory Theme Icon
...Funder asks von Schnitzler if he still believes—as he claimed in the 1960s—that the Berlin Wall was a humane, life-preserving thing. Furiously, von Schnitzler shouts that he still believes this, because... (full context)
Chapter 14: The Worse You Feel
Grief and Memory Theme Icon
...and drink beers. Suddenly, Julia tells Funder something: just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, she was raped. (full context)
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Grief and Memory Theme Icon
Bravery and Heroism Theme Icon
After the Wall fell, Julia explains, she attended a wedding. That night, she met a man in her... (full context)
Chapter 16: Socialist Man
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Grief and Memory Theme Icon
Museums and Artifacts Theme Icon
...painted a line in the streets of Berlin, marking the future location of the Berlin Wall. Funder visits Koch in his apartment, which Koch jokingly calls the “Wall Archive,” since it’s... (full context)
Chapter 17: Drawing the Line
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Surveillance and Privacy Theme Icon
...Koch chose to elope with the woman in 1961, the same year that the Berlin Wall was completed. By August, the East German army had begun building the Wall, separating friends... (full context)
Chapter 18: The Plate
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Grief and Memory Theme Icon
Bravery and Heroism Theme Icon
Museums and Artifacts Theme Icon
...to the station where, years ago, Miriam almost made it into West Germany. Where the Wall used to stand there’s now a stretch of grass. Funder walks along the grass, remembering... (full context)
Chapter 19: Klaus
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Surveillance and Privacy Theme Icon
Bravery and Heroism Theme Icon
...in West Berlin as a “sound-man in the theater.” After the fall of the Berlin Wall, though, he discovered that his band had become a cult phenomenon in East Germany. (full context)
Chapter 21: Frau Paul
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Grief and Memory Theme Icon
...was difficult, and Torsten had many health problems as a baby. In August, the Berlin Wall went up, and that same day Frau Paul learned that she no longer had access... (full context)
Chapter 23: Hohenschönhausen
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Grief and Memory Theme Icon
Bravery and Heroism Theme Icon
...pension and claims to live “for the day.” He tells Funder he’s glad the Berlin Wall is no more—if it were still around, “It would remind me that it could come... (full context)
Chapter 25: Berlin, Spring 2000
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Grief and Memory Theme Icon
...“a cheap and nasty world golden.” The man goes on to describe how the Berlin Wall used to run near the Heine statue—however, he insists, people had nothing to fear from... (full context)
Chapter 26: The Wall
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Grief and Memory Theme Icon
Museums and Artifacts Theme Icon
Funder finds that a portion of the Berlin Wall has become a tourist destination—“airbrushed for effect.” At the Wall, Funder runs into Hagen Koch,... (full context)
Chapter 28: Miriam and Charlie
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Museums and Artifacts Theme Icon
...of Germany behind glass.” One museum, the Contemporary History Forum Leipzig, contains samples of the Wall and interactive displays of important episodes in Berlin history. Funder is the only person in... (full context)
Authoritarianism and the East German State Theme Icon
Grief and Memory Theme Icon
Museums and Artifacts Theme Icon
...This would mean that she’s barely old enough to remember the fall of the Berlin Wall. Funder thinks about how the girl is the same age that Miriam was when she... (full context)