Herr Koch tells Anna Funder about stealing a tiny plastic plate after leaving the Stasi. The plate commended Koch’s division for its “cultural work,” and it wasn’t a particularly beautiful, interesting, or hotly desired object. Nevertheless, Koch stole the plate as a sign of defiance against the Stasi and East German tyranny itself. Over time, as the Stasi tries harder and harder to recover the plate—eventually charging Koch with theft, and later perjury—the plate becomes a symbol of Koch’s defiance and reckless bravery.
The Plastic Plate Quotes in Stasiland
You know though, it was worth it. All the courage I had is in that plate. The whole shitty little skerrick of it. That’s all I had.