Page 202. " Stasi men are by and large less affected by the unemployment that has consumed East Germany since the Wall came down. "

Extracts from an interview with Anna Funder in The Independent:

       'The creeps and bullies aside, many of the Stasi agents come across as disturbingly normal folk. With their sound career records, plenty of lower-level Stasi operatives did well in the reunited Germany. It's no surprise that they flourished in sectors such as marketing and insurance, which can involve a measure of deception or disguise. And, yes, some of them did become estate agents.

       "I'm in contact with Miriam," Funder says. "She works in a public organisation that also employs former Stasi informers as her bosses. So they know her history as, effectively, a political prisoner, and she knows that they were informers. These people are still living and working cheek by jowl, without much resolution."

Page 204. " The GDR imported North Vietnamese 'socialist brothers' as workers, and treated them badly. "
Garment workers in Rostock, 1990
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeGarment workers in Rostock, 1990 - Credit: Jürgen Sindermann
Significant numbers of Vietnamese now live in Germany, but many suffered terrible abuses in the country. This article from the New York Times in 1995 shows the problems faced by immigrant workers in the years after the fall of Communism. At the time of writing, many were facing the threat of expulsion from the country, despite having given up everything at home to try to make a better life in Germany. In the end, around 40% were refused permanent residency in Germany.
Page 205. " She seems wobbly, a woman holding onto notes on her own life. She hands me the two-page account. The heading reads, 'The Wall Went Straight Through My Heart'. "

Sigrid Paul's heart-wrenching story features in this fascinating film about Stasiland and the prison at Hohenschönhausen.

Page 209. " it is impossible to seal off a country from the outside world altogether "


Map locating the places mentioned in the description of travel routes which passed through East Berlin
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumMap locating the places mentioned in the description of travel routes which passed through East Berlin - Credit: Susannah Worth

Page 212. " Coch worked out he was to go to 45 Brunnenstrasse. "

This map shows the location of the apartment where the tunnel began, at the crossroads with Bernauer Strasse. It was at 48 Bernauer Strasse that, on 22 August 1961, Ida Siekmann leapt from her third floor apartment window in an attempt to flee the East. She died from her injuries, one day before her 59th birthday and her life became the first to be claimed by the Wall. 

Google Map


Page 214. " where the famous pictures of people jumping out of their apartments onto mattresses on the western side were taken "

Footage of such escapes can be seen in this short film, at 35 seconds in.

Page 220. " 'the case of Fricke' "

Karl Wilhelm Fricke was a journalist and writer, whose works on the resistance in the GDR lead to his arrest, 15 month interrogation at Hohenschönhausen, and four year prison sentence served in solitary confinement. Today his books are highly thought of and are standard texts in the study of the subject. Fricke is now chairman of the advisory board of Hohenschönhausen and the advisory board dealing with the Social Foundation for the Study of the SED dictatorship. 

Page 222. " Frau Paul and her husband were held at Hohenschönhausen prison for five months "

The film in the Bookmark for page 205 shows Frau Paul's tour of Hohenschönhausen prison in great detail. This visitor's film really captures the atmosphere of this dark, sinister place.