Anna Funder Famous Quotes & Sayings

82 Anna Funder Famous Sayings, Quotes and Quotation.

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Q: What does the human spirit do after ten days without sleep, and ten days of isolation tempered only by nocturnal threat sessions? A: It dreams up a solution. Anna Funder Sayings: Q: What does the human spirit do after ten days without sleep, and ten days
Why is it that with women, some kink, some vulnerability of the sex, is always presumed to lie at the heart of things- as if they have no other life, no relevance as important as that which they have for us men? Anna Funder Sayings: Why is it that with women, some kink, some vulnerability of the sex, is always
I had very good eyes once. Though it's another thing to say what I saw. In my experience, it is entirely possible to watch something happen and not to see it at all. Anna Funder Sayings: I had very good eyes once. Though it's another thing to say what I saw.
At ground level Alexanderplatz is a monstrous expanse of grey concrete designed to make people feel small. It works. Anna Funder Sayings: At ground level Alexanderplatz is a monstrous expanse of grey concrete designed to make people
To start a new country, with new values and newly minted socialist citizens, it is necessary to begin at the beginning: with children. Schoolteachers in the eastern regions were immediately dismissed because their job had been to educate children in the values of the Nazi regime. Socialist teachers had to be created. Anna Funder Sayings: To start a new country, with new values and newly minted socialist citizens, it is
Memory, like so much else, is unreliable. Not only for what it hides and what it alters, but also for what it reveals. Anna Funder Sayings: Memory, like so much else, is unreliable. Not only for what it hides and what
People no longer wanted right or left - they wanted middle-of-the-road. Anna Funder Sayings: People no longer wanted right or left - they wanted middle-of-the-road.
None of us-teacher or taught-realised how an imagined romantic life can sustain a possibility, a hope, and remain like that. Like parallel train tracks, it runs alongside, but will never meet, the life you're are living. Anna Funder Sayings: None of us-teacher or taught-realised how an imagined romantic life can sustain a possibility, a
This vast life - the real, interior one in which we remain linked to the dead (because the dream inside us ignores trivialities like breath, or absence) - this vast life is not under our control. Everything we have seen and everyone we have known goes into us and constitutes us, whether we like it or not. We are linked together in a pattern we cannot see and whose effects we cannot know. Anna Funder Sayings: This vast life - the real, interior one in which we remain linked to the
These handkerchief gardens are a traditional German solution to apartment dwellers' yearning for a tool shed and a vegetable garden. They make a patchwork of green in odd corners of urban land, along train lines or canals or, as here, in the lee of the Wall. Anna Funder Sayings: These handkerchief gardens are a traditional German solution to apartment dwellers' yearning for a tool
One does not remember one's own pain. It is the suffering of others that undoes us Anna Funder Sayings: One does not remember one's own pain. It is the suffering of others that undoes
The judge, for instance, who signed the warrant for Charlie's arrest that last time he went into remand is still on the bench. Anna Funder Sayings: The judge, for instance, who signed the warrant for Charlie's arrest that last time he
Betrayal clearly has its own reward: the small deep human satisfaction of having one up on someone else. It is the psychology of the mistress, and this regime used it as fuel. Anna Funder Sayings: Betrayal clearly has its own reward: the small deep human satisfaction of having one up
Apparently, even in the GDR, sleep deprivation amounted to torture, and torture, at least of minors, was not official policy. Anna Funder Sayings: Apparently, even in the GDR, sleep deprivation amounted to torture, and torture, at least of
I wonder, now, about interrogation chambers: why do they think bright light brings the truth out of people? They should try the seduction of shadows, where you cannot watch your words hit their target. Anna Funder Sayings: I wonder, now, about interrogation chambers: why do they think bright light brings the truth
All day long they hold what look like philosophical discussions, gesticulating slowly with their free hands and clasping tins of beer with the other. They seem to share knowledge of a world where each of them once had a place. Anna Funder Sayings: All day long they hold what look like philosophical discussions, gesticulating slowly with their free
For almost a year, from June 1948 to October 1949, they kept the city alive by plane. In that time American and British planes made some 277,728 flights through Soviet airspace to drop bundles of food, clothing, cigarettes, medicine, fuel and equipment, including components for a new power station, to the people of West Berlin. In the west, the aircraft came to be known as the 'Rosinenbomber', or 'raisin bombers', because they brought food. But in the east, Koch and his classmates were told the enemy planes sprayed potato beetles over East German crops as they flew over, in order to spoil the harvest. Anna Funder Sayings: For almost a year, from June 1948 to October 1949, they kept the city alive
anti-fascist protective measure'. I have always been fond of this term which has something of the prophylactic about it, protecting easterners from the western disease of shallow materialism. It obeys all the logic of locking up free people to keep them safe from criminals. Anna Funder Sayings: anti-fascist protective measure'. I have always been fond of this term which has something of
Lately, a study has suggested that depressed people have a more accurate view of reality, though this accuracy is not worth a bean because it is depressing, and depressed people live shorter lives. Optimists and believers are happier and healthier in their unreal worlds. Anna Funder Sayings: Lately, a study has suggested that depressed people have a more accurate view of reality,
They didn't need as many external rules as we did because they had internalised the standards of decency. Anna Funder Sayings: They didn't need as many external rules as we did because they had internalised the
At least half of what we call hope, I believe, is simply the sense that something can be done. Once, Anna Funder Sayings: At least half of what we call hope, I believe, is simply the sense that
It is not widely known that in the end, 65 per cent of the church leaders were informers for us, and the rest of them were under surveillance anyhow. Anna Funder Sayings: It is not widely known that in the end, 65 per cent of the church
For anyone to understand a regime like the GDR, the stories of ordinary people must be told. Not just the activists or the famous writers. You have to look at how normal people manage with such things in their pasts. Anna Funder Sayings: For anyone to understand a regime like the GDR, the stories of ordinary people must
The mistake the GDR made was to force people into a position,' the dark man says, 'either you are for us or an enemy. And if you then came to think of yourself as an enemy you had to ask yourself: what am I doing here? They wanted to put everything into their narrow schema, but life simply didn't fit into it.' He pauses, and the others wait for him to finish. 'I think we need to remember that they came here for the freedom, not for fifteen kinds of ketchup. Anna Funder Sayings: The mistake the GDR made was to force people into a position,' the dark man
The blue-eyed rabbi in our village at Samotschin used to talk to me as though I were a grown person, even when I was just a boy. We must believe in God, he told me, because if we don't we will have to believe in man, and then we will only be disappointed. Anna Funder Sayings: The blue-eyed rabbi in our village at Samotschin used to talk to me as though
I am a woman on her way to eat cake. Anna Funder Sayings: I am a woman on her way to eat cake.
There are some people just the thought of whom makes us behave better. Anna Funder Sayings: There are some people just the thought of whom makes us behave better.
Hagen Koch: 'There was no other transport. People on bikes could evade checkpoints, they could have secret meetings Anna Funder Sayings: Hagen Koch: 'There was no other transport. People on bikes could evade checkpoints, they could
Most people have no imagination. If they could imagine the sufferings of others, they would not make them suffer so. Anna Funder Sayings: Most people have no imagination. If they could imagine the sufferings of others, they would
The penalties for being an accessory to the attempt to flee the [GDR] were greater than the crime of trying to flee itself. Anna Funder Sayings: The penalties for being an accessory to the attempt to flee the [GDR] were greater
Ten days is time enough to die, to be born, to fall in love and to go mad. Ten days is a very long time. Anna Funder Sayings: Ten days is time enough to die, to be born, to fall in love and
But there was also a car - for the GDR an expensive car, a Russian Lada - that Anna Funder Sayings: But there was also a car - for the GDR an expensive car, a Russian
Stasi File Authority - Project Group Reconstruction Time required for the Reconstruction: 1 worker reconstructs on average 10 pages per day 40 workers reconstruct on average 400 pages per day 40 workers reconstruct on average in a year of 250 working days 100,000 pages There are, on average 2,500 pages in one sack 100,000 pages amounts to 40 sacks per year In all, at the Stasi File Authority there are 15,000 sacks This means that to reconstruct everything it would take 40 workers 375 years. Anna Funder Sayings: Stasi File Authority - Project Group Reconstruction Time required for the Reconstruction: 1 worker reconstructs
History was so quickly remade, and so successfully, that it can truly be said that the easterners did not feel then, and do not feel now, that they were the same Germans as those responsible for Hitler's regime. This sleight-of-history must rank as one of the most extraordinary innocence manoeuvres of the century. In Dresden once, on a blue Anna Funder Sayings: History was so quickly remade, and so successfully, that it can truly be said that
In this country any kind of printing was forbidden unless authorised. Anna Funder Sayings: In this country any kind of printing was forbidden unless authorised.
We don't catch hold of an idea, rather the idea catches hold of us and enslaves us and whips us into the arena so that we, forced to be gladiators, fight for it. Anna Funder Sayings: We don't catch hold of an idea, rather the idea catches hold of us and
I think at the end the Stasi had so much information,' the fair man says, 'that they thought everyone was an enemy, because everyone was under observation. I don't think they knew who was for them, or against, or whether everyone was just shutting up.' He is shy and looks at his hands, closed around his coffee mug, when he speaks. 'When I find a file where they've been watching a family in their living room for twenty years I ask myself: what sort of people are they who want all this knowledge for themselves? Anna Funder Sayings: I think at the end the Stasi had so much information,' the fair man says,
When I got out of prison, I was basically no longer human,' Miriam says. Anna Funder Sayings: When I got out of prison, I was basically no longer human,' Miriam says.
This was perfect dictator-logic: we investigate you, therefore you are an enemy. Anna Funder Sayings: This was perfect dictator-logic: we investigate you, therefore you are an enemy.
Von Schnitzler's job was to show extracts from western television broadcast into the GDR - anything from news items to game shows to 'Dallas' - and rip it to shreds. 'That man radiated so much nastiness he simply wasn't credible. You'd come away feeling sullied, as if you'd spent half an hour atrociously badmouthing someone. Anna Funder Sayings: Von Schnitzler's job was to show extracts from western television broadcast into the GDR -
Look,' he said, 'they are just Germans who had Communism for forty years and went backwards, and all they want now is the money to have big TV sets and holidays in Majorca like everyone else. It was an experiment and it failed. Anna Funder Sayings: Look,' he said, 'they are just Germans who had Communism for forty years and went
Mielke and Honecker grew up fighting the real evil of Nazism. And they kept on fighting the west, which they saw as Nazism's successor, for forty-five years after the war ended. Anna Funder Sayings: Mielke and Honecker grew up fighting the real evil of Nazism. And they kept on
And just remember Comrades this one thing: the most important thing you have is power! Hang on to power at all costs! Without it, you are nothing!" He didn't mention the democracy demonstrations and the fact that the Soviets were backing away from us,' Herr Bohnsack says, 'but it was clear he must, at some level, have felt the end coming. Anna Funder Sayings: And just remember Comrades this one thing: the most important thing you have is power!
In the GDR people were required to acknowledge an assortment of fictions as fact. Some of these fictions were fundamental, such as the idea that human nature is a work-in-progress which can be improved upon, and that Communism is the way to do it. Others were more specific: that East Germans were not the Germans responsible (even in part) for the Holocaust; that the GDR was a multi-party democracy; that socialism was peace-loving; that there were no former Nazis left in the country; and that, under socialism, prostitution did not exist. Anna Funder Sayings: In the GDR people were required to acknowledge an assortment of fictions as fact. Some
And I think about those Stasi men. They would never in their lives have imagined that they would cease to exist and that their offices would be a museum. A museum! Anna Funder Sayings: And I think about those Stasi men. They would never in their lives have imagined
Some people are comfortable talking about their lives, as if they can make sense of the progression of random events that made them what they are. This involves a kind of forward-looking faith in life; a conviction that cause and effect are linked, and that they are themselves more than the sum of their past. Anna Funder Sayings: Some people are comfortable talking about their lives, as if they can make sense of
Though it is the hardest thing, to work out one's weight and heft in the world, to whittle down all that I am and give it a value. Anna Funder Sayings: Though it is the hardest thing, to work out one's weight and heft in the
I like trains. I like their rhythm, and I like the freedom of being suspended between two places, all anxieties of purpose taken care of: for this moment I know where I am going. Anna Funder Sayings: I like trains. I like their rhythm, and I like the freedom of being suspended
Relations between people were conditioned by the fact that one or other of you could be one of them. Everyone suspected everyone else, and the mistrust this bred was the foundation of social existence. Miriam could have been denounced Anna Funder Sayings: Relations between people were conditioned by the fact that one or other of you could
Why did people need a permit to ride a bike?' I ask. 'Because they could bring messages! Pass on news!' Koch cries. 'There was no other transport. People on bikes could evade checkpoints, they could have secret meetings.' Clearly the atmosphere of paranoid control had set in early under the Russians. Anna Funder Sayings: Why did people need a permit to ride a bike?' I ask. 'Because they could
Per capita the East Germans drank more than twice as much as their West German counterparts. Anna Funder Sayings: Per capita the East Germans drank more than twice as much as their West German
There's another picture of the two of them, she with her arms around him, looking at the camera. She is an apparition, a naughty angel caught flying over the Wall, put in a cage, and then let out, here with her beloved. Anna Funder Sayings: There's another picture of the two of them, she with her arms around him, looking
Prison left me with some strange little tics.' She has taken all the door off their hinges in all the apartments she has lived in since. It's not that she has anxiety attacks about small spaces, she says, it's just that she starts to sweat and go cold. 'This apartment is perfect for me,' she says, looking around the open space.
'How about elevators?' I ask, recalling the schlepp up the stairs.
'Exactly,' she replies, 'I don't like them much either.'
One day, years later, her husband Charlie was fooling around at home, playing the guitar. Miriam said something provocative and he stood up suddenly, lifting his arm to take off the guitar strap. He was probably just going to say 'That's outrageous', or tickle her or tackle her. But she was gone. She was already down in the courtyard of the building. She does not remember getting down the stairs-it was an automatic flight reaction.
Anna Funder Sayings: Prison left me with some strange little tics.' She has taken all the door off
My father was a doctor,' she says, 'a very kind man. He died in the early '70s, relatively young.' She taps the cigarette packet on the table. 'Of lung cancer.'
'Oh.'
'But the thing about that is,' she says as she exhales, 'it doesn't take very long at all.
Anna Funder Sayings: My father was a doctor,' she says, 'a very kind man. He died in the
The human brain cannot encompass total absence. Like infinity, it is simply not something that the organ runs to. The space someone leaves must be filled, so we dream forever of those who are no longer here. Our minds make them live again. Anna Funder Sayings: The human brain cannot encompass total absence. Like infinity, it is simply not something that
People were crazy with pain and secrets. Anna Funder Sayings: People were crazy with pain and secrets.
Children are the only people who can see adults from inside their lives, permitted to observe every small thing, as if their forming minds are incapable of judging what they see, or as if it does not lodge there, somewhere, permanently, Anna Funder Sayings: Children are the only people who can see adults from inside their lives, permitted to
In August, the Hungarians cut the barbed wire at their border with Austria, creating the first hole in the Eastern Bloc. Anna Funder Sayings: In August, the Hungarians cut the barbed wire at their border with Austria, creating the
Can you rework your past, the grit that rubs in you, until it is shiny and smooth as a pearl? Anna Funder Sayings: Can you rework your past, the grit that rubs in you, until it is shiny
Julia and her family, like many others in the GDR, trod this line between seeing things for what they were in the GDR, and ignoring those realities in order to stay sane. Anna Funder Sayings: Julia and her family, like many others in the GDR, trod this line between seeing
Miriam is upset. Her voice is stretched and I can't look at her. Perhaps they beat something out of her she didn't get back. Anna Funder Sayings: Miriam is upset. Her voice is stretched and I can't look at her. Perhaps they
In this land
I have made myself sick with silence
In this land
I have wandered, lost
In this land
I hunkered down to see
What will become of me.
In this land
I held myself tight
So as not to scream.
-But I did scream, so loud
That this land howled back at me
As hideously
As it builds its houses.
In this land
I have been sown
Only my head sticks
Defiant, out of the earth
But one day it too will be mown
Making me, finally
Of this land.
-Charlie's poem
Anna Funder Sayings: In this landI have made myself sick with silenceIn this landI have wandered, lostIn this
In Hitler's Third Reich it is estimated that there was one Gestapo agent for every 2000 citizens, and in Stalin's USSR there was one KGB agent for every 5830 people. In the GDR, there was one Stasi officer or informant for every sixty-three people. If part-time informers are included, some estimates have the ratio as high as one informer for every 6.5 citizens. Anna Funder Sayings: In Hitler's Third Reich it is estimated that there was one Gestapo agent for every
But I must say it has been, in general, a boon not to have been a beautiful woman. Because I was barely looked at, I was free to do the looking. Anna Funder Sayings: But I must say it has been, in general, a boon not to have been
Why are some things easier to remember the more time has passed since they occurred? Anna Funder Sayings: Why are some things easier to remember the more time has passed since they occurred?
So much of love is curiousity, a search inside the other for some little piece of self; emerging from the bear cave of them with your birthday candle and filament of ore: the same as that I'm made of! Anna Funder Sayings: So much of love is curiousity, a search inside the other for some little piece
At the end of our lives it is our loves we remember most, because they are what shaped us. We have grown to be who we are around them, as around a stake. Anna Funder Sayings: At the end of our lives it is our loves we remember most, because they
You see the mistakes of one system - the surveillance - and the mistakes of the other - the inequality - but there's nothing you could have done in the one and nothing you can do now about the other. She laughs wryly. And the clearer you see that, the worse you feel. Anna Funder Sayings: You see the mistakes of one system - the surveillance - and the mistakes of
In a society riven into 'us' and 'them', an ambitious young person might well want to be one of the group in the know, one of the unmolested. If there was never going to be an end to your country, and you could never leave, why wouldn't you opt for a peaceful life and a satisfying career? Anna Funder Sayings: In a society riven into 'us' and 'them', an ambitious young person might well want
There are no people who are whole" he says. "Everyone has issues of their own to deal with. Mine might be a little harder, but the main thing is how on deals with them. Anna Funder Sayings: There are no people who are whole" he says. "Everyone has issues of their own
Laid out upright and end to end, the files the Stasi kept on their countrymen and women would form a line 180 kilometres long. Anna Funder Sayings: Laid out upright and end to end, the files the Stasi kept on their countrymen
The cynic sees only cynicism, the depressive can taint creation with one glance Anna Funder Sayings: The cynic sees only cynicism, the depressive can taint creation with one glance
He can switch from one view to another with frightening ease. I think it is a sign of being accustomed to such power that the truth does not matter because you cannot be contradicted. Anna Funder Sayings: He can switch from one view to another with frightening ease. I think it is
The Stasi had developed a quasi-scientific method, 'smell sampling', as a way to find criminals. The theory was that we all have our own identifying odour, which we leave on everything we touch. These smells can be captured and, with the help of trained sniffer dogs, compared to find a match. The Stasi would take its dogs and jars to a location where they suspected an illegal meeting had occurred, and see if the dogs could pick up the scents of the people whose essences were captured in the jars. Anna Funder Sayings: The Stasi had developed a quasi-scientific method, 'smell sampling', as a way to find criminals.
Did he know about the doping?' Children at sports schools were given hormones under the guise of vitamins. In a scandal that has come to light since the Wall fell, the pills accelerated growth and strength, but turned the little girls halfway into boys. Anna Funder Sayings: Did he know about the doping?' Children at sports schools were given hormones under the
My body floated, loose from spent pleasure. Anna Funder Sayings: My body floated, loose from spent pleasure.
She says that in January 1990 when the Berliners saw the smoke coming out of the chimneys they came here to protest. They brought bricks and rocks and built a symbolic wall around the building, to get the Stasi to stop burning the files. She says it is extraordinary that, with all those stones, not one was thrown and that, conversely, not one shot was fired from this building. Anna Funder Sayings: She says that in January 1990 when the Berliners saw the smoke coming out of
She is brave and strong and broken all at once. As she speaks it is as if her existence is no longer real to her in itself, more like a living epitaph to a life that was. Anna Funder Sayings: She is brave and strong and broken all at once. As she speaks it is
It was a condition of sanity both to accept 'GDR-logic' and to ignore it. 'If you took things as seriously as people in the west think we must have, we would have all killed ourselves! Anna Funder Sayings: It was a condition of sanity both to accept 'GDR-logic' and to ignore it. 'If
When Hitler came to power I was in the bath. Anna Funder Sayings: When Hitler came to power I was in the bath.
We were being offered exile on condition that we were silent about the reason we needed it. The silence chafed; it made us feel we were betraying those we had left behind. The British government was insisting on dealing with Hitler as a reasonable fellow, as if hoping he'd turn into one. Anna Funder Sayings: We were being offered exile on condition that we were silent about the reason we
Perhaps because of all the money poured into this, the things behind the spanking displays look old and crummy, like articles from a time that has been left behind. I slap down the stairs in my sandals. I am annoyed that this past can look so tawdry and so safe, as if destined from the outset to end up behind glass, securely roped off and under pressure-button control. And I am annoyed at myself: what's the problem? Isn't a museum the place for things that are over? Anna Funder Sayings: Perhaps because of all the money poured into this, the things behind the spanking displays