"The GDR was a furtive and insidious tyranny. Through the Stasi it pried into every aspect of your life. It possessed armies of spies, paid and unpaid. Some estimates run as high as one for every six and a half members of the population. Any attempt to achieve success in East Germany involved a pact with the devil - you paid with your soul, "
"It must have been a pen-pusher's heaven. The Stasi had files on everybody; most of them would have made dull reading. Any foreigner who exchanged his or her 25 Deutschemarks for the same number of useless Ostmarks and entered the Russian sector might have ended up with a dossier in Berlin-Lichtenberg. "
"One of the worst aspects of culture shock for the East Germans who, overnight, found that their country no longer existed, was dealing with the revelation that the state's spies were their neighbors, family, friends, lovers, co-workers. That's what East Germans have learned from Stasi documents"
"Like all the stories and statistics "Stasiland" relates, those numbers bespeak a paranoia that's both comic and horrible. One former Stasi official tells Funder that by the end of East Germany, 65 percent of the clergy were working as informers. And 65 percent of the members of one particular East German resistance group were informers."
"So we have here the ultimate absurdist spectacle, a state spying apparatus so far-reaching that it nearly ran out of things to spy on. Which isn't a problem in terms of a totalitarian mind-set that can see enemies anywhere. The function of the Stasi was, as Funder relates, to arrest, imprison and interrogate anyone it chose, to open all mail, intercept phone calls, bug hotels, spy on diplomats, run its own hospitals and universities, and to train Libyan terrorists and West German members of the Red Army Faction."