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December 11, 2011


Bert Werk

Just read this! Impressive book indeed. One thing bothers me though: where is the Stasi, everybody-spying-on-each-othter in the story? Its absence seems strange to me. You would at least expect that the high-profile grandmother Charlotte and prolific historian Kurt (who spent, like his murdered brother Werner, years in a stalin gulag) would attract some attention from the Stasi.


Good question. My guess is that the Stalinist stalwart Wilhelm was above suspicion and therefore his family was protected.

In any case, the book is highly autobiographical, so it would be interesting to ask Ruge directly.

Bert Werk

Yes, indeed it would be good question for Ruge. Maybe he has not researched this part of the family history (which I find hard to believe)? I wonder also if non of the German reviewers have noticed this fact? If I find the time I will do some review research...

And I guess nobody was above suspicion? Wilhelm was a fierce Stalinist, but with no influence beyond his own small circle (as Ruge shows so ruthlessly), other than Charlotte and especially Kurt.

Judy Kwok

I''m not sure it was entirely unmourned. After the union, a lot of people in the old East Germany found themselves with no work and rising prices. Some said " we were better off . . ".

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