Stasiland: Germany behind the Iron Curtain (1949 – 1991)

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.

The former German Democratic Republic (GDR), was founded 1949 on the ruins of Hitler’s Third Reich. The Communist GDR was for 40 years a western outpost of the Soviet sphere of influence during the Cold War. Explore the history, politics, culture and social life of the ‘other’ German state.


  • Fulbrook, Mary, The People’s State: East German Society from Hitler to Honecker, New Haven / London: Yale University Press, 2008
  • Funder, Anna, Stasiland, Melbourne: Text Publishing, 2003
  • Taylor, Frederick, The Berlin Wall, London: Bloomsbury, 2007
  • Vaizey, Hester, Born in the GDR: Living in the Shadow of the Wall, Oxford University Press, 2014


  • Introduction
  • The division of Germany and the German question after 1945 in the context of the Cold War
  • The Berlin Problem and the Wall
  • Behind the ‘Iron Curtain’: Daily Life in the GDR
  • Big Brother is watching you: The State Security (Stasi)
  • East Germany from the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 to Germany’s Unification in 1991

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Develop a better understanding of Germany’s history in the Twentieth Century.
  2. Gain an awareness of the variety of ways historians approach the past.