fifteen minutes
July 25, 2004 2:32 AM   Subscribe

What do you do if it's 1979 and you are a sixteen year old in East Germany? Your Mom and her boyfriend, an officer in the intelligence service, have decided to defect. If you are Thomas Wagner, you wait twenty-odd years, and then you post the whole experience to your blog.
posted by mwhybark (14 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is a fascinating story, and I'm on Ch. 5 - however, there are errors! -
"...As late as 1990, almost ten years after the German Unification, reports were still coming to light showing how deeply the STASI had penetrated West Germany's government..."
Er, no. German reunification began in 1990: see this timeline. To make proper sense, that sentence needs to read: "As late as 2000, almost ten years after the German Unification...".

I'm sure that's just a result of poor editing, but the record needs correcting, in a piece with a wide readership.

This is a good read, either way. It brings to mind that amazing Year of Revolutions, 1989, when so many regimes in Eastern Europe fell, almost without a shot. A time when watching the TV news could bring hope...
posted by dash_slot- at 3:36 AM on July 25, 2004

[This is good]
posted by TungstenChef at 4:38 AM on July 25, 2004

[this is really good]

Beware the page links - Chapter 9 links to Ch. 11, so you have to return from 11 to 10 in order to get the story making sense. After Ch. 11 is the final epilogue, so if you make it that far, it's worth seeing it through to the end.

It is well worth the read tho - a sense of true life espionage from the teenager caught up in it.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:51 AM on July 25, 2004

Really fascinating -- thanks for posting!
posted by scody at 10:23 AM on July 25, 2004

Wow. Best of the Web, for sure. Fascinating.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:22 PM on July 25, 2004

Very interesting! Thanks, mwhybark. And thanks for the heads up on the goofed chapter link, dash_slot-. I just thought his writing had gotten haphazard.
posted by lobakgo at 12:39 PM on July 25, 2004

I just want to say, this is a really freaking great post. Something truly fascinating, that I would never have come across on my own. This is what metafilter is all about. I salute you, mwhybark. Let's all note how its all the Bush/Iraq/Bananaphone/Worthless newsfilter threads that garner 100+ comments, while gems like this go unheeded.
posted by ac at 2:54 PM on July 25, 2004 [1 favorite]

I heeded it, and sent it to my favorite people. Thanks, mwhybark.
posted by languagehat at 3:58 PM on July 25, 2004


I stumbled into it via a linktrail from a numbers stations post over at MoFi.

It was on this page of links from one Simon Mason - do a page search for 'real life stories.'
posted by mwhybark at 4:56 PM on July 25, 2004

Quick update: Mason's site is chock fulla cool stuff.
posted by mwhybark at 4:59 PM on July 25, 2004

[this is good, and this is why MeFi rocks]
posted by ehintz at 9:38 PM on July 25, 2004

Fascinating read, many thanks.
posted by Goofyy at 3:32 AM on July 26, 2004

Excellent link - I absolutely love stuff like this. Thx!
posted by widdershins at 10:58 AM on July 26, 2004

amazing link! thankyouthankyouthankyou!
posted by lumiere at 12:01 PM on July 26, 2004

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