Have you ever heard of "Puzzlers"? No, I hadn't either until a few weeks ago when I read "Stasiland Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall", and there they were men and women grappling with the aftermath of East Germany's determination to rid itself of its accumulation of records gathered during the Cold War. When it became clear that the Berlin Wall would fall endless documents were shredded, others torn by hand. Some were burned, but many sacks of fragments remain and it's the job of the "puzzlers" to piece them together. Their work makes a window into an oppressive world, it may also give to some an explanation for the course their life has taken. I say only "some" because just 31 workers are employed in this work. Given that one "puzzler" can reconstruct ten pages a day, and that sounds speedy to me, to reconstruct everything would take 40 workers 375 years.
As I worked on Chapter 9, puzzling my designs together, I was reminded of the dramatic change the fall of the Berlin Wall had made in our family's life and how very fortunate we have been. The review describes "Staziland" as reading like a novel, and I'd agree with that. Do put it on your reading list and I hope the stories you read make you, like me, count your lucky stars.