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A Woman in Berlin. (Virago) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 6. April 2006

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'it's not a book, it's a poem, an epic poem... Exemplary' - Jameela Saddiqi 'a most extraordinary war journal' - Susan Jeffreys 'this is not an hysterical woman... you simply cannot dismiss it... profoundly, acutely embarrassing... an insight into the resilience of people in an unknowable situation' - Robert Sandhill 'one of the most powerful books I've ever read...the best money you'll ever spend' - Kate Mosse 'This book, which could have been horrifying, is instead exhilarating: a rare tribute to the human spirit' Nina Bawden, Daily Mail 'A war diary unlike any other... her account is characterised by its courage, its stunning intellectual honesty and by its uncommon powers of observation and perception' Antony Beevor 'One of the most powerful books I've ever read' Kate Mosse 'One of the essential books for understanding war and life' A.S. Byatt


Between April 20th and June 22nd of 1945 the anonymous author of A Woman in Berlin wrote about life within the falling city as it was sacked by the Russian Army. Fending off the boredom and deprivation of hiding, the author records her experiences, observations and meditations in this stark and vivid diary. Accounts of the bombing, the rapes, the rationing of food and the overwhelming terror of death are rendered in the dispassionate, though determinedly optimistic prose of a woman fighting for survival amidst the horror and inhumanity of war. This diary was first published in America in 1954 in an English translation and in Britain in 1955. A German language edition was published five years later in Geneva and was met with tremendous controversy. In 2003, over forty years later, it was republished in Germany to critical acclaim - and more controversy. This diary has been unavailable since the 1960s and is now newly translated into English. A Woman in Berlin is an astonishing and deeply affecting account.

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Berlin hell under the Red 'liberators' 16. Oktober 2005
Von John Elsegood - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The anonymous author of this fine wartime diary is amost certainly Marta Hillers, a former journalist, who died in June 2001 at the age of 90.

Although published in the US and UK mid 1950s it was largely ignored by a world not ready to see Germans as victims too. Since being republished, after the author's death, this book has become a belated bestseller -and deservedly so.

It shows the Red Army for the rabble they were-watches, booze and women were considered the booty of war and with a thug like Stalin as a political leader no restraints were placed on the animals from the steppes. Estimates of rape vary from 90,000 -130,000 in the climatic struggle for Berlin, according to medical records, with over 10,000 German females perishing as a result of the animalistic attacks on them, or by suicide or injury as a consequence of such assaults. All told the Red Army raped over two million women as they rampaged across eastern Europe-a figure that included Jewish women who had escaped death in the Nazi camps only to suffer again at the hands of these Red 'liberators.'

The author, an articulate professional, who had toured the Soviet Union before the war, and knew some of the language, describes the orgy of rape, and after having thrice experienced pack rape at the hands of such scum she sought out a Red Army officer -prostituting herself to be protected from the pack.

The author brilliantly describes the breakdown in Berlin society in this diary, starting on the 20 April 1945 (Hitler's birthday) before the Reds arrive in her suburb, and ending on the 16 June - just over a month after peace was restored in Europe.

There may be some people who think the German civilians deserved what they got -but this reviewer is not amongst them. Depravity is depravity, regardless of who is on the receiving end and the rationale for fighting the war was to stand against such heinous war crimes, not to add to the list of the atrocities.

The Red Army's record in World War II is a disgrace and outraged comments from Russian spokesman convince no-one. It is appopriate that the fine British historian, Antony Beevor, has a preface in this republished version. His more recent work on the Battle for Berlin, was attacked as a 'slander' against the Red Army by the then Russian ambassador to Britain. No doubt that Russian apologist would also consider this diary a fabrication (a charge levelled earlier). Still, for years the murder of the Polish officer class in the Katyn Forest, by the communists, was also labelled a 'fabrication' while the continued imprisonment of the Hero of the Holocaust, Sweden's Raoul Wallenberg, was similarly regarded as 'false' western propaganda.

The courage of this woman, and many others, in war shattered Berlin contrasts greatly with the rank record of the Red Army and is a must read by anyone interested in the impact of total war on a great city and its people.
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Two Months Of Hell Recorded 21. Juni 2008
Von R. J. Marsella - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This is one of the most devastating memoirs to come out of WWII. Condensed into the period of April to June 1945 the diary records the plight of the citizens of Berlin during the Russian advance and occupation. It truly captures the atmosphere of chaos and the means of survival and coping of the citizens with particular emphasis on the women who were left at the mercy of the conquering troops. While the first impressions are the horrors and ravages of war visited on the citizens,as I read on I was amazed at the at how quickly the author adapted herself to her new surroundings and how quickly the city began to emerge from it's nightmare and attempted to return to some degree of structured normal life.
Apparently it was not well received when first published because people were not disposed to feel sympathy for the Germans so soon after the Nazi era. It clearly belongs on the shelf of any student of WWII alongside Hiroshima and The Diary Of Anne Frank.
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Chilling account 24. Februar 2010
Von Sergey Radchenko - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
A chilling, disturbing account of the first weeks of the Russian occupation of Berlin. The book left a deep impression, and a bitter aftertaste, even a feeling of guilt. The Russian internet is full of denial and angry denunciations: the Germans brought it upon themselves, how dare they offend the memory of war veterans, etc, etc. - this is truly sad. Two wrongs do not make right; the Germans committed atrocities in Russia, no one says otherwise, but is this enough to justify rape and plunder of the civilian population? Russia is not willing to face this dilemma; the Russians prefer to forget, or pretend not to know, or refuse to believe, and so the present generation, too, shares the blame. This book is stark reminder of the darker side of the Soviet occupation. Does it tarnish the treasured Russian self-image of a "liberator of Europe"? Absolutely. And this is how it should be, for history is often unpleasant and does not square with political contigencies. I only wish it was read more in Russia. It will not be read, not amid all the nationalist stink. Yet a woman in Berlin must not be forgotten, nor should all the other women in Kiev, or Minsk, or Warsaw - victims of war and tyranny. I think this is the broader message of this book.
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A Woman in Berlin 7. September 2005
Von Lisa Owens - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book tells the forgotten story of the average German citizen's experience during WWII. On par with Anne Frank's diary in terms of historical significance, poignant life experiences, and the sheer deconstruction of society during war. Of course, since it is an adult's perspective, the themes are on a more mature level. The writing is excellent, the images searing and moving. I can't believe this book is no longer in print or that it is not better known.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A must for any serious fan of 20th century history 12. Juni 2013
Von Butch Mazzuca - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Fills in a lot of blanks regarding the end of the Second World War. Having been to war as a "soldier" this book gives a very different perspective, one that we don't always think of. It's hard-hitting but written in the soft and easy voice of a young woman during desperate times. One of the most interesting books I've read in years
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