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The End: Hamburg 1943


The End: Hamburg 1943 Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One didn't dare to inhale for fear of breathing it in. It was the sound of eighteen hundred airplanes approaching Hamburg from the south at an unimaginable height. We had already experienced two hundred or even more air raids, among them some very heavy ones, but this was something completely new. And yet there was an immediate recognition: this was what everyone had been waiting for, what had hung for months like a shadow over everything we did, making us weary. It was the end.

Novelist Hans Erich Nossack was forty-two when the Allied bombardments of German cities began, and he watched the destruction of Hamburg—the city where he was born and where he would later die—from across its Elbe River. He heard the whistle of the bombs and the singing of shrapnel; he watched his neighbors flee; he wondered if his home—and his manuscripts—would survive the devastation. The End is his terse, remarkable memoir of the annihilation of the city, written only three months after the bombing. A searing firsthand account of one of the most notorious events of World War II, The End is also a meditation on war and hope, history and its devastation. And it is the rare book, as W. G. Sebald noted, that describes the Allied bombing campaign from the German perspective.

In the first English-language edition of The End, Nossack's text has been crisply translated by Joel Agee and is accompanied by the photographs of Erich Andres. Poetic, evocative, and yet highly descriptive, The End will prove to be, as Sebald claimed, one of the most important German books on the firebombing of that country.

"A small but critical book, something to read in those quiet moments when we wonder what will happen next."—Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times


Translated into English for the first time, "The End" is a searing firsthand account of the Allied firebombing of Hamburg and a rare German perspective on the devastation.

About the Author

Hans Erich Nossack (1901-77) was a prolific writer. His books The DArthez Case, To the Unknown Hero, The Impossible Proof, Wait for November, and An Offering for the Dead have been translated into English. Joel Agee is the author of In the House of My Fear and Twelve Years: An American Boyhood in East Germany, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press. In 2005, his translation of The End won the Modern Language Asssociations Lois Roth Award for a Translation of a Literary Work.

Table of Contents


Joel Agee

The End: Hamburg 1943 

Hans Erich Nossack

Erich Andres: Photographs

Scott Denham

Product Details

Nossack, Hans Erich
University of Chicago Press
Agee, Joel
Andres, Erich
McGovern, George
Andres, Erich
Agee, Joel
Military - World War II
Europe - Germany
Military-World War II General
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
11 halftones
7.88 x 5.25 x 1 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » World War II » Europe » General
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » General
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » Germany
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Germany » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

The End: Hamburg 1943 New Trade Paper
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Product details 112 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226595573 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Translated into English for the first time, "The End" is a searing firsthand account of the Allied firebombing of Hamburg and a rare German perspective on the devastation.

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