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Berlin at Warby Roger Moorhouse
Synopses & Reviews
In Berlin at War, acclaimed historian Roger Moorhouse provides a magnificent and detailed portrait of everyday life at the epicenter of the Third Reich. Berlin was the stage upon which the rise and fall of the Third Reich was most visibly played out. It was the backdrop for the most lavish Nazi ceremonies, the site of Albert Speers grandiose plans for a new world metropolis,” and the scene of the final climactic battle to defeat Nazism. Berlin was the place where Hitlers empire ultimately meet its end, but it suffered mightily through the war as well; not only was the city subjected to the full wrath of the Soviet ground offensive and siege in 1945, but it also found itself a prime target for the air war, attracting more raids, more aircraft, and more tonnage than any other German city. Combining groundbreaking research with a gripping narrative, Moorhouse brings all of the complexity and chaos of wartime Berlin to life. Berlin at War is the incredible story of the city—and people—that saw the whole of this epic conflict, from start to finish.
"British historian Moorhouse (Killing Hitler) puts a human face on the capital city of a Reich at war. In the summer of 1939, Berliners were optimistic and grateful to their fÃ¼hrer for Germany's improving economy and political order--above all, the country was at peace. That was to change with the declaration of war on September 1. Efforts to maintain some sense of normality were overshadowed by the benchmarks of total war: blackouts, rationing, and beginning in 1940 the air raids that would leave Berlin in ruins. Foreign forced laborers poured in to work in military factories, as Jews boarded trains, headed for annihilation. A network of informers aided a ubiquitous Gestapo with 'a veritable epidemic of denunciations' as 'civic relations' in the city collapsed. At war's end Berlin became the Reich's final battleground as the Red Army paid back four years of atrocities with an orgy of looting and rape. Yet Berliners sustained a chip-on-the — shoulder independence. Despite Berliners' 'soul-searching and recriminations' (barely touched on here), Moorhouse drily relates the irony that, after the devastation, the hope that had dominated prewar Berlin quickly regained the upper hand. 16 pages of b&w photos; 1 map. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Book News Annotation:
While most books about Germany during the Second World War deal with military or political history on a large scale, Moorhouse focuses on a single city, describing life during the war years from the perspective of residents of Berlin. Using interviews with still-living war survivors as well as unpublished memoirs and diaries, the author shows Berliners' lives became increasingly difficult and surreal as their city bore the brunt of the Allied air war and, later, the final attacks of the Soviet Red Army. A sobering testament to the escalating horrors that years of war wreak on civilians, Moorhouse's book deserves a wide audience. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the corridors of power to the daily experiences of Berliners, a magnificent portrait of everyday life at the epicenter of the Third Reich
Few books on [World War II] genuinely increase the sum of our collective knowledge of this exhaustively covered period, but this one does . By trawling through the complex, often deeply morally compromised personal stories of many survivors, Moorhouse has produced new insights into the way ordinary Berliners tried to escape the disastrous ill-fortune of living in the belly of the beast.”—Andrew Roberts, Financial Times
Berlin was the city at the very center of World War Two. It was the launching pad for Hitlers empire, the embodiment of his vision of a world metropolis.” Berlin was also the place where Hitlers Reich would ultimately fall. Berlin suffered more air raids than any other German city and endured the full force of a Soviet siege.
In Berlin at War, historian Roger Moorhouse uses diaries, memoirs, and interviews to provide a searing first-hand account of life and death in the Nazi capital—the privations, the hopes and fears, and the nonconformist tradition that saw some Berliners provide underground succour to the citys remaining Jews. Combining comprehensive research with gripping narrative, Berlin at War is the incredible story of the city—and people—that saw the whole of World War Two.
About the Author
Roger Moorhouse studied history at the University of London and is a regular contributor to BBC History Magazine. He is co-author with Norman Davies of Microcosm: Portrait of a Central European City and author of Killing Hitler: The Plots, The Assassins, and the Dictator Who Cheated Death. He lives in Buckinghamshire, England.
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History and Social Science » Europe » Germany » Cities and Landscapes