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A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City


A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City Cover

ISBN13: 9780805075403
ISBN10: 0805075402
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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From A Woman in Berlin:

Friday, 11 pm, by the light of an oil lamp, my notebook on my knees. Around 10 pm there was a series of bombs. The siren started right in screaming. Apparently it has to be worked by hand now. No light. Running downstairs in the dark, we slip and stumble. Finally we're in our cellar, behind an iron door that weighs a hundred pounds. The official term is air-raid shelter. We call it cave, underworld, catacomb of fear.

It's the usual cellar people on the usual cellar chairs, which range from kitchen stools to brocaded armchairs. First is the baker's wife, two plump red cheeks peeking over a lambskin collar. Frau Lehmann whose husband is missing in the east, a pillow-like woman with her sleeping infant on her arm and four-year-old Lutz on her lap, his shoelaces dangling. The young man in gray trousers and horn-rimmed glasses who on closer inspection turns out to be a young woman. Three elderly sisters, dressmakers, huddled together like a big black pudding. The bookselling husband and wife who lived in Paris and often speak French to each other in low voices . . . Then the caretaker's family, consisting of mother, two daughters, and a fatherless grandson. The landlord's housekeeper, who is carrying an aging fox terrier in defiance of all air-raid regulations. And then there's me-a pale-faced blonde always dressed in the same winter coat, which by chance I managed to save, who was employed in a publishing house until it closed last week and sent the employees on leave "until further notice."

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Chris Radcliffe, August 27, 2009 (view all comments by Chris Radcliffe)
I know that the subject matter is going to put a lot of people off but...................

This is one of the most incredible pieces of writing I've ever come across. This book illuminates the bogeyman that awaits the fall of every civilization. I survived Katerina and have seen such things played out in our own country. The author manages to be wry, insightful and heartrendingly plainspoken at the same time. I'm going to be thinking about this for a long time. You can't ask more from a book.
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Product Details

Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary
Boehm, Philip
Boehm, Philip
Boehm, Philip
Phillip, Boehm
Metropolitan Books
Military - World War II
World war, 1939-1945
Modern - 20th Century
Personal Memoirs
General Biography
World War, 1939-1945 -- Germany -- Berlin.
Europe - Germany
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.46 x 5.7 x 1.07 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Women
History and Social Science » Europe » Germany » Modern Germany
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » General
History and Social Science » World History » Germany » General

A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Metropolitan Books - English 9780805075403 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Anonymous, then a 34-year-old journalist, started this eight-week diary in April 1945, when the Russians were invading Berlin and the city's mostly female population was heading to its cellars to wait out the bombing. Anyone who was able looted abandoned buildings for food of any kind. Soon the Russians were everywhere; liquored-up Russian soldiers raped women indiscriminately. After being raped herself, Anonymous decided to 'find a single wolf to keep away the pack.' Thanks to a small series of Russian officers, she was better fed and better protected at night. Her story illustrates the horror war brings to the lives of women when the battles are waged near a home front (rather than a traditional battlefield). In retrospect, she advises women victimized by mass rape to talk to each other about it. Once the war was officially over, the real starvation began; by the time the author's soldier boyfriend returned to Berlin, she was too hungry and hurt to deal with him. When the radio reported concentration camp horrors, she was pained but unable to quite take it in. The author, who died in 2001, has a fierce, uncompromising voice, and her book should become a classic of war literature. First published in 1954, it was probably too dark for postwar readers, German or Allied. Now, after witnessing Bosnia and Darfur, maybe we are finally ready. New translation includes previously untranslated portions." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice


For eight weeks in 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman kept a daily record of life in her apartment building and among its residents. "With bald honesty and brutal lyricism" (Elle), the anonymous author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity, as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians. "Spare and unpredictable, minutely observed and utterly free of self-pity" (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), A Woman in Berlin tells of the complex relationship between civilians and an occupying army and the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject--the mass rape suffered by all, regardless of age or infirmity.

A Woman in Berlin stands as "one of the essential books for understanding war and life" (A. S. Byatt, author of Possession).

"Synopsis" by , With shocking and vivid detail, the journal of a woman living through the Russian occupation of Berlin in 1945 tells of the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject and describes the common experience of millions.
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