Berlin at War

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Overview

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 Speer?s grandiose plans for a new ?world metropolis,? and the scene of the final climactic battle to defeat Nazism. Berlin was the place where Hitler?s empire ultimately meet its end, but it ...

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Berlin at War

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Overview

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 Speer’s grandiose plans for a new “world metropolis,” and the scene of the final climactic battle to defeat Nazism. Berlin was the place where Hitler’s 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Jonathan Yardley
Moorhouse…tells the story of Berlin's war thoroughly and fairly…[in] this excellent book.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
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 führer 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.)
Kirkus Reviews

A superb addition to the social history of Nazi Germany.

British historian Moorhouse (Killing Hitler: The Plots, The Assassins, and the Dictator Who Cheated Death, 2006, etc.) begins with a vivid description of Berlin in April 1939, as the city celebrated Hitler's 50th birthday, a massive, elaborately choreographed festivity featuring a five-hour military parade during which Hitler mostly remained standing. The author then jumps ahead to Germany's invasion of Poland, an announcement greeted with no enthusiasm whatsoever from Berliners who remembered the terrible privations of 1914–'18. Using interviews, letters, journals, memoirs and archives, the author provides an absorbing account of daily life, as Berliners were less concerned about the Reich's glories than the fate of their men at the front and preoccupied by shortages of fuel, food and clothes. Bombing raids began in 1940, producing little damage but serious morale problems as working Berliners complained bitterly of sleepless nights in bomb shelters. They paid little attention to nearly 500,000 foreign laborers who worked under conditions varying from tolerable to those of concentration-camp inmates (who also worked in the city). A few showed concern for the Jews, but readers will squirm as Moorhouse recounts how they were harassed, starved, robbed, ejected from their apartments and finally marched off to be killed. Other disturbing chapters recount the story of Berlin's anti-Nazi opposition (generally disastrous), the trials of Jews who tried to escape deportation by going underground (some succeeded) and the increasing deterioration of city life after 1943 as bombing intensified.

An august contribution to the city-during-a-war genre, worthy to sit alongside such classics as Margaret Leech's Reveille in Washington (1941) and Ernest Furgurson's Ashes of Glory (1996).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465028559
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 4/3/2012
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 237,973
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet 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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Table of Contents

Maps viii

List of Illustrations xi

Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction xv

Prologue: 'Führerweather' 1

1 Faith in the Führer 13

2 A Deadly Necessity 34

3 A Guarded Optimism 50

4 Marching on their Stomachs 74

5 Brutality Made Stone 100

6 Unwelcome Strangers 117

7 A Taste of Things to Come 136

8 Into Oblivion 160

9 An Evil Cradling 184

10 The People's Friend 203

11 The Watchers and the Watched 220

12 The Persistent Shadow 247

13 Enemies of the State 267

14 Against All Odds 285

15 Reaping the Whirlwind 307

16 To Unreason and Beyond 336

17 Ghost Town 357

Epilogue: Hope 382

Notes 389

Select Bibliography 418

Index 423

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 28, 2010

    Kindle version is cheaper.

    Why is this $14.99 on Amazon? I would expect this to be the same price.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 2, 2011

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