Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945

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Overview

The secret diaries of a twenty-three-year-old White Russian princess who worked in the German Foreign Office from 1940 to 1944 and then as a nurse, these pages give us a unique picture of wartime life in that sector of German society from which the 20th of July Plot -- the conspiracy to kill Hitler -- was born.

The secret diaries of a 23-year-old White Russian Princess who worked at the German Foreign Office from 1940 to 1945.

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Overview

The secret diaries of a twenty-three-year-old White Russian princess who worked in the German Foreign Office from 1940 to 1944 and then as a nurse, these pages give us a unique picture of wartime life in that sector of German society from which the 20th of July Plot -- the conspiracy to kill Hitler -- was born.

The secret diaries of a 23-year-old White Russian Princess who worked at the German Foreign Office from 1940 to 1945.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A skillful weaving of history, memoir, and autobiography...full of colorful characters...When she began writing in 1940, Missie, as she was called, was...concerned mainly with beaux and parties....By 1945 she has no more illusions. She has foraged for food....She has smelled the decaying flesh of corpses buried in the bombed ruins of Berlin and Vienna and lost some of her best friends." — Washington Post Book World

"Neither a set of reflections flor a philippic, but a record ...The best eyewitness account we possess of the bombing of Berlin."

— Gordon A. Craig, The New York Times Book Review

"A rare opportunity to see the Second World War from an unusual perspective: the view from Berlin and Vienna, not Washington or London. [The author] has a sharp eye and a witty tongue." — Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A vivid insider's view of Nazi Germany." — Vanity Fair

"One of the most remarkable documents to come out of the war, and nothing will ever quite match its calm and grace in utterly hideous circumstances."

— John Kenneth Galbraith

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Vassiltchikov, who died in 1978, kept a diary of her work at the German Foreign Ministry and with the underground resistance movement during WW II. ``A remarkable document alive with history, passion and truth,'' praised PW, ``her clear-eyed account of life in wartime Germany is gripping.'' Photos. (June)
Library Journal
A Russian emigre princess, Vassiltchikov (1917-78) arrived in Berlin soon after the outbreak of World War II. This secret diary is replete with graphic descriptions of what life was like during those increasingly desperate times when saturation bombings, fire storms, and food shortages became the terrible norm. Of exceptional interest, too, are the entries pertaining to her close ties with those who attempted to assassinate Hitler in the ``July Plot.'' This absorbing personal account of Berlin's Gotterdammerung represents a valauble opportunity to understand World War II from the perspective of Germany's courageous civilian population. Though no less brave than Londoners, Berliners suffered far more. Highly recommended for most libraries. Mark R. Yerburgh, Trinity Coll. Lib., Burlington, Vt.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394757773
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/1988
  • Series: Vintage Series
  • Edition description: 1st Vintage Books ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 287,867
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.71 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2005

    Great Book

    This story has both the high and the low. She's a princess and knows most of the aristocracy. She may not have bread but will find oysters. But she also knows the smell of death. Totally gripping!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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