When I Was a German, 1934-1945: An Englishwoman in Nazi Germany

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This fascinating glimpse of Nazi Germany is provided by an Englishwoman who was fluent in German and at home in German society, yet not entirely of it. Christabel Bielenberg moved from passive to active resistance as Hitler seized power and the Nazi dictatorship clamped down.
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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement
"Among the flood of war memoirs . . . there has emerged one very different account. This is the story of a young Englishwoman who married a young German law student and went to live in Germany in 1935 and stayed there, witnessing the rise of Hitler and enduring the horrors of war as a wife and mother struggling to keep her family alive. Her experiences were those of a German . . . [but] of course she was not a German. Her judgment remained cooler and more compassionate than that of her husband and friends—Germans who were filled with revulsion and despair at the crimes their own countrymen were committing. . . . Peter Bielenberg was arrested in 1944, suspected of being involved in the July Plot. His wife . . . may have saved his life by her brave confrontation with his interrogator."—Times Literary Supplement
The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosphy, and the Humanities - Lolita Lark
"Her survival is miraculous. . . But even more miraculous is the tale she spins. . . . What makes When I Was a German such a stunning memoir is the fact that Christabel Bielenberg comes across as a fine, thoughtful, sometimes funny, always questioning person. . . . This kind of story-telling seems to be almost unheard of in the modern-day book biz. I know of maybe twenty-five works that have come to us over the years that have such a stunning story to tell, told so stunningly. Now it's twenty-six."—Lolita Lark, The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosphy, and the Humanities
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803261518
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1998
  • Pages: 285
  • Sales rank: 1,296,053
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Introducer Klemens von Klemperer is the author of several books, including German Resistance against Hitler: The Search for Allies Abroad, 1938–1945.
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Table of Contents

Foreword 7
Dramatis Personae 9
Prologue 13
The Years Before 16
Pt. I Berlin
The Blockwart 51
Cold Interlude 61
A Dinner Party 77
Our Neighbours 82
A Dangerous Tea Party 89
A Hospital in Bad Aussee 94
Star of David 110
Pt. II Rohrbach in the Black Forest
Our Arrival in Rohrbach 117
The Terwiel Story 127
Invasionitis 132
Adam 138
The American Airman 147
The Plot of July 20th 156
Russian Interlude 180
A Journey to Berlin 184
Berlin 195
Lexi 202
A Visit to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp 213
Interrogation in the Prinz Albrechtstrasse 225
Return to Rohrbach 240
Peter's Return 252
Peter's Story 256
The End 266
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