Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City; A Diary

Overview

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 ...

See more details below
Paperback (First Edition)
$11.52
BN.com price
(Save 28%)$16.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (26) from $5.25   
  • New (6) from $8.63   
  • Used (20) from $5.25   
Sending request ...

Overview

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).

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
For eight weeks in 1945, as most of the world cheered the demise of Nazism, a young German woman kept a scribbled daily record of the horrific experiences of herself and her fellow apartment dwellers in newly liberated Berlin. These diaries, which were first published in Germany in 1954, describe the rape and degradation of women by Russian troops. Now published in paperback, A Woman in Berlin serves as a shocking testimony to the brutal aftermath of war.
From the Publisher
"A devastating book. It is matter-of-fact, makes no attempt to score political points, does not attempt to solicit sympathy for its protagonist, and yet is among the most chilling indictments of war I have ever read. Everybody, in particular every woman, ought to read it."—Arundhati Roy, Booker Prize-winning author of The God of Small Things

"A tract essential for our often morally fuzzy times . . . It is destined to be a classic."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Let Anonymous stand witness as she wished to: as an undistorted voice for all women in war and its aftermath, whatever their names or nation or ethnicity. Anywhere."—Los Angeles Times

"An astonishing record of survival . . . the voice of Anonymous emerges as both shrewd and funny . . . a fresh contribution to the literature of war."—Entertainment Weekly (grade: A)

"A richly detailed, clear-eyed account of the effects of war and enemy occupation on a civilian population . . . She has written, in short, a work of literature, rich in character and perception."—Joseph Kanon, The New York Times Book Review

"Her journal earns a particular place in the archives of recollection. This is because it neither condemns nor forgives: not her countrymen, not her occupiers, and not, remarkably, herself. . . . Stands gritty and obdurate among a swirl of revisionist currents that variously have asserted and disputed the inherent nature of Germans' national guilt . . .To put it briefly, Anonymous writes a merciless account of what individuals can be faced with when all material and social props collapse."—The Boston Globe

"A riveting account of a military atrocity . . . The author doesn't try to explain or moralize the horror. She simply records it as perhaps no one else has, in all of its devastating essence."—The New York Observer

"Unflinchingly honest . . . Its frank documentation of German suffering—the hunger and uncertainty as well as the widespread rape—illuminates a subject whose worldwide taboo is just beginning to subside."—The Village Voice

"A brilliant and powerful work."—Newsday

"What makes the book an essential document is its frank and unself-conscious record of the physical and moral devastation that accompanied the war. . . . The diarist's emotional register remains unfailingly calm. Her dispassionate chronicle of the disasters of war suggests a kind of stoic heroism. . . . Remarkable."—Salon.com

"A stunning account of a German woman's battle to survive repeated rape at the hands of the victors among the ruins of Berlin . . . While leaders plot their dreams of glory and victory, the lives of ordinary people—on all sides—are trampled and destroyed. A most salutary work."—David Hare, The Guardian (U.K.)

"The author has a fierce, uncompromising voice, and her book should become a classic of war literature."—Publishers Weekly

"Books can transform us. So very few do. A Woman in Berlin is one that can."—Dayton Daily News

"A work of great power . . . The author is a keen observer of the ironies, even the absurdities, of a collapsing society. . . . A devastating and rare glimpse at ordinary people who struggle to survive."—Booklist

"With the passage of time, Anonymous's perspective—and the extraordinary way she kept her dignity and moral sense alive in an inferno—have made her diary a war classic."—Maclean's (Toronto)

"Marvelous . . . As it is a human instinct to survive, this book, which could have been horrifying, is instead exhilarating: a rare tribute to the human spirit."—Daily Mail (U.K.)

"Coolly written, tearingly honest . . . This is a classic not only of war literature but also of writing at the very extreme of human suffering."—The Daily Telegraph (London)

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312426118
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 7/11/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 128,752
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 8.17 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

The anonymous author was a young woman at the time of the fall of Berlin. She was a journalist and editor during and after the war.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2007

    Very real, insightful account

    The author's descriptions make you feel like you are there, feeling the fear, confusion, and tragedy of living in Berlin at the end of WWII. The diary details the mass rape of German women by Russian soldiers after they arrived - disturbing to read at times, but an event that should not be ignored. It provides the perspective of the defeated.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2007

    Highly recommended

    A gripping account centered on women's fears and post-war realities, made more so by the fact it was translated from the German by a man, and well edited. Its value for today lies in its open portrayal of women's reactions to the invading soldiers' determination to rape all females, despite the deplorable conditions in their conquered city - no electricity or running water, no telephones, little food. Orginally published in 1953, the book met with opposition and faded from view until it reappeared in Germany as Eine Frau in Berlin about 2003, cultivated by the widow of its orignal publisher, who also knew its anonymous author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)