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.
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Edition description:||1st Vintage Books ed|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Marie 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
In my research for my novel, An Honorable German, this was an indipensible book. The reason: the rich detail Missie recorded about her daily life in Berlin including what it was like to live in the city during the years it was constantly being bombed. This is one of the few contemporaneous diaries from that time. She was a beautiful White Russian Royal Princess, as she reminds us several times, and kept up her active social life amisdst the slow collapse of Berlin. In doing so, she recorded details which can seem girlish and flippant now since she mainly writes about how the war is making her life social life difficult. But the information one gleans is invaluble: hats weren¿t rationed, she played ping-pong, a staple of life was macaroni. For all the fascination I have with this diary there is one very unsettling fact: she worked for some months as a secretary to one of the key conspirators in the 20 July 1944 plot to kill Hitler yet is never interrogated by the Gestapo at least she doesn¿t write about it. Did she rat someone out? Perhaps we will never know but don¿t believe everything she says about herself.
Outstanding account of war-time Germany written by a 23 year old aristocratic White Russian emigre. Close friends of those involved in the July, 1944 plot against Hitler, she describes her intimate knowledge of the affair. She also describes the bombings of Berlin and later Vienna and the total breakdown in society at the close of the war. A lady of unusual character and inner resources.
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!