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Alone in Berlin [Paperback]

Hans Fallada , Michael Hofmann , Geoff Wilkes
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 588 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (28 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014118938X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141189383
  • ASIN: B0073TS9BS
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 284,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Its Berlin, 1940, and the city is filled with fear. At the house on 55 Jablonski Strasse, its various occupants try to live under Nazi rule in their different ways: the bullying Hitler loyalists the Persickes, the retired judge Fromm and the unassuming couple Otto and Anna Quangel. Then the Quangels receive the news that their son has been killed.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By nigeyb
Hans Fallada was all but forgotten outside Germany when this 1947 novel, Alone in Berlin (US title: Every Man Dies Alone), was reissued in English in 2009, whereupon it became a best seller and reintroduced Hans Fallada's work to a new generation of readers.

I came to this book having read More Lives Than One: A Biography of Hans Fallada by Jenny Williams, which was the perfect introduction into the literary world of Hans Fallada.

Alone In Berlin really brings alive the day-to-day hell of life under the Nazis - and the ways in which people either compromised their integrity by accepting the regime, or, in some cases, resisted. The insights into life inside Nazi Germany are both fascinating and appalling. The venom of Nazism seeping into every aspect of society leaving no part of daily existence untouched or uncorrupted.

Alone In Berlin is also a thriller, and the tension starts from the first page and mounts with each passing chapter. I can only echo the praise that has been heaped on this astonishingly good, rediscovered World War Two masterpiece. It's a truly great book: gripping, profound and essential.

5/5
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quiet book of common decency 11 Oct 2013
Alone in Berlin, takes place during the 2nd world war, with Germany firmly under the Nazi jackboot. Because of the constant fear of arrest by the Gestapo, with the threat of imprisonment, torture and death Berlin was a miasma of paranoia, fear and suspicion. In a world where a family member, neighbour or complete stranger can denounce you for a crime imagined or otherwise and even if you're not condemned to death, you'll find yourself classified an enemy of the state, ostracized and unable to find employment.

Otto and Anna Quangel, are a working class couple, who were not interest in politics, and although they weren't members of the National Socialist German Worker's Party, they had tacitly supported Hitler, even voted for him.

This was all to change - when one day a letter arrived, telling them their son had died a "hero's death for Führer and Fatherland". This shocks them out of their apathy and they start a campaign that explicitly questions Hitler and his regime, writing on postcards messages such as:

"Mother! The Führer has murdered my son. Mother! The Führer will murder your sons too, he will not stop till he has brought sorrow to every home in the world."

These cards were then left in the stairwells of apartment blocks, in locations all over Berlin, or dropped into post boxes. It wasn't long before they caught the attention of the Gestapo. This takes takes the form of inspector Escherich, who is mapping the position of every card with the aim of pinning down the "criminals". This being Nazi Germany, Escherich himself is constantly under pressure to get results or face the direst consequences: harried & abused by Obergruppenführer Prall, the inspector will try any trick - dirty or otherwise to catch the postcard writers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good read. 10 Nov 2013
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I think this may be termed as a modern classic. I thought it a good read and my wife rated it even better.
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