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Every Man Dies Alone Hardcover – 3 Mar 2009

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Please be aware that this title has been released in the UK as Alone in Berlin.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 543 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House Publishing; 1 edition (3 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933633638
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933633633
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 4.5 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 801,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Before WWII , German writer Hans Fallada’s novels were international bestsellers, on a par with those of his countrymen Thomas Mann and Herman Hesse. In America, Hollywood even turned his first big novel, Little Man, What Now? into a major motion picture.

Learning the movie was made by a Jewish producer, however, Hitler decreed Fallada’s work could no longer be sold outside Germany, and the rising Nazis began to pay him closer attention. When he refused to join the Nazi party he was arrested by the Gestapo—who eventually released him, but thereafter regularly summoned him for “discussions” of his work.

However, unlike Mann, Hesse, and others, Fallada refused to flee to safety, even when his British publisher, George Putnam, sent a private boat to rescue him. The pressure took its toll on Fallada, and he resorted increasingly to drugs and alcohol for relief. After Goebbels ordered him to write an anti-Semitic novel, he snapped and found himself imprisoned in an asylum for the “criminally insane”—considered a death sentence under Nazi rule. To forestall the inevitable, he pretended to write the assignment for Goebbels, while actually composing
three encrypted books—including his tour de force novel The Drinker—in such dense code that they were not deciphered until long after his death.

Fallada outlasted the Reich and was freed at war’s end. But he was a shattered man. To help him recover by putting him to work, Fallada’s publisher gave him the Gestapo file of a simple, working-class couple who had resisted the Nazis. Inspired, Fallada completed Every Man Dies Alone in just twenty-four days.

He died in February 1947, just weeks before the book’s publication. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Steve Benner TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Hans Fallada was the nom de plume of one Rudolf Ditzen, a German novelist whose best known work is probably the Great Depression novel, "Little Man, What Now?", written in 1932 which in its day was a great international success, even leading to a Universal Pictures film adaptation in 1934. "Jeder stirbt für sich allein" (published in English translation in the USA as "Every Man Dies Alone" and in the UK as "Alone in Berlin") was Fallada's final novel, extraordinarily written in just 24 days in October and November 1946, being completed but not published by the time of the author's death in February 1947. The book takes as its basis the true war-time story of Otto and Elise Hampel who over a period of three years baffled both the Police and the Gestapo by distributing hundreds of postcards all over Berlin, urging acts of civil disobedience and work-place sabotage. Despite the ineffectiveness of their propaganda campaign -- all but a few of their cards were handed into the authorities within hours -- the couple nevertheless enraged the Gestapo, who became convinced that the cards were the work of a large and well-orchestrated underground conspiracy, rather than just two people working silently and alone.

Having himself lived through the privations of the Nazi years and suffered their strictures at first hand (particularly as he was not exactly in favour with the Party) Fallada writes with a great incisiveness and authority, not only in his portrayal of officials of the state but also in his depiction of the behaviour of everyday people.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Blue in Washington TOP 500 REVIEWERTOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
Amazing saga of ordinary Germans during the early war years in Berlin. With a brilliant chronological narrative, author Hans Fallada tells the stories of heroic resistance to the Nazi state as well as stories of many less than admirable Germans who simply adapted or took advantage of the criminalization of the state.

Plenty has already been well said by earlier reviewers about this book. I can only add that it would be difficult to find any account of WWII that is more realistic or poignant than Fallada's tale of what can happen --good and bad--when citizens are terrorized by their own government. Wonderful writing and a story that keeps you thinking long after you've finished the book. Highly recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Fulton on 9 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
This book should be required reading for not just students of the history of Nazi Germany but for anyone who makes the misinformed claim that the world today is reflecting those times. Hans Fallada brings to life what it was actually like to live and to try and survive during that time in history. Michael Hofmann's translation and foot notes seems to be as close to what Han's was trying to get across to the reader. I challenge anyone to read it and not be affected. This book made it into my top ten of all time.
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