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This Is Berlin: Reporting from Nazi Germany, 1938-40 [Kindle Edition]

William L Shirer
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Before Britain and Germany went to war in 1939, Ed Murrow of CBS sent his star reporter William Shirer to report from Berlin on what was really happening in Hitler's Germany. And there Shirer stayed until December 1940, reporting on the war from within the Reich, battling against the censors and revealing to American and British audiences how Hitler, the SS, and his armed forces were conducting the war, and what it meant to live in a Nazi state. All through the campaigns leading to the fall of France, Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain, Shirer provided a unique and dramatic by-line on history as it happened, and now his writings have been gathered together for the first time into a vivid, compelling and urgent narrative, one of the great first-hand documents of the Second World War.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2022 KB
  • Print Length: 478 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital; New edition edition (30 Jun. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #493,604 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant insight to history unfolding 27 Sept. 2000
By A Customer
These transcripts of Shirers Berlin broadcasts reveal a Europe tottering on the edge of, and finally falling into WWII. While his broadcasts were subject to censorship by the Nazi authorities we do get an excellent insight into the propaganda the German population were being fed. An excellent complementary journal to more analytical WWII history books.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Regular reports from Berlin as WWII unfolds. 2 Feb. 2002
By A Customer
The regular broadcasts of the CBS man in Berlin whose reports give a strong flavor of life in Berlin in the opening year of the war. His factual accounts were what allowed him to stay in Berlin and report in spite of the censors; his careful choice of words and phrases allowed him to paint a clear picture of his shock as war again engulfs Europe
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 4 April 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Is Berlin 13 Dec. 1999
By Earl Skokan - Published on
I did not want to put this book down. As with the best of histories the reader is left wondering what will happen next, even when we know.I advise bringing your copy of Berlin Diary- it is interesting to compare what Shirer really thought with what the Nazi censors wanted him to report on a given day, how he used sarcasm to his advantage (there are some great lines about Germany protecting Norwegian nuetrality by its occupation of it). The only real criticism of this book is the question of why we had to wait so long to have it.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars William Shirer and the Third Reich 30 Sept. 2000
By Bill Emblom - Published on
The fact that William Shirer was limited by the Nazis in what he could write in this book should not detract from what he has to say about events in Berlin, Germany, during the years 1938 through 1940. At times Shirer would use expressions or other methods unfamiliar to the German censors to get his point across to American readers in his diary. In each case of a German takeover, the Nazis would use the excuse of "counterattack" or to "rescue the citizens of the country" they were invading. Shirer was placed in this part of the world during a very historic period in history, and provides readers with his best efforts despite Nazi censors. Eventually his frustration at what he was allowed to report made him feel like a spokesperson for the Nazi regime, and he felt his usefulness as a reporter was over. We can always be thankful for what he has left us regarding World War II.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting glimpse into Nazi Germany 2 May 2001
By Bruce MacMillan - Published on
Before I read this book, I didn't really have that much of an understanding of Nazi Germany, at least in terms of events and conditions within Germany leading up to the war. Part of the strength of the book from my perspective is that it not only deals with what the German leadership was saying, but also what the mood on the street was. Shirer does a great job in communicating the sentiments of the German people. The fears of encirclement and the bewilderment at the refusal of Britain to surrender or negotiate peace stand out as two fine examples of Shirer's attentiveness.
The book is also a fascinating exercise in state propaganda and censorship. It's both insightful and extremely frustrating. There is a lot of repitition and one wearies of the daily tallies fresh from the battlefield. As well, Shirer is often forced to broadcast the official Nazi line, leaving one wondering what his real thoughts and sentiments were and what was really happening, both in Germany and abroad. So there to an extent it does lack a little bit of context. Shirer does his best with innuendo and sarcasm, but the strain of the censorship must have been almost unbearable.
I'd recommend people interested in this book also consult "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" also by Shirer, it's a very interesting read and will act as a fabulous companion to this book.
I found "This is Berlin" to be captivating, events unfolded rapidly and there was lots of suspense, which was interesting since of course we already knew the outcome. Reading the book is like unlocking a time capsule, take yourself back to Berlin and ponder William Shirer's commentary.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars William Shirer: Witness to the Twetieth Century 30 Jan. 2006
By Andrew Desmond - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There can be little doubt that William Shirer was one of the great journalists of the twentieth century. He was a true witness to an unfolding century and nowhere was this more than case than his observations from Nazi Germany.

Unlike many historians looking back at events from a distance and trying to uncover their meanings, Shirer was a virtual participant. He lived in Germany for a number of years, was fluent in the language and had personally met many of the key players first hand. He had attended the Nuremburg rallies, witnessed the rise of the evil of Nazism and was thus in a position to give a first hand account of the events. This he did through his daily radio reports to CBS in America. It is these reports that form the basis of "This is Berlin."

"This is Berlin" can be described as history in the making. While it is true that Shirer had to comply to close censoring of his broadcasts, he was nonetheless able to convey an element of truth by the use of subtlety and nuance that often went of the head of his Nazi minders. Shirer was no Nazi dupe. Rather, he was a rigorous journalist working at the top of his trade.

Shirer is a person whose works should be read by all those searching for details on the horrors of the rise and ultimate decline of the Nazi juggernaut. He was a first rate journalist and writer and this book is testimony to his abilities.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars World War II History Reported Live from Berlin 26 Aug. 2006
By Gilberto Villahermosa - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"This is Berlin" is another well-written and insightful book by the author of the monumental "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" and "Berlin Diary".

The introduction by noted historian John Keegan puts William L. Shirer's work for CBS Radio during the war in perspective, while the preface by Shirer's daughter provides further detail and information on the newspaper correspondent and radio journalist who won fame for his unparalleled coverage of Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

Having immersed himself in contemporary German life, William Shirer was America's man on the spot during the rise to power of Adolph Hitler and his Nazi Party and the war that followed. The CBS correspondent knew all of the Third Reich's senior civilian and military leaders and the insights he provided during his radio broadcasts to America as history unfolded in Europe were unparalleled.

But as the war progressed, Shirer became increasingly unhappy with a Nazi government that did everything possible to first censor and later stifle altogether his broadcasts. In the end, unable to provide balanced coverage of events, he asked to return home.

This book is best read in conjunction with "Berlin Diary" in which Shirer provides his comments on the war. For example, in "This is Berlin" we read his broadcasts on the British bombing of the German capitol. But in "Berlin Diary" we find his excellent analysis of how a few Royal Air Force bombers managed to keep the entire population of the German city awake, bringing home the true price of war to the Third Reich and resulting in decreased output in the factories of Hitler's key city.

Shirer concluded that had the British or the Allies launched a sustained and much larger bombing campaign on Berlin earlier in the war, Hitler and his Nazis might have had second thoughts about expanding the war. And perhaps German opposition to the Third Reich might have been much stronger.

This tremendously interesting book is highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of Nazi German, World War II and the struggle of a free press to survive under a totalitarian regime.
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