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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting account of every day life in the Third Reich, 8 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: The Past Is Myself (Paperback)
I found this book very interesting, as it describes the every day life in Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945 as seen by a housewife and a mother of little children - which is a point of view rarely seen.

Now granted, Christabel Bielenberg was not exactly a typical German woman, being born in English aristocracy and becoming a German citizen only after her 1934 marriage to a young lawyer from Hamburg. Together with her husband and almost all their friends they were also fervently anti-Nazi from the beginning - which ultimately led to her husband being investigated and detained by Gestapo in 1944. But even if her point of view was not typical to most of the Germans, she still shared the joys and sorrows of every day life under Nazi regime and her humble and very moderately worded testimony is a very precious and very interesting one. This book is slow paced and sticks to the facts, but still I read it with as much pleasure as if it was a good novel.

There are some particularly interesting moments, like the interrogation of Ms Bielenberg by Gestapo in 1944, or her conversation in a train with a fellow voyager who happened to be a Latvian Waffen SS officer - a tormented man who looked for death on battlefield but instead was just collecting more decorations and promotions... Another particularly interesting chapter is the story of a Nazi party member who was in charge of the building in which Ms Bielenberg and her family lived. Life and personnality of this rather pathetic person are of a great interest for anybody wanting to understand better the phenomenon of Hitler and his regime.

I appreciated this book very much and I will certainly read its continuation, "The road ahead", describing especially the first years of life in occupied Germany after 1945.
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Maciej
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