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I Shall Bear Witness: The Diaries Of Victor Klemperer 1933-41 by [Klemperer, Victor]
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I Shall Bear Witness: The Diaries Of Victor Klemperer 1933-41 Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Length: 672 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Book Description

A publishing sensation in German, the publication of Victor Klemperer's diaries brings to light one of the most extraordinary documents of the Nazi period.

About the Author

Born in 1881, Victor Klemperer studied in Munich, Geneva and Paris. He was a journalist in Berlin, taught at the University of Naples and received a DSM during WWI as a volunteer in the German army. He was subsequently a professor of romance languages at the Dresden Technical College until he was dismissed as a consequence of Nazi laws in 1935. He survived the Holocaust and the war and taught again as an academic until his death in 1960.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2523 KB
  • Print Length: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; New Ed edition (25 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DUXYG22
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,717 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback
Victor Klemperer's diary begins on the 14th January 1933. It is a diary of the details of life : promotion at work, his cat, the building of his house and his literature. Yet even here in his first entry is the dark side. He believes that the cats are the only things that give Eva , his wife a firm hold on life. One wonders why this is so and why they cannot obtain credit. It is 1933 near Dresden and Victor Klemperer is keeping a diary which would cost him his life if it was discovered. The diary chronicles his and his wife's inexorable degredation and humiliation. This man's honesty and commitment to truth is inspiring. Each day another piece of civilization is removed, another of his rights as a human being is witheld. One wonders : how would I stand up to this if this were me ? It must also be said that one wonders : would I have the courage to say a simple good morning to this jew wearing the star of David ?
With hindsight we know what is in store for the Klemperers. We know all about the Holocaust and the death camps. It is so much more touching then to read of his concerns about his newly purchased second hand car and his difficulties in learning to drive. Simultaneously we read of the mundane daily issues of life : buying shoes or fending off the cold against the backdrop of the speaches by Hitler and the steadily rising anti semitic climate in Germany. Victor takes us with him through the years from 1933 until 1941 . His style of writing reflects his background in literature. Simultaneously he is fiercely obsessed with what he will eat while being dismayed at the disintegration of society. His story is utterly sad. We feel embarrassed at his treatment by his erstwhile neighbours and friends .
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Format: Paperback
In my experience I have found that diaries of this importance need to be read through in their entirety: one needs to 'live' through the diarist's entries. In this way truly great and important diaries can recreate the past with a vividness that is unattainable elsewhere. The character of the diarist also then shines through and in Viktor Klemperer we are in the presence of a kind, wise, intelligent, cultured and humane man. The events he describes in his two volumes from 1933 to 1945 are, I think, the most important record of their type to have survived and are in the first rank of historical importance. If anything good came out of the raid on Dresden in 1945 it is that Klemperer and his wife were able to escape. It is sublimely joyful that Klemperer survived the Nazi era and was able to bear witness so magnificently. His post-war work on the Language of the Third Reich (Lingua Tertii Imperii - LTI) is also highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Victor Klemperer was an academic and as such could be described as foolhardy to keep a diary in a time of such oppression and terrorism. But I fear that he was just a man who had to write down all that happened to him because it was just his nature. Thank God he did write it down. Such contemporaneous notes mean that no burnishing or filling in of details with half truths when memoirs are written long after the event. These diary notes come out of the page and leave one in dread and fear. The reader sees almost more than the writer, he was almost too near to the action. to see what would have happened to him if the diaries were found. Certain death should have visited him when considering how many times he was interrogated and the house was searched. We all owe this Catholic Jew who just happened to be there when all this murder and maiming was going on. Just how one man, Hitler, could take a modern educated nation to the edge is impossible to explain. I now look forward to the diaries that cover the rest of the war. If you have any interest in modern social history then read this. Klemperer had no time to sit, consider and ruminate as an historian would, he just made notes to himself that we are now lucky enough to be able to read. It gives a wonderful insight to the life and times of the second world war from a very different perspective.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
so good so interesting and very honest warts and all, first of three parts to the book funny and real tragic events not published till after his death tells how it really was in every day life under the Nazi regime can not wait to read the second chapter
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Format: Hardcover
You think you've read everything you can about Nazi Germany and then...this comes along. Reading the story of the Klemperers' struggle to survive brought tears to my eyes. It is a wretched, terrible yet fascinating story. It blows anything else from this period right out of the water.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fascinating read - illustrates the gradual erosion of quality of life under this 'monstrous tyranny' - I was so sad when the Klemperers were forbidden to possess a pet, and had to have their cat put down. But were saved by the bombing of Dresden.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an important and moving account of life for a jewish professor in Nazi Germany. Along with Vol 2., "To the Bitter End", it is perhaps the finest documentary evidence of real-life for jews at that time. Stunning, and a great tribute to the man.
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