Why this book?
When the Russians seized bombed-out Berlin near the end of WWII, it was a landscape of rubble where the surviving Germans lacked the most basic necessities: food, water, and heat. Women fared much worse than men because of a terror campaign of rape directed at them by the conquering Russian soldiers. This memoir, describing eight weeks living under siege, was written by a courageous journalist who watched her neighbors with a keen Berliner's eye, and who did whatever was necessary in order to survive while still trying to keep her dignity intact. Heroism in the face of adversity takes many forms, and in this book, sheer survival itself was one of those forms.
A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City
Why should I read it?
4 authors picked A Woman in Berlin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
For eight weeks in 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman kept a daily record of life in her apartment building and among its residents. "With bald honesty and brutal lyricism" (Elle), the anonymous author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity, as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians. "Spare and unpredictable, minutely observed and utterly free of self-pity" (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), A Woman in Berlin tells of the complex relationship between civilians and an occupying army and the…