Berlin Diary

By William L. Shirer,

Book cover of Berlin Diary

Book description

By the acclaimed journalist and bestselling author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, this day-by-day, eyewitness account of the momentous events leading up to World War II in Europe is now available in a new paperback edition. CBS radio broadcaster William L. Shirer was virtually unknown in…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked Berlin Diary as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

You can feel the danger lurking behind every day as radio journalist Shirer watched Hitler build on one horror after another.

Reynolds writes in a way you can hear him, in a stye that echoed his broadcasts. Even after the declaration of war, “life here is still quite normal… the theatres and movies, all open and jammed.”

And this item when he went to the front: “At last will get a chance–maybe–to see how this German colossus has been doing it, walking through Belgium, Holland and now, Northern France, so fast.”

What I like about Shirer’s approach is that he…

Another journalist dispatched to Europe in the 1930s, Shirer stayed until 1940 when, fearing arrest by the Gestapo, he packed his diaries from his tenure in Berlin and Vienna and fled. His account is full of shocking incidents of Nazi barbarity, inside information from off-the-record conversations, and, seemingly incongruously, tender scenes from his marriage to Austrian photographer Tess Stiberitz, as the young couple struggled to create an alternate realm of love and stability midst the horror and chaos. Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is more famous, but can’t match the intimacy and poignancy of this one.…

This book was a best seller in 1941 and is still popular today. William L. Shirer was Edward R. Murrow’s counterpart in Germany where he reported on the radio about the build-up of the Nazis from 1934 to 1940 and set the stage for World War 2. This riveting book is for those who love history and freedom.

Api's Berlin Diaries: My Quest to Understand My Grandfather's Nazi Past

By Gabrielle Robinson,

Book cover of Api's Berlin Diaries: My Quest to Understand My Grandfather's Nazi Past

Gabrielle Robinson Author Of Api's Berlin Diaries: My Quest to Understand My Grandfather's Nazi Past

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Retired english professor

Gabrielle's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Gabrielle found her grandfather’s diaries after her mother’s death, only to discover that he had been a Nazi. Born in Berlin in 1942, she and her mother fled the city in 1945, but Api, the one surviving male member of her family, stayed behind to work as a doctor in a city 90% destroyed.

Gabrielle retraces Api’s steps in the Berlin of the 21st century, torn between her love for the man who gave her the happiest years of her childhood and trying to come to terms with his Nazi membership, German guilt, and political responsibility.

Api's Berlin Diaries: My Quest to Understand My Grandfather's Nazi Past

By Gabrielle Robinson,

What is this book about?

"This is not a book I will forget any time soon."
Story Circle Book Reviews

Moving and provocative, Api's Berlin Diaries offers a personal perspective on the fall of Berlin 1945 and the far-reaching aftershocks of the Third Reich.

After her mother's death, Robinson was thrilled to find her beloved grandfather's war diaries-only to discover that he had been a Nazi.

The award-winning memoir shows Api, a doctor in Berlin, desperately trying to help the wounded in cellars without water or light. He himself was reduced to anxiety and despair, the daily diary his main refuge. As Robinson retraces Api's…


This journalist’s eye-witness account of the rise of Hitler was published in June 1941 and became a best seller – within one year selling 600,000 copies. Shirer, a journalist based in Berlin, wrote first for William Hearst's wire service - Universal Services - and then worked as a radio correspondent for CBS. He kept a diary in which he recorded his thoughts, impressions, and analysis, expressing his moral outrage at what he witnessed of daily life in Germany as it descended into fascism. As he was present at many Nazi Party rallies and attended Hitler’s speeches he was able to…

From Dina's list on Berlin and its history.

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