From the list on WWII stories of ordinary people caught in war.
Who am I?
In 1945 my mother, grandmother, and myself, aged two and a half, fled Berlin after bombs had destroyed our apartment. My Austrian father had been killed in 1943; only my grandfather, a doctor, stayed behind. Yet as I grew up there was silence about the recent past. When I studied drama, earning a PhD from the University of London, I did not think about this either. Then I discovered my grandfather’s diaries and finally felt compelled to face my past. I have published 8 books and some 40 articles. My twin passions are writing about the impact of history on our lives and helping others tell their stories.
Gabrielle's book list on WWII stories of ordinary people caught in war
Discover why each book is one of Gabrielle's favorite books.
Why did Gabrielle love this book?
Just like Api’s diary, A Woman in Berlin begins on April 20, 1945, and she, too, writes daily to maintain her sanity in a world of chaos and death. The author, who wanted to remain anonymous, gives a clear-eyed perspective of a woman alone, trapped in Berlin, fighting starvation and the terrors of Soviet invasion. For women above all this meant rape. They tried to hide in the ruins, make themselves look old, dress up as men. Nevertheless, Soviet soldiers raped over 100,000 women. I read in Api’s diary that Berlin doctors soon began to perform then illegal abortions for victims who begged them for one.
The author’s unflinching and courageous account is “among the most chilling indictments of war I have ever read” (Arundhati Roy).
A Woman in Berlin
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…