Tuesday, March 9, 2010

currently reading :: A Woman in Berlin

A Woman in Berlin

I ordered A Woman in Berlin last year while going through an unintentional World War II kick. I did decide I needed a break from the world of Nazis and the Holocaust, so here I am, many months later, finally picking it up to read.

Summary: For eight weeks in 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman, alone in the city, kept a daily record of her and her neighbors' experiences, determined to describe the common lot of millions. Purged of all self-pity but with laser-sharp observation and bracing humor, the anonymous author conjures up a ravaged apartment building and its little group of residents struggling to get by in the rubble without food, heat, or water. Clear-eyed and unsentimental, she depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians. And with shocking and vivid detail, she tells of the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject: the mass rape suffered by all, regardless of age or infirmity. Through this ordeal, she maintains her resilience, decency, and fierce will to come through her city's trial, until normalcy and safety return. (Summary from the book jacket.)

When A Woman in Berlin was published the author requested to remain anonymous for her protection. For a long time it was only known that Anonymous was a young woman at the time of the fall of Berlin and a journalist and editor after the war. It was not until after her death in 2001 that we learned the true identity of Anonymous--Marta Hillers

No comments:

Post a Comment