All posts filed under: germany

A Woman in Berlin by Anonymous: Around the World in Books

I am trying to read a book from every country in the world. The last book I read was Italy: My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante.  IN SHORT: This is the true, anonymously published story of one woman’s experiences in Berlin following the Nazi surrender, and the arrival of the Red Army. It is harrowing. THE BEST BIT: This book is specially special to me in my Around the World book journey, since it was my first. I had read a novel about a German woman’s experiences in Berlin during the war, which had primarily served to pique my interest in finding a non-fiction account of the same period — which led me to A Woman in Berlin, a staggeringly clear-eyed account of the German defeat in April 1945 and the subsequent Russian arrival. Thinking about this book, I keep returning to the Hop Along lyric: “There’s nothing more dangerous than a defeated army heading home” — though of course, in this case, there’s nothing more dangerous than a victorious, brutalized army collecting the spoils of war. Here, those spoils included the sexual violation of thousands …