World War 2

Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada

By Hans Fallada

Its Berlin, 1940, and town is full of worry. on the condominium on fifty five Jablonski Strasse, its a number of occupants try and reside below Nazi rule of their other ways: the bullying Hitler loyalists the Persickes, the retired pass judgement on Fromm and the unassuming couple Otto and Anna Quangel. Then the Quangels obtain the inside track that their cherished son has been killed battling in France. stunned out in their quiet life, they start a silent crusade of defiance, and a perilous video game of cat and mouse develops among the Quangels and the bold Gestapo inspector Escherich. while petty criminals Kluge and Borkhausen additionally get entangled, deception, betrayal and homicide occur, tightening the noose round the Quangels' necks...

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The American William Russell witnessed the Berlin public as they eagerly gathered to hear Hitler’s speech. ‘It was already three o’clock’, he wrote: I stopped in front of a radio shop, where a large crowd was collected on the sidewalk to listen to an outside loud speaker. Martial music blared from the radio. The Germans talked happily amongst themselves. We waited for an hour, hearing the stirring music all the time. Finally, not at three o’clock but at four, came the voice of Adolf Hitler. The crowd on the sidewalk was deathly quiet.

60 The peace rumour was certainly not confined to the ‘babbling’ housewives at market stalls. In the university, it was relayed during lectures with no doubts expressed as to its authenticity. ’62 An American observer noted that the Germans he saw on the streets of the capital that morning were smiling in a way that he hadn’t seen since the time of the Anschluss. ‘On Potsdamer Platz’, he wrote, ‘I saw people who had gone crazy with joy. Strangers grabbed strangers by the arms to tell them the wonderful news.

35 faith in the führer 23 She soon discovered, to her embarrassment, that her fellow diners had all assumed that the siren was a test. For those waking to a bright autumn morning the next day, 2 September, it might have been possible to imagine, albeit briefly, that the momentous events of the previous day had been no more than a bizarre dream. That is until the German press and radio wrenched them back into the new reality of military offensives, artillery bombardments and ‘Polish perfidy’. The newspapers that morning triumphantly recorded that German forces had advanced all along the line; Danzig had been welcomed back to the Reich, Teschen on the Polish–Czech frontier had fallen and the rail link to Gdynia had been severed.

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