A personal account of the Second World War by a White Russian princess who lived in Berlin and Vienna with insights into the ever-harsher conditions of civilian life and the ethical dilemma of upper-class anti-Nazis
The author became sickened by the brutal and repressive nature of Nazi rule which overshadowed every aspect of her life. She became involved in the Resistance and the diaries vividly describe her part in the drama and its aftermath.
This collection of vivid essays examines some of the most fascinating aspects of the German resistance to Hitler. It includes the first translations into English of pioneering studies on the role of a leading Nazi in the July Plot, the flight of Rudolf Hess to Britain and the vigorous controversy over Hugh Trevor-Roper’s investigation of Hitler’s death. The book also explores vociferous Catholic dissent in Franconia and the conspiracies against the Third Reich of the revolutionary New Beginning movement. Through the study of important personalities and dramatic events this book explores the possibilities and challenges faced by Germans in attempts to frustrate and defy Hitler’s tyranny.
The Sunday Times-bestselling author of Dresden returns with a monumental biography of the city that defined the twentieth century - Berlin 'I loved this book . . . apposite and wise . . . To anyone who knows Berlin a little and is fascinated by it, but would like to understand it better, this is a wonderful aid' David Aaronovitch, The Times Throughout the twentieth century, Berlin stood at the centre of a convulsing world. This history is often viewed as separate acts: the suffering of the First World War, the cosmopolitan city of science, culture and sexual freedom Berlin became, steep economic plunges, the rise of the Nazis, the destruction of the Second World War, the psychosis of genocide, and a city rent in two by competing ideologies. But people do not live their lives in fixed eras. An epoch ends, yet the people continue - or try to continue - much as they did before. Berlin tells the story of the city as seen through the eyes not of its rulers, but of those who walked its streets. In this magisterial biography of a city and its inhabitants, bestselling historian Sinclair McKay sheds new light on well-known characters - from idealistic scientist Albert Einstein to Nazi architect Albert Speer - and draws on never-before-seen first-person accounts to introduce us to people of all walks of Berlin life. For example, we meet office worker Mechtild Evers, who in her efforts to escape an oncoming army runs into even more appalling jeopardy, and Reinhart Cruger, a 12-year-old boy in 1941 who witnesses with horror the Gestapo coming for each of his Jewish neighbours in turn. Ever a city of curious contrasts, moments of unbelievable darkness give way to a wry Berliner humour - from banned perms to the often ridiculous tit-for-tat between East and West Berlin - and moments of joyous hope - like forced labourers at a jam factory warmly welcoming their Soviet liberators. How did those ideologies - fascism and communism - come to flower so fully here? And how did their repercussions continue to be felt throughout Europe and the West right up until that extraordinary night in the autumn of 1989 when the Wall - that final expression of totalitarian oppression - was at last breached? You cannot understand the twentieth century without understanding Berlin; and you cannot understand Berlin without understanding the experiences of its people. Drawing on a staggering breadth of culture - from art to film, opera to literature, science to architecture - McKay's latest masterpiece shows us this hypnotic city as never before. 'Remarkable . . . A majestic work of non-fiction' Matthew d'Ancona 'A masterful account of a city marked by infamy . . . If there is a book that must be read this year, this is it' Amanda Foreman 'Stunning . . . It's eye-opening, enlightening and wonderfully told' Norman Ohler, author of Blitzed 'An electrifying new account of Berlin' Julia Boyd, author of Travellers in the Third Reich 'One of my favourite historians' Dan Snow
The part played by the many German and Austrian royal families in opposing Hitler has hitherto been overlooked. Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia was deeply involved in the German resistance movement and was questioned by the Gestapo following the 20 July plot on Hitler’s life; Otto von Habsburg, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was sentenced to death and escaped through Europe to America, where he helped coordinate attempts to liberate his homeland; his Hohenberg cousins (children of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand) were incarcerated in Dachau; Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria was exiled to Italy where he was pursued by the SS – his wife and children were captured and sent to concentration camps; the exiled Prince Hubertus zu Löwenstein travelled between the USA and Britain assembling German exiles into groups representing the real Germany – that could assume power when Hitler was defeated. The sweeping away of German and Austrian monarchs in 1918 made the rise of Hitler possible; their successors helped make possible his defeat.
Klemens von Klemperer's scholarly and detailed study uncovers the beliefs and activities of numerous individuals who fought against Nazism within Germany, and traces their many efforts to forge alliances with Hitler's opponents outside the Third Reich. -;Klemens von Klemperer's scholarly and detailed study uncovers the beliefs and activities of numerous individuals who fought against Nazism within Germany, and traces their many efforts to forge alliances with Hitler's opponents outside the Third Reich. Measured by conventional standards of diplomacy, the foreign ventures of the German Resistance ended in failure. The Allied agencies, notably the British Foreign Office and the US State Department, were ill prepared to deal with the unorthodox approaches of the Widerstand. Ultimately, the Allies' policy of absolute silence', the Grand Alliance with the Soviet Union, and the demand for unconditional surrender' pushed the war to its final denouement, disregarding the German. Resistance. -;a massive work by a distinguished historian - New Statesman and Society;a detailed, sympathetic, and meticulously documented chronicle of German resistance diplomacy - Journal of Military History;a superbly researched study - Financial Times
The Battle of Berlin, the bombing of the ‘Big City’ as it was known to the crews of RAF Bomber Command, raged from 18 November 1943 to the end of the war in Europe in 1945. It is recalled here both by those in the air over capital of the Third Reich, as well as those who suffered under the bombing onslaught. At the start of the Battle of Berlin, Sir Arthur Harris had predicted that the ‘Big City’ would ‘cost between 400-500 aircraft’, but that it would also ‘cost Germany the war’. He was proved wrong on both counts. Berlin was not ‘wrecked from end to end’, as Harris predicted on 3 November 1943 – ‘if the USAAF will come in on it’ – although a considerable part of it was destroyed. And the ‘Main Battle of Berlin’ did not cost Germany the war; a grinding land campaign had yet to be fought. More than 9,000 bombing sorties were flown during the battle on round trips of about 1,200 miles to Berlin and back. Berlin was bombed by four Allied air forces between 1940 and 1945. British bombers alone dropped 45,517 tons of bombs, whilst the Americans a further 23,000 tons. By 1944, some 1.2 million people, 790,000 of them women and children, about a quarter of Berlin’s population, had been evacuated to rural areas. An effort was made to evacuate all children from Berlin, but this was defeated by parents and many evacuees who soon made their way back to the city. However, by May 1945, 1.7 million people – 40% of the population – had fled the city. This fitting tribute to those who died in the relentless struggle to knock Berlin, and hopefully Germany, out of the war resonates with eyewitness accounts and background information which the author has painstakingly investigated and researched. The result is a hugely fascinating and highly readable narrative containing very real and unique observations by British and Commonwealth aircrew and, equally importantly, the long-suffering citizens of Berlin, and well as the capital’s defenders. Up to the end of March 1945, there had been a total of 314 air raids on Berlin, eighty-five of these in the last twelve months. Estimates of the total number of dead in Berlin from air raids range from 20,000 to 50,000; the relatively low casualty figure in Berlin is partly the result of the city’s formidable air defenses and shelters. The Battle of Berlin was not a defeat in absolute terms, but in the operational sense it was an offensive that Air Marshal Sir Arthur Harris and his aircrews could not win. ‘Berlin won’ concluded Sir Ralph Cochrane, the Air Officer Commanding 5 Group RAF Bomber Command. ‘It was just too tough a nut.’