A WOMAN IN BERLIN by Anonymous


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A German woman whose name might well be legion tells in diary form of her days from April 20 to June 22, 1945, the months of the Russian invasion of Berlin. It is a drab story, concerned primarily with the men who raped her, how she learned soon to attach herself to one officer or another for protection from the many and for minor sustenance. The women of Berlin developed a bond; as things got tough in the bombing they shared a disillusion about the German supermale; they talked out their chances of getting V.D. and of babies. The bombs frightened them more than their conquerors and they said, ""A Rusaki on the tummy is better than an Ami on the head"". Out of the horror of hunger and garret life and ugly lust, were snatches of kindness and friendliness. Throughout is a simple animal desire for life, and a horrible night is still another night of staying alive. She finishes her story with the return of her fiance. He is restless with craving for alcohol and cigarettes; she does not want to be touched. He goes off on a trip and as she closes her diary there is enough optimism for her to be seeking a way back to decency and to hope they may gain mutual understanding of each other's sufferings to build life again. Despite the sordid subject the book gives a record of life at low ebb in which the victims emerge scarred but unbowed.

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1954
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace