DIARY OF A NIGHTMARE: Berlin in 1942-1945 by Ursula von Kardorff

DIARY OF A NIGHTMARE: Berlin in 1942-1945

Email this review


Ursula von Kardorff was a member of aristocratic anti-Nazi family; her father, a painter, had been retired summarily from his position on the faculty of the School of the Academy of Art for standing up for a Jewish student. When she opens her Berlin diary two of her brothers are in the German forces in France and Russia. At the close, with defeat, one is dead, the other marked by war, and her father too has died. A Journalist who kept her sympathies in check by not taking on any political assignments, the author gives a sense of what it was to be alive in a time when death was imminent, and something of the changing face of Berlin along with its changing fortunes. As she ticks off the great events that forged her world, the everyday is still in the foreground--the attempts to keep working in the face of bombings and hunger, the moments of snatched gaiety and happiness, the striving on behalf of a beloved Germany (she knew twenty-two of the names on the July 20 attempt on Hitler's life and was called in for seven hours of questioning by the Gestapo). With the war's end, she recalls her dead brother's assertion, ""Never say die""...""but the dead, the many, many dead, will always be with us."" Hers is another memoir appended after the fact and without much hope of finding readers today.

Pub Date: April 20th, 1966
Publisher: John Day