With shocking and vivid detail, the journal of a woman living through the Russian occupation of Berlin in 1945 tells of the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject and describes the common experience of millions.With shocking and vivid detail, the journal of a woman living through the Russian occupation of Berlin in 1945 tells of the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject and describes the common experience of millions.Read Less
I realize the movie was made second, but I saw it first, then ordered the book. The movie is available at netflix, and very graphic. The book is very well written and a very unusual insight into Berlin, just after the Russian take-over.
Jul 10, 2008
Peace, War, and Gender in Modern Cultures
This book gives the reader a close-up experience of what it means to be a woman living in a war zone. The autobiographer is a very straightforward thinker. Her thoughts that are implicitly as well as expressly invoked by the engaged and visceral narration of her experiences are important not only to understand war, but also to explore general issues of politics, culture, and social relations -- particularly gender. Pondering on the broader questions raised by the lives vividly rendered to the reader, it increases awareness of partly hidden social structures and dynamics that become more visible during dystopian conditions. It illuminates men's power over women as a central trait in modern cultures, here revealed by the brutal force of war that conditions violent sexual domination, orchestrating male access and control of women according to proximity to social power. This book will most likely become a timeless autobiography on the experiences of peace and war, gender relations, and modern political cultures.
Jun 5, 2007
Not what was expected
I wish for ratings there was a "maybe" choice I had waited a long time for this book - then on the back cover it received wonderful reviews - one by an author I've read However - I've read many books on the varying aspects of World War 2 Somehow - this book just didn't convey - to me - that this woman was really in a very bad situation - she simply went out on the street and picked up another Russian Her only problem appeared the walking when she and others were trying to start a business she mentioned hunger several times - but with her guests it didn't appear life threatening If her diary was accurate - then all the reports of the rapes - abortions - suicides by both the women and then men in the family after the rapes - must have been exaggerated And that I don't believe - I've read too many other first hand accounts Would I recommend this book? Only if someone shared my interest in all happenings during WW2 - I know no one would I buy this book again? Not knowing what I now know I sympasize - but could not become involved with her in her time in Berlin I'm glag she servived
Apr 4, 2007
Remarkable Demonstration of Resilence
This arresting account of a middle class woman's experience during the fall of Berlin in 1945 is a must read. In most wars, the consequences for the conquered usually results in rape, pillage, and starvation. This is true for the author of this compelling book. With the fall of the city, the author braces herself for what she knows will be a physical as well as a mental battle for her body and soul. She does suffer at the hands of the Russians; however, her ability to 'learn' what it takes to survive physically quickly helps her learn to survive mentally. Her resilency in the face of daily terror is remarkable. This book is a small peek into the day-to-day life of people living in a defeated city, and it proves to be one that the reader cannot put down. This book is an important addition to the many first-hand accounts of life during World War II--especially so because it allows the reader to see another facet of what war brings.
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