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~DOWNLOAD EBOOK ♬ A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary ☾ A New York Times Book Review Editors ChoiceFor eight weeks in , as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman kept a daily record of life in her apartment building and among its residents The anonymous author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity, as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians A Woman in Berlin tells of the complex relationship between civilians and an occupying army and the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject the mass rape suffered by all, regardless of age or infirmity Although this book was and still is published anonymously, in 2003 the author was identified as Marta Hillers, a journalist who had died two years previously at the age of 90 She was cultured, well travelled, multilingual, and 34 years old when she wrote this diary, which covers only 58 days It was first published in 1954, in English, then four years later, in German They really hated it in Germany.Wiki quotes a German author Hans Magnus Enzensberger about the book s reception and it s worth Although this book was and still is published anonymously, in 2003 the author was identified as Marta Hillers, a journalist who had died two years previously at the age of 90 She was cultured, well travelled, multilingual, and 34 years old when she wrote this diary, which covers only 58 days It was first published in 1954, in English, then four years later, in German They really hated it in Germany.Wiki quotes a German author Hans Magnus Enzensberger about the book s reception and it s worth repeating here German readers were obviously not ready to face some uncomfortable truths German women were not supposed to talk about the reality of rapes and German men preferred not to be seen as impotent onlookers when the victorious Russians claimed their spoils of war The author s attitude was an aggravating factor devoid of self pity, with a clear eyed view of her compatriots behavior before and after the Nazi regime s collapse, everything she wrote flew in the face of the reigning post war complacency and amnesia.After that she would not allow the book to be published again She had been abused by a whole new bunch of people So it had to wait another 50 years, until her death, and a new translation, and then, only then, could people take the harsh truth she was recording.We, her present readers, have to deal with the fact that Marta Hillers worked for the Nazis throughout the war but, as Wiki says, kindly I suppose, she was probably not a member of the Nazi Party In Samuel Richardson s Pamela, in Bram Stoker s Dracula, in Liaisons Dangereuses, and a thousand other epistolatory novels, the reader s credulity is strained by the characters continually finding the time in their busy adventures to write a detail crammed account of the exciting events of the day It s one of those literary devices that has always seemed completely unrealistic to me But this book appears to prove it can and has been done just like that During the longeurs between being bombed, scavenging for food and being attacked by Russian soldiers, Marta Hiller writes with pinpoint immediacy and with remarkable fluency A TRUTH ABOUT WAR INSTEAD OF THE USUAL EVASIONS AND EUPHEMISMSHere is the truth soldiers, all of them, from commanders down to the lowly infantry, who conquer enemy territory regard the rape of women as their right They don t even stop to consider the concept of rape It s not rape to the soldiers, it s payback, for what the enemy did to their sisters, daughters and wives, maybe, but also, mostly, it s just because they want to There is no such thing as military discipline in the chaos of an advancing front line In most cases there is a deliberate policy of allowing wholesale rape, for various reasons let the men blow off some steam, relax, take a little pleasure and let the enemy feel our wrath You heard about the sack of Rome, the fall of Troy, the collapse of the Third Reich, all these big yet soothingly distant words sack, fall, collapse But this diary gives you the hour by hour of what actually happens when an invading army fights through your city street by street, and engulfs your own street Then what happens to the civilians If you re female, you are expecting to be raped Maybe you can stash your daughter in some hideyhole Maybe you can dress as a man Maybe you can use make up to make yourself look olderThat s ironic, right The older ones over 50, say can be glad for their faded looks All other females expect their turn will come It usually doesn t come by rough seizing, what happens is that a couple of soldiers just turn up at your door, push it open, and invite you to sit down for a couple of friendly drinks They re smiling, they re happy souls, look, they have brought vodka, there s no reason to become alarmed Or, one will turn up unannounced around ten at night, looking for a place to sleep It s your bed he has in mind, not the sofa.What Marta does, and what we imagine other resourceful women doing, or trying to do, is, after the first onslaught by drunken squaddies, find herself a protector, an officer type, who she will allow to rape her regularly on the understanding that he will keep others away This works until the hurly burly of the war drags her first Russian officer away she has to get a new one pronto, or the squaddies will be back And so it goes Outside , the war is still on And we have a new morning and evening prayer For all of this we thank the Fuhrer A line we know from the years before the war, when it was printed in praise and thanksgiving on thousands of posters, proclaimed in speeches Today the exact same words have precisely the opposite meaning, full of scorn and derision I believe that s what s called a dialectic conversion.When civil society was restored, this treatment of women as sex slaves faded away when the German men came back to Berlin and elsewhere, and patched together their domestic life, they didn t want to hear a single word about what had happened in their absence The whole subject of rape was buried by mutual consent Just, in fact, like the crime of child abuse neither the victim nor the perp ever wants to talk about it I can t recommend this book, it s beautifully written, but it s just so grim Men will be depressed to get so strongly the sense that the soldiers were thinking of course we will have sex with these women What, are you crazy You would too if you were here This is our reward for our heroic fighting Anyway, it s just a bit of fun why all this squawkingand women will be reminded why their mothers told them never to live in a war zone, in case they had forgotten that useful advice When we speak of war fatalities, of those who have fallen, of those who have offered themselves up as sacrifices for the purpose of but to what purpose We think of fallen soldiers on the battlefield, yet far behind those front lines that so often are saluted in honor with parades and holidays are the women Throughout the history of humankind, women of all ages have been treated as the prize of the conquerer To the winner go the spoils, and the spoils are women A Woman in Berlin is a When we speak of war fatalities, of those who have fallen, of those who have offered themselves up as sacrifices for the purpose of but to what purpose We think of fallen soldiers on the battlefield, yet far behind those front lines that so often are saluted in honor with parades and holidays are the women Throughout the history of humankind, women of all ages have been treated as the prize of the conquerer To the winner go the spoils, and the spoils are women A Woman in Berlin is a journal kept over a two month period of time in 1945, when Berlin was overtaken by the Russian Soviet Army The author, dubbed simply Anonymous, is rud to be a German woman named Marta, well educated, perhaps a journalist who has seen much of the world but not in this way For eight weeks she chronicles the battle of the woman in war Over 100,000 women are raped over this 8 week period in Berlin Not once, but over and over again The diarist writes of this time in a way that perhaps only a journalist could, keeping emotions in check, remaining clear eyed, intelligence evident, apparently using her writing as a tool of survival If the horrors of war are indescribable, the horrors of what women have had to endure as the human spoils of wars over time has had little examination, little if any punishment arguably this behavior has even been encouraged , and even less understanding This book is important reading to anyone wishing to understand war Any war Who will pin purple hearts on these women for their suffering and degradation Who can measure the wounds that never heal and their lifelong consequences to invidividuals and to societies These are the unsung heroes who are forced to submit, yet so often rise up first to rebuild what war has torn apart homes, families, lives The first time this diary was published, it was not received as the heroic work of a survivor The diarist was ostracized, because so often people turn away from and deny what hurts most, what reminds us of the depravity in mankind She gave instruction to not publish these pages again until after her death, which arrived in 2001 But this is a timeless book, because women are being used and abused as the spoils of wars today Witness Bosnia and Kosovo, Darfur, Iraq, and the list goes on to include every battle in which man has raised a weapon, himself becoming a weapon of destruction Essential reading Two days after finishing, I still can t stop thinking about the haunting beauty of this rare journal, deeply saddened at the events described and equally saddened she didn t writeThis is the kind of book that sucks all the oxygen out of the air, that needs space once it is finished The idea of starting something new is out of the question, almost sacrilege One wants a moment of silence, to reach through time and hug the writer, which cannot be done.The prose is understated and often bri Two days after finishing, I still can t stop thinking about the haunting beauty of this rare journal, deeply saddened at the events described and equally saddened she didn t writeThis is the kind of book that sucks all the oxygen out of the air, that needs space once it is finished The idea of starting something new is out of the question, almost sacrilege One wants a moment of silence, to reach through time and hug the writer, which cannot be done.The prose is understated and often brilliant Our fate is rolling in from the east Her skills of observation superb I ve never seen read a victim of war describe so much personal pain with so little animosity or bitterness toward the events and perpetrators If I could only read five books on WWII, this would be one of those five It is, perhaps, the best example of what happens in a conquered city rape, murder, pillage The account is first person No axe to grind This version, by the author s wish, was not republished until after her death, just a few years ago You can find her name if you google the story, but it is apparent she wanted neither fame nor money from her account If I could give a book a rating higher than five stars, I would honor A Woman in Berlin such Introduction, by Antony BeevorTranslator s Note A Woman in Berlin Diary 20 April 1945 to 22 June 1945 Afterword, by the German Editor Hans Magnus Enzensberger Poor words, you do not suffice,this is what she wrote in her diary The truth lay in the mass of closely observed detail, says this book s editorThe anonymous diarist possessed an eye so consistent and authentic that even the most imaginative forger would never have been able to reproduce her vision of eventsIndeed, you sense the authenticity in these words even if the book really was authenticated Being alongside the author during her private moments of journaling creates spacePoor words, you do not suffice,this is what she wrote in her diary The truth lay in the mass of closely observed detail, says this book s editorThe anonymous diarist possessed an eye so consistent and authentic that even the most imaginative forger would never have been able to reproduce her vision of eventsIndeed, you sense the authenticity in these words even if the book really was authenticated Being alongside the author during her private moments of journaling creates spaces of intimacy that are so informative because they are so closely observed by her This is a human experience laid bare, an experience that you read about and find difficult to forget The day breaks gray and pink The cold blows through the empty window sockets, filling our mouths with the taste of smoke Once again the roosters I have this early hour all to myself I wipe everything down, sweep away cigarette butts, bread crumbs, fish bones, rub the brandy rings from the tabletop Then a frugal wash in the tub, with two cups of water This is my happiest time, between five and seven in the morning, while the widow and Herr Pauli are still asleep if happy is the right word It s a relative happiness I do some mending and then soap up my extra shirt We know from experience that no Russians come at this early hourI don t want to have you afraid of reading such heavy stuff written with lyrical grace but these words will slice through the page and come at you It is a necessary read One that the women s issues woman in me had to tackle It is not that there is sensationalized or harsh detailing here, for this is beautiful prose written effectively with introspective reasoning Pity is not grasped for, partly because the author does not even allow herselfthan a couple short moments of self pity It is fact and experience blending harmoniously and when you think about it, it is so nice to know that such art was being produced during war The close of war, I should say, because the timeframe here is during the period of Germany s collapse, when Hitler commits suicide and the Russian army gains control of BerlinIt began with silence, she writes I read this line and try to imagine how the noisome brutality that this thirty four year old German and Russian speaking journalist had to endure, could possibly be accompanied by a silent night and silent morning Outside, a bright blue, cloudless sky Yet I m only left with a few seconds to brood because later, the noise of Russian antiaircraft equipment pierced the German early morning quiet Jeeps, then boots Motorcycles Laughter on once deserted streets And then the cracking of windows as Russian soldiers climbed into homes and businesses, demanding what were their spoils of war Or so they thought Poor words, you do not suffice Women and pubescent girls, used and abused the best estimates saythan 100,000 women But I won t detail these heartrending moments I will tell you this German women were not supposed to talk about the reality of rape and German men preferred not to be seen as impotent onlookers when the Russians claimed their spoils of war No wonder it tookthan five years to find a German publisher for this book that was quickly relegated to obscurity Yet there is so muchwritten here It is about survival and herd instinct It is a memoir set apart from others of that era, one that you read and remember One that you should read, especially since it was practically banned, since the author was chided for even writing about her experience of being subjected to numerous assaults, since she told a friend she didn t want another publisher until after her death Poor words, you do not suffice A stranger s hands expertly pulling apart my jaws Eye to eye Then with great deliberation he drops a gob of gathered spit into my mouth I m numb Not with disgust, only cold My spine is frozen icy, dizzy shivers around the back of my head I feel myself gliding and falling, down, down, through the pillows and the floorboards So that s what it means to sink into the ground Onceeye to eye The stranger s lips open, yellow teeth, one in front half broken off The corners of the mouth lift, tiny wrinkles radiate from the corners of his eyes The man is smiling I love reading about war and this book was perfect. I think everybody should read this book When I began it I warned others that it is about rape in wartime And that is true Any subject in a good author s hands can be worth reading It is the ability of the author to make that subject comprehensible to readers that distinguishes a good author We know now who the anonymous writer of these diaries was Her name is Marta Hillers The German writer Kurt Marek was responsible for the initial publication of the book in 1954, in the United States T I think everybody should read this book When I began it I warned others that it is about rape in wartime And that is true Any subject in a good author s hands can be worth reading It is the ability of the author to make that subject comprehensible to readers that distinguishes a good author We know now who the anonymous writer of these diaries was Her name is Marta Hillers The German writer Kurt Marek was responsible for the initial publication of the book in 1954, in the United States The author was anonymous Only later was it published in Germany Only after her death in 2003 was it revealed who the writer was.The book is based on the author s diary accounts from the 20th of April to the 22nd of June 1945 It gives us a personal account of one woman s experiences when the Red army occupied Berlin Her story lets us understand what she and those around her experienced What they lived through.When I read this book I thought I am being shown a world that I could never, ever imagine It was beyond belief The horror of it Fear Hunger Being alone, completely alone And it is hard to imagine that people can act as they do It is important to read this book We must acknowledge how people can behave Yes, you and I can behave so deplorably too So then you will think, why should I read this Why should I put myself through this We must understand in our gut what has happened A book like this makes us aware both in our head and in our stomach, both with clear thoughts and powerful emotions what another human being has experienced And why is this important It is important since it teaches us to not judge others Before judging another you must put yourself in their shoes This author has let us walk in her shoes And the writing shows us how we human beings behave Yes, this book is about rape, but it is also about survival It is about hunger too The book begins with hunger and ends with hunger How many of us reading this book has any real comprehension of being HUNGRY Can we come to understand what we might do, what choices we might make if we were hungry as she was You will understand her choices when you read this book I will say it outright in an effort to survive this woman realized that she needed to find a Russian that would provide her with food and safety One s chances of not being raped were minimal If you are going to be raped anyway, why not make sure you get food in the bargain By aligning yourself with a Russian of higher rank you could perhaps have him protect you from indiscriminate raping But to understand the world she was living in you must read her words When this book came out it was the women who were accused of bad behavior The author was a survivor I respect this woman She was a journalist She was well educated She had traveled through Europe She knew Russian All of this is evident in her diary writing She used her head and she survived How can you look down on such a person How can you criticize her if you have no idea what she has experienced You can only understand her choices by following her diary writings And the ending When her boyfriend comes back he doesn t understand her actions He too thinks she has degraded herself We do not know if eventually they can bridge this incomprehension of what each has experienced in the war I was so happy before her boyfriend came back She had survived I was so dam proud of her I was crushed by his incomprehension If he had read the book, he would maybe understand what she had gone through If you read the book you will understand what she went through If you read the book you will not judge others too quickly I don t think this book is terribly sad or depressing I am so happy she survived Dam, she is some strong woman, this author, Marta Hillers She has let us see what happened to her I admire her for surviving I am so very glad she shared her experiences with us I thoroughly understand her wish that the book have an anonymous author while she lived.One does not read this book to find out if her boyfriend comes back For this reason I do not think my telling you this is a spoiler Only those of you wanting to understand another human being should bother to read this book You have to want to get into their being You have to want to become them in an effort to understand them and what they lived through There is a little boy at the end of the book who sees an old horse pulling a cart He turns to his mother and says, Mutti, can we eat the horse Earlier in the book another horse was still moving when he was cut into by hungry Berliners Have you ever been that hungry Do you have any idea how their world was Do you want to understand their world Read the book Be very careful before you judge another human being s behavior I must add this Although the subject matter is not light, the way the author expresses herself will make you smile She calls herself the automatic walking machine , as she trudges to work This author can write I wish I could copy parts of the book to show you, but I cannot use both Vocatex and Zoomtex at the same time I need Vocatex to read the book and Zoomtex to write my review When I am writing the review, I cannot read the book so no quotes This is so annoying to me Poor words, you do not suffice.Indeed, words are not enough to convey that horror We, lucky ones, born after the war, living in the time of peace, have to summon all our imagination, all human compassion and empathy to be able to catch though a glimpse of that suffering and humiliation that people then experiencedA woman in Berlin, written by anonymous German woman, spans two months of 1945, from April until the 20 of the June and is a chronicle from besieged and defeated city And becausePoor words, you do not suffice.Indeed, words are not enough to convey that horror We, lucky ones, born after the war, living in the time of peace, have to summon all our imagination, all human compassion and empathy to be able to catch though a glimpse of that suffering and humiliation that people then experiencedA woman in Berlin, written by anonymous German woman, spans two months of 1945, from April until the 20 of the June and is a chronicle from besieged and defeated city And because author stays unnamed throughout whole story it gives us a wider perspective and allows to raise above this particular period and extend our view This woman, being herself, can be obscure daughter of Hecuba , unhappy sister of Cassandra, distant relative of every woman raped and mutilated through and by the war Novel, in a form of a journal, is very well written You feel that author is well educated and had some writing experience, her thoughts are clearly expressed and balanced From some snippets you know she knew French and a bit of Russian, that travelled a lot before the war, oh irony to Russia too She is sensitive and compassionate but her report is nothing but dry facts You don t find here any self pity, she doesn t make too much fuss about conditions she and her compatriots had to endure Only unemotional report about daily food rations, never ending ventures for water, plundering and hunting for some food, air raids and burning city.People, hiding in the basements like some parody of cave dwellers, form close community, after all what better brings people together than mutual misery but it is rather fragile bond, it can easily be broken The real community is created by women Because they took on themselves that first the wildest attack of Russian victors While men were hiding, protected by their wives and lovers, women had to face repeated rapes and constant violence It s a grim reading though there are truly heartening moments and some humorous accents as well seeing some men in naval uniforms our guide to this ghost city states onlyApparently they ve taken Berlin by sea as well We certainly have enough lakes aroundI was trying to imagine her life after war Did she accept her horrible past, did she find love and peace of mind Where did she live In Germany I could dig a bit for her but decided not to do that Not everything is for sale and I respect her silence after that diary She gave a testimony already The book is a journal that covers first eight weeks of Soviet occupation of Berlin at the end of WW2 This is one of the better written journals and one of the most honest.The author was a gifted writer who didn t sugar coat the subjects of war time rape when women became nothingthan the spoils of war The victors were entitled, plain and simple, and no orders, or threats, or pleas could stop the daily assault of Red Army on the female civilians.The German women knew it was coming They we The book is a journal that covers first eight weeks of Soviet occupation of Berlin at the end of WW2 This is one of the better written journals and one of the most honest.The author was a gifted writer who didn t sugar coat the subjects of war time rape when women became nothingthan the spoils of war The victors were entitled, plain and simple, and no orders, or threats, or pleas could stop the daily assault of Red Army on the female civilians.The German women knew it was coming They were saying, better to have a Russki on top than a Yank overhead, meaning the rape was a better option than daily bombings, a better chance to stay alive This by itself is a powerful statement about how wonderful life of the German civilians was under the constant bombardment by the Allies that they were looking forward towards the Soviet occupation.If I could change the generic title of the book, I would rename it Fifty shades of rape There was a difference between a single man rape and a gang rape, between being raped repeatedly by the same soldier or being forced to service a different one every day None of the rapists were the same, and every day taught her something about the Soviets and herself If me repeatedly using the word rape throws you off, you shouldn t read the book I doubt any woman would enjoy the journal However, if you can get through Marta Hillers pain, the book is a remarkable account of courage and survival