"The author has a fierce, rrncomprolnising voice, and her book slrorild becorne zr An exceptional figure, this woman of Berlin managed to keep her nerve as. Author: Anonymous Title: A Woman in Berlin Diary 20 April to 22 This is an allenveloping book, a lyrical personal journal it leaves a. PDF | A Woman in Berlin is about the lives of the women of Berlin under books and some scraps of paper of life in Berlin under siege. Though.
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A woman in Berlin by Philip Boehm, , Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt edition, in English - 1st American ed. Woman In Berlin: Eight Weeks In The Conquered City: A Diary By Anonymous download ebook PDF. EPUB, book in english language. Get Instant Access to A Woman In Berlin: Eight Weeks In The Conquered City: A Diary By Anonymous download free of book in format.
Now, a German researcher has embarked on a first-of-its-kind study of German rape victims. She vividly remembers seeking shelter from the punishing American and Soviet air and artillery strikes. She was just 18 years old when she huddled, wounded, with dozens of other civilians knee deep in cold water in an abandoned mine in Halle-Bruckdorf in eastern Germany. Schumacher says it wasn't long after the shelling stopped and American forces had moved on that Red Army soldiers began sexually assaulting the town's young women.
The memories come back to you over and over again; you can never forget something like that.
Sometimes after I talk about it, I sleep for a few hours and then wake up crying, screaming. You can never ever forget," she says. Schumacher has forgotten little in the ensuing 65 years — the faces of her attackers, the pain. Many of her friends were also raped repeatedly. But she says they almost never talked about it. In the official narrative of the German Democratic Republic, the Soviets were liberators — not liberators who committed war crimes. As a result, for many women, political fear and shame — mixed with guilt about Nazi atrocities — created a kind of code of silence.
My conscience was heavy enough.
And I didn't want to make it worse. Of course we felt ashamed about what the Nazis had done. But one should never pay back in the same currency, right? Lasting Impact Of Rape Trauma But some Soviet soldiers saw it as time to pay back what the Germans had done to Soviet citizens with destruction, looting and rape. That figure is based on German hospital and abortion clinic records. Many women, like Schumacher, were raped multiple times.
Courts-martial and other records show that there were several hundred documented rapes by U. Phillip Kuwert, a senior physician at the University of Greifswald's department of psychotherapy and psychiatry, estimates that about , children were conceived by native German women raped by Russian soldiers.
So far, Kuwert has interviewed 35 elderly German women who were raped in The study's main goal is not to offer the victims counseling but to document the long-term impact of rape trauma. Kuwert hopes to finally document these women's stories before all the victims die off. Even a late voice is better than no voice," he says. Still, Kuwert chooses his words carefully.
This woman was alone in Berlin at the time and kept a daily record of her and her neighbor's experiences in an attempt to both keep her sanity and record the plight of millions of Germans who expected the wrath and revenge of the oncoming Soviets. With what I called "gallows humor", the anonymous author describes in detail her conditions in a ravaged apartment building and how it's little group of residents struggled to get by amongst falling Soviet shells, death and rubble, with severe conditions such as no food, heat and water.
The author also describes vividly how her fellow apartment dwellers displayed character traits ranging from chivalry and protectionism to cravenness and corruption, depraved first by hunger and then by the Russians.
The reader will in shocking and vivid detail find out about the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city were unequivocally subjected to, i.
To give the author credit, she did maintain throughout this book her resilience, decency, and fierce will to come through Berlin's trial until normalcy and safety returned somewhat. This book was first published 8 years after Germany's surrender , but with public sentiment to put the specter of the war behind the public's view, it quickly disappeared from libraries and bookstores, lingering in obscurity for decades before it slowly reemerged.
After it's reissuance, it became an international phenomenon over half a century after it was written. The book's forward describes the amazing way this diary was written: "The author, a woman in Berlin, took meticulous note of everything that happened to her as well as her neighbors from late April to mid-June a time when Germany was defeated, Hitler committed suicide, and Berlin was occupied by the Red Army.
While we cannot know whether the author kept the diary with eventual publication in mind, it's clear that the "private scribblings" she jotted down in 3 notebooks and a few hastily added slips of paper served primarily to help her maintain a remnant of sanity in a world of havoc and moral breakdown.
Crimes of War 2. With nothing but a pencil stub, writing by candlelight since Berlin had no electricity, she recorded her observations, which were at first severely limited by her confinement in the basement and dearth of information.
In the absence of newspapers, radio, and telephones, rumor was the sole source of news about the outside world. As a semblence of normalicy returned to the city, the author expanded her view, and began reporting on the life of her building, then of her street, then on the forced labor she had to perform and her encounters in other neighborhoods.
Beginning in July, , when a more permanent order was restored, she was able to copy the contents of her three notebooks on a typewriter". Ther result was this book I am reviewing. While it is obvious that the author was an experienced journalist prior to the war her verbiage, syntax and ideation is not of an amateur , she mentions in the diary that before the war she had made several trips abroad as a reporter and had visited the Soviet Union, where she picked up a rudimentary knowledge of speaking Russian.
This might have saved her life in dealing with the various Soviet soldiers she dealt with, was pillaged sexually by, and eventually turned the tables on by manipulating these Russians with "sex for food".
Because of the multiple rapes, it is understood that this author choose to remain anonymous. However, the individual that translated this from German into English, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, wrote this interesting forward to his translation. Enzensberger wrote that the anonymous author: "met Kurt W.
Marek, a journalist and critic who facilitated the publication of the diary. An editor at one of the first newspapers to appear in the new German state, he went to work for "Rowohlt", a major Hamburg publishing house. It was to Marek that the author entrusted her manuscript, agreeing to change the names of people in the book and eliminate certain revealing details. In Marek placed this version of the book with a publisher in the United States, where he had settled.
Thus, "A Woman in Berlin" first appeared in English in an earlier translation and then in 7 other languages. It took more than 5 years for the German original to find a publisher and even then that company, "Helmut Kossodo" was not in Germany but in Switzerland.
But German readers were obviously not ready to face some uncomfortable truths, and the book was met with either hostility or silence. One of the few critics who reviewed it complained about the author's "shameless immorality".
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 the spoils of war. Ivan's War: Life and Death in the Red Army, According to the best estimates, more than , women were raped after the conquest of Berlin. The author's attitude was an aggravating factor:devoid of self-pity, with a clear-eyed view of her compatriot's behavior before and after the Nazi regime's collapse.
Her book flew in the face of the reigning postwar compacency and amnesia. No wonder the diary was quickly relegated to obscurity. By the 's, the political climate had become more receptive, and photocopies of the text, which had long been out of print, began to circulate in Berlin among the radical students of and the burgeoning women's movement.
By , when I started my own publishing venture, I thought it was time to reprint "A Woman in Berlin", but the project turned out to be fraught with difficulty. The author could not be traced, the original publisher had disappeared, and it was not clear who held the copyright. Kurt Marek had died in On a hunch I contacted his widow, Hannelore, who knew the identity of the author.
She also knew that the diarist did not wish to see her book reprinted while she was alive-an understandable reaction given the dismal way it was originally received.
In , Ms. Marek told me that the author had died and her book could now reappear.
By then, Germany and Europe had undergone fundamental changes and all manner of repressed memories were reemerging. It was now possible to publish the diary in it's full, complete form for the first time and restore passages that had previously been excluded, either to avoid touching on delicate matters or to protect the privacy of people still alive". How do we know this diary is legitimate after the publishing of the fraudulent and fictitious "Last Letters from Stalingrad" was found to be fictitious 40 years after it's writing?
And what about the scandal over the "fake Hitler diaries and the "David Irving Trial"? During the fall of Berlin in , Anthony Beever, a preeminent historian, wrote his introduction in this book in regard to the authenticity of this diary.
Beever wrote: "It is perhaps inevitable that in the absence of an author, some have raised doubts over the authenticity of the work, but experts on personal documents from the period have confirmed that the diary's transcript is original and completely genuine. Such questions are to be expected, however, particularly after the scandal over the fake Hitler diaries, and after the great bestseller of the 's "Last Letters From Stalingrad" was found to be fictitious more than forty years following it's initial appearance.
On reading "A Woman in Berlin" for the first time in , I instinctively compared my reactions to those I'd had to the Stalingrad letters, which had quite easily made me uneasy. They were too good to be true.
Yet any suspicions I might have had about "A Woman in Berlin" were soon discarded. The truth lay in the mass of closely observed detail. The anonymous diarist possessed an eye so consistent and authentic that even the most imaginative forger would never have been able to reproduce her visions of events.
Just as importantly, other written and oral accounts that I have accumulated during my own research into the events in Berlin attest to the truth of the world she describes".
I can, by personal experience attest to this. His name was David Weisz.
He had met Soviet troops roaming and plundering from the prostate German citizenry. My father keenly noticed that a Soviet soldier would steal before anything else a wristwatch off a person, dead or alive. He had seen Soviet soldiers with wristwatches, 5 or 6 at a time, on a Russian's arms and ankles.