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The Berlin Diaries 1940-45


The Berlin Diaries 1940-45

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    Available in PDF Format | The Berlin Diaries 1940-45.pdf | English
    Marie Vassiltchikov(Author)
Marie `Missie' Vassiltchikov as a White Russian émigrée caught with her family in Hitler`s Germany at the outbreak of the war. She was a Bright Young Thing, part of the cosmopolitan set who managed to maintain a trance-like normality until as late as 1941 - picnics, house-parties, dinners at the Eden...

Before long, however, Missie became sickened by the brutal and repressive nature of Nazi rule which overshadowed every aspect of her life. Through Adam Von Trott, for whom she worked in the Information Department of the Foreign Ministry, she became involved in the Resistance and the diaries vividly describe her part in the drama of July 1944 and its appalling aftermath.

Living among the ruins of Berlin during Allied bombing raids, she grows us to be strong-minded, committed and courageous woman as she daily displays uncommon bravery in the face of the Gestapo and the detestable Dr Six of the SS. Having survived the Nazis, Missie ends the diaries as she flees from Vienna, where she has been working as a nurse, before the advancing Red Army.

"Quite simply, one of the most extraordinary war diaries ever written. Innocent and knowing at once, it portrays the death of Old Europe through the eyes of a beautiful young aristocrat whose world itself is dying with the events that she describes" (John le Carré)"Written with a vividness, detail, understanding and humanity that rank it beside Pepys on the Great Fire" (Bernard Levin Observer)"A fascinating insight into a circle whose independence of mind could not be crushed by totalitarianism, Soviet or Nazi" (Financial Times)"A remarkable historical document of the first importance" (A.J.P. Taylor)

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Book details

  • PDF | 368 pages
  • Marie Vassiltchikov(Author)
  • Pimlico; New Ed edition (7 Oct. 1999)
  • English
  • 10
  • Society, Politics & Philosophy
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Review Text

  • By mrs f e l dale on 29 March 2017

    Could not put this book down. It really gave me a better insight into the lives of a few German people who lived during the 2nd WW and did not entirely support the regime of the time.

  • By mogie on 8 April 2012

    I have just purchased my second copy of this book, the first having come apart due to frequent reading. I think that these diaries have to be the best insight into life in Berlin,the mood and morale of the inhabitants and the effects of bombing raids. Another unique insight is given into the conspiracy against Hitler as the diarist herself worked in the same offices as some of those involved. She also mixed with the aristocratic world as she was an emigre russian princess, in fact she seemed to be connected to anyone of any pedigree. I cannot yet understand how she professes to be penniless throughout the book but dines at the Adlon throughout her time in Berlin.From being an indulged and privileged young woman, concerned mostly with titles, parties and admirers, she descends into the hell of utter chaos in both Berlin and Vienna. Although I viewed her at the beginning as rather spoilt and snobbish, concerned only with name dropping, by the end of the book she certainly went through hell, foraging for food and clinging to the sides of trains to escape from the carnage. I felt she had probably emerged as a very different and better person. She lost many of her decent German friends after the 20th of July plot, people whom Germany really needed in the post war era. Her diaries give the best account you will ever read of this period.

  • By Knut on 29 August 2012

    This diary is very easy to read. The first entries are very short and not so interesting (I suppose at that time life was still easy and she didn't have much on her mind).I have found this book interesting for a few reasons:- Interesting to see how daily life was in Berlin during the war.- She was hanging out with all the aristocrates. It is interesting to see that for them nationalities were not important...- She was hanging out with a few people involved in the 20 July 1944 coup.- Interesting to see that one could be an officer in the Werhrmart and still hate Hitler. A good example is Heinrich Wittgenstein.- From this book one can see that Hitler was more tolerant of German nationals (who didn't like him) than Stalin was of Soviet dissidents. In other words, a lot of Hitler crimes were turneds against non ethnic germans, whereas a lot of Staline crimes were against Soviet citizens.It is a pitty that an important part of the diary is missing (around 1942).Indeed it would have been great to hear about the atmosphere at this time, when Germany looked likely to win.

  • By Scythian on 31 March 2007

    These are the absorbing wartime diaries of Marie "Missie" Vassiltchikov, a White Russian who worked in a German foreign office in Berlin from 1940-45. Idealistic, vivacious and observant, Missie was a diarist of the first order, and her book is both a detailed portrait of 1940's Berlin and a gripping account of political conspiracy. She wrote her diary in English and is very detailed throughout with occasional humour. Her accounts of the bombing raids are so descriptive you can almost imagine being there yourself, brushing off the dust. Missie was also unwittingly in the centre of the most famous plot which led to the failed assassination of Hitler at the Wolf's Lair. Towards the end of the war she became a nursing Helferin before finally fleeing the advancing Russian army, where the diary ends.The book had me gripped from start to finish, and is clear and easy to read throughout. I cannot recommend it enough.

  • By AB on 22 July 2011

    This book is a must-read for all history buffs and for those interested in the biography of a Russian princess living in Berlin during the war. Many well-known German families leave their mark as resistance fighters and Missy gives a firsthand and rivoting account of her and their involvement in the fight against National Sozialism.

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