Friday, May 22, 2009

A Woman in Berlin by Anonymous

This personal diary covers a two month period in the life of a young German woman. She writes of her life in Berlin from April to June 1945 when Berliners came to realise what war and defeat was to mean to them as the Russian army arrived in the city. The protagonist is anonymous but we know that she worked in publishing and is intelligent. She speaks some Russian and French which helped her to cope in the horrendous situation Berliners found themselves in after the fall of the Nazis.
A large proportion of the women were subjected to the indignity of rape and the diary reveals how the women and the protagonist in particular coped with the terrifying situation that they found themselves in. They were struggling for survival from day to day from the horrendous violence, cruelty and starvation. It seemed that the Russians subjected them to this treatment in retaliation for their suffering under the Germans earlier in the war.
A tragic true account of an extraordinary brief period during the Second World War which I am glad I read although it is quite distressing.

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