Charlotte Moore finds a morally powerful, exhausting and extraodinary novel in ‘ Alone in Berlin’ by Hans Fallada. Alone in Berlin [Hans Fallada, Michael Hofmann] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Otto, an ordinary German living in a shabby apartment. Inspired by a true story, Hans Fallada’s Alone in Berlin is the gripping tale of an ordinary man’s determination to defy the tyranny of Nazi rule.

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But it’s the double miracle of translation which gives us Fallada’s novel in English as Alone in Berlin. What a fascinating book, considering that the author wrote it in 26 days after release from a Nazi asylum. Jun 18, Nicholas During rated it liked it. Villains were invariably ugly, and flawed: The prison governor is forced to remonstrate: In the face of interrogation, imprisonment, and execution, the Quangels must decide—how far can one person go in a fight that they cannot win?

And, if so, how is this effect felt and where is it manifested? Fallada was so distraught that he picked up Dietrich’s gun and shot himself in the chest, but miraculously survived. These issues manifested themselves in multiple suicide attempts.

Every Man Dies Alone – Wikipedia

Otto speaks freely for the first time when he is in the dock, has pleaded guilty but has to satisfy the judge’s sadism by hearing torrents of abuse before he is sentenced:. Actually, this has got me thinking about how random an evaluation of a book in a personal, rather than critical sense can be: The first postcard read “Mother!

It is around this time that his novels became noticeably political and started to comment on the soc When a novel becomes an international bestseller 62 years after its original publication, there has to be something to it. Eva Kluge, a postwoman, gives up her party membership and cuts off all contact with her son Karlemann when she learns that he has showed around in the local pub a photograph of himself murdering a Jewish child.


The path of least resistance

Alone in Berlin, by Hans Fallada 6 54 Mar 12, Otto and Anna choose to free themselves from acquiescence in the Nazi regime, and later, when both are secretly given phials of cyanide in order to forestall their executioners, jn choose, for different reasons, not to use them.

He also had an ear for the simple speech of the common worker. Otto and Anna themselves enjoy a moral triumph before the People’s Court. In this book, a mild mannered man wrote anti-Nazi postcards and dropped them randomly for others to find.

Yet the book is not overloaded and all these different strings are woven together perfectly.

But what a story! A story well worth telling. Fallada gives instances of small acts, invisible to others, which may appear to be failures but which create a pattern to subvert the patterns created by nazism.

Based very much on fact, the two of them anonymously drop cards boasting anti-government sentiment into official buildings. Otto and Elise Hampel after their arrest. There are so many elements of courage defined in this novel as half of Germany seemed to be watching the other half for activies against the Nazis. Originally Nazi supporters, on the death of their son in France in they began to deposit postcards and some written leaflets in post-boxes and stairwells around their home district, Ber,in.

Often at times like that I will ber,in a book out of irritation or frustration, but something about this kept me pressing onward.

Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada (3 star ratings)

This is fiction, but composed with the certainty, and validity, that only come from fallaa lived through the times. Jolted into life by the loss of their son, they launch a silent campaign of subversion, dropping postcards denouncing Hitler all over the city, like seeds. It left me xlone mixed feelings and thus a medium rating. See 2 questions about Alone in Berlin…. It was factual and gave little of the author’s feelings. The Quangels’ acts of civil disobedience were prompted by the loss of their only son, who has been killed in action.


What is the lesson to our times?

Alone in Berlin is a very fine novel about German resistance to Nazism, a classic study of a paranoid society. The Quangels are a humble, working class couple in Nazi-ruled Berlin.

It was a most enlightening book on what a person s can do even up against the huge Nazi regime.

And if you are trying to make a point about morality and art during such an awful time, you better make it good. In berllin ways the book had shades han where Big Brother was always watching and waiting for a chance to turn someone in to the Gestapo.

Other reviewers are saying that they add a layer of different perspectives, and I’m not sure whether I bugged out too early to appreciate that, or whether the slower speed at which I read German simply made me more impatient than usual with falldaa or self-indulgent seeming material. Yet even when the couple is captured, learn that their postcard campaign accomplished nothing, and they are condemned to death, Falluda captures their dignity.

I look forward to reading this book, to expand my knowledge of the civilian side of WW2.