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Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada

Every Man Dies Alone (1947)

by Hans Fallada

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,5991313,310 (4.21)306
  1. 81
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (meggyweg)
    meggyweg: Ordinary Germans during the Holocaust and World War II.
  2. 50
    Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: Both are books about individuals under repressive regimes, set during WWII, by authors who lived through the circumstances they write about. Although both works are "fiction", the authority of each writer is plainly stamped on each novel. The subject matter may be grim, and the detail uncompromising, but the characters' humanity shines through to make these uplifting reads.… (more)
  3. 30
    A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary by Marta Hillers (2810michael)
  4. 20
    The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell (Torikton)
  5. 20
    Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler (chrisharpe)
  6. 20
    In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: If you found In the Garden of Beasts moving and want to read fiction about the Third Reich, try Every Man Dies Alone, a haunting novel based on actual events surrounding a couple that attempted to undermine the Nazi regime.
  7. 10
    The Forests of the Night by Jean-Louis Curtis (Stbalbach)
  8. 10
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    Allesbehalve een held by Rudolf Lorenzen (gust)
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    The 43 Group: Untold Story of Their Fight Against Fascism by Morris Beckman (abclaret)
  11. 00
    Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (sleepykid00)
    sleepykid00: Another book about civilians going against the Nazi regime during WWII
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    The Invention of Curried Sausage by Uwe Timm (meggyweg)
  13. 00
    Deux dans Berlin by Richard Birkefeld (2810michael)
  14. 00
    The Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander (jayne_charles)
    jayne_charles: Different countries, different times, but both books tell of ordinary people battling against a powerful regime
  15. 00
    The Postmistress by Sarah Blake (generalkala)
  16. 00
    Hotel Berlin 1943 by Vicki Baum (1Owlette)
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    Cold Angel: Murder in Berlin--1949 by Horst Bosetzky (charl08)

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» See also 306 mentions

English (108)  Dutch (7)  Hebrew (2)  French (2)  German (2)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (2)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (131)
Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
Based upon a true story about simple people who engaged in resistance during the Nazi years, People familiar with the resistance of the White Rose group should appreciate reading about others that tried a similar type of resistance.

Alone in Berlin leaves the reader with a genuine sense for what life in wartime Berlin must have really been like. The existentialism of the last chapters leaves the reader with a feeling of hope despite the hopelessness of the situation.

The book is wonderfully well written with a remarkable set of characters. The Afterword by Geoff Wilkes also deserves praise. He includes excerpts from the Gestapo reports about the actual resistors. ( )
  M_Clark | Aug 15, 2018 |
I struggled with the start of this book - the style of the writing, the criminal and repulsive characters and I didn't want to carry on. However, after a week's break from it I found it picked up a lot particularly when it became just the husband and wife versus the policeman.
It's also a horrifying book as it depicts the fear and paranoia of living under the Nazis and the seeming futility of their small resistance. That it was written by an author who lived through this makes it even more so.
So although I struggled with the style a lot, I'm glad I read this as it feels like an important book about a topic that's rarely mentioned. ( )
  infjsarah | Jul 27, 2018 |
No valid German National Library records retrieved.
  glsottawa | Apr 5, 2018 |
Eigenlijk 4,5 sterren. Prachtig boek over zinloos waardig verzet. Erg donker uiteraard. Oncomfortabel lezen. ( )
  kathelijne | Mar 19, 2018 |
This a compelling, horrifying, fascinating and, at the same time, ultimately uplifting book that takes the reader through several years of Nazi era Berlin. At the center of the story is the small and ultimately futile, but still potentially deadly, resistance carried out by a middle-aged couple, the Quangels, who have been embittered by the death of their son, a soldier, during the invasion of France. But is their gesture really futile? That is the question at the novel's philosophical core. In the meantime, we are shown the inner workings of the Nazi tyranny on a day-to-day level. Honest citizens, street-level grifters, Gestapo inspectors and more all come under Fallada's acute and wry observation, with the grinding effects of the relentless months and years of terror, with the threat of arrest, torture, imprisonment and death lurking behind every neighbor's peephole and every knock on the door. To what extent does compliance equal complicity? This question, too, hums below the surface of the narrative like an electrical current. Fallada himself lived through this time and place, intermittently finding employment and harrassment from the Nazi powers, so his attitude toward his characters is far from doctrinaire. I almost never hand out 5-star ratings, but for this book, I did so. ( )
1 vote rocketjk | Sep 19, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
Every Man Dies Alone is a good book, a readable, suspense-driven novel from an author who a) knew what he was doing when it came to writing commercial fiction, and b) had lived through, and so knew intimately, the period he was writing about. This is an extraordinary combination. I hesitate to use a word like "serendipity," but cruelly enough, that's exactly what it was.
added by MidnightDreamer | editGlobe and mail (Jul 30, 2009)
To read “Every Man Dies Alone,” Fallada’s testament to the darkest years of the 20th century, is to be accompanied by a wise, somber ghost who grips your shoulder and whispers into your ear: “This is how it was. This is what happened.”

» Add other authors (67 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fallada, HansAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coisson, ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hofmann, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mooij, A.Th.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilkes, GeoffAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
The postwoman Eva Kluge slowly climbs the steps of 55 Jablonski Strasse.
He might be right: whether their act was big or small, no one could risk more than his life. Each according to his strength and abilities, but the main thing was, you fought back.
"What did you expect anyway, Quangel? You, an ordinary worker, taking on the Fuhrer, who is backed by the Party, the Wehrmacht, the SS, the SA?...It's ludicrous! You must have known you had no chance! It's a gnat against an elephant. I don't understand it, a sensible man like you!"

"No, and you will never understand it, either. It doesn't matter it one man fights or ten thousand; if the one man sees he has no option but to fight, then he will fight, whether he has others on his side or not. I had to fight, and given the chance I would do it again. Only I would do it very differently."
"Who can say? At least you opposed evil. You weren't corrupted..."

"Yes, and then they kill us, and what good did our resistance do?"

"Well, it will have helped us to feel that we behaved decently till the end... As it was, we all acted alone, we were caught alone, and every one of us will have to die alone. But that doesn't mean that we are alone, Quangel, or that our death will be in vain..." (Dr. Reichhardt, p.434)
Much of the money was siphoned off by the Party, and scholars have noted that it kept the populace short of extra cash and acclimated to the idea of privation.  (Footnote, p. 24)
Even the worst Party member was worth more to them than the best ordinary citizen.  Once in the Party, it appeared you could do what you liked, and never be called for it.  They termed that rewarding loyalty with loyalty. (p. 24)
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Disambiguation notice
Published as Alone in Berlin (UK - 2009), Every Man Dies Alone (US - 2009), and Jeder stirbt für sich allein (DE - 1947)
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"Berlin, 1940, and the city is filled with fear. At the house on 55 Jablonski Strasse, its various occupants try to live under Nazi rule in their different ways: the bullying Hitler loyalists the Persickes, the retired judge Fromm and the unassuming couple Otto and Anna Quangel. Then the Quangels receive the news that their beloved son has been killed fighting in France. Shocked out of their quiet existence, they begin a silent campaign of defiance, and a deadly game of cat and mouse develops between the Quangels and the ambitious Gestapo inspector Escherich. When petty criminals Kluge and Borkhausen also become involved, deception, betrayal and murder ensue, tightening the noose around the Quangels' necks ..."--Publisher's description.… (more)

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