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Alene i Berlin by Hans Fallada

Alene i Berlin (original 1947; edition 1947)

by Hans Fallada, Jacob Jonia (Translator)

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2,3701162,646 (4.2)267
Title:Alene i Berlin
Authors:Hans Fallada
Other authors:Jacob Jonia (Translator)
Info:Kbh. : People's Press, 2012.
Collections:Your library, 2012 (inactive)
Tags:Historie, Nazisme, Diktatur, 2. verdenskrig, Modstandskamp, 1940-1949, Berlin, Tyskland, Tysk litteratur, Skrevet 1940-1949, Roman

Work details

Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada (1947)

  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
    Mendelssohn is on the Roof by Jiří Weil (meggyweg)
  9. 10
    Allesbehalve een held by Rudolf Lorenzen (gust)
  10. 00
    The 43 Group: Untold Story of Their Fight Against Fascism by Morris Beckman (abclaret)
  11. 00
    The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (sleepykid00)
    sleepykid00: Another book about civilians going against the Nazi regime during WWII
  12. 00
    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)
  17. 00
    History by Elsa Morante (marieke54)
  18. 01
    Cold Angel: Murder in Berlin--1949 by Horst Bosetzky (charl08)

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» See also 267 mentions

English (97)  Dutch (6)  French (2)  Catalan (2)  German (2)  Hebrew (2)  Spanish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  All (116)
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
Nowadays Hans Fallada’s novel Every Man Dies Alone (1947) , a true story of quiet back-room rebellion of a middle – aged couple against the Nazi regime, seems to be included more often than before in canonical lists of German literature.

It is one of those books that was written not solely for the sake of the story but also as an early attempt to show the World and especially the Germans themselves, that there had been a few decent people left in Nazi – ruled Germany. While the story is closely based on true events ( my edition includes pictures and official documents ), a few details are too good to be anything else than an attempt of propaganda: a fellow prisoner in a Gestapo prison, one of the last decent and kind men left, is a music conductor whistling a whole range of high Art tunes : Beethoven, Bach and other examples of high German culture. This symbolic featureis respected by both his fellow inmates and prison guards.

I belong to those who in trying to understand what happened in Germany between 1933 and 1945, refuses to separate the Germans from the Nazi’s.To me, with a grandfather executed by Wehrmacht soldiers, it was the same people. Nazism was the rule of the Bully and a mass that let the Bully rule.

The book’s main achievement, beside the merit of a well told story, is without doubt the recreation of the atmosphere of oppression and fear that permeates daily life in Berlin during the darker years of Nazi rule. Fallada narrates the story of the little people and I must confess that the description of how the Nazi rule of law works is often chilling and gives the reader a good idea of how daily life is lived in a Police state, be it under the Nazi’s, Stalin’s Russia or nowadays in the Arabic countries under the rule of an extremist Mullah.

Every Man Dies Alone is a book well worth reading. It is a gripping and well structured story . At moments however it feels a bit like the na
rrative is stretched too much or diverting away too far from the main story line, but at the end all the threads come back into a single horrible knot.

With a last page turned, you remain with a few deep questions : What for instance is the physiology of these acts of resistance. Why do people rebel ? How much bravery goes into it and most of all, is it worth doing it against a much stronger opponent?

The fact that the story is still read and praised is an answer by itself. ( )
4 vote Macumbeira | Feb 22, 2017 |
Every Man Dies Alone was written in 24 days after the author had been recently released from a Nazi insane asylum. It is an extraordinary and deeply humane novel that tell the story of a disparate group of factory workers, postal workers and petty criminals in Berlin who struggled to survive and even resist the ever-present threat of informers and their Gestapo masters.

It could be subtitled No Man Isn't Scared Witless of the Gestapo (who hauled in anyone they chose and routinely tortured people to death in the most gruesome fashion).

I thought it was going to be a spy story in the manner of Alan Furst (who blurbs the book in glowing terms and whose work I enjoy very much) but is a more ambitious and even philosophical novel that asks the question: what can you do to resist when faced with an overwhelming evil that threatens you with death or torture for even an insignificant wrong comment or small act of rebellion?

No Man is based on the true story of a couple who lost a family member in the war and who then carried a lonely campaign of resistance against the Nazi's using a simple and surprising method of protest. Their true story and the actual Gestapo files that were kept on the couple are an addendum to the novel (I wish I could read German because they are fascinating to see)

This book was not at all what I expected. I was looking for a spy story, and it is a spy story, but it is so much more. The characters are richly drawn and the details of day-to-day life in Berlin under the Nazi's are authentic and rich.

Fallada is reaching for a bigger story and he never falters in his portrayal of the power of love and moral courage in the face of the mundane and crushing evil.

You will probably like it if you enjoy Alan Furst or Philip Kerr or World War 2 stories, especially Germany under Nazism or stories of resistance and underground movement in a totalitarian state. We all wonder how we would behave. Would we collaborate or find some small courage to resist?

Fallada covers this ground with a sure and sympathetic hand. He lived in Germany throughout the war and the background, details and story of life of life in Berlin during the war ring absolutely authentic and true.

This is a compelling, deeply humane and even inspiring novel that is plotted well and has enough tension, intrigue and “spy stuff” to keep you turning the pages into the night.

This was a 5-star read for me.
( )
1 vote blnq | Dec 27, 2016 |
Fallada writes about living in Berlin in World War 2, from the days when the German Reich looked unstoppable to the end of the war. At the heart is a story about a married couple undertaking a small act of resistance; surrounding this is an evocative portrait of a city full of compromisers, ideologues and dissenters - all existing alongside an inexorable Party machine that sweeps dissent and resistance into the dungeons. An interesting book from someone who experienced those times.
  otterley | Sep 6, 2016 |
Not quite in the great literature class that some have indicated, but a good read, an intriguing fictionalisation of an odd case of resistance against the Nazis. My main pleasure was in finding i could breeze through 650 pages in the original German, which indicates it has a clear style and story-line. The characters don't have much inner life, but are varied and believable, from the dour working man at the heart of the action to the virtuous innocent girl and the horse-betting lowlife who become unwittingly embroiled. Best scene of all is the detective's cat-and-mouse interrogation of the low-life; he uses no violence but violence is everywhere. There are strange non-sequiturs or non-credible at crucial points: the leftist cell-members sitting discussing their decisions in the middle of an all-Nazi event; the police boss disliking his subordinate's tactics so much that he throws him into the dungeons, while seeming unable to actually tell him what to do; the cultured music conductor living a fine life in a Nazi gaol simply because he can pay his way... and more like that. Some of this may be result of Fallada writing the whole thing in 24 days (itself nearly incredible). ( )
1 vote vguy | Aug 30, 2016 |
Me ha gustado mucho leer este libro, porque nunca había pensado en la resistencia que los alemanes opusieron a Hitler! Un poquito largo en la parte final pero bien! ( )
  cloentrelibros | Aug 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 97 (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

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hans Falladaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Coisson, ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hofmann, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mooij, A.Th.Translatorsecondary 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..."
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)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Alone in Berlin (UK - 2009) - Every Man Dies Alone (US - 2009) - 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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