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Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada

Alone in Berlin (original 1947; edition 2010)

by Hans Fallada, Michael Hofmann (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,4161533,373 (4.23)368
This never-before-translated masterpiece is based on a true story. It presents a richly detailed portrait of life in Berlin under the Nazis and tells the sweeping saga of one working-class couple who decides to take a stand when their only son is killed at the front.
Title:Alone in Berlin
Authors:Hans Fallada
Other authors:Michael Hofmann (Translator)
Info:Penguin Books (2010), Paperback, 588 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada (1947)

  1. 92
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (meggyweg)
    meggyweg: Ordinary Germans during the Holocaust and World War II.
  2. 60
    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
    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.
  5. 20
    The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell (Torikton)
  6. 20
    Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler (chrisharpe)
  7. 10
    Mendelssohn Is on the Roof by Jiří Weil (meggyweg)
  8. 10
    The Forests of the Night by Jean-Louis Curtis (Stbalbach)
  9. 10
    Allesbehalve een held by Rudolf Lorenzen (gust)
  10. 10
    The Invention of Curried Sausage by Uwe Timm (meggyweg)
  11. 00
    Barlach in Güstrow by Franz Fühmann (bjrie)
  12. 00
    The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (sleepykid00)
    sleepykid00: Another book about civilians going against the Nazi regime during WWII
  13. 00
    Deux dans Berlin by Richard Birkefeld (2810michael)
  14. 00
    History by Elsa Morante (marieke54)
  15. 00
    The 43 Group: Untold Story of Their Fight Against Fascism by Morris Beckman (abclaret)
  16. 00
    Hotel Berlin 1943 by Vicki Baum (1Owlette)
  17. 00
    The Postmistress by Sarah Blake (generalkala)
  18. 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
  19. 01
    Cold Angel: Murder in Berlin--1949 by Horst Bosetzky (charl08)

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» See also 368 mentions

English (128)  Dutch (8)  Italian (4)  Spanish (3)  German (2)  French (2)  Hebrew (2)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (155)
Showing 1-5 of 128 (next | show all)
Reading this masterful novel was both painful and exhausting. This is the story of what it was like to live in Berlin in the early 1940s. Written by someone who lived through it, this novel shows how everyone suffered under the political system of Nazi rule. The concentration camps hover as a warning for gentiles and Jews. The atrocities committed against the Jews of Poland is beginning to be whispered about in dark places at the beginning of this story. The unrelenting fear and threat of violence that people lived with under the Nazi regime is unimaginable. I think it’s perhaps impossible for someone who has grown up in a well-established democracy to truly comprehend such an existence and the toll it takes on one's conscience. --You can read the rest of my review on my blog at https://wildmoobooks.com/2010/10/26/hans-falladas-1947-anti-nazi-classic-every-m... ( )
  Chris.Wolak | Oct 13, 2022 |
There are so many layers to this book. I was a bit disappointed initially because I had expected it to be about the Quangels and how heroic they were. So the sub-plots on the other characters were initially distracting. But they all built up to a convincing and memorable book. The Quangels were so convinced that their postcards would make a difference. And yet, almost all who found them were fearful and handed them to the police at the first instance. The Quangels didn't know. You can almost feel Otto Quangel's disappointment when he found out how badly received their postcards were. But what matters more is not the reception but the response and the principles or conviction it is based on. Little does Otto know that he did have a convert - Inspector Escherich. His death was earth-shattering. The Klugels were not the only ones resisting. Eva Kluge resisted in her own way to retain her self-respect. She left the party and bore the consequences. Rather fairy tale ending for her to find a new family including a son but well, we all need such fairy tales. ( )
  siok | Feb 27, 2022 |
Joel Gardner gave me this book
  marthahurst | Jan 12, 2022 |
This is a phenomenal book - it is able to show the system of oppression in Nazi Germany at a level that makes it clear how much courage it took for anyone to show the smallest of resistance - and how such resistance has ripple effects around them that pulls any and all of their family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances in. It is able to show the pathetic meanness of human beings who exploit others without second thought - and that of those who don't think at all. If you want to know what it feels like to live in a country where neighbors spy on each other, where it is rewarded to report people to the police without evidence, for ridiculous infractions, you should read this book. After all, there is now at least one state in the U.S. where this is going to be perfectly fine to do. ( )
  WiebkeK | Nov 26, 2021 |
Despite the title and the fact that the novel is about Nazi era Berliners and the terrible fates of all who attempt to defy the Party it is surprisingly uplifting and hopeful, even funny. It's written in a style reminiscent of a spy-intrigue novel but there are many more layers of deeper meaning than your typical spy novel. There's a motley cast of characters and each person and their story is extremely well developed. Initially the reader can easily see each character as a good guy or a bad guy, but these lines get very blurred as we realize the power the Nazi Party has over everyone's actions and thoughts. They are all victims in different ways. Ultimately it's a tale of totalitarianism and its effects on every day people. ( )
  technodiabla | Sep 2, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 128 (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 (87 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hans Falladaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Coisson, ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hofmann, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Müller, CorinnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mooij, A.Th.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nykyri, IlonaTranslatorsecondary 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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Wikipedia in English (3)

This never-before-translated masterpiece is based on a true story. It presents a richly detailed portrait of life in Berlin under the Nazis and tells the sweeping saga of one working-class couple who decides to take a stand when their only son is killed at the front.

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