Bowdoin Reads

Jean-Paul Honegger '15 is reading...

Alone in Berlin
by Hans Fallada

I have just finished Hans Fallada's novel Alone in Berlin (also called Every Man Dies Alone), a book which I came across by chance at a flea market in the city. For once, judging a book by its cover (and the blurb) was the right decision! First published in 1947 and set in Berlin during the Second World War, the book depicts the lives of people living at 55 Jablonskistrasse, where the oppressed and oppressors coexist. Fallada focuses in particular on the Quangels (based on the real-world examples of Otto and Elise Hampel) whose only son is killed at the front. As a result, they launch a campaign of civil disobedience, spreading messages decrying the war and the régime, knowing that if they are found out, it will cost them their lives. Described by Primo Levi as "the greatest book ever written about German resistance to the Nazis", Alone in Berlin is an inspiring story of two people fighting for what's right, in spite of the overwhelming odds set against them.

2 comments | Find in library

Submitted by sbroccol on Fri, 09/28/2012 - 9:56pm.
If Primo Levi approves I'm inclined to give this book a try. His own book 'If this is a man' is about his experiences in a concentration camp- it's very good!
Submitted by gstowe on Sun, 09/30/2012 - 10:47am.
The review of this book got my attention - which is good! and I decided to borrow it from the library. I am in the middle of reading it now, and it is excellent. I thank Jean-Paul for bringing it to our attention. Also, here's to flea markets across the world.