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Battleground Berlin: Diaries, 1945-1948 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-1557781918 ISBN-10: 1557781915 Edition: New edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 261 pages
  • Publisher: Paragon House; New edition edition (August 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557781915
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557781918
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,467,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this sequel to Berlin Underground: 1938-1945, Andreas-Friedrich, a German publisher and resistance worker, recalls daily life in Russian-occupied Berlin. Germany was no sooner rid of one tyrant, she complains, than it became subject to the despotism of its "liberators," among them Soviets intent on avenging the devastation wrought by the Nazis. Some features of the Allied occupation come as a shock: fascists and non-fascists alike survived the harsh winter of '46 on little more than soggy bread, with two hours of electricity a day and no running water. Moreover, according to Andreas-Friedrich, medical reports confirm that half the women in Berlin were raped, many repeatedly, by the occupying forces. In a somewhat elliptical fashion made further confusing by a stilted translation, the author also documents the vastly complicated German political situation (the book would have been well served by an introduction) and the lowering of the Iron Curtain as the Allies fashioned a Cold War wrestling-mat from the rubble of postwar Berlin.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The English translation of these diaries that succeed Berlin Underground: 1938-1945 (LJ 5/15/47) appears at a most appropriate time. The author was part of the German Resistance in Berlin throughout the war, but it is not necessary to have read her earlier book to get a lot from this one. Now that the Berlin Wall has finally come down, it is useful to be reminded of the times and atmosphere that gave rise to it. Andreas-Friedrich paints a gripping picture of the suffering and terrible uncertainty of life in postwar Berlin. She combines the personal and the political in her writing in a fascinating way. She predicted the rise of the Berlin Wall, although even she did not foresee the attendant horrors. Her testimony underscores the futility of maintaining hatred for former enemies. Recommended for academic and public library collections. --Pat Ensor, Indiana State Univ. Lib., Terre Haute
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tim Johnson on April 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Even though I found this book very interesting and finished reading it in a short amount of time, at its completion I found myself disappointed because the book was not the book I thought it was going to be.
This is the kind of statement that I hate others to make-damn the object: book, movie, play, painting etc. because its not what you would like it to be. In this case, however, I feel more than normally justified because the author focuses her writing skills on painting a picture, not so much of her life in a war ravaged city but of how humans regained control over that city.
The difference is important because in her diary entries starting in '46 the author deals almost exclusively with discussions of currency manipulations and political maneuvering-these topics are of extraordinary weight in post war Berlin but I had hoped that she would give me more information about Berlin's physical face.
I wanted to know more about living in a city that was a complete mess-what were the jobs and wages for those jobs and apartments and the resurrection of essential services and a myriad collection of other day to day themes. A reader can't, however, damn a writer for failing to write the book the reader would have liked.
Having said all of this, I believe that Ruth Andreas-Friedrich has written a wonderful book-a book I would recommend to any person with a passing interest in those over-looked pieces of history that are left in the air at the end of a book or a professor's lecture. You read a general history or listen to a lecture series and you're left with questions about the details of what happened, in Berlin's case, when the boombs stopped falling and the Russian troops left. In this case the writer completes much of the picture.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary McGreevey on May 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Andreas-Friedrich, author of this diary-format book about life in the years right after the war, chronicles very well the desperation of most BErliners as the entire infrastructure of the city is collapsing, the Russian occupation and rampaging and raping takes over, the lack of food and water, phone service or transport, making everything almost impossible. One cannot find one's friends and relations, one has to walk everywhere since the Russians steal the bicycles, women and girls are perpetually afraid of rape, since the Russian mob - mainly Uzbekis and Kazakis and other minorities - were the ones sent by Stalin to rape and steal as revenge against the Germans.
Our author is 28, raised in a well-to-do family, well-read and well-educated, employed until shortly before Berlin's collapse at a newspaper. Now she and all her close-knit friends must scramble for food, housing, basic supplies and even water.

Several of these friends, equally professional and educated, stuck together as a group during their years of Resistance against the Nazis, helping Jews and Communists and others who needed to be hidden and fed secretly. They formed networks and delivery methods across the city, sometimes recruited new members, and so on, but always in high anxiety of being caught and killed by their own government; at the least, thrown in a concentration camp. After years of such challenges and tension, tightly bound with each other, and well documented in her first book, she now has to face the dissolution of the group as its purpose is lost.

She sees that each person must reevaluate his or her life, start his or her work again - a very hard job in a ruined city, and try to plan for their individual futures.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gepetto on November 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I lived in Germany when the Wall came down. I lived in Frankfurt for 4 years as an American and businessman. This account told me of events that I had not been aware of and should have been aware of. Ruth quite often enters into a philosophical view of events of the time and these views are so apropos today as we witness a move toward Socialism in the US, continued problems in the Middle East, a resurgence of Communism, endless and fruitless UN "talks", etc. It reminds me of a quote from Harry Truman's biography..."There is nothing new in the world. It is all in the history books." Ruth's writings will make you think about the world. She tells the story from the view of a German....a view we Americans are often devoid of.
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