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Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945 Paperback – June 12, 1988
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Also, the parties that Missie attends are hosted or attended by some of the most powerful and influential people during the second world war.
Later on though, she is bombed out of house and home... the true reality of living in Germany under the constant destruction, fires, bombing, low flying "enemy" planes, and never being able to go back to how you once lived shines through. She is not a Nazi, she hates the Reich, and gives a great unbiased account of what it was like to live in Berlin during the war. It is a perspective that you've never heard before.
She is friends and co-worker of many of those who attempted to kill Hitler, and supports them. She watches as people she loves and respects are thrown into jail and killed for being associated with those who tried to kill Hitler, and grieves that he wasn't killed.
This is a great book. I've read as many books as I can about the holocaust experience from a Jewish perspective, and though Missie doesn't mention the Jews hardly at all (they shielded the Berliners from what was going on in the death camps) this is still a great book for me. The way the Jew were killed is horrid, and this sounds bad, I don't mean it, but WWII was more than that, believe it or not.Read more ›
Missie, through her experiences in exile valued people on their own intrinsic worth and not based on their nationality and she proved to be a good judge of character. Many of her German friends were involved in the 20th July 1944 plot to kill Hitler and finish the war. Missy herself was lucky to escape the death squads that combed Germany afterwards and her diary chronicles the deaths of many of her close friends. It also clearly portrays the horror of living under the allied air raids against civilians, especially in Berlin, in the closing years against WW2 where luck, rather than good judgement, was a more assured method of survival.
Missie brings home the fact that "total war" is a horror for all involved and that there were 'good guys' and 'bad guys' on both sides of the conflict, but in the end it was the ordinary civilians who paid the greatest price for the folly of their leaders. Possibly one of the areas that is an eye opener is the closing days of the war. An area little touched on in movies or documentaries. We get to see some of the human costs of the disgraceful Yalta agreement that the allies signed with Stalin and the starvation and ruin that prevailed in Europe the years after the war. For a civilian insight into the war on the continent this book is first class along with her sister Titania's autobiography.
She is direct and never gets too intwined in her personal musings (although the curious would want to know more about personal/romantic and other dirt in a private diary).
Her story is intensified by the big events she is involved in.
She begins with Germany's descent into World War. Then, a number of her associates and probably herself (the editor says she is circumspect about this in her diary lest the diary be found)are involved in the aristocratic attempt to assassinate Hitler and overthrow the Nazi government in the fall of 1944. Finally, the Princess, as a Russian aristocrat emirge who spent World War II working for Germany, flees first Berlin and then Austria in fear of the advancing Soviet Army.
While the princess lives modestly on jobs translating and clipping English periodicals for various German foreign policy enterprises, her world is one of the titled wealthy in Germany and Austria. She's continually mixing it up with the descendants of the Royal Houses of Prussia, Russia, Austria and of Germany principalities like Bavaria and Hanover. Her friends are descendants of Bismark and Metternick. Most of her friends are also princesses, counts, countesses, princes, and even lowly barons.
For all the ravages of the War she faces, there is always a great estate or castle to stay in if her home is bombed out.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Still reading and enjoying thoroughly -have recommended it to friends.Published 3 months ago by Marjorie N. Marra
Interesting, but lacks all reflection on the political situation going on, as if she were living in a bubble.There are better books on the subject of life under Nazi regime.Published 3 months ago by Ivy Lazar
Very interesting and informative. Another point of view of WWII, from Berlin and Germany. I admired Vassilchikov in her ability to adjust from a life of privilege to a life of... Read morePublished 3 months ago by M. J. Bair
Very compelling book, in that it is all first hand experiences, often written that day. Unique and personal take on life in Nazi Germany during the war.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Surprised to receive on a Sunday. Book in great shape. Very good. Good book, good service, a great day.Published 10 months ago by Mary
unique insights of royalty and nobility in Europe before and during World War II, unique insights of the destruction of Berlin and Vienna, unique insights of the July 20 plot... Read morePublished 13 months ago by David Hillquist
Most important to realize that this book was written well after world War 2 was over.So the comments and many of the recollections reflect the after war life. Read morePublished 14 months ago by aop