Life and Death in Hitler's Capital, 1939-45
A fascinating portrayal of the German experience during the Second World War told through the eyes of the citizens of Berlin.
Berlin was the nerve-centre of Hitler's Germany - the backdrop for the most lavish ceremonies, it was also the venue for Albert Speer's plans to forge a new 'world metropolis' and the scene of the final climactic bid to defeat Nazism. Yet while our understanding of the Holocaust is well developed, we know little about everyday life in Nazi Germany.
In this vivid and important study Roger Moorhouse portrays the German experience of the Second World War, not through an examination of grand politics, but from the viewpoint of the capital's streets and homes.He gives a flavour of life in the capital, raises issues of consent and dissent, morality and authority and, above all, charts the violent humbling of a once-proud metropolis.
Shortlisted for the Hessell-Tiltman History Prize.
“Roger Moorhouse has a deep knowledge of Wartime Germany... Moorhouse has a nice eye for social detail”
Max Hastings, Sunday Times
“As a leading historian of modern Germany, Moorhouse has chronicled a largely unknown story with scholarship, narrative verve and, at times, an awful, harrowing immediacy”
Ian Thompson, Sunday Telegraph
“Moorhouse's evocative social history of Hitler's capital brings all these aromas together, along with the sights, sounds, thoughts and feelings of the ordinary Germans who lived here”
Keith Lowe, Daily Telegraph
“Few books on the war genuinely increase the sum of our collective knowledge of this exhaustively covered period, but this one does... By trawling through the complex, often deeply morally compromised personal stories of many survivors, Moorhouse has produced new insights into the way ordinary Berliners tried to escape the disastrous ill-fortune of living in the belly of the beast”
Andrew Roberts, Financial Times
“Roger Moorhouse's measured, sympathetic book offers a fascinating corrective to that Anglocentric perspective... After reading this thorough and engaging book you'll never be able to watch a war film or even a World Cup football match in quite the same way”
James Delingpole, Daily Mail
“It provides something rare: a popular history account that will satisfy both general readers and professional historians”
“Roger Moorhouse has marshalled an impressive range of primary sources including newspaper reports, official documents, memoirs, diaries and interviews with the dwindling band of survivors to create a gripping panorama of Berlin at war... Moorhouse's meticulous and painstaking research matched by his narrative verve, wide ranging sympathy and eye for telling detail”
CJ Schuler, The Independent
“A finely observed social history of Berliners during the war”
“There is a haunting quality to Roger Moorhouse's Berlin at War, the ominous drumbeat of approaching nemesis for ordinary civilians who, since 1933, had witnessed and participated in the rise of the Nazi cult”
Sinclair McKay, Daily Telegraph, Christmas round up
“The searing experiences of Berliners are brought to life through often deeply morally compromised personal stories”
Financial Times, Christmas round up
“Moorhouse has a deep knowledge of wartime Germany...he has a nice eye for social detail”
“Moorhouse has written an extraordinarily detailed account of ordinary life in Berlin during the Second World War”
“There's a pounding quietness to Moorhouse's description of life in Berlin”
Vera Rule, Guardian
“A well-researched, fluently-written and utterly absorbing account of what life (and, so very often) death was like for ordinary Germans in the capital of Hitler's Reich during the Second World War. The Berliners' capacity for suffering, for sacrifice, for self-delusion, but also astonishingly for love - and even on occasion humour - is superbly evoked by Moorhouse's cornucopia of new information”
Andrew Roberts, author of The Storm of War
“Berlin at War is a well-researched and beautifully composed account, vividly recreating those years of Nazi arrogance, oppression, and corruption, that ended in such terrible destruction and civilian suffering”