Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada

About the book

Inspired by a true story, Hans Fallada’s Alone in Berlin is the gripping tale of an ordinary man’s determination to defy the tyranny of Nazi rule. This Penguin Classics edition contains an afterword by Geoff Wilkes, as well as facsimiles of the original Gestapo file which inspired the novel. Berlin, 1940, and the city is filled with fear. At the house on 55 Jablonski Strasse, its various occupants try to live under Nazi rule in their different ways: the bullying Hitler loyalists the Persickes, the retired judge Fromm and the unassuming couple Otto and Anna Quangel. Then the Quangels receive the news that their beloved son has been killed fighting in France. Shocked out of their quiet existence, they begin a silent campaign of defiance, and a deadly game of cat and mouse develops between the Quangels and the ambitious Gestapo inspector Escherich. When petty criminals Kluge and Borkhausen also become involved, deception, betrayal and murder ensue, tightening the noose around the Quangels’ necks …

Reviewed by CC Readers:

All very impressed by this compelling account of the fear that pervaded all citizens in Germany. The author, fuelled by anger, describes the cruelty, degradation, cold and horro of life for ordinary people. One of our gorup, a German lady, was 1 when Hitler came to power and spoke of her own terrifying experiences, loss of family members, and narrow escapes from a dreadful fate. The book had brought these memories back to her. It was regarded as one of the best books we had read and also that it steered essential reading for the young generations.

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2 thoughts on “Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada”

  1. Review by Sutton Scotney Reading Group
    The book divided opinion amongst the group as to whether it should receive 7/10 or 9/10 but all were agreed that it vividly conveyed the atmosphere of the time.
    Star rating: ***

  2. Review by Saturday Bookworms
    Not enjoyed but fascinating. Language easy to read. Emotionally difficult to read for a certain age group. Very descriptive. Portrayed life for people during that time by someone who lived through that age.
    Star rating ***

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