Week 7, 2012
Book: Berlin at War. Life and death in Hitler’s Capital, 1939-45
Author: Roger Moorhouse
Type of book: History
Theme: The WWII experiences from Berlin residents.
Thesis: The perception and experiences of the WWII from the eyes of Berlin residents.
The book has a series of categories relevant to understand how the Berliners lived across time, before the war until its end. The categories include food (rationing food, clothing, interaction with other immigrants, discipline, fears, propaganda, weather). For me, it is the first book I read which focus mainly on “ordinary” German citizens, instead of the Nazis or the Jewish. The information and research done for writing the book is vast and well documented. If one wants to gain more insight of a specific topic is possible to search for it on other sources.
The author helps the reader to understand and to focus on one specific category per chapter – e.g. food – simultaneously one is connected to the wider historical context. The process allows the reader to immerse in the scenes and descriptions of the book, reflect on them, and at the same time one is not lost in them.
I did not want to stop reading the book, I enjoyed it and at the same time was an eye opener. Earlier, I read the amazon’s reviewers and someone mentioned that there were other similar books before this one, so this book was not adding nothing new. Perhaps the comment of the reviewer is true, and it will be interesting to read the other books. However, as someone that picked the book randomly from a bookshelf at the airport, because the title and topic called my attention, I am very pleased that I bought it and I feel I learned from it.