I have been reading a book by an anonymous woman, called A Woman in Berlin. It’s a diary of the period between late April and mid-June 1945. It describes the fall of Berlin and its takeover by the Red Army. Society is in collapse, and the book is amazingly frank, thoughtful, and unsentimental. Much of it details the simple tasks of staying alive, managing not to be raped by too many of the soldiers, finding food and relative safety.
Here are a few snippets:
“These days I keep noticing how my feelings toward [German] men–and the feelings of all the other women–are changing. We feel sorry for them: they seem so miserable and powerless… The Nazi world–ruled by men, glorifying the strong man–is beginning to crumble and with it the myth of ‘Man.’… Among the many defeats at the end of this war is the defeat of the male sex.” Continue reading “The Exemplary Sentence”