BERLIN DIARIES 1940-1945

A diary to read.

MARIE VASSILTCHIKOV was a White Russian emigre whose family or royalty came west during the Russian Revolution (1919). She was in Germany throughout World War Two, and kept a diary half of which was lost.

She knew many Germans involved in the July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler, but she really does not say how much she knew. e.g. she knew how the extra bombs were disposed of.

Throughout the War she worked in a German public relations office, mostly collecting photographs; she visited friends, foreigners like herself, well-healed Germans like the Bismarcks, and Twenty-something persons like herself.

There is no telling how much better this book could be if she had all her diaries from those years. The author has managed to tell about society and culture in a closing circle. As the Germans were losing the War, they restricted all activities more and more: bathing, use of cosmetics, food rationing in effect immediately except for oysters which were not rationed. Marie tells about traveling across Berlin to rescue 200 oysters in a friend’s bombed out building.

This is not the first diary I’ve read about Germany during that War. But this story conveys (and provides an outline) how human beings live through disabilities, whether it is war or those suffered by human beings.

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