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Extended Audio Sample Berlin Diaries: 1940–1945, by Marie Vassiltchikov Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (383 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Marie Vassiltchikov Narrator: Alexandra O'Karma Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A princess of White Russian descent, Marie Vassiltchikov was twenty-three years old when she was trapped in Berlin by the outbreak of World War II. In these secret diaries, she chronicles the glamorous rise and shattering fall of the Nazi Party, as seen from the vantage point of her desk at the Foreign Ministry. She also describes how she and her friends became involved in a desperate conspiracy to murder Hitler.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A skillful weaving of history, memoir, and autobiography…full of colorful characters”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “One of the most remarkable documents to come out of the war, and nothing will ever quite match its calm and grace in utterly hideous circumstances.”

    John Kenneth Galbraith

  • “A vivid insider's view of Nazi Germany.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “Neither a set of reflections nor a philippic, but a record…The best eyewitness account we possess of the bombing of Berlin.”

    The New York Times Book Review

  • “A rare opportunity to see the Second World War from an unusual perspective: the view from Berlin and Vienna, not Washington or London. [The author] has a sharp eye and a witty tongue.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “This absorbing personal account of Berlin's Gotterdammerung represents a valuable opportunity to understand World War II from the perspective of Germany's courageous civilian population. Though no less brave than Londoners, Berliners suffered far more.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Emily Klein | 2/10/2014

    " Fascinating recount of life in Berlin and vienna of a White Russian princess from 1940-45. There was much about the bombing of Berlin and the small nazi resistance movement I did not know from traditional wwII accounts. A portrait of resilience as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Ellen | 2/7/2014

    " The best account of WWII I've ever read--going on 20 years now, too. (I first read this as a freshman in college in a European history course.) To me, this book epitomizes the value of primary sources and how they can serve to enliven and personalize history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ted Brewster | 1/27/2014

    " A beautiful Russian princess from Lithuania survives a privileged life in WWII Germany without much complaint. Interesting, but one wonders how she ever went without lunch. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Boyd | 1/24/2014

    " I hadn't heard anything about this book before I bought it, and I picked it up mostly because I thought it might provide an interesting preamble to another striking diary I'd read some time ago, A WOMAN IN BERLIN, set in the city in the immediate aftermath of the Russian invasion. It did that--I learned that Berlin and its residents were pretty much destroyed long before the Russians got there--but I found it fascinating in its own right because it focuses mainly on a section of society, the European aristocracy, that doesn't often appear in chronicles of World War 2 deprivation. It's surreal to witness these people's slow descent into chaos even as they cling to markers of privilege in the classic fiddling-as-Rome-burned manner. It's easy to laugh at them as they swill champagne in bomb shelters, decide whether or not they feel like going in to work that day, and approve of themselves for wangling special treatment through their connections. But it's also hard not to sympathize with them in their bewilderment over what has happened to their rarified lives, or with the many true hardships they had to endure. After all, they'd lost everything, or nearly everything, just like everyone else. "

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