Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-41 by William L. Shirer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A wealth of information from a talented writer. From the Nuremberg rallies to the Nazi invasions of Czechoslovakia and Poland and France to midnight bombings in Berlin to the slowly unfolding story of the murder of the disabled, with brief respites with his wife and daughter (born in the madness in Vienna), Shirer battles censors and shrapnel, dicey flights and rationing, blacked-out streets and bomb craters, all to get the story of Nazi Germany back to the U.S. All of it ends with Shirer onboard a ship, watching Europe fade away: "For a time I stood against the rail watching the lights recede on a Europe in which I had spent all fifteen of my adult years, which had given me all of my experience and what little knowledge I had. It had been a long time, but they had been happy years, personally, and for all people in Europe they had meaning and borne hope until the war came and the Nazi blight and the hatred and the fraud and the political gangsterism and the murder and the massacre and the incredible intolerance and all the suffering and the starving and cold and the thud of a bomb blowing the people in a house to pieces, the thud of all the bombs blasting man's hope and decency." God, it's frightening what the Nazis did, the world they envisioned. Thanks to William Shirer for being brave enough to tell the story.
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Ray Stickle reads a lot and writes daily. For progress reports, updates on any upcoming releases, and the occasional thought or two, check here.