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I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1942-1945
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I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1942-1945

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  627 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Destined to take its place alongside The Diary of Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel's Night as one of the great classics of the Holocaust, I Will Bear Witness is a timeless work of literature, the most eloquent and acute testament to have emerged from Hitler's Germany. Volume Two begins in 1942, the year the Final Solution was formally proposed, and carries us through to the Alli...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published April 3rd 2001 by Modern Library (first published 1995)
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Meaghan
This is the second volume of Klemperer's diaries (you don't need to read them in order, but you ought to). It's January 1942. The war is swirling around him and the deportations have begun in earnest. One by one Klemperer's friends are arrested, deported or commit suicide; he himself expects to be picked up at any time and contemplates ending his life. But he is determined to live, to "bear witness" to the atrocities around him, the many greater and lesser agonies he and other Jews endure. He is...more
Tony
Klemperer, Victor. I WILL BEAR WITNESS. A DIARY OF THE NAZI YEARS. 1942-1945. (1995). ****. This is the second volume of Klemperer’s diary spanning the years of the rise of Nazism to the final days of the conflict in Europe. It is, as is the first part, an almost day-by-day account of the horrors he and his wife – and the rest of the Jewish population of Dresden – went through. As the war progressed, more and more restrictions were placed on the Jews. At one point, he lists thirty-one of the res...more
K.D. Absolutely
Jun 07, 2009 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to K.D. by: Tata J
Shelves: 501, memoirs
It was a challenge to read this diary-book because it is as if you are given privy to a long (500+ pages) personal diary which is unstructured. However, I admire Professor Klemperer for having the courage of keeping the journals despite the threat of being persecuted by the Gestapo just by maintaining it. I mean who is in his right mind put his own life just for the sake of maintaining a diary? Anne Frank was in a hiding and she had nothing to do behind the cabinet by Professor Klemperer was out...more
Ashley
This one was tough to get through at times, but I'm glad I pushed on and finished it. Overall, this was a fascinating first-hand account of being a Jew in Nazi Germany.

Victor Klemperer is a former professor and is Jewish. He's married to Eva, who is Aryan. Being in a "mixed marriage", Klemperer enjoys more freedom than if he were married to a Jewish woman. He was an extensive diarist (there are books documenting the years before and after the years covered in this book), chronicling minute deta...more
Okokok
Victor Klemperer Diaries
Of the many so-called memoires about Jewish life during WW2 this has the advantage of actually being written by a Jew – apparently not all were, there having been quite a few people who sought this way to cash in on others’ misfortunes (as mentioned in Norman Finkelstein’s “Holocaust Industry”). The strange thing is that this particular book was published very, very many decades after the events described. One can only surmise that this was because it didn’t fit into the...more
Jo
In April 1935, Klemperer (1881-1960) was a Protestant professor of French literature at Dresden University and a veteran of WWI. By early May, he was simply a Jew and, like other Jews, forcibly retired. His marriage to an Aryan woman gave him some small protection. By 1945, he was one of only 198 registered Jews left in Dresden. Through it all, Klemperer kept a diary, that was not intended to be published. It is a detailed account of living under the Nazis, indignity piled on indignity, all that...more
Thomas J. Hubschman
I Will Bear Witness, 1933-1941 & 1942-1945
A Diary of the Nazi Years
By Victor Klemperer

Victor Klemperer was a professor of French literature, specializing in the Enlightenment, employed at the Technical University of Dresden at the time the Nazis came to power in 1933. At that point in his career he already had a few scholarly works in print and was planning another, a project on the 18th century he continued researching and writing until circumstances forced him to postpone that work. But he...more
Becky
I've always wondered, what did the "average" German know about the "Final Solution" during WWII. Victor Klemperer, a professor in Dresden before the war, survived and kept a secret diary from 1932 - 1945. He was of Jewish descent, married to an "aryan" - and his story is a deeply compelling one. He is a gentle, thoughtful, often dispassionate chronicler of the Nazi party and its careful campaign of marginalization, mental and physical torture and murder of the Jews. He was a linguist, and paid p...more
Lisa
I can't give this less than five stars, I just can't. Although a little repetitive it is a fantastic memoir of living through WWII as a Jew in Germany. Something entirely unimaginable. Although intended to be written as an observer the raw emotion is clear in most of the daily struggle, struggle to find enough to eat, to keep below the radar of the Gestapo, to stay alive. It's fantastic and I have to get my hands on Vol. 1.
Sunny
Mar 14, 2012 Sunny rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: war
shocking but incedible book. about 500 plus pages and from day one of this incredible diary you get a sense of a long arduous marathon that Victor had to go through, through hell. it descibes his almsot daily turmoil in Dresden between 42 an 45 (this is part 2 - part 1 was also excellent), he was old, had to worry about food, water, the SS, calls to concentration camps, he had to see his friends taken away around him one by one month after month. you get used to him asking when it will be his tu...more
Linse Daugaard
En tysk professor af tysk-jødisk oprindelse, men arisk gift, fortæller om årene 1933 - 41 under nazistyret, og hvilken betydning det fik for ham og familien, og med masser af iagttagelser. Et absolut must read, hvis man interesserer sig for perioden, og/eller den nazistiske styreform i praksis.

Bind 2 dækker årene 1942 - 45.
Christa
Klemperer's diary helps us to understand Nazism. Klemperer dairies give a first hand account of the atrocities faced by Jews during the reign of Hitler over Germany. His prose also chronicles many events giving explanations to why many ‘ordinary’ Germans accepted or denied the actions of the NSDAP. It is definitely proof that many Germans who later claimed not to know about the terrors associated with the Nazi regime actually knew about them by either, participating, resisting or being a bystand...more
Mark Colenutt
This is the second volume of Klemperer's diary and the tension begins to heighten as the reader's benefit of historical hindsight coincides with the approach of 1945 and the inevitable end to the war. However, what will be the fate of the writer and in what ways will the perceptions of those around him begin to change as the realisation that Germany will eventually surrender begins to take root?

This is the added dimension to the diaries, which are the most important addition to the study of Nazi...more
Mimi
Second volume of Dresden languages professor Klemperer's secret diary which he kept from 1933-1945. He was spared deportation because he was married to an Aryan woman, but they were still deprived of their home, job, books, typewriter, radio, newspapers, etc. A fascinating view of the war from ground level and from those kept in the dark about what was happening, except for rumors. Klemperer and his wife amazingly survived the war (and the destruction of Dresden). His second wife compiled and de...more
Mahal79
nice one :)
Pam
I had to read volume 2 find out whether their house in Dresden was still there after the war was over and they finally got home. Otherwise their lives only got more and more restricted, terrifying and depressing as the war drags on. It took real courage for the author to write as it was illegal to do so and he could have faced death if discovered. For that reason alone, we should read his account.
Ann Riley
I was going to take a break after reading volume 1 of this, but I couldn't put the story on pause and had to continue with volume 2.

Klemperer's diaries are some of the best on the Holocaust that I've read. He never went to a camp, as a Jew married to an 'Aryan' wife is what saved him. "I Will Bear Witness", the title, tells the reason behind his diaries.
Victoria Stevens
In the second of the three diaries, Klemperer has passed from German citizen, through targeted Jew, back- almost- to German citizen, as the Allied draw closer to Dresden. The small hopes on which he and his wife survive draw near to extinguishment. His small entries read resoundingly. My favorite of the three diaries.
Elizabeth Garnar
These diaries really do bear witness to the fear of the Jewish population of Dresden during the Nazi era. A first hand account of daily struggles. Klemperer draws the reader in, partly because like all human beings, he has his flaws. We sympathise, are irritated, but are compelled to read on.
Tilmann
It is a very unusual picture of life in the Third Reich. Victor Klemperer was jewih, he survived because he was married to a non-jewish woman. Ironically, at the very end of the war the Dresden Firestorm save his life.
Tom
There are many extraordinary things about the quality of Klemperer's life and story, but to mention one: the detailing of the incremental accretion of one horrific indignity after another.
L
A very sad, true , account of the daily struggles of so many , although many Jews were even worse off- of course some repetition but it a huge struggle to stay alive




Seth
A sobering inside look to the persecution of the Jews in WWII. Klemperer managed to survive the Germans in Berlin, only to continue occupation under the Russians until his death.
Ron
this is a fantastic study of how Nazism crept up on ordinary Germans. Was very sad to come to the end of this and depart from my daily contact with Klemperer.
Mashehu
Sehr interessanter Einblick in das Leben eines privilegierten Verfolgten und dessen Beobachtungen der Veränderungen. Soundtrack: Max Richter - Sarajevo
Kathy Cohen
This book is the definitive Holocaust book for me. Klemperer's diary entries gave me a real understanding of what it was like to live in Nazi Germany as a Jew.
Janet
Jun 19, 2010 Janet added it
Trailmix 2009 List. Great YA Fiction that would appeal to male or female students. Character study- Integrity
Jennifer
Lucidity, detail, and a complete absence of self pity make this the best of the holocaust memoirs.
Meg
If you read the first part, the second is a must so you know how the story ends.
S.
Amazing and occassionally quite tedious. But such is life.
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Victor Klemperer (9 October 1881 – 11 February 1960) worked as a commercial apprentice, a journalist and eventually a Professor of Literature, specialising in the French Enlightenment at the Technische Universität Dresden. His diaries detailing his life under successive German states—the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany and the German Democratic Republic—were published in 1995. His...more
More about Victor Klemperer...
I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1933-1941 The Language of the Third Reich: LTI -- Lingua Tertii Imperii: A Philologist's Notebook The Lesser Evil: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer 1945-1959 Ich will Zeugnis ablegen bis zum Letzten: Tagebücher 1933-1945 Sämtliche Romane und Erzählungen

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“March 18...[1945]
Brief morning reflection arisen from great love. In fact, the main point after all is that for forty years we have so much loved one another and do love one another; in fact, I am not at all sure at all that all this is going to come to an end. For certain, nothingness--en tant que individual consciousness, and there is the true nothingness--is altogether probable, and anything else highly improbable. But have we not continually experienced, since 1914 and even more since 1933 and with ever greater frequency in recent weeks, the most utterly improbable, the most monstrously fantastic things? Has not what was formerly completely unimaginable to us become commonplace and a matter of course? If I have lived through the persecutions in Dresden, if I have lived through February 13 and these weeks as a refugee--why should I not just as well live (or rather: die) to find the two of us somewhere, Eva and I, with angel wings or in some other droll form? It's not only the word "impossible" that has gone out of circulation, "unimaginable" also has no validity anymore.”
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