Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Every Man Dies Alone” as Want to Read:
Every Man Dies Alone
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Every Man Dies Alone

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  14,117 Ratings  ·  1,931 Reviews
This never-before-translated masterpiece—by a heroic best-selling writer who saw his life crumble when he wouldn’t join the Nazi Party—is based on a true story.

It presents a richly detailed portrait of life in Berlin under the Nazis and tells the sweeping saga of one working-class couple who decides to take a stand when their only son is killed at the front. With nothing b
Hardcover, 543 pages
Published March 3rd 2009 by Melville House Publishing (first published 1947)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Every Man Dies Alone, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Piero Mattirolo The source is the same story, however the film does little justice to the merits of this book. Having seen the film and read the book, I find the…moreThe source is the same story, however the film does little justice to the merits of this book. Having seen the film and read the book, I find the former but a superficial rendering of a valuable piece of literature.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Elijah Spector
[Cross-posted on my blog, with some great pictures!]
Well holy fuck that was one of the best books I've ever read.

When I started Every Man Dies Alone, I had two fears: one, that it would be too dark and do too good a job of taking a depressing look at how terrible humans can be, and I wouldn't want to keep reading it; or two, that it would show the main characters' personal rebellion -- a series of postcards with anti-Nazi slogans dropped around Berlin -- as a regime-changing act of genius that
Helen Stavraki
Nov 04, 2016 Helen Stavraki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
«Μητέρα, ο Φύρερ σκότωσε τον γιο μου…»

Βερολίνο 1940. Αρχές του Βπαγκοσμίου πολέμου. Το χιτλερικό καθεστώς στο απώτερο μεγαλείο του. Η ναζιστική αθλιότητα και η τρομοκρατία του Γράιχ παραλύουν και ματώνουν την ανθρωπότητα.

Εστιάζουμε στους Γερμανούς πολίτες την εποχή εκείνη.
Συγκεκριμένα σε μια πολυκατοικία και τους ενοίκους της σε μια λαϊκή γειτονιά του Βερολίνου. Οι ένοικοι αντιπροσωπεύουν όλες τις πολιτικές και κοινωνικές τάσεις.

Ο συνταξιούχος,αδέκαστος δικαστής Φρόμ, με γνώμονα των πράξεων τ
Apr 25, 2012 Tony rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wwii, german, top-10-2012
Loved this.

But first, some context:

Hans Fallada is the pen name of Rudolf Ditzen. At the age of 18, Ditzen and a friend went out in the countryside and, in the manner of duellists, fired guns at each other over some adolescent sexual rutting. The friend missed, but Ditzen's aim was true. Taking his friend's gun, Ditzen shot himself in the chest, but survived. For the first of many times, Ditzen was committed to a sanatorium for the mentally ill. Released, Ditzen turned to alcohol and narcotics.
Jul 01, 2011 Praj rated it really liked it
I should express thanks to Gudrun Burwitz, for if it was not for her ruthless news, I would not have found a brilliant book that stands for every belief which Ms. Burwitz expels from her very survival. Couple weeks ago, a news article describing Burwitz as the new “Nazi grandmother” made me explore further for its validity. Ms. Burwitz who at the ripe age of 81, still strives hard to support and nurture the most modern breed of Nazis ,keeping alive the malicious work and memory of her father Hei ...more
Dec 24, 2009 brian rated it it was ok
after losing their son to the war, berlin residents otta and anna quangel launch a mini-revolt against the reich and fuhrer in the form of postcards around the city which speak subversive messages directly to the people. read in the age of twitter and viral videos, this seems, at once, awfully quaint and particularly profound. there was a time, i gather, when words mattered; when there didn't exist a barrage of partisan wingnuts flooding the zeitgeist with nonsense. but lemme skip the cranky old ...more
Violet wells

"Then he picked up the pen and said softly, but clearly, "The first sentence of our first card will read: Mother! The Führer has murdered my son."....At that instant she grasped that this very first sentence was Otto's absolute and irrevocable declaration of war, and also what that meant: war between, on the one side, the two of them, poor, small, insignificant workers who could be extinguished for just a word or two, and on the other, the Führer, the Party, the whole apparatus in all its power
Feb 27, 2013 Melanie rated it it was amazing
Some books make you work for it. They're not easy, they're difficult, they're sprawling and slow and undecided. Until they're not. Until you feel the gigantic heart beating at its nervous center, its unabashed humanity and intelligence.
It took me 250 pages to fully get into this one, and suddenly it took a turn and I was hooked like never before by its vital urgency. The characters were full-fleshed, fully realized, flawed and magnificent at the same time. The novel rushed towards its inevitabl
Oct 14, 2015 Ellie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Στο επιμετρό του ο Φαλλάντα γράφει:

"Έχω μπροστά μου τον φάκελο μιας υπόθεσης. Πρόκειται για περίπου ενενήντα σελίδες. Τον φάκελο τον έχει ανοίξει η Γκεστάπο στο Βερολίνο, στην οποία ανήκουν και τα περισσότερα κείμενα, ενώ τον επίλογο τον έχει γράψει το Λαϊκό Δικαστήριο, επίσης στο Βερολίνο. Τα αρχεία αφηγούνται τη μοίρα δύο ανθρώπων". Το 1947, δυο χρόνια μετά τη λήξη του ΒΠΠ, γράφει το αυτό το βιβλιο, λιγο πρίν πεθάνει από υπερβολική δόση υπνωτικών.

Η ιστορία που εκτυλίσσεται στο βιβλίο αφορά ένα
This Queen
Jan 08, 2017 This Queen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
- Μήπως είναι, πως να το πω, κάπως λίγο αυτό που θέλεις να κάνεις?
Μπορεί να είχε δίκιο: Λίγο ή πολύ, κανείς δεν μπορεί να ρισκάρει τίποτα περισσότερο από την ίδια του τη ζωή. Κάθε άνθρωπος έχει διαφορετικές ικανότητες και διαφορετικό χαρακτήρα - το σημαντικό είναι να αντιστέκεσαι.

Όλη η ουσία αυτού του βιβλίου βρίσκεται στην παραπάνω φράση. Εξαιρετική αφήγηση και αναβίωση μιας εποχής και της αντίστασης που πρόβαλλαν στο ναζισμό κάποιοι -λίγοι- συνηθισμένοι άνθρωποι. Το "χτίσιμο" των δεύτερων χαρα
Bettie's Books

Re-visit 2015 via R4x:Primo Levi's declaration that Alone in Berlin is "the greatest book ever written about German resistance to the Nazis" is bold and unequivocal. English readers have had to wait 60 years to explore the 1947 novel in which Otto Quangel, a factory foreman (Ron Cook) and his wife Anna (Margot Leicester) believe themselves morally obliged to take on the full might of the Nazis.

When their son is killed "for Fuhrer and Fatherla
Nov 09, 2009 Whitaker rated it really liked it
I read this while I was also reading Robert Fisk's The Great War for Civilisation The Conquest of the Middle East . Bad idea. Very bad idea. Note to self: Reading two depressing books at the same time does not do good things to one's mood.

There has been a surge of interest in the German experience of World War II, particularly the experience of those who tried to resist the war mongering. This novel joins works like The Song Before It Is Sung A Novel , Valkyrie The Plot To Kill Hitler , and
Mar 18, 2013 Matilda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Εξαιρετικό!! Ένα από τα καλύτερα βιβλία που έχω διαβάσει ποτέ!!
Είναι τόσο πλούσιο σε αισθήματα και εικόνες που δεν μπορώ έτσι απλά να το περιγράψω με λέξεις.
Χαίρομαι πραγματικά που διάβασα ένα τέτοιο αριστουργηματικό βιβλίο, που παρά τον πόνο και το θάνατο που περιέχει, σε γεμίζει αισιοδοξία και θάρρος για τη ζωή βλέποντας πως υπήρξαν, υπάρχουν και θα υπάρχουν άνθρωποι όπως ο Ότο και η Άννα Κβάνγκελ.
Jan 24, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After having started 2011 with a couple of disappointing novels this one blew me away. Written in 1947 but set in the middle years of the war it follows a number of different characters ranging from the noble and kind through the naive and tragic to the utterly loathsome making a few stops at the fairly disgusting. All emotions are here and this reader certainly experienced quite a few of them himself.

The hero and heroine,(Fallada speaks of people in their fifties or even late forties as being
If I could have given this six stars, I would have.

Maybe it was because I read it in a day, or maybe because it was based on a true story, I know I will not forget this book for a long time.

Much WW2 literature is written from the view point of the English during the blitz, the French heading up the Resistence or the Nazi's wreaking evil. I think there is only Alone in Berlin and The Book Thief that I have read, which has given an insight into the dire situation that the ordinary Germans lived t
Non conoscevo affatto né l’autore, né il romanzo. Sono stata indotta a prenderlo in mano dopo aver letto le recensioni di Sandra e di Roberto. E ho fatto bene a seguire i loro consigli, perché merita. A malapena riuscivo a posarlo, la sera, per andare a dormire. E sempre con dispiacere. Perché, nonostante lo stile asciutto, scevro da lungaggini, quasi “spartano” direi, ci si immerge poco a poco in un’atmosfera fatta di paura, di costante timore, di angoscia. Una cappa desolante di sfiducia, in c ...more
Esteban del Mal
Nazis: history's equivalent to that team that always gets trounced by the Harlem Globetrotters, the Washington Generals.

Every time you see Nazis in a movie or read of Nazis in book, you know that they're gonna get theirs in the end. It's akin to something like culturally accepted wisdom to dismiss them as caricatures. But they aren't caricatures (Godwin's Law notwithstanding) -- they existed (DO exist), and for a while there it looked like they might even run things. The period of their ascenda
Book Riot Community
This is an absolutely devastating novel about Otto and Anna Quangel, an older working-class German couple during World War II who wrote anti-Nazi messages on postcards and left them around Berlin. The two work on their own, not part of any larger resistance movement, and they have no way of knowing whether their messages are having any effect. It gets off to a slow start, as the Quangels start their work and the authorities begin to take notice and sift through various suspects to find the culpr ...more
May 23, 2011 Hadrian rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 13, 2008 Chrissie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Having read through 185 pages and disliking every minute spent with the book, I am stopping. All of my criticisms remain. Fallada wrote this book in 24 days. It shows. IF SOMEONE WANTS TO READ THIS BOOK - CONTACT ME, MAYBE WE CAN SWAP bOOKS!

P.S. I went back and reread the Kirkus review. I should have read the review more carefully. It is clearly stated that the characters are "archetypal to a fault". I recommend that carefully read Kirkus's review. Here follows a link to that review:
Sep 11, 2009 Meaghan rated it it was amazing
This has got to be the best book I've read in months, at least. Certainly the best novel. I had been waiting for it for months (the library had only one copy and others were ahead of me), and it was worth it. I sat down and read the whole book in a single day.

The premise is excellent -- a perfectly ordinary, working-class German couple carries on their own private campaign of resistance by dropping postcards with anti-Nazi messages. I knew this was going to be a great story. But even more impres
Jan 02, 2013 Roberto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lo scrittore tedesco Rudolf Ditzen, noto come Hans Fallada, tossicodipendente, alcolizzato, finito più volte in galera e in manicomio, scrisse nel 1946 in soli 24 giorni le 700 pagine del romanzo, basandosi sui fascicoli provenienti dalla Gestapo sulla vera storia dei coniugi Otto ed Elise Hampel (Quangel nel libro), lui operaio e lei casalinga, che decisero di opporsi al nazismo semplicemente lasciando per le vie di Berlino cartoline che invitavano i tedeschi a ribellarsi al nazismo.
Un atto che
October 31, 2016: Just learned from my friend, Kerstin, there is now a movie about this book, Alone in Berlin. I am not surprised. This is an amazing book. Dark, DARK, Dark, but so appropriate for this age we are living in ... preparatory, prophetic. Into our culture of death which teaches that nothing really matters comes a book and film which teaches the opposite; even our smallest little protests against this grinding machine COUNT. We count. Each and every one of us, from the very smallest u ...more
Feb 10, 2016 Tasos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Χρονικό της μάταιης (;) αντίστασης ενός ηλικιωμένου ζευγαριού Γερμανών ενάντια στο ναζιστικό καθεστώς το βιβλίο του Fallada είναι αποκαλυπτικό ως προς την απεικόνιση της γερμανικής κοινωνίας στην περίοδο του Β παγκοσμίου πολέμου και δεν χαρακτηρίστηκε τυχαία από τον Primo Levi ως το σημαντικότερο βιβλίο για τη γερμανική αντίσταση στους Ναζί, καθώς τίποτα επικό και υπεράνθρωπο δεν εξιστορείται εδώ, αλλά η αντίσταση είναι ο μόνος φυσικός τρόπος του ανθρώπου να διατηρήσει την αξιοπρέπεια του στη φρ ...more
Mar 14, 2009 Michael rated it it was amazing
Hans Fallada is the pen name of German writer Rudolf Ditzen. Starting his writing career in the 1920s, Fallada continued to write through the fall of the Weimar Republic, the Great Depression, and the rise of the Nazi Party to its rule of Germany. He stayed in Germany after the Nazis took power and managed to survive the war becoming an author of some note in Soviet-occupied Germany after the war.

Every Man Dies Alone looks at one couple's small act of resistance to the Nazis during the war. At t
Jan 21, 2015 Frankie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, germany-poland
Loved it.
Love historical fiction.
Very tense and dark. Great characters although all very unlikeable.
My edition had facts and pictures at the back of the real couple & story this book was based on.
Really interesting.
Qualche giorno fa ho visto alcune scene del film di Francesco Rosi “tre fratelli”, ed una in particolare mi è rimasta addosso, non riesco a togliermela dalla mente. Philippe Noiret interpreta un magistrato che lavora sotto costanti minacce di morte, il quale, tornato al suo paese nelle Murge, al bar della piazza incontra i vecchi compaesani che lo interrogano su come comportarsi in caso si assista a un fatto di reato, se parlare o tacere. Lui risponde, citando l’operaio Guido Rossa, che ha avuto ...more
Sep 26, 2016 Pedro rated it really liked it
Es un libro extraño, diferente. Por las notas que están al final se infiere que el autor lo escribió en pocas semanas y no hizo correcciones al texto. La persona de la editorial que lo leyó le devolvió el manuscrito con algunas críticas que el autor no pudo ver, pues estaba ingresado en un hospital mortalmente enfermo. Falleció al poco tiempo. Corría el año 1947.

Me costó agarrarle el ritmo. Me pareció lento y no quedé completamente atrapado hasta pasar de la mitad. Sentí que algunos de los hecho
Nov 24, 2016 Aleksandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Роман је подељен на четири поглавља. Први као увод се одвија мало спорије, други је мало монотон, тешко држи пажњу, јер није довољно интересантан, али зато су последња два одлична. Треће и четврто поглавље те емотивно везују за два главна јунака, али и за неке споредне. Један брачни пар је дао највише што је могао, једну своју мрвицу у борби против нацизма. Били су решени, храбри, одважни, знали су да је то њихово мало стварно мало, нису преувеличавали. Нису желели да седе скрштених руку, желели ...more
Panos Lettas
Mar 21, 2016 Panos Lettas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Talmente sconvolgente, questo romanzo, nella sua semplicità, che, a fine lettura-ormai tre anni fa, non sono stata abbastanza lucida da formulare un benché minimo commento: avevo bisogno di tempo per assimilare... Eppure lucida era stata la lettura, coinvolgente e intensa; la scrittura è immediata e asciutta; la storia essenziale e pulita. La sua forza sta proprio nel contrasto tra la semplicità, quasi tenera ed ingenua, dei protagonisti e il mondo cinico e crudele che li circonda e li opprime; ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Diary of a Man in Despair
  • Transit
  • Visitation
  • The Oppermanns
  • A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary
  • Defying Hitler
  • The German Lesson
  • The Blindness of the Heart
  • The Train Was on Time
  • Berlin Stories
  • Pavel & I
  • In Times of Fading Light
  • Mephisto
  • Der Nazi & der Friseur
  • I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years 1942-45
  • Memoirs of an Anti-Semite
  • Der Turm: Geschichte aus einem versunkenen Land
  • What I Saw: Reports from Berlin 1920-1933
Hans Fallada, born Rudolf Wilhelm Adolf Ditzen in Greifswald, was one of the most famous German writers of the 20th century. His novel, Little Man, What Now? is generally considered his most famous work and is a classic of German literature. Fallada's pseudonym derives from a combination of characters found in the Grimm fairy tales: The protagonist of Lucky Hans and a horse named Falada in The Goo ...more
More about Hans Fallada...

Share This Book

“As it was, we all acted alone, we were caught alone, and every one of us will have to die alone. But that doesn’t mean that we are alone.” 65 likes
“Not that she's a political animal, she's just an ordinary woman, but as a woman she's of the view that you don't bring children into the world to have them shot.” 64 likes
More quotes…