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Berlin at War

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  526 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Berlin was the city at the very center of World War Two. It was the launching pad for Hitler’s empire, the embodiment of his vision of a “world metropolis.” Berlin was also the place where Hitler’s Reich would ultimately fall. Berlin suffered more air raids than any other German city and endured the full force of a Soviet siege.In Berlin at War, historian Roger Moorhouse u ...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Basic Books (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,725)
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A book rich in subject matter and haunting in its coverage. Mr Moorhouse has written a detailed yet very readable book on Berlin and Berliners from the high days of Hitler's birthday parade in 1939 to its near complete levelling in May 1945.

From the descriptive start of the Prologue Führerwetter (Führer weather) that greeted Berlin and its people on 20th April 1939, Mr Moorhouse provides a thematic approach to his book subtitled "Life and Death in Hitler's Capital, 1939-1945".

Within each chapter
Jan 19, 2011 Steph rated it really liked it
I found this book well researched, informative and interesting to read. It discusses life in Berlin under Nazi rule. The author uses diary entries and interviews to tell the story of a country that is rebuilt and given so much hope by it's Fuhrer but tragically plunges into utter devastation within a few short years. Not only did millions of racial and ethnic groups suffer and perish under Hitler's rule, but millions of German citizens, many driven by Nazi propaganda, perished while fighting a h ...more
Jill Meyer
Aug 15, 2016 Jill Meyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Roger Moorhouse's new history, "Berlin at War" is a terrific view of Germany's capital city during WW2. Moorhouse covers every phase of life for those who lived in the city - whether by choice because they were residents - or by force, because they were foreign laborers brought into Berlin from the occupied countries to help with the war effort. He obviously interviewed many Berliners about their lives during the war, as well as depending on diaries and official documents of the German governmen ...more
Rob Kitchin
May 12, 2012 Rob Kitchin rated it liked it
Roger Moorhouse’s premise for writing Berlin at War was that much has been written about the Nazi Party, leading figures, the German armed forces, various campaigns and theatres of war, and the Holocaust, but little has been written about the lives of ordinary Germans during the war. In Berlin at War he seeks to rectify this by using documentary evidence and war diaries to examine the lives of Berliners, and those living in the city such as diplomats, journalists and forced labourers, during the ...more
David Lowther
Sep 25, 2016 David Lowther rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Berlin at War is an outstandingly comprehensive record of the daily lives of ordinary Berliners during the Second World War. The great events of the war; the campaigns, the Holocaust and so on, serve as backgrounds to the trials, tribulations, threats, tragedies, discomforts and homelessness suffered by the population of the capital of the Third Reich.

Roger Moorhouse has done a huge amount of research and the result is a large number of eye witness statements, extracts from diaries, photographs
Michael Flanagan
Oct 14, 2011 Michael Flanagan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ww-2
This book is a shining example in a sea of books of World War II history. Roger Moorhouse manages to bring wartime Berlin to life in the readers mind. The book is exhaustedly researched and covers a wide range of topics the author bring together both personal accounts and academic research into a Tour de force. From the dreams of the Third Reich to build a capital like no other to the day to day struggle for survival of the normal citizens this book an addictive read.
Jenny T
Jan 03, 2011 Jenny T rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, read-in-2011
This was fascinating! A clearly-written, well-researched look into what the average citizens of Berlin went through during World War 2. I learned some interesting new German concepts and words (muckefuck! hamsterfahrten!) but all new terms were well-explained.

Among the sections I found the most interesting: the rampant crime, yet party atmosphere of blackout conditions; the efforts of the Jewish Underground (whose members were nicknamed U-boats and included Jewish and Christian people from all
Emily Klein
Jun 18, 2011 Emily Klein rated it liked it
I had really mixed feelings about this book. Pieces of it were fascinating and it's a story that hasn't been told. Early parts of it felt somewhat unsubstantiated - I felt like he quoted the same people over and over again and made serious claims based on that. But as the book progressed that changed and the sections on the bombing of Berlin, rationing, and the invasion of the Soviets were very good. He also really seems to feel that the evidence suggests Berliners didn't really support Hitler a ...more
Jul 14, 2011 Nickstarfield rated it really liked it
I have read many books about Berlin, the most of which concentrate mainly on the Battle of Berlin and the aftermath. Here in "Berlin At War" by Roger Moorhouse we get better glimpse of how the Berliners themselves lived during Word War II. From the rise of power of the Nazis, the initial victory parades, the food rationing, the many foreign labourers brought to the capital from occupied countries, the massive air raids, the life in the bunkers until the German city finally endured the full force ...more
Aug 16, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This is an interesting book for those that are interested in more than what Hitler was doing during the war. This book explains how the average Berliner coped during the war.

The book pulls no punches and it is very interesting, as someone who is from Polish stock though I do have very little sympathy for the Germans. But it is clear that the ordinary Berliner did suffer during the war.

It is a good book worth reading if you want to broaden your historical knowledge.
Robert Dodds
Aug 28, 2016 Robert Dodds rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A revealing account of life in wartime Berlin, full of information from first-hand sources about the practicalities of the situation for ordinary citizens, many of whom were far from enthusiastic about Nazism. Living under a black-out; the details of rationing and the black market; the depredations against the Jews; the conditions of slave labourers from other parts of Europe; procedures during air raids, etc. All very interesting - and grim. My only slight reservation was that in dealing with m ...more
Aug 28, 2014 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is another account of Germany at war, but it was so well-written and well-researched that it rises above most of the rest. It is the story of Berlin alone, but doesn't feel narrow in scope in any way. Moorhouse uses diary entries,newspaper accounts and other primary sources so judiciously, and his writing flows so well that this is (almost) an enjoyable read. I learned a lot from him about topics that other writers have covered much less well, and appreciate that he didn't belabor certain a ...more
Jul 17, 2016 Samuel rated it really liked it
Shelves: military-history
Moorhouse does a really good job of tackling a subject I think most people don't think (much less read) too much about. The battles of WWII are often written about, but what about the people (civilian populations) who experience war in a different way. He picks many different aspects of what the people of Berlin had to go through from the beginning to the end of WWII. Some chapters get a little bogged down with information, but for the most part each chapter leads you to wanting to learn more ab ...more
Oct 09, 2015 Loren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gives a different view of what you will see elsewhere-brings home the fear of war, the incredible sacrifices made by Berliners during this time yet somehow they made it through (for the most part). Although the tension filled final days and hours must have been particularly and stressful.

That being said it both confirmed and changed some of my feelings for the Germans from that time. Even though I feel I understand them better I don't think the love of order and stoicism can justify the crimes a
The amount of social history already available on the Second World War is staggering, but this book is an absolutely necessary addition. I've read so much about WWII era London and much of the other popular stories, in my experience, focus on the "good cities" of the war - Londoners huddled in the Underground during the Blitz, Parisians weeping as Hitler strolls down the Champs-Élysées, the resistance of the Warsaw ghetto, and New Yorkers kissing in the street on VJ Day. It's so easy to paint hi ...more
Oct 23, 2010 Converse rated it liked it

Berlin at War recounts the experiences of the denizens of Berlin mainly during the Second World War, with some recounting of events in the 1930s that affected the war time experiences of the city. The author quotes from many memoirs, and interviewed some who were alive at the time. The author covers several topics that were new to me, such as the experiences of Jews who assumed another identity to avoid being caught (and the gentiles most of them needed to help them), the details of the grand

David Bird
Dec 29, 2012 David Bird rated it liked it
Overall, this is a well-done book within the bounds of popular history. The author uses many interviews with Berliners of the period. On the one hand, these often provide vivid details. On the other, none emerges as a strong individual voice. Perhaps I am spoiled from reading A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary but I find that extreme circumstances are more effectively evoked by particularity than by generalization.

The contrast between the city on April 20, 1939, celeb
Jan 13, 2016 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Could almost say this was a follow up to Erik Larson's 'In the Garden of the Beasts' where Larson portrayed life in Berlin from mid 1933 thru mid 1938, albeit through the eyes of a diplomat. Roger Moorhouse then picks up the story, this time thru the eyes of everyday citizens, from April 1939 to the eventual end of WWII in May 1945. Very well researched, easily read, with much information of the people of Berlin brought to light, their joys, sorrows, hunger, disillusionment, everything common pe ...more
Philip Dingle
This is a highly readable account of a pivotal relationship in European history, Highly recommended; I would be very surprised if you were disappointed.
victor harris
Apr 23, 2011 victor harris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-war-two
Well-organized and stays focused on the main topic. Covers how Berliners reacted to the Allied bombing; what life was like in the bomb shelters; and how each successive bombing raid created nagging doubts about the propaganda of the Nazi regime. It also covers topics such as war rationing, the removal of children from the city to "safety" in the countryside, and how foreign workers and Jews were treated during the trials that Berlin experienced.
Moorehouse draws from a wealth of primary source m
Jul 07, 2015 Charles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This book is dry at times. However it is also very informative and enlightening. It shows the war from the civilian and lower ranked soldiers point of view. It also shows the mindset of the Civilian as the war progresses.
May 04, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Examines what life was like for Berliners during World War Two, interesting and very readable.
Jerry Bullard
Jun 11, 2011 Jerry Bullard rated it it was amazing
A really interesting read. What's helpful about this book is that the author takes the reader through various aspects of what ordinary life in war-time Berlin was like in a most logical manner. There's a chapter devoted to food & rationing. One chapter dealt with influence and power of the radio. It explained how Germany used an early form of broadband connection and splitters so people could switch from normal radio programming over to hearing specific and current information about approach ...more
Nicole Sunderlin
A very well written book mentioning that not ALL German's were Nazis, and by the end, they suffered unfathomably as well.
Leighana Thornton
Sep 22, 2014 Leighana Thornton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still slightly obsessed with Berlin...
Melvin Nez
Mar 22, 2016 Melvin Nez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A required text for a history class this semester. After reading the introduction of this text, I was immediately intrigued. Moorhouse presents the accounts of people that had lived and worked in Berlin during the Nazi regime. One would be lead to believe that all of the German people living in Berlin at the time was all in total agreement with Adolf Hitler's leadership and Nazi propaganda, but this book dispels that theory. A great and historical read and at times, difficult to digest, but this ...more
Nov 04, 2014 Yan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Starts quite slowly, but develops into a comprehensive and moving account of life for Berliners during WW2.
Parag Nayak
Aug 18, 2016 Parag Nayak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book with various personal sayings of people living in the berlin war....
M. I.
Jul 17, 2015 M. I. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-ii
An engaging look at life in wartime Berlin. More than anything, one gets the feel for the up and down emotional roller coaster that must have been the daily life of German citizens in the capitol city during the war; especially in the early days when the German military was in its ascendency. Even a lifelong military history buff is likely to learn something new in this text.
Jul 08, 2012 JC rated it really liked it
Great read, it's a thoroughly researched account of how much it would suck to live in a city during a war. I get pissed off if there's three people in line ahead of me in an air conditioned deli, having to run to an air raid shelter after being in line for four hours to get a loaf of bread with sand in it is a whole different level of lame.
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Living the Dream. Historian and author of an international bestseller - "Berlin at War" was #1 in Lithuania :-) - as well as a couple of other books, such as "Killing Hitler" and "The Wolf's Lair"

I would call myself a specialist in Nazi Germany, but I fear that would scare most people off, so I'll just call myself a writer of history books.

My current book (published in the UK in August 2014) is "
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