Charles Mccain's Reviews > Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945

Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945 by Marie Vassiltchikov
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Sep 27, 2010

it was amazing

In my research for my novel, An Honorable German, this was an indipensible book. The reason: the rich detail Missie recorded about her daily life in Berlin including what it was like to live in the city during the years it was constantly being bombed. This is one of the few contemporaneous diaries from that time. She was a beautiful White Russian Royal Princess, as she reminds us several times, and kept up her active social life amisdst the slow collapse of Berlin. In doing so, she recorded details which can seem girlish and flippant now since she mainly writes about how the war is making her life social life difficult. But the information one gleans is invaluble: hats weren’t rationed, she played ping-pong, a staple of life was macaroni. For all the fascination I have with this diary there is one very unsettling fact: she worked for some months as a secretary to one of the key conspirators in the 20 July 1944 plot to kill Hitler yet is never interrogated by the Gestapo at least she doesn’t write about it. Did she rat someone out? Perhaps we will never know but don’t believe everything she says about herself.
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