Michael Nutter's Reviews > Every Man Dies Alone

Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada
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's review
Oct 19, 2011

really liked it

This book is possibly the most realistic portrayal available of what life was like for non-Jewish, working class Germans in the Third Reich. (Of course, it was much worse if you were Jewish.) There was absolutely no freedom of speech. Saying something as innocent as, "Hitler was sure stupid for doing that, wasn't he?" could land you in a concentration camp for treason! This realization and similar discoveries kind of blew me away. You could clearly see how in a situation like this the scum of humanity would rise to the top.

Fallada, a well-known author in Germany before the war who refused to join the Nazi party or support the war effort, ended up in a German mental hospital for much of the war's duration. He wrote this in a feverish pace after the war ended and then died just before it was published. If you want to see the history of life inside the Third Reich in a small section of working-class Berlin really come alive, then I strongly recommend this book. It will disgust you--the last half was particularly difficult to read for the inhumanity it brings to light--but you will get a lesson in history you will never forget.

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