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Alone in Berlin
/ Every Man Dies Alone
Narrated by George Guidall
Written by Hans Fallada

Written in 24 days and first published in German in 1947, Alone in Berlin is without doubt a modern classic. Inspired by the real-life activities of Elsie and Otto Hampel, the heart of the book relates the plight of two, decent, hard working Germans living in Berlin, who, on hearing of the death of their only son on the front line, begin a small scale campaign of anonymous postcards attacking Hitler and the Nazi regime throughout Berlin. The scale of the effort may be small, but the price to be paid for discovery is almost certain death.

But Alone in Berlin is much more than this story of the Otto's postcard campaign and the attempts of the Gestapo to discover his identity. There are a whole host of people to whom we are introduced, and Fallada poignantly portrays their plights in touching detail. This would be a terrific novel in any hands, but when you consider that Fallada remained in Germany throughout the war (unlike so many other writers) you realise how true to life some of these fictional events must have been.

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