A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City by Philip Boehm

Jan 28, 2010

A Woman In Berlin by Philip BoehmThe story takes place in Berlin in 1945 when an accomplished, well educated and sophisticated journalist and editor found herself trapped in the Russian occupied sector for a period of eight weeks during the end of World War II. She kept a record of the events of her life and also daily events of the people in her apartment. The diary centered around two people in her apartment and the different Russian soldiers she is forced into contact with.With Berlin in ruins and mostly occupied by women and children, conventional morality did not exist. The Russians were in control of food, water and heat. Women were forced to quickly adapt to their nightmare of an overwhelming number of rapes after the defeat of their nation in order to survive. When two women met their conversation soon encompassed how many times each had been raped that week. In order to stop these weekly attacks upon her person, Anonymous sought the protection and allegiance of a high ranking Russian Major and began a liaison. She had a slight advantage over other German women because she had lived in London, Paris and Moscow and could speak some Russian.Because of the controversial and sensitive content of her diary and the surreal experiences the author powerfully portrayed in her book, it was denounced and banned on its publication in Germany in 1959. Although the author died in 2001, she desired to remain anonymous. Her story was made into a motion picture in 2008.

Reviewed by Library Staff