Berlin Diary

Berlin Diary

The Journal of A Foreign Correspondent, 1934-1941

eBook - 2011
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A radio broadcaster and journalist for Edward R. Murrow at CBS, William Shirer was new to the world of broadcast journalism when he began keeping a diary while in Europe during the 1930s. It was in 1940, still a virtual unknown, that Shirer wondered whether his reminiscences of the collapse of the world around Nazi Germany could be of any interest or value as a book. Shirer's Berlin Diary, which is considered the first full record of what was happening in Germany during the rise of the Third Reich, first appeared in 1941. The book was an instant success. But how did Shirer get such a valuable firsthand account? He had anonymous sources willing to speak with him, provided their identity remained protected and disguised so as to avoid retaliation from the Gestapo. Shirer recorded his and others' eyewitness views to the horror that Hitler was inflicting on his people in his effort to conquer Europe. Shirer continued his job as a foreign correspondent and radio reporter for CBS until Nazi press censors made it virtually impossible for him to do his job with any real accuracy. He left Europe, taking with him the invaluable, unforgettable (and horrific) contents of his Berlin Diary.Berlin Diary brings the reader as close as any reporter has ever been to Hitler and the rise of the Third Reich. Shirer's honest, lucid and passionate reporting of the brutality with which Hitler came to power and the immediate reactions of those who witnessed these events is for all time
Publisher: Made available through hoopla, 2011
[United States] : RosettaBooks : 2011
ISBN: 9780795316982
Branch Call Number: eBook--Adult
Characteristics: data file
1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital


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Aug 27, 2015

The diary format adds immediacy and a "real time" feel to the book. His thumbnail sketches of many of the big players in the Nazi regime are particularly intriguing.
To some degree, this book is a lead-up to Shirer's greatest work, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich", which I'm now thinking I should re-read. In particular, having recently read "The Lords of Finance" I'm curious to discover how Hitler was able to finance the gigantic and rapid re-armament of Germany described in the Diary, given the desperate financial condition of the country during the 1930s. Germany was de facto bankrupt, had no oil, cotton, copper, aluminum, rubber; it's currency was almost worthless; the USA controlled the world's gold supply; world trade was in the doldrums due to the depression in Britain, USA and most of Europe. Shirer makes it clear that Germany created of the world's biggest and most advanced air force and armed and equipped the biggest and best land force in a few short years; nothing short of miraculous. Where did the money come from?? I do not know.

May 29, 2012

This is a great book, very long, but I couldn't put it down. Took several weeks to read, and it's full of amusing and horrifying incidents, facts and insights. There's plenty of gossip about high ranking officials on all sides, too, especially the British traitors (and a couple of American sympathizers including Lindbergh) working with the Nazis. Shirer's descriptions of Hitler and his speeches, the blackouts, and the British night bombing raids make you feel as though you can see and hear them. His departure from Germany in 1940 wasn't easy. I was amazed that a 33 year old guy could write so well.


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