An amazing book that fascinated me even more when I read the history of the author and the real-life characters the novel is based upon. Written in 24 days and published after the author died, based on a husband and wife that tried to resist the Nazi regime from inside Berlin. I found it very difficult to put down.

Your reading activity
Dates 19 February 2013 – 06 March 2013
Time spent reading 10 hours, 45 minutes
Highlights 29
Comments 6
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A good conscience is a soft pillow.

Even if they conquer the whole world, we must refuse to become Nazis.

I am speaking of myself, instead of speaking about you, a bad habit among people who live alone.

Jewish women were forced to change their names to Sara by the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 (also known as the Nuremberg Racial Purity Laws); Jewish men were forced to call themselves Israel.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Why? De-humanisation by making everyone generic so they could be more easily disposed of?

She’s some woman, I thought you knew. Not just hair on her chest, but, my God, hedgehog bristles! She bites and spits like a gorilla—that’s why they call her the Gorilla!

I’ll have your guts for garters!

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

I remember hearing this when I was young! Is this a German phrase too or has it been translated into an equivalent exclamation in English?

Inspector Escherich, a tall, gangling man with a drooping, sandy mustache, in a light gray suit—a man so dry, you could easily take him for a creation of office dust

They need to do as they’re told. The Führer can do their thinking for them.

he was able to show Prall that he was doing something, not just sitting on his hands. That was all his superiors really cared about: something had to be done, even if it was the wrong thing

Yes, Borkhausen felt exceedingly comfortable in that nice express train in the fine second-class compartment in the company of officers and generals and exquisitely perfumed ladies.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Second Class isn't what it used to be.

These Germans were a disgrace! With the greatest war in history being waged to assure them of a happy future, they persisted in their ingratitude.

“Thoughts are free,” they said—but they ought to have known that in this State not even thoughts were free.

He has a tidy mind; he shuts a desk drawer and instantly forgets its contents.

Small, badly paid and badly nourished, bandy-legged, with bad skin and carious teeth, Klebs had about him something of a rat, and he went about his work much in the way a rat roots around in garbage. He was always ready to snag a slice of bread, to cadge a drink or a smoke, and his plaintive, squeaky voice had something of a whistle about it, as though the unhappy creature was just on the point of expiring.

She, who in her first marriage had never been able to trust, she, who had always had to take the lead, she now—trustingly—permitted herself to be led for the last stretch of her life. All was darkness, and she had been full of fear and apprehension, and then the sun had peeped through the clouds once more.

It doesn’t matter if one man fights or ten thousand; if the one man sees he has no option but to fight, then he will fight, whether he has others on his side or not. I had to fight, and given the chance I would do it again.

Laub had overwound the screw, and he was powerless.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Great metaphor.

I’d rather have a proper ham sandwich than all the emotion in the world!

It was a little like reading: something superfluous that only high-up people went in for, people who did no proper work.

We live not for ourselves, but for others. What we make of ourselves we make not for ourselves, but for others…

As it was, we all acted alone, we were caught alone, and every one of us will have to die alone.

Would you rather live for an unjust cause than die for a just one? There is no choice—not for you, nor for me either.

This Third Reich kept springing new surprises on its antagonists; it was vile beyond all vileness.

With half-closed eyes, he leaned back in his judge’s chair, head propped on his hand, giving the appearance of listening, when in reality he was entirely busy with his digestive processes.

On the eve of the trial he hanged himself again, and this time it was his wife who saved his life. As soon as he was able to breathe, she gave him a sound thrashing. She didn’t think much of his new hobby.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

How dark can humour get?

Fuck Hitler! Fuck Göring! Fuck Goebbels, you piece of shit! Fuck Streicher!

Fallada was transferred to another hospital in early January 1947, and died there on February 5, before Every Man Dies Alone could be published.

Fallada wrote the book in 24 days, but did not live to see its publication.

The Hampels were found guilty and sentenced to death, and executed by beheading in Plotenzee Prison in March, 1943.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Seventy years ago this month.