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To The Bitter End

To The Bitter End

The second volume of the diaries of Victor Klemperer, a Jew in Dresden who survived the war and whose diaries between 1933 and 1945 have been hailed as one of the most important chronicles of Nazi Germany ever published.

A publishing sensation in Germany (where they have sold over 100,000 copies at £45), the publication of Victor Klemperer’s diaries brings to light one of the most extraordinary documents of the Nazi period. The son of a rabbi, Klemperer was by 1933 a professor of languages in Dresden. Over the next decade he, like other German Jews, lost his job, his house and many of his friends, even his cat, as Jews were not allowed to own pets. He remained loyal to his country, determined not to emigrate, and convinced that each successive Nazi act against the Jews must be the last.

Saved for much of the war from the Holocaust by his marriage to a gentile, he was able to escape in the aftermath of the Allied bombing of Dresden and survived the remaining months of the war in hiding. Throughout, Klemperer kept a diary, for a Jew in Nazi Germany a daring act in itself. Shocking and moving by turns, it is a remarkable and important document, as powerful and astonishing in its way as Anne Frank’s classic.

The second volume of two, this covers the period from the beginnings of the Holocaust to the end of the war, telling the story of Klemperer’s increasing isolation, his near miraculous survival, his awareness of the development of the growing Holocaust as friends and associates disappeared, and his narrow escapes from deportation and the Dresden firebombing in 1945.
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Reviews

The best written, most evocative, most observant record of daily life in the Third Reich
NEW YORK TIMES
It is a fascinating record which deserves to stand beside the diary of Anne Frank as a day-to-day description of the sufferings of the victims of Hitler's evil regime
EVENING STANDARD
Klemperer was a shrewd judge of human nature and unsparing of his own. As a diarist he is in the Pepys class ... He is, quite simply, the German of record
SPECTATOR
These diaries constitute one of the most vital historical and human documents of their age. Packed with vivid observation, profound reflection ... they find hope, dignity and even tart humour in the jaws of hell
INDEPENDENT
Of all the books I have read on the subject, I find it hard to think of one which has taught me more
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
A heroic diarist who has left an invaluable record of the Third Reich
INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
This is a truly monumental work, destined to become a source book for anyone studying the Third Reich
Eva Figes, HAMPSTEAD AND HIGHGATE EXPRESS
The diary's value, apart from the quality of its writing ... lies in its detailed narrative of the humiliations suffered by Jews ... That is the guiding spirit of this remarkable book
TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
He has left an extraordinary historical document which in its own way is an invaluable contribution to an understanding not just of Jewish life under the Nazi regime, but of the whole German wartime experience
SUNDAY TRIBUNE
These are the day-to-day records ... of an unheroic man who showed, in keeping them, inconceivable courage
Penelope Fitzgerald, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
Few English readers will fail to be moved as I was - ultimately to the point of tears
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH