Books / The Bonfire of Berlin: A Lost Childhood in Wartime Germany

The Bonfire of Berlin: A Lost Childhood in Wartime Germany

Publisher: Random House (uk)
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Book Summary of The Bonfire of Berlin: A Lost Childhood in Wartime Germany

Conveying the misery and horror of life in Berlin during the war, this is a powerful and moving memoir of the author's abandonment by her parents, and her childhood in Berlin from 1941-47. It is a story remarkably reminiscent of Rachel Seiffert's The Dark Room.

"From the Hardcover edition.

Abandoned by her mother who left to pursue a career as a camp guard at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and loathed by her stepmother, Schneider endured the horrors of wartime Berlin cooped up in a cellar, starved, parched, and lonely, amidst the fetid crush of her neighbors. The grinding misery of hunger combined with the terror of air-raids, the absence of fresh water, and the constant threat of death and disease--typhus, influenza, or simply the apparently petty inflammations of bedbug bites--served not to unite the inhabitants of her block but rather to intensify the minor irritations of communal life into flashpoints of rage and violence. Even in the face of Russian victory, the survivors could not look forward to safety but rather to pillage and rape, even in their own cellar, as the victorious troops stampeded through the broken city. It was only gradually that some kind of normality resumed as Schneider's beloved father returned from the front, carrying his own scars of the war. This shocking book evokes the reality of life in a wartime city in all its brutality and deprivation, while still retaining a kernel of hope that as long as life goes on, all is not lost.

Details of Book: The Bonfire of Berlin: A Lost Childhood in Wartime Germany (BSID:11587)

Book The Bonfire of Berlin: A Lost Childhood in Wartime Germany
Author Helga Schneider, Shaun Whiteside
ISBN 0099443732
ISBN-13 9780099443735, 978-0099443735
Binding Paperback
Publisher Random House (uk)
Publishing Date 20060202
Number of Pages 220
Language English
Dimensions 7.74 x 6.59 x 0.56 inches
Weight 154 grams

Reviews of The Bonfire of Berlin: A Lost Childhood in Wartime Germany (0 Reviews) Have you Read this Book Write a Review

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Lorenzo August 02, 2009 review from Goodreads

This book is basically built around one peak moment: the young protagonist meeting Adolf Hitler in the Reich Chancellery bunker during the dark days of the so called Battle of Berlin. One may say I'm underrating the importance of "The Bonfire of Berlin" while writing this, but actually I do think...

Teresa September 14, 2010 review from Goodreads

I think this is the first book I've read about World War II which is told from the perspective of a German Christian and this is the first time I have read anything about the devastation of Berlin and the Russian invasion. Helga Schneider recalls her childhood in Germany from 1941 to 1947, warts...

Maria June 26, 2012 review from Goodreads

Tremendo. L'oppressione della guerra, di una città votata alla distruzione, un'infanzia negata a causa di una tremenda ideologia di morte, la perdita degli affetti, l'eugenetica come forma di controllo psicologico della popolazione, una devastazione morale tale per cui un istituto correzionale di...


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