Based on a true story, this never-before-translated masterpiece was overlooked for years after its author—a bestselling writer before World War II who found himself in a Nazi insane asylum at war’s end—died just before it was published.
In a richly detailed portrait of life in Berlin under the Nazis, it tells the sweeping saga of one working-class couple who decides to take a stand when their only son is killed at the front. With nothing but their grief and each other against the awesome power of the Third Reich, Otto and Anna Quangel launch a simple, clandestine resistance campaign that soon has an enraged Gestapo on their trail, and a world of terrified neighbors and cynical snitches ready to turn them in.
In the end, Every Man Dies Alone is more than an edge-of-your-seat thriller, more than a moving romance, even more than literature of the highest order—it’s a deeply stirring story of two people standing up for what’s right, and for each other.
This edition includes an afterword detailing the gripping history of the book and its author, including excerpts from the Gestapo file on the real-life couple that inspired it.
This disturbing novel, written in 24 days by a German writer who died in 1947, is inspired by the true story of Otto and Elise Hampel, who scattered postcards advocating civil disobedience throughout war-time Nazi-controlled Berlin. Their fictional counterparts, Otto and Anna Quangel, distribute cards during the war bearing antifascist exhortations and daydream that their work is being passed from person to person, stirring rebellion, but, in fact, almost every card is immediately turned over to authorities. Fallada aptly depicts the paralyzing fear that dominated Hitler's Germany, when decisions that previously would have seemed insignificant whether to utter a complaint or mourn one's deceased child publicly can lead to torture and death at the hands of the Gestapo. From the Quangels to a postal worker who quits the Nazi party when she learns that her son committed atrocities and a prison chaplain who smuggles messages to inmates, resistance is measured in subtle but dangerous individual stands. This isn't a novel about bold cells of defiant guerrillas but about a world in which heroism is defined as personal refusal to be corrupted.
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In this superb novel, based on actual events, an ordinary middle-aged couple finally rebel against the Nazis after their son is killed in the army. They know they must be careful in their rebellion. They know they risk death. But honor and decency and love matter more to them than life. Absolutely first-rate, and written immediately after war's end by a man the Nazis did not love.
Extraordinarily narrative account of a darkest age
Hans Fallada novel describe life in Germany during the dark Nazi period. Based in a true case, the historic novel pay homage to those Germans that risking their life defy the brutal nazi regime, denouncing the horrors. With modest means, the two main characters engage in an unthinkable crusade.
Reads like a screenplay with constant tension. A most read for those interested in high quality writing, the Second World War and the best and worst of human nature