Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%


Katja Hoyer, born in East Germany, was four years old when, on the eve of the state’s collapse in 1989, her parents took her to the Berlin Television Tower and she gazed spellbound from its rotating visitors’ platform at the protesters and police cars gathering in the square below. In this book, Hoyer sets out to show an East Germany that amounted to more than just the Berlin Wall and the Stasi. That now-vanished, would-be-socialist world is presented critically, but also with empathy and the undertone of affection you may feel for something that mattered to people you love.

... (read more)

Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man by Thomas Mann, translated by Walter D. Morris

September 2021, no. 435

Nobel Laureate, author of The Magic Mountain (1924) and Doctor Faustus (1947), Thomas Mann (1875–1955) needs little introduction. His books have long been available in English. Yet one work, Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man (1918), a series of confessional essays on which he laboured throughout World War I, is rarely praised. Mann (not known for his modesty) pointed to its importance as a historical document: ‘By listening to my own inner voice,’ he says in the prologue, ‘I was able to hear the voice of the times.’

... (read more)

Speechless, Adolf Hitler sat glowering at Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. Since 1933 the führer had gambled repeatedly that France and Britain would capitulate to his latest demands. Now he tried again, reassured by Ribbentrop (no aristocrat, a vain man who had purchased his title) that the feckless Allies would not intervene if ...

... (read more)

Hitler: A Life by Peter Longerich, translated by Jeremy Noakes and Lesley Sharpe

October 2019, no. 415

It’s a disconcerting image. Piercing blue eyes stare out at you from the cover of the book. It renders Adolf Hitler somehow human, which is the intent of the author, Peter Longerich, and which sets this biography apart from the many others that have preceded it. Two other notable biographers, Ian Kershaw and Joachim Fest, refused to engage with Hitler’s personal ...

Everyone knows about the final days of Adolf Hitler – his abject suicide in a clammy Berlin bunker. Many prominent Nazis followed suit, including the master propagandist Joseph Goebbels, who broadcast messages to the public espousing the virtue of death over defeat. His wife, Magdalena, wrote ...

... (read more)

Berlin is built on sand, says Stuart Braun in City of Exiles; it is 'never far away from darkness'. It is a city of tolerance, which exerts a psychic pull for anarchists, artists, and those who become Wahlberliners: 'the people who choose to live in Berlin.'

City of Exiles' own sandy foundations make it difficult to find anything s ...

Alien Roots is a remarkable memoir of pre-war Germany, written in Melbourne by Anne Jacobs (born Annemarie Meyer). Jacobs wrote it in the 1960s, at a time when the Holocaust was rarely mentioned in Australia. Charles Jacobs collated his wife’s memoir for the family, and her children arranged for its publication in late 2006, twenty-four years after her death. The Melbourne-based Makor Jewish Community Library is the publisher.

... (read more)