I Will Bear Witness 1933-1941 : A Diary of the Nazi Years
by Victor Klemperer
Editor: Random House USA Inc
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Victor Klemperer’s publication secret diaries highlights one of the most extraordinary documents of the Nazi period”In his cool, lucid style and power of observation,” told The New York Times, “he is the best written, most evocative, most attentive record of daily life in the Third Reich”I shall testify is a work of literature as well as a revelation of the day-to-day horror of the Nazi era.In Dresden Jew, a veteran of the First World War, a man of letters and a historian of great sophistication, Klemperer recognized Hitler’s danger as early as 1933His diary, written in the utmost secrecy, provides a living account of daily life in Hitler’s GermanyWhat makes this book so remarkable, apart from its literary distinction, is Klemper’s concern with the thoughts and deeds of ordinary German life: Shepherd the vegetable merchant, who was given Klemper’s house (“anti-Hitlerist, but of course, satisfied with the exchange”), the fishmonger, the baker, the famous dentistAll offer their thoughts and theories on the progress of the war: England’s Will to HoldWho listens to GoebbelsHow long is this gonna go onThis symphony of voices is commissioned by the brilliant, grumbling Klemperer, struggling to complete his work on the eighteenth century, France while documenting the Nazi grip tighteningFirst he loses his job as a teacher, then his car, his telephone, his home, even his typewriter, and is forced to move to one of the Jews in the House (the last step before the camps), put his cat to death (Jews cannot own pets), and suffer countless other humiliationsDespite the danger his diaries would pose in case of discovery, Klemperer considers it his duty to record events”I keep writing,” he said in 1941, after a terrifying run-in with the police”It’s my good willI want to testify,” the witness said, “until the end.”When a neighbor remarks who, in his isolation, Klemperer will not be able to cover the main events of the war, he writes: “It is not the great things th
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