Switching from nazi dictatorship to soviet dictatorship

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Switching from nazi dictatorship to soviet dictatorship

Post by Johnnyguiliani » 19 Feb 2020 14:02

Hello. Apologies if this is in the wrong section but it seemed the most suitable. Having recently come back from a trip to Berlin I wondered if anyone knew of any books about Germans who, having lived under Nazi dictatorship then found themselves living in one in east Germany? I’m looking for something that perhaps compares them or gives a personal account rather than a book on the stasi for example. I’ve searched but not been able to find what I’m after.

Any help much appreciated!

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Re: Switching from nazi dictatorship to soviet dictatorship

Post by Sejanus » 20 Feb 2020 02:15

Victor Klemperer (1881-1960) was a Jew that lived under both the Nazi and Communist dictatorships (and other governments such as the Weimar Republic and its predecessor the German Empire) in Germany. Klemperer's secret diaries were maintained as events were ongoing and were later the basis for three books: I Will Bear Witness, Volume 1: A Diary of the Nazi Years 1933-1941; I Will Bear Witness, Volume 2: A Diary of the Nazi Years 1942-1945; and The Lesser Evil: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer 1945-1959 (covers Klemperer's time in Communist East Germany).

The first two volumes have also been published together in a single book titled The Klemperer Diaries (Vol 1 & 2). And Volume 2 has also been titled To The Bitter End, perhaps as a reflection of the most trying of times not only for the Third Reich but also for those Jews attempting to survive it as the Holocaust reached its zenith. All three volumes have proven popular and are well regarded.

These works are all on my list of future reads. So I have not read them yet but my understanding is that they are excellent. While Klemperer reportedly converted from Judaism to Protestantism (on several occasions), the Nazis still defined Klemperer as a Jew given his Jewish biological heritage and treated him as such. All that saved Klemperer from deportation to a camp (and worse) was his marriage to an "Aryan" woman that exempted him from that measure, but not the others such as the prohibition from Jews holding civil service positions (Klemperer was a professor), legalized severe discrimination and much, much more.

Hope this is helpful and :welcome:

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