If you’ve taken a Cold War tour with me, you’ll already have heard this recommendation, but it’s worth repeating that Anna Funder’s ‘Stasiland’ is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the complex and recent history of espionage, mistrust and betrayal in this city. Funder, an Australian journalist based in Berlin and Leipzig in the mid-90s, Read more about Book Recommendation: Stasiland[…]
This month’s book is the lengthy but utterly gripping “Travellers in the Third Reich” (2017) by Julia Boyd, a chronicle of experiences of visitors (including Charlie Chaplin and Lloyd George) to Nazi Germany. This marvellous read speaks for itself – I’ll say little more than that those of you who have travelled to Berlin to Read more about Book Recommendation: Travellers in the Third Reich[…]
A break from Nazis and Stasi for this month, to recommend you a book which I devoured in two sittings during my recent trip to Belgrade: John Waller’s ‘A Time to Dance, a Time to Die: The Extraordinary Story of the Dancing Plague of 1518‘. During the stiflingly hot summer of that year in Strasbourg Read more about Book Recommendation: A Time to Dance, a Time to Die[…]
Several of you recommended this title to me in the last few months, so I am especially pleased to suggest our book of the month for June as Philippe Sand’s ‘East West Street’ (2017). A mixture of family memoir with a compelling legal history, the book examines the intertwining destinies of the Jewish lawyers (particularly Hersch Lauterpacht and Read more about Book Recommendation: East West Street[…]
This month, I wholeheartedly recommend Thomas Harding’s Hanns and Rudolf. In a unique double-biographical style, Harding contrasts the decisions and destinies of Hanns Alexander, a German Jew who had fled to England and served as a Lieutenant in the British Army, and the man he would track down in 1945: Rudolf Höss, the Commandant of Auschwitz. Read more about Book Recommendation: Hanns an Rudolf[…]
This month, a wholehearted double recommendation for you: Simon Winder’s Germania and Danubia, packed with anecdotes and revelations, by an author with a clear fondness for the many idiosyncrasies and oddities of Germany and Austria – and by one who shows that they’re not so very different to Britain, after all…!
A book that is more than deserving of its bestseller status, Norman Ohler’s ‘Blitzed‘ is an examination of drug addiction in Nazi Germany. The book’s real fascination lies not in its graphic depiction of Hitler’s long-suspected habits, wrought from the medical notes of Dr. Theodor Morell, but in the revelation of what Ohler calls a Read more about Book Recommendation: Blitzed[…]
‘The Kaiser’s Holocaust‘, by David Olusoga and Casper W. Erichsen, exposes the long-ignored history of the German Empire’s colony in modern-day Namibia and the mass murder, first officially acknowledged as a genocide by Germany in 2015, of the Herero and Nama peoples. Colonial soldiers soon enslaved Namibians, established the Shark Island concentration camp for punitive purposes and ‘medical research’, and Read more about Book Recommendation: The Kaiser’s Holocaust[…]