Berlin Diary by William L. Shirer Summary
The author of the international bestseller The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers a personal account of life in Nazi Germany at the start of WWII. By the late 1930s, Adolf Hitler, Führer of the Nazi Party, had consolidated power in Germany and was leading the world into war. A young foreign correspondent was on hand to bear witness. More than two decades prior to the publication of his acclaimed history, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William L. Shirer was a journalist stationed in Berlin. During his years in the Nazi capital, he kept a daily personal diary, scrupulously recording everything he heard and saw before being forced to flee the country in 1940. Berlin Diary is Shirer’s first-hand account of the momentous events that shook the world in the mid-twentieth century, from the annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia to the fall of Poland and France. A remarkable personal memoir of an extraordinary time, it chronicles the author’s thoughts and experiences while living in the shadow of the Nazi beast. Shirer recalls the surreal spectacles of the Nuremberg rallies, the terror of the late-night bombing raids, and his encounters with members of the German high command while he was risking his life to report to the world on the atrocities of a genocidal regime. At once powerful, engrossing, and edifying, William L. Shirer’s Berlin Diary is an essential historical record that illuminates one of the darkest periods in human civilization.