Swansong 1945: A Collective Diary of the Last Days of the Third Reich

Swansong 1945: A Collective Diary of the Last Days of the Third Reich

by Walter Kempowski, Shaun Whiteside

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A monumental work of history that captures the last days of the Third Reich as never before.

Swansong 1945 chronicles the end of Nazi Germany through more than 1,000 extracts from letters, diaries, and autobiographical accounts, written by civilians and soldiers alike. Together, they present a panoramic view of four tumultuous days that fateful spring: Hitler’s birthday on April 20, American and Soviet troops meeting at the Elbe on April 25, Hitler’s suicide on April 30, and the German surrender on May 8. An extraordinary account of suffering and survival, Swansong 1945 brings to vivid life the end of World War II in Europe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393248166
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 03/31/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 523,825
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Walter Kempowski (1929–2007) was one of Germany’s most important postwar writers. In the 1980s he began gathering diaries, letters, and memoirs of World War II, which he edited into ten volumes published in German. Swansong 1945 is the first portion to appear in English.
Shaun Whiteside’s translations from the German include classics by Freud, Musil, and Nietzsche.

Table of Contents

Foreword Alan Bance ix

Preface Walter Kempowski xv

Editorial Note Walter Kempowski xvii

Note on the English Translation xix

List of Abbreviations xxi

Friday, 20 April 1945 1

Wednesday, 25 April 1945 99

Monday, 30 April 1945 209

Tuesday, 8 May 1945/Wednesday, 9 May 1945 300

Epilogue 429

Acknowledgements 431


1 Published and broadcast sources 433

2 Archives and institutions 453

Index 455

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