Berlin was the nerve-centre of Hitler's Germany. It was the backdrop for the most lavish of Nazi ceremonies, the venue for Albert Speer's grandiose plans to forge a new 'world metropolis', and the scene of the final climactic battle to defeat Nazism. Berlin was the stage upon which the rise and fall of the Third Reich was most visibly played out. Yet while our understanding of the Holocaust is well developed, we know little about the wider challenges posed to the German people by living under a dictatorship in wartime, the compromises demanded and the hardships endured. As a result our understanding of everyday life in Nazi Germany is profoundly imbalanced: we know in intimate detail how a minority died under Nazism, but we understand precious little about how the majority lived.
In this vivid and important study, Roger Moorhouse seeks to portray the German experience of the Second World War, not through an examination of grand politics, but rather from the viewpoint of the capital's streets and homes - a 'Berlin-eye view' that makes use of published and unpublished memoirs, diaries and interviews. As well as giving a flavour of everyday life in the German capital, "Berlin at War" also raises issues about consent and dissent, morality and authority, which go to the heart of the experience of war and dictatorship. Above all, it charts the violent humbling of a once-proud metropolis - the fear, the cruelty, the petty heroism and the individual tragedy.
"Roger Moorhouse has a deep knowledge of Wartime Germany... Moorhouse has a nice eye for social detail"
(Max Hastings Sunday Times)
"As a leading historian of modern Germany, Moorhouse has chronicled a largely unknown story with scholarship, narrative verve and, at times, an awful, harrowing immediacy"
(Ian Thompson Sunday Telegraph)
"Moorhouse's evocative social history of Hitler's capital brings all these aromas together, along with the sights, sounds, thoughts and feelings of the ordinary Germans who lived here"
(Keith Lowe Daily Telegraph)
"Few books on the war genuinely increase the sum of our collective knowledge of this exhaustively covered period, but this one does... By trawling through the complex, often deeply morally compromised personal stories of many survivors, Moorhouse has produced new insights into the way ordinary Berliners tried to escape the disastrous ill-fortune of living in the belly of the beast"
(Andrew Roberts Financial Times)
"Roger Moorhouse's measured, sympathetic book offers a fascinating corrective to that Anglocentric perspective... After reading this thorough and engaging book you'll never be able to watch a war film or even a World Cup football match in quite the same way"
(James Delingpole Daily Mail)