Every Man Dies Alone

Every Man Dies Alone

by Hans Fallada

Inspired by a true story, Hans Fallada's Alone in Berlin is the gripping tale of an ordinary man's determination to defy the tyranny of Nazi rule.

This Penguin Classics edition contains an afterword by Geoff Wilkes, as well as facsimiles of the original Gestapo file which inspired the novel.

At the house on 55 Jablonski Strasse, its various occupants try to live under Nazi rule in their different ways: the bullying Hitler loyalists the Persickes, the retired judge Fromm and the unassuming couple Otto and Anna Quangel.

Then the Quangels receive the news that their beloved son has been killed fighting in France.

If you enjoyed Alone in Berlin, you might like John Steinbeck's The Moon is Down, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

a fast-moving, important and astutely deadpan thriller' Irish Times 'An unrivalled and vivid portrait of life in wartime Berlin' Philip Kerr 'To read Fallada's testament to the darkest years of the 20th century is to be accompanied by a wise, somber ghost who grips your shoulder and whispers into your ear: "This is how it was.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Fiction
  • Rating: 4.23
  • Pages: 543
  • Publish Date: March 3rd 2009 by Melville House Publishing
  • Isbn10: 1933633638
  • Isbn13: 9781933633633

Read the Book "Every Man Dies Alone" Online

The friend missed, but Ditzen's aim was true. Taking his friend's gun, Ditzen shot himself in the chest, but survived. Released, Ditzen turned to alcohol and narcotics. His 1932 novel Little Man, What Now was a popular success and Hollywood turned it into a film. The war ended; Ditzen was released from the asylum, but he was now a dying man. IN 24 DAYS Ditzen wrote Every Man Dies Alone based on their story. Otto and Anna Quangel are special. And sometimes the sounds emanating from the doctor were dark and heavy, and Quangel would feel a pain in his chest, and it would be as though he was a little boy again sitting in church with his mother, with something grand--the whole of life--ahead of him, and then Reichhardt would say, "Johann Sebastien Bach." What amazed me, and why I led off with the author's life story, is that this is not simply a genre of a book; it's not just a book about WWII or Nazis or an anti-Nazi movement. But this is a book about simple people, like Philip Roth's Al Gionfriddo, "A little man, Doctor, who once did a very great thing."

Awakening of spirit and refusal to be part of murderous and inhuman system anymore. And third reason and maybe the most important is the novel is based on true events and Fallada changed only some details. Literary Anna and Otto Quangel are based on Elise and Otto Hampel case. The married couple through almost two years were delivering hand-wrote cards calling people to resistance against the Third Reich. The moment Otto Quangel finds out how many from over two hundred postcards he wrote with his untrained hand really reached its readers is truly heartbreaking. You may say their action brought only danger to them and people they cared for without much effect.

Hans Fallada manages with his book Every Man Dies Alone a great story during the time of the Nazi regime.

The Führer has murdered my son."....At that instant she grasped that this very first sentence was Otto's absolute and irrevocable declaration of war, and also what that meant: war between, on the one side, the two of them, poor, small, insignificant workers who could be extinguished for just a word or two, and on the other, the Führer, the Party, the whole apparatus in all its power and glory, with three-fourths or even four-fifths of the German people behind it. At one point a Nazi character says, I dont care about emotions. This statement is very much in keeping with Nazi priorities within the parameters of the novel where not only the banality of evil is brilliantly dramatised but also the banality of good. Otto and Anna Quangel in the novel are based on Otto and Elise Hampel who, to begin with, are not by any means hostile to the National Socialists. In the novel it is the death of Otto and Annas son that sparks the change of stance towards the Nazis. The brilliant achievement of this novel is to show how two simple working class people did oppose the Nazis, but, from every practical point of view, in an utterly futile manner. Anna herself questions the smallness of the gesture but Otto points out that, if caught, they will pay with their lives and no one can sacrifice more than her own life.

Hans Fallada has written an astonishing but ultimately tragic novel of German resistance to Nazism and the ever formidable Third Reich inferno, and I was stunned to learn it took something like 60 years for it's first English publication, and was penned in less than a month. Also Fallada could have escaped Germany; as a man whose books had been banned by the Nazis, and who had spent time in prison and psychiatric institutions as a result of a drug addiction, he should have got out. Alone in Berlin is a testament to the darkest days the 20th century had to offer, from beginning to end the book in drenched in fear, it grips hold, tight, and makes it perfectly clear, this is how it was, this was actually happening. Otto and Anna Quangel are a hard working couple, laborious, unsociable, thrifty to the point of stinginess, and originally not hostile to the National Socialists. It is remarkable that Fallada, just months before his death, could compose a long novel that, after an overcrowded beginning, advances so confidently to its conclusion. In fact there are huge chunks of the novel where Anna and Otto disappear completely, switching attention to the inner workings of the Gestapo and the fearful people who happen to have a run-ins with them.

English readers have had to wait 60 years to explore the 1947 novel in which Otto Quangel, a factory foreman (Ron Cook) and his wife Anna (Margot Leicester) believe themselves morally obliged to take on the full might of the Nazis. When their son is killed "for Fuhrer and Fatherland", the Quangels begin to write anonymous postcards, denouncing the war and the regime, and leave them on the stairwells of public buildings in Berlin. Trapped through a trivial mistake, by their nemesis, Inspector Escherich of the Gestapo (Tim McInnerny) they are put on trial for their lives, but find a strange freedom in a mocking defiance and then in a terrible silence. Ron Cook Anna Quangel .....

Otto and Anna Quangel was a working class couple. Then one fine day, the death news of their only son arrived and Anna in a bursts of sorrow shrieked, you and your Fuhrer!. The Fuhrer will murder your sons too; he will not stop till he has brought sorrow to every home. Hans Fallada who suffered through his own personal war as Rudolf Ditzen, brings the laudable efforts of Elise and Otto Hampel (1931), a real life couple who wrote anonymous postcards and leaflets to educate people about the ongoing atrocities ,informing to not buying Nazi papers and resist from participating in the war. The writing is trouble-free and the plot predictable; nevertheless, throughout the fictional portrayals of the Quangels, Fallada beautifully enlightens the misery of ordinary Germans who struggled from their own moral battles. Otto Quangel was the burning conscience of a guilt ridden nation. Otto and Annas death was inevitable and their efforts although ineffectual were not insignificant.

is generally considered his most famous work and is a classic of German literature. In addition, his life-long drug problems were born of the pain-killing medications he was taking as the result of his injuries. During this period he also struggled with morphine addiction, and the death of his younger brother in the first World War. In the wake of the war, Fallada worked several farmhand and other agricultural jobs in order to support himself and finance his growing drug addictions. Less than 3 years later, in 1926, Fallada again found himself imprisoned as a result of a drug and alcohol-fueled string of thefts from employers. Fallada married Suse Issel in 1929 and maintained a string of respectable jobs in journalism, working for newspapers and eventually for the publisher of his novels, Rowohlt.