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Berlin Diary Audiobook

Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent, 1934–1941

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Publisher's Summary

By the acclaimed journalist and New York Times best-selling author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, this day-by-day eyewitness account of the momentous events leading up to World War II in Europe is the private, personal, utterly revealing journal of a great foreign correspondent.

CBS radio broadcaster William L. Shirer was virtually unknown in 1940 when he decided there might be a book in the diary he had kept in Europe during the 1930s—specifically those sections dealing with the collapse of the European democracies and the rise of Nazi Germany.

Shirer was the only Western correspondent in Vienna on March 11, 1938, when the German troops marched in and took over Austria, and he alone reported the surrender by France to Germany on June 22, 1940, even before the Germans reported it. The whole time, Shirer kept a record of events, many of which could not be publicly reported because of censorship by the Germans. In December 1940, Shirer learned that the Germans were building a case against him for espionage, an offense punishable by death. Fortunately, Shirer escaped and was able to take most of his diary with him.

Berlin Diary first appeared in 1941, and the timing was perfect. The energy, the passion, and the electricity in it were palpable. The book was an instant success, and it became the frame of reference against which thoughtful Americans judged the rush of events in Europe. It exactly matched journalist to event: the right reporter in the right place at the right time. It stood, and still stands, as so few books have ever done, a pure act of journalistic witness.

©1941 William L. Shirer (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“The most complete news report yet to come out of wartime Germany.” (Time)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (380 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Molly 09-24-13
    Molly 09-24-13

    Wazoo Books

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    "a LOOK inside Nazi Germany~ 5 STARS~ excellent ~!~"

    PLOT: a newsman's view of Nazi Germany from the inside.

    William L. Shirer and his wife Tess are living in 1930s Berlin and they view from the inside the Nazi preparing for War. This written in diary form. This starts with the march on the Rhine. This shows us first hand a glimpse into the mind set of Hitler and his Henchmen. We see the people put on rations so the Nazi War Machine can go full force against most of Europe one country at a time. Especially interesting is the Nazi Propaganda hiding the "bombings" on England to give the German People motive to continue the War. We see first hand how far the Nazi Lies go to motive, hide and deceive both the German People and the world. Shirer is both articulate and interesting as he gives us his view of the "inner circle" of Hitler. and we see first hand how FAR the lies of the Nazis go. Included in the start of the "euthanasia" in German with the mentally ill and disabled and why the German excuse of "ending their suffering" was both a threat and lie fulfilled. The READER if first rate and this is both an excellent audio plus a view inside the making of the Nazi climb to power and how they stayed there. I just purchased The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich because this audio was so very good. Typically history is not this interesting. and so very revealing of the "German" mindset and the ruthless way Nazis used it to get a foothold into power and so effectively used it to achieve total control of the German People. Especially effective is the use of Propaganda and total control of the information people received by Newspapers and Radio which "ADDED" to the 'control and motivation' on the road to World War 2. 5 STARS~~~

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen D Maus REPUBLIC, MO, US 12-19-12
    Stephen D Maus REPUBLIC, MO, US 12-19-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A WWII classic"
    Would you listen to Berlin Diary again? Why?

    Yes, In order to keep reminding myself of what can happen to a nation of sheep.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Author's understanding of what was going on on in Germany.


    Any additional comments?

    It shows what can happen in a country when the people of a nation become mesmerized by a leader who demonizes a group in society in order to assume complete power. In Germany it was Jews who were blamed, Here it is "the rich".

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara J. 08-22-12
    Barbara J. 08-22-12
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    "Outstanding delivery of an amazing story."

    A fascinating first hand story of the history of Germany during the rise of Hitler. The life of a foreign correspondent during incredible times is wonderful.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Metal on a Strat Washington, D.C. 04-08-17
    Metal on a Strat Washington, D.C. 04-08-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Be there in the 1930s in Berlin"
    If you could sum up Berlin Diary in three words, what would they be?

    Truthful, exciting, horrifying


    What did you like best about this story?

    This book lets you feel what it was like when the world-shattering changes of the 1930's were occuring. Shirer's incredible diary gives you a deep understanding, human emotions and backstory of the inability of the allies to stop Hitler, the reasons the French fell apart, and the incredible chances that were missed to prevent the march to world war 2. A must for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the world at that time.


    What does Tom Weiner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Excellent narrator, but a little dry at times.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The diary itself brings incredible frustration and bitter humor, as well as absolute disbelief in the actions of Neville Chamberlain, Englands PM.


    Any additional comments?

    There are too many parallels between our current fantasies of the world as we would like it, and the world in that time, to make this an easily forgotten or dismissed book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Upper Tantallon, NS, Canada 03-02-17
    Tom Upper Tantallon, NS, Canada 03-02-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Excellent, but why not Grover?"

    William L doesn't need me to tell anyone how good his writing is. It speaks for itself. I am just confused about why Blackstone Audio (who owns the copyright thereto - ha!) wouldn't have had the great Grover read this? Grover was an incredible narrator for The Rise and Fall, and if you listened that, you might agree that it would have made Berlin Diary better with the same voice. Maybe you wouldn't agree. If that's the case, well, you're an idiot. Perhaps I'm the idiot? Regardless, excellent book, but in my expert opinion (I went to University for one semester, 22 years ago) it would have been perfect had Grover read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eli Cukierman Orind, CA United States 12-24-16
    Eli Cukierman Orind, CA United States 12-24-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Surprisingly captivating."

    a riviting personal portal to a complicated historical period. Rich with minor details that makes the experience real weaved with "big picture " observation that seems to have been inserted later in life. It does not detract from the pleasurable "reading".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles R. Hunsucker Jr. Marietta, GA United States 02-27-16
    Charles R. Hunsucker Jr. Marietta, GA United States 02-27-16 Listener Since 2010
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    "Terrific!"

    I am a world war to amateur buff! This diary had me from the opening lines. Great narration!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl O. Rogers 11-12-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Unique contemporary account of Nazi Europe"

    I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in what sober-minded people were thinking at the time when Nazi Germany conquered most of Europe and North Africa.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David San Jose, CA United States 08-06-15
    David San Jose, CA United States 08-06-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Good book, Rise and Fall is better"

    An interesting take on pre-War and early War Germany. It was interesting to see what rationing looked like in Germany. A lot wasn't surprising. However, what he published so early didn't see to get wide dissemination before the war ended. It's an interesting contemporary look at Hitler's Germany. I preferred Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, but this is still worth reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher J. TerMaat 06-17-15
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    "Unique perspective on the buildup and early years of WWII."

    Unique perspective on the buildup and early years of WWII. But it is a diary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Ed
    5/4/14
    Overall
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    "Riveting and unique"
    Any additional comments?

    This has to be one of the most significant diaries of the 20th century and anyone who wants to understand how it felt to live at the heart of the Third Reich while being immune to suffocating censorship should definitely grab this title. It is gripping, pacey and stuffed with vivid depictions of daily life in the Shadow of Hitler. It is also wise and erudite although there are I believe many historians who don't share Shirer's notion that Nazi Germany was particular to the Germanic character and who take the view that German fascism was consistent with totalitarianism around the world. Shirer is not a historian but perhaps he doesn't need to be as his understanding of what was going on in front of him was so obviously unique.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alex
    LEICESTER, United Kingdom
    4/15/14
    Overall
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    "As it happened"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Berlin Diary to be better than the print version?

    Great performance and an intriguing story. It was extremely interesting to hear the authors thoughts on what may happen and how close to the actual events that eventually came to pass. His insight into the true character and aims of the Nazis was impressive. I admired his bravery and tenaciousness in getting as much as the truth over to his listeners as possible. If only more British and French politicians had had the same foresight and intelligence things could have been so much different. I would consider this audio version to be better than the print version.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Obviosly the author for his courage and insight


    What does Tom Weiner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    His phrasing and emphasis was spot on.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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