“No Books or Songs to Celebrate This Deed”

Self realizes this book is not exactly Christmas fare. Neither was Ship of Ghosts, which she finished reading yesterday (She was so affected that she couldn’t sleep after putting it down. After this, she will stick to mysteries).

The Introduction to A Woman in Berlin, by Antony Beevor, divulges a grim fact: twelve women in the narrator’s building, including the narrator herself, were raped. Multiply that by the number of apartment buildings in Berlin, and the number of rape victims was likely well over 100,000. It is important to underscore the scale of the atrocity. Also, this was happening not just in Berlin, but all over Germany as the Soviets became occupiers.

The narrator accepted a position of responsibility, which put her directly in harm’s way when the Soviet troops entered the city. She was keeping a journal to be able to share with her boyfriend, Gerd, “if he comes back.” (Self thinking: Woman, that is the worst idea. No boyfriend wants to hear about his girlfriend’s rape. No boyfriend can stand to hear it. Self would like to direct you to a Leonard Michaels short story about a young college student who tells her boyfriend about her rape. It’s a terrific short story that will destroy you. Oh, but that story was written 30 years after the events of this book. Onward!)

p. 37:

We followed orders blindly, without looking to save our skins. Except that there will be no books or songs to celebrate this deed, and no one will receive the Iron Cross. Still, I now know one thing: in the heat of battle, in the thick of the action, you don’t think — you don’t even feel afraid because you’re so distracted and absorbed.

Were we brave? Most people would probably say we were . . . I have to rethink my ideas about heroism and courage under fire. It’s only half as bad as I thought. Once you’ve taken the first step, you just keep charging ahead.

Travel with Intent

A photographer's view of the world - words and images to inspire your travels and your dreams

A LONDON MISCELLANY

A look at the stranger side of the greatest city in the world

Bloganuary

The blogging challenge keep you motivated and start the new year on the "write" track!

Photos by Jez

Taking the camera for a walk!!!

Cath's Camera

life through my lens

The life of B

Mainly through the lens of a Nikon

myguiltypleasures

welcome to my past, present and future mixed with whatever pops up right now

Iain Kelly

Fiction Writing

John's Space .....

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust & Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

InMyDirection

fiction, short story, writing, creative content

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog