The Break

Self keeps dreading that moment when something really bad happens to Anonymous. This evening, she decided to skip ahead a few pages (to prepare herself) and saw that, in a few pages, instead of daily diary entries, we have: “Looking back on ____________.” And it continues like that, the rest of the way till the end.

Oh . . . it’s happening soon, then. The Russian army is about to enter Berlin. The women in the narrator’s building seem somewhat resigned. They even say things like, “Well, at least we aren’t virgins.” (!!!) One asks another woman to read her cards, and the card-reader says, “In the short run you will experience disappointment in connection with your husband.”

In the meantime, the narrator hauls buckets of water, lines up for hours each day just to get a scrap of food, lugs 50 lbs. of coal in a knapsack, tries to snatch two hours of sleep in her own bed, keeps writing in her journal . . .

She’s damn heroic.

Here it is, the very last entry of Before:

Friday, April 27, 1945:

It began with silence . . . Around twelve o’clock Fraulein Behn reported that the enemy had reached the gardens and that the German line of defense was right outside the door . . . I finished dressing and combed my hair. Within minutes the whole basement was on its feet.

A Woman in Berlin, p. 44

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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