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Andy Parker

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The heroism of a real-life couple...
by Andy Parker   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, May 31, 2010
Posted: Monday, May 31, 2010

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Who stood up to the Gestapo in wartime Berlin is subject of a tense thriller written in a new translation has become an unexpected bestseller.

More than 60 years after it was written, Alone in Berlin, in 3 months has sold more than 100,000 copies, a word of mouth publishing phenomenon.

Italian-Jewish author Primo Levi, who survived the concentration camp, described it as 'the greatest book ever written about the German resistance to the Nazis'.

So what makes Alone in Berlin so compelling that it has gripped the imagination of everyone who reads it and lodged so firmly in their consciousness? Well it is, as I can attest from having just read it, a fabulous thriller; the story of a Berlin couple, Otto and Elise Hampel who following the death in action of their only son in 1940, feel compelled to make their own protest against Hitler.

It involves the two of them leaving postcards and letters at random- on stairwells and window ledges in office blocks and public buildings- that anonymously denounce the Furher and all his works. The messages swiftly come to the attention of the Gestapo, who hand the case to one of their canniest detectives. He pursues them knowing that failure on his part will almost certainly lead to his own death.

But as well as the question of whether the couple will evade capture as the dreaded Gestapo close in, 'Alone in Berlin' poses a deeper and more nagging dilemma to its reader; what would you do and how far would you be prepared to stand up to such a heinous and unjust tyranny?

I fully reccommend this great thriller and takes us on our own uneasy search inside ourselves to find an honest answer that makes this book stay with us long after we have finished reading it...


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