Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Berlin 1936: Sixteen days in August by Oliver Hilmes

(Thank you to Other Press for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

A lively account of the 1936 Olympics told through the voices and stories of those who witnessed it, from an award-winning historian and biographer

Berlin 1936 takes the reader through the sixteen days of the Olympiad, describing the events in the German capital through the eyes of a select cast of characters—Nazi leaders and foreign diplomats, sportsmen and journalists, writers and socialites, nightclub owners and jazz musicians. While the events in the Olympic stadium, such as when an American tourist breaks through the security and manages to kiss Hitler, provide the focus and much of the drama, it also considers the lives of ordinary Berliners—the woman with a dark secret who steps in front of a train, the transsexual waiting for the Gestapo’s knock on the door, and the Jewish boy fearing for his future and hoping that Germany loses on the playing field.

During the games the Nazi dictatorship was in many ways put on hold, and Berlin 1936 offers a last glimpse of the vibrant and diverse life in the German capital in the 1920s and 30s that the Nazis wanted to destroy.

my thoughts:

What a fascinating and fun read! Berlin 1936 is a chronological day-to-day account of the 1936 Olympics held in Berlin, Germany.  We get the weather report, along with reports from the athletes and citizens of Berlin.  They are a diverse group, which help to provide a full picture of the political climate at that time.  The Nazis were pretending to be caught up in the games, when in actuality through notes, documents, and personal stories we find out about the concentration camps being built and the people being rounded up.  This is a historical lesson on the people's perspective and it is rich with detail, emotion, and history.

I loved reading Berlin 1936.  The writing was top notch and made for a quick, easy read.  The Olympics in Berlin make for such an interesting scope with which to explore history.  Not only do you get to learn about a diverse set of people, but you get a sense of the atmosphere they were living in/with.  You can't help but get caught up in their dramas, their losses, their wins, etc..  This book truly captures a moment in history with its factual narrative and historical tidbits.

I would happily recommend Berlin 1936 to fans of nonfiction and anyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE this book!!

Thank you to Other Press for providing me with a copy of this book!


Lark said...

Adding it to my ever-growing list! :D

Nadia said...

Lark, I know, right? TBR lists are never-ending :)

Unknown said...
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