77 years after the fall of the Third Reich, five books told in the first person about the Second World War

To commemorate the 77th anniversary of the fall of the Third Reich, here we leave you #FiveBooks (which are actually six this time) about this tragic period in world history.

They are books with a common denominator, in them you can find the voice of those who suffered the consequences of the war. You won’t find treatises on history, military tactics, descriptions of key battles, or the political and economic struggles that led to the outbreak of war here. But the voices, without mediation, of those who tried to survive the greatest horror of the 20th century.

1. War does not have a woman’s face; Svetlana Alexeivich


As happens in any war, there are more things that are not told than those that are finally known. In The face does not have a woman’s face Svetlana Alexievich reconstructs the experience of the more than a million women who fought Nazism in the ranks of the Red Army.

Alexievich, Nobel Prize for Literature 2015 addresses a story never told before through a choral work narrated by the protagonists themselves through their memories. They are women who were snipers, drove tanks or worked in field hospitals, but for the official history, for a long time, they never existed. “His story of him is not a story of war, nor of combat, it is the story of men and women at war.”

2. If this is a man; Cousin Levi


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if this is a Manfrom Cousin Leviis perhaps one of the best-known books of the hundreds and hundreds that narrate the horrors of the extermination camps that Nazism distributed throughout much of Eastern Europe to murder mainly Jews, but also prisoners of war , dissidents and other minorities.

This work inaugurates a trilogy that is completed with Truce Y The drowned and the saved. if this is a Man is the chronicle of the daily horror in Auschwitz, the extermination camp to which the author was deported in 1944. There Levi describes the wait for nothing, the daily deprivation, the forgetting of the human condition of the prisoners and the abuses and horrors that they were subjected.

3. The man in search of meaning; Victor Frankl


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Like Primo Levi, Victor Frankl he survived the extermination camps of Auschwitz and Dachau where he was confined for three years. In Man’s Search for Meaning Frankl reviews the experience of those years guided by a question: How could he, who had lost everything, who had seen everything worthwhile destroyed, who suffered hunger, cold, endless brutalities, who so many times was about to of extermination, how could he accept that life was worth living?

4. Boys from Warsaw, Ana Wajszczuk


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In The boys from Warsaw Argentine journalist and writer Ana Wajszczuk reconstructs the Warsaw Uprising, one of the most important, heroic and tragic resistance movements against Nazism during World War II through the journey he undertakes with his father to that city to find what remains of that history and that of his family.

It is a moving narrative that unravels the story of the Wajszczuk family and the last desperate attempt by thousands of young Poles to expel the Nazis from Warsaw.

5. The man who wanted to enter Auschwitz, Denis Avey


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The man who wanted to enter Auschwitz is the true story of Denis Aveya British soldier who during World War II voluntarily entered the Buna-Monowitz concentration camp, better known as Auschwitz III, in the summer of 1944, to witness the horrors that were committed there.

Avey, housed in one of the barracks intended for prisoners of war, exchanged places with Hans, one of the Jewish prisoners of the concentration camp with whom he shared forced labor. The living conditions, or rather survival, of the Jewish prisoners were much worse than those of the soldiers who had been captured.

Already at the end of his strength, Hans was saved from death after Avey offered to trade places with him so he could feed better. In his place Avey wore the striped pajamas with a yellow star of the Jewish prisoners and suffered in his own body the cruelties and deprivations to which the Jews were subjected.

It took the author 65 years to bring himself to tell what he lived there and he does so in this exciting and moving book, testimony to the courage and generosity present even in what he described as “hell on earth”.

6. Hiroshima, John Hersey


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journalist from The New Yorker, John Hersey He traveled to Hiroshima to portray the human dimension of the nuclear bomb that the United States had dropped shortly before on that city.

In Hiroshima Hersey moves from the center of the stage and voices six victims of the US attack: Toshiko Sasaki, an office worker; Masakazu Fuji, a doctor; to Hatsuyo Nakamura, a widow in charge of her three young children; Father Wilhem Kleinsorge, a German missionary; Terufumi Sasaki, a young surgeon, and Reverend Kiyoshi Tanimoto, a Methodist minister.

Hiroshima has sold more than a million copies and is a classic of investigative journalism.


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We would love to give thanks to the writer of this write-up for this outstanding material

77 years after the fall of the Third Reich, five books told in the first person about the Second World War