My grandfather’s diary Berlin 1945

Berlin, April 26, 1945: Towards evening the sky is a ghastly sea of smoke. I creep out at 10 o’clock under whistling grenades and bombs, a wilderness of fire and dust, behind it, although already high in the sky, the blood red moon.

A memoir I did not want to write. The Reluctant Nazi uses my grandfather's diary in Berlin 1945 interwoven with my own memories and reflections.

We drink the last water that comes out of the heaters. No quarters, no bandages, and no food. I fear the very worst. Dead horses are cut up in the midst of bombardment, the meat eaten raw. No way of cooking, no water, no light. God take pity!

Sixty years after the end of World War II I found two diaries my beloved grandfather had kept between April and October 1945 when he served as military doctor in Berlin, a stone’s throw from the Reichstag. Day by terrifying day these often hastily written sketches helped him to survive first under the bombs and then under Russian occupation.

April 28: The end of the war or my own! If only one could lead the Executioner of Berlin through this misery.

April 29: Corpses lie in a chapel of the Ziegelstrasse clinic, for the most part without clothes, men and women together in many layers.

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