I lived the same life as everyone else, the life of ordinary people, the masses. Sitting in a prison cell in the autumn of 1944, the German author Hans Fallada sums up his life under the National Socialist dictatorship, the time of inward emigration . Under conditions of close confinement, in constant fear of discovery, he writes himself free from the nightmare of the Nazi years. He records his thoughts about spying and denunciation, about the threat to his livelihood and his literary work and about the fate of many friends and contemporaries. The confessional mode did not come naturally to Fallada, but in the mental and emotional distress of 1944, self-reflection became a survival strategy.
Fallada s frank and sometimes provocative memoirs were thought for many years to have been lost. They are published here for the first time.
Hans Fallada was born in Greifswald, Germany, on 21 July 1893 as Rudolf Wilhelm Friedrich Ditzen; he took his pen name from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. He died of heart failure brought on by the cumulative effects of mental and physical exhaustion on 5 February 1947 in Berlin. Fallada was the author of many bestselling novels including Little Man - What Now? (1932), Wolf among Wolves (1938) and Alone in Berlin (1947)
Introduction vi The 1944 Prison Diary 1 A despatch from the house of the dead. Afterword 219 The genesis of the Prison Diary manuscript 233 Chronology 236 Notes 239 Index 268