A publishing sensation in Germany, the publication of Victor Klemperer's diaries brings to light one of the most extraordinary documents of the Nazi period. The son of a rabbi, Klemperer was by 1933 a professor of languages in Dresden.
Over the next decade he, like other German Jews, lost his job, his house and many of his friends, even his cat, as Jews were not allowed to own pets. He remained loyal to his country, determined not to emigrate, and convinced that each successive Nazi act against the Jews must be the last.
Saved for much of the war from the Holocaust by his marriage to a gentile, he was able to escape in the aftermath of the Allied bombing of Dresden and survived the remaining months of the war in hiding. Throughout, Klemperer kept a diary, for a Jew in Nazi Germany a daring act in itself. Shocking and moving by turns, it is a remarkable and important document, as powerful and astonishing in its way as Anne Frank's classic.
The second volume of two, this covers the period from the beginnings of the Holocaust to the end of the war, telling the story of Klemperer's increasing isolation, his near miraculous survival, his awareness of the development of the growing Holocaust as friends and associates disappeared, and his narrow escapes from deportation and the Dresden firebombing in 1945.
Born in 1881, Victor Klemperer studied in Munich, Geneva and Paris. He was a journalist in Berlin, taught at the University of Naples and received a DSM during WWI as a volunteer in the German army. He was subsequently a professor of romance languages at the Dresden Technical College until he was dismissed as a consequence of Nazi laws in 1935. He survived the Holocaust and the war and taught again as an academic until his death in 1960.