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By the acclaimed journalist and New York Times bestselling author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, this day-by-day eyewitness account of the momentous events leading up to World War II in Europe is the private, personal, utterly revealing journal of a great foreign correspondent.CBS radio broadcaster William L. Shirer was virtually unknown in 1940 when he decided there might be a book in the diary he had kept in Europe during the 1930s—specifically those sections dealing with the collapse of the European democracies and the rise of Nazi Germany.Shirer was the only Western correspondent in Vienna on March 11, 1938, when the German troops marched in and took over Austria, and he alone reported the surrender by France to Germany on June 22, 1940, even before the Germans reported it. The whole time, Shirer kept a record of events, many of which could not be publicly reported because of censorship by the Germans. In December 1940, Shirer learned that the Germans were building a case against him for espionage, an offense punishable by death. Fortunately, Shirer escaped and was able to take most of his diary with him.Berlin Diary first appeared in 1941, and the timing was perfect. The energy, the passion, and the electricity in it were palpable. The book was an instant success, and it became the frame of reference against which thoughtful Americans judged the rush of events in Europe. It exactly matched journalist to event: the right reporter in the right place at the right time. It stood, and still stands, as so few books have ever done, a pure act of journalistic witness.
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There is absolutely no better book by an American about the rise of the Third Reich. A gripping -- and harrowing -- view from inside Hitler's Germany.(Lamar Graham)
The most complete news report yet to come out of war time Germany.(Time) About the Author:
William Lawrence Shirer (February 23, 1904 – December 28, 1993) was an American journalist, war correspondent, and historian, who wrote The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, a history of Nazi Germany which has been widely read and cited in scholarly works for over fifty years. Originally a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, Shirer was the first reporter hired by Edward R. Murrow for what would become a team of journalists for CBS radio. Shirer became famous for his broadcasts from Berlin, from the rise of the Nazi dictatorship through the first year of World War II. With Murrow, Shirer organized the first broadcast world news roundup, a format still followed by major news broadcasts. Shirer's other books include his three volume autobiography, “Twentieth Century Journey.” He was European correspondent for the Chicago Tribune from 1925 to 1932, covering assignments in Europe, the Near East and India. Shirer lived and worked in France for several years beginning in 1925. He left in the early 1930s but returned frequently to Paris throughout the decade. He lived and worked in the Third Reich from 1934 to 1940. As a print journalist first and later as a radio reporter for CBS, Shirer covered the strengthening of one-party rule in Nazi Germany beginning in 1934. Shirer reported on Adolf Hitler's peacetime triumphs like the return of the Saarland to Germany and the re-militarization of the Rhineland. Shirer was the first of the group that would be called "Murrow's Boys" — the broadcast journalists who provided outstanding news coverage during World War II and afterward. CBS's prohibition on its correspondents talking on the radio ended in March 1938. Shirer was in Vienna on March 11, 1938 when the German annexation of Austria (Anschluss), took place after weeks of mounting pressure by Nazi Germany on the Austrian government. As the only American broadcaster in the Austrian capital at the time, Shirer had a major scoop, but lacked the facilities to report the momentous events of the Anschluss to his CBS radio audience. He was not permitted to broadcast by occupying German troops controlling the Austrian state radio studio. At Murrow's suggestion, Shirer flew to London via Berlin — he recalled in Berlin Diary that the direct flight to London was filled with Jews frantically trying to escape German-occupied Austria. Once in London, Shirer broadcast the first uncensored eyewitness account of the annexation. Meanwhile, Murrow flew from London to Vienna to cover for Shirer.
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