A Jewish intellectual who remained in Germany yet survived the Third Reich, Victor Klemperer’s diaries from that era have become international bestsellers.
These latest diaries record Klemperer’s reactions to earlier seminal events in twentieth-century European history: the German Revolution in Munich in November 1918 and the assassination of the Bavarian Prime Minister, Kurt Eisner, in February 1919. Klemperer reflects upon the passivity of Munich’s middle classes during the revolutionary period and upon the rise of anti-Semitism, with many blaming the Jews for all Germany’s misfortunes. He presents a rich tableau of events, mixing political questions with vivid descriptions of minor incidents, such as his discovery – after the revolution – of a colleague guarding the university with an unsecured gun and having no idea how to use the safety catch. Klemperer’s clear-sighted record offers illuminating insights into a critical historical moment which will be of great interest to an English-language readership as the centenary of the Munich Revolution approaches.
All recommendations from Autumn 2015