Born in 1881, Victor Klemperer studied in Munich, Geneva and Paris. He served in the German Army in the First World War and was decorated. He was a professor in Dresden until he was dismissed as a result of Nazi laws in 1935. He survived the Holocaust and the war, and taught again as an academic until his death in 1960. Martin Chalmers, the translator of the first two volumes, has also translated this volume.
Klemperer's diary deserves to rank alongside that of Anne Frank * SUNDAY TIMES * These diaries constitute one of the most vital historical and human documents of their age. Packed with vivid observation, profound reflection ... they find hope, dignity and even tart humour in the jaws of hell * INDEPENDENT * One of the greatest diarists - perhaps the greatest - in the German language * NEW YORK TIMES * Compulsive reading ... Klemperer's diary also offers a superb window on life in Soviet-occupied Germany in 1945-9 and the early years of the German Democratic Republic * LITERARY REVIEW * Klemperer's acute eye for the corruption of his contemporaries and his sharp ear for the corruption of language make these diaries an inexhaustible mine of information and insight for anybody interested in the German catastrophe ... In the hands of a master, the ephemeral is perennial * DAILY TELEGRAPH * The diary juxtaposes the profound and the mundane, rather like life itself. That is what makes it such a vivid and powerful account of a remarkable life * SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY * Deeply engrossing ... he has the supreme gifts of honesty and scepticism ... He doesn't exaggerate, he doesn't fantasize ... one of the supreme chroniclers of the 20th century * SPECTATOR * No other testimony remotely as truthful exists of the locked-in half of Germany. The voice of Victor Klemperer is simply indispensable * EVENING STANDARD * Puts tears and blood into a political era that is otherwise difficult to dramatise and so to imagine * SCOTSMAN * The enhance Victor Klemperer's rare standing as a truth-teller * IRISH TIMES * The triumph of these diaries ... is precisely this: not for one moment does Klemperer lose his essential humanity. The diaries testify to the integrity of private space and truth to self ... This is the epic of a self-confessedly commonplace mortal with extraordinary qualities of intellect, wit and self-knowledge - recording his insights with unswerving fidelity to the truth * GUARDIAN *