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Swansong 1945 a collective diary of the last days of the Third Reich

Kempowski, Walter, (compiler.). Whiteside, Shaun, (translator.).


"Swansong 1945 chronicles the end of Nazi Germany and World War II in Europe through hundreds of letters, diaries, and autobiographical accounts covering four days that fateful spring: Hitler's birthday on April 20, American and Soviet troops meeting at the Elbe on April 25, Hitler's suicide on April 30, and finally the German surrender on May 8. Side by side, we encounter vivid, first-person accounts of civilians fleeing Berlin, ordinary German soldiers determined to fight to the bitter end, American POWs dreaming of home, concentration-camp survivors' first descriptions of their horrific experiences, as well as the intimate thoughts of figures such as Eisenhower, Churchill, Stalin, Joseph Goebbels, and Hitler himself. These firsthand accounts, painstakingly collected and organized by renowned German author Walter Kempowski, provide the raw material of history and present a panoramic view of those tumultuous days. The more than 1,000 extracts include a British soldier writing to his parents to tell them there are no baths but plenty of eggs and chocolate, an American soldier describing "the tremendous burst of lilacs" as he approaches the Elbe, Mussolini wishing Hitler a happy birthday, Eva Braun bragging to a girlfriend about what a "crack shot" she's become, and much more. An extraordinary account of suffering and survival, Swansong 1945 brings to life the end of Nazi Germany and the war in Europe." -- Publisher's description.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780393248159
  • ISBN: 0393248151
  • Physical Description: xxii, 479 pages ; 25 cm
  • Edition: First American edition.
  • Publisher: New York, N.Y. : W. W. Norton & Company, 2015.

Content descriptions

General Note:
First published in Great Britain by Granta Books, 2014 as Swansong 1945: a collective diary from Hitler's last birthday to VE Day. Great Britain : Granta Books, 2014.
"Original German edition first published in 2005. Walter Kempowski: Das Echolot. Abgesang '45 Ein kollekitives Tagebuch. Copyright © 2005 by Albrecht Knaus Verlag, Munich." --Title page verso.
Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 433-454) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Foreword / Alan Bance -- Preface / Walter Kempowski -- Editorial note / Walter Kempowski -- Note on the English translation -- Friday, 20 April 1945 -- Wednesday, 25 April 1945 -- Monday, 30 April 1945 -- Tuesday, 8 May/Wednesday, 9 May 1945.
Language Note:
Text in English translated from the German.
Subject: e-gx---
World War (1939-1945)
World War, 1939-1945 Personal narratives
German diaries
German diaries
Germany History 1933-1945
Genre: Diaries.
Personal narratives.
Personal narratives.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Library. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Library System. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Public Library.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Homer Public Library 940.5481 KEM (Text) 000131243 Nonfiction Available -

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