Learning the movie was made by a Jewish producer, however, Hitler decreed Fallada’s work could no longer be sold outside Germany, and the rising Nazis began to pay him closer attention. When he refused to join the Nazi party he was arrested by the Gestapo—who eventually released him, but thereafter regularly summoned him for “discussions” of his work.
However, unlike Mann, Hesse, and others, Fallada refused to flee to safety, even when his British publisher, George Putnam, sent a private boat to rescue him. The pressure took its toll on Fallada, and he resorted increasingly to drugs and alcohol for relief. After Goebbels ordered him to write an anti-Semitic novel, he snapped and found himself imprisoned in an asylum for the “criminally insane”—considered a death sentence under Nazi rule. To forestall the inevitable, he pretended to write the assignment for Goebbels, while actually composing three encrypted books—including his tour de force novel The Drinker—in such dense code that they were not deciphered until long after his death.
Fallada outlasted the Reich and was freed at war’s end. But he was a shattered man. To help him recover by putting him to work, Fallada’s publisher gave him the Gestapo file of a simple, working-class couple who had resisted the Nazis. Inspired, Fallada completed Every Man Dies Alone in just twenty-four days.
He died in February 1947, just weeks before the book’s publication.
Intense read...a perspective that I had not experienced before. Gripping
and disturbing story that I couldn't put down.
I was lucky and got this as a galley before publication because a friend works for Melville House's distributer in Canada and thought. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Olivia Jennings
I am so grateful that this authors work has finally been translated into English. The story is of an ordinary German family, going about life in an extraordinary period of... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Michal
It was the author's history and circumstance that prompted me to read this novel. As well, the idea that a dissident German who suffered under Nazi rule sought to reveal life... Read morePublished on June 17 2012 by Jeffrey Swystun
Not only is this novel based on the actions of a Berlin couple who naively dropped off self-authored anti-Nazi postcards in public building all over Berlin, but it is grounded in... Read morePublished on July 15 2011 by Sverre Svendsen
Every Man Dies Alone comes in a new, and very good, translation by Michael Hoffman (disastrously retitled Alone In Berlin in Britain). Read morePublished on June 12 2010 by Philippe Ranger
Hans Fallada has twisted knots and threads of paranoia together to portray the dense complexities of wartime Berlin. Read morePublished on Nov. 13 2009 by J. Peters
This book gives a strong account of how life in Nazi Germany was, and how difficult it was to mount any counter offensive against the State and its objectives. Read morePublished on Sept. 20 2009 by Mark Arneson
This negative review will probably not win any positve helpful votes (readers tend to indicate the review is not helpful if it is a negative one;) however, it is far more... Read morePublished on Sept. 10 2009 by The Mad Hatter