Berlin 1936 by Oliver Hilmes
Sixteen Days in August

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Thomas Mann, listening to the Games from exile in Switzerland, knew that Hitler’s intent was “to intimidate, indeed overwhelm the rest of the world.” This mostly illuminating book chronicles those efforts and suggests the horrors to come.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A lively account of the 1936 Olympics told through the voices and stories of those who witnessed it, from an award-winning historian and biographer

Berlin 1936 takes the reader through the sixteen days of the Olympiad, describing the events in the German capital through the eyes of a select cast of characters--Nazi leaders and foreign diplomats, sportsmen and journalists, writers and socialites, nightclub owners and jazz musicians. While the events in the Olympic stadium, such as when an American tourist breaks through the security and manages to kiss Hitler, provide the focus and much of the drama, it also considers the lives of ordinary Berliners--the woman with a dark secret who steps in front of a train, the transsexual waiting for the Gestapo's knock on the door, and the Jewish boy fearing for his future and hoping that Germany loses on the playing field.

During the games the Nazi dictatorship was in many ways put on hold, and Berlin 1936 offers a last glimpse of the vibrant and diverse life in the German capital in the 1920s and 30s that the Nazis wanted to destroy.
 

About Oliver Hilmes

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Oliver Hilmes is the author of Cosima's Kinder, a study of the Wagner dynasty, and a best-selling biography of Alma Mahler. Stewart Spencer is an acclaimed translator and editor (with Barry Millington) of Wagner in Performance.
 
Published February 6, 2018 by Other Press. 321 pages
Genres: History, Sports & Outdoors, Travel, War. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Berlin 1936
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on Oct 30 2017

Thomas Mann, listening to the Games from exile in Switzerland, knew that Hitler’s intent was “to intimidate, indeed overwhelm the rest of the world.” This mostly illuminating book chronicles those efforts and suggests the horrors to come.

Read Full Review of Berlin 1936: Sixteen Days in ... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Nikolaus Wachsmann on Feb 22 2018

In the end, this is a delicately crafted treat – delectable, fluffy and a little unfulfilling – not unlike the large slice of pyramid cake one of the book’s characters devours in the appropriately named Heil bakery.

Read Full Review of Berlin 1936: Sixteen Days in ... | See more reviews from Guardian

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