Berlin 1936: Sixteen Days in August by Oliver Hilmes (translated by Jefferson Chase)

March 2022

This book reminded me of 1947: when now begins in that it uses a series of vignettes to created impression of a specific period of time - in this case, the week of the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936. Each chapter covers a day, and each day is broken up into snapshots of the lives of various people affected by the games, from the athletes and spectators, to the residents of Berlin. It nicely evokes what the atmosphere must have been like in the big city at the time, with its swanky hotels and nightclubs (many run by Jewish owners hiding their identity), and with its Nazi propaganda and oppression. There’s not much depth to the book, but it’s a diverting read for anyone interested in the era.

Further reading…