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By Hans Fallada

Its Berlin, 1940, and town is full of worry. on the apartment on fifty five Jablonski Strasse, its numerous occupants try and stay lower than Nazi rule of their alternative ways: the bullying Hitler loyalists the Persickes, the retired pass judgement on Fromm and the unassuming couple Otto and Anna Quangel. Then the Quangels obtain the inside track that their cherished son has been killed struggling with in France. surprised out in their quiet life, they start a silent crusade of defiance, and a dangerous video game of cat and mouse develops among the Quangels and the formidable Gestapo inspector Escherich. whilst petty criminals Kluge and Borkhausen additionally get entangled, deception, betrayal and homicide take place, tightening the noose round the Quangels' necks...

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Only when a realistic perspective is restored to an examination of the peace settle­ ment, its nature, its impact, and its modifications, can one begin to understand how a period of supposed German enfeeblement could cul­ minate within less than two decades in a Europe, even a world, again terrified of German might. The governments and peoples of the post-war era were not only pre­ occupied with the real and imagined defects of the peace settlement but also by what they thought were the lessons of the war.

The fact that the first part of each of the peace treaties with the defeated was the text of the Covenant of the League of Nations, and that similarly included in the peace settlement were provisions for the establishment of the International Labor Organ­ ization and of the World Court, reflected the perception that making peace at the end of such a terrible conflict required more than drawing From one war to another 13 new boundaries, arranging for compensations, and imposing other lim­ itations on the defeated.

Identifying Germany's fate and future with his personal life and his role in its history, Hitier preferred to lead the country into war himself, lest his successors lack the will to do so. 27 Here, too, one must accept a certain tragic accuracy in Hitler's per­ ception; whether any other German leader would indeed have taken the plunge is surely doubtful, and the very warnings Hitier received from a few of his advisors can only have reinforced his belief in his personal role as the one man able, willing, and even eager to lead Germany and 3o From one war to another drag the world into war.

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