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Hannah's Dress tells the dizzying story of Berlin's modern history. Curious to learn more about the city she has lived in for over twenty years, journalist Pascale Hugues investigates the lives of the men, women and children who have occupied her ordinary street during the course of the last century. We see the street being built in 1904 and the arrival of the first families of businessmen, lawyers and bankers. We feel the humiliation of defeat in 1918, the effects of economic crisis, and the rise of Hitler's Nazi party. We tremble alongside the Jewish families, whose experience is so movingly…mehr
Hannah's Dress tells the dizzying story of Berlin's modern history. Curious to learn more about the city she has lived in for over twenty years, journalist Pascale Hugues investigates the lives of the men, women and children who have occupied her ordinary street during the course of the last century. We see the street being built in 1904 and the arrival of the first families of businessmen, lawyers and bankers. We feel the humiliation of defeat in 1918, the effects of economic crisis, and the rise of Hitler's Nazi party. We tremble alongside the Jewish families, whose experience is so movingly captured in the story of two friends, Hannah and Susanne. When only Hannah is able to escape the horrors of deportation, the dress made for her by Susanne becomes a powerful reminder of all that was lost. In 1945 the street is all but destroyed; the handful of residents left want to forget the past altogether and start afresh. When the Berlin Wall goes up, the street becomes part of West Berlin and assumes a rather suburban identity, a home for all kinds of petite bourgeoisie, insulated from the radical spirit of 1968. However, this quickly changes in the 1970s with the arrival of its most famous resident, superstar David Bowie. Today, the street is as tranquil and prosperous as in the early days, belying a century of eventful, tumultuous history. This engrossing account of a single street, awarded the prestigious 2014 European Book Prize, sheds new light on the complex history not only of Berlin but of an entire continent across the twentieth century.
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Pascale Hugues is a French writer and journalist who has reported for the French newspapers Libération and Le Point from Berlin for over 25 years. She also writes in numerous German publications and is a columnist for the daily newspaper Tagesspiegel. Hannah's Dress was awarded the European Book Prize in 2015.
ContentsAcknowledgementsChapter 1 Quiet Street in Nice NeighbourhoodChapter 2 Built to LastChapter 3 Lilli Ernsthaft: Our DoyenneChapter 4 A Needle in a HaystackChapter 5 Günther Jauch at the Jeckes'Chapter 6 The Balcony Across the StreetChapter 7 Hannah's DressChapter 8 The Spitting Image of His Father!Chapter 9 We have to save the furniture!Chapter 10 The Roof of the WorldChapter 11 And to Think They Lost the WarChapter 12 The RevenantsChapter 13 Finally, Glory!Chapter 14 Frau Soller MovesChapter 15 GossipChapter 16 Rebel RebelPhoto credits
"Hugues brings the tumultuous twentieth century to vivid, messy life through the memories of the men and women who lived in the community. It's a testament to the human costs of catastrophe and the resilience of ordinary people in the face of unthinkable struggle." Bridey Heing, Times Literary Supplement "More than a one-place study, this engaging memoir reaches beyond the blinds of a quiet Berlin street to provide a window into 20th century German and world history via the prism of human experience." Family Tree Magazine "This is a terrific book. Hugues writes very well and she has a real eye for the killer vignette. Her gallery of characters is engrossing and, in one or two cases, unforgettable. Hannah's Dress will find an appreciative audience among all those interested in the Holocaust and twentieth-century German history generally." Brendan Simms, University of Cambridge "This unusual memoir uses the author's personal experience living in one street in Berlin as a window into the German past. She reaches out to elderly Jewish Holocaust survivors and refugees around the world who once lived on her street, and in her sophisticated narrative she peels back the layers hiding individual experiences so elusive to many professional historians." Deborah Hertz, University of California at San Diego "Hannah's Dress is a book that is both tender and bittersweet, shocking and full of surprises. It is a unique, moving and very well-written narrative that has justly been awarded the Simone Veil Prize." Elle "Pascale Hugues' account of her street and its inhabitants is a little wonder of a book." Neue Zürcher Zeitung "Hannah's Dress is an endlessly fascinating unpicking and re-weaving of history, a meticulously researched and hugely affecting academic work with all the epic sweep and emotional heft of the most engrossing of novels." Irish Examiner "A little gem" History Today "Captivating" New European "Hugues's book, which won the European Book Prize in 2014, is a beautifully written miscellany of emblematic stories." Literary Review "Finely researched and lovingly written." Financial Times…mehr
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