A harrowing but inspiring read.

I have finally finished The Diary of a Man in Despair, by Friedrich Reck. It is not an easy read, but not in the way that those slightly pornographic and endlessly repeated accounts of the Third Reich beloved of some TV channels are a difficult watch.

The emotional intensity of the account the author gives of his country’s descent into madness is hard to deal with. His hatred of the utterly hateful goes side by side with stories of courage, suffering and goodness. Being a convert to catholicism he never loses the christian virtue of hope despite, to use a phrase he didn’t use but might have, living in a dung-hill.

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