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Under Two Dictators


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An astonishing account (and the only we have) of one woman's experience of labour camps under Stalin and Hitler

About the Author

Margarete Buber-Neumann was born in 1901 in Potsdam, Germany. She married Rafael Buber - the son of Martin Buber - and had two daughters with him. After their divorce, she joined the Communist Party, married Heinz Neumann and was sent to a Soviet labour camp and later, to Ravensbr ck. After the war, she was invited to Sweden for recuperation where she took an office job and wrote, in the evenings, Als Gefangene bei Stalin und Hitler (Under Two Dictators). In 1949 and 1950 she was a key witness in the Krawtschenko and Rousset trials in Paris, disproving the Communist denial of the existence of the Gulag. She spent the rest of her life in Frankfurt, writing and lecturing widely. The author of eight books, she died in Frankfurt in November, 1989.

Nikolaus Wachsmann is Senior Lecturer in modern European history at Birkbeck (University of London), where he is directing a major research project on the Nazi camps. He has written widely on terror and repression in the Third Reich. His book Hitler's Prisons won the Royal Historical Society Gladstone Prize and was jointly awarded the Longman-History Today Book of the Year Award.


"Margarete Buber-Neumann's memoir, Under Two Dictators, is one of the great classics of the totalitarian age, but with a unique perspective, since she suffered as a prisoner of both Stalin and then Hitler. Moving, powerful and clear-sighted, it is an unforgettable book by a very courageous woman" -- Antony Beevor
"An extraordinary testament. Written in crisp, clear prose, without self-pity, it makes for an electrifying read" * Daily Express *
"A dispassionate, even-handed account of totalitarian cruelty" * Evening Standard *
"She describes clearly the paranoia of Russia during the 1930s and the brutality of the gulags. Her narrative of the last years of second world war in the German camps is horribly moving, in particular her portrayal of the women worked or gassed to death" * Financial Times *
"A welcome memoir that still shocks. From this epic document comes a clear picture of violent, but conflicting, prison societies" * Independent *

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