Vassiltchikov, Martie ‘Missie’.


Folio Society ed., 1991. Xix + 296 pp., photo-plates + maps. Red & black cloth; gilt; grey slipcase; 25 x 16cm. Small owner's stamp to f.f.e.p., o/w FINE. In January 1940 the twenty-three-year-old author – a member of the Russian émigré family – began to keep a diary in which she not only described her work with the German Broadcasting Service and, later, with the Information Department of the Foreign Ministry, but provided an extraordinarily vivid insight into what life was like in Berlin and Germany over the next five years. She provides incomparable accounts of Allied bombing raids over Berlin, and of life among the ruins; as a friend of Adam von Trott, she knew about the events leading up to the July 1944 Plot on Hitler’s life, and was a witness to its appalling aftermath; in the Foreign Ministry itself, she found herself uncomfortably at odds with her S.S. superior, the detestable Doctor Six. These historically valuable diaries end with Missie fleeing Vienna, where she had been working as a nurse, before the advancing Red Army.

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