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Jeremy Harding: Paris 1940, 8 May 2008

Fleeing Hitler: France 1940 
by Hanna Diamond.
Oxford, 255 pp., £16.99, June 2007, 978 0 19 280618 5
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Journal 1942-44 
by Hélène Berr.
Tallandier, 301 pp., €20, January 2008, 978 2 84734 500 1
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... for the many who’d already left and those who were scrambling out at the last minute. Hanna Diamond opens with a portrait of the capital shrouded in the fog of unwaged war and goes on to tell the story of what happened on the roads of France in the course of the summer. Her book is disparate, fitful, but in the end a convincing piece of ...

Hitler’s Teeth

Neal Ascherson: Berlin 1945, 28 November 2002

Berlin: The Downfall, 1945 
by Antony Beevor.
Viking, 490 pp., £25, April 2002, 0 670 88695 5
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... Earlier this year, the Historical Museum in Stockholm housed a haunting exhibition by the artist Hanna Sjöberg. She called it A Clean Sweep Will Be Made (a wartime phrase of Churchill’s about the fate of Germany). Sjöberg had been to the place which was once the old Prussian fortress-city of Küstrin, on the Oder ...

Tower of Skulls

Malise Ruthven: Baghdad, 22 October 2014

Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood 
by Justin Marozzi.
Allen Lane, 458 pp., £25, May 2014, 978 1 84614 313 7
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... decline. When he visited in 1652 after a nine-day journey down the Tigris from Mosul, the French diamond-dealer Jean-Baptiste Tavernier estimated the population at no more than 14,000; Manuel Godinho, a Portuguese Jesuit who visited in 1663 on his way to India, put it at 16,000, noting that it contained Turks, Arabs, Kurds and Persians, along with some three ...

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