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“Every Man Dies Alone” is a powerful novel first published in 1947 and translated into English more than 60 years later by prize-winning translator Michael Hoffman. Hans Fallada, a pseudonym for Rudolf Ditzen, was one of the very few pre-Nazi authors to survive within Germany during the Hitler era. Before World War II, Mr. Fallada’s novels were international best sellers, but under the Nazis he was barred from expressing his ideas and using his talent in any meaningful way. As a man whose books were banned by the Nazis, Mr. Fallada nonetheless could not get out of Germany. When the war was winding down, a friend handed him the files on Otto and Elise Hampel, who were determined to take a stand against the Nazi regime. The Hampels were betrayed and sentenced to death in 1943. The author took only 24 days to write this masterpiece, a fictionalized account of a working-class couple in Berlin during the war and the German Resistance to the Nazis. Otto and Anna Quangels, the fictionalized couple, are middle-class and not very well educated, but they have decided they cannot be part of the vast conspiracy to do nothing. This story is their fight against the Gestapo and how Otto and Anna defied Adolph Hitler. Otto, a foreman of a furniture factory, cannot come up with any grand scheme. After the death of their only son in the war, their grief drives the Quangels to speak out against the Nazis and the fear and cruelty that surround them. They begin a clandestine resistance campaign that angers the Gestapo. Otto and Anna know that if they are caught, or even accused, it will mean death. Carefully hand-printing postcards with anti-Nazi messages, Otto quietly and anonymously deposits them in various areas around Berlin for people to find and pick up. The SS begin a massive but fruitless hunt for the source – but the postcards just keep coming. While it is a small thing they are doing and it has little, if any, impact on the war effort, it is an act of resistance. This couple is fighting to keep their human decency. Otto and Anna are among the few outright rebels in the novel. Though Mr. Fallada introduces many Germans who fear and loathe the Nazis, many them are too afraid to do anything; others appear to fall into an anti-Nazi action by no design or intent. There is no one voice telling them how to resist or what to do. Unlike the majority of Germans in the Third Reich who wish only to survive, Otto and Anna question the worth of mere survival, particularly in Nazi Germany. This novel is poignant as a political witness that concentrates on the small but powerful acts of resistence. In the end Han Fallada says that because there were people like Otto and Anna who kept their humanity, there is hope for a new Germany. Mr. Fallada died in February of 1947, just weeks before the book was published.