Movie Review

A Woman in Berlin

World War II ends and her story begins...
A Woman in Berlin Movie Poster

Germany Release Date: 10-23-2008

Directed by: Max Farberbock


  • Nina Hoss
  • Anonyma
  • Evgeniy Sidikhin
  • Major Andreij Rybkin
  • Irm Hermann
  • Witwe
  • Rudiger Vogler
  • Eckhart
  • Ulrike Krumbiegel
  • Ilse Hoch
  • Rolf Kanies
  • Friedrich Hoch
  • Jordis Triebel
  • Barbel Malthaus
  • Roman Gribkov
  • Anatol
  • Juliane Kohler
  • Elke
  • Eva Lobau
  • Frau Wendt
Reviewed on: July 13th, 2010
Nina Hoss and Yevgeni Sidkin in Anonyma-Eine Frau in Berlin.

Nina Hoss and Yevgeni Sidkin in Anonyma-Eine Frau in Berlin.

A Woman in Berlin (Anonyma - Eine Frau in Berlin) is based on a novel, which is based on an anonymous diary of a German woman written in the last days of World War II.   Although this movie is not that graphic, I recommend it to mature audiences only.

The wife of a German officer enjoyed the good life her Nazi connections provided for her, until the war goes bad for Germany and she finds herself a refugee in her own hometown.  Near the final days of the battle for Berlin, her neighborhood gets taken over by the advancing Russian army.  The Russian soldiers begin raping women at random.  There are only children and old men still with them.   

After being raped, the woman, who speaks Russian, goes to a Russian officer and asks that he control his men,  He simply answers her that his men are healthy.  The raping continues and becomes so prevalent that the women eventually start to take the rapes in stride.  They meet each other on the street and ask casually, "How often?"  "Four". 

The woman decides to try and take some control.  She makes an effort to make herself available to the Russian officer hoping he will become her lover and thus prevent the other men from forcing themselves on her.  She eventually gets to him and she whittles her sex partners down to him and one other soldier who visit her randomly.  She begins to have feelings for the officer, and he her. 

A Woman in Berlin has some emotionally heavy scenes.   At one point she is asked to translate for some Russian soldiers who just busted into the apartment she shares with other people.  One young woman has two small children living there.  As they play in the background, the soldier angrily tells her how the Nazi army came into his village and slaughtered all of the children. She asks him if he heard that or did he witness it.  He responds in a gut wrenching manner that he saw it happen.

The woman's husband eventually shows up, and she finds him sitting at her table reading her diary.  He is disgusted as she has been carrying on an affair with a man who just conquered their country.  He leaves and apparently never came back.

Who is right and who is wrong in this movie?  Who do you feel sorry for?  At first you may feel sorry for these women.  It is easy to feel sympathy for them as they risk being raped every time they step outside their door.  However, it was their country that started this war and attacked Russia.  The woman's husband was a Nazi officer.  Is she guilty by association?  Is the Russians revenge on Germany justified?  To the victors go the spoils.  Does a country that tried to exterminate an entire religion deserve whatever it has coming to it?

In real life the estimated rapes by Russian soldiers on German women at the end of the war is 100,000, with 10,000 German women being killed.   Over 5 million German soldiers were killed in the war.   I wonder if there are any full blooded Germans left today?  Hitler tried to make Germans into a master race, instead he nearly destroyed it. 

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