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Publisher's Summary

A thrilling piece of undiscovered history, this is the true account of a young Jewish woman who survived World War II in Berlin.

In 1941, Marie Jalowicz Simon, a 19-year-old Berliner, made an extraordinary decision. All around her, Jews were being rounded up for deportation, forced labor, and extermination. Marie took off her yellow star, turned her back on the Jewish community, and vanished into the city.

In the years that followed, Marie lived under an assumed identity, forced to accept shelter wherever she found it. Always on the run, never certain whom she could trust, Marie moved between almost 20 different safe houses, living with foreign workers, staunch communists, and even committed Nazis. Only her quick-witted determination and the most hair-raising strokes of luck allowed her to survive.

©2015 Marie Jalowicz Simon (P)2015 Hachette Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"Marie Jalowicz Simon transports the reader right to wartime Berlin. Even seventy years later, her voice is young, fresh, and gripping. Her story is by turns funny, wise, and horrific. I felt like she was reaching out to me across time and I couldn't help but fall in love with her. Despite the incredible dangers she faced living underground in Nazi Berlin, Marie's story is incredibly life-affirming and at times, even joyful." (Clara Kramer, author of Clara's War)
"An absolutely gripping account of one young woman's struggle to escape deportation at the hands of the Nazis and of those who helped her. Marie Jalowicz-Simon details for the first time with total honesty the harsh sexual politics of survival in the Berlin underground." (Thomas Ertman, New York University, author of Birth of the Leviathan)

What listeners say about Underground in Berlin

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not quite what I expected

I enjoyed the book but overall I did not have any empathy for main character. Unfortunately she came across as a spoiled and entitled. i understand why she didn't want to do the jobs she was given. What I don't understand is how she could quit the jobs knowing she had no means to support herself and had to rely on others. I realize what she went through was extremely difficult but her hardships were nowhere near those of other survivors i have read about. I was amazed by the kindness of somel Germans and their willingness to put themselves in danger to help others and stand up for their beliefs.

1 person found this helpful

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  • mk
  • 04-14-21

Need to hear!

It gives you a good feel of what it must have been like to live through this tragic times.

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Worth the listen

I'll admit it took me three tries to get past the introduction, but once I did I enjoyed it. Fascinating to hear how someone survived against their greatest enemy in plain sight for three years, even if some of the methods leave you disgusted on different ways. The Narrator is precise and clear although from a story telling perspective you do get lost in the many different names of people and there isn't much to really set them apart so multiple characters ended up blended in as one. I recommend this anyone who enjoys autobiographical stores, stories of survival, and/or stories of Jewish survival in WW2.

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Confusion

I struggled to follow the story. I maybe was too distracted, as i listen while driving but it was especially hard. I couldn't remember all the characters or places referred to, as the story jumped around so much.

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Interesting Narrative

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I don't think it could be changed, nor should it. This was an historical narrative of what happened in her life.

Was Underground in Berlin worth the listening time?

Yes, if just to learn from the historical narrative. It was fascinating to here what Marie was like and what those around her were like in her eyes.

Any additional comments?

I would not, personally, have wanted to know her because she judged almost everyone she met and knew so harshly both in their character and appearance. This part of the story grew old for me.

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  • w
  • 02-06-16

Hardcore binge listen

Interesting gripping insight into how it is to live in a totalitarian state . I want to find other books of this like so if anybody knows send me a message.

1 person found this helpful

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Why do we have to know EVERY detail?!!

I appreciate knowing Ms. Simon had such a good memory for details, but why did her son have to include every one of them in her memoir? I am sure she has quite a story, but all the names, occupations, and every minor detail of people inessential to her story makes me want to shout, "Who Cares?!!" I'm sure I've missed important points in the muddle of details because I find myself down the black hole where I can't concentrate. Even important character's get lost in the muddle. For instance, a woman who helped her who was in the circus... why did we have to have the stunts they preformed described to us? I've been to the circus! I've seen their acts.
He did his Mother's story a disservice. All the details he allowed in the book might have been meaningful to him, but I can't finish it because of them.

2 people found this helpful