Search our site
Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron Read the opening extract of the brand new Sophie Cameron book before its publication on 22/03/2018

Not Me Memoirs of a German Childhood by Joachim E. Fest

Not Me Memoirs of a German Childhood


Not Me Memoirs of a German Childhood by Joachim E. Fest

Few other historians have shaped our understanding of the Third Reich as Joachim Fest. Fierce and intransigent, German-born Fest was a relentless interrogator of his nation's modern history. His analysis, The Face of the Third Reich, his biographies of Adolf Hitler and Albert Speer and his descriptions of the last days in the Fuhrer's bunker have all reached a worldwide audience of millions. But how did the young Fest, born in 1926, personally experience National Socialism, the Second World War and a catastrophically defeated Germany? In Not Me, the memoir of his childhood and youth, Joachim Fest chronicles his own extraordinary early life, providing an intimate portrait of those dark years of conflict. Whether describing his Catholic home in a Berlin suburb, his father's resistance of the regime and subsequent teaching ban, his own expulsion from school, or Aunt Dolly's introductions to the operatic world, these are the long-awaited personal reflections of a born observer the exactitude of whose prose is as sharp as the memories he describes.


A quiet, proud, often painful, always clear-eyed memoir... It deserves wide attention in the English-speaking world. It is illuminating of the man, of the times he lived through, and also of a rare kind of moral resolve, both sobering and inspiring. -- Rachel Seiffert * Guardian * Fest's accounts of being called up, of trying to avoid military service, fighting, seeing comrades die, and beinig caught and kept as a prisoner of war are engrossing * Independent on Sunday * A heroic interrogation of Germany's past * Sunday Telegraph * A remarkable document of a childhood and young manhood spent outside the sphere of normal life * Sunday Times * Moving... A tribute to those qualities of civic responsibility, courageously represented by Fest and his family, which the Nazis came near to eradicating... His writing has the quietness of chamber music, so that his louder images are all the more rending -- Nicholas Shakespeare * Daily Telegraph *

About the Author

Born in Berlin in 1926, Joachim Fest was a historian, journalist, critic and Publisher of the renowned newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Best known for his writings and public commentary on Nazi Germany, he authored renowned biographys on both Hitler and Albert Speer. A leading figure in the debate among German historians about the Nazi period, Fest died in 2006.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

1st August 2012


Joachim E. Fest

More books by Joachim E. Fest
Author 'Like for Like'


Atlantic Books


336 pages


European history
20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000



What can I say, the clue is in the title Lovereading - and awesome books.

Sarah Davis

The selections are so varied and the reader reviews are so helpful. A fantastic website for those who love books.

Ann Quintilla

I love Lovereading because of its ability to connect people that love books & unite them in a friendly, stimulating & interesting community.

Megan Olwen William

Lovereading recommends, honestly reviews and promotes books-what more can I say?!

Rachel Bridgeman

The best new books on the market, reviewed honestly, to give your readers the best choices.

Julie Cook

Hooked on books? Give Lovereading a go - for the chance to discover brilliant books, and to see why our members love it so.

Claire Hill

Lovereading has given me the opportunity to delve into new and exciting worlds of authors who I would never have tried before.

Glynis Elliott

Lovereading are lovely people who send me lovely books. What's not to love?

Gavin Dimmock