A Woman In Berlin

Description of Play

A dramatic adaptation of the diary, A Woman in Berlin, first published anonymously in 1954, but written between 20 April – 22 June 1945 as the million-strong Russian Red Army invaded and occupied Berlin. The author, a 34 year-old journalist, suffered starvation, privations and rape at the hands of the invaders. A story of her remarkable spirit and bravery, her open-minded intelligence and highly perceptive observation; she discovers her inner strengths and will to survive. It is also a study of a crumbling political fantasy, a dying city, and an apocalyptic clash of two very different cultures. The format of the piece is both a dramatised monologue and a dramatic soundscape, taking the audience through the varied settings in which the unforgettable events of those terrifying few weeks took place. The Woman tells her stories of what has been happening to her, about her fiance, Gerd, fighting somewhere on the eastern front; about her fears and worries about what is going to happen when the Russians arrive.
About what happens when they do.

Creative Team

Deborah Berlin DIRECTOR  
Molly Taylor WOMAN  


A dramatic adaptation (in 2008) of the Second World War diary, by Anonymous, published by Eichborn, published in English by Virago and translated by Philip Boehm.

It was produced as a 40-minute stage play at the New Works, New Worlds, festival,  Arches Theatre in July 2009.

Eichborn permission for this dramatisation was for this performance only. Any subsequent performance of the script would need to be negotiated with the publisher. This is the only dramatic adaptation of this harrowing yet transcendent work for the stage.

For further information see:

A film of the book (in German) starring Nina Hoss, was released in 2009.


Highly commended by a Scottish Arts Council reviewer.

Marta Hillers in the 1930s