Twenty-three-year-old Irene Bröker was fleeing the town. Only little Holger, her two-year-old son, was still with her. She was careful not to let him stray from her side. She knew that difficulties lay ahead; she had even provided for a time when she might no longer want to live. On a string around her neck, Irene carried a small, watertight pouch
PROMISE ME YOU’LL SHOOT YOURSELF
by Florian Huber
Text Publishing, June 2019
Translated from the German by Imogen Taylor
In 1945, as Nazi defences crumbled, the German people were surrendered to the enemy with no means of defence. A wave of suicides rolled across the country as thousands chose death—for themselves and their children—rather than face the defeat of the Third Reich and what they feared might follow. Drawing on eyewitness accounts, historian Florian Huber tells the compelling story of the largest mass suicide in German history and its suppression by the survivors—a fascinating insight into the feelings of ordinary people caught in the tide of history who saw no other way out.
Florian Huber was born in 1967 and wrote his PhD on British policy regarding the postwar occupation of Germany. He is the author of several works of history and has also produced awardwinning documentaries on contemporary subjects, including the fall of the Wall, the mysterious end of the poet Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and the 1936 Olympic Games.