The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann, 1996
This influential piece of German literature begins in post-WWII Hamburg as the son of a prominent merchant contemplates a shipbuilding career in the city, but instead goes to visit his ailing cousin at a Swiss sanatorium, a trip that changes his career path and world view.
A Most Wanted Man, John le Carre, 2009
Set in Hamburg, this thriller follows a Russian spy, a fierce human rights lawyer and a wealthy German banker as they try to unravel an elaborate fraud scheme.
The Aftermath, Rhidian Brook, 2014
A young women and her British colonel husband reunite in postwar Hamburg only to share their new home with its former German owners. The story lays bare the scarred aftermath of WWII.
Inferno: The Devastation of Hamburg, Keith Lowe, 2009
Keith Lowe explores the devastation of Hamburg in the 1943 attacks by British and American air bombers and honestly accounts the tragedies and results of WWII.
Hamburg: A Cultural History, Matthew Jefferies, 2011
This fascinating read details the history and multifaceted culture of Hamburg as one of Europe’s leading ports, its affluent population and its resilience in rebuilding after the war.
Tune In, Mark Lewisohn, 2013
An insightful look into one of the world’s most famous music groups, Tune In (the first volume in a trilogy) details the genesis of the Beatles and the launch of their careers in Hamburg.
A Most Wanted Man, Anton Corbijn, 2014
The film rendition of the novel thriller, A Most Wanted Man stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Rachel McAdams who embark on a journey to uncover terrorist espionage in Hamburg.
Backbeat, Iain Softley, 1994
This film details the early days of the Beatles’s career as they navigated the music scene in Hamburg. Romantic trysts and the bandmates’ relationships with each other are also covered.
Mostly Martha, Sandra Nettelbeck, 2001
A romantic comedy that takes place in Hamburg and Italy, Mostly Martha follows a dedicated chef in a gourmet Hamburg restaurant who becomes the sole guardian of her niece.