Arts and Entertainment

One of the most brutal battles of the Second World War was the Nazi offensive against Stalingrad where atrocities were committed on both sides and the soldiers also had to contend with starvation and freezing conditions during a lengthy siege.

The Love-Charm of Bombs, By Lara Feigel. Bloomsbury, £25

Five writers who lived through the London Blitz accounted it as critical in their creative lives as well as epochal in the nation's history. The novelist Elizabeth Bowen was an ARP (Air Raid Protection) warden; so, by nights, was Graham Greene, to whom Lara Feigel owes her title. Rose Macaulay was an ambulance driver. Henry Yorke (better-known as novelist Henry Green) was an auxiliary fireman. All were deeply affected by the suffering and death they encountered. The odd one out is Austrian Hilda Spiel, surviving bitterly in dull Wimbledon.

In the dark: Leo Nucci as Nabucco, with Liudmyla Monastyrska as Abigaille

Classical review: Nabucco - Fifty shades of grey, the opera

In a leaden park-and-bark reading of a Verdian tale of love and loss, the set has more dramatic range than the principals

Postcard from... Limassol

Postcard from... Berlin

Postcard from... Berlin

A man on a chopper-style bicycle rides past the entrance to a construction site for luxury apartments at a 0.8 mile section of the former Berlin Wall, also known as the East Side Gallery, in Berlin March 27, 2013. Four segments of the wall were removed on Wednesday morning, almost a month after builders had stopped tearing down the wall due to protests. Developers plan to build luxury apartments close to the East Side Gallery, which is adorned with the work of artists such as Keith Haring and Gerald Scarfe.

Famous art-covered section of the Berlin Wall removed to make way for building project

Work crews backed by about 250 police removed parts of the Berlin Wall known as the East Side Gallery before dawn today to make way for an upscale building project, despite demands by protesters that the site be preserved.

'No amount of packed lunches and Saturday nights in will fatten your piggy enough' to be able to have a mortgage in London

The Emperor's New Clothes (24/03/13)

Buy your property, don't waste money renting, we're told. But Matthew Bell finds life is much less stressful if you don't own your home

Saturday Quiz answers

1. Leonard Cohen.

René Jacobs, Akademie Für Alte Musik Berlin Pergolesi: Septem Verba a Christo (Harmonia Mundi)

Album review: René Jacobs, Akademie Für Alte Musik Berlin Pergolesi: Septem Verba a Christo (Harmonia Mundi)

Predating Haydn's work on a similar theme, Pergolesi's cycle of seven brief cantatas of two arias apiece represents Christ's meditations on the cross, usually sung by bass, and the responses of the “Anima” or faithful soul, sung in a higher register.

Francesco Totti

Could Francesco Totti make a sensational return for Italy?

The 2006 World Cup winner has been in incredible form this season

Eurocrats engage in Cyprus blame game

The German government insisted yesterday it had not demanded that Cyprus hit ordinary depositors as the price of its eurozone bank rescue, pointing the finger of blame instead at the government in Nicosia and the institutions of the eurozone.

David Hasselhoff greets crowds protesting the toppling of part of the Berlin Wall's remains

David Hasselhoff returns to Germany to protect 'sacred' remains of the Berlin Wall

Excited crowds greet unlikely returning hero of German reunification

David Hasselhoff attends a Save the Wall protest at the East Side Gallery in Berlin

Save Berlin Wall, says David Hasselhoff

David Hasselhoff has put his name behind a campaign to preserve one of the few remaining sections of the Berlin Wall. And in Germany, the Hoff’s name carries weight.

In pictures: millions celebrate St Patrick's Day around the world

Major cities around the globe also paid tribute to the nation's patron saint

Hugo Boss eyes a rally in China

The fashion house Hugo Boss is expecting Asia's luxury market to rebound. Boss's revenue in China rose just 4 per cent in 2012 after sales at shops open a year or more fell in the second and third quarters. But demand has picked up since, and the suitmaker is holding a fashion show in Shanghai in May.

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