Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II

Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II Winner of the PEN Hessell Tiltman Prize A superb and immensely important book Jonathan Yardley, The Washington PostThe Second World War might have officially ended in May , but in reality it rumbled on for another ten yearsThe end of World War II in Europe is remembered as a time when cheering crowds filled the streets, but the reality was quite different Across Europe, landscapes had been ravaged, entire cities razed, and than thirty million people had been killed in the war The institutions that we now take for granted such as police, media, transport, and local and national government were either entirely absent or compromised Crime rates soared, economies collapsed, and whole populations hovered on the brink of starvation In Savage Continent, Keith Lowe describes a continent where individual Germans and collaborators were rounded up and summarily executed, where concentration camps were reopened, and violent anti Semitism was reborn In some of the monstrous acts of ethnic cleansing the world has ever seen, tens of millions were expelled from their ancestral homelands Savage Continent is the story of post war Europe, from the close of the war right to the establishment of an uneasy stability at the end of the s Based principally on primary sources from a dozen countries, Savage Continent is the chronicle of a world gone mad, the standard history of post World War II Europe for years to come ✺ [LIBROS] ✮ Psiconutrición. Aprende a tener una relación saludable con la comida Por Griselda Herrero Mart n ❄ – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk The Washington PostThe Second World War might have officially ended in May [KINDLE] ✿ Moonsong (The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters, Author L.J. Smith – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk but in reality it rumbled on for another ten yearsThe end of World War II in Europe is remembered as a time when cheering crowds filled the streets [PDF / Epub] ✅ La lanza rota (Leyendas de Kalomaar Author Alberto Rojas – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk but the reality was quite different Across Europe ➹ [Download] ➵ Im Trying to Love Math By Bethany Barton ➼ – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk landscapes had been ravaged [PDF / Epub] ⚣ For Every Cat an Angel ✈ Christine Davis – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk entire cities razed [Epub] ➝ Einstein By Gabriel Emanuel – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk and than thirty million people had been killed in the war The institutions that we now take for granted such as police [PDF / Epub] ☉ Embryology Coloring Book By George Matsumura – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk media [Read] ➵ Embriologia By George Matsumura – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk transport ❮PDF / Epub❯ ☀ Existentialism and Romantic Love Author Skye Cleary – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk and local and national government were either entirely absent or compromised Crime rates soared [PDF] ✅ La tentación del fracaso Author Julio Ramón Ribeyro – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk economies collapsed [PDF / Epub] ☆ Nathalie: Confessions Of A Fashion Model: The Dark Side Of The Fashion Industry - Monarch Mind Control, Slavery And Sexual Abuse (English Edition) By Nathalie Augustina – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk and whole populations hovered on the brink of starvation In Savage Continent ❮Download❯ ➽ Baby reflux ➽ Author Stephanie Lampe – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk Keith Lowe describes a continent where individual Germans and collaborators were rounded up and summarily executed ➽ [Download] ✤ La araña enamorada By Blanca Álvarez ➲ – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk where concentration camps were reopened [BOOKS] ✭ Fantasmas Y Casas Embrujadas De Chile By César Parra – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk and violent anti Semitism was reborn In some of the monstrous acts of ethnic cleansing the world has ever seen [Reading] ➷ Canciones punk para señoritas autodestructivas By Daniel Hidalgo – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk tens of millions were expelled from their ancestral homelands Savage Continent is the story of post war Europe [EPUB] ✰ The Ageless Wisdom Author Torkom Saraydarian – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk from the close of the war right to the establishment of an uneasy stability at the end of the s Based principally on primary sources from a dozen countries ❴Download❵ ➸ Manual de antiayuda Author Peto Menahem – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk Savage Continent is the chronicle of a world gone mad [Epub] ➝ The Iliad By Homer – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk the standard history of post World War II Europe for years to come I found this a very difficult book to read, not because it was harrowing as some reviewers have described it for me there was nothing new here, just lots of facts and information that filled out the bones a littleI found this book difficult because it is so dry I believe this book is really aimed at an insular English speaking audience for whom the Second World War in Europe ended in May 1945 Europeans, and serving soldiers at the time, will be well aware of the near chaos and see I found this a very difficult book to read, not because it was harrowing as some reviewers have described it for me there was nothing new here, just lots of facts and information that filled out the bones a littleI found this book difficult because it is so dry I believe this book is really aimed at an insular English speaking audience for whom the Second World War in Europe ended in May 1945 Europeans, and serving soldiers at the time, will be well aware of the near chaos and seeking of justice and vengeance that occurred at the end of military hostilities they are the witnesses who speak to us through the pages Lowe divides what happened into a number of smaller topics and in so doing manages to create a distortion Instead of seeing the events of the post combat period as a whole we see a fragmented picture Lowe somehow manages to put small, albeit unsavoury, incidents on isolated, individual stages and then almost equates them with the state sponsored mass murders of the Nazi state It is only after he has made his judgemental comments and I found him very judgemental that he tries to point out that maybe we need to place these events in some sort of context I am a fervent believer in the statement as you sow so shall you reap The Germans instigated a war of conquest and extermination in Eastern Europe that was very different to that in the West and this contrast does emerge even if it isn t highlighted enough The Jews were merely at the top of the Nazi German kill list In Poland ordinary men and women lived in daily fear for their lives They regularly witnessed murders taking place my uncle, as a young boy of fifteen was taking his father s cows out to pasture and knew to instinctively hide when he saw a German military truck appear on the road as a result he was witness to the execution of dozens of his neighbours, initially by hanging and then by being burnt alive in a nearby barn Slave labour is commonplace my mother had the distinction of being taken into forced labour by the Soviets, and then by the Germans in 1941 Polish and Ukrainian labourers were murdered at the whim of the farmer who owned them As you sowIt is hardly surprising that at the end of the War these people sought justice and vengeance They dished out just a small part of what they had received Sometimes this seeking for justice would appear to be as brutal and evil as what had been done by the Germans but there is a great difference between state sponsored, racist violence and individual actions of revenge There is a great difference between a pogrom in some small town that grows out of chaos and ignorance and the trainloads of victims being put on the assembly line of extermination Somehow, Lowe manages to muddy these waters.The defeat of Nazi Germany was merely one aspect of the War Lowe too easily plays the racist card and talks about ethnic cleansing and forgets, once again, to put the events that occurred after the War into the context of what happened during the War, and what was encouraged by the Allies, until long after he has planted his seeds of doubt and condemnation He informs us, too late, that the Germans exploited local animosity and encouraged internecine fighting divide and conquer There will be many in Eastern Europe who know that the War didn t end but carried on as partisan groups clashed with the Soviet sponsored government forces and one evil regime was replaced by another there are many who would say it didn t end in Poland and Czechoslovakia until 1989, and in the Baltic States until 1991, just as there are many in the West who forget that Stalin and Hitler were allies in 1939 At least here, Lowe does a better job.Occasionally Lowe asks the important question or states the important fact in instigating a war of terror and bringing Europe almost to the edge of extinction who should really bear the blame for the chaos that ensued As you sow A Tale Unfolds Keith Lowe s Savage Continent Europe in the Aftermath of World War II is an important book Yes, yes, I know you ve heard it all before, the special pleading on behalf of some new publication or other, but believe me, it is Actually, no, don t believe me don t take my word for it read it and find out for yourself If you think that the Second World War in Europe ended abruptly in May, 1945 if you think that VE Day brought peace then you are in for a surprise I was reminded A Tale Unfolds Keith Lowe s Savage Continent Europe in the Aftermath of World War II is an important book Yes, yes, I know you ve heard it all before, the special pleading on behalf of some new publication or other, but believe me, it is Actually, no, don t believe me don t take my word for it read it and find out for yourself If you think that the Second World War in Europe ended abruptly in May, 1945 if you think that VE Day brought peace then you are in for a surprise I was reminded of some words from the Book of Jeremiah They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people lightly, saying, Peace, peace when there is no peace Considering the important weighting I m giving here it s a book that I almost did not read A few years ago I read Giles Macdonogh s After the Reich From the Liberation of Vienna to the Berlin Airlift I rather assumed that Savage Continent was essentially covering the same territory, namely the post war trauma of Germany It does it touches on the savage expulsion of millions of Germans from the eastern territories handed over to the Poles at Potsdam and Yalta, and from their former homes in the Czech Sudetenland But Lowe deals with so much , not just a traumatised people but a traumatised Continent he deals with the traumas of places as far apart and as diverse as Estonia and Greece We are dealing here with political, social, economic and moral chaos we are dealing with the abyss, the nadir of human civilization We are dealing with starvation, lawlessness, disruption, homelessness, rootlessness, alienation, murder and rape on an unprecedented scale in all of history We are dealing with racial wars and ethnic cleansing that did not end with the Nazis We are dealing with an ugliness of unbelievable intensity In some places the hatred and violence that emerged in the war and immediate post war period never really went away The former Yugoslavia is a case in point, where ethnic and racial tensions engendered by the conflict were submerged for decades, only to break out oncewith unrestrained ferocity in the 1990s, a reminder of how difficult it is to escape from the past It s not all about statistics and numbers, not all about mass suffering there are also some sobering personal anecdotes There is the story of an eighteen year old Polish Jew by the name of Roman Halter He had survived Auschwitz It s May 1945 the war is over the danger is past he is free, emaciated, but free He began a long walk east, leaving from Dresden, hoping to find others of his family who had survived the Holocaust On the way he met a Russian soldier, whom he greeted as a comrade and a liberator The friendly gesture was not returned Instead the Russian ordered him to take his trousers down Having ascertained that he was a Jew he put his revolver to Halter s head and pulled the trigger The gun misfired The memory of this incident stayed with Halter for the rest of his life Anti Semitism had not died with Hitler The sad truth is, as Lowe shows, that hatred of the Jews actually increased after the war, leading to murderous pogroms in Hungary and Poland It wasn t the industrial scale, biology based mass murder of the Nazis, but rather a return toatavist and medieval forms of Jew hatred It was this, perhaps eventhan the Holocaust, which led many Jews to conclude that they had no future in Europe There are other stories which, in their own way, are just as shocking, because they are less expected There is the story of the Norwegian children, some three thousand of whom were born to women who had relationships with German soldiers during the occupation Afterwards the assumption was that the women must have been mentally sub normal and the soldiers they attracted also mentally sub normal For years afterwards the children born to these people were subject to levels of ostracism and discrimination that had a severe impact on their life chances Compared with some of the other horror stories detailed in this book it amounts to little, though it tends to undermine one s view of the seemingly limitless nature of Scandinavian tolerance There was so much in Lowe s account of Stunde Null wrongly given as Stunde nul Zero Hour , as the German referred to the end of the war, that I had no knowledge of at all I knew nothing of the vicious racial war between the Poles and the Ukrainians, pursued both during and after the war, with consequences even so far as today I knew nothing about the struggles of the Forest Brotherhood, the freedom fighters in the Baltic States, who went on to resist the Soviet occupiers for years after the war, people who were still being killed as late as 1978 The author s whole account us tremendously illuminating, as the dust settled and the great post war divisions between the communist east and the free west began to take shape It s as well to remember that for many in the east the story of oppression and occupation did not end in 1945 rather one tyranny simply took the place of another Communism has gone now We have a Brave New Europe that has such free peoples in it Ah, but that s just the thing Our Europe, the Europe of the European Community, is drivenby fear of the past than hope for the future Recently we have had all sorts of dire warnings over what might happen if the euro collapses Hence we have a bureaucratic, post democratic New Order It is the architects of this New Order, in their distrust of the people, who are paradoxically recreating forms of popular discontent that led to disaster in the first place So, yes, this is an important book, important if you want to understand the European present as well as the European past It is cogent, well written and well argued account, if over reliant at points on anecdotal evidence The only thing that irritates me is the author s tendency to drop into the first person singular It is as if he is a tour guide taking us on a journey, a technique which for me is wholly out of place in a sober historical narrative But if it is a journey we have come far If you want to know how far, come and see come and read I could a tale unfold whose lightest wordWould harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,Make thy two eyes like stars start from their spheres,Thy knotted and combined locks to part,And each particular hair to stand on endLike quills upon the fretful porpentine.But this eternal blazon must not beTo ears of flesh and blood. This is the third in my series of great books on World War Two First, Max Hastings in All Hell Let Loose gives the whole story, and brilliantly simplifies it too He explains, and I m convinced, that WW2 was essentially between Germany and the USSR, or between Hitler and Stalin if you wish Everything else was a side show He goes further the result was never in doubt If Hitler and Stalin were equally ruthless, Stalin always hadmen at his disposal, and Russia always had its vast size a This is the third in my series of great books on World War Two First, Max Hastings in All Hell Let Loose gives the whole story, and brilliantly simplifies it too He explains, and I m convinced, that WW2 was essentially between Germany and the USSR, or between Hitler and Stalin if you wish Everything else was a side show He goes further the result was never in doubt If Hitler and Stalin were equally ruthless, Stalin always hadmen at his disposal, and Russia always had its vast size and epic winters it was never going to be defeated by Germany Proving this was, as we know, ferociously, murderously, inhumanly difficult and accounted for most of the war dead Hastings goes further still the second major theatre of war, USA vs Japan, was likewise never in doubt Although the Japanese had run through Indo China like a knife through butter their industrial strength was tiny compared to the USA, so within a couple of years they were bound to run out of material ships, tanks, guns Likewise, proving that foregone conclusion was deathly So that was the big picture The next two books gave the detail of two parts which I knew little or nothing about Ian Kershaw s The End gives a gruesomely detailed description of the final year of the war in Europe, the Gotterdammerung catastrophe of Germany itself, which, as you contemplate its massive, thorough ruination, puts you in mind of a nation sized suicide by police some criminals prefer to prison.Now, finally, Savage Continent gives a forensic portrait of the hideousness of the aftermath of this European lunacy Popular historians have mostly steered clear of this period 1945 48 and understandably so it presents a horrible vista of misery and viciousness, of physical destruction and moral collapse, and of where there was enough food to eat and enough men left standing who were not too busy raping the women who were still alive, of ethnic cleansing, untrammeled vengeance and further civil wars It takes a historian with a very strong stomach to write in detail about this period And us readers need to be able to distance ourselves emotionally from what we are reading here, otherwise we would never pick up a book like this But readers of history are very familiar with that kind of mental discipline History is indeed littlethan the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind Edward Gibbon WORLD WAR TWO AND A HALFWorld War Two ended at different times in different places autumn 1943 in Italy, a year later for France, but in parts of eastern Europe, Greece and Poland, for instance, it morphed into local civil wars and continued into the 1950s There was one over arching conflict between the Allies and the Nazi regime But parallel to that, weaving all the way through it, was a war between the left the communists and the right the nationalists, for want of a better word Then, separate to those two, but closely entwined, so it was often hard to see a difference, were many local wars between the ethnicities in a given area Ukrainians versus Poles, Croats versus Serbs, Germans versus Poles, these wars went on and on, and only intensified after May 1945.The way these were dealt with by the occupying Allied forces was lamentable But Keith Lowe firmly says In a straight choice between Stalinist communism and the flawed mix of democracy and authoritarianism espoused by the West, the latter was undoubtedly the lesser of the two evils.STATISTICS OF CHAOS IN THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATHThere s a table on page 122 DEATHS AMONGST PRISONERS OF WAR which records that the USA captured 3,097,000 prisoners, of whom 4537 died and Britain captured 3,635,000 of whom 1254 died There is a discussion of whyPOWs died in American camps than in British But this all becomes rather academic when, even before presenting the stats table, Keith Lowe says We must remember that these are conservative figures even official historians concede that thousands of deaths probably went unrecorded.And later, aftergruesome revenge stories The validity of accounts like this is impossible to verify, and it is quite likely that some aspects have been greatly exaggerated Underneath another stats table THE JUDICIAL PUNISHMENT OF COLLABORATORS IN WESTERN EUROPE he says Despite the precise nature of some of the figures above, they should be considered estimates only, as many of the absolute numbers are disputed This entire book is strewn with statistical data, big numbers everywhere, and all are disputed, all may be wrong But this does not stop the author Acknowledging the immense difficulties, he ploughs on He covers topic after topic whole chapters on, for example, the fate of the horizontal collaborators , the women who had intimate relations with occupying German forces maybe we should say the women who became sex slaves of one orsoldiers They were hated and reviled, such is to be expected, however unfair The author then gives us seven pages about the attitudes to and experiences of the children of such unions, and how they were despised and ostracized, for decades E.g., in Norway Every year, right up until the start of the 1960s, these children and their guardians had to undergo the annual humiliation of applying to the local police for permission to remain in the country.FINISHING THE JOB THE NAZIS STARTEDIf you thought the Holocaust of European Jews ended when the camps were liberated Keith Lowe brings you bad news Killings of Jews continued Antisemitism was nearly universal in eastern Europe although Poland easily won the contest for Most Antisemitic Post War Country, which I found not surprising Between 500 and 1500 Jews were murdered by Poles in the 12 months after May 1945Jews of all nationalities would discover that the end of German rule did not mean the end of persecution Far from it Despite all that the Jews had suffered, in many areas anti Semitism would increase after the war Violence against Jews would resurface everywhere even in places that had never been occupied, such as Britain In some parts of Europe this violence would be final and definitive the task of permanently clearing their communities of Jews, which even the Nazis failed to do, would be finished off by local people By 1948 much of the region had become, eventhan in Hitler s time, Judenfrei Where did this anti Semitism come from Lowe reports that in the vicious right left nationalist communist struggle which was now surfacing all over Europe, the nationalists characterized the Communist Party as Jewish and the Communist counter propaganda was to label the Jews as capitalists, hoarders and black marketeers.So the Jews fled from Eastern Europe how ironic that Germany, Austria and Italy were now safer than Poland, Ukraine or Yugoslavia And Britain argued passionately that these fleeing Jews should NOT be allowed to emigrate to Palestine The British Foreign Office said that would be admitting that the Nazis were right in holding that there was no place for the Jews in Europe There are so many issues described in this awesome book Keith Lowe has fused together so much material and so many stories into something resembling coherence, and he deserves a big fat history book prize There is nothing too difficult or too obscure or too detailed for him His prose has almost no flair or flavor but it gets the job done with unflagging humanity It s devastating A Polish partisan page 218, my bookThe Ukrainians in turn took their revenge by destroying a village of 500 Poles and torturing and killing all who fell in their hands We responded by destroying two of their larger villages This was how the fighting escalated Each timepeople were killed,houses burnt,women raped Men become desensitised very quickly and kill as if they know nothing else Page 365 It was virtually impossible to emerge from the Second World War without enem A Polish partisan page 218, my bookThe Ukrainians in turn took their revenge by destroying a village of 500 Poles and torturing and killing all who fell in their hands We responded by destroying two of their larger villages This was how the fighting escalated Each timepeople were killed,houses burnt,women raped Men become desensitised very quickly and kill as if they know nothing else Page 365 It was virtually impossible to emerge from the Second World War without enemies.virtually every person on the continent had suffered some kind of loss or injustice.We often think of the Second World War in Europe as ending in May of 1945 We have plentiful images of happiness in the U.S and England but such was not the case on the continent.The author points out that the six long years of war had virtually destroyed all things civilized Chaos was the norm Transportation was non existent cities lay in ruins, and civil society police, government had evaporated There was a constant struggle for food and shelter There were millions of slave labourers on the roads Some wanted to go back to a home that no longer existed others, particularly Russians and Poles, did not want to go home In all cases home would be something vastly different than it was in 1939 The overall feeling was of vengeance to the German, to the collaborator, other ethnic groups, and even to the few remaining Jews left Mob violence was the norm The war unleashed all the hidden ethnic and geographical tensions particularly in Yugoslavia and Poland and Ukraine Each group played the victim card And all was much worse in Eastern Europe where Stalin encouraged ethnic cleansing, where his troops raped and pillaged on a massive scale Stalin s goal was not merely to defeat Nazi Germany, but to subjugate all the conquered territories with his own puppet regimes.As the author mentions, for the millions of soldiers, of slave labourers, of resistance fighters brutality had become a way of life and it did not abruptly end in May 1945 It went on until the early 1950 sso in Eastern Europe We often think of the Marshall Plan as re invigorating Western Europe but this was implemented starting in 1947 because of Europe s overall predicament.This is an excellent book that describes the gruesome conditions that existed in Europe in the post war years It is not a book of mere statistics, but of personal and harrowing examples as in women and children forced to prostitute themselves to get cans of food from Allied soldiers, of soldiers sickened and saddened by the daily scenes of mob violence.In a way, what it is positive is we can see how far Europe has progressed since the early 1950 s and has re established itself as a center of civilization.To close off here is just one example of the residual effects of the war There were hundred of thousands of women who had children from German soldiers These children were discriminated and ostracized in all communities Page 178 One can only applaud the bravery of the French mother who confronted a school teacher who had called her daughter a batard du Boche with the words Madame, it was not my daughter who slept with the German, but me When you want to insult someone, save it for me rather than taking it out on an innocent child

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