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Savage continent: Europe in the aftermath of…

Savage continent: Europe in the aftermath of World War II (2012)

by Keith Lowe

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3031536,938 (4.07)14
  1. 00
    Year Zero. A History of 1945 by Ian Buruma (gust)
  2. 00
    Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945 by Tony Judt (marieke54)
  3. 00
    My Hundred Children by Lena Kuchler-Silberman (meggyweg)
    meggyweg: This memoir by a woman who founded a Jewish orphanage in Poland immediately after the war shows quite a lot of the violence, tension and problems Lowe's book describes.

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Shined a light for me on the brutality and vengeance that consumed much of Europe in the wake of war. Though the soviets were behind a degree of the savagery in the East, most of the belligerence involved partisans, nationalist militias, and even neighbor vs neighbor. The ethnic divisions were only stirred up in the aftermath of wartime, resulting in the most horrific "cleansing" and forced evictions the world has seen. Great scholarship, convincing evidence, balanced. ( )
  JamesMScott | Feb 2, 2015 |
A historian who goes the extra mile to get a better understanding of the issues. Definitely not afraid to take on sacred cows of history or cherished myths. Very good organization with flow of ideas developed in a coherent manner. Unusually good prose for historical writing, very fluid, no need for those pauses and backtracking where you have to untangle the meaning. ( )
  VGAHarris | Jan 19, 2015 |
This tells of the conflicts in Europe after World War II, concentrating on the years 1945 and 1946Mostley it tells of the conflict between Russian supported forces and those opposing those forces. It is pretty balanced, not hesitating to condemn either side for violent and treacherous behavior. It tells of the conflicts in Norway, Italy, and France--where Communists did not triumph, and then tells the dismal story of how Eastern Europe fell into Communist tyranny. It is not a pleasant story and I could not enjoy the book, and did not learn anything that surprised me. Some of the violence of the west European countries as they took revenge on the Hitler-supporting people in their countries was not well-known to me. Countries like Norway, which had long eschewed capital punishment, brought it back to deal with Hitler-supporting countrymen. Fortunately after that they again abandoned capital punishment. ( )
1 vote Schmerguls | Dec 20, 2014 |
Most histories of WWII end with Germany's surrender. That is where this picks up. At times, the descriptions of the brutality and chaos (and it wasn't just the Russians) is at times difficult to get through, but this is a must for anyone interested in how modern Europe came to be. Also, if you think nation building is wasy, because we did in in Europe. Read this. Massive resettlement (today we call it ethnic cleansing) of populations. People who thought nation building in Afganistan or Iraq would be easy should have read this. ( )
1 vote bke | Mar 30, 2014 |
Perhaps the ultimate argument against anarchy is a history of how people behave, what it's really like, when it occurs. This is an excellent look at a forgotten period of history; the first few years post World War II in Europe. ( )
1 vote BruceCoulson | Jan 28, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067091746X, Hardcover)

The Second World War might have officially ended in May 1945, but in reality it rumbled on for another 10 years ...Across Europe, landscapes had been ravaged, entire cities razed and more than 35 million people had been killed in the war. The institutions that we now take for granted - such as the police, the media, transport, local and national government - were either entirely absent or hopelessly compromised. Crime rates were soaring, economies collapsing, and the European population was hovering on the brink of starvation. In this epic book, Keith Lowe describes a continent still racked by violence, where large sections of the population had yet to accept that the war was over. He outlines the warped morality and the insatiable urge for vengeance that were the legacy of the conflict. He describes the ethnic cleansing and civil wars that tore apart the lives of ordinary people from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean, and the establishment of a new world order that finally brought stability to a shattered generation.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:28 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Recounts the disorder in Europe after World War II, describing the brutal acts against Germans and collaborators, the anti-Semitic beliefs that reemerged, and the Allied-tolerated expulsions of citizens from their ancestral homelands.

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