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A Nation Defiant: Polish Resistance to the…

A Nation Defiant: Polish Resistance to the German Occupation of Poland

by Richard S. Fuegner

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Volumes have been written about the battles and warriors of World War II but what about the people behind the battle lines who did the living, the suffering and the dying? “A Nation Defiant” is the story of Poland at war, Poland in war, Poland of the unquenchable spirit.

Poland’s wartime experience was unique. Whereas other occupied countries were able to muddle through with conquerors with whom they had to co-exist, Poles were, in German eyes, subhuman, fit only to work for Germans until they fell: shot, broken, starved, humiliated. Resistance took many forms. It was as overt as the uprisings of the Jewish Ghetto and the Home Army in Warsaw and as subtle as wrong directions, mispronounced names, home schooling and clandestine theatre. Ultimately it was a tragic failure and an irresistible success. Expecting liberation from the approaching Red Army Warsaw’s forces Warsaw rose in revolt only to be left to die on the vine while Soviets and the world looked on as their Army was decimated and their city leveled. Stalin’s decision to let the Polish leadership be eradicated by the Germans was not Poland’s only betrayal in this war. Britain, who went to war to guarantee Poland’s independence and FDR, who only asked for words to placate Polish voters at home, watched as a Communist dictatorship replaced Nazi tyranny.

Author Richard Fuegner has rendered a valuable service to the World War II community. I had known little about Poland before or during the war. This book taught me a lot. It talks of a land with a large Jewish population with whom the Poles shared sufferings, torture and death. The book is well organized by theme, beginning from the lead up to war through its aftermath in which Poland, again conquered and subjugated, awaited another Phoenix to rise from the ashes. Fuegner’s writing style keeps the story moving along without drowning in detail. “A Nation Defiant” introduces the reader to the history of this period in this tragic counry where war began and to the nation that always stood defiant.

I did receive a free copy of this book from my friend, Rich Fuegner. The decision to review was mine. ( )
  JmGallen | Aug 22, 2014 |
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