Savage Continent Europe in the Aftermath of World War II { Pdf } Author Keith Lowe – Book or DOC

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Savage Continent Europe in the Aftermath of World War II

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. A Polish partisan page 218 my book The 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 time people were killed houses burnt women raped Men become desensitised very uickly and kill as if they know nothing else Page 365 It was virtually impossible to emerge from the Second World War without enemiesvirtually every person on the continent had suffered some kind of loss or injusticeWe often think of the Second World War in Europe as ending in May of 1945 We have plentiful images of happiness in the US and England but such was not the case on the continentThe 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 conuered territories with his own puppet regimesAs 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 s so 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 predicamentThis 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 violenceIn 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 civilizationTo 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


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 1940s 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. This book is a revelation as other reviewers have pointed out for those of us whose view of history was that WWII led to the Cold War and events in between didn t matter much because we knew what happened in the end I at least learned that I knew nothing Ignoring the forced cultural shifts and anarchy that occurred after WWII is to ignore the underpinnings of most of the Euro centric conflicts that have occurred and are ongoing todayAnother milestone I ve never read a book that has given rise in to such disgust at the deplorable lows that humans can be brought to by years of mental anguish Freuently reading this book gave way to raw emotion but also speculation at how the political and cultural demonizations that occurred post WWII are still visible in my own prejudicesThis book is the most important read for anybody interested not only WWII s aftermath but in comprehending the undercurrents of many modern political movements especially in Europe and America and perhaps being able to see through the modern forms of racism prejudice and lies that fill our airwaves and fuel our hatreds

Keith Lowe ☆ 1 FREE DOWNLOAD

Winner of the PEN Hessell Tiltman Prize A superb and immensely important book Jonathan Yardley The Washington Post The Second World War might have officially ended in May 1945 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 uite different Across Europe landscapes had been ravaged entire cities razed and than thirty million people had been killed in. 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 once with 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 to atavist and medieval forms of Jew hatred It was this perhaps even than 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 conseuences 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 driven by 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 techniue 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 bloodMake thy two eyes like stars start from their spheresThy knotted and combined locks to partAnd each particular hair to stand on endLike uills upon the fretful porpentineBut this eternal blazon must not beTo ears of flesh and blood

10 thoughts on “Savage Continent Europe in the Aftermath of World War II

  1. says:

    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 thi

  2. says:

    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 sto

  3. says:

    The war was overhooray and let's celebrate Of course that was not the case at all but historians often give short shrift to the horrors of the years in Europe immediately following WWII The end of that conflagration only initiated the start of othersdisplaced persons prisoners war crimes nationalism giving way to violence

  4. says:

    A Polish partisan page 218 my book “The Ukrainians in turn took their revenge by destroying a village of 500 Poles and torturing and killing a

  5. says:

    Savage Continent Europe in the Aftermath of World War II by Keith Lowe is an excellent book and a ground breaking study of the years that followed the Second World WarI have read a lot of books about the war and the concentrations camps and the violence and atrocities that took place in Europe at this timeI had never actually read a book about the aftermath of the war although I had often wondered about this period in history The

  6. says:

    A Goodreads friend of mine recently asked why I've been reading and reviewing so many history books of late I told him I like history Then why don't you write history books? he asked rather than coming of age novels obsessed with as one reviewer discovered sucking dickOnce upon a time I did want to be a historian As a kid I inhaled history I knew about events and places at an age when most kids barely knew about the world beyon

  7. says:

    This book is a revelation as other reviewers have pointed out for those of us whose view of history was that WWII led to the Cold War and events in between didn't matter much because we knew what happened in the end I at least learned that I knew nothing Ignoring the forced cultural shifts and anarchy that occurred after W

  8. says:

    This is a stunning portrait of the continent wide upheaval that followed World War II The cover itself is vastly different from the American post war images of cheering crowds and ticker tape parades The average European soldier prisoner of war or concentration camp survivor did not go home to a GI Bill a booming

  9. says:

    144k words 4h Nonfiction European history by Keith Lowe Savage Continent is a fascinating book on the bloody aftermath of WWII as the destruction wound down the lingering conseuences of anarchy worked themselves out in the sudden peace and people tried to find a new euilibrium punishing collaborators and finishing the ethnic cleansings uickly

  10. says:

    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 little I 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 soldi

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