Pale, sharp-featured, his accent common, his eyes a gentle grey, he would say, "I'm an unlucky blighter, nothing I can do about it. He earned his living in grocers' shops in the Rue Mouffetard, where the assistants rose at six, arranged the display at seven, and went upstairs to sleep in a garret after 9 p. He was sentimental; the laments of street-singers moved him to the verge of tears, he could not approach a woman without making a fool of himself, and half a day in the open air of the meadows gave him a lasting dose of intoxication.
He experienced a new lease of life if he hears someone call him "comrade" or explain that one could, one must, "become a new man". Soudy's last-minute request was for a cup of coffee with cream and some fancy rolls, his last pleasure on earth, appropriate enough for that grey morning when people were happily eating their breakfast in the last bistros. It must have been too early, for they could only find him a little black coffee.
He was fainting with fright and nerves, and had to be supported while he was going down the stairs; but he controlled himself and, when he saw the clearness of the sky over the chestnut trees, hummed a sentimental street-song: "Hail, O last morning of mine". The outbreak of war was sudden, like an unexpected storm in a season of clear weather.
For me, it heralded another, purifying tempest: the Russian Revolution. Revolutionaries knew quite well that the autocratic Empire, with its hangmen, its pogroms, its finery, its famines, its Siberian jails and ancient iniquity, could never survive the war.
Zinoviev's wife Lilina, People's Commissar for Social Planning in the Northern Commune, a small crop-haired, grey-eyed woman in a uniform jacket, sprightly and tough, asked me, "Have you brought your families with you? I could put them up in palaces, which I know is very nice on some occasions, but it is impossible to heat them. You'd better go to Moscow. Here, we are besieged people in a besieged city. Hunger-riots may start, the Finns may swoop on us, the British may attack.
Typhus has killed so many people that we can't manage to bury them; luckily they are frozen. If work is what you want, there's plenty of it! I met the Menshevik leaders, and certain anarchists. Both sets denounced Bolshevik intolerance, the stubborn refusal to revolutionary dissenters of any right to exist, and the excesses of the Terror. The Mensheviks seemed to me to be admirably intelligent, honest and devoted to Socialism, but completely overtaken by events.
They stood for a sound principle, that of working-class democracy, but in a situation fraught with such mortal danger that the stage of siege did not permit any functioning of democratic institutions. An Anarchist schoolmaster and former political prisoner, named Nestor Makhno, opened up guerrilla warfare at Gulai-Polye, with fifteen men at his side; these attacked German sentries to obtain weapons.
Later on, Makhno was to form whole armies. The Germans repressed these movements with the utmost vigour, executing prisoners en masse and burning down villages; but it was all too much for them. Since the first massacres of Red prisoners by the Whites, the murders of Volodarsky and Uritsky and the attempt against Lenin in the summer of , the custom of arresting and, often, executing hostages had become generalized and legal. Already Cheka, which made mass arrests of suspects, the was tending to settle their fate independently, under formal control of the Party, but in reality without anybody's knowledge.
The Party endeavoured to head it with incorruptible men like the former convict Dzerzhinsky, a sincere idealist, ruthless but chivalrous, with the emaciated profile of an Inquisitor: tall forehead, bony nose, untidy goatee, and an expression of weariness and austerity. But the Party had few men of this stamp and many Chekas. I believe that the formation of the Chekas was one of the gravest and most impermissible errors that the Bolshevik leaders committed in when plots, blockades, and interventions made them lose their heads.
All evidence indicates that revolutionary tribunals, functioning in the light of day and admitting the right of defence, would have attained the same efficiency with far less abuse and depravity. Was it necessary to revert to the procedures of the Inquisition? By the beginning of , the Chekas had little or no resistance against this psychological perversion and corruption. I know for a fact that Dzerzhinsky judged them to be "half-rotten", and saw no solution to the evil except in shooting the worst Chekists and abolishing the death-penalty as quickly as possible.
The winter of was a torture there is no other word for it for the towns people: no heating, no lighting, and the ravages of famine. Children and feeble old folk died in their thousands. Typhus was carried everywhere by lice, and took its frightful toll. Inside Petrograd's grand apartments, now abandoned, people were crowded in one room, living on top of one another around a little stove of brick or cast-iron which would be standing on the floor, its flue belching smoke through an opening in the window.
The great leap backward
Fuel for it would come from the floor-boards of rooms near by, from the last stick of furniture available, or else from books. Entire libraries disappeared in this way. The final assault was unleashed by Tukhacevsky on 17 March, and culminated in a daring victory over the impediment of the ice.
Lacking any qualified officers, the Kronstadt sailors did not know how to employ their artillery; there was, it is true, a former officer named Kozlovsky among them, but he did little and exercised no authority. Some of the rebels managed to reach Finland. Others put up a furious resistance, fort to fort and street to street; they stood and were shot crying, "Long live the world revolution! Hundreds of prisoners were taken away to Petrograd and handed to the Cheka; months later they were still being shot in small batches, a senseless and criminal agony. Those defeated sailors belonged body and soul to the Revolution; they had voiced the suffering and the will of the Russian people.
This protracted massacre was either supervised or permitted by Dzerzhinsky. The Workers Opposition, led by Shliapnikov, Alexandra Kollontai, and Medvedev, believed that the revolution was doomed if the Party failed to introduce radical changes in the organization of work, restore freedom and authority to the trade unions, and make an immediate turn towards establishing a true Soviet democracy. I had long discussions on this question with Shliapnikov. A former metalworker, he kept about him, even when in power, the mentality, the prejudices, and even the old clothes he had possessed as a worker.
He distrusted the officials "that multitude of scavengers" and was sceptical about the Comintern, seeing too many parasites in it who were only hungry for money. Maxim Gorky welcomed me affectionately. In the famished years of his youth, he had been acquainted with my mother's family at Nizhni-Novgorof. His apartment at the Kronversky Prospect, full of books, seemed as warm as a greenhouse.
He himself was chilly even under his thick grey sweater, and coughed terribly, the result of his thirty years' struggle against tuberculosis. Tall, lean and bony, broad-shouldered and hollow-chested, he stooped a little as he walked. His frame, sturdily-built but anaemic, appeared essentially as a support for his head. An ordinary, Russian man in the street's head, bony and pitted, really almost ugly with its jutting cheek-bones, great thin-lipped mouth and professional smeller's nose, broad and peaked. He spoke harshly about the Bolsheviks: they were "drunk with authority", "cramping the violent, spontaneous anarchy of the Russian people", and "starting bloody despotism all over again"; all the same they were "facing chaos alone" with some incorruptible men in their leadership.
His observations always started from facts, from chilling anecdotes upon which he would base his well-considered generalizations. It was a prison of noiseless, cell-divided secrecy, built barely into a block that had once been occupied by insurance company offices. Each floor formed a prison on its own, sealed off from the others, with its individual entrance and reception-kiosk; coloured electric light-signals operated on all landings and corridors to mark the various comings and goings, so that prisoners could never meet one another.
A mysterious hotel-corridor, whose red carpet silenced the slight sound of footsteps; and then a cell, bare, with an inlaid floor, a passable bed, a table and a chair, all spick and span. Here, in absolute secrecy, with no communication with any person whatsoever, with no reading-matter whatsoever, with no paper, not even one sheet, with no occupation of any kind, with no open-air exercise in the yard, I spent about eighty days. It was a severe test for the nerves, in which I acquitted myself pretty well. I was weary with my years of nervous tension, and felt an immense physical need for rest.
I slept as much as I could, at least twelve hours a day. The rest of the time, I set myself to work assiduously. I gave myself courses in history, political economy - and even in natural science! I mentally wrote a play, short stories, poems. I can see that you are an unwavering enemy. You are bent on destroying yourself. Years of jail are in store for you. You are the ringleader of the Trotskyite conspiracy.
We know everything. I want to try and save you in spite of yourself. This is the last time that we try. So, I'm making one last attempt to save you.
Appel à contribution
I don't expect very much from you - I know you too well. I am going to acquaint you with the complete confessions that have been made by your sister-in-law and secretary, Anita Russakova. All you have to do it say, "I admit that it is true", and sign it. I won't ask you any more questions, the investigation will be closed, your whole position will be improved, and I shall make every effort to get the Collegium to be lenient to you.
And on 14 August, like a thunderbolt, came the announcement of the Trial of the Sixteen, concluded on the 25th - eleven days later - by the execution of Zinoviev, Kamenev, Ivan Smirnov, and all their fellow-defendants. I understood, and wrote at once, that this marked the beginning of the extermination of all the old revolutionary generation. It was impossible to murder only some, and allow the others to live, their brothers, impotent witnesses maybe, but witnesses who understood what was going on.
The bureaucracy itself could, it seems, have a less disastrous policy without difficulty, if it had displayed more general culture and Socialist spirit. Only one takes the narrow path, and He—Jesus becomes our path. He is the path, He is the gate, He is the way, the truth, and the life. It descends into our dead hearts like a word or a seed, giving us the courage to look beyond our walls and judgments. Why would anyone want to hope for Hitler? So, I hope Hitler has more than a second chance. I hope he has a new heart flooded with grace.
I hope to see Hitler washing the feet of six million Jews. I agree with most other reviewers, so won't belabor here. But three things were new to me: First, that so few Jews existed in the Reich before the war--almost all lived in territories conquered after Failing that, Jews were hounded into ever smaller areas.
And, third, when it became apparent that the Soviets would win on the Eastern front, Jew-killing became Hitler's substitute for the military triumph Russia would deny him. We can get to the [gas] trucks on our own. Oct 18, Chris Mallows marked it as to-read.
- Russian collaboration in Belgium during World War II.
- Joseph Stalin – Psychopathology Of A Dictator – Colombo Telegraph!
The who, why, when, where and how of these mass murders is the subject of a gripping and comprehensive new book by Timothy Snyder of Yale University. Just as Stalin blamed the peasants for the failure of collectivisation, Hitler blamed the Jews for his military failures in the east. Each of them had a transformative Utopia, a group to be blamed when its realisation proved impossible, and then a policy of mass murder that could be proclaimed as a kind of ersatz victory. Even those who pride themselves on knowing their history will find themselves repeatedly brought up short by his insights, contrasts and comparisons.
Some ghastly but well-known episodes recede; others emerge from the shadows.
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Sometimes the memories are faded because so few were left to remember. Those who suffered horribly but lived to tell the tale naturally get a better hearing than the millions in unmarked graves. He starts with the 3. He goes on to mark the ,odd Soviet citizens, chiefly Poles, shot because of their ethnicity in the purges of Sometimes the NKVD simply picked Polish-sounding names from the telephone directory, or arrested en masse all those attending a Polish church service. Some stories remained untold because they were inconvenient. About as many people died in the German bombing of Warsaw in as in the allied bombing of Dresden in Post-war Poland was in no state to gain recognition for that.
Few wanted to remember that two years later, when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa. The Western allies did little to stop the Holocaust. Few wanted reminding that the only government that took direct action to help the Jews was the Polish one: seven of the first eight operations conducted in Warsaw by the underground Polish Home Army were in support of the ghetto uprising. Stalin regarded all Soviet prisoners-of-war as traitors.
Their German captors starved them to death in their millions; nobody dared mourn them. Many of the stories in the book are already known as national or ethnic tragedies. Poles focus on the Warsaw uprising; Jews on Auschwitz; Russians on the siege of Leningrad; Ukrainians on the great famine. Hitler learnt a lot from Stalin, and vice versa. Mr Snyder shifts the usual geographical focus away from the perpetrator countries to the places where they first colluded and then collided.
Germany and Russia and Germans and Russians mostly fared better, or less horribly, than the places in between there were more Jews in the Polish city of Lodz alone than in Berlin and Vienna combined. No corner of what are now Belarus and Ukraine was spared. Much of Germany and even more of Russia was unscathed, at least physically, by war. He also corrects exaggerations, misapprehensions and simplifications. The bestial treatment of slave labourers in concentration camps, and the use of gas chambers, are commonly seen as the epitomes of Nazi persecution.
But the Germans also shot and starved millions of people, as well as gassed and worked them to death. In just a few days in , the Nazis shot more Jews in the east than they had inmates in all their concentration camps. That argument is powerful but unfair. Many people say stupid things about history. Mr Snyder is not one. Nor does he overlook Soviet suffering at the hands of Hitler or the heroism of the soldiers who destroyed the Third Reich. What it does do, admirably, is to explain and record.
Both totalitarian empires turned human beings into statistics, and their deaths into a necessary step towards a better future. Mar 27, David rated it it was amazing. Sebald who said that "no serious person ever thinks about anything else except Hitler and Stalin. View all 4 comments. Sep 30, Brendan Hodge rated it it was amazing. The Holocaust and World War II are probably two of the most freqently covered tropics in twenties century history, yet in Bloodlands Timothy Snyder brings a truly fresh and revealing perspective to what might otherwise seem an often covered topic.
This is, quite simply, one of the best history books I have read. Snyder looks at the mass killing campaigns of both Hitler and Stalin in the are between Germany and Russia, from to Thus, he starts with the manufactured famine in Ukraine, cov The Holocaust and World War II are probably two of the most freqently covered tropics in twenties century history, yet in Bloodlands Timothy Snyder brings a truly fresh and revealing perspective to what might otherwise seem an often covered topic.
Thus, he starts with the manufactured famine in Ukraine, covers Stalin's Great Terror, and then the atrocities which followed and Germany and Russia simultaneously invaded Poland. It devotes a great deal of time to the Holocaust, and in the process sigificantly changes and deepens the readers understanding of how the Holocaust took place, and how it was shaped by Nazi war aims and setbacks.
Significant time is also given to the resistance and reprisal killings, and finally to the ethnic cleansing that followed the war and to nascent anti-Semitic terror which Stalin began in his last yeats and was cut short by his death. A book that deals with the killing of 14 million non-combatants over a decade and a half is clearly not cheerful reading.
This is in some ways made more so by Snyders determination not to fall into thinking "a million deaths is a statistic. To this end, he bringing us the stories of many individual people caught up in the tragedy of mid-century central Europe, often in their own words. I am so afraid of this death because they throw small children into the mass graves alive. Farewell forever. I kiss you, I kiss you. To quote a review by Hiroaki Kuromiya of Indiana Universiry: Throughout the book, Snyder corrects conventional wisdom.
Nov 24, Holly rated it it was amazing Shelves: reads. A book that suggests that the Holocaust and mass killings of the World War II-era were worse, that's right, worse, than we were taught to believe. Snyder shows that "the image of the German concentration camps as the worst element of National Socialism is an illusion," and The American and British soldiers who liberated the dying inmates from camps in Germany believed that they had discovered the horrors of Nazism.
Sorry If You’re Offended, but Socialism Leads to Misery and Destitution – revolexituju.tk
The images their photographers and cameramen captured of the corpses and the livi A book that suggests that the Holocaust and mass killings of the World War II-era were worse, that's right, worse, than we were taught to believe. The images their photographers and cameramen captured of the corpses and the living skeletons at Bergen-Belsen and Buchenwald seemed to convey the worst crimes of Hitler.
Reading this book was like watching images from a panoramic camera hovering over eastern Europe and Stalin's Russian Federation - with brief panning out to Japan and back - between and The camera doesn't focus on soldiers or military maneuvers or the other fronts in the war, or the U. The camera documents planned deaths - what really happened in the bloodlands of Germany, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia, before all the subsequent historical and philosophical explanations of victims and perpetrators and nationalistic justifications clouded the lens.
The litany of murders, misery, and near-incomprehensible horror is constant and appalling, but never numbing. Though every 25 pages or so what appears on the page is so wrenching that one must close one's eyes and shudder and wonder why this part of the story was largely unknown. Depictions of mass killing by starvation were particularly horrifying to this reader. To find other people [i. To dismiss the Nazis or the Soviets as beyond human concern or historical understanding is to fall into their moral trap.
The safer route is to realized that their motive for mass killing, however revolting to us, made sense to them. That is a challenging appeal to forgo identifying only with victims, as we have been taught to do. And his larger point, emphasized throughout but clearly explained in his brilliantly-reasoned conclusion, is about the necessity of historical research and not giving up the attempt to understand the past. Mar 11, Brad Eastman rated it it was amazing. Although very well written, I found this book very difficult to read. The book is an important history of a region about which Americans seem to know little, However, be prepared to feel very pessimistic about humanity as you read this work.
Snyder chronicles the fate of those areas subject to both German and Soviet control in the 30's and 40's. We know of the brutality of the Germans and we have heard of the brutality of Stalin, but Mr. Snyder chronicles the brutality on both a historical a Although very well written, I found this book very difficult to read. Snyder chronicles the brutality on both a historical and epic scale in detail and very graphically. I have a far greater appreciation of the tragedy of Soviet rule, the indifference of America and Britain and above all the suffering of people.
Snyder makes the point to avoid round numbers, which accentuates that we are talking about individuals and makes the tragedy all the more real. I found Mr. Snyder's chapter on the Soviet shift to antisemitism after the war to be very interesting. Snyder draws larger lessons about the uses of the history of victimhood and the political imperative to rewrite those histories. He therefore goes through great pains to be an objective chronicler, without regard to the cherished myths of Poles, Jews, Russians, Ukrainians, etc.
The result leaves one feeling hopeless, which is not to say that you should not read this work, just be prepared. As I read the work, I wondered how Germany west recovered from the war and rejoined the family of nations. Snyder also chronicles to some extent Holocaust historiography. We tend to associate the Holocaust with Auschwitz because there were more survivors of Auschwitz.
There were only a handful of survivors of Babi Yar and Treblinka and therefore we know far less about those places.
I highly recommend this book. Nov 07, Rick Riordan rated it liked it. Petersburg, Russia. This book is very bleak reading. I had to take long breaks from it to clear my head. Jul 11, Jonathan Yu rated it it was amazing. The Bloodlands is a book that I first noticed in a review on Slate. At the time, the review noted several atrocities that the book includes in its pages. I read the review and determined that it made sense to get this book. This book is not a book to be enjoyed.
Not a book to be loved. Not a book to sit down and just "read". This is a book that you experience, slog through, and weep on. It destroys your belief in humanity, your optimism for human brotherhood, and causes you to feel unending grie The Bloodlands is a book that I first noticed in a review on Slate. It destroys your belief in humanity, your optimism for human brotherhood, and causes you to feel unending grief and pain Numbness because the death is relentless. The death and the confusion and the sheer stupidity of it all just marches on and on.
If it is so painful to read this book, then I do not know how Mr. Snyder was able to write it without experiencing a stunning spiral into madness. His numbers are precise, his research is crisp, and the stories he could find - drawn from a dizzying variety of sources - strike at your heart like knives. I will never forget this book for as long as I live. Jan 25, Kitty Red-Eye rated it really liked it Shelves: aa-ferdig , classics , europe , nonfiction , history , soviet-union-or-russia , ww2-and-holocaust , war , jewish-even-remotely , leftism-rightism. Quite massive, covering an extremely bloody and violent time and place in less than pages.
So obviously, It's very compact and as the topic alone reveals, terrible. But the book is very good. The subject matter is heavy, but It's not very difficult to read, thanks to the author's good organization and presentation of his study. Impressive source material, very interesting perspective with treating the Soviet-German-Soviet-occupied zones of Europe as one and telling the story about these nigh Quite massive, covering an extremely bloody and violent time and place in less than pages.
Impressive source material, very interesting perspective with treating the Soviet-German-Soviet-occupied zones of Europe as one and telling the story about these nightmare years as one tale, one narrative. Excellent, I'd say. Aug 13, David Singerman rated it it was amazing Shelves: history , war , 20th-century , europe , the-holocaust , jews. Timothy Snyder's "Bloodlands" I don't know enough about Eastern-European history to address Snyder's claim that the mass killing of fourteen million people in Poland, Belarus, the Baltic states and western Russia was "the central event" of modern European history.
But that certainly seems like a plausible claim, or rather it seems difficult to imagine an event that could be more significant for the history of the continent. Even an invading army can pass over a land like a wave and leave society Timothy Snyder's "Bloodlands" I don't know enough about Eastern-European history to address Snyder's claim that the mass killing of fourteen million people in Poland, Belarus, the Baltic states and western Russia was "the central event" of modern European history.
Even an invading army can pass over a land like a wave and leave society and history to continue much as they were before; but the killing of one in every three people in a place cannot. The Nazis and Soviets killed as great a proportion of the population as did the black death, but while the black death was indiscriminate this was targeted: at Jews, Poles, Ukrainians, the communists, the intelligentsia, the bourgeoisie. To my mind the question about the Holocaust and the other Nazi and Soviet mass killings has always been: how did it happen?
I don't mean to ask what motivated or permitted people to kill their friends, neighbors, and countrymen; that part is all too understandable. What I mean is though to my knowledge Snyder never puts it this way : why did these mass killings happen the way that they did? Why was mass killing organized—why organized the way it was, and why organized at all? To put it another way, if you wanted to kill all the Jews of Europe, why would you not just give your soldiers a standing order to shoot every Jew they met?
Or just let them rampage over the countryside? Why would you lock people up in ghettos and then shoot or gas them later? Why not just starve people? Why bother feeding people in camps anything, if you just wanted them to die? These questions Snyder answers. For a victim of one of these totalitarian regimes, how you died depended not just on who you were but where you lived, who was in control, when they were in control, and whether that state happened to be preoccupied by food shortages, labor shortages, the fear of fifth columns, or some combination of these and sheer hatred.
Neither of these regimes was some kind of mindless technocracy, slowly putting into action predetermined plans. What was the mechanism that translated the hatred of Hitler or the paranoia of Stalin into the actual shooting of actual people, or into more complex forms of death like the killing factory at Treblinka and the logistical apparatus that fed it? As Snyder points out, what we now think of as "the Final Solution" was actually only the last in a line of plans to deal with the Jews, who were only killed en masse west of the Molotov-Ribbentrop line after plans to expel them, hand them to the Soviets, ship them to Madagascar and deport them to Soviet Central Asia all failed.
The Jews, obviously, suffered the most in the sense that the Jewish population in the bloodlands was utterly destroyed. Treblinka, once it was running at full efficiency and maximum capacity, is the real horror and centerpiece of the book. Three quarters of a million people were killed there and their bodies disposed of in a manner that can almost be called precise. The only reason we know anything about its innards is that a few dozen of those Jews selected to labor within its walls saw that, once Warsaw's Jews were disposed of and the facility dismantled, their fates would be sealed too, and rebelled and fled.
But the real tragedy is the story of Poland as a whole, a vibrant and independent civilization that was intentionally beheaded by the Germans and Soviets after and drawn and quartered for good measure, whose cities were subject to deliberate obliteration. The survival of Poland and Polish civilization at all seems a complete miracle. What is the point of this litany of death? Reducing mass killing to its statistics and its sums, Snyder argues, serves us and our base motives, not the dead. And it serves us poorly. The histories of the bloodlands and of the Holocaust are not simple or easy.
If we want to do justice to the past, and to really ensure that our present and future do not fall into its shadow, we must remember each person and know how and why they died. Jul 17, Justin Evans rated it really liked it Shelves: history-etc. Perhaps I'm coming to this too late eight years after publication , but many of the facts were familiar to me from other work on the war and its aftermath.
That said, I was pleasantly surprised. Snyder's presentation was clear, as was his argument, even if the latter wasn't entirely convincing. In a strange way, this is an inversion of great-man history: evil-man history. The mass murders that took place in eastern Europe, for Snyder, often seem to come down to an interaction of Hitler and Stal Perhaps I'm coming to this too late eight years after publication , but many of the facts were familiar to me from other work on the war and its aftermath. The mass murders that took place in eastern Europe, for Snyder, often seem to come down to an interaction of Hitler and Stalin's brains, which I can't help but think is a little too simplistic.
Perhaps this was just a rhetorical move it's easier to say "Stalin xed" than it is to lay out everything that went into that x , but the effect is a little confounding. That wouldn't at all matter, except that Western historians and Eastern European journalists and public figures have recently made a lot of hay out of not being Nazis e. Snyder does well in his conclusion to warn against victimhood as an important part of injustice if you're a victim, your deeds are ipso facto just, even if they're, say, starving Ukrainian peasants to death ; that is not a lesson that will be taken from his work by the Anne Appelabums of the world.
And, to judge by his own more recent public interventions, Snyder probably didn't take it all that much to heart, either. So, this is a solid book, well worth reading, particularly if you're somehow still in the grips of the History Channel's version of the war. In fact, lots of Eastern Europeans were horrifying human beings before 'Stalin' arrived, while he was there, while 'Hitler' was there, and after 'Stalin' came back.
In that, they're like the rest of us, even Timothy Snyder. To give one example of the imbalance here: Snyder quite rightly rejects the idea of calling Jewish people 'Soviet Jews' just because they were in Eastern European countries when those countries were swallowed by the Soviets. But he's very comfortable indeed with calling non-Jewish people Soviets when they're doing bad things, as if pogroms were caused by and carried out by Soviets who happened to be Polish against Jews who happened to be Soviets, rather than Poles against Jews.
Or, despite his universalist humanist plea in the conclusion, consider that Snyder sees the problem with Hitler and Stalin as being their desire for a utopia--that boogeyman of the individualist American--and not that they were both nationalists and, indeed, one wonders why the Eastern European nationalists who wanted to ethnically cleanse their 'homelands' were somehow less utopian than the Germans and Russian soviets.
A historical research to the mass murders committed by Stalin and Hitler before and during the Second World War Together, the nazi and soviet regime massmurdered more than 14 million people. The murders were started in the early 's, when Stalin deliberatedly let more than 3 million people starve to death in the Ukraine.
Russia After Stalin
It continued with the Great Terror in and , where approximatedly During the partition of Poland, both Germany and Russia worked together to A historical research to the mass murders committed by Stalin and Hitler before and during the Second World War Together, the nazi and soviet regime massmurdered more than 14 million people.
During the partition of Poland, both Germany and Russia worked together to kill more than During the invasion of Russia and the years after that, the Germans killed 4 million Russians, and killed and gassed more than 5,4 million Jews. The bloodlands where the author is referring to, are the lands that experienced the Stalin terror, the subsequent German occupation.
It roughly covers Poland, White-Russia and the Ukraine. These people did not suffer once, but suffered multiple times. Bot Hitler and Stalin carried out a policy of extermination, where there was no place for Jews and Slavic people or enemies of the state. Both countries developed a Utopia: the German idea of the colonisation of Russia by the German ubermensch and the Russian idea of a perfect communist state.
Both utopia's had to be adjusted to the reality, and the killing started. Soon it became apparent to both Stalin and Hitler that these utopia's were imaginary, and that in reality they never could be achieved. But this didn't stop them from murdering the peoples and continue the lies. This is not a fun book. It shows you when an obvious lie is believed to be the truth, and how this can result in killing of millions of people. Real people, that once lived, loved and died in vain.
View all 3 comments. Sep 04, Vincent rated it it was amazing Shelves: history. Bloodlands is a book that is both deeply disturbing and compelling. It describes an area from the North Sea to the Crimean Sea and from Eastern Poland to Western Ukraine that was the scene of millions of deaths between - Caught between Stalin and Hitler it's population was intentionally starved, robbed, abused, tortured and killed in planned, organized and capricious decisions of the two greatest mass murders of the twentieth century.
In a recent New York Times article, author Martin A Bloodlands is a book that is both deeply disturbing and compelling. In a recent New York Times article, author Martin Amis referred to this book and said that he still considered Hitler the worst offender. I'm not sure what is the criteria for deciding who is the worst mass murderer.
In my mind it is a toss-up. But, you would not want to read this book and act as a judge in such a contest. You would read it to ask how could this happen? Beyond death, it is also a book about survival and about human dignity in the face of crushing oppression. It is a story of heroics, when you think people would just give up. And yet throughout reading this, you still wonder how it could happen.
This is an question for which you never get a good answer. The story of Bloodlands is still being replayed to a lesser extent in other areas around the globe. It is a gripping story that should be read and understood. Because people kept trying to make themselves believe it was not real it became more so. Because we don't want to believe that people can do such things to each other we should be reminded that we can. Oct 26, Pete Warden rated it it was amazing. It's shocking to realize I've grown up with a half-blind view of the Holocaust.
After the eastern killing grounds swallowed up by a Soviet regime with its own mass-murders to hide, we were left with witnesses and evidence from only Western Europe. Over the last few decades, scholars have unearthed all the threads of the story Snyder tells, but his contribution is to lay it out as a clear and unified narrative. It's easy to be numbed by the scale of the evil, but he keeps reminding us that the mon It's shocking to realize I've grown up with a half-blind view of the Holocaust.
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It's easy to be numbed by the scale of the evil, but he keeps reminding us that the monstrous numbers of victims he discusses were made up of individuals. This is a chilling but necessary book for anyone who wants to understand the central events of the twentieth century. Apr 06, Frank Stein rated it it was amazing.
This book somehow shines light on a few, undeniable truths that everyone else misses. First and foremost is the fact that the vast majority of Europe's mass murders in the years from to took place in a narrow strip of land from Estonia and Belarus down through Poland and the Ukraine. Timothy Snyder estimates that about 14 million of both the Nazi and Soviet regimes' 17 million murders took place in this area.
The other essential truth is that these two tyrannical regimes fed off the ex This book somehow shines light on a few, undeniable truths that everyone else misses. The other essential truth is that these two tyrannical regimes fed off the extremism and expansionism of each other, and that is why the space between them was so bloody.
Somewhat controversially, Snyder attributes the beginning of these mass murders to the intentional starving of the Ukrainian peasants in and '33, which possibly took the lives of 3 million people. Later, the Stalinist "Great Terror" in killed three quarters of a million, and came to focus particularly on "suspect" nationalities like Poles in these borderlands.
Yet, by the time Hitler invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, , the Nazi regime had killed "only" a few thousand intentionally in. It was the Nazis' subsequent attempts to cleanse Eastern European soil of both the Bolshevik stain, which they had worried was spreading West, and to enslave the Slavic "subhumans," that turned the Nazis into the even greater murderers.
Most of the "Soviet" citizens and warriors attacked by the Nazis in the early war were actually Poles and Lithuanians and Latvians who had just been invaded by Stalin in the past two years. The first "gas vans" were tried on these "Soviet" prisoners to expedite the killing process, and only later were diesel engines hooked up to Jewish extermination camps in Belzec and Sobibor.
Hitler's original "Final Solution" for the Jews had been to export them to Madagascar or the Russian Far East, but when the Soviet war turned against him, he turned his full wrath against the Jews, at first shooting them, and then murdering them in camps, until he had ended the lives of five and a half million of them.
Snyder reminds the reader that most of our images of the Holocaust do not fit the typical reality of it. Most murdered Jews never saw the inside of a concentration camp. About half of all Jews were killed with bullets in the fields of Eastern Europe. And most of the remaining dead were at places like Sobibor, where almost every single person sent was directly murdered with no waiting period at all. Yet the concentration camps, the great image of the Holocaust, were the only part of the Shoah that Western occupiers saw.
These places, like Dresden and Belsen, killed by labor or starvation, but didn't try for complete death. Snyder shows we misunderstood the nature of death in the war and in the "bloodlands" because the Soviets emerged victorious from the war and suppressed the truth.
Afterwards, Stalin set out to erase the Jewish story from the Holocaust, as well as the murderous story of the Poles and Ukrainians and Belorussians, and elevate the singular suffering of the Russian nation. He helped the West forget the the war had started with the joint invasion of Poland by the Nazis and the Soviets, and that the land that was invaded thrice in a decade Soviets, then Nazis, then Soviets again , was where the real horror lay, not in the West or in central Germany. The multi-ethnic swirl of Eastern Europe had the extreme misfortune to be trapped between two megalomaniacs, and then to have one of them impose his will and claim that their suffering was never as tragic as that of their once and future oppressor.
Thus, this book brings several important truths to light, and helps explain why a number of the greatest tragedies in human history took place at the same time, and in the same place. Readers also enjoyed. About Timothy Snyder. Timothy Snyder. He received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in , where he was a British Marshall Scholar.
Snyder helped Tony Judt to compose a thematic history of political ideas and intellectuals in politics, Thinking the Twentieth Century
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