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Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin

Average Rating 3.5
( 61 )
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5 Star

(17)

4 Star

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2 Star

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted December 8, 2010

    Excellent introduction to one of the darkest chapters in European History

    For those that are not familiar with the Second World War, or the history of modern Europe, Bloodlands will be a shocking introduction to the destruction wrought by the forces of Stalinism and National Socialism on the people of Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic Republics. Contrary to popular history and the prejudiced American accounts of the Second World War, the "Bloodlands," the ideological battlefield of the war, was where Nazism was ultimately defeated, but not before the complete annihilation of their Jewish communities and the ascension of Stalin's Iron Curtain throughout Eastern Europe. It is a poignant and often-times chilling account of the experiences of diverse peoples, beginning with Stalin's famine policy on the Ukraine to the Einsatzgruppen's monstrous campaign of mass murder to, ultimately, the forced ethnic cleansing of post-war Europe. As Americans, we truly do not understand, to this day, the magnitude and horror unleashed by the terrible forces of National Socialism and Stalinism-our images of those atrocities are limited to the liberation of the concentration camps. The reality: most Jews were executed, a bullet to the back of the head and buried within mass graves.

    Snyder fails to provide a more concise account of Stalin's anti-Semitism (and his near purge of Jewish doctors) along with a flippant account of the Soviet re-conquest of the bloodlands following the defeat of Nazi Germany. The author does mention Russian atrocities in relation to the invasion of Germany (characterized by mass rape and pillage) but does so in passing. Despite these weaknesses, Bloodlands still is a great historical read and a must for any serious student of European history.`

    21 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2011

    A World War II History Buff? This Story is For You.

    A sobering & insightful accounting of the civilian/military horror of events culminating in 14 million casualties in Eastern Europe & Western Russia. Hitler and Stalin were true madmen...wish I had this history book available during my high school/college years. However, after 1989 and the opening of Russian archives following the collapse of the Soviet Union, I can learn what I never before knew about these tortured "Bloodlands".

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2013

    Bloodlands, Euorpe between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder.

    Bloodlands, Euorpe between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder. This book covers the chronological period of approximately 1930 (when Stalin gained preeminent power in the Soviet Union and initiated the collective agriculture program) and 1945 (end of WWII). In between, Hitler rose to power and planned German expansion in the east - 1933, Stalin in the Great Terror sought to eliminate the anti-collectivist kulaks - 1937 - 38, the Germans and Soviets split divided Poland and both murdered the inteligentsia - 1939, Germany broke the alliance and invaded Soviet Poland, the Baltics, Ukraine, Belarus and eastern Russia - 1939, and Russians repelled the Germans and ultimately occupied east Germany and much of central and eastern Europe. These events precipitated the deliberate murder in this geographical area of about 14 million people, the topics of this book. Fourteen million is only a fraction of number of deaths during WWII as the book only deals with deliberate murders in this area, largely of non-combatant civilians and not combantant deaths or millions of incidental civilian casualties of the war. Bloodlands does deal with the deaths of 5.4 million Jews in the Holocaust, but they are only part of the victims of the Holocaust and a substantial but not majority of all deaths considered. It is an excellent book, particularly for those of us who were raised to see WWII as a battle primarily on the western front which had relatively few casualties. Snyder's concluding chapter on "Humanity" is worth reading even by those who do not have time for the rest of the book. What it says about human nature and evil is deeply, deeply disturbing and fearful. It makes it very difficult for me to be optimistic.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    great synthesis

    great look at where the suffering and dying was in WW2. Little too academic but still fascinating.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2014

    Snyder's work is great but the ebook delivery is subpar.

    I couldn't put the book down. It was as fascinating as it was infuriating and depressing. I recommend it to everyone.

    My gripe is about the ebook. It replaced many of the Polish characters with a little box. Every five pages or so, the page swipe would cease to work and I would have to manually type in the next page number.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Anti-Semitic propaganda

    Grover Furr writes about Snyder, “in Bloodlands and recent articles Prof. Snyder propounds the anti-Semitic historical misrepresentation of today’s Polish, Baltic and Ukrainian nationalist regimes. … virtually everything Snyder has to say about Soviet history of this period is false. Dovid Katz, expert on the Holocaust in the Balkans, has written that Snyder’s work echoes Baltic historical revisionism by ‘almost’ equating liberators – the Soviet Union – with the Nazi perpetrators of the Holocaust while persecuting former Jewish partisans who fought Baltic fascists in Soviet partisan formations and praising the local fascists who murdered Jews and fought the Soviets. Concerning Poland, Snyder also repeats the historical lies of the anti-Semitic Home Army (Armia Krajowa) of the wartime ‘London’ Polish regime – lies that are taught as ‘truth’ in Poland today. Today’s Baltic, Ukrainian, and Polish elites apologize for their crimes by comparing the Nazis with Stalin’s Soviet Union as ‘parallel’ mass murderers. To do this they have to fabricate fraudulent tales of Soviet ‘atrocities’ or recycle Nazi propaganda. Snyder repeats these falsehoods as fact. My own concern is with Snyder’s falsification of Soviet history. Virtually every ‘fact’ Snyder cites is false and long since disproven. Here are just a few of them: * Snyder repeats the ‘Holodomor’ myth: that the Soviets ‘deliberately starved’ to death more than 3 million Ukrainians. NO reputable scholar of the famine accepts this fable today. The ‘Holodomor’ myth was invented by the Nazis and their Ukrainian Nationalist allies during the 1930s. Today it is the Ukrainian nationalists’ ‘cover story’ to justify their siding with the Nazis against the Soviets – and their participation in murdering millions of Ukrainian Jews. * Snyder repeats Polish nationalist lies about the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of August 1939. He falsely claims the Nazis and Soviets were ‘military allies’; that German and Soviet troops ‘jointly’ invaded Poland and held a ‘joint victory parade.’ All false! Winston Churchill praised the Soviets for entering Eastern Poland thereby preventing the Nazi army from reaching the Soviet border. There was no ‘joint victory parade’, as the memoirs of both the German and Soviet generals, Guderian and Krivoshein, attest. There was no ‘Soviet-German alliance.’ Soviet neutrality was recognized by every Allied government. In addition, the only part of ‘Poland’ occupied by the Red Army was Western Ukraine-Belorussia, had been taken by conquest from Russia in 1920. * Official Polish anti-Semitism before, during, and after WW2 is actively denied by Polish nationalists today. Snyder aids them by scarcely mentioning it. Instead he attacks the Soviets. This is all wrong. In his memoir Menachem Begin wrote: ‘the Soviet Government fought anti-Semitism with characteristic pertinacity... The truth is that the Soviet Government is anti-anti-Semitic.’ (White Nights 1951) Dovid Katz writes: … in 1944, the USSR did liberate these lands from Nazi dominion, and they did bring freedom to the tiny remaining remnant of the targeted-for-extinction races. From the day the Holocaust started here, in June 1941, the Soviets were often the only hope of escape for members of a doomed race, whether by fleeing eastward before Nazi control was firmly established in the first week after 22 June that year, or, by evading the ghettos to link up with the Soviet supported anti-Nazi partisans in the forests.

    1 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2014

    This is basically another holocaust book. I do not mean to be

    This is basically another holocaust book. I do not mean to be disrespectful, but I am holocausted out.. I was under the impression that this book would be about the balkland countries during WWI (i.e battles, etc) The book starts out good with the rise of the NAZI party , Stalinism, the atrocities committed by both Hitler and Stalin, not just on the Jews, but the entire population of those living in the Balkland countries. I also think the author did a wonderful job on showing what Hitlers plans were and what Stalins plans were with the Balkland countries (both assuming they were going to win the war) Halfway through, this book basically becomes what happened to the Jews during this time. It is terrible what happeneded to the Jews during the holocaust, however, millions of other people also suffered. When writing about WWI and the atrocities, if an author can only write about what happened to the Jews ,then in my opinion the author is very biased. If an author wants to write about only what happened to the Jews, fine- but advertise it that way. I do believe we have to learn about history, so we do not repeat it. I would like to say I can only hope that another genocide would not occur, but unfortunately genocide has occurred in recent history (Rwanda as an example) and I’m afraid it will continue to happen. . I also gave this book 2 stars because at times I became lost with all the numbers. It seems like the author used too many statistics and numbers to make his point. Yes, it was well researched, but the use of too many numbers and statistics gets confusing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2013

    finally the full history of this region and time period is told.

    finally the full history of this region and time period is told.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 12, 2010

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