Customer Reviews for

Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

21 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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 R...
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.`

posted by HarryVane on December 8, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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 pe...
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.

posted by willyvan on October 9, 2012

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