Inside Hitler's Greece: The Experience of Occupation, 1941-1944

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This gripping and richly illustrated account of wartime Greece explores the impact of the Nazi Occupation upon the lives and values of ordinary people. The first full account of the experience of occupation, it offers a vividly human picture of resistance fighters and black marketeers, teenage German conscripts and Gestapo officers, Jews and starving villagers.
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Editorial Reviews

Fritz Stern
A superb book on the horrors afflicting wartime Greece. . . . [Mazower] has done vast archival research and emerged with a gripping, readable and human account, setting every moment of a tragic period in appropriate context.
Mark Almond
Fascinating. . . . [Mazower] succeeds in getting under the skin of the occupation. . . . [This book] conjures up, in vivid detail, life under an occupation that had shattered old certainties and replaced them with painful choices, cynical compromises, and hopes undercut by the daily death toll.
Richard Eder
A vivid picture of the German occupier’s mind and actions. . . . Mazower’s arguments are always fair.
Draws on a wealth of first-hand accounts and previously untapped archival sources to offer a detailed chronicle of the physical and psychological impact of German occupation on the Greeks. Incorporates the viewpoints of German soldiers, diplomats, and SS officials as they expressed those viewpoints themselves. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Mark Almond
Fascinating. . . . [Mazower] succeeds in getting under the skin of the occupation.
New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300065527
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 9/27/1995
  • Pages: 462
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.23 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Abbreviations and Foreign Terms
Prologue: Swastika over the Acropolis 1
Pt. I The Chaos of the New Order: 1941-43
1 Venizelos's Funeral 11
2 The Occupation Begins 15
3 The Famine 23
4 Black Market Axioms 53
5 An Atmosphere of Imminent Catastrophe 65
6 Greek Workers in the Reich 73
7 Dreams of a New Europe 79
Pt. II 'This Heroic Madness': 1941-43
8 The Resistance of Daily Life 85
9 Prudence or Bravery? The Old Politicians 97
10 Becoming Organised 103
11 Urban Protest 108
12 'Freedom or Death!' 123
13 Politics of the Andartiko 138
14 The End of Italian Rule 144
Pt. III The Logic of Violence and Terror: 1943-44
15 The Logic of Violence 155
16 Anatomy of a Massacre: 16 August 1943 190
17 'The Loveliest Time': the Behaviour and Values of the German Soldier 201
18 The SS and the Terror System 219
19 Greek Jewry and the Final Solution 235
Pt. IV A Society at War: 1943-44
20 People's Democracy in Free Greece 265
21 ELAS: the People's Liberation Army 297
22 'A Cemetery Awash in Blood': the Counter-Revolution 322
23 'Tired Out by History': Athens '44 340
Epilogue: 'No Peace without Victory' 355
Notes 378
Archival Sources 415
Note on Sources 423
Index 429
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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted May 29, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Fine study of the vicious Nazi occupation of Greece

    This brilliant book details the horrors of the Nazi occupation of Greece. Goering told all Reich Commissioners and Military Commanders of occupied territories, “I could not care less when you say that people under your administration are dying of hunger. Let them perish so long as no German starves.” In the first year of the occupation, April 1941-April 1942, 40,000 people starved to death. The British lifted their sea blockade of Greece only in August 1942 to allow Greece to get grain from outside Europe. Greece had first asked the British government to lift the blockade in April 1941. The Red Cross estimated that 250,000 Greeks died of famine in 1941-43. Mazower sums up, “Everywhere the hunger intensified people’s alienation from the state and radicalised large sections of the population, including many white-collar workers and middle-class professionals, former bastions of the old bourgeois order, who looked in vain to the established political world in Athens for guidance and leadership in their daily struggle for survival.” He points out that the government’s “efforts to keep Greece on the gold standard pushed the economy into recession ..” He cites an American oil executive working in Greece who said, “The Germans are looting for all they are worth, both openly and by forcing the Greeks to sell for worthless paper marks, issued locally.” In September 1943, EAM/ELAS [National Liberation Front/Greek People’s Liberation Army] got the Grand Rabbi out of Athens, which ‘saved the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of Jews’. Mazower writes, “Though the [Jewish] fugitives received support from many quarters, the outstanding role was played by EAM/ELAS, whose underground organisation was the most extensive in the country.” Even so, the Nazis killed possibly 90 per cent of Greece’s Jews. In November 1943, a member of Britain’s Military Mission, with the knowledge of the Middle East commander of Britain’s Special Operations Executive, held secret talks with the head of the German Secret Police in Athens on possible joint action against the Soviet Union.

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