After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation

After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation

by Giles MacDonogh
3.1 7

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After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation by Giles MacDonogh

When Hitler’s government collapsed in 1945, Germany was immediately divided up under the control of the Allied Powers and the Soviets. A nation in tatters, in many places literally flattened by bombs, was suddenly subjected to brutal occupation by vengeful victors. According to recent estimates, as many as two million German women were raped by Soviet occupiers. General Eisenhower denied the Germans access to any foreign aid, meaning that German civilians were forced to subsist on about 1,200 calories a day. (American officials privately acknowledged at the time that the death rate amongst adults had risen to four times the pre-war levels; child mortality had increased tenfold). With the authorization of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, over four million Germans were impressed into forced labor. General George S. Patton was so disgusted by American policy in post-war Germany that he commented in his diary, “It is amusing to recall that we fought the revolution in defense of the rights of man and the civil war to abolish slavery and have now gone back on both principles"

Although an astonishing 2.5 million ordinary Germans were killed in the post-Reich era, few know of this traumatic history. There has been an unspoken understanding amongst historians that the Germans effectively got what they deserved as perpetrators of the Holocaust. First ashamed of their national humiliation at the hands of the Allies and Soviets, and later ashamed of the horrors of the Holocaust, Germans too have remained largely silent – a silence W.G. Sebald movingly described in his controversial book On the Natural History of Destruction.

In After the Reich, Giles MacDonogh has written a comprehensive history of Germany and Austria in the postwar period, drawing on a vast array of contemporary first-person accounts of the period. In doing so, he has finally given a voice the millions of who, lucky to survive the war, found themselves struggling to survive a hellish “peace.”

A startling account of a massive and brutal military occupation, After the Reich is a major work of history of history with obvious relevance today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465006205
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 02/24/2009
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 656
Sales rank: 203,895
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Giles MacDonogh is the author of 1938: Hitler’s GambleThe Last Kaiser: A Life of Wilhelm II, and Frederick the Great. MacDonogh was born in London in 1955 and studied history at Oxford University. He has a regular column in the Financial Times and has written for the Times (London), Guardian, and Evening Standard. He lives in London.

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After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A provacative look from a non-American writer who performs a level of reasearch typically unknown in much of WW II history. Occasionally a bit disjointed, the book tells a compelling story with vivid details of how terrible post World War II Europe really was. Insights concerning British and French politics may be something new to readers. I have read a ton of WW II history and this presents something new.
Marek More than 1 year ago
Choppy, uneven, graphic account of the Allied occupation of Germany and other countries after World War II. Interesting subject matter presented from eyewitness accounts. The research of the book is deep, but the writing style jumps from subject to subject which makes the reading of this book difficult. The Western Allies and the newly freed people of Eastern Europe(not only the Russians) apparently took alot of revenge on the Germans after WWII, as the author goes to great pains document. A small section at the end on the Berlin airlift and the formation of Eastern and Western Germany(the best part of the book) Alot of references to the movie "The Third Man" for some reason(?). Odd book on an interesting subject.
jasonlee3071 More than 1 year ago
A really graphic description of what happened to the Germans under allied occupation. One gets the impression after reading this that the German people really did pay for what they inflicted on other Europeans. In this case it was a brutal dose of retaliation inflicted by enemies on a nation that they had defeated. Yet at the same time you end up feeling sorry for some of these people whose only crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A_History_Reader More than 1 year ago
This subject of this book - Germany after WWII - is interesting and needs to be told well. This book does not do it. It is poorly organized and more importantly, the book takes James Bacques' Other Losses at face value, and that book has been duly discredited and its premise is ridiculous.
Guest More than 1 year ago
reference document
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
oldmcandcar More than 1 year ago
This book reads like a conversation with a very old person who's memory works in fits and starts. Many references (names) are unimportant or too obscure for western consumption. Anecdotal accounts make a book more interesting but way too many in this context simply retard the veracity of the book. Not very interesting or informing.