Publisher: Basic Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition (October 2, 2012)
Americans call the Second World War “The Good War.” But before it even began, America’s wartime ally Josef Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens—and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was finally defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war’s end, both the German and the Soviet killing sites fell behind the iron curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness.
Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power. Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history.
When I started reading Bloodlands, I thought maybe I could keep a mental tally of the deaths of all the different ethnic groups that were victims of both Stalin's and Hitler's terror, but the body count quickly grew into the many millions and I lost count. After reading this book, I feel I have a better understanding of the history of World War ll, especially how planned starvation was included as a weapon against the innocent; in addition to the horrors of gas, bombs and bullets. Stalin and Hitler were even more diabolical than I had thought before I read this book.
Over 200 people attended Dr. Timothy Snyder's lecture at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York on November 7, 2012
I also attended Dr. Snyder's lecture at Canisius College on November 8. 2012. One thing he said that stuck in my mind was that the holocaust against the Jews was not strickly a result of anti-Semitism because contempt for the Jews was not unique to the geographical area of the Bloodlands. Something in addition to anti-Semitism came into play; and to use his term, that something was "want", specifically a want for food. If I understood him correctly, one of his points was that Hitler and Germany believed it was necessary to conquer the lands to the east, i.e the Bloodlands, to have the land needed to feed their growing population. For that to happen, war was necessary and the Jews were to be blamed for that war.
My own thoughts: Hatred is all around us, and genocide is not at thing of the past. Food shortages and famine, or other "wants" could again be the catalyst for future holocausts. There was a time when the first World War was known as "La Ders des ders" or "The war to end all wars". Who ever thought that we would ever have another World War and that it would become necessary for us to begin enumerating them. Many people today associate the terror of World War II with the term "Holocaust". Let us hope there will never be a Holacaust II.
You need to read this book.
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