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Bloodlands : Europe between Hitler and Stalin / Timothy Snyder.

By: Snyder, Timothy.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London, England : Vintage, 2011Copyright date: ©2011Description: xix, 524 pages : maps ; 20 cm.Content type: text | cartographic image Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780099551799 (paperback).Other title: Blood lands.Subject(s): Stalin, Joseph, 1878-1953 | Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945 | Genocide -- Europe, Eastern -- History -- 20th century | Political atrocities -- Europe, Central -- History -- 20th century | Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) | World War, 1939-1945 -- Atrocities | Europe, Eastern -- History -- 1918-1945 | Soviet Union -- History -- 1917-1936 | Germany -- History -- 1933-1945DDC classification: 940.54/050947 Summary: "In the middle of Europe in the middle of the twentieth century, the Nazi and Soviet regimes killed fourteen million people in certain borderlands between Berlin and Moscow. In these bloodlands, today's Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and the eastern Baltic coast, an average of more than a million civilians were killed annually by the Nazi and Soviet regimes during twelve years that both Hitler and Stalin were in power, from 1933 to 1944. Together Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union ruled most of the Eurasian landmass, but they killed chiefly, indeed almost entirely, in the bloodlands. Beyond the bloodlands, the regimes of Hitler and Stalin together, in their vast domains from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, deliberately killed no more than three million civilians in these years. If the compact area of the bloodlands is included, the figure rises to seventeen million souls.The centre of gravity of modern European history is here, in the frontier zones and lands between states advocating European ideologies, who assaulted European peoples, and eradicated an established European order.The center of gravity of modern European history is a black hole.Today Stalin's crimes are associated with Russia, and Hitler's with Germany: these countries were not the main sites of mass killing. People were killed in the lands between, where most of Europe's Jews lived, where Hitler and Stalin's plans overlapped, and where the Wehrmacht and the Red Army fought, and where the Soviet NKVD and the German SS concentrated their forces."-- Publisher's description.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

* In the middle of Europe, in the middle of the twentieth century, the Nazi and Soviet regimes starved, shot and gassed fourteen million people in a zone of death between Berlin and Moscow.* These were the bloodlands - today's Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, western Russia and the eastern Baltic coast. In a twelve-year period - 1933 to 1945 - as a result of deliberate polices unrelated to combat, an average of more than a million civilians were murdered annually. At the end of the Second World War the bloodlands fell behind the iron curtain, leaving their history in darkness.* In this revelatory book Timothy Snyder offers a groundbreaking investigation of Europe's killing fields and a sustained explanation of the motives and methods of both Hitler and Stalin. He anchors the history of Hitler's Holocaust and Stalin's Terror in their time and place and provides a fresh account of the relationship between the two regimes. Using scholarly literature and primary sources in all relevant languages, Snyder pays special attention to the testimony of the victims- the letters home, the notes flung from trains, the diaries found on corpses.* Brilliantly researched, profoundly humane, authoritative and original, Bloodlands re-examines the greatest tragedy in European history and forces us to rethink our past.

Originally published: New York : Basic Books, c2010.

Includes bibliographical references (p. 423-462) and index.

"In the middle of Europe in the middle of the twentieth century, the Nazi and Soviet regimes killed fourteen million people in certain borderlands between Berlin and Moscow. In these bloodlands, today's Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and the eastern Baltic coast, an average of more than a million civilians were killed annually by the Nazi and Soviet regimes during twelve years that both Hitler and Stalin were in power, from 1933 to 1944. Together Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union ruled most of the Eurasian landmass, but they killed chiefly, indeed almost entirely, in the bloodlands. Beyond the bloodlands, the regimes of Hitler and Stalin together, in their vast domains from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, deliberately killed no more than three million civilians in these years. If the compact area of the bloodlands is included, the figure rises to seventeen million souls.The centre of gravity of modern European history is here, in the frontier zones and lands between states advocating European ideologies, who assaulted European peoples, and eradicated an established European order.The center of gravity of modern European history is a black hole.Today Stalin's crimes are associated with Russia, and Hitler's with Germany: these countries were not the main sites of mass killing. People were killed in the lands between, where most of Europe's Jews lived, where Hitler and Stalin's plans overlapped, and where the Wehrmacht and the Red Army fought, and where the Soviet NKVD and the German SS concentrated their forces."-- Publisher's description.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

As Snyder (Yale) points out in this history of eastern Europe between the Soviet collectivization of agriculture through the end of the Holocaust, 14 million people living on this land--roughly between Berlin and Moscow--died at the hands of Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany. Although the most famous example of mass murder in the "bloodlands" was the gassing of Jews in Nazi death camps, Snyder points out that the victims perished in every way imaginable, especially starvation and as the result of mass shootings in places such as Babi Yar. While nothing that Snyder has to say will surprise scholars, they are not the book's intended audience. The author writes for educated nonexperts, those who want to learn more about the greatest crimes in European history. The result is popular history of the highest order. Not only does Snyder effectively relate the motivations behind Stalin's and Hitler's crimes, but he also exhibits a capable eye for the telling detail. The numerous stories of individuals who suffered in the "bloodlands" humanize the carnage perpetrated in the name of the Stalinist and National Socialist ideologies. This is, perhaps, Snyder's most noteworthy accomplishment. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Public, general, and undergraduate libraries. R. W. Lemmons Jacksonville State University

Booklist Review

If there is an explanation for the political killing perpetrated in eastern Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, historian Snyder roots it in agriculture. Stalin wanted to collectivize farmers; Hitler wanted to eliminate them so Germans could colonize the land. The dictators wielded frightening power to advance such fantasies toward reality, and the despots toted up about 14 million corpses between them, so stupefying a figure that Snyder sets himself three goals here: to break down the number into the various actions of murder that comprise it, from liquidation of the kulaks to the final solution; to restore humanity to the victims via surviving testimony to their fates; and to deny Hitler and Stalin any historical justification for their policies, which at the time had legions of supporters and have some even today. Such scope may render Snyder's project too imposing to casual readers, but it would engage those exposed to the period's chronology and major interpretive issues, such as the extent to which the Nazi and Soviet systems may be compared. Solid and judicious scholarship for large WWII collections.--Taylor, Gilbert Copyright 2010 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

A chillingly systematic study of the mass murder mutually perpetrated by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.From 1933 to 1945, 14 million people were murdered between the two regimes, as Stalin and Hitler consolidated power, jointly occupied Poland and waged war against each other. The region of mass slaughter was largely contained between the two, from central Poland to western Russia and including Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic statesa region Snyder (History/Yale Univ.;The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Duke, 2008, etc.) terms the "bloodlands." The author asserts that the fuzzy understanding of the death camps has skewed the truth about the mass killing, only hinting at their terrifying extent. "The horror of the twentieth century is thought to be located in the camps," he writes. "But the concentration camps are not where most of the victims of National Socialism and Stalinism died." Half of the killings within this period were caused by starvation, as a result of Stalin's starvation policy of the early '30s (a five-year plan of "industrial development at the price of popular misery") and Hitler's deliberate starvation of Soviet prisoners of war. Snyder traces how Stalin's focus on collectivization and famine "had unwittingly performed much of the ideological work that helped Hitler come to power." Stalin had already been secretly practicing mass murder on the Polish population during the Great Terror, well before the "large open pogrom" of Kristallnacht. Hitler recognized their joint "common desire to get rid of the old equilibrium" and neatly divide and destroy Poland at the Molotov-Ribbentrop line. His Hunger Plan was followed by massive depopulation in the forms of deportation, shooting, forced labor and, eventually, the death factories. Snyder devotes ample space to the partisan efforts, the incineration of Warsaw and Stalin's eager postwar ethnic-cleansing sweep. In the concluding chapter, "Humanity," the author urges readers to join him in a clear-eyed reexamination of this comparative history of mass murder and widespread suffering.A significant work of staggering figures and scholarship.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.