Cover of: After the Reich | Giles MacDonogh

After the Reich

The Brutal History of The Allied Occupation

  • 2 Want to read

Published by Basic Books .
Written in English.

About the Book

Throughout time it has been the victor who has written history, but here historian MacDonogh (The Last Kaiser: The Life of Wilhelm II, 2001, etc.) examines the darker side of the Allied occupation of defeated Germany.

The subtitle is probably the publisher’s, since MacDonogh advises at the outset, “I make no excuses for the crimes the Nazis committed, nor do I doubt for one moment the terrible desire for revenge that they aroused.” In some ways, that revenge was symbolically charged, as when the Allies put concentration camps to use housing prisoners who proved to have more than an accidental connection to the Nazi state; in others it was trivial, as when Russian soldiers went about demanding wristwatches. But aspects of the conquest were brutal indeed: Those Russian soldiers committed revenge rape on a grand scale, while, MacDonogh asserts, the American liberators at Dachau allowed former prisoners to tear guards and kapos limb from limb. More systematically, the Occupation deprived ordinary citizens of their property and, at least for a time, cast everyone under suspicion as tribunals convened and the long process of denazification began. It soon became obvious to almost everyone concerned, not least the occupied Germans, that as the Cold War got colder this process was confined mostly to the small fry; those Germans “were annoyed,” MacDonogh writes, “to see the Party big-shots go free while the authorities continued to harass rank-and-file members who had done nothing monstrous.” So it was that from 1945 until May 1948, when the purge ended, the French, British and American courts had tried 8,000 cases but executed only 806, perhaps half of them civil servants and workers, while the “worst culprits, the operatives who sent thousands to their deaths, were not punished at all.”

Of interest to students of modern Europe, complementing W. G. Sebald’s On the Natural History of Destruction (2003) and other studies of history from the point of view of the vanquished.

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL7593020M
Internet Archive
afterreichbrutal00macd
ISBN 10
0465003370
ISBN 13
9780465003372
Library Thing
3508603
Goodreads
852167
Borrow Preview

Check nearby libraries


Buy this book


History

Download catalog record: RDF / JSON / OPDS
September 17, 2019 Edited by mountainaxe Edited without comment.
July 15, 2019 Edited by Clean Up Bot import existing book
July 1, 2019 Edited by Clean Up Bot replacing ocaid with lendable copy
May 14, 2019 Edited by Clean Up Bot import existing book
April 29, 2008 Created by an anonymous user Inital record created, from an amazon.com record.