After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation

  • Title: After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation
  • Author: Giles MacDonogh
  • ISBN: 9780465003372
  • Page: 408
  • Format: Hardcover
  • After the Reich The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation When the Third Reich collapsed in the Allied powers converged on Germany and divided it into four zones of occupation A nation in tatters in many places literally flattened by bombs was sudden
    When the Third Reich collapsed in 1945, the Allied powers converged on Germany and divided it into four zones of occupation A nation in tatters, in many places literally flattened by bombs, was suddenly subjected to brutal occupation by vengeful victors Rape was rampant Hundreds of thousands of Germans and German speakers died in the course of brutal deportations from EWhen the Third Reich collapsed in 1945, the Allied powers converged on Germany and divided it into four zones of occupation A nation in tatters, in many places literally flattened by bombs, was suddenly subjected to brutal occupation by vengeful victors Rape was rampant Hundreds of thousands of Germans and German speakers died in the course of brutal deportations from Eastern Europe By the end of the year, Germany was literally starving to death Over a million German prisoners of war died in captivity, where they were subjected to inadequate rations and often tortured All told, an astounding 2.25 million German civilians died violent deaths in the period between the liberation of Vienna and the Berlin airlift A shocking account of a massive and vicious military occupation, After the Reich offers a bold reframing of the history of World War II and its aftermath Historian Giles MacDonogh has unearthed a record of brutality which has been largely ignored by historians or, worse, justified as legitimate retaliation for the horror of the Holocaust Drawing on a vast array of contemporary firstperson accounts, MacDonogh has finally given a voice to tens of millions of civilians who, lucky to survive the war, found themselves struggling to survive a hellish peace.

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      Published :2019-08-17T18:14:31+00:00

    About Giles MacDonogh


    1. Giles MacDonogh born 1955 is a British writer, historian and translator.MacDonogh has worked as a journalist, most notably for the Financial Times 1988 2003 , where he covered food, drink and a variety of other subjects He has also contributed to most of the other important British newspapers, and is a regular contributor to the Times As an historian, MacDonogh concentrates on central Europe, principally Germany.He was educated at the City of London School and Balliol College, Oxford, where he read modern history He later carried out historical research at the cole pratique des hautes tudes in Paris.MacDonogh is the author of fourteen books, chiefly about German history he has also written about gastronomy and wine In 1988 he won a Glenfiddich Special Award for his first book, A Palate in Revolution Robin Clark and was shortlisted for the Andr Simon Award His books have been translated into French, Italian, Bulgarian, German, Chinese, Slovakian, Spanish, Russian and Polish Reviewing 1938 Hitler s Gamble in Spectator Magazine , Graham Stewart said Giles MacDonogh has repeatedly shown himself to be in the front rank of British scholars of German history The depth of his human understanding, the judiciousness of his pickings from source material and the quality of his writing make this book at once gripping and grave.


    527 Comments


    1. I had so many issues with this book. First, I had thought the book was supposed to be an overview of the post-war years in Germany, from WWII through the creation of the FRG and the GDR on into the 1960s or even the 1970s. Instead, it focused almost entirely on the mid- to late 1940s - from the last part of the war through the occupation, and ending with the creation of the two-nation Germany. The author, MacDonogh, spends much of the first half of the book listing all the horrible things the Al [...]

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    2. Even as I'm just starting this book it grips me rightaway. I was raised just after WW2, in Holland, as it was still smarting from the occupation, in a city (Rotterdam) where I could still see the charred buildings from when the center city was bombed away by aerial bombardment in the Blitzkrieg, May 5th of 1940. In the midst of this circle of charred buildings a new city center was going up during my schoolyears. There was plenty of knee-jerk hatred of the Germans around, however in my parents' [...]

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    3. eh this one gets bogged down in 'day in the life of' detail. that and the author's own obvious bias. for one thing, he repeatedly slips up and lumps all the Allies in together, notwithstanding the fact that Soviet atrocities (particularly rape) against German civilians were systematic and widespread, whereas those by the Western Allies were sporadic and not a matter of policy.And yes the ethnic Germans were 'cleansed' from Poland, Czechoslovakia, and so on. But it is tough to blame those countr [...]

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    4. From the cover: Giles McDonough's book chronicles this saga from liberation of Vienna to the 1948 Berlin air lift and 1949 formation of Konrad Adenauer's government in Bonn. It makes grimmer reading than most war stores, because there is little redemptive courage or virtue. Here is a catalogue of pillage, rape, starvation, inhumanity and suffering on a titanic scale. After the Reich brings together many stories that deserve to be much better known in the West.At almost 600 pages it is a rather l [...]

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    5. Amazing - so many things I did not know about how the defeated Germans were treated by the allies. It seems the allied powers did not stand back from the Nazis in atrocities against civilians and in their utterly cruel and inhumane treatment of the conquered. War is never pleasant, but I did not know that the peace was tainted with so much hatred and revenge parred with an uncompromising notion of the collective guilt of ALL Germans. The decades and decades that have passed since, only proves th [...]

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    6. "War is killing," said General Sherman, and there certainly can be no dispute about that--nor can there be much dispute that the history of those wars, at least most of it, is written by the victors. But what of the defeated? What happens to those who are left behind in the ruins, abandoned by their national armies, left to the mercies of the conquerors? Giles MacDonogh seeks to answer those questions, at least as they apply to Nazi Germany, in After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied O [...]

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    7. Seriously, what goes around comes around, and when you start a war of racist aggression and butcher millions, the occupiers are not likely to be all that kind. If anything, we were almost too kind, letting many Nazi war criminals free, particularly in the morally bankrupt army that approved Hitler's crusade in the east and thought they'd triumph before winter 1941. The German occupation was brutal, and this cannot be ignored, but somehow there is a tinge of justice to it all, the feeling that at [...]

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    8. It’s funny but we always perceive heroes as knights in shining armour riding along on their white horses liberating people from whatever tyranny they have been living under. Yes, the Russians, French, British, Americans and many others intervened in the second world war and yes, they did liberate the European countries living under Nazi rule but this tale of liberation came at a high price and was not the fairy tale ending expected or portrayed to us all as this book will demonstrate to you.Th [...]

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    9. Eh MacDonough book has some real strengths: 1)describing in detail the oft-overlooked postwar anarchy that reigned in Germany and Austria, 2)illustrating the tug-of-war between the Allies over Austria, and 3)covering the rise of West Germany out of the Postdam Conference. However, way too much of the book is spent on anecdotal accounts of everday life after the war. Although these details are both important and moving, they consume so much of the text that the book often lacks structure and an o [...]

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    10. Extremely informative Should be read by everyone especially anyone who thinks that abu ghraib is something new

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    11. For those who hae come to this topic for the first time this book may seem impressive, scholarly and sincere. It has all the signs of the ambitious academic- impressive but ultimately shallow. There are interminable ramblings about insignificant occurrences (was he paid per page?). For me the glaring omission was that he did not confront the full force of the injustice- the deliberate mass extermination of Germans and then it's falsification. No doubt this tome adds gravitas to Mr. McDonogh's re [...]

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    12. Chilling. The worst part of WWII came after it ended. One regret: here we get just the facts, which are grime enough. But Gile MacDonogh could have used a good editor. Too many German phrases go untranslated and the text is cluttered with too many abreviations. Pgs means something and we were told once, but, if you don't remeber, too bad.

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    13. Not everyone knows that 13 million Germans died AFTER the war in allied occupied territory.

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    14. While some reviewers may take umbrage that MacDonogh would even write such a book regarding the after-shocks of WW2 and the postwar occupation of Germany, others chide him for not going far enough. But this book never promises to tell the full story. In fact, it's one of the few that I have read that doesn't reconstitute the myths that Allies told themselves post-occupancy. It's a topic that few people know about let alone care enough to learn about. The personal anecdotes and reliance on person [...]

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    15. History is not just written by the winners, it is also written about the winners.A very thoroughly researched book, with a wealth of information in it that most people do not have. The sources used are extraordinary, mostly diaries and reminiscences of German and Austrian civilians, as well as letters and diaries of Allied generals, political operatives, and agents. I was warned that certain parts of the book border on being apologist, but personally I did not find that to be true. It is simply [...]

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    16. I cannot say when I began this book as I put it down half read a while ago as I found that the first half became very harrowing. It tells the story of what happened to German speaking civilians in places like East Prussia and the Czech lands. Effectively there was what we now call mass ethnic cleansing on a vast scale with whole populations made to up root and walk hundreds of miles with little to eat and often quite unsuitable clothing. I am aware of what the Nazis did to Jews and others, but t [...]

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    17. They certainly don't teach this in schools slaughter of the innocentGREAT READ ABOUT TRUTH!

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    18. An extraordinary book on a part of history not much considered outside Germany. A scrupulously researched study of what happened, month by month, year by year in the various regions of occupied Germany and Austria. It is a shocking and disturbing story of hypocrisy, cruelty and deliberate neglect by the Americans, British, French and Soviet Union. it stands out as an important corrective to most received western histories of the period, which pass over the late 1940s in Germany, except to focus [...]

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    19. I am completely overwhelmed by the described human tragedy in defeated Germany first years after WWII. For the first time I read something more specific about the Allied occupation and as the author describe it-their victorious "thirst for revenge", to punish the defeated enemy. Liberating, but first purging and destroying,if possible, all left after the Nazis regime.I am at the beginning of the book, so maybe my emotions took hold. Still I feel disgusted. I have always considered Nazis as the m [...]

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    20. I think it is clear what kind of book this is when is using it to recommend for me holocaust revisionist literature. such as "The Six Million: Fact or Fiction." It seems that the Germans living in former Nazi occupied territories did suffer when the Allies emerged victorious and the Germans were forced to retreat, but the book fails to make the case that it was a "holocaust" as the author would like us to believe. Although he constantly uses holocaust imagery and vocabulary, (that is the same i [...]

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    21. This book brings new accounts of the brutality imposed by the Allies after World War II. While it is very historically important and some of the accounts provided by Germans in this book are very eye opening when considering that this is our "Greatest Generation" and what they where able to do to a defeated people. The positives of this book end there with me. MacDonogh doesn't really bring in new information from this time period, just new witnesses, and some these individuals wrote their accou [...]

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    22. I wanted to like this book by Giles MacDonogh more than I actually did. After the Reich had its moments of great interest as it recounted the chaotic, brutal, and bloody aftermath of World War 2 in Germany. However, there were times where it deviated from its focus. It got sidetracked in Austria for a while, and its endless focus on the brutal Allied actions in occupied Germany in the immediate aftermath of war was a far lengthier account than it needed to be. No question it was a horrific was a [...]

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    23. Details of the atrocities committed by the Allied forces was eye opening as we tend to think the Allied forces were liberators of evil and on the side of truth and justice. War is a horrible thing for the conquering and conquered. My quibble with the author (I am not justifying the atrocities from the Allied forces) is that he spends a lot of time waving his finger at the events of the conquerors. For all that Hitler did and WAS planning on doing; there’s some justice to all that happened to h [...]

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    24. Valuable resource for post WW2 Germany.

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    25. To be clear, I finished about 80% of this novel before throwing in the towel and moving on, so this could be a biased opinion (though to be fair a large portion of what was left was references). I had such high hopes for this book, but it became extremely repetitive with a heavy anti-Russian slant. The start was shocking and quite an emotional read, but it did little to establish the actual process of demilitarization and reestablishment of government and instead felt a little like it was writte [...]

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    26. Incredibly detailed/researched account of virtually every aspect of Post WWII Europe[social, cultural, moral/immoral, political, economic, military],from 1944 through 1948. Most of the events of the weeks and months immediately following the defeat of the German forces in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Austria, and Germany were unknown to me, in spite of my interest over a half dozen decades in WWII history. I knew about the horrible acts of bestial Russian soldiers in Berlin/Germany,which have bee [...]

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    27. I would have given this book five stars, but there were a few issues that bothered me. One was the use of British colloqialisms (boffin, for example). I spent some time googling these unfamiliar expressions.well, I guess that improved my vocabulary! The author sometimes lost me when I couldn't figure out the antecedent for his pronouns (once an English teacher). The main problem was the author's use of literary works as comparison to events. I felt that was unnecessary and detracted from the eve [...]

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    28. After the Second World War in Europe ended, Germany and Austria were occupied by the victorious allies. There was a great deal of looting and rape. The vast majority of the rapes was committed by Red Army soldiers; MacDonogh also mentions rapes by French colonial troops and rumors of rape by African American soldiers. Now, I trust blogger Igor Petrov's investigations that the commonly given estimate of the number of German women raped by Red Army soldiers is incorrect, and that the massacre at N [...]

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    29. In these days of mass migration into Germany not many know that it is Germany's second recent serious encounter with refugees, and I wonder how journalists manage to write something more or less thrustworthy about this if they are not aware of the Germany of 1945-46. I was vaguely aware of something but had no idea of the scale of it, and the massive impact on Germany's population. The book is shocking by its brutality and the size of terror and suffering, and aven if everybody agrees that Germa [...]

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