...the obvious difference between that and the Snyder book is that Snyder's work chronicles the broad picture of civilian and POW mass killing in what he terms "the bloodlands" of eastern Europe from the 1930s through the 1940s. Snyder describes the historical contexts, the rise of Nazism, and of communism's evolution into Stalinism.
Snyder describes Stalin's forced collectivization and the policies thereof that caused the initial shortages, which in turn motivated Stalin to punish the "kulaks" for withholding food with deliberate starvation. The Stalinist purges of the late 1930s are chronicled. The background of Stalin's shaky alliance with Hitler, the geo-political environment and ideologies that culminated in mass killings are all discussed in detail:
- Stalin's mass deportations and killings.
- Stalin's murder of the Polish army officers.
- The evolution of the Nazi's "manifest destiny" in the east (a land-based utopia to match the unconquerable British empire)
- The mutul enmity of the Poles that Hitler and Stalin exploited to divide Poland.
- Mass murder by deliberate starvation and shooting of Soviet POWs in addition to their enslavement as forced labor. (Over 55% of all Soviet POWs held by Germany would die.)
- The evolution of the Nazi's solutions for the Jewish problem.
- The systematic destruction, enslavement, and deportation of eastern Europe populations by the Nazis.
- etc. etc.
We in the west have been brought up to believe that the concentration camps represented the worst of the Nazi atrocities, but Snyder expounds that we've been mislead by the admittedly horrific images from Auschwitz-Bierkenau, etc. By the time Auschwitz was in full operation as a combined work camp and death facility, the majority of Jews who would be killed were already dead. Sobibor, Treblinka, Belzec, Chelmno, et al., and mass shootings east of the Molotov-Ribbentrop line had already accounted for most of the region's Jews. (The Nazis and their collaborators had already shot over a million Jews by the end of 1941 east of the Molotov-Ribbentrop line.)
I'm still reading the book. I admit that it's changed my way of thinking a little about the Germans, particularly in the east.
This message has been edited by leegee_77 from IP address 220.127.116.11 on Aug 17, 2012 5:52 PM This message has been edited by leegee_77 from IP address 18.104.22.168 on Aug 17, 2012 2:57 PM This message has been edited by leegee_77 from IP address 22.214.171.124 on Aug 17, 2012 2:45 PM This message has been edited by leegee_77 from IP address 126.96.36.199 on Aug 17, 2012 1:57 PM