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Nicholas Stargardt
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"Maikäfer, Flieg!": Hitlers Krieg Und Die Kinder

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  80 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Children were at the center of the Nazi ideology; now we have their history of those years. In this groundbreaking study–based on a wide range of new sources–Nicholas Stargardt details what happened to children of all nationalities and religions living under the Nazi regime. Their stories open a world we have never seen before. As the Nazis overran Europe, children were sa ...more
Published 2006 by Dt. Verl.-Anst. (first published June 28th 2005)
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Sue
Wow. I've read a number of books about WWII Germany and what the Nazis did. But this is the first time that I actually started having dreams/nightmares about that time period. This book talks about a number of children and what they experienced during the war. Jews, "Aryans" and others had a variety of experiences - some good, some bad - and it really put a human face on the story.

I hadn't realized just how many people died of starvation - prisoners, mental patients, the mentally and physically
...more
Ann Freeman
Extremely meticulously researched, this book deals with the effects of Nazi propaganda, war, and deprivation on those who were children in the WWII years. The author uses original materials from the time as much as possible (children's diaries, letters to fathers/brothers serving, children's artwork, adult descriptions of children's games and school activities) as well as later adult recollections of their childhoods, which of course are colored by the knowledge of history after the fact. The au ...more
Claudia Moscovici


Children were the most innocent casualties of WWII. Killed in concentration camps, orphaned by battles throughout Europe, languishing from starvation, destroyed by disease, targeted for their race, traumatized by violence, tens of millions of children throughout European countries suffered and died. Nicholas Stargardt’s informative and well-documented book, Witnesses of War: Children’s Lives Under the Nazis (New York: Vintage Books, 2007) draws upon children’s school assignments, journals and le
...more
Chris
Engaging read about the experience of children during WW II. Far more engaging than Cruel World. Stargardt focuses on all children, spending equal time with the German children as well as the children of occupied countries. He deals with the build up to the war as well its aftermath.
Bruce
One does not see many books which concentrate on wars' effects on the young. This book, like "Cruel World" by Lynn H. Nicholas, does just that. "Witnesses of War" covers both Aryan children and their buy in to Nazi propaganda and those children who were on the other side as it were. What really comes out in the end is Germans were a lot more aware of what was going on but suppressed it. It was when they were being bombed in 1943 and 44 that they began to think it was because of what Nazi Germany ...more
Jennifer Gelert
This was a very long and intense book. Looking at the war through the eyes of all children - Jew, Polish, German and so on. How the horrors shaped them and made it hard for them to function in the real world. The trauma of starving, bombings, thirst and the fear of what the Nazis and the Red Army could do to them. Even in their playing those horrors took center stage. From Jewish children at family camp concentration camps acting out gas chamber, to German children playing rape and shooting squa ...more
Nathan
An interesting and necessary subject, with rather a less successful execution. The experience of children during the Holocaust turns out not to differ too widely from that of adults, which has been extensively recorded and analyzed. Thus much of this information seems familiar, even when Stargardt is careful to document the lives of both German and Jewish children (an equanimity that's much appreciated). Nothing here is all that revelatory; a perfunctory overview of daily lived experiences, a cu ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
This book is disturbing as anything with Holocaust content would be. Some of the things discussed are uncomfortable but the book gives a good picture (sometimes in first hand accounts) of what life for European children was like under the Nazi regime. It talks about the persecuted and those on the other side. It's definitely a fascinating yet sad account of the sort of brutality that went on during those years.
Bill
The research underpinning this highly original book is profound and the data in the narrative are very precise. The author presents a very harrowing and deeply moving account of the experience of children during the Nazi era in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, covering the awful events involved in the second world war. Recommended reading for anyone who values the freedom we enjoy at the present time.
Heather
I was trying to break out of my norm, but I find it to be dry.
Maureen Mahowald
Like "The Hunger Games" this book is about an evil government taking children away from their parents and placing them into a fight for their lives. Unfortunately, this book is based upon fact, not fiction. It provides a sobering historical account of the lives of children during WWII.
Travis
Apr 03, 2008 Travis marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
One of the books I had to buy for a WW2 class I took. The selections I read were well put together. It's always nice to find scholarship on the Second World War that deals with these little niche issues -- just one more reminder of how much there is left untold.
Angela
This book has alot of good information, but I had trouble getting through all the "dry data". Interesting view of the war and occupation through eyes of children.
Chrissie
Oct 09, 2010 Chrissie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, germany
I think I will read Hunt's "On Hitler's Mountain" first.
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