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Cruel World: The Children of Europe in the Nazi Web

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  52 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
In this riveting, powerful narrative, Lynn Nicholas shows how children under the Nazis became mere objects available for use in the service of the totalitarian state. Nicholas recounts the euthanasia and eugenic selection, racist indoctrination, kidnapping and “Germanization,” mass executions, and slave labor to which the Nazis subjected Europe’s children. She also capture ...more
Paperback, 656 pages
Published May 9th 2006 by Vintage (first published 2005)
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Aug 05, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
Far more readable than Nicholas, Rape of Europa. This book traces the impact that the Nazi in particular, and the War in general had upon children. Nicholas doesn't focus only on the camps, but deals with issues like food, the various eugenic programs, the work programs, as well as the general impact of war. She also gives a section on hidden children. A though picture of the war and its impact on the young.
NAZIism can be considered a religion but that is not why I put this book on the religion shelf. Like a religious cult NAZIism had its holy book -Mein Kampf- and had its youth groups in which the new generation was indoctrinated. Organizations also existed for the adults. Its members considered themselves, as the master race, to be a 'chosen' people. This book concentrates on the effects this 'religion' had on youth though other aspects of World War II filter in on occasion.
The young Germans wer
Julie - Book Hooked Blog
It usually takes me 2-3 days to finish a book - this one took over a month. It had a lot of really good information, but it was so dry! I wanted to like it a lot more than I did, but I did learn a lot about WWII and what the children went through. This book barely touches on the concentration camps, but really focuses on German chidren and displaced children. Very scholarly, but hard to get through at times.
Mary Catelli
Aug 29, 2013 Mary Catelli rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history-modern
The title is a little misleading, since it has "children" all the way up to university attendance. And it includes basically anywhere where children were affected by the Nazi regime. (Including one page on American children in World War II -- Total War really did affect children all over.)

And many cases context needed to explain the adults, too.

A thorough and extensive treatment of a rather far reaching and distinctly grim subject. It opens with the account of a four-year-old mentally retarded b
Katherine Addison
Nicholas provides, among other things, a sad, patient, and thorough explanation of why the Jews "didn't just leave." Other countries wouldn't let them in.
Katharine Holden
Readable, even though the scope of the book is huge. Excellent.
Mar 02, 2010 Duane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is meant as a resource book. It's not a sit-down-and enjoy book. The author does a masterful job of showing the reader how the children of Europe suffered before, during and after WW2. This book has a ton of information for the reader so it can be a bit dry, but if you're truly interested in the subject, you simply can't find a better book on the topic. The author does include a few photographs to go along with the chapter topics. A great book to show readers how truly cruel we can be ...more
Very comprehensive. This is not just about about the children of the Nazi years. It's a pretty good book about what led up to the Holocaust and the aftermath of it. Germany is not the only one to blame for the Holocaust. The entire world is to blame. We are also to blame for the chaotic mess after the Holocaust that prevented many of the victims from reuniting with their families. A must read. Should be required reading for all college history majors.
Jodi Tooke
Jul 15, 2015 Jodi Tooke rated it really liked it
A difficult read on an important topic. The impacts to children are still felt today, and Nicholas does a very thorough job of explains how and why.
Sep 17, 2013 Teri rated it really liked it
It was an eye opening book. I learned things about the United States part in WWII that I was ignorantly unaware of. I do admit that the book became rather dry at times because of the extensive statistics but otherwise it was very educational. At points I became overwhelmed with emotion.
Dec 20, 2011 William rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Five hundred plus pages of gripping narrative on the fate of children in war(WWII)-torn Europe. Well researched but never pedantic. The horrors are still hard to imagine.
Ian Donnelly
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From Random House:

Lynn H. Nicholas was born in New London, CT, and educated in the U.S., England, and Spain. The Rape of Europa, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, has been translated into eight languages. It inspired an international movement to locate and repatriate works of art and other property confiscated and stolen by individuals and governments before and during World War II
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