Wanda's Reviews > Exorcising Hitler: The Occupation and Denazification of Germany

Exorcising Hitler by Frederick Taylor
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Aug 08, 11


This book is an extremely well written and accessible history of the aftermath of WW II in Germany and what that country experienced on the road to "normality." This was truly a fascinating read, and very well written. I learned a good deal that I had known only through a great deal of the U.S. post WW II narrative, that conveniently glossed over the poor actions of some of the U.S. G.I.s and the attitude of many in the U.S. spearheaded by Robert Morgenthau (FDR's Secy of Treasury) that was punitive and vindictive toward the German people. To have grown up reading U.S. history, it seemed as though the Allies had all learned not to take this attitude after WW I and its disasterous consequences.
To the U.S. and Britain's credit, they abandoned this stance and reason did prevail.
Another surprise -- well maybe not -- was that the French (who were not privy to the Pottsdam agreement or any other negotiations among the Allies) turned out to be almost as bad in terms of enslaving and killing Germans as the Soviets. Again, the French narrative lauds the Free French (a minority) and completely ignores their collaboration and their quisling government (Vichy)that sucked up to Hitler's Nazis during the war. Taylor debunks that narrative and shows them to be petty, cruel, vindictive, and demanding (despite having not much to demand!), as well as arrogant.
I read a review on Amazon to see what others thought before I ordered it from the library and was chagrined to see someone said "Who cares what the Germans went through?" With lingering attitudes like that, when will we ever see a lasting peace?
Highly recommend this book.
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