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Warsaw 1944: Hitler, Himmler, and the Warsaw Uprising

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  140 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
The full untold story of how one of history’s bravest revolts ended in one of its greatest crimes

In 1943, the Nazis liquidated Warsaw’s Jewish ghetto. A year later, they threatened to complete the city’s destruction by deporting its remaining residents. A sophisticated and cosmopolitan community a thousand years old was facing its final days—and then opportunity struck. As
Hardcover, 776 pages
Published December 10th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published October 1st 2013)
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Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, ww2
The Warsaw Uprising was a "perfect storm". The Home Army misjudged events and chose exactly the wrong time to rise up. Soviet advances left the Germans short of regular troops so the task of putting down the uprising fell to Himmler and the SS, including special (i.e. sadistic) bandit hunters. And Stalin, wanting Poland for himself, stood by and watched as the Home Army broke itself against the SS.

The result, especially for innocent civilians, was horrific. The book, however, is very good. It's
Manchester Military History Society (MMHS)
The numbers beggar belief. Of a prewar population of 1.3 million, 150,000 civilians and 18,000 underground soldier killed, and this is excluding 400,000 Jews who were sent to their deaths from 1939-43.

The remainder were forced from their homes into concentration camps and forced labour camps as Warsaw was demolished brick by brick on Hitler's orders, leaving a few thousand hiding amongst the ruins awaiting the Soviets.

Alexandra Ritchie weaves together the gripping and horrific story of one of t
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Warsaw 1944 has come to us from the archives inherited by the author, diaries that have brought to life the full tragedy of both the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, but the very fate of the city. The amount of research to bring this text to fruition is overwhelming, and possible with the availability of both Russian and German archives many of which did not become available until the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

It is mostly a forgotten story, a small footnote which all sides wanted forgotten and bu
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone and no one in equal measure
Shelves: favorites
Bloody grim stuff, but so savagely beautiful that I count it as one of my favourite books of all time. At times it becomes almost unbearable, with so much devastating violence that you almost feel like crying but you gotta learn, even if you don't want to.

What humans are truly capable of is terrifying and should never be forgotten so you just gotta grit your teeth and push to the end but this book haunts me and there's not a day that goes by where I don't think about it.

Other than that there's
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
An unsparing, gut-wrenching account of the Warsaw Uprising against the Germans (not to be confused with the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943), when the Polish Home Army launched a heroic but ultimately disastrous attack on their Nazi occupiers as Stalin's Red Army closed in on the city in the summer of 1944. Poland suffered terribly at the hands of both the Germans and the Russians during the war, and Richie describes the tragic events and the horrific atrocities of the Warsaw Uprising in unflinc ...more
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military
Alexandra Richie is a Warsawian via Oxford University. She has taken on a tragic tale of a city’s unnecessary destruction and its nation’s unwilling demise. Her love of Warsaw and of Poland shines through this disturbing history of the 1944 Uprising against the German occupation of Warsaw.

Poland has long been a hot potato between Germany and Russia. Until its post-WWI independence Poland had been sliced and diced by Russia, Austria-Hungary, and other European countries, and immediately on its f
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A compelling, graphic, and terrifying account of Warsaw at the peak of her destruction by the Nazis in 1944. An insane Hitler and his equally mad minions let loose on the innocent citizens of Warsaw where murder, rape, looting, and the total annihilation of the city was the rule of the day. The insurgent underground Polish Army tries to fight this enemy, but with little help from the Allies, and none from the nearby Soviets, her days are tragically numbered. This is a well-researched text using ...more
Andrew Davis
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
An excellent description of Warsaw Uprising. Apart from a thorough background on its occurrence, it provides a chronology of events, which helped me to understand how the focus of the German attacks moved from one suburb to the next. The cynicism of Russian troops stationing just few kilometres away and their refusal to allow the Allied planes to land on the eastern site of Vistula makes them co-responsible for the death of many innocent people. The hostility of Russians to AK fighters, their ar ...more
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Richie describes in painful detail the horrors perpetrated by the SS against Warsawian rebels and civilians alike: indiscriminate massacres, torture, rape and pillage on a massive scale. Though in mainstream media and memory the Warsaw Uprising is pretty much a footnote when it comes to the vast narrative of the Second World War, this account of the events of August-September 1944 recounts the tragedy in full, with its cast villains (Dirlewanger, von dem Bach, Himmler) and heroes (General Bór, A ...more
Drew Zagorski
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
The indomitable Polish spirit... As a person of Polish descent, I've always been proud of my heritage. I am even more so after reading Warsaw 1944. This was a pretty intense read as it delivered countless graphic scenes. But Richie brought the struggle to life, and while the book was nearly 700 pages, it was difficult to put it down. She really places you in the scene with firsthand accounts and detail. The will of the people of Warsaw was something to behold, and you couldn't help but wish that ...more
Augustine Kobayashi
It not only tells stories of suffering of people of Warsaw during the uprising, which is actually not a very comfortable read, but also explains actions of German leaders. Hitler and Himmler, by their own twisted rationale, pursued their own military and political goal. In retrospect their decisions were ridiculous but in the summer of 1944, they did make certain sense for the Nazi leaders, now cornered and facing a prospect of a massive defeat in war. Little did they know, it could only end wi ...more
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Historian Alexandra Richie documents what she contends is an event lost to memory in the enormous literature of the Second World War: the Warsaw uprising of 1944 (not to be confused with the ghetto uprising the year prior).

In page after page, chapter after chapter, she details the barbarism perpetrated by the SS against both the Polish resistance and civilians. At times this long book reads as if it is little more than a catalog of human horrors. But Richie manages to provide broader military an
Daniel Kukwa
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This volume is up there with the best of Margaret Macmillan & Doris Kearns Goodwin. This is an extraordinary work of scholarship, that manages to explore an enormous amount of detail, while never losing the ability to tell one of the most harrowing, tragic, and important events of World War II with straightforward simplicity. If you're Polish, like myself, then this fills in enormous gaps in an already heart-rending tale. If you're coming to this event fresh, having only heard of it as a bac ...more
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant writing and somber reading will give you some sleepless nights.
I love historical accounts and this book is so raw and visceral in its accounts
it will give you some unrest. Gripping from start to finish. Not to be read if
you are uneasy with violence, this book is very graphic and took me quite some
time to finish because of the violence , but it is a book that should be read.
Edward Newman
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
A concise, compelling history of Warsaw and it's travails under the German onslaught made in response to the August 1944 uprising. Upsetting and sometimes graphic, but one begins to grasp Poland's self-image of the "Christ of Nations", given the heights of its pre-war achievements and the depths of its misery. The personalities behind the fight are fascinating and sometimes terrifying.
Nov 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
I appreciated the level of detail provided about individuals, but it felt disorganized and, in places, unduly biased, which was frustrating because the facts of this story more than speak for themselves.
Brad Heap
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A fantastically written book but an horrific read. Extremely well researched and detailed. It is an utter shame that little was done to hold those who committed crimes in the Warsaw Uprising to account after the war.
Jeremy Jetzon
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly immersive study! Richie's footnote-to-page ratio puts her at the front of the pack!
Peter Podbielski
A compelling and beautifully written work of the Warsaw Uprising. An essential tome to every library of 20th century history.
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gut-wrenching read. Perhaps as difficult to read as Snyder's Bloodlands..

I hate to niggle, definitely five stars for the book, but four for the editing.
Oct 18, 2013 rated it liked it
What I need: A stiff drink. Every time you think you've heard everything horrendous that happened in WWII, there's more. What I didn't need: More than one Carthage analogy.
Bob Lakeman
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Dec 05, 2016
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Feb 18, 2014
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Aug 14, 2014
Milena Domańska
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Jul 23, 2016
Ian Wilson
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Dec 18, 2014
Kevin Jouneau
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Jan 15, 2015
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Dec 13, 2014
David P
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May 13, 2015
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Jan 12, 2015
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