Jim's Reviews > Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin

Bloodlands by Timothy Snyder
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's review
Aug 09, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: war-is-hell
Read from August 09 to 21, 2011

I thought I knew this history better, but the stories and numbers are just shocking. Poles, Ukrainians and and Belorussians, both Jewish and Gentile, suffered in ways that are impossible to imagine. The book has one story that is the worst thing that I've ever heard. I didn't know that more civilians died in the Warsaw uprising than in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. I didn't understand the importance of calories and food as a natural and essential resource to the German reich, that the hunger plan required the elimination of "useless eaters" to open lebensraum so that the black earth of the Ukraine could be tilled for the benefit of Germans only; that if the Germans had taken Moscow, and crushed the Soviets, that they anticipated, or rather expected, thirty million to die in the winter of 41-42 as part of the plan. I had a difficult time fathoming the twisted soviet thinking of the holodomor which made all food state property so that a child with a potato peel was stealing state property was sentenced to be shot, and that the starving peasants were considered by the Stalinists to so hate the regime that they allowed their families to starve. And oh, the cannibalism!

Glad to have finished this.

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