Robert Owens's Reviews > Year Zero: A History of 1945

Year Zero by Ian Buruma
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bookshelves: questscouts, hoopla, audiobook, nonfiction, wwii, history

Pretty powerful!

I grew up in the late shadow of WWII. We used to hear a lot more about than we do today. Not being a history buff, my knowledge is only superficial. This book took all those isolated things I had heard about through my lifetime and placed them together. It paints quite a dark story of the human race.

Certainly we have all learned of the Holocaust. Six million Jews exterminated. The white washing of history seems to have presented a story where American troops came in and saved the day. According to Buruma, that isn't exactly the case. Even as World War II was winding down, no one seemed to want the Jews. I learned of the anti-semitism of General Patton, usually presented as a national hero.

Others who were persecuted by the Nazis displayed no better after the war as they sought revenge. Women and children were raped. It was sickening listening to the accounts.

We learned that those who helped themselves during the war were harshly penalized afterwards for benefiting while their countrymen had suffered.

The prosecution of the Japanese and German officials was interesting. Show trials throughout really hammered home that ultimately there is no guarantee of human justice. The Japanese general who was convicted of a crime that was created afterwards in a situation for which he had no control was quite telling.

I found it fascinating how Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin divided up Europe, decided how things would be settled, determined the rules for the United Nations, etc.

I finished this on the day the Mueller Report was released publicly. It seems like, not I haven't been leery of government before, we can't trust anything these days but our own actions. And after reading this, I wonder just how much horror lives within me that could surface if I went through what the Jews did.

A very heavy read . . .
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Reading Progress

November 25, 2018 – Shelved
November 25, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
November 25, 2018 – Shelved as: questscouts
November 25, 2018 – Shelved as: hoopla
November 25, 2018 – Shelved as: audiobook
April 15, 2019 – Started Reading
April 19, 2019 – Shelved as: nonfiction
April 19, 2019 – Shelved as: wwii
April 19, 2019 – Shelved as: history
April 19, 2019 – Finished Reading

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