Laura's Reviews > The Balkan Trilogy

The Balkan Trilogy by Olivia Manning
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's review
May 08, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: hf-world-war-ii, romania, balkans, read-2011
Recommended to Laura by: Chrissie
Read from March 13 to 24, 2011

Somewhere near Venice, Guy began talking wit a heavy, elderly man, a refugee from Germany on this way to Trieste. Guy asked questions. The refugee eagerly replied. Neither seemed aware when the train stopped.

page 81:
"Today Rumania with broken heart announces the tragic loss of her much loved son and Premier A. Calinescu, assassinated by six students who failed to pass their baccalaureate. While attempting to forgive this mad act of disappointed youth, the nation is prostrate with grief."

page 83:
Ionescu ... recited quickly: "The military, mad with grief and indignation at the murder of a beloved Prime Minister, seized the young men and, unknown to the civil authorities, shot them out of hand."

page 185:
"Although Rumania is a maize-eating country, it grows only half as much maize as Hungary. So we have here the usual vicious circle - the peasants are indolent because they're half-fed: they"re half fed because they're indolent. If the Germans do get here, believe me, they'll make these people work as they've never worked before."

page 441:
"They can have Bessarabia. We don't like corn.
The best wheaten bread's the stuff in our New Dawn.

Let them have the Dobrudja. Ma's palace, anyway,
Has been sold to the nation for a million million lei

Who wants Transylvania? Give it 'em on a plate.
Let them take what they damn well like. I'll not abdicate."

page 454:
"Hitler cares nothing for Balkans politics. He is interested only in Balkan economics. He has ordered the Rumanians to settle these frontier problems simply to keep them busy until his troops are free to march in. That could be any day now."

page 636:
"A united Rumania - a Rumania, that is, who'd won the loyalty of her minorities by treating them fairly - could have stood up to Hungarian demands. She might even have stood up to Russia. If she'd remained firm, Yugoslavia and Greece would have joined with her; perhaps Bulgaria too. A Balkan entente ! Not much perhaps, but not to be sneezed at. With the country solid, enjoying a reasonable internal policy, the Iron Guard could never have regained itself. It could never have risen to power in this way."

"And there were the peasants - a formidable force, if we'd chosen to organise them. They could have been trained to revolt at any suggestion of German infiltration. And, I can tell you, the Germans don't want trouble on this front. They would not attempt to hold down an unwilling Rumania. As it is, the country has fallen to pieces, the Iron Guard is in power ad the Germans have been invited to walk in at their convenience. In short, our policy has played straight into enemy hands."

page 702:
Mrs Brett explained that Mussolini also wanted his triumphs. He had chosen a small country, supposing a small country was a weak country, thinking he had only to make a demand and the Greeks would submit. But Metaxas had said 'No' and so, in the middle of the night, while the Athenians slept, Greece had entered the war.
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03/17/2011 page 150
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by K.D. (new)

K.D. Absolutely Nice quotes!


Laura thanks. This book is quite interesting.


Laura thanks Bettie


Laura thanks Hana


Laura thanks Tania


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