Keith Lowe's Savage Continent is an awe-inspiring portrait of how Europe emerged from the ashes of WWII.
The end of the Second World War saw a terrible explosion of violence across Europe. Prisoners murdered jailers. Soldiers visited atrocities on civilians. Resistance fighters killed and pilloried collaborators. Ethnic cleansing, civil war, rape and murder were rife in the days, months and years after hostilities ended. Exploring a Europe consumed by vengeance, Savage Continent is a shocking portrait of an until-now unacknowledged time of lawlessness and terror.
Praise for Savage Continent:
'Deeply harrowing, distinctly troubling. Moving, measured and provocative. A compelling and plausible picture of a continent physically and morally brutalized by slaughter' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
'Unbearable but essential. A serious account of things we never knew and our fathers would rather forget. Lowe's transparent prose makes it difficult to look away from a whole catalogue of horrors...you won't sleep afterwards. Such good history it keeps all the questions boiling in your mind', Scotsman
Keith Lowe is widely recognized as an authority on the Second World War, and has often spoken on TV and radio, both in Britain and the United States. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Inferno: The Devastation of Hamburg, 1943 (Penguin). He lives in north London with his wife and two children.
Hitler's defeat did not end WWII, writes historian Lowe (Inferno: The Fiery Devastation of Hamburg, 1943) in this horrific account of years of violence and misery that immediately followed the war. Civil wars ignited by Nazi invasion raged for years in Greece, Yugoslavia, and Poland. Partisans in the Baltic states and Ukraine fought the Red Army until the 1950s. After WWII the victors moved people to suit borders moving ethnic minorities, often with good intentions, to prevent future hostilities, but with cruel results. Vengeful neighbors expelled 11 million Germans from Poland, but a dozen other acts of "ethnic cleansing" involved millions of Ukrainians, Hungarians, Poles, and other Slavs. Nor were Allied nations idle. Twenty-four thousand German POWs died in French camps. Americans kept millions of German soldiers in open fields with no shelter or sanitation and little food. Despite Lowe's thoughtful explanations for the actions he recounts, few readers will emerge unshaken from this meticulous history of unspeakable behavior by both governments and ordinary citizens. 16 pages of color photos, 12 maps.