Germany 1945: From War to Peace

by Richard Bessel

HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS | June 22, 2009 | Hardcover

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1945 was the most pivotal year in Germany''s modern history. As World War II drew to a devastating and violent close, the German people were confronted simultaneously with making sense of the horrors just passed and finding the strength and hope to move forward and rebuild. Richard Bessel offers a provocative portrait of Germany''s emergence from catastrophe, and he astutely portrays the defeated nation''s own sense of victimhood after the war, despite the crimes it had perpetrated.

The last months of the war were its bloodiest, as the Allied assault on Nazi Germany reached its climax. .In January alone, as many as one million people died violent deaths. Bessel captures the terrible suffering of these months in the destroyed cities; the acts of vengeance inflicted on Germans by the conquering Soviets, French, and Americans; as well as death marches and the extreme brutality of the Nazi regime against its own people. In spite of this horrific violence, by the end of 1945 people were beginning to put their lives back together and create the foundations of a postwar social, economic, and political culture.

Authoritative and dramatic, Germany 1945 is groundbreaking history that brilliantly explores the devastation and remarkable rebirth of Germany at the end of World War II. Bessel''s startling narrative depicts perhaps the most important transition of modern times: from the worst outburst of violence in human history to a period of relative peace, prosperity, and civilized behavior. Ultimately, it is a success story, a story of life after death.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 544 pages, 9.38 × 6.5 × 1.86 in

Published: June 22, 2009

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0060540362

ISBN - 13: 9780060540364

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– More About This Product –

Germany 1945: From War to Peace

by Richard Bessel

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 544 pages, 9.38 × 6.5 × 1.86 in

Published: June 22, 2009

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0060540362

ISBN - 13: 9780060540364

From the Publisher

1945 was the most pivotal year in Germany''s modern history. As World War II drew to a devastating and violent close, the German people were confronted simultaneously with making sense of the horrors just passed and finding the strength and hope to move forward and rebuild. Richard Bessel offers a provocative portrait of Germany''s emergence from catastrophe, and he astutely portrays the defeated nation''s own sense of victimhood after the war, despite the crimes it had perpetrated.

The last months of the war were its bloodiest, as the Allied assault on Nazi Germany reached its climax. .In January alone, as many as one million people died violent deaths. Bessel captures the terrible suffering of these months in the destroyed cities; the acts of vengeance inflicted on Germans by the conquering Soviets, French, and Americans; as well as death marches and the extreme brutality of the Nazi regime against its own people. In spite of this horrific violence, by the end of 1945 people were beginning to put their lives back together and create the foundations of a postwar social, economic, and political culture.

Authoritative and dramatic, Germany 1945 is groundbreaking history that brilliantly explores the devastation and remarkable rebirth of Germany at the end of World War II. Bessel''s startling narrative depicts perhaps the most important transition of modern times: from the worst outburst of violence in human history to a period of relative peace, prosperity, and civilized behavior. Ultimately, it is a success story, a story of life after death.

About the Author

"In this detailed study, Mr. Bessel, a professor at the University of York, does not minimize the scope and ubiquitousness of this Soviet terror as it swept into Germany. . . . Reading this account of the lamentable condition of Germany throughout 1945 makes one realize the enormity of the nation's achievement since then. That it should have been able, despite the Cold War and its divisions, to become the economic powerhouse it is today, a robust democracy, admirably assiduous and staunch in its atonement for Nazi atrocities: All this does indeed add up to a true miracle." (The Washington Times)

Editorial Reviews

?A masterly account by a first-rate historian of the scarcely credible levels of death and destruction in Germany during the final, apocalyptic phase of the Second World War, and the ways in which the experience of these terrible months helped to forge the first, tentative stages of the extraordinary recovery from Nazism that led to the building of a peaceful and prosperous society?truly, as Richard Bessel states, ?life after death.?? (Ian Kershaw)
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