After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation by Giles MacDonogh

By Giles MacDonogh

Whilst Hitler’s govt collapsed in 1945, Germany was once instantly divided up lower than the keep watch over of the Allied Powers and the Soviets. A country in tatters, in lots of areas actually flattened by means of bombs, used to be abruptly subjected to brutal career via vengeful victors. in keeping with fresh estimates, as many as million German ladies have been raped via Soviet occupiers. common Eisenhower denied the Germans entry to any overseas reduction, which means that German civilians have been pressured to subsist on approximately 1,200 energy an afternoon. (American officers privately said on the time that the demise cost among adults had risen to 4 occasions the pre-war degrees; baby mortality had elevated tenfold).

With the authorization of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, over 4 million Germans have been inspired into compelled hard work. normal George S. Patton was once so disgusted by way of American coverage in post-war Germany that he commented in his diary, “It is a laugh to remember that we fought the revolution in safety of the rights of guy and the civil struggle to abolish slavery and feature now long gone again on either principles"

Although an impressive 2.5 million usual Germans have been killed within the post-Reich period, few be aware of of this aggravating historical past. there was an unstated knowing among historians that the Germans successfully acquired what they deserved as perpetrators of the Holocaust. First ashamed in their nationwide humiliation by the hands of the Allies and Soviets, and later ashamed of the horrors of the Holocaust, Germans too have remained mostly silent – a silence W.G. Sebald movingly defined in his debatable book at the typical historical past of Destruction.

In After the Reich, Giles MacDonogh has written a complete heritage of Germany and Austria within the postwar interval, drawing on an enormous array of up to date first-person bills of the interval. In doing so, he has eventually given a voice the thousands of who, fortunate to outlive the struggle, came upon themselves suffering to outlive a hellish “peace.”

A startling account of a tremendous and brutal army profession, After the Reich is an important paintings of historical past of heritage with visible relevance this day.

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In 1942, Leipzig spent the entire year on training exercises in the Baltic, as flagship of the commander of the training fleet. In March 1943 Leipzig was decommissioned once again, but this situation lasted only a few months, as the reverses Germany was now suffering on the Eastern Front meant that every ship was required. On 1 August, she was again recommissioned though overhaul, repairs, training, the replacement of worn-out gun barrels and installation of radar equipment meant that it was some time before she was once again ready for operational use.

In her correct channel and doing fully 20 knots, she slammed into Leipzig’s port side just ahead of the funnel. 39 crewmen were killed or injured. The two ships were wedged together until the afternoon of 16 October. Leipzig was towed carefully into Gotenhafen where she went into the floating dry dock. It was clear that damage to the cruiser was so serious that proper repairs were not considered viable and accordingly only such repairs as were required to keep her afloat and allow her limited movement were carried out.

Like her light cruiser counterparts, Nürnberg was once more recalled to operational service in 1944 as Germany’s military fortunes waned. Initially, she was used on convoy escort duties, before being assigned to minelaying in Norwegian waters. By January 1945, she was lying in port in Copenhagen where severe shortages of fuel rendered her inoperative. Here, her last shots in anger were fired when members of her crew beat off an attempt by Danish resistance fighters to seize the ship on 5 May. British forces arrived in the Danish port on the following day and matters calmed down.

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