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The Many Faces of Defeat

The German People's Experience in 1945

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Edward N. Peterson

This book examines the great variety of experiences of the German people at the end of World War II, beginning with the frightening bombings, the passage of armies, the imprisonment of soldiers and civilians, the troop occupation of each of five separate zones, plus Berlin and Königsberg, and their impact on the defeated. This experience ranged from a liberation from the SS, to an enormous relief that the war's killing was over, to the rapings of women, particularly in the east, to a massive looting and destruction, again worst in the east, and the expulsion of millions from their ancestral homes. The beginnings of recovery and self-government in the four zones, moving particularly quickly in the American zone. The fundamental result everywhere: Hunger.

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INTRODUCTION 1 THE DYING MADNESS 7 THE AMERICAN AMERICA AS VICTOR POWERFUL BUT DISTRACTED BY FEARS 13 PRISONERS IN AMERICA WELL FED, NOT WELL LED 19 PWs IN EUROPE DEATH , SLAVE-TRADED OR SENT HOME 2 7 THE ZONE ALLIES ARE THE TROUBLEMAKERS 3 9 THE BRITISH BRITAIN AS VICTOR POOR BUT WITH THE BEST CONSCIENCE 57 PRISONERS OF BRITAIN TREATMENT FAIR BUT BEWILDERING 6 7 THE ZONE GREAT EXPECTATIONS & DISAPPOINTMENT 73 THE FRENCH FRANCE LOSER BECOME POOR VICTOR 10 3 THE PRISONERS CAMP STARVATION TO FAMILY SERVANTS 111 THE ZONE POMP AND POVERTY IN ISOLATION 125 BERLIN: THE WORST OF BOTH WORLDS 153 THE SOVIET/RUSSIAN THE USSR VICTOR IMPOVERISHED 17 5 PRISONERS GERMANS IN THE GULAG 193 KONIGSBERG - A CITY BURNED, MARCHED AND STARVED 207 THE SOVIET ZONE DESTRUCTION TO CHAOS TO REPRESSION 231 THE POLISH POLAND A VICTOR EXPLOITED AND EXPLOITING 2 7 3 POLISH PRISONERS - REVENGE ON THE HELPLESS 289 TERRITORIES OF "POLISH ADMINISTRATION" TERRIBLE FLIGHT, CAPTURE AND EXPULSION 295 SUMMATION DEFEAT AND VICTORY RECONSIDERED WHAT SAD EXPERIENCE TEACHES 339 BIBLIOGRAPHY 351 INDEX 365

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