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World War II Re-explored

Some New Millenium Studies in the History of the Global Conflict

Edited By Jarosław Suchoples, Stephanie James and Barbara Törnquist-Plewa

This volume is a collection of thirty papers written by authors from around the world. The writers focus on topics related to their own research interests. As a result, readers obtain a worldwide perspective on World War II from academics working on nearly every continent, proving that World War II was, probably, the first ever truly global experience for humanity. Present are many and different perspectives on the war. Eighty years after the end of World War II, these academics share their knowledge and reflections about a gruesome, but still not very remote time. In the new millennium, their studies should remind readers that the ‘end of history’ has been an impossible illusion and warn that peace and stability in international relations are not a given.

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Horrible Decade 1938–1947

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Europe During and Directly After WWII: Some Selected Problems1

Abstract: The 20th century, as often emphasized, was a century of the war of annihilation, the Holocaust and forced migrations. The numbers of the killed and expelled during and immediately after WWII are nearly unimaginable. However, sheer numbers themselves do not mean much if not considered in relation to the general demographics of the time. Moreover, it is definitely not the numbers which decide about the specificity of the 20th century in the history of migration processes. The relations between Germans and their neighbours reached a historic low in 1945. The craving for retaliation, at first among young people, was omnipresent in Europe. But the description of anti-German events in Europe at the end of the war and the beginning of freedom only as retaliation for victims would be a great simplification of the issue. It was more an ‘infection.’ Nations and neighbours were at odds. Paradoxically, the second biggest victims of score-settling in the final months of the war and the early months of peace were the Jews, already the greatest victim of the war conducted by Germany. Wars devastate people. Long-lasting violence in general corrupts not only the perpetrators, but also passive observers, and even the victims themselves. Historians who today deal with the events from the past such as the Polish-Ukrainian conflict in Volhynia, the Potsdam Conference or resettlement of the Germans from Eastern Europe, too often perceive these outside of the reality. In...

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