Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin

Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin

by Timothy Snyder

Paperback(First Trade Paper Edition)

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Overview

From the bestselling author of On Tyranny, the definitive history of Hitler's and Stalin's wars against the civilians of Europe in World War Two

Americans call the Second World War "The Good War."But before it even began, America's wartime ally Josef Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens—and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was finally defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war's end, both the German and the Soviet killing sites fell behind the iron curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness.

Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power. Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history.

Bloodlands won twelve awards including the Emerson Prize in the Humanities, a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Leipzig Award for European Understanding, and the Hannah Arendt Prize in Political Thought. It has been translated into more than thirty languages, was named to twelve book-of-the-year lists, and was a bestseller in six countries.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465031474
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 10/02/2012
Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 84,626
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Timothy Snyder is the Housum Professor of History at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. He received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1997, where he was a British Marshall Scholar. Before joining the faculty at Yale in 2001, he held fellowships in Paris, Vienna, and Warsaw, and an Academy Scholarship at Harvard.

He has spent some ten years in Europe, and speaks five and reads ten European languages. Among his publications are several award-winning books, all of which have been translated: Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe: A Biography of Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz (1998, revised edition 2016); The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (2003); Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist's Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine (2005); The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke (2008); On Tyranny (2017); and The Road to Unfreedom (2018). He has written for publications including the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, the Times Literary Supplement, Nation, The New Republic, the International Herald Tribune, and the Wall Street Journal.

Table of Contents

Preface: Europe vii

Introduction: Hitler and Stalin 1

1 The Soviet Famines 21

2 Class Terror 59

3 National Terror 89

4 Molotov-Ribbentrop Europe 119

5 The Economics of Apocalypse 155

6 Final Solution 187

7 Holocaust and Revenge 225

8 The Nazi Death Factories 253

9 Resistance and Incineration 277

10 Ethnic Cleansings 313

11 Stalinist Anti-Semitism 339

Conclusion: Humanity 379

Numbers and Terms 409

Abstract 415

Acknowledgments 419

Bibliography 423

Notes 463

Index 507

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Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 74 reviews.
HarryVane More than 1 year ago
For those that are not familiar with the Second World War, or the history of modern Europe, Bloodlands will be a shocking introduction to the destruction wrought by the forces of Stalinism and National Socialism on the people of Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic Republics. Contrary to popular history and the prejudiced American accounts of the Second World War, the "Bloodlands," the ideological battlefield of the war, was where Nazism was ultimately defeated, but not before the complete annihilation of their Jewish communities and the ascension of Stalin's Iron Curtain throughout Eastern Europe. It is a poignant and often-times chilling account of the experiences of diverse peoples, beginning with Stalin's famine policy on the Ukraine to the Einsatzgruppen's monstrous campaign of mass murder to, ultimately, the forced ethnic cleansing of post-war Europe. As Americans, we truly do not understand, to this day, the magnitude and horror unleashed by the terrible forces of National Socialism and Stalinism-our images of those atrocities are limited to the liberation of the concentration camps. The reality: most Jews were executed, a bullet to the back of the head and buried within mass graves. Snyder fails to provide a more concise account of Stalin's anti-Semitism (and his near purge of Jewish doctors) along with a flippant account of the Soviet re-conquest of the bloodlands following the defeat of Nazi Germany. The author does mention Russian atrocities in relation to the invasion of Germany (characterized by mass rape and pillage) but does so in passing. Despite these weaknesses, Bloodlands still is a great historical read and a must for any serious student of European history.`
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A sobering & insightful accounting of the civilian/military horror of events culminating in 14 million casualties in Eastern Europe & Western Russia. Hitler and Stalin were true madmen...wish I had this history book available during my high school/college years. However, after 1989 and the opening of Russian archives following the collapse of the Soviet Union, I can learn what I never before knew about these tortured "Bloodlands".
timh More than 1 year ago
Bloodlands, Euorpe between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder. This book covers the chronological period of approximately 1930 (when Stalin gained preeminent power in the Soviet Union and initiated the collective agriculture program) and 1945 (end of WWII). In between, Hitler rose to power and planned German expansion in the east - 1933, Stalin in the Great Terror sought to eliminate the anti-collectivist kulaks - 1937 - 38, the Germans and Soviets split divided Poland and both murdered the inteligentsia - 1939, Germany broke the alliance and invaded Soviet Poland, the Baltics, Ukraine, Belarus and eastern Russia - 1939, and Russians repelled the Germans and ultimately occupied east Germany and much of central and eastern Europe. These events precipitated the deliberate murder in this geographical area of about 14 million people, the topics of this book. Fourteen million is only a fraction of number of deaths during WWII as the book only deals with deliberate murders in this area, largely of non-combatant civilians and not combantant deaths or millions of incidental civilian casualties of the war. Bloodlands does deal with the deaths of 5.4 million Jews in the Holocaust, but they are only part of the victims of the Holocaust and a substantial but not majority of all deaths considered. It is an excellent book, particularly for those of us who were raised to see WWII as a battle primarily on the western front which had relatively few casualties. Snyder's concluding chapter on "Humanity" is worth reading even by those who do not have time for the rest of the book. What it says about human nature and evil is deeply, deeply disturbing and fearful. It makes it very difficult for me to be optimistic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great look at where the suffering and dying was in WW2. Little too academic but still fascinating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put the book down. It was as fascinating as it was infuriating and depressing. I recommend it to everyone. My gripe is about the ebook. It replaced many of the Polish characters with a little box. Every five pages or so, the page swipe would cease to work and I would have to manually type in the next page number.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Focus on precision and accuracy
br77rino on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus were the scene of mind-boggling levels of human destruction, and Mr. Snyder describes it all in almost excessive detail. Reminded me of "The Great Hunger" which was about the Irish Potato Famine.
Narboink on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a superb history written in the best academic and scholarly traditions. Timothy Snyder has a clear methodology buttressed by sharply delineated geographic, temporal and conceptual boundaries; he has wisely limited his study to mass killings (as a consequence of deliberate policy) in a roughly 10 year period in the area he coins "the Bloodlands". In doing so, the 14 million mortal casualties of such actions are made evermore intellectually comprehensible. Snyder has, at long last, shed a brilliant light on the interplay between Stalinism and the Third Reich, and how that interaction (and geographic/political overlap) contributed to the crimes and tragedies of the Second World War. Popular history has, perhaps inevitably, occluded over time the true dimensions of what happened in the the lands of Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. By widening his focus to include the actions of the Soviets, partisans, nationalists, Nazis, et at. (as opposed the narrower view offered by other historians), Synder is able to make the Ukrainian famine (Holodomor) part of a comprehensive narrative that includes Babi Yar, Katyn, Treblinka and the larger actions of the Holocaust. It is a tremendous achievement.
RobertP on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Powerful. Hard to conceive of what happened there . It is best we never forget what we people are capable of.
TerriBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Much of this is history we have heard of - Babi Yar, famine in the Ukraine, Treblinka. But Snyder places it all together in time and space, helping to show not just what but why. Two things especially struck me. First, that in my American sensibilities, I can't seem to "get" the role of nationalism and ethnicity in European politics. The need, for example, to displace "ethnic Germans" from Poland, when they had lived there for generations --- to me, if you've been in Poland for generations, why doesn't that make you Polish, not German? Sure, we talk about our family origins in the U.S, but they don't make a difference in how we see each other as American. Second, I could not help but see the spiritual destruction visited on the men who were ordered to carry out the killings -- the army officer, for example, who came to his assigned workplace every night to shoot 250 people, day after day. He is a victim, too, of Stalin's and Hitler's programs of killing.While at times this book gets lost in the numbers and the details, it is the way the details add up and build together that make it important and fascinating.
quizshow77 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a ground-breaking book. I have studied a good bit about this period of history, but Snyder makes observations and connections that seem both fresh and at least potentially well-grounded. His biggest claim is that the mass murders and liquidations carried out by Stalin's Soviet Union and Hitler's Germany were not carried out in isolation, but in certain ways fed off of each other. From the viewpoint of a Pole or an Eastern European Jew, it was indeed as if these two regimes were cooperating to wipe out whole classes of people, even if they were not technically doing so.Snyder also documents some interesting facets of the situation that other accounts have not emphasized:1. Neither regime committed mass murder in its heartland. Soviet liquidations (and Gulags) happened mostly in peripheral areas of the Soviet Union (read: subject non-Russian republics), while none of the Nazi extermination camps were in Germany--they were in Poland.2. A majority of the Jews that perished in the Holocaust were shot. The experience of lining up to take a "shower" only to be gassed to death, terrifying as it was, was not typical of these victims. More typical was getting shot quickly and summarily in some rural field, forest, or ditch.3. Also not typical was the experience of working at a labor camp, even if it meant working to death. Most victims of the Holocaust were killed right away, without any pretense of trying to get any useful work out of them.4. It is not accurate to speak of the Germans occupying and committing mass murder in "Russia." The Baltic states, Belarus, and Ukraine were completely occupied and run by the Germans for several years. The Germans occupied only a slice of western Russia proper.5. The Soviet designation of the conflict we call the Second World War as "The Great Patriotic War" was/is part of a larger effort to obscure the Soviet role in precipitating the larger war. In particular, this narrative erases the fact that the Soviet Union invaded Poland in 1939 (and promptly started committing atrocities against the Polish people and trying to wipe out traditional Polish society in the part of Poland that it occupied). After all, did not the Great Patriotic War begin when Germany invaded the Motherland in 1941, Comrade? How could the Soviet Union have contributed to this national disaster?Snyder carries the story forward to after the war, where he provides interesting details and interpretations of both the expulsion of ethnic Germans from the rest of Europe and continued Soviet anti-Semitism and oppression, symbolized by Stalin's "Doctor's Plot."
mrafael on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an awesome work that place the context of industrialization and corrupt democracy around the greatest villains of 1930s: Stalin and Hitler. It is surprising in how the evidence accumulates against Stalin as Hitler's role model. The crime against the Ukrainian people in the contrived starvation seems unprecedented in its calculated amoral horror.
Savagemalloy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent survey of the carnage
PennyAnne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An incredibly important book which examines the period between 1933 and 1945 when the "Nazi and Soviet regimes starved, shot and gassed 14 million people in an area which today comprises Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, western Russia and the Baltic States". These deaths were not of soldiers in battle but of ordinary people. The numbers are incredible, the suffering of these nations during this time was unimaginable. While we all know some of this history there is much that fell behind the Iron Curtain at the end of WWII and is only now coming to light with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening of various archives. I am an historian by instinct and I found Snyder's arguments compelling - we must not see these regimes or the people who operated within them as aberrant or inhuman because that "is to take a step toward, not away from, the Nazi position. To find other people incomprehensible is to abandon the search for understanding, and thus to abandon history." (p.400).
mnicol on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The bloodlands are the regions between Moscow and Berlin that were subject to BOTH Soviet and Nazi control at some time between 1933 and 1945. 14 million people were murdered in this short period, in this relatively confined area, by active policies of mass killing - besides the deaths of soldiers in battles. Stalin's policies to kill kulaks and minorities had their greatest impact in the Ukraine/Poland, where the Germans killed so many Jews after 1941. The victims are the main story, illustrated in human stories and overwhelming statistics, but Snyder points out "The moral danger, after all, is never that one might become a victim but that one might be a perpetrator or bystander" (p.400). This is a brilliant study.
KynaKL More than 1 year ago
Finally a comprehensive history of the people who were occupied, oppressed and persecuted by the Hilter and Stalin regimes has been written. This story has been dominated by an incomplete narrative. A more complete history was not written because the people of Eastern Europe were under the occupation of USSR until the eighties; and so, the rest of the world wrote their history for them. Snyder has done the scholarly work, learned the languages, uncovered the locked-up archives of this region and has written the complete story that expands upon the conventional popular narrative. Unfortunately some (including commenters here) consider any thing that shines light upon a more complete truth of this period to be anti-Semitic. Find out for yourself. Don't let that accusation leave you uninformed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
historybuff2 More than 1 year ago
This is basically another holocaust book. I do not mean to be disrespectful, but I am holocausted out.. I was under the impression that this book would be about the balkland countries during WWI (i.e battles, etc) The book starts out good with the rise of the NAZI party , Stalinism, the atrocities committed by both Hitler and Stalin, not just on the Jews, but the entire population of those living in the Balkland countries. I also think the author did a wonderful job on showing what Hitlers plans were and what Stalins plans were with the Balkland countries (both assuming they were going to win the war) Halfway through, this book basically becomes what happened to the Jews during this time. It is terrible what happeneded to the Jews during the holocaust, however, millions of other people also suffered. When writing about WWI and the atrocities, if an author can only write about what happened to the Jews ,then in my opinion the author is very biased. If an author wants to write about only what happened to the Jews, fine- but advertise it that way. I do believe we have to learn about history, so we do not repeat it. I would like to say I can only hope that another genocide would not occur, but unfortunately genocide has occurred in recent history (Rwanda as an example) and I’m afraid it will continue to happen. . I also gave this book 2 stars because at times I became lost with all the numbers. It seems like the author used too many statistics and numbers to make his point. Yes, it was well researched, but the use of too many numbers and statistics gets confusing
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