After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation. Giles MacDonogh, Author. Basic $32 (p) ISBN After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation. By Giles MacDonogh. New York: Basic Books, ISBN Maps. Photographs. In After the Reich,Giles MacDonogh has written a comprehensive history of Germany and Austria in the postwar period, drawing on a vast array of contemporary.

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The exposure of the true horrors of the concentration camps added fuel for all concerned. A very thoroughly researched book, with a wealth of information in it that most people do not have. Instead, it focused almost entirely on the mid- thw late s aftter from the last part of the war through the occupation, and ending with the creation of the two-nation Germany.

Enhanced with moving anecdotes, it also provides historical context and perspective. I am aware of what the Nazis did to Jews and others, but t I cannot say when I began this book as I put it down half read a while ago as I found that the first half became very harrowing. All in all this is a sobering read in case one maintained any illusions about the gentler sides aftef human nature. I did not realize how many atrocities were committed after rhe war was over However, there were times where it deviated from its focus.

Over a million German prisoners of war died in captivity, where they were subjected to inadequate rations and often tortured. There are interminable ramblings about insignificant occurrences was he paid per page?

Everything is Ibid, to what? Sebald movingly described in his controversial book On the Natural History of Destruction.

It has all the signs of the ambitious academic- impressive but ultimately shallow. A million of these were men who were being held as prisoners of war, most of whom died in Soviet captivity. Drawing on a vast array of yiles firstperson accounts, MacDonogh has finally given a voice to tens of millions of civilians who, lucky to survive the war, found themselves struggling to survive a hellish peace.

I was vaguely aware of something but had no idea of the scale of it, and the massive impact on Germany’s population. It is however shy on insight and interpretation, though it reports some curious glances. While some reviewers may take umbrage that MacDonogh would even write such a book regarding the after-shocks of WW2 and the postwar occupation of Germany, others chide him for not going far enough.


Ottawarapids – favorite – June 17, Subject: Others, more fortunate, toiled as slave labor in Allied countries, often for years. In many cases, those who managed to survive this experience returned to their homes to find that everything they had owned had been given away to others. The word Brutal etc has been dropped for the more anodyne as shown in the heading to my review We are ceaselessly reminded of the Third Reich’s wartime concentration camps.

I had so many issues with this book. View all 4 comments. And I heard many of the stories first hand of what the end of the occupation was like in Holland, and the end of the war in Germany as well. Historian Giles MacDonogh has unearthed a record of brutality which has been largely ignored by historians or, worse, justified as legitimate retaliation for the horror of the Holocaust.

America, Britain and France soon enter on stage with similar accounts of mistreatment of civilians and military personnel alike. It seems to gloss over the aggression, oppression, and sheer evil of the Third Reich. In the case of the Soviet Army, especially, the pillaging and acts of revenge were on a wide scale. Don’t misunderstand – there are plenty of examples of individual Allied troops committing crimes against German civilians.

A nation in tatters, in many places literally flattened by bombs, was suddenly subjected to brutal occupation by vengeful victors. The personal anecdotes and reliance on personal diaries of civilians caught up in the occupation and deportations from eastern Germany towards the west give the book the needed humanity and oral recounting that often goes lacking in other historical books covering such topics. But Gile MacDonogh could have used a good editor.

On the other end the murder of millions of across Europe in a war only Hitler and his flunkies wanted, seems like the real crime, and this was just the inevitable fallout of an insane and brutal policy that failed. The book is shocking by its brutality and the size of terror and suffering, and aven if everybody agrees that Germany started the war, this is a grim reminding of the risks of following the wrong leaders.

Liberating, but first purging and destroying,if possible, all left after the Nazis regime.

After the Reich Review

It is probably the best work available in English macdonigh this shameful chapter of twentieth century history. A vengeful Red Army visited on German women an ordeal of mass rape, while looting the Soviet occupation zone of almost everything of value, from watches to factories. It’s a topic that few people know about let alone maddonogh enough to learn about.


Obviously, none of the allies could agree what to aftdr to restore calm macdonpgh the bickering about which piece of Germany each country was entitled to macdonigh into a bit of a comedy sketch. I expected to find information that could not be found in other texts, but anyone that studies post war Europe knows about the mass rape, starvation, and use of the former Nazi concentration camps.

Many people take the view that, given the wartime misdeeds of the Nazis, some degree of vengeful violence rejch the defeated Germans was inevitable and perhaps justified. The Best Books of The vengeful plan by US Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau to turn defeated Germany into an impoverished “pastoral” country, stripped of modern industry, is recounted by MacDonogh, as well as other genocidal schemes to starve, sterilize or deport the population of what was left of the bombed-out cities.

Yes, the Russians, French, British, Americans and many others intervened in the second world war and yes, they did liberate the European countries living under Nazi rule but this tale of liberation came at a high price and was not the fairy tale ending expected or portrayed to us all as this book will demonstrate to you.

Amazing – so many things I did not know about how the defeated Germans were treated by the allies.

After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation

Mxcdonogh is a catalogue of pillage, rape, starvation, inhumanity and suffering on a titanic scale. To prove just how brutal the Allied occupation was, the author draws heavily on the experiences of a group of about a dozen individuals to represent the travails of the masses.

In After the Reich ,Giles MacDonogh has written a comprehensive history of Gilees and Austria in the postwar period, drawing on a vast array of contemporary first-person accounts of the period.

It’s a very interesting read to know that war only brings misery, death, destruction, occupation and struggle for decades to com It took me almost 6 months to finish this book. Discover what to read next. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.