Terres de sang L Europe entre Hitler et Staline
"Voici l'histoire d'un meurtre politique de masse." C'est par ses mots que Timothy Snyder entame le récit de la catastrophe au cours de laquelle, entre 1933 et 1945, 14 millions de civils, principalement des femmes, des enfants et des vieillards, ont été tués par l'Allemagne nazie et l'Union soviétique stalinienne. Tous l'ont été dans un même territoire, que l'auteur appelle les 'terres de sang' et qui s'étend de la Pologne centrale à la Russie occidentale en passant par l'Ukraine, la Biélorussie et les pays Baltes. Plus de la moitié d'entre eux sont morts de faim. Deux des plus grands massacres de l'histoire – les famines préméditées par Staline, principalement en Ukraine, au début des années 1930, qui ont fait plus de 4 millions de morts, et l'affamement par Hitler de quelque 3 millions et demi de prisonniers de guerre soviétiques, au début des années 1940 – ont été perpétrés ainsi. Tous deux ont précédé l'Holocauste et, selon Timothy Snyder, aident à le comprendre. Les victimes des deux régimes ont laissé de nombreuses traces. Tombées après la guerre de l'autre côté du rideau de fer, elles sont restées dans l'oubli pendant plus de soixante ans et ne sont revenues au jour qu'à la faveur de la chute du communisme. Timothy Snyder en offre pour la première fois une synthèse si puissante qu'un nouveau chapitre de l'histoire de l'Europe paraît s'ouvrir avec lui. Ce faisant, il redonne humanité et dignité à ces millions de morts privés de sépultures et comme effacés du souvenir des vivants. Par sa démarche novatrice, centrée sur le territoire, son approche globale, la masse de langues mobilisées, de sources dépouillées, l'idée même que les morts ne s'additionnent pas, Timothy Snyder offre ici un grand livre d'histoire en même temps qu'une méditation sur l'écriture de l'histoire.
In the middle of Europe, in the middle of the twentieth century, the Nazi and Soviet regimes murdered fourteen million people in the bloodlands between Berlin and Moscow. In a twelve-year-period, in these killing fields - today's Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Western Russia and the eastern Baltic coast - an average of more than one million citizens were slaughtered every year, as a result of deliberate policies unrelated to combat. In his revelatory book Timothy Snyder offers a ground-breaking investigation into the motives and methods of Stalin and Hitler and, using scholarly literature and primary sources, pays special attention to the testimony of the victims, including the letters home, the notes flung from trains, the diaries on corpses. The result is a brilliantly researched, profoundly humane, authoritative and original book that forces us to re-examine the greatest tragedy in European history and re-think our past.
Shatterzone of Empires
Shatterzone of Empires is a comprehensive analysis of interethnic relations, coexistence, and violence in Europe's eastern borderlands over the past two centuries. In this vast territory, extending from the Baltic to the Black Sea, four major empires with ethnically and religiously diverse populations encountered each other along often changing and contested borders. Examining this geographically widespread, multicultural region at several levels—local, national, transnational, and empire—and through multiple approaches—social, cultural, political, and economic—this volume offers informed and dispassionate analyses of how the many populations of these borderlands managed to coexist in a previous era and how and why the areas eventually descended into violence. An understanding of this specific region will help readers grasp the preconditions of interethnic coexistence and the causes of ethnic violence and war in many of the world's other borderlands both past and present.
The Eagle Unbowed
World War II gripped Poland as it did no other country. Invaded by Germany and the USSR, it was occupied from the first day of war to the last, and then endured 44 years behind the Iron Curtain while its wartime partners celebrated their freedom. The Eagle Unbowed tells, for the first time, the story of Poland’s war in its entirety and complexity.
The Blue Bicycle
World War II uproots the lives of the Bordeaux vineyard-owning Delmas family and forces willful Lea Delmas to assume an adult role as protectress of her rival Camille and as courier for the Resistance
Thinking the Twentieth Century
Two explorers set out on a journey from which only one of them will return. Their unknown land is that often fearsome continent we call the 20th Century. Their route is through their own minds and memories. Both travellers are professional historians still tormented by their own unanswered questions. They needed to talk to one another, and the time was short. This is a book about the past, but it is also an argument for the kind of future we should strive for. Thinking the Twentieth Century is about the life of the mind - and the mindful life.
A young writer, struggling for success, employs an elderly woman called Emerence to be her housekeeper. From their first encounter it is clear that Emerence is no ordinary maid. Although everyone in the neighbourhood knows and respects her, no one knows anything about her private life or has ever crossed her threshold. Only a great drama in the writer's life prompts Emerence to unveil glimpses of her traumatic past - a past which sheds light on her peculiar behaviour. The Door brilliantly evokes the development of the bond between these two very different women, and the tragic ending to their relationship.
A brilliant, haunting, and profoundly original portrait of the defining tragedy of our time. In this epic history of extermination and survival, Timothy Snyder presents a new explanation of the great atrocity of the twentieth century, and reveals the risks that we face in the twenty-first. Based on new sources from eastern Europe and forgotten testimonies from Jewish survivors, Black Earth recounts the mass murder of the Jews as an event that is still close to us, more comprehensible than we would like to think, and thus all the more terrifying. The Holocaust began in a dark but accessible place, in Hitler's mind, with the thought that the elimination of Jews would restore balance to the planet and allow Germans to win the resources they desperately needed. Such a worldview could be realized only if Germany destroyed other states, so Hitler's aim was a colonial war in Europe itself. In the zones of statelessness, almost all Jews died. A few people, the righteous few, aided them, without support from institutions. Much of the new research in this book is devoted to understanding these extraordinary individuals. The almost insurmountable difficulties they faced only confirm the dangers of state destruction and ecological panic. These men and women should be emulated, but in similar circumstances few of us would do so. By overlooking the lessons of the Holocaust, Snyder concludes, we have misunderstood modernity and endangered the future. The early twenty-first century is coming to resemble the early twentieth, as growing preoccupations with food and water accompany ideological challenges to global order. Our world is closer to Hitler's than we like to admit, and saving it requires us to see the Holocaust as it was -- and ourselves as we are. Groundbreaking, authoritative, and utterly absorbing, Black Earth reveals a Holocaust that is not only history but warning.
A Line in the Sand
In 1916, in the middle of the First World War, two men secretly agreed to divide the Middle East between them. Sir Mark Sykes was a visionary politician; François Georges-Picot a diplomat with a grudge. The deal they struck, which was designed to relieve tensions that threatened to engulf the Entente Cordiale, drew a line in the sand from the Mediterranean to the Persian frontier. Territory north of that stark line would go to France; land south of it, to Britain. The creation of Britain's 'mandates' of Palestine, Transjordan and Iraq, and France's in Lebanon and Syria, made the two powers uneasy neighbours for the following thirty years. Through a stellar cast of politicians, diplomats, spies and soldiers, including T. E. Lawrence, Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle, A Line in the Sand vividly tells the story of the short but crucial era when Britain and France ruled the Middle East. It explains exactly how the old antagonism between these two powers inflamed the more familiar modern rivalry between the Arabs and the Jews, and ultimately led to war between the British and French in 1941 and between the Arabs and Jews in 1948. In 1946, after many years of intrigue and espionage, Britain succeeded in ousting France from Lebanon and Syria, and hoped that, having done so, it would be able to cling on to Palestine. Using newly declassified papers from the British and French archives, James Barr brings this clandestine struggle back to life, and reveals, for the first time, the stunning way in which the French finally got their revenge.
Biographical note: Sascha Bru, Genth University, Belgium; Peter Nicholls, University of Sussex, UK.