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Victory Day to commemorate the end of WWII

Victory Day celebrated through Europe on 8 May 1945 to mark the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces marketing the end of World War II in Europe. Victory Day in Russia, as well as some former Soviet Union republics, is celebrated on May 9 as Germany’s surrender was signed late in the evening on May 8, 1945 when it was already May 9 in Russia. For most European nations, and especially for the Russian people, that war had a profound impact on national memory and its trauma is still very much alive.

 

In recognition of the day Berghahn is pleased to offer 25% discount on any of our WWII History books on orders placed within the next 30 days. Visit our webpage and simply enter the code WWHIS16 at checkout.

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In Paperback

EXPERIENCE AND MEMORY
The Second World War in Europe
Edited by Jörg Echternkamp and Stefan Martens

Volume 7, Contemporary European History

CHOICE OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC BOOK OF THE YEAR 2011

 

This stimulating, wide-ranging collection deftly combines national and European perspectives, which makes it especially valuable for the study of the post-Cold War era and the new Europe. Historians of memory in particular will find it useful, but so will others interested more generally in postwar European history. Highly recommended.”  ·  Choice

Modern military history, inspired by social and cultural historical approaches, increasingly puts the national histories of the Second World War to the test. New questions and methods are focusing on aspects of war and violence that have long been neglected. What shaped people’s experiences and memories? What differences and what similarities existed in Eastern and Western Europe? How did the political framework influence the individual and the collective interpretations of the war? Finally, what are the benefits of Europeanizing the history of the Second World War? Experts from Belgium, Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, and Russia discuss these and other questions in this comprehensive volume.

 

 

TO THE BOMB AND BACK
Finnish War Children Tell Their World War II Stories
Edited by Sue Saffle
Foreword by Kai Rosnell

 

“…a fine collection… The book is affecting, to be read a little at a time. You won’t forget it afterwards.” · Finnish American Cultural Activities.

Between 1939 and 1945, some 80,000 Finnish children were sent to Sweden, Denmark, and elsewhere, ostensibly to protect them from danger while their nation’s soldiers fought superior Soviet and German forces. This was the largest of all of World War II children’s transports, and although acknowledged today as “a great social-historical mistake,” it has received surprisingly little attention. This is the first English-language account of Finland’s war children and their experiences, told through the survivors’ own words. Supported by an extensive introduction, a bibliography of secondary sources, and over two dozen photographs, this book testifies to the often-lifelong traumas endured by youthful survivors of war.

Read Introduction

 

 

In Paperback

TERRITORIAL REVISIONISM AND THE ALLIES OF GERMANY IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Goals, Expectations, Practices
Edited by Marina Cattaruzza, Stefan Dyroff & Dieter Langewiesche

Volume 15, Austrian and Habsburg Studies

 

“An impressive work of original and documented scholarship, [this book] provides an insightful history of a previously overlooked aspect of German expansionism as a specifically intended outcome of the Nazi government and military forces of World War II. A remarkably informed and informative study, [it] very highly recommended.” · Midwest Book Review

A few years after the Nazis came to power in Germany, an alliance of states and nationalistic movements formed, revolving around the German axis. That alliance, the states involved, and the interplay between their territorial aims and those of Germany during the interwar period and World War II are at the core of this volume. This “territorial revisionism” came to include all manner of political and military measures that attempted to change existing borders. Taking into account not just interethnic relations but also the motivations of states and nationalizing ethnocratic ruling elites, this volume reconceptualizes the history of East Central Europe during World War II. In so doing, it presents a clearer understanding of some of the central topics in the history of the war itself and offers an alternative to standard German accounts of the period and East European national histories.

Read Introduction: Contextualizing Territorial Revisionism: Goals, Expectations, Practices

 

 

HISTORIES OF THE AFTERMATH
The Legacies of the Second World War in Europe
Edited by Frank Biess and Robert G. Moeller

 

“The editors and contributors have created a volume that is easily accessible for graduate students and upper-level undergraduate seminars. Professional historians will also benefit greatly because so few of us have tried to understand this period without the blinders of Cold War dichotomies.” · Slavic Review

In 1945, Europeans confronted a legacy of mass destruction and death: millions of families had lost their homes and livelihoods; millions of men in uniform had lost their lives; and millions more had been displaced by the war’s destruction, and the genocidal policies of the Nazi regime. From a range of methodological historical perspectives—military, cultural, and social, to film and gender and sexuality studies—this volume explores how Europeans came to terms with these multiple pasts. With a focus on distinctive national experiences in both Eastern and Western Europe, it illuminates how postwar stabilization coexisted with persistent insecurities, injuries, and trauma.

 

 

THE ENEMY ON DISPLAY
The Second World War in Eastern European Museums
Zuzanna Bogumił, Joanna Wawrzyniak, Tim Buchen, Christian Ganzer and Maria Senina

Volume 7, Museums and Collections

 

Eastern European museums represent traumatic events of World War II, such as the Siege of Leningrad, the Warsaw Uprisings, and the Bombardment of Dresden, in ways that depict the enemy in particular ways. This image results from the interweaving of historical representations, cultural stereotypes and beliefs, political discourses, and the dynamics of exhibition narratives. This book presents a useful methodology for examining museum images and provides a critical analysis of the role historical museums play in the contemporary world. As the catastrophes of World War II still exert an enormous influence on the national identities of Russians, Poles, and Germans, museum exhibits can thus play an important role in this process.

Read Introduction: The Enemy on Display

 

 

LOBBYING HITLER
Industrial Associations between Democracy and Dictatorship
Matt Bera

 

“This is an impressively designed and clearly written book that makes a fundamental contribution to the role of business in the Third Reich and advances the debate about the ‘room for maneuver’ under the Nazi regime.” · Jeffrey Fear, University of Glasgow

From 1933 onward, Nazi Germany undertook massive and unprecedented industrial integration, submitting an entire economic sector to direct state oversight. This innovative study explores how German professionals navigated this complex landscape through the divergent careers of business managers in two of the era’s most important trade organizations. While Jakob Reichert of the iron and steel industry unexpectedly resisted state control and was eventually driven to suicide, Karl Lange of the machine builders’ association achieved security for himself and his industry by submitting to the Nazi regime. Both men’s stories illuminate the options available to industrialists under the Third Reich, as well as the real priorities set by the industries they served.

Read Introduction: Adaptation and Opposition in Democracy and Dictatorship

 

 

In Paperback

REFUGEES FROM NAZI GERMANY AND THE LIBERAL EUROPEAN STATES
Edited by Frank Caestecker and Bob Moore

 

“The noteworthy strengths of this work are its transnational and comparative perspective and its nuanced analysis of the disparate practices of refugee policy below the level of discourse and official decision-making. [It] provides a thoughtfully critical examination of the controls used by officials in western Europe to manage the migration from the Third Reich and to withstand the pressures on their frontiers during the refugee crisis of 1938/39.” · German History

Based on a comparative analysis of national case studies, this volume deals with the challenges that the pre-1939 movement of refugees from Germany and Austria posed to the immigration controls in the countries of interwar Europe. Although Europe takes center-stage, this volume also looks beyond, to the Middle East, Asia and America. This global perspective outlines the constraints under which European policy makers (and the refugees) had to make decisions. By also considering the social implications of policies that became increasingly protectionist and nationalistic, and bringing into focus the similarities and differences between European liberal states in admitting the refugees, it offers an important contribution to the wider field of research on political and administrative practices.

 

 

Forthcoming in Paperback

MATTERS OF TESTIMONY
Interpreting the Scrolls of Auschwitz
Nicholas Chare and Dominic Williams

 

“This is a major book that changes the field. It is a brilliant and original work of superb historical research and profoundly affecting cultural analysis.” · Griselda Pollock, University of Leeds

In 1944, members of the Sonderkommando—the “special squads,” composed almost exclusively of Jewish prisoners, who ensured the smooth operation of the gas chambers and had firsthand knowledge of the extermination process—buried on the grounds of Auschwitz-Birkenau a series of remarkable eyewitness accounts of Nazi genocide. This careful and penetrating study examines anew these “Scrolls of Auschwitz,” which were gradually recovered, in damaged and fragmentary form, in the years following the camp’s liberation. It painstakingly reconstructs their historical context and textual content, revealing complex literary works that resist narrow moral judgment and engage difficult questions about the limits of testimony.

Read Introduction: Matters of Testimony

 

 

THE SECOND GENERATION
Émigrés from Nazi Germany as Historians
With a Biobibliographic Guide
Edited by Andreas W. Daum, Hartmut Lehmann, and James J. Sheehan

Volume 20, Studies in German History

 

Of the thousands of children and young adults who fled Nazi Germany in the years before the Second World War, a remarkable number went on to become trained historians in their adopted homelands. By placing autobiographical testimonies alongside historical analysis and professional reflections, this richly varied collection comprises the first sustained effort to illuminate the role these men and women played in modern historiography. Focusing particularly on those who settled in North America, Great Britain, and Israel, it culminates in a comprehensive, meticulously researched biobibliographic guide that provides a systematic overview of the lives and works of this “second generation.”

Read Introduction: Refugees from Nazi Germany as Historians: Origins and Migrations, Interests and Identities

 

 

THE GREATER GERMAN REICH AND THE JEWS
Nazi Persecution Policies in the Annexed Territories 1935-1945
Edited by Wolf Gruner and Jörg Osterloh

Volume 20, War and Genocide

 

Between 1935 and 1940, the Nazis incorporated large portions of Europe into the German Reich. The contributors to this volume analyze the evolving anti-Jewish policies in the annexed territories and their impact on the Jewish population, as well as the attitudes and actions of non-Jews, Germans, and indigenous populations. They demonstrate that diverse anti-Jewish policies developed in the different territories, which in turn affected practices in other regions and even influenced Berlin’s decisions. Having these systematic studies together in one volume enables a comparison – based on the most recent research – between anti-Jewish policies in the areas annexed by the Nazi state. The results of this prizewinning book call into question the common assumption that one central plan for persecution extended across Nazi-occupied Europe, shifting the focus onto differing regional German initiatives and illuminating the cooperation of indigenous institutions.

Read Introduction

 

 

THE ANATOMY OF MURDER
Ethical Transgressions and Anatomical Science during the Third Reich
Sabine Hildebrandt
Foreword by William E. Seidelman

 

Of the many medical specializations to transform themselves during the rise of National Socialism, anatomy has received relatively little attention from historians. While politics and racial laws drove many anatomists from the profession, most who remained joined the Nazi party, and some helped to develop the scientific basis for its racialist dogma. As historian and anatomist Sabine Hildebrandt reveals, however, their complicity with the Nazi state went beyond the merely ideological. They progressed through gradual stages of ethical transgression, turning increasingly to victims of the regime for body procurement, as the traditional model of working with bodies of the deceased gave way, in some cases, to a new paradigm of experimentation with the “future dead.”

Read Introduction

 

 

 

VANISHED HISTORY
The Holocaust in Czech and Slovak Historical Culture
Tomas Sniegon

Volume 18, Making Sense of History

 

 

“Vanished History represents a major contribution to the field of collective memory and Holocaust studies in the Czech and Slovak republics [and] offers a thoughtful analysis of the Holocaust’s position in Czech and Slovak historical culture during ‘the long 1990s’.” · Judaica Bohemiae

About 270,000 out of the 360,000 Czech and Slovak casualties of World War II were victims of the Holocaust. Despite these statistics, the Holocaust vanished almost entirely from post-war Czechoslovak, and later Czech and Slovak, historical cultures. The communist dictatorship carried the main responsibility for this disappearance, yet the situation has not changed much since the fall of the communist regime. The main questions of this study are how and why the Holocaust was excluded from the Czech and Slovak history.

 

 

In Paperback

HITLER’S PLANS FOR GLOBAL DOMINATION
Nazi Architecture and Ultimate War Aims
Jochen Thies
Translated by Ian Cooke and Mary-Beth Friedrich
Foreword by Volker R. Berghahn

 

“…an interesting and innovative work that remains relevant to any scholars interested in Hitler’s ideology and the nature of Nazi imperialism.” · Journal of Modern History

What did Hitler really want to achieve: world domination. In the early twenties, Hitler was working on this plan and from 1933 on, was working to make it a reality. During 1940 and 1941, he believed he was close to winning the war. This book not only examines Nazi imperial architecture, armament, and plans to regain colonies but also reveals what Hitler said in moments of truth. The author presents many new sources and information, including Hitler’s little known intention to attack New York City with long-range bombers in the days of Pearl Harbor.

 

For a full list of our WWII titles please visit the subject webpage