Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'Russia'

Rape in Occupied Berlin – “Berlin: The Downfall 1945” – Antony Beevor

April 28th, 2012 · Comments Off on Rape in Occupied Berlin – “Berlin: The Downfall 1945” – Antony Beevor · History, Human Rights, War, WW2

Berliners remember that, because all the windows had been blown in, you could hear the screams every night. Estimates from the two main Berlin hospitals ranged from 95,000 to 130,000 rape victims. One doctor deduced that out of approximately 100,000 women raped in Berlin, some 10,000 died as a result, mostly from suicide. The death […]

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The US and the Eastern Front – “Berlin: The Downfall 1945” – Antony Beevor

April 26th, 2012 · Comments Off on The US and the Eastern Front – “Berlin: The Downfall 1945” – Antony Beevor · Communism, Democracy, Economics, History, War, WW2

Significantly, there has been little acknowledgement by Russian historians that if it had not been for American Lend-Lease trucks, the Red Army’s advance would have taken far longer and the Western Allies might well have reached Berlin first.

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Tags:··Eastern Front··

Speer’s Resistance to Scorched Earth – “Berlin: The Downfall 1945” – Antony Beevor

April 25th, 2012 · Comments Off on Speer’s Resistance to Scorched Earth – “Berlin: The Downfall 1945” – Antony Beevor · History, Humanism, Totalitarianism, WW2

It was Albert Speer’s latest memorandum which had suddenly triggered Hitler’s insistence on a scorched-earth policy to the end. When Speer tried to persuade Hitler in the early hours of that morning that bridges should not be blown up unnecessarily, because their destruction meant ‘eliminating all further possibility for the German people to survive’, Hitler’s […]

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Communism Expectations of Economic Security – “Berlin: The Downfall 1945” – Antony Beevor

April 25th, 2012 · Comments Off on Communism Expectations of Economic Security – “Berlin: The Downfall 1945” – Antony Beevor · Communism, Democracy, Economics, WW2

Red Army soldiers were astonished to see wirelesses in so many houses. The evidence of their eyes strongly implied that the Soviet Union was perhaps not quite the workers’ and peasants’ paradise they had been told. East Prussian farms produced a mixture of bewilderment, jealousy, admiration and anger which alarmed political officers.

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Berlin and Stalingrad – “Berlin: The Downfall 1945” – Antony Beevor

April 24th, 2012 · Comments Off on Berlin and Stalingrad – “Berlin: The Downfall 1945” – Antony Beevor · War, WW2

On 1 February 1943, an angry Soviet colonel collared a group of emaciated German prisoners in the rubble of Stalingrad. ‘That’s how Berlin is going to look!’ he yelled, point to the ruined buildings all around. When I read those words some six years ago, I sensed immediately what my next book had to be.

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Mourning – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 5th, 2012 · Comments Off on Mourning – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman · Writing, WW2

The people at the hospital had been struck by her calm and the number of questions that she had asked. They hadn’t appreciated her inability to understand something quite obvious – that Tolya was no longer among the living. Her love was so strong that Tolya’s death was unable to affect it: to her, he […]

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Tags:Death·Mourning····

Anna’s Letter – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 5th, 2012 · 2 Comments · Genocide, Prose, Writing, WW2

A letter from Anna Semyonovna to her son, Viktor Shtrum from a Ukrainian Ghetto: Vitya, I’m certain this letter will reach you, even though I’m now behind the German front line, behind the barbed wire of the Jewish ghetto. I won’t receive your answer, though; I won’t be here to receive it. I want you […]

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Liquid Fire – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 4th, 2012 · Comments Off on Liquid Fire – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman · Description, Writing, WW2

During a German artillery attack on the right bank of the Volga during the Battle of Stalingrad: Suddenly he realised what had happened: the oil-tanks were on fire. Flaming oil was streaming past towards the Volga. It seemed impossible to escape from the liquid fire. It leaped up, humming and crackling, from the streams of […]

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Vodka and the Russian Army and Economy – “The Guns of August 1914”, Barbara Tuchman

April 2nd, 2012 · Comments Off on Vodka and the Russian Army and Economy – “The Guns of August 1914”, Barbara Tuchman · Communism, Economics, History, Policy, Politics, WW1

Vodka, another traditional companion of war, was prohibited (by the Russians). In the last mobilization in 1904 when soldiers came reeling in and regimental depots were a mess of drunken slumbers and broken bottles, it had taken an extra week to straighten out the confusion. Now, with the French calling every day’s delay a matter […]

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Tags:Alcohol··Discipline·Excise·military·Revenue Raising··Tax·Taxation

The Csar – “The Guns of August 1914”, Barbara Tuchman

April 1st, 2012 · Comments Off on The Csar – “The Guns of August 1914”, Barbara Tuchman · Democracy, Totalitarianism, War, WW1

The (Russian) regime was ruled from the top by a sovereign who had but one idea of government – to prserve intact the absolute monarchy bequeathed to him by his father – and who, lacking the intellect, energy, or training for this job, fell back on personal favourites, whim, simples mulishness and other devices of […]

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Tags:Monarchy·Royalty··Strategy·