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An Iron Wind

An Iron Wind

Europe Under Hitler

World War II reached into the homes and lives of ordinary people in an unprecedented way. Civilian men, women, and children made up the vast majority of those killed by the war, and the conflict displaced millions more. On Europe’s home fronts, the war brought the German blitzkrieg, followed by long occupations and the racial genocide of the Holocaust.

In An Iron Wind, historian Peter Fritzsche draws on diaries, letters, and other first-person accounts to show how civilians in occupied Europe struggled to understand this terrifying chaos. As the Third Reich targeted Europe’s Jews for deportation and death, confusion and mistrust reigned. What were Hitler’s aims? Did Germany’s rapid early victories mark the start of an enduring new era? Was collaboration or resistance the wisest response to occupation? How far should solidarity and empathy extend? And where was God? People tried desperately to make sense of the horrors around them, but the stories they told themselves often justified a selfish indifference to their neighbors’ fates.

Piecing together the broken words of World War II’s witnesses and victims, Fritzsche offers a haunting picture of the most violent conflict in modern history.

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Genre: Nonfiction / History / Modern / 20th Century

On Sale: October 25th 2016

Price: $12.99 / $16.99 (CDN)

Page Count: 376

ISBN-13: 9780465096558

What's Inside

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reader reviews


A New York Times Notable Book
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"A profoundly significant exploration of how Europeans-both Germans and those under German occupation-struggled to make sense of the conflict."—Richard Overy, Wall Street Journal
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"A work of deep reflection by an experienced historian."—Timothy Snyder, New York Times
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"Riveting, important... the most bracing and unsparing dissection of the subject to appear in many years."—Christian Science Monitor
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"Powerfully written.... Fritzsche renders a tremendous service in his portrayal of human beings in wartime."—CHOICE
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"A thoroughly worked example of social history at its most valuable. It could serve as a model for studies of our own times."—New York Journal of Books
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"Startlingly illuminating.... Fritzsche draws on copious diaries, letters, and memoirs to convey the texture of everyday life for French, Polish, and Swiss citizens during World War II... [a] powerful, riveting, wrenching history."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
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