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Occupation in the East
The Daily Lives of German Occupiers in Warsaw and Minsk, 1939-1944
Translated by Martin Dean
318 pages, 25 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78533-323-1 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (November 2016)
ISBN 978-1-78920-498-8 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (June 2019)
eISBN 978-1-78533-324-8 eBook
“Lehnstaedt’s powerful work should inspire additional research… Highly Recommended.” • Choice
“Lehnstaedt’s study provides valuable new insights into the nuanced nature of the German-Nazi occupations in Warsaw and Minsk.” • Slavic and East European Review
“Lehnstaedt’s [carefully researched study and detailed] account of the daily lives of German occupiers in Warsaw and Minsk is highly informative and his explanations of why these men became engaged in extreme acts of violence is convincing. Violence and the murder of Poles, Russians, and Jews became a normal part of their daily routines. Martin Dean’s masterful English translation of Lehnstaedt’s book, first published in Ger- man in 2010, thus adds an important layer to our understanding of how ‘ordinary men’ could become mass murderers without any feeling of guilt or regret.” • Journal of Military History
“This book expands our knowledge about the daily lived experience of the occupation in the East, and should spur others to write an Alltagsgeschichte of the German occupation in smaller towns and villages. This is clearly a book that scholars of Eastern Europe and the Holocaust should read with interest, not least because of Lehnstaedt’s arresting conclusion that the Volksgemeinschaft was not created in the East, in the end, but that ‘it was possible there to get much closer to the intended goal than [it was] in the Reich.” • Central European History
“Beyond the deft use of social history and original perspective, Lehnstaedt’s contribution is a model of scholarly erudition. It is scrupulous with the use of evidence and painstaking in the presentation of claims. Martin Dean’s English translation is not only free of error, but smooth and concise.” • H-Net
Following their occupation by the Third Reich, Warsaw and Minsk became home to tens of thousands of Germans. In this exhaustive study, Stephan Lehnstaedt provides a nuanced, eye-opening portrait of the lives of these men and women, who constituted a surprisingly diverse population—including everyone from SS officers to civil servants, as well as ethnically German city residents—united in its self-conception as a “master race.” Even as they acclimated to the daily routines and tedium of life in the East, many Germans engaged in acts of shocking brutality against Poles, Belarusians, and Jews, while social conditions became increasingly conducive to systematic mass murder.
Stephan Lehnstaedt is Professor for Holocaust Studies and Jewish Studies at Touro College Berlin. After receiving his Ph.D. from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, he worked at the German Historical Institute Warsaw and taught at Humboldt University Berlin and the London School of Economics. For his research, he was awarded the medal “Powstania w Getcie Warszawskim” and the commander’s cross of the order “Missio Reconciliationis” in Poland.
Subject: History: World War II
Area: Central/Eastern Europe
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