Yes, I went ahead and read this again. I think it is really important to WWII history – and it extends into Cold War history and with Putin in play now – who knows?
Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin
By Timothy Snyder
2010 – 525 pages
Read by Ralph Cosham 19h 14m
Rating 10 / European history
(Both read and listened)
Although I rated it a 10 last time, it was better reading the second time around because I wasn’t so shocked at the atrocities associated with that short-lived partnership before the outbreak of war between Germany and Russia.
Getting access to Soviet/Russian archives after the 1989 fall, plus giving the historians time to study and develop ideas led Snyder to write Bloodlands which was first published in 2011 to much acclaim, but some criticism.
Now with Putin wanting Ukraine back in Russia’s hands the time is right to remember the history rereading it with complete – or more complete – information.
Much is new, or was new in 2011. The Soviets were not completely reliable allies in WWII, but we knew that. They fought to expand all along their eastern border from the Black Sea to Finland (to Lithuania is considered the Bloodlands). And we helped the USSR win. That was fine at the time because Hitler’s desire seemed to be to take all of Europe, including Russia, after their infamous pact was broken.
And so it was that the Russians and the Germans both ravaged the Blood lands.