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German Atrocities, 1914: A History of Denial (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 3. September 2001

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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 608 Seiten
  • Verlag: Yale University Press (3. September 2001)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0300089759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300089752
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 23,9 x 16,5 x 3,4 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.022.451 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Is it true that the German army, invading Belgium and France in August 1914, perpetrated brutal atrocities? Or are accounts of the deaths of thousands of unarmed civilians mere fabrications constructed by fanatically anti-German Allied propagandists? Based on research in the archives of Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, this pathbreaking book uncovers the truth of the events of autumn 1914 and explains how the politics of propaganda and memory have shaped radically different versions of that truth. John Horne and Alan Kramer mine military reports, official and private records, witness evidence, and war diaries to document the crimes that scholars have long denied: a campaign of brutality that led to the deaths of some 6500 Belgian and French civilians. Contemporary German accounts insisted that the civilians were guerrillas, executed for illegal resistance. In reality this claim originated in a vast collective delusion on the part of German soldiers. The authors establish how this myth originated and operated, and how opposed Allied and German views of events were used in the propaganda war.

They trace the memory and forgetting of the atrocities on both sides up to and beyond World War II. Meticulously researched and convincingly argued, this book reopens a painful chapter in European history while contributing to broader debates about myth, propaganda, memory, war crimes, and the nature of the First World War. Winner of the Fraenkel Prize for Contemporary History in 2000


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2 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Michael W. Perry am 28. April 2008
Format: Taschenbuch
This book, dealing with charges of German atrocities in World War I, matters because goes to the heart of an important question about World War II. Were the horrors of the war that followed an aberration, a madness induced by Hitler cleverly exploiting the alleged harshness of Versailles, or were they based on something deeply flawed in the German psyche? If the first is true, then the Allies who imposed Versailles--Britain, France, and the United States--are as much to blame as Germany. If the latter is true, then blame for the horrors of both wars falls almost solely on Germany.

The authors do their best to understand German behavior, noting that, from the generals on down, before the fighting began the nation's soldiers strongly believed that they would face stiff guerilla warfare (by francs-tierurs) in Belgium, so much so that they interpreted everything that happened that way. Belgian and French soldiers firing from a distance and German soldiers firing in panic were seen as Belgian civilians firing from the windows of their homes, a problem compounded by the fact that few in German's large army were professional soldiers and fewer still had seen actual combat.

That, of course, does not excuse what actually happened, as the authors note. The use of human shields in combat, the execution of hostages, the systematic destruction of towns was quite clearly intended to terrorize the Belgian population into accepting a harsh German occupation and was not done by rank-and-file soldiers caught up in a moment of panic. Writing at the time, G. K.
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Amazon.com: 8 Rezensionen
36 von 48 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Serious History 17. Februar 2004
Von Mr Peter G George - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
John Horne and Alan Kramer have written a detailed and comprehensive account of the war crimes committed by the German army during its invasion of Belgium and France in 1914. Their book is well researched, citing evidence from numerous sources. This is the work of serious historians who have attempted, as far as is possible, to evaluate the evidence fairly. They have looked at both German and Allied accounts of the events, discounting stories from both sides which do not stand up to scrutiny. This book is well argued and reasonable. It is also well written and very readable.
The central claim of the book is that the German army in the course of its invasion deliberately killed approximately 6,500 civilians and engaged in a campaign of destruction against towns and villages. They used civilians as human shields while attacking opposing armies, deported civilians and raped numerous women. The authors are unwilling to accept some of the more lurid Allied accounts of German atrocities. For example, they reject as propaganda stories of Germans mutilating children by cutting off their hands. The evidence however that the German army killed thousands of civilians is overwhelming, not least because the German's at the time did not deny it. The German justification for their action was that the civilians were unlawfully fighting against them. Horne and Kramer show that the German army was obsessed with the idea that francs-tireurs (free-shooters, or civilian guerrillas) were opposing the invasion. It is shown however, that while there was some sporadic civilian resistance, the Germans massively overestimated it. The book explores the origins and the reasons for why the German army became so deluded as to believe that there was a civilian uprising, when in fact there was no such thing.
This is a really powerful book. Works about the First World War normally focus on the horrors of the trenches. This book shows that there was a different and equally horrific aspect to the fighting. The accounts of civilians being rounded-up and shot are very moving. Horne and Kramer have written an important book, for the accounts of German atrocities in 1914 have largely been denied and dismissed as Allied propaganda. This denial had terrible consequences, for it is now possible to see these crimes for what they were, as a stepping stone towards the far greater crimes committed, by the sons of the soldiers of 1914, a generation later.
27 von 38 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The devil is in the details 16. Februar 2007
Von karpaten - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Horne and Kramer show that there were some unjustified executions due to panic, but their generalization is dubious. They claim that virtually all 900 German soldiers killed, and the 2,500 wounded, in Belgian cities in August and September, were caused by friendly fire---simply because the Belgian government claimed that there was no resistance by armed civilians. But the reports they use were written during or right after World War I when such reports were even less believable than government reports are in general.

Christian Hartmann of the liberal Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung noted in his long review on June 14, 2004, that this book is no proof at all but merely a welcome foundation for more studies. For, as he notes, their bias in trusting French and Belgian official wartime accounts over German ones is pervasive. They did not check the veracity of these sources. As 2/3rds of the civilian victims listed died in a direct combat zone, a larger number could be the victims of what today is called "collateral damage" during fighting instead of the wanton executions which Horne and Kramer postulate. Nor, may I add, did they look at the death records of the people they claimed were executed. Just because a Belgian commission in 1919 claims that x people died in village z does not mean they did. But civil records are rarely faked--why not get the numbers from the local mairie? Also, was the Garde Civique really not a genuine reason for German (over)reactions? And what did the British do when confronted with the Boer equivalent of a Garde Civique? They deported women and children to concentration camps where tens of thousands died of hunger and disease. But their husbands had indeed been fighting in civilian clothing. So for Horne & Kramer to simply blame a peculiar German psychosis seems wrong.

Incidentally, the review in the FAZ is one of the very rare reviews that dared to look closely at the book instead of simply jubilating that Germans were exposed again as wanton brutes, so different from the kind-hearted British soldiery of that era exemplified by Lord Kitchener, or the noble souls in the US army fighting Indians, and then in the Phillipines. That tells you more about what's politically correct and what's not nowadays, than about what is true....
3 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Good examination of war psychosis 7. Dezember 2012
Von R. L. Huff - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Professors Horne and Kramer have done a thorough job explaining the paranoia of men in uniform under fire in enemy territory. We've seen more than a few recent examples from the Balkans and Iraq to Afghanistan to know these atrocities are not limited to any particular national army in any one theater. The authors do not, as some have alleged, engage in German-bashing or reiterate the war propaganda of spiked babies or amputated hands. The latter was indicative of Belgian atrocities in colonial Congo: a case of projected guilt.

It's unreasonable to assume, though, that it was all a case of spooked soldiers over-reacting to friendly fire or shadows. Even if Belgian and French officials cautioned civil non-resistance to the invaders, there were bound to be a few who despised this as cowardice and acted accordingly, thus feeding German fears and the resulting paranoid backlash against civilians.

Bringing these cases to postwar indictment bore a striking similarity to modern international tribunals in the Balkans. But they were not equal to the scope of atrocity, and realpolitik soon buried their effectiveness. British and American influence soon overcame this judicial legacy of Versailles. Germany was more important as an industrial trading partner than a nation in the dock. It's probable that a more thorough indictment of German officers, going all the way to the top, could have reorganized the German command and thus prevented a second go-around. We'll never know. Perhaps that's the saddest legacy of those civilians left behind in their blood-spattered village barns.
2 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Stunning Examination of the Facts 31. Mai 2014
Von SanFran JT - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
A superb study of the truth behind the denial of German war crimes in World War I. With excellent research of original resources, the authors demonstrate without doubt that while the propaganda against the Germans during the Great War was often overblown, the vast majority of the charges made against the Kaiser's army were true. The pattern for German actions in WWII was set and the reluctance of the public to accept the behavior of the Germans in the first war left them unprepared for the crimes committed by Hitler's soldiers in the second. With clearly presented facts, the authors depict the horrors German soldiers perpetrated against both civilians and military personnel in uncompromising detail. With more recent books have shown that the Kaiser and his army committed merciless genocide in the African colonies, wiping out entire groups of people with cold calculation in order to control their territory, this is an especially relevant piece of scholarship. On the anniversary of the Great War, it is time at last that the public be made aware that the criminal actions of the German army can not be dismissed as Allied propaganda but were very real crimes against humanity. This is a truly fine historical work involving original scholarship and research by two of our most respected historians.
6 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Superb History of Denial 13. Februar 2008
Von Hope for the Best - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Excellent research and superb scholarship. The authors have presented an astonishing account of what actually happened and their resources are solid. One of the best books on a subject that one hopes is never lost to time and remembered always.
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