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Allied Internment Camps in Occupied Germany
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Book description

Between 1945 and 1950, approximately 130,000 Germans were interned in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, including in former Nazi concentration camps. One third of detainees died, prompting comparisons with Nazi terror. But what about the western zones, where the Americans, British, and French also detained hundreds of thousands of Germans without trial? This first in-depth study compares internment by all four occupying powers, asking who was interned, how they were treated, and when and why they were arrested and released. It confirms the incomparably appalling conditions and death rates in the Soviet camps but identifies similarities in other respects. Andrew H. Beattie argues that internment everywhere was an inherently extrajudicial measure with punitive and preventative dimensions that aimed to eradicate Nazism and create a new Germany. By recognising its true nature and extent, he suggests that denazification was more severe and coercive but also more differentiated and complex than previously thought.

Reviews

'This book is a clear and detailed account of the internment by the Allies of more than 400,000 Germans after the Second World War. Building upon impressive research, Andrew H. Beattie corrects commonly-held assumptions about the contrasts between Soviet camps on the one side and western Allies’ camps on the other. Altogether, a valuable re-assessment of an important subject.'

Richard Bessel - University of York

'In this deeply researched and carefully argued study of the Allied internment of over 400,000 Nazis and other Germans in post-World War II Germany, Andrew H. Beattie explores a critical yet little-known dimension of the occupation. Among other significant findings, Beattie effectively demonstrates that the Soviet zone 'special camps' should not be considered as markedly distinct from internment camps in the Western zones.'

Norman M. Naimark - Stanford University, California

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