Witnesses of War: Children's Lives Under the Nazis

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Alfred A. Knopf, 2006 - History - 493 pages
Already hailed as "magnificent . . . some of the best historical writing about the aftermath of the war I have ever read . . . stunning" "(The Guardian)," "Witnesses of War" breaks new ground in its exploration of the lives and the fate of children of all nationalities under the Nazi regime.
Children were at the center of Nazi ideology; now we have their history of those years. Their stories open a world we have never seen before. War came home to children as a set of events without precedent, spectacular and terrifying by turns. As the Nazis overran Europe, children were saved or damned according to their race. Precious few remained unscathed during the war, and most suffered a moment that overturned their lives. For some, it was the evacuation to become junior colonists in the East; for others, it was the onset of heavy bombing, the separation of families or learning to keep their parents alive by smuggling food, creating black markets and devising their own escape networks. Some herded women waiting to be shot. Girls manned flak batteries; boys confronted Soviet tanks.
Drawing on an untouched wealth of original material - school assignments; juvenile diaries; letters from evacuation camps, reformatories and asylums; letters to fathers at the front lines; even accounts of children's games -- Nicholas Stargardt breaks stereotypes of victimhood and trauma to give us the gripping individual stories of the generation Hitler made.

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Germans at War
Disciplined Youth

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