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Inside Hitler's Greece: The Experience of Occupation, 1941-44 Hardcover – November 24, 1993

4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Drawing on eyewitness accounts and previously untapped archives, Mazower's notable study offers a detailed chronicle of the German occupation of Greece and the rise of the resistance movement. He traces the rapid growth of the National Liberation Front/People's Liberation Army after communist activists created an organization that harnessed the anti-Axis sentiment of the populace at large, and describes the bloody reprisal campaigns launched by the Wehrmacht against the guerrillas in the mountains. Mazower also presents a documented account of the fate of Greek Jewry between 1941 and 1944, the first of its kind in English. He covers the bitter fighting between British and Greek forces after the October 12, 1944, liberation of Athens and the internecine clashes that led to civil war. Finally, he reveals new details of the systematic oppression of the Greek Left after the liberation. As late as the 1960s, Greece's prisons were crowded with men and women whose only crime was to have fought against the Germans. Mazower teaches international relations and modern history at the University of Sussex in England. Photos.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Up-close, anecdotal look at the Nazi occupation in Greece, by Mazower (Modern History and International Relations/University of Essex). What with ideology, global strategies, and battle tales, it's easy to overlook what daily life was like for a non-Aryan nation under the Third Reich. From the German anti-aircraft gun in front of the Temple of Olympus and children playing a few yards from resistance fighters left hanging dead by their necks, to the utter disruption of family life and complete economic collapse, Mazower elucidates the particulars of Hitler's fate for non-Aryans. The author's tone is almost detached, but his documentation is overwhelming: Rich and poor Greeks have their say, as do Germans and American observers, and it's clear that even at the peak of its success, Nazi rule--nearly unchallenged and seemingly invincible- -included ``sadistic overtones.'' Hitler wanted to plunder Greece, and, according to Goering's orders, the German leaders ``could not care less...that people...are dying of hunger. Let them perish so long as no German starves.'' Mazower examines how this brutal policy clashed with Greek culture, inspiring local brigands to resistance. Anecdotal evidence abounds here, including stories of priests, whores, politicians, defeated soldiers, black marketeers, and men shipped to work in Germany. Meanwhile, Mazower explores the German experience as well: the satisfaction of controlling what was respected in the West as the birthplace of culture; the profound relief of serving in Greece, away from the Russian front; and, ultimately, the SS terror system as it bore down on the resistance. A grinding, horrific experience, intimately explored. (Seventy illustrations) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 462 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1St Edition edition (November 24, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300058047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300058048
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,017,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Every Greek of every political inclination must read this magnificently written book.
There were times, such as reading the note of an unknown Greek Jew at Auschwitz-Birkinau saying farewell to his parea...and to his beloved fatherland Greece,which brought tears to my eyes.
This engrossing book goes a long way in exposing many myths about the war years, including the recent apotheosis of Aris Velouxiotis- the "legendary" Kapetanios of the ELAS. He was,in fact, no "palikari"-but merely a psychotic,power-hungry murderer, no more and no less.I do not say this lightly for I am the son of a former ELAS fighter and this book confirms many of the things my father told me. One thing that it confirms is that we Greeks suffer from the disease of acute disunity.This book examines the consequences. Only in understanding the causes can we find a remedy to this disease which continues to plague us even today.I urge you all to read this book!
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Format: Paperback
A stunning and engrossing account of the affects of occupation upon indigenous populations of Greece. While it centered mostly on the political aspects; it also included an appreciative amount on how the individual was affected and what part the individual played. Equally impressive was the unbiased description of ELAS through its political beginnings to its battle with the British at the end of the occupation. A group whose political asperations may be questionable, yet still provided the youth of the time with hope agianst tyranny (a fact disregarded by many) and the opportunity to rebel agianst it. Overall, any one should read this book (regardless of background) as an important lesson in how war affects civilians and how the afflicted populous battle with not only a physical enemy but also with ethereal ones like adversity and hopelessness. One can learn much on the human condition through the history of the people within this book.
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Format: Paperback
This tome begins with the chaotic political and social landscape of Greece preceeding World War II before delving into a nation ripped asunder by competing forces. Mazower's research is exhaustive and his art of story-telling is the perfect medium for relating the epic proportions of this relatively unknown chapter in the history of that war. For one who knew little of Greece's nightmarish occupation, Mazower held my attention from beginning to end. With so much to tell, the book is understandably dense. But as with anything of value, the effort is rewarded with unforgettable stories of treachery and bravery, quisling intrigues and patriotism, cruelty and the undying nature of the human spirit. Read it and weep!
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By A Customer on January 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
Overall this is a good book. It is not the most organized book nor the most enthralling in terms of colorful language and storytelling, but informs the reader in a way that makes it hard to quit reading. This book isn't a collection of eyewitness stories, though it has many clips here and there from eyewitnesses. Instead, it tells the story of what the average Greek went through (famine, massacres, deportation, plundering, torture, etc). It deals mainly with the guerilla warfare that took over the whole country. Mazower explains how the different groups (communist, Nazi, Greek royalist, British, etc) dealt with each other. What is surprising is that their was no "good" or "bad" group; all of them made mistakes and did unspeakable things. Mazower seems to write completely unbiasedly and informatively. The only reason this book didn't get five stars is because it is somewhat disorganzed and can be confusing. Those who want to read about Germans and Nazism in Greece may be disappointed. But those who want to learn how the war changed Greece and her people forever will not be let down.
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Format: Paperback
Meticulously researched and thoughtfully written, Mazower's Book is a valuable contribution to our understanding of European history in the first half of the twentieth century, especially during the decade of the 1940s. As the title suggests, this is a work about the German occupation of Greece. The unique character of Greece's political, social and economic structures make the story especially complicated. The suffering of the Greeks during the occupation was particularly intense. The famine that caused many thousands of deaths is a part of the suffering. So were the occupiers' reprisals at resistance activity. The author offers insightful analyses of the work and organization of the resistance, including various Communist groups, to show how and why the communists were able to carry on a civil war against the Athens government once the war was over. In an excellent chapter on the suffering of Jewish Greeks, he details how about fifty thousand Jews -- mostly from Salonika -- were deported to death camps in Poland and elsewhere. Personally, I take some comfort in Mazower's statement on page 159 that, in general, most Orthodox Christian Greeks made a determined effort to save their Jewish compatriots from the invaders by hiding them and providing them with food.
Mazower has recently edited a book of fourteen essays titiled After the War Was Over, exploring the question of how collaborators were dealt with in the years following the occupation. ...
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