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Warsaw 1944: Hitler, Himmler, and the Warsaw Uprisingby Alexandra Richie
Synopses & Reviews
The full untold story of how one of historys bravest revolts ended in one of its greatest crimes
In 1943, the Nazis liquidated Warsaws Jewish ghetto. A year later, they threatened to complete the citys destruction by deporting its remaining residents. A sophisticated and cosmopolitan community a thousand years old was facing its final days—and then opportunity struck. As Soviet soldiers turned back the Nazi invasion of Russia and began pressing west, the underground Polish Home Army decided to act. Taking advantage of German disarray and seeking to forestall the absorption of their country into the Soviet empire, they chose to liberate the city of Warsaw for themselves.
Warsaw 1944 tells the story of this brave, and errant, calculation. For more than sixty days, the Polish fighters took over large parts of the city and held off the SSs most brutal forces. But in the end, their efforts were doomed. Scorned by Stalin and unable to win significant support from the Western Allies, the Polish Home Army was left to face the full fury of Hitler, Himmler, and the SS. The crackdown that followed was among the most brutal episodes of historys most brutal war, and the celebrated historian Alexandra Richie depicts this tragedy in riveting detail. Using a rich trove of primary sources, Richie relates the terrible experiences of individuals who fought in the uprising and perished in it. Her clear-eyed narrative reveals the fraught choices and complex legacy of some of World War IIs most unsung heroes.
"Heroic yet doomed, the 1944 Warsaw Uprising was an act of resistance launched by the underground Polish Home Army, with extraordinarily adverse effects. The summertime battle was the catalyst for the Nazis long-planned destruction of the once glorious Polish capital chronicled here with astonishing precision by historian and Warsaw resident Ritchie (Faust's Metropolis). Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler were determined to eradicate not just the Polish Jews, but the entire Polish nation, people they viewed as less than human. Yet the two Nazi leaders, authors of the madness, play supporting roles here. The unimaginable barbarity that seized Warsaw was unleashed by some of the most sadistic S.S. officers in the Nazi regime. Despite pleas from Winston Churchill, the U.S. and Great Britain ultimately did little to help the Poles lest they antagonize an indifferent Josef Stalin. The Russian leader was content to have his armies wait out the urban warfare as the Germans reorganized to crush the Polish fighters. Richie is an unrelenting storyteller: Page turns offer little respite for the reader in this grim and chilling book that delivers exhaustive and unforgettable details of this gruesome chapter of World War II. B&w illus. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Alexandra Richie is the author of Fausts Metropolis, a comprehensive cultural and political history of Berlin that Publishers Weekly named one of the top ten books of 1999. She currently lives in Warsaw with her husband, Wladyslaw Bartoszewski.
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History and Social Science » Military » World War II » Europe » General