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The Aftermath

Discussion in 'WWII Books & Publications' started by GRW, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    "‘You are going into Germany. You are about to meet a strange people in a strange enemy country.” So said a handbook given to British families about to live in occupied Germany after the end of the Second World War.

    For the families of those sent to administer Hamburg in 1946, that strange people lived in an even stranger city – one in which, in July 1943, more bombs had fallen in just one week than fell on London in the entire war. On one night, so many incendiaries fell that a firestorm flattened eight square miles of Hamburg, its roaring 1,000-foot tower of flame sucking the air out of bomb shelters and sweeping up anyone still on the streets in its 150mph winds.
    From such horrors – and those of the concentration camps nearby – how could there ever be a way back?
    That is the background to Rhidian Brook’s novel The Aftermath – soon to be turned into a feature film by Ridley Scott’s production company – but it is only part of the story. The heart of it is based on an intriguing chapter in his own family history.
    As a child growing up in Wales, he had always been proud of his grandfather Walter. And with good reason: this was a man who, at the end of the First World War had fought alongside Lawrence of Arabia. At the end of the Second, he was a colonel entrusted with the administration of a huge tract of countryside north-west of Hamburg.

    All that was part of family lore, because in 1946 Col Brook had sent for his wife and three children to come and live with him. All other high-placed British officials in occupied Germany had requisitioned large houses for their families, but Col Brook was different. When he was shown the mansion selected for him, he allowed its German occupants to stay on there. They would share it, he decided; victors and vanquished living in harmony together, the very model, he hoped, of the new country rising from the ashes of the old."
    http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/books/features/book-review-the-aftermath-1-2974537
     
  2. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member

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    Gordon, I have long held a curiosity about how war devastated countries found their way back. I will see if I van get this on Kindle....for larger type.
    Ironically I watched " 10 Seconds to Hell" yesterday, the film about a German bomb disposal outfit in post war Berlin.

    Thanks for the post.

    Gaines
     
  3. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    No worries, glad you found it interesting.
     
  4. Steve Petersen

    Steve Petersen Member

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    I would recommend Tony Judt's Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945. Very eye-opening.

    It staggers my mind reading about the tens of millions of displaced persons, the hunger, and disease that ravaged Europe in the early postwar years.
     
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