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Drawing on an unprecedented variety of sources, Mark Mazower reveals how the Nazis designed, maintained, and ultimately lost their European empire and offers a chilling vision of the world Hitler would have made had he won the war.
Germany’s forces achieved, in just a few years, the astounding domination of a landmass and population larger than that of the United States. Control of this vast territory was meant to provide the basis for Germany’s rise to unquestioned world power. Eastern Europe was to be the Reich’s Wild West, transformed by massacre and colonial settlement. Western Europe was to provide the economic resources that would knit an authoritarian and racially cleansed continent together. But the brutality and short-sightedness of Nazi politics lost what German arms had won and brought their equally rapid downfall.
Time and again, the speed of the Germans’ victories caught them unprepared for the economic or psychological intricacies…[more]