By Istvan Deak, Norman M. Naimark
Foreword via Norman M. Naimark
Read Online or Download Europe on Trial: The Story of Collaboration, Resistance, and Retribution during World War II PDF
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Extra info for Europe on Trial: The Story of Collaboration, Resistance, and Retribution during World War II
Following World War II, the Paris peace treaties and the UN Charter left the protection of minorities to the sovereign governments, with the inevitable result of further persecution and expulsions until the much-longed-for goal of ethnic uniformity or purity was almost completely achieved. 24 Eu rope on T r i a l The post–World War I international community engaged in several new attempts to regulate warfare and to ease the life of civilians in occupied territories as well as that of prisoners of war and especially of their wounded.
The dreaded Cossacks, an elite force usually on horseback within the Russian army, forced hundreds of thousands of Jews in Galicia to flee toward Budapest and Vienna; other Jews were killed and their houses looted. In view of such mistreatment, it is not surprising that many Eastern European Jews received the German- and Austro-Hungarian troops as their saviors with whom, among other things, they could communicate in German or in a mixture of Yiddish and German. When the Russians reconquered some territory, as they occasionally did during the war, they persecuted the “hostile” Jewish population with increased ferocity, despite the fact that, meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Jews had been drafted into the Russian ranks.
And what to think of the Hungarian coal miners, many of whom belonged to their country’s National Socialist Party, who went on strike for better wages in October 1940 against the Jewish mine owners? By this act, the miners indirectly prevented some Hungarian heavy industrial plants, equally owned by Jews, from making weapons for the Germans. The strike, directed by Hungarian Nazi leaders, was finally crushed by the Hungarian army units, at the request of the German government. To be sure, timing played a crucial role in all this: changes at the battlefront made resisters out of collaborators, although many performed both functions simultaneously.