The Bitter Taste of Victory

The Bitter Taste of Victory

Life, Love, and Art in the Ruins of the Reich

Book - 2016
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When Germany surrendered in May 1945 it was a nation reduced to rubble. Immediately, America, Britain, Soviet Russia, and France set about rebuilding in their zones of occupation. Most urgent were physical needs--food, water, and sanitation--but from the start the Allies were also anxious to indoctrinate the German people in the ideas of peace and civilization.

Denazification and reeducation would be key to future peace, and the arts were crucial guides to alternative, less militaristic ways of life. In an extraordinary extension of diplomacy, over the next four years, many writers, artists, actors, and filmmakers were dispatched by Britain and America to help rebuild the country their governments had spent years bombing. Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, Marlene Dietrich, George Orwell, Lee Miller, W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Billy Wilder, and others undertook the challenge of reconfiguring German society. In the end, many of them became disillusioned by the contrast between the destruction they were witnessing and the cool politics of reconstruction.

While they may have had less effect on Germany than Germany had on them, the experiences of these celebrated figures, never before told, offer an entirely fresh view of post-war Europe. The Bitter Taste of Victory is a brilliant and important addition to the literature of World War II.

Publisher: New York ; London : Bloomsbury Press, 2016
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781632865519
1632865513
9781408845325
1408845326
9781408845332
1408845334
Branch Call Number: 940.554 F324B 2016
Characteristics: xi, 443 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm

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PappaSmurf
May 13, 2017

Agree with the above reviews & the description of the description of the flattened cities, enormous death tolls all around are overwhelming. Puts context on the immediate post war reconstruction, privation of citizens,cold war & Berlin air lifts.

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