Cover: The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945–1949, from Harvard University PressCover: The Russians in Germany in PAPERBACK

The Russians in Germany

A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945–1949

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$42.00 • £36.95 • €38.95

ISBN 9780674784062

Publication Date: 09/01/1997


608 pages

6-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches

23 halftones, 3 tables

Belknap Press


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[A] masterly analysis of the Soviet occupation between the end of the war and the emergence of two German states… [A] startlingly original book.—Daniel Johnson, New York Times Book Review

The best study of the making of Communist East Germany, based on remarkable archival research and invaluable for anyone seeking to understand the psychological as well as the political origins of the German Democratic Republic.—Tony Judt, New York Review of Books

An outstanding analysis of the ruthless Stalinization of East Germany in the early postwar years, and of its economic and scientific exploitation. Using newly released East German and Soviet archives, [Naimark] gives us a complete picture of what has been called Stalin’s ‘march to the west.’—Amos Perlmutter, Wall Street Journal

[A] remarkable historical treatment… [This] is a quite splendid work of erudition, style and humanity, which replaces all earlier writing in English on the subject… Using primarily the German and the Russian sources, Naimark sets new levels of archival research and raises many issues for historians to debate in years to come… It is unlikely…that his overall study of these few crucial years will be superseded for a good while to come. In particular, he has set the scene for a fuller understanding of the regime and society which followed the occupation.—Jonathan Osmond, Times Higher Education Supplement

What makes this book superior to anything that has been written about the Soviets in early postwar Germany…is its comprehensiveness. It contains important chapters on reparations and economic transformation, the use of German scientists, culture and education, and the construction of an Orwellian police state. Finally, there is a lengthy and daunting chapter on ‘Soviet Soldiers, German Women, and the Problem of Rape.’ For many years, this remained a taboo subject, and when Naimark began his research, it took some courage to venture into this field… This excellent study of the encounter between Russians and Germans after the defeat of Nazism contains a wealth of insights for all historians of postwar Europe.—V. R. Berghahn, American Historical Review

[An] impressive study…a nuanced and balanced picture of the development of the Soviet Zone… The range of topics addressed is staggering, since the text moves from administration to rape, from reparations to science, from relations with the Left to issues of control, from the police state to cultural policy… [A] pathbreaking book.—Konrad H. Jarausch, Central European History

When the Berlin Wall blocking access to East German and USSR archives came tumbling down, historians had the grand opportunity to discover what had transpired in its ominous shadows. This study shows the wondrous potential for revolutionizing Cold War history.—Edward N. Peterson, German Studies Review

[Norman Naimark] has produced a richly textured and important story, delving into subjects usually ignored in the longer narratives of postwar eastern Germany, including the sensitive issue of Red Army rape during the period of conquest and early occupation, the seizure of scientific materials and talent, and the organization of popular culture. From my perspective, Naimark’s perspective and conclusions are both sensitive and sensible… This book represents one of the first important results of multiarchival work that draws on records so unattainable until recently but so critical to historical reconstruction. The Soviet archives will never finally resolve issues of historical intention and responsibility, any more than American archives, but they are the basis for informed inference and argumentation. Naimark uses them precisely in that scholarly spirit. The Russians in Germany will remain one of the exemplary contributions to the unfolding post-1989 historiography of Europe under communism.—Charles S. Maier, Journal of Modern History

Naimark’s achievement is superb. His book is elegantly written, clearly analyzed, rich in detail.—Tim Hornor, Nationalities Papers

Naimark has produced a brilliant history of the first four years of what was to become the German Democratic Republic… Highly recommended.Choice

Naimark’s work is an important study of nation-building in the Eastern bloc and will also be of interest to students of German politics, history, and reunification… This is likely to be the standard text on the early years of GDR.Library Journal

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