First Sentence Friday

“Now we will live!” This is what the hungry little boy liked to say, as he toddled along the quiet roadside, or through the empty fields.

That’s the first sentence of the preface to Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, Timothy Snyder’s history of the horrific crimes of World War II in Europe.

I became interested in the book because rather than focusing on the great powers of WWII, it is a history of the effect that the war had in the countries of central and eastern Europe through repeated invasions, deportations, and mass killings.

~ by lolarusa on February 25, 2011.

5 Responses to “First Sentence Friday”

  1. I read a terrific book about the Russian experience during the Great Patriotic War. I no longer think of “D-Day” as anything but a sideshow, because the real war happened geographically in the area between Germany and Russia. Simply incredible stories of tenacity and survival, something for anyone to remember when considering the dynamic between someone defending their home against invasion. Sadly, I can’t remember the title — but I’m guessing your book is better anyway.

  2. It’s a very bleak and sobering book.

  3. The more I read, the more I feel that “bleak and sobering” is an appalling understatement.

  4. I recently watched the BBC documentary series about Auschwitz. I can’t get it our of my head. It only brings up more questions. Killing and trying to survive, is the job of the primitive parts of our brains. How can human beings seem to function only on this level. War really is hell.

  5. This book points out the ironic fact that Auschwitz deaths were a fraction of all those who were killed by the Nazis, but it’s more familiar to us because, unlike other murder sites, people survived it and were able to report what happened there.

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