General Books/Reading Discussion

Holocaust denial and related subjects.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:22 am

to keep perspective, after the Italian surrender, an Italian army garrison held out against the Germans on the island of Cephalonia - at a cost of 1,250 killed in the fighting; after the garrison surrendered, the Germans, "[o]n orders from Berlin" shot over 6,000 of the Italians who surrendered; those murdered included "orderlies with Red Cross brassards, wounded men dragged from their hospital beds, and officers executed in batches of eight and twelve"; across Italy, during fall 1943 the Germans seized 600,000 Italian soldiers, designating them not as POWs but as "military internees," and sent them to Germany as slave laborers . . .

Atkinson, The Day of Battle, p 243
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:15 am

letter from a Wehrmacht soldier in Poland found on a German POW taken in Italy: "We have already liquidated our 1,200 Jewish slaves. We sent them to another ghetto, beyond the borders of life." (Atkinson, p 266)
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:49 pm

Got Prusin, Serbia Under the Swastika today . . . likely to finish v2 of Atkinson's Liberation Trilogy, then read v3 before reading Prusin.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:50 pm

Plowing through “Holocaust in the Soviet Union.” It’s a good book, filled with good information.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:14 pm

and I am now into vol 3 of Atkinson, highly recommend The Liberation Trilogy
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:22 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:and I am now into vol 3 of Atkinson, highly recommend The Liberation Trilogy



I’ve got Blatman’s book arriving in a day or two. I’m going from this to the two Auschwitz books I have, Van Pelt’s “The Case for Auschwitz” and the book he wrote with Dwork. I’m going to read those first, interspersed with reading “Forgotten Trials of the Holocaust.” Once I finish with those I’ll read Blatman.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:54 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:and I am now into vol 3 of Atkinson, highly recommend The Liberation Trilogy



I’ve got Blatman’s book arriving in a day or two. I’m going from this to the two Auschwitz books I have, Van Pelt’s “The Case for Auschwitz” and the book he wrote with Dwork. I’m going to read those first, interspersed with reading “Forgotten Trials of the Holocaust.” Once I finish with those I’ll read Blatman.

All very worthwhile reading, for sure . . . I think you will be very happy with that list.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:00 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:and I am now into vol 3 of Atkinson, highly recommend The Liberation Trilogy



I’ve got Blatman’s book arriving in a day or two. I’m going from this to the two Auschwitz books I have, Van Pelt’s “The Case for Auschwitz” and the book he wrote with Dwork. I’m going to read those first, interspersed with reading “Forgotten Trials of the Holocaust.” Once I finish with those I’ll read Blatman.

All very worthwhile reading, for sure . . . I think you will be very happy with that list.


I’m shoring up areas where I feel I’m weakest. I realized awhile ago I didn’t know as much as I needed to about Auschwitz.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:02 am

LOL I've read probably 25-30 books about Auschwitz and know for sure I don't know as much as needed!!
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:07 am

Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ll never get that far.... :D

I think next year I’ll read some of those books you just finished. I ran across Citino on Amazon but I’m determined not to get sidetracked.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:39 am

Blatman came in.
‘I have not left anybody in the dark about the fact that this time, millions of adult men would not die, and hundreds of thousands of women and children would not be burnt or bombed to death in the cities, without the actual culprit, albeit by more humane means, having to pay for his guilt.’
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby NathanC » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:20 pm

NathanC wrote:I just picked up the 2nd volume of Stephen Kotkin’s Stalin biography. I was looking for something newer and more “scholarly” than Montefiore’s book. Will say more as I go along.


I have to say, Kotkin's Stalin Biography is more useful than I initially expected. Kotkin's approach is to compare and contrast Stalin with Hitler and show how he influenced some of Stalin's actions. He also stresses and shows that Stalin's actions as dictator were not shaped by his background or childhood, but by the situations he encountered during his leadership. Kotkin really explains Stalin's foreign policy decisions well, much better than Montefiore did. It's a perfect companion piece to Volker Ullrich's Hitler Biography.

Speaking of Stalin's foreign policies, this book also brought to my attention some newspaper articles that are relevant to (refuting) the "Judea Declares War on Germany" BS. More on this topic in that thread.

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:19 pm

Nathan, if you get a chance check out Bullock’s “Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives.” It sounds similar to what you just posted.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:12 pm

I've actually got a reading list at this point, in sequence:

- finish Atkinson, volume 3 of The Liberation Trilogy
- Weigley, Eisenhower’s Lieutenants
- Bellamy, Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War
- Sönke & Netizel, Tapping Hitler’s Generals
- Prusin, Serbia under the Swastika,: A World War II Occupation
- Chaoutot, The Law of Blood

After this I may turn to the occupation of France. Not sure.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:11 pm

I’ve got about 100 pages left in Arad, then I’m turning back to Auschwitz.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:46 am

Without saying too much on this, I've been reading a long section in Atkinson concerning the battle in which my father-in-law was shot and wounded, then taken prisoner by the Germans and hauled off to Stalag XIB at Fallingbostel, near Bergen-Belsen in Lower Saxony. Interestingly, the book's narrative details some of the particulars of my father-in-law's division and the trap in which he was taken. This passage prompted my wife and me tonight to find and go through a family scrap book, assembled by my mother-in-law, from 1942-1945, with newspaper clippings from the war, including several items about this battle.

My father-in-law, who was a Paul Bunyanesque figure in many ways, would escape from Stalag XIB some months later and make his way back to France, hidden along the way by members of the French underground. As my father-in-law had vivid recollections of this experience but recounted them randomly and out of order, one Saturday night over a feast during a visit to our house, I took out a tape recorder and asked him to go through it all, in sequence, with drill-downs as warranted. We took a few hours to get it on tape. Which we've since somehow managed to lose in a move . . . my father-in-law always used to say, Two moves are as good as a fire.

(When at Rodoh 1.0, I mentioned some of what my father-in-law related to me about conditions in Stalag XIB; in my post, which mentioned turnips and the abuse of Soviet POWs at the camp, I misspelled Fallingbostel - at the time I'd never read the word, only heard it said aloud - which occasioned Little Grey Rabbit IIRC and perhaps neugierig to accuse me of making things up - the proof of my chicanery being my deficient orthographic skills. LOL)
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:32 pm

Congratulated at Yalta by Admiral King for the bravery of Soviet soldiers during the advance to the Oder, Stalin is said to have replied, "It takes a very brave man not to be a hero in the Russian army." (Atkinson, volume 3 of The Liberation Trilogy, p 513)
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:39 pm

I won't say much about German atrocities discussed by Atkinson in volume 3 of The Liberation Trilogy - they're familiar, from Malmedy/Baugnez to reprisals against French, Dutch, and Belgian civilians. OTOH we learn this about our old friend Patton: For the wheeling of his 3rd Army north to the Bastogne area, Patton told his staff that no SS prisoners were to be taken (p 466).

During early January 1945 fighting at Bastogne, Patton wrote in his war diary about "some unfortunate incidents in the shooting of prisoners. (I hope we can conceal this.)"

Atkinson records at the same time how German prisoners were being put to work - breaking stone - and sometimes abused by Patton's troops. (p 485)
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:47 pm

So close to finishing Arad.....

Hope to finish today or tomorrow. I did start “Forgotten Trials of the Holocaust” today (Kindle version so I can read it anywhere). The odd thing, the Soviets followed legal procedure for the Kharkov Trial while the French essentially ignored French procedure to convict Laval.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:37 pm

NathanC wrote:By the way, does anyone know any good biographies of Patton or histories of the North African Front? Alan Heath recently stated that Patton refused or hesitated to release North African Jews from interment because he feared they would "Conspire" against him, and because he felt it would help his relationship with the Arabs. I know that Patton was an Antisemite (he called DPs "Garbage) and that a US envoy stated that the US's treatment of the DPs was no better than the Germans "Except for the fact that they weren't being exterminated", and I generally trust Alan Heath, but I would like to look more into this part of Patton's history and the North African front.

I don't recall if Atkinson covers this exact point, concerning North African Jews, but his book An Army at Dawn is great in general for the American war in North Africa; read with Citino's The Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942, which examines the German experience, you get a very good feel for North Africa. To round it out, I guess, you'd need books on the British war effort and the Italians' - alas, I can't recommend anything. But, as to the Allies and the US in particular, first, Patton was, IMO and as you say, appalling. Second, as to the related issue of POWs in general, in North Africa what comes through from Atkinson is that Allied abuses of prisoners were not mainly attributable to Patton (here).
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:20 pm

Forgot to grab Arad on the way out the door, continued reading “Forgotten Trials of the Holocaust.”

It’s a good book to start with but it’s making me want to hunt for more information on the Trials.

Right now I’m reading about Amon Goth’s Trial.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:07 pm

Just to say that Atkinson records a number of Allied atrocities - as the East is not his focus he doesn't spend much time on Russian atrocities - during the sweep through Germany. These go beyond the well-known, such as the execution of SS men at Dachau by soldiers from I Company of the US 157th Infantry and then by men from the 42nd and 45th Divisions. I'm too lazy to type them all out - but if you're ever looking for discussion of some of this, Atkinson's volume 3 is a place to find it. Most instances are not dealt with in depth, but they're horrific just the same.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:15 pm

Finished Goth’s Trial and started reading about the Ravenbrook Trials.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:33 am

I've started Weigley's book Eisenhower's Lieutenants, which starts off really well . . .
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:18 pm

Finished Arad today. Very good, filled with valuable information. As usual I marked places in the book for discussion.

I really need to pick a day....maybe two.......go through all of my finished books and post the stuff I marked.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:19 pm

On second thought I might need a week.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:35 pm

Two books for the future:
The Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial, 1963-1965
Beyond Justice
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:02 am

Is Gerland Reitlinger’s “The Final Solution. The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945” worth getting?
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:42 pm

Some interesting comments which Weigley makes about American combat effectiveness in the European theater - I am up through the planning of Market Garden:

1) At most, between 15-30% of American infantrymen ever fired a shot during combat. That percentage is for those "trying to shoot the enemy at least once." (according to a study by SLA Marshall)

2) German commanders regularly felt the power of American artillery and air forces, they were surprised by the speed at which American ground forces moved, and they found US paratroopers to be serviceable - but they also reported that the US infantry generally lacked aggression. E.g., Jodl would note that Americans surrendered too quickly and failed to charge where even minimal resistance persisted.

3) On many occasions American commanders also observed - complained about - the lack of aggression on the part of their infantry soldiers, to take one example General Middleton writing to General Bradley during the battle in Brittany in September 1944 that his troops were "none too good."

4) Patton's aggression can not be seen as an unalloyed strength but was also tied up with the characteristic weakness of the American forces in WWII - Patton's rapid pursuit and quick movements thus depended on avoidance of enemy strongpoints, bypassing them rather than destroying the enemy.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:58 pm

Cooking along nicely on “Forgotten Trials of the Holocaust,” I’m almost done. As usual, once I’m done I’ll try and open some topics.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Denying-History » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:13 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:Is Gerland Reitlinger’s “The Final Solution. The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945” worth getting?

Bit outdated, you would be better off with Hilberg.

Alys “final solution” is also has some more information, as it contains things on the hunger plan.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:27 pm

Denying-History wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:Is Gerland Reitlinger’s “The Final Solution. The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945” worth getting?

Bit outdated, you would be better off with Hilberg.

Alys “final solution” is also has some more information, as it contains things on the hunger plan.


Thanks, I’ve got Aly on my list. I just started on Dwork and Van Pelt’s “Auschwitz.”
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:27 pm

I finished “Forgotten Trials of the Holocaust.”
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:23 pm

Started “Auschwitz.”

It’s very well written, however, Dwork and Van Pelt are spending chapters on “the basics.” I don’t need a history of the Third Reich in a specialized book on Auschwitz.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:34 pm

Do you have a fast forward button? :)
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:38 pm

I am close to the end of Weigley. This week progress was slow, due first of all to a number of appointments I had. The other reason was that, again, when I read the section on the battle in which my father-in-law was captured, I took a lot of time to study maps, online photos, a photo book of the battle, the family scrapbook on WWII, and other "outside" resources. I will likely finish Weigley tomorrow. It's really a great book.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:52 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Do you have a fast forward button? :)



What, and risk a paper cut?
:lol:
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:30 pm

Pelt's The Case for Auschwitz will spare you the general overview . . . or have you already read that one?
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:23 am

Reading that one next. Though, I’m considering reading Blatman next.
‘I have not left anybody in the dark about the fact that this time, millions of adult men would not die, and hundreds of thousands of women and children would not be burnt or bombed to death in the cities, without the actual culprit, albeit by more humane means, having to pay for his guilt.’
Adolf Hitler
Final Will and Testament

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:43 am

You will like The Case for Auschwitz, I think.
"It was still at the stage of clubs and fists, hurrah, tala"


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