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Look Inside Allied Internment Camps in Occupied Germany

Allied Internment Camps in Occupied Germany
Extrajudicial Detention in the Name of Denazification, 1945–1950

  • Publication planned for: October 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from October 2019
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108487634


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About the Authors
  • Between 1945 and 1950, approximately 130,000 Germans were interned in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, including in former Nazi concentration camps. One third of detainees died, prompting comparisons with Nazi terror. But what about the western zones, where the Americans, British, and French also detained hundreds of thousands of Germans without trial? This first in-depth study compares internment by all four occupying powers, asking who was interned, how they were treated, and when and why they were arrested and released. It confirms the incomparably appalling conditions and death rates in the Soviet camps but identifies similarities in other respects. Andrew H. Beattie argues that internment everywhere was an inherently extrajudicial measure with punitive and preventative dimensions that aimed to eradicate Nazism and create a new Germany. By recognising its true nature and extent, he suggests that denazification was more severe and coercive but also more differentiated and complex than previously thought.

    • The first in-depth and comparative treatment of internment by all four occupying powers, offering an important corrective to previous accounts
    • Challenges assumptions about the differences between western and Soviet approaches to internment and denazification
    • Uses internment to make broader arguments about the Allied occupation and transitional justice
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book is a clear and detailed account of the internment by the Allies of more than 400,000 Germans after the Second World War. Building upon impressive research, Andrew H. Beattie corrects commonly-held assumptions about the contrasts between Soviet camps on the one side and western Allies' camps on the other. Altogether, a valuable re-assessment of an important subject.' Richard Bessel, University of York

    'In this deeply researched and carefully argued study of the Allied internment of over 400,000 Nazis and other Germans in post-World War II Germany, Andrew H. Beattie explores a critical yet little-known dimension of the occupation. Among other significant findings, Beattie effectively demonstrates that the Soviet zone 'special camps' should not be considered as markedly distinct from internment camps in the Western zones.' Norman M. Naimark, Stanford University, California

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: October 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108487634
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 1 map 4 tables
    • availability: Not yet published - available from October 2019
  • Table of Contents

    1. 'It will be desirable on political grounds': the development of internment policy, 1943–1946
    2. 'Not consistent with civil liberties': internment in practice, 1945–1950
    3. Internees: the 'worst Nazis' or a 'colourful assortment'?
    4. Internment camps: 'the main task of the camp is the complete isolation' of the detainees

  • Author

    Andrew H. Beattie, University of New South Wales, Sydney
    Andrew H. Beattie is Senior Lecturer in German and European Studies at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. An authority on the politics of history and memory in Germany, he is the author of Playing Politics with History: The Bundestag Inquiries into East Germany (2008).

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