History / World War II / Russian & Slavic Studies


Stalin, the Russians, and Their War
Marius Broekmeyer
Translated by Rosalind Buck

"Reads like a living tableau of human suffering, stupidity, and sacrifice in all its aspects. A fascinating and gruesome read."—John Löwenhardt, University for Humanities, Utrecht

Until the advent of glasnost began to lift censorship in the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s, it was impossible for Russians in Russia to truthfully depict their own struggle against Nazi Germany. Even before World War II was over, the Soviet propaganda machine began to construct an official story: through enormous sacrifice, the Soviet people had gloriously freed themselves and the world from fascism, raising the hammer and sickle higher than ever on the ruins of Hitler's imperialist dreams.

In Stalin, the Russians, and Their War, however, Marius Broekmeyer presents the testimony of Russian participants, eyewitnesses, and historians of World War II to reveal not a heroic struggle, but a war marred by catastrophes, errors, and lies. These testimonies openly discuss subjects omitted from official Soviet propaganda or glossed over in popular Western histories of the Allied victory in WWII-from purges within the Red Army and Soviet use of "punitive brigades" to the deployment of millions of poorly equipped soldiers to the front lines.

These are authentic and often shocking first-hand accounts. Such a vivid report on the day-to-day lives of Russian soldiers, officers, and citizens during World War II does not exist anywhere else in English.

"A clear-eyed, uncompromising view of a critical and often disregarded element in the Allied triumph over the Third Reich. Broekmeyer amasses vignettes to create a kaleidoscopic impression of the war, the Stalinist state, and their impacts on the lives of ordinary people. The overall effect is as devastating as it is enlightening."
—David McDonald, author of United Government and Russian Foreign Policy, 1900–1914

Marius Broekmeyer is an independent scholar who was affiliated with the Eastern Europe Institute of Amsterdam University until 1989. He is the author of several books, including The Sorrow of Russia: Everyday Life in the Countryside since 1945 (in Dutch).

Publication of this book has been made possible in part by financial support from the Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature

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April 2004
LC: 2003020574 D
320 pp. 6 x 9
ISBN 978-0-299-19590-8
Cloth $60.00 s
ISBN 978-0-299-19594-6 Paper $22.95 t

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