Keith Lowe's Savage Continent

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In his book, Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II, Keith Lowe argues that the war did not end after Nazi Germany surrendered. Lowe illustrates that there were “wars-within-the-war” that were taking place across the continent in one way or another. That “the absence of an external enemy simply meant that local people could concentrate their efforts more effectively on killing each other.” Lowe is extremely successful in proving his argument by tracing back the many conflicts among class, ethnicity, nationality, religion, and political ideologies during this period. The thoroughness in Lowe’s research is extensive, adequate, and relative to his argument. In addition, the validity of the sources through statistics makes…show more content…
It is these elements, in addition to the clarity in Lowe’s prose that makes his argument lucid, elegant, and convincing. It is important to point out that Lowe’s narrative is not a complete picture of the immediate postwar years. An account like that would translate Lowe’s work into volumes, which this book is certainly not. Nevertheless, Lowe is still able to prove his point with the material used. It is due to Lowe’s extensive research, that lesser-known cases of postwar inhumanity are uncovered. The valiant and hopeless fight between the “Forest Brothers” and Soviet totalitarianism in Lithuania is an example of these cases. Additionally, Poland engaging in an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Ukrainians in the immediate aftermath of the war is another. Lastly, the children fathered by German soldiers in Norway were labeled as retarded by the Norwegian government. This was done without any evidence to support the claim. Some of these children were permanently institutionalized due to this allegation. Overall, all of these children had to undergo an annual humiliation process by applying to their local authorities for permission to remain in the country of their birth. This practice lasted all the way

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