Conventional wisdom locates the horrors of World War II in the six million Jews killed in German concentration camps. But the reality is even grimmer: Over twelve years, the Nazi and Soviet regimes killed fourteen million people in the lands between Germany and Russia. The vast majority of these deaths occurred in Eastern Europe. Most victims were starved, shot, or gassed without ever even seeing a concentration camp. Award-winning historian Timothy Snyder astutely connects the interests, perceptions, and aims of Hitler and Stalin with the crimes that their regimes committed to offer a new understanding of the mass killing that took place in Eastern Europe between 1933 and 1945. "The utopian goals and the strategic interaction of the Soviet and Nazi regimes help to explain these mass murders, which taken together are the worst calamity in the history of the western world," notes Snyder. "But it is the perspectives of the victims that make these atrocities resonant and real."
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