David Nasaw on The Last Million

Carnegie Council Audio | 23 September 2020 | 0h 56m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with David Nasaw about his book The Last Million: Europe’s Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War. Discusses the management of and repatriation of the concentration camp survivors, POWs, slave labourers, political prisoners, and Nazi collaborators that did not return home after the end of WWII. Insights on why the Americans chose not to bring Nazi collaborators to justice, and the US domestic political considerations behind Jewish settlement in Israel.

One thought on “David Nasaw on The Last Million

  1. The question at 47:55 and its response are important correctives to our historical memory: though the Nazi persecution of the Jews is perhaps the most obvious way in which they were evil, the Allies did not fight the Second World War to protect European Jews. One of the surprising points of Churchill’s history of the war is how little the Holocaust figures into it.

    With regard to how badly the Allies treated Displaced Persons in camps after the War, we must remember how difficult those years were for all who survived the war. Hunger, chaos, theft and rape were the fruits of the Third Reich. The victorious armies had to try to restore the economy and the law, de-Nazify society and prevent mass starvation. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_in_occupied_Germany has some useful data points and references to, e.g., the Dutch famine and British rationing.

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