In Giles MacDonogh’s After the Reich, the author attempts to reshape the way that we view World War II and its subsequent aftermath in history. Once Germany is defeated in 1945, many tend to think that the end of World War II in Europe finally brought peace back to the ravaged continent. However, as MacDonogh is able to convincingly examine and prove, the end of the war was just the beginning of suffering for millions of Germans spread across Europe. In the book, he sets out to offer a comprehensive view of what happened to the German people when the tables had turned, where they now found themselves defeated and under Allied occupation. In the title, he includes “The Brutal History”, and the author is able to detail and display just how…show more content… Germans were already struggling during the end of the war, and in many cases, they welcomed the Allies as “ liberators”.
Due to the MacDonogh’s massive collection of information and sources, at points the book’s organization is loose and appears disjointed. Sometimes the author loses track of his argument and descends into gruesome detail after detail trying to emphasize the true scale of brutality and violence leveled against the Germans. MacDonogh admits that the subject is so vast that he had to use a “broad brush”, but this broad approach causes him to focus on certain sections, those that he deems more important, significantly more than others.
MacDonogh’s work focuses on the treatment of the German people at the hands of the Allies during the end of the war, the ensuing occupation and the necessary economic recovery. Whereas Bessel’s work is much more compact because he solely focuses on the specific year of 1945. This allows Bessel to go more indepth on varying experiences of German individuals during that year, and the immediate responses these people had to the changing situation. MacDonogh’s work is an overview of the before, during, and aftermath of Germans during the war, but he does not have a strong argument that flows throughout the book. The book goes from one concept to another, without actively arguing anything other than revealing the brutal treatment of the German people by