An Iron Wind: Europe Under Hitler
How do an occupied people react to intruders in their country? In An Iron Wind, Peter Fritzsche attempts to unravel the complicated answer to the Nazi occupation of Europe.
Jean-Paul Sartre’s words summed up the thoughts of the silent majority: “What is the right thing to do? The idea of who is one’s enemy is only clear and definite when that enemy is on the other side of the fighting line.”
Deeply researched, Fritzsche’s book uses first person accounts, letters, and diaries to piece together a clear picture of how and why people in every occupied nation began to question their faith in God and, even more so, their faith in humanity. The Germans weren’t everywhere. However, the fear they instilled throughout Europe forced citizens to choose between the lessor of evils: collaboration, resistance, or indifference. Ultimately, it is a choice everyone had to make.
Mr. Fritzsche’s research is extensive and well put together. However, the content is wordy and suffers from overly detailed explanations. As a research or text book, it is excellent. Unfortunately, it would not be a quick weekend read.