THIS IS GERMANY by Arthur -- Ed. Settel
Kirkus Star


Email this review


An essential book for better understanding -- distasteful though it be -- of Germany today. A portrait unflattering to the occupying powers, particularly to the Americans it sometimes seems, this has the impact of an authoritative view by experts, top correspondents on the spot, who here report on virtually every facet of the scene. What emerges is shocking in its factual content, discouraging in its prognosis, revealing, not only of the psychology of the conquered but of the conquerors,- be they British, French, American -- or Russian. A Germany emerges slightly ooky in feeling they hold the winning cards in the cold war; aggressively confident that they can handle their own affairs better than the bungling efforts of the occupying forces can do it. The political parties that have taken form are succinctly analyzed, their leaders sharply etched. The morale of the people, the women, the children, the military, the politicans -- all indicate a conviction that ultimately they can do it again. The intellectuals have proved a bitter disappointment. The educators, even those properly ""screened"", are indubitably and hopelessly Germanic in conviction and outlook. The basic tenets of handling conquered Germany- denazification, decartelization, deindustrialization -- are confessed failures. Legal processes have broken down and the trials seem to have caught the little fry and let the big ones go; while the convictions on the top resulted in a sense of cleared consciences for the mass. There is occasional contradiction, due to different angles of reporting, as for instance, in relation to the displaced persons problem. But in the main, despite the breadth of range in personnel, and the immense scope of coverage, the overall picture seems thoroughly integrated and convincing. Any reader concerned with one of the vital centers of world interest should read this book. The editor is director of the U.S.M.G. Office of Public Information; General Clay has written the Introduction. And the reporters include such names as Theodore White, Emlyn Williams. John Anpacher, James O'Donnell, Judy Barden, Ernest Leiser, and many others.

Pub Date: July 10th, 1950
Publisher: Wm. Sloane