I have to remind myself that even if World War 2 seems long ago, it really wasn’t. It wasn’t long ago that the Nazi’s murdered 6 million Jews. It wasn’t long ago that the stage was set for the current world order.
An Iron Wind is a timely book for me. Since I’m seeing it’s warnings pretty much everywhere these days. There’s an unsung party in Europe during World War 2. One that took the brunt of the fighting and the death. And those people were civilians. Estimated civilian deaths run anywhere from 50 to 55 million. Compare that to the 20-25 million combat deaths.
Author Peter Fritzche went through the diary’s, the writings, the preserved words of these civilians during their most trying times. From the French under the German thumb. The Swiss, hoping the thumb wouldn’t come for them. The Poles, who lived between the German’s teeth. The Jews, who died there in conditions and inhumanity indescribable. And the Germans, enjoying the fruits of victory and self-righteousness, and their decline.
It’s interesting stuff to be sure. Listening to the Germans justify their actions against Jewry and Bolshevism. Reading about how the Poles and almost every other nation just kind of avoided the Jew problem. The Germans were taking care of them which meant they weren’t focusing on us. Polish Jews are Jews, not Poles. And the Poles gladly took possession of everything the Jews were forced to leave behind.
These personal writings are heart-breaking, revealing, and sometimes, banal. Just as any diary should be. The book is quite thick. I can only recommend it to fans of the genre, or individuals who are really curious about this unique aspect during the greatest movement of peoples in history. Otherwise, the book’s main draw are the lessons we can learn for today. There is no other. We are all one. Love you neighbor. And don’t give your leaders too much power.
2 1/2 out of 4 stars.