Suppressed Terror

Suppressed Terror : History and Perception of Soviet Special Camps in Germany

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After World War II, 154,000 Germans were arrested by the Soviet secret police and held incommunicado in so-called special camps in the Soviet occupation zone. One third of the inmates did not survive captivity. Based on Russian and German sources, Displaced Terror: History and Perception of Soviet Special Camps in Germany offers a multi-layered account of this chapter of Stalinist persecution and mass violence, which has largely been suppressed to this day. The reasons for this gap in German memory culture are also addressed.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 418 pages
  • 157.48 x 228.6 x 38.1mm | 703.06g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • Translation
  • 1 Illustrations, black and white
  • 0739177435
  • 9780739177433
  • 1,595,426

Table of contents

Contents Preface to the English Edition Chapter One - Introduction The Camp System Internees and SMT Prisoners Explorations Detention Measures Detention Experiences Detention Memories Chapter Two - Detention Measures Internments "Mobilization" and "Cleansing the Rear Area" between December 1944 and April 1945 The NKVD Order No. 00315 or the End of "Mobilization" The Primacy of the Pacification Policy Isolation as "Political Prophylaxis" Soviet Military Tribunals (SMTs) The Work of the SMTs Functional Changes in the Camp System The Logic of Judicial Terror Judicial Prosecution of "Class Enemies" "Political Purges" and the Struggle against "Deviationists" Russian Roulette Chapter Three - Detention Experiences Arrest Dawn Raids Denounced In Shock In the "GPU Cellars" Detention Conditions Interrogations Traitors Verdicts In Special Camp No. 7/No. 1 Sachsenhausen Parallel Worlds: "Politicals" and "Criminals" The Divided Camp Community Daily Life in the Sachsenhausen Special Camp Fragments Chapter Four - Detention Memoirs Freedom The Closure of the Special Camps, 1950 The Combat Group against Inhumanity The Price of Recognition "Empty" Memory Sites "Second-Class Victims" or Self-Imposed Isolation A Last Attempt: The Publication Offensive after 1989-1990 "Gray" Literature The Dependency Trap "Documentarism" as Narrative Style "Alternate Framings" and Other "Narrative Templates" Self-devised Traps-Memoirs after 1989 Chapter Five - The Special Camps and Their Place in History Internment Camps The POW Camps of the GUPVI The Soviet GULAG National Socialist Camps Notes Abbreviations Bibliography Index of Names Subject Index Author Note
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Review quote

This translation of a 2010 German book is a deeply sourced, sophisticated analytical study of the imprisonment of German civilians in the Soviet military occupation zone in East Germany and the German Democratic Republic between 1945 and 1950. POWs and war criminals convicted by Soviet military courts were forced to work. But over 120,000 German civilians, arrested ostensibly for denazification procedures and kept in "special" camps, were not permitted to work...What purpose did these special camps serve? Greiner thinks they began as pretrial sites for suspected Nazis of minor standing and evolved into long-term prisons for unconvicted inmates...Greiner reflects on changes in the historical memorialization of political captivity in Germany and warns against equating Nazi and Soviet political confinement, especially with regard to guilt and victimhood. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. CHOICE The significant contribution of Greiner's book lies in its focus on the individual experiences and memories of those detained. Based on memoirs and oral testimonies, Suppressed Terror carefully reconstructs the experiences of denunciation, [and] arrest...Greiner has thus written an excellent and insightful book that scholars in the fields of postwar central European history and memory studies will benefit from reading with care. Slavic Review Bettina Greiner's admirable and comprehensive study of the Soviet special camps in occupied Germany is a crucial contribution to our understanding of Soviet repressive measures in Germany after World War II and their memory-and forgetting-since the Cold War. Her creative use of little-known German prisoner memoirs and accounts, combined with thorough research in Soviet and German sources on camp policies and practices, produce unparalleled insights into this revealing corner of the history of Soviet terror in postwar Europe. -- Norman Naimark, Stanford University Bettina Greiner's deeply researched study of Soviet secret police camps in Germany from 1945-1950 analyzes not just the Soviet policies and practices behind the 'special camps,' but connects them to prisoners' experiences and the German politics of memory. Anyone interested in political violence, concentration camp systems, and the fateful entanglements of Germany and Russia/USSR in the twentieth century should consider this important case. -- Michael David-Fox, University of Georgetown Through the careful and critical analysis of published recollections from former detainees, Greiner outlines in detail the strategies developed to attain recognition as victims...Overall, her study is an important addition to the existing literature on Soviet special camps in Germany, particularly with regard to the politics of remembering. The German Quarterly
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About Bettina Greiner

Bettina Greiner is a German historian working at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research and is coordinator of the Berlin Colloquia on Contemporary History.
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