From the New York Times Book Review, 20 November 2011:
Theater of War
Max Hastings's survey of World War II concentrates on the experience of
those who took part.
Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945.
By Max Hastings.
Illustrated. 729 pp. Alfred A. Knopf. $35.
Reviewed by Richard J. Evans
Excerpts about Poland below, with my bold:
"Yet Hastings is not always so evenhanded in his coverage. In
describing the invasion, conquest and division of Poland by Hitler and Stalin in
1939, for example, he devotes considerable space to the Soviet arrest,
deportation and murder of Poles in their zone of occupation,
but says little about the mass imprisonment, deportation, enslavement
and murder of hundreds of thousands of Poles by the Nazis. His
brilliant and evocative account of the "winter war," in which Finland defended
itself with surprising effectiveness against Stalin's invasion in 1939-40,
outclasses his somewhat perfunctory narrative of the Polish campaign. And
his skillful touch can fail him when it comes to dealing with nonmilitary
aspects of the war. There are too many sweeping generalizations about
national character. The Poles have a "propensity for fantasy," for
example, while Britain's antimilitarist tradition was a source of pride to its
people." Neither claim is true; indeed, British national culture in the
1930s was suffused with celebratory memories of national military victories in
Europe and across the British Empire, while pacifism was the province of only a
"...Nazi brutality certainly alienated many Ukrainians and others whose
resentment at years of murderous Soviet exploitation made them ready to welcome
the Germans when they arrived in 1941; but for Hitler, of course, the
exploitation and extermination of Slav "subhumans" was one of the major purposes
of the war."
For the full review: