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Mark Mazower: The Armenian Genocide

8 April 2010
... It was inevitable that Turkey’s ambassador in Washington would be recalled. But Erdogan also remarked that Turkey had 100,000 illegal Armenian immigrants and could deport them any time it chose, a comment so ill-conceived that it aroused a storm of criticism within Turkey and forced the prime minister to recant. He may not have meant to imply that these ...

Let’s Learn from the English

Richard J. Evans: The Nazi Empire

25 September 2008
Hitler’s Empire: Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe 
by Mark Mazower.
Allen Lane, 726 pp., £30, June 2008, 978 0 7139 9681 4
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... turning to a more obvious area in which to establish German colonial dominance: Eastern Europe. Mark Mazower begins Hitler’s Empire, his sweeping survey of Nazi rule in Europe, with an account of the emergence in late 19th-century Germany and Austria of the idea that the struggle between races for the survival of the fittest required the creation of ...

Under the Ustasha

Mark Mazower: Sarajevo, 1941-45

6 October 2011
Sarajevo, 1941-45: Muslims, Christians and Jews in Hitler’s Europe 
by Emily Greble.
Cornell, 276 pp., £21.50, February 2011, 978 0 8014 4921 5
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... marched into Sarajevo on 15 April 1941. One of the first things they did was to remove the plaque marking the site of Franz Ferdinand’s assassination – it was sent to the Führer. Erasing the city’s history – whether Ottoman, Habsburg or Yugoslav – was not so easy. Sarajevo’s previous imperial rulers had worked out a modus vivendi with local ...
23 June 1988
... Around noon on 16 August 1943, Dimitri Apostolou, a young Greek peasant, returned to his home village of Komeno in north-west Greece. German troops had just pulled out after a raid lasting some seven hours. In the charred ruins of the houses timbers were still burning. Corpses had begun to swell in the heat. The belly of one woman had been slit open, and a chicken had begun to drag her entrails along the road ...


Mark Mazower: The UN

22 March 2007
The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American Power 
by James Traub.
Bloomsbury, 442 pp., £20, November 2006, 0 7475 8087 1
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The Parliament of Man: The United Nations and the Quest for World Government 
by Paul Kennedy.
Allen Lane, 361 pp., £25, July 2006, 0 7139 9375 8
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... without the UN, then the organisation is likely to be with us for a good while yet. As Kennedy remarks, too many have invested too much in it to see it vanish with equanimity. The real reason to think seriously about reform is not to ward off the UN’s descent into ‘the dustbin of history’ but rather to ensure it retains the resilience that has allowed ...

Once there was a bridge named after him

Mark Mazower: Gavrilo Princip

22 October 2014
The Trigger: Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War 
by Tim Butcher.
Chatto, 326 pp., £18.99, May 2014, 978 0 7011 8793 4
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... When war came​ to Sarajevo in 1992 almost the only thing about the city known to the aid workers and journalists who made their way there was that it was the place where a Bosnian Serb assassin called Gavrilo Princip had started the First World War. Most had only the haziest notion of who had ruled Bosnia before the 20th century, or what had happened there after the war ended ...


Mark Mazower: In Thessaloniki

22 November 2012
... above Thessaloniki there are tomato plants and herbs everywhere. Residents have started organising markets so that producers of potatoes, olive oil, flour and the like can sell direct to consumers. A friend, an anthropologist, was queuing at his local tax office in a Thessaloniki suburb when he saw an old man arguing about his bill with an official. Finally ...
17 September 1998
Dark Continent: Europe’s 20th Century 
by Mark Mazower.
Penguin, 496 pp., £20, March 1998, 0 7139 9159 3
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... combined with creative acts of will to make possible the first step towards a united Europe.’ Mark Mazower’s splendid new book is a kind of anti-Duroselle. It tells ‘a story of narrow squeaks and unexpected twists, not inevitable victories and forward marches’. It argues that each of the three great ideologies competing for the loyalties of ...


Mark Mazower: Greece and Turkey’s Population Exchange

3 August 2006
Twice a Stranger: How Mass Expulsion Forged Modern Greece and Turkey 
by Bruce Clark.
Granta, 274 pp., £20, March 2006, 1 86207 752 5
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... Thus the Lausanne Treaty, which brought hostilities between Greece and Turkey to an end, and marked the Turkish Republic’s entry onto the international stage, included a population exchange agreement. With some small but crucial exceptions, all Orthodox Christians in Turkey would have to go to Greece, while all Muslims in Greece would leave for ...

The Nazis were less harsh

Mark Mazower: Mischka Danos

7 February 2019
Mischka’s War: A Story of Survival from War-Torn Europe to New York 
by Sheila Fitzpatrick.
I.B. Tauris, 336 pp., £20, June 2017, 978 1 78831 022 2
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... it promised a return to normality. Both on the shop floor and in the universities life was remarkably undisturbed by the German presence. Danos spent most of his time playing sport, pole-vaulting his way to local prominence and playing ice hockey with some distinction. Fitzpatrick for her part found it hard to accept the view that the Soviet occupation ...

One of Hitler’s Inflatables

Mark Mazower: Quisling

20 January 2000
Quisling: A Study in Treachery 
by Hans Fredrik Dahl, translated by Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife.
Cambridge, 452 pp., £30, May 1999, 0 521 49697 7
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... tried to sell his most prized Old Masters, he found they were forgeries and in the depressed art market of 1933 fakes, even good fakes were not selling well. Losing a court case in 1938 against a firm of Jewish dealers over a disputed Franz Hals increased his disaffection with the world of bourgeois capitalism, not to mention the Jews. The decade after 1929 ...

New World Chaos

Rodric Braithwaite

24 January 2013
Governing the World: The History of an Idea 
by Mark Mazower.
Allen Lane, 475 pp., £25, October 2012, 978 0 7139 9683 8
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... Mark Mazower has written many elegant but gloomy books about the unending capacity of the Europeans to destroy one another. His new book is elegant, perceptive, stimulating and erudite. It deals with the attempts to create institutions that would bring economic and political order not only to Europe, but to mankind in general, to find a way of bringing to an end the Hobbesian chaos of war between nations with its casual massacres of civilians and organised slaughter on the battlefield ...

The G-Word

Mark Mazower: The Armenian Massacres

8 February 2001
The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-16: Documents Presented to Viscount Grey of Falloden by Viscount Bryce Uncensored Edition 
by James Bryce and Arnold Toynbee, edited by Ara Sarafian.
Gomidas Institute, 677 pp., £32, December 2000, 0 9535191 5 5
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... sentiment in the West has been for centuries. The redoubtable traveller Edith Durham once remarked that Europe was quick to condemn Muslim violence towards Christians but remained indifferent when the tables were turned. Even today, no connection is made between the genocide of the Armenians and Muslim civilian losses: the millions of Muslims expelled ...

Lukashenko’s Way

Jonathan Steele

27 September 2012
Belarus: The Last European Dictatorship 
by Andrew Wilson.
Yale, 304 pp., £20, October 2011, 978 0 300 13435 3
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The Last Dictatorship in Europe: Belarus under Lukashenko 
by Brian Bennett.
Hurst, 358 pp., £30, January 2012, 978 1 84904 167 6
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... just as few know that Belarus also saw one of the great military offensives of the war. Citing Mark Mazower, Wilson argues that the Soviet army’s Operation Bagration during the summer of 1944 was the most successful surprise attack in history. It did the German Army as much damage proportionally as the better-known battles of Stalingrad and ...

After Kemal

Perry Anderson

25 September 2008
... Assembly and control of the presidency, at the end of its lifespan. The birth of the party marked the moment at which the Turkish elite split, with the growth of a bourgeoisie less dependent on the state than in the prewar period, no longer willing to accept bureaucratic direction of the economy, and eager for the spoils of political power. Its leaders ...

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