Richard Overy

Footsteps in the Corridor

Forgotten Land: Journeys Among the Ghosts of East Prussia


Picador 356pp £20 order from our bookshop

Prussia has not existed as a geographical reality for more than sixty-five years. It was not simply that its lands were occupied by Allied forces from west and east, soon divided by an Iron Curtain (an accident of the war’s end); rather it was deliberately dismantled by the victors. Protestant Prussia was regarded as the powerhouse of German militarism, aggressive capitalism and eastward imperialism despite the fact that Hitler, Himmler, Göring and Goebbels all came from Catholic Germany or Austria. Crushing the curse of Prussia was seen as the core of any postwar settlement of the German lands. No Prussia, no more war.

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