Reviews of Books

Even the stones spoke German

Thursday 28 November 2002 London Review of Books, Brendan Simms
This ambitious and demanding book takes in not only the entire sweep of German and Polish history, but at times also that of Central and Eastern Europe as a whole. The struggle for Breslau, it emerges, has been a contest between German and Pole; Habsburg and Hohenzollern; Hussite heretic and Catholic; Catholic and Lutheran; Jew and anti-semite; patrician and magnate; socialist and capitalist; Nazi and Soviet; apparatchik and dissident. And yet, as Davies and Moorhouse stress, this story was often as much one of co-operation and coexistence as of conflict and annihilation. "Microcosm" is not a short book, but the sheer extent of the years and changes it traverses justifies every line; it could even have been a little fuller towards the end.

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The long journey from Wroclaw to Breslau

Saturday 25 January 2003 The Guardian, Nicholas Lezard

There is a lesson for us all in the thousand-year history of a central European city.