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    Places: Europe

Eastern: Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldavia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine

Southern: Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Gibralter, Greece, Italy, Malta, Macedonia, Montenegro, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain

Northern: Denmark, Estonia, Faero Islands, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Vikings

Western: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Switzerland

UK: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales




The Shoah in Ukraine : history, testimony, memorialization / Ray Brandon

940.5318 SHOAH 2010

On the eve of the Nazi invasion of the USSR in 1941, Ukraine held the largest Jewish community in Europe. Between 1941 and 1944, some 1.4 million Jews were killed there. This volume sheds new light on themes of perpetration, collaboration, Jewish-Ukrainian relations, testimony, rescue and Holocaust remembrance in Ukraine. 



Balkan ghosts : a journey through history / Robert D. Kaplan

949.6 KAPLAN 1994

From the assassination that triggered World War I to the ethnic warfare in Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia, the Balkans have been the crucible of the twentieth century, the place where terrorism and genocide first became tools of policy. 

Night / Elie Wiesel


Gripping autobiographical story of a Jewish teen who bears witness to events in the Nazi death camps, including the deaths of his family, the death of his innocence, and the death of his God. 



Righteous gentile : the story of Raoul Wallenberg, missing hero of the Holocaust / John. Bierman

940.5477 BIERMAN 1981

 An account of the part Raoul Wallenberg played during World War II in saving the lives of around 100,000 Jews in Hungary. He was subsequently taken prisoner by the Russians and since then has never again been seen or heard of in the West.



The girl in the red coat : a memoir / Roma Ligocka

940.5477 BIERMAN 1981

The internationally bestselling memoir of survival and self-discovery by the woman whose childhood as the real-life girl in the red coat was so famously depicted in the film "Schindler's List." 



History of Slovakia: the struggle for survival. Stanislav J. Kirschbaum

943.73 KIRSCHB 1995

This classic book offers the most comprehensive and up-to-date history of Slovakia, from its establishment on the Danubian Plain to the present. While paying tribute to Slovakia's resilience and struggle for survival, it describes contributions to European civilization in the Middle Ages; the development of Slovak consciousness in response to Magyarization; its struggle for autonomy in Czechoslovakia after the Treaty of Versailles; its resistance, as the first Slovak Republic, to a Nazi-controlled Europe; its reaction to Communism; and the path that led to the creation of the second Slovak Republic.


Anton : a young boy, his friend & the Russian revolution / Dale. Eisler.

947.0841 EISLER 2010

In a land laid waste by the First World War, the Bolshevik Revolution, civil war, economic calamity and famine, a young boy tries to cope with a reality of violence and suffering he cannot understand. Together with his friend, he slowly begins to understand the truth of his life in a small, German-speaking village on the Russian steppes. The two share a friendship deepened by the misery endured in an adult world gone mad.

The Czar's Germans : with particular reference to the Volga Germans / Hattie Plum Williams.

973.04948 WILLIAM 2014

History  of the Germans who fled to Russia and settled along the Volga where cheap land was offered for farming.  (for books about the Germans from Russia in America check out the Immigrant Lives page)

Natasha's dance : a cultural history of Russia Orlando. Orlando Figes.

947.003 FIGES 2002

This ethnographic history of Russia begins in the eighteenth century with the building of St. Petersburg and culminating with the Soviet regime, Figes examines how writers, artists, and musicians grappled with the idea of Russia itself--its character, spiritual essence, and destiny. Skillfully interweaving the great works--by Dostoevsky, Stravinsky, and Chagall--with folk embroidery, peasant songs, religious icons, and all the customs of daily life, Figes reveals the spirit of "Russianness" as rich and uplifting, complex and contradictory--and more lasting than any Russian ruler or state.

The Sámi peoples of the North : a social and cultural history / Neil. Kent.

957 KENT 2014

Ethnicities, the law, repressions and war -- Religion -- Health, family, sexuality and education -- Sámi dwellings, arts and crafts -- Literature -- Music, sport and films -- Reindeer herding and other livelihoods. 
There is no single volume that encompasses an integrated social and cultural history of the Sámi people from the Nordic countries and northwestern Russia. Neil Kent's book fills this lacuna. In the first instance, he considers how the Sámi homeland is defined: its geography, climate, and early contact with other peoples. He then moves on to its early chronicles and the onset of colonisation, which changed Sámi life profoundly over the last millennium. Thereafter, the nature of Sámi ethnicity is examined, in the context of the peoples among whom the Sámi increasingly lived, as well as the growing intrusions of the states who claimed sovereignty over them. The Soviet gulag, the Lapland War and increasing urbanisation all impacted upon Sámi life. Religion, too, played an important role from pre-historic times, with their pantheon of gods and sacred sites, to their Christianisation. In the late twentieth century there has been an increasing symbiosis of ancient Sámi spiritual practice with Christianity. Recently the intrusions of the logging and nuclear industries, as well as tourism have come to redefine Sámi society and culture. Even the meaning of who exactly is a Sámi is scrutinised, at a time when some intermarry and yet return to Sámi, where their children maintain their Sámi identity. 

Soviet youth culture / James Riordan.

305.235 SOVIET 1989

A broad-ranging study of Soviet youth culture including the rock community, artists, delinquents and deviants, young in the countryside, returning Afghan veterans, the political socialization of school children, young fascists, etc. during the 1980s.

A sportsman's notebook / Ivan Turgenev


Though works of fiction, Ivan Turgenev’s first literary masterpiece of short stories is a sweeping portrayal of the magnificent nineteenth–century Russian countryside and the harsh lives of those who inhabited it. In a series of sketches, a hunter wanders through the vast landscape of steppe and forest in search of game, encountering a varied cast of peasants, landlords, bailiffs, overseers, horse traders, and merchants. He witnesses both feudal tyranny and the fatalistic submission of the tyrannized, against a backdrop of the sublime and pitiless terrain of rural Russia.

Village life in late tsarist Russia / O. P. Semenova-Ti͡an-Shanskai͡a.

947.08 SEMENOV 1993

Ivan's parents -- Childbirth, christening, wife beating -- Childhood -- Courtship and sexual relations -- Ivan prepares for marriage -- Pledging the bride, the bride-show, and marriage -- Infanticide, emotion, sexual disorder, drink and food -- Housing, property, trades, budgets, and religious belief --- Peasant ideals, work habits, and causes of poverty -- Court cases and political structure.  A study undertaken by the author in the late 1890's of several villages in the province of Riazan in order to meet the need for information about the actual life conditions, attitudes, and aspirations of the peasantry in Russia. 



Camonica Valley; a depiction of village life in the Alps from neolithic times to the birth of Christ, as revealed by thousands of newly found rock carvings / Emmanuel. Anati

945.01 ANATI 1961

This remarkable book throws a bright light on 2,000 obscure years of prehistory in northern Europe and on the myths and cults of its mysterious forest people, who have fascinated civilized men from Julius Caesar to Robert Graves. Just five years ago a young Israeli scholar, Emmanuel Anati, made a sensational archaeological find- 15,000 carvings chiseled into an Alpine mountainside that has been called "the richest and most varied ethnological document yet uncovered from a prehistoric community in Europe." Every carving is a document illuminating the economic system or the architecture or the religious practices, agricultural methods, or the sex live of the people who engraved it. The carving testify to the cultural continuity of the community from Neolithic times until it was conquered by Rome in 16 B.C. Thus, the carvings have a significance far beyond local history.

Swastika Over Paris / Jeremy Josephs

940.5344 JOSEPHS

Focusing on the war experiences of Armand Kohn, a rich Parisian Jew, and Paulette Szlifke, a courageous teenage resistance fighter, this is the story of the Nazi persecution of French Jews. The text explores how the Nazis, aided by many French men and women, attempted genocide of the Jews.




Vikings : the North Atlantic saga / William W. Fitzhugh

940.1032 FITZHUG 2000

​​Celebrates and explores the Viking saga from the combined perspectives of history, archaeology, oral tradition, literature, and natural science. The book's contributors chart the spread of marauders and traders in Europe as well as the movement of farmers and explorers throughout the North Atlantic and into the New World.                                                                                                                             




Watching the English : the hidden rules of English behavior / Kate Fox.

941 FOX 2014

Kate Fox, the social anthropologist who put the quirks and hidden conditions of the English under a microscope, is back with more biting insights about the nature of Englishness. This updated and revised edition of Watching the English features a new foreword and fresh chapters on the unwritten rules and foibles of "squaddies," bikers, horse-riders, and more. Fox revisits a strange and fascinating culture, governed by complex sets of unspoken rules and bizarre codes of behavior. She demystifies the peculiar cultural rules that baffle us: the rules of weather-speak, the ironic-gnome rule, the reflex apology rule, the paranoid-pantomime rule, class anxiety tests, the money-talk taboo, and many more. An international bestseller, Watching the English is both an incisive and hilarious look at the English and their society.


The ties that bound : peasant families in medieval England / Barbara A. Hanawalt

940.103 HANAWAL 1986

Barbara A. Hanawalt's richly detailed account offers an intimate view of everyday life in Medieval England that seems at once surprisingly familiar and yet at odds with what many experts have told us. She argues that the biological needs served by the family do not change and that the ways fourteenth- and fifteenth-century peasants coped with such problems as providing for the newborn and the aged, controlling premarital sex, and alleviating the harshness of their material environment in many ways correspond with our twentieth-century solutions.


Voices from the workhouse / Peter. Higginbotham.

942.081 HIGGINB 2012

Voices from the Workhouse tells the real inside story of the workhouse in the words of those who experienced the institution at first hand, either as inmates or through some other connection with the institution. Using a wide variety of sources including letters, poems, graffiti, autobiography, official reports, testimony at official inquiries, and oral history, Peter Higginbotham creates a vivid portrait of what really went on behind the doors of the workhouse-all the sights, sounds, and smells of the place, and the effect it had on those whose lives it touched. Was the workhouse the cruel and inhospitable place as which it's often presented, or was there more to it than that? This book lets those who knew the place provide the answer.

The workhouse : the people, the places, the life behind doors / Simon Fowler.

942.081 FOWLER 2014

This popular history conducts a full tour of the workhouse from 1696 to 1948, interweaving a wealth of anecdote and allusion from criminal and official records, and literature as well as personal accounts of inmates and staff. The book also provides sources for those searching for their pauper ancestors. 


Blitz diary : life under fire in World War II / Carol Harris.

940.54211 HARRIS 2010

Firsthand accounts of the experiences of ordinary people during the Second World War Historian Carol Harris has collected a remarkable series of accounts from the war's darkest days, with heartwarming stories of survival, perseverance, solidarity, and bravery, the preservation of which becomes increasingly important as the Blitz fades from living memory. As World War II loomed, everyone expected it would bring a new kind of conflict to Britain. Raids by airships in World War I and the attack on 

How we lived then : a history of everyday life during the Second World War / Norman Longmate

976.605 PADGETT 2003

Compiled by the historical adviser to the TV series "The 1940s House," this is an engagingly written social chronicle of wartime civilian life in England from September 1939 to August 1945—from the grandeurs of the Blitz to the miseries of dried egg powder—with numerous individual testimonies.

London was ours : diaries and memoirs of the London Blitz / Amy Helen Bell

940.542121 BELL 2011

Amy Helen Bell uncovers the personal stories of hundreds of Londoners from all walks of life, who scribbled in diaries and notebooks from inside air raid shelters and bombed-out houses to record their experiences of the Blitz. Expertly weaving these together, drawing out themes of loss, courage and love, what emerges is a thoughtfully argued and beautifully composed commentary on Britain's collective memory of one of the great conflicts of modern times. 

The war on our doorstep : London's East End and how the Blitz changed it forever / Harriet Salisbury

940.542121 SALISBU 2012

London's East Enders are known for being a tough, humorous and lively lot but the Second World War changed everything. During the Blitz, men set off for work never to return and rows of houses were reduced to rubble overnight. Told by the residents themselves, this book is a moving depiction of what it means to be an East Ender. 

When the children came home : stories from wartime evacuees / Julie Summers

940.542121 SUMMERS 2016

On 1 September 1939 Operation Pied Piper began. Its aim was to place the children of Britain's industrial cities beyond the reach of the Luftwaffe. The figures are breathtaking. One-and-a-half million children, pregnant women and school teachers were evacuated in three days. A further two million children were evacuated privately. It added up to the largest mass evacuation of children in British history and its impact is still felt today. Here, Julie Summers tells the story of what happened when these children returned to their families. 



The graves are walking : the great famine and the saga of the Irish people / John Kelly.

941.5081 KELLY 2013

In this masterful, comprehensive account of the Irish Potato Famine, delivered with novelistic flair, Kelly gives us not only the startling facts of this disaster--one of the worst to strike mankind, killing twice as many lives as the American Civil War--but examines the intersection of political greed, bacterial infection, religious intolerance, and racism that made it possible. Kelly brings new material to his analysis of relevant political factors during the years leading up to the famine, and the extent to which Britain's nation-building policies exacerbated the mounting crisis. Despite the shocking, infuriating implications of his findings, The Graves Are Walking is ultimately a story of triumph--of one people's ability to remake themselves in a new land in the face of the unthinkable.

All Standing: the true story of hunger, rebellion, and survival aboard the Jeanie Johnston

973.04941 MILES 2013

"All Standing The Remarkable Story of the Jeanie Johnston, the Legendary Irish Famine Ship recounts the journeys of this famous ship, her heroic crew, and the immigrants who were ferried between Ireland and North America. Spurred by a complex web of motivations--shame, familial obligation, and sometimes even greed--more than a million people attempted to flee the Irish famine. More than one hundred thousand of them would die aboard one of the five thousand aptly named "coffin ships." But in the face of horrific losses, a small ship named the Jeanie Johnston never lost a passenger.

Angela's ashes : a memoir / Frank McCourt.


Memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy—exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling—does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies. Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.

Through Irish eyes : a visual companion to Angela McCourt's Ireland / David Pritchard

941.9408 THROUGH 1998

A private tour through the world of Frank McCourt's Pulitzer Prize winning memoir, Angela's Ashes.

Paddy's lament : Ireland 1846-1847 : prelude to hatred. / Thomas Michael Gallagher

973.04941 DOLAN 2010

Ireland in the mid-1800s was primarily a population of peasants, forced to live on a single, moderately nutritious crop: potatoes. Suddenly, in 1846, an unknown and uncontrollable disease turned the potato crop to inedible slime, and all Ireland was threatened.



Scottish customs : from the cradle to the grave / Margaret Bennett.

941.1 SCOTTIS 2004

Tape-recorded interviews from the 20th and 21st centuries give voice to tradition-bearers from all walks of life adding color to this comprehensive picture of social behavior. The most up-to-date, authoritative work on the subject, this collection spans several centuries and, in three sections, deals with Childbirth and Infancy; Love, Courtship and Marriage; and Death and Burial.



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