Microcosm: Portrait of a Central European City by Norman Davies and Roger Moorhouse
Central Europe has always been endowed with a rich variety of migrants and settlers, and has repeatedly been the scene of nomadic invasions, mixed settlements and military conquests. As a result, the area has witnessed a profusion of languages, cultures, religions and nationalities.
The history of Silesia’s main city can be seen as a fascinating tale in its own right, but it is more than that. It embodies all the experiences which have made Central Europe what it is – the rich mixture of nationalities and cultures; the German settlement and the reflux of the Slavs; a Jewish presence of exceptional distinction; a turbulent succession of Imperial rulers; and the shattering exposure to both Nazis and Stalinists. In short, it is a Central European microcosm.
The third largest German city of the mid-nineteenth century, Breslau’s population reached one million in 1945, before the bitter German defence of the city against the Soviets wrought almost total destruction. Transferred to Poland after the war, Breslau has risen from ruins and is again a thriving economic and cultural centre of the region.
Jonathan Cape, 2002.
ISBN: 9780224062435. 585 pp.
Hardcover. Very good in a very good jacket.