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Reviews Hagen Fleischer, Im Kreuzschatten der Mächte: Griechenland 1941—44. 2 vols. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. 1986. Pp. 819 (2 volumes). Over the last two decades scholars have turned their attention to the period of the 1940s in Greece. Memoirs and other accounts had been published previously, but the 1973 work of Heinz Richter put the subject on the academic agenda. The shortcomings of Richter's interpretation—and indeed of the earlier works too—aroused a debate which shows no signs of dying down. Few scholars have contributed as much to this debate as Hagen Fleischer. He has produced a valuable bibliography as well as articles correcting a wide variety of errors and presenting several interesting documents. Now, with this book he offers a detailed study of Greece during the Axis occupation. The book has two main aims: to provide a picture of "the politically relevant intentions and actions of all the Greek groupings which played a role of whatever sort during the Occupation," and "a portrayal of the policies towards Greece of all the foreign powers involved." There are 29 chapters, forewords by three key figures of the time, an introduction, conclusion and 50 pages of bibliography. Fleischer appears to be conscious that his approach might inspire criticism. He tells us that he has found theoretical models to be of little help, and that although he has made few allusions to broader issues, he hopes that he has provided enough information for future historians to explore them. He apologizes for what some may regard as his "old-fashioned" reliance on an empirical approach (ereignL·orientierte Geschichtsdarstellung), but believes that it is a necessary corrective to the selectivity of partisan accounts and the excessive theorizing of other scholars. Many will sympathize with him on both scores. Fleischer's preference for facts is evident: this work is based on a wider range of archival sources and other documentation than any other treatment of the period. In particular, the variety of Greek sources is remarkable, enabling the author to fulfil his first aim of presenting the different Greek political groupings and their evolution Journal of Modern Greek Studies, Volume 7, 1989. 337 338 Reviews during these years. The twists and turns of KKE and EDES policy— among others—are reported in abundant detail. The author certainly offers the most comprehensive account so far of the politics of the Greek resistance. But it is also on this point that certain limitations and defects in this work become apparent. Modern Greek historiography has suffered from a tendency to consider politics in isolation from social and economic forces. This deficiency is present here. Why did people join ELAS and EDES when they did? How did recruiting patterns change over time? What effect did black-marketeering have on political radicalization? These and other important issues require some connection to be made between the political sphere and the dramatic symptoms of economic collapse and social disintegration. No such connection is attempted in any systematic way. The brief, scattered comments on economic matters are in striking contrast with the painstaking detail in which political debates are recounted. The author admits at the end of the book that his approach has concentrated on organizations and personalities and has neglected the "nameless." But one feature of total war is precisely that it transforms society as a whole. The failure to show how patterns of resistance and collaboration were embedded in their social setting is a serious weakness of this work. The author's portrayal of the policies of the foreign powers towards Greece—and in this context one is chiefly talking about Germany and Britain—provide other grounds for unease. The book reflects a long-standing and widely-shared view that the crucial relationship to be studied in this period is that between the British and the Greek resistance. This relationship seems to hold the key to understanding the events of December 1944 and the civil strife that followed. It may well be that the debate over British policy towards the Greek resistance has generated as much heat as light. Still, even a judicious account of this subject, such as that by Procopis Papastratis (Brifah Policy towards Greece...


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