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Shadowland: The Story of Germany Told by Its Prisoners
by Sarah Colvin
Reaktion Books, 2022
eISBN: 978-1-78914-628-8 | Cloth: 978-1-78914-627-1

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
A history of modern Germany told not through the lives of its leaders, but its lawbreakers.
 
As Nelson Mandela said, “a nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.” Shadowland tells the sometimes inspiring, often painful stories of Germany’s prisoners, and thereby shines new light on Germany itself. The story begins at the end of the Second World War, in a defeated country on the edge of collapse, in which orphaned and lost children are forced into homelessness, scavenging and stealing to stay alive, often laying the foundations of a so-called criminal career. While East Germany developed detention facilities for its secret police, West Germany passed prison reform laws, which erected, in the words of a prisoner, “little asbestos walls in Hell.” Shadowland is Germany as seen through the lives, experiences, triumphs, and tragedies of its lowest citizens.

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