By Frank B. Tipton, Robert Aldrich
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Additional resources for An Economic and Social History of Europe from 1939 to the Present
None of Hitler's senior planners dared question his conviction that the Soviet regime would collapse and Russia would revert to the chaos of the civil war period. Hitler indeed had begun to remove any of his commanders who did dare question his genius, and the survivors vied with one another to tell Hitler what he wished to hear. The Russian invasion was delayed six weeks while Yugoslavia and Greece were conquered. This perhaps secured the southern flank of the invading armies, but the delay also placed the Germans in a much less favourable position with regard to the weather, and German planners took no account of the weather on the operation.
Paradoxically, many British citizens enjoyed a higher standard of living under the wartime rationing regime than they had during the depressed 1930s. This may have made them more willing to accept the strict limits on personal liberty imposed by the 1941 National Service Act. Men aged 18-50 and women aged 20-30 were made liable for either military or essential civilian service, and the upper limits were later extended. British employment increased by three million during the war, and the increase included two million women.
Large numbers of Jews were forcibly resettled in officially established ghettos in the General Government in 1939-40. The defeat of France opened the possibility of deporting all European Jews to the French colony of Madagascar, a plan enthusiastically supported by a section of the Foreign Office and by Reinhardt Heydrich, an officer in the SS and Gestapo. However, the plan required a definitive peace treaty with France (and was impossible in any case until the end of the war with Britain) and was dropped without alternative destinations being discussed.
An Economic and Social History of Europe from 1939 to the Present by Frank B. Tipton, Robert Aldrich