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Book review: Elusive Alliance: The German Occupation of Poland in World War I

During the First World War, the Poles failed to take advantage of German offers for an alliance because Berlin really failed to offer them much.  The result was a permanent clinch between the occupiers and the occupied. As Jesse Kauffman puts it in his thoughtful Elusive Alliance: The German Occupation of Poland in World War I (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015), “Whatever concessions the Germans made, they were unlikely to dispel the suspicion, mistrust, and generalized hostility to the Germans that existed in occupied Poland. On the other hand, what was perceived in Poland as half-hearted duplicity was seen in Germany as the very essence of reckless Polonophilia. So long as the war lasted, it could not have been otherwise” (p. 89).

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