The Death of East Prussia describes the immense collateral damage inflicted on East Prussia resulting from Hitler's war of annihilation in Poland and the Soviet Union. The Red Army sought revenge when it invaded the province in the winter of 1945. Thousands of Germans tried to flee rampaging Soviet soldiers who raped, assaulted, murdered and pillaged with abandon. A wealth of eyewitness testimony provides gripping, personal narratives of the indomitable will of the East Prussians to survive under horrific conditions. The end was foreshadowed when the wartime Allies divided East Prussia between Russia and Poland and approved the expulsion of all East Prussians. Now outcasts in their own homeland, many succumbed to starvation and disease as virtual slave laborers for their new masters, and the survivors were expelled in the late 1940s. This ethnic cleansing of East Prussia was the price paid for Nazi Germany's own ethnic cleansing of Eastern Europe. Complementing this tale of human suffering is an historical analysis showing that geography, revenge and political calculation can explain the extinction of East Prussia.
Peter B. Clark is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate in philosophy from Reed College and received a PhD in economics from MIT. He taught economics at Duke University, worked at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, and retired as a Senior Adviser from the International Monetary Fund. During his career as an economist, he published widely in his field. Married to a German who escaped from East Prussia in 1944, he became fluent in German and visited Germany many times, including the former capital of East Prussia, Koenigsberg (now Kaliningrad). This is his first non-economics book.