By Bjørn Berge
Empires rise and fall. New countries are established only to dissolve after a few years. The history of these lost countries are brought to life. The author takes the reader on an adventurous journey to all corners of the world.
He tells the forgotten story of countries that existed for only one month, a year, or a few decades – before they disappeared. They bear enigmatic names such as Heligoland and Tripolitania. And what is the story behind Mandchukuo, which existed from 1932-45, or Allenstein in 1920?
These lost countries have fascinating stories to tell, whether they were short-lived like Eastern Karelia, or more tenacious such as the Orange Free State.
The book presents fifty of these countries that collapsed. The range of countries reflects different aspects of world history during the 19th and 20th centuries, with their ideologies, imperialism, struggle for resources, immigration waves, and major and trivial wars. This is a different kind of world history – told through stamps and maps, from countries that have quite literally been erased from the map.
Bjørn Berge is an architect and author. He has published numerous articles and books in Norway on architecture and building ecology. The Ecology of Building Materials (Elsevier Science/Routledge) is used as a teaching resource at universities in many countries. In 2016, he published Nowherelands, a huge international success about 50 countries that have vanished from the map – so far sold to 21 countries.