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War of Extermination: The German Military in World War II

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Volume 3

War and Genocide

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War of Extermination

The German Military in World War II

Edited by Hannes Heer and Klaus Naumann
Translated from the German by Roy Shelton
with a Foreword by Volker R. Berghahn

504 pages, 3 maps, 12 illus., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-232-2 $179.00/£132.00 Hb Published (October 2000)

ISBN  978-1-57181-493-7 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (November 2004)

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


"... provides new information and excellent analyses."  ·  Holocaust and Genocide Studies


Among the many myths about the relationship of Nazism to the mass of the German population, few proved more powerful in postwar West Germany than the notion that the Wehrmacht had not been involved in the crimes of the Third Reich. Former generals were particularly effective in spreading, through memoirs and speeches, the legend that millions of German soldiers had fought an honest and "clean" war and that mass murder, especially in the East, was entirely the work of Himmler's SS. This volume contains the most important contributions by distinguished historians who have thoroughly demolished this Wehrmacht myth. The picture that emerges from this collection is a depressing one and raises many questions about why "ordinary men" got involved as perpetrators and bystanders in an unprecedented program of extermination of "racially inferior" men, women, and children in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union during the Second World War. Those who have seen these terrible photos of mass executions and other atrocities, currently on show in an exhibition in Germany and soon to be in the United States, will find this volume most enlightening.

Hannes Heer is a historian and film director.

Klaus Naumann is a historain and journalist; both are Fellows of the Hamburg Institute for Social Studies.

Subject: Genocide History
Area: Germany


List of Abbreviations

Volker R. Berghahn

Hannes Heer and Klaus Naumann

Chapter 1. The Concept of the War of Annihilation: Clausewitz, Ludendorff, Hitler
Jan Philipp Reemtsma


Chapter 2. “Coming Along to Shoot Some Jews?” The Destruction of the Jews in Serbia
Walter Manoschek

Chapter 3. Killing Fields: The Wehrmacht and the Holocaust in Belorussia, 1941–42
Hannes Heer

Chapter 4. Soviet Prisoners of War in the Hands of the Wehrmacht
Christian Streit

Chapter 5. The Logic of the War of Extermination: The Wehrmacht and the Anti-Partisan War
Hannes Heer

Chapter 6. Men of 20 July and the War in the Soviet Union
Christian Gerlach

Chapter 7. Military Violence and the National Socialist Consensus: The Wehrmacht in Greece, 1941–44
Mark Mazower

Chapter 8. Civitella della Chiana on 29 June 1944: The Reconstruction of a German “Measure”
Michael Geyer


Chapter 9. Local Headquarters Liepaja: Two Months of German Occupation in the Summer of 1941
Margers Vestermanis

Chapter 10. On the Way to Stalingrad: The 6th Army in 1941–42
Bernd Boll and Hans Safrian

Chapter 11. Incident at Baranivka: German Reprisals and the Soviet Partisan Movement in Ukraine, October–December 1941
Truman Anderson

Chapter 12. Korück 582
Theo J. Schulte

Chapter 13. How Amorality Became Normality: Reflections on the Mentality of German Soldiers on the Eastern Front
Hannes Heer

Chapter 14. Emptying the Gaze: Framing Violence through the Viewfinder
Bernd Hüppauf


Chapter 15. Forward Defense: The “Memorandum of the Generals” for the Nuremberg Court
Manfred Messerschmidt

Chapter 16. Whose History Is It, Anyway? The Wehrmacht and German Historiography
Omer Bartov

Chapter 17. The “Unblemished” Wehrmacht: The Social History of a Myth
Klaus Naumann

Notes on Contributors

Appendix: Charts and Maps

Index of Names
Index of Locations

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