Part of the St Antony’s Series book series


The main question posed by this study is what were the causes of the barbarisation of German troops on the Eastern Front during the Second World War? More specifically, this book is an attempt to examine the relationship between the conditions at the front, the social and educational background of the junior officers and political indoctrination on the one hand, and the criminal activities of the army in the East on the other hand. That a research of this kind is necessary, both from the factual and the methodological points of view, can be demonstrated by a brief survey of the available literature dealing with these issues.


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  1. 1.
    E. von Manstein, Aus Einem Soldatenleben (Bonn, 1958) pp. 353–4. See also his Verlorcne Siege, 2nd edn (Frankfurt/M., 1964) pp. 7–8; and K. Doenitz, Memoirs, 2nd edn (London, 1959) pp. 299–314; H. Guderian, Panzer Leader, 3rd edn (London, 1977) pp. 458–64; Kesselring, The Memoirs (London, 1953) pp. 314–15; S. Westphal, The German Army in the West (London, 1951) pp. 3–18.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See, for example, II. Baumann (cd.), Die 35. Infanterie-Division im 2. Wcltkrieg (Karlsruhe, 1964) pp. 12–14; R. Grains, Die 14. Panzer-Division (Bad Nauheim, 1957) p. 8; C. Wagener, Heeresgruppe Süd (Bad Nauheim, n.d.) pp. 11, 342; see also Conclusion in this volume. For officers who did oppose these policies, see, for example, II. Teske, Die Silberne Spiegel (Heidelberg, 1952); F. von Schlabrendorff, The Secret War Against Hitler (London, 1966) passim.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    B. H. Liddcll Hart, The Other Side of the Hill (London, 1948) p. 29; see also his History of the Second World War, 6th edn (London, 1979) passim; J. F. C. Fuller, The Decisive Battles of the Western World, II, 5th edn (London, 1975) pp. 431–592; A. Seaton, The Russo-German War (London, 1971) and his The German Army (London, 1982). See also this volume, Chapter 1, n. 1.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    F. L. Carsten, The Reichswehr and Politics, 2nd edn (Berkeley: California, 1973); G. A. Craig, The Politics of the Prussian Army, 3rd edn (London, 1978); K-J Miiller, Das Heer and Hitler (Stuttgart, 1969); R. J. O’Neill, The German Army and the Nazi Party (London, 1966); J. W. Wheeler-Bennett, The Nemesis of Power, 2nd edn (London, 1980).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Discussions of the various Putsch plans and attempts of the military can be found in H. C. Deutsch, The Conspiracy Against Hitler in the Twilight War (Minneapolis: Minnesota, 1968) and his Hitler and his Generals (Minneapolis: Minnesota, 1974); K-J Miiller, Armee, Politik and Gesellschaft in Deutschland 1933–45 (Padeborn, 1979); N. Reynolds, Treason was no Crime (London, 1976); G. Ritter, Carl Goerdeler and die Deutsche Widerslands-Bewegung (Stuttgart, 1954).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    E. Wolf, ‘Political and Moral Motives Behind the Resistance’, in H. Graml et al., The German Resistance to Hitler (London, 1970) p. 232. See also K-J Müller, General Ludwig Beck (Boppard am Rhein, 1980).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    More generally on post-war German historiography, see, in L. Dawidowicz, ‘German Historians and National Socialism’, Zmanim, 11 (in the Hebrew language, 1979); II. Herzfeld, ‘Germany: After the Catastrophe’, JCH, II (1967) 79–91; M. Howard, Studies in War and Peace, 10th edn (London, 1970) pp. 110–21; D. T. Williams, ‘The Historiography of World War II’, in E. M. Robertson (ed.), The Origins of the Second World War, 5th edn (London, 1979) pp. 40–2.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    See, for example, B. B. Fercncz, An International Criminal Court (London, 1980) pp. 54–77, 83–90, 469–501; G. M. Gilbert, Nuremberg Diary (New York, 1947); W. Maser, Nuremberg (London, 1979) pp. 93–130.Google Scholar
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    H-A. Jacobsen, ‘Kommissarbefehl und Massenexekutionen Sowjetis-che Kriegsgefangener’, in H. Buchheim et at., Anatomie des SS-Staates (Olten, 1965) II, pp. 163–279; II. Krausnick, ‘Kommissarbefehl und “Gerichtsbarkeitserlass Barbarossa” in Neuer Sieht’, VfZ, XXV (1977) 682–758, and his and II-H Wilhclm’s Die Truppe des Weltanschauung-skrieges (Stuttgart, 1981); M. Messerschmidt, Die Wehrmacht im NS-Staat (Hamburg, 1969); C. Stieit, Keine Kameraden (Stuttgart, 1978).Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, no. 99, 29 April 1981, p. 10. During the summer of 1981 another public debate took place in Germany concerning the screening of the Soviet/American TV film ‘Der Unvergessene Krieg’. See, for example, B. Martin, ‘Badische Zeitung’, Woclienend Magazin, 5/6 December 1981, pp. 1–2; H. Holme et al., Der Spiegel, no. 38, 14 September 1981, pp. 200–16.Google Scholar
  11. 14.
    Sec, for example, K. W. Bird, Weimar, The German Naval Officer Corps and the Rise of National Socialism (Amsterdam, 1971); II. H. Herwig, The German Naval Officer Corps (Oxford, 1973), for the navy. See K. Demeter, The German Officer Corps (London, 1965); and M. Kitchen, The German Officer Corps (Oxford, 1968), for the army. Biographies deal, of course, only with the most exceptional officers. See. J. Kramarz, Stauffenberg (Frankfurt/M., 1965); C. Müller, Oberst i.G. Stauffenberg (Düsseldorf, 1970). For the usefulness of regional studies which, however, do not deal with the army, see W. S. Allen, 77;e Nazi Seizure of Power (Chicago, 1965); J. Noakes, The Nazi Party in Lower Saxony (London, 1971). An attempt to draw the portrait of the ‘typical’ (senior) officer is to be found in J. C. Fest, The Face of the Third Reich, 3rd edn (Harmondsworth: Middlesex, 1979) pp. 355–75.Google Scholar

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© Omer Bartov 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PrincetonUSA

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