In examining one of the defining events of the twentieth century, Doris L. Bergen situates the Holocaust in its historical, political, social, cultural, and military contexts. Unlike many other treatments of the Holocaust, the revised, second edition of War and Genocide discusses not only the persecution of the Jews, but also other segments of society victimized by the Nazis: gypsies, homosexuals, Poles, Soviet POWs, the handicapped, and other groups deemed undesirable. In clear and eloquent prose, Bergen explores the two interconnected goals that drove the Nazi German program of conquest and genocide—purification of the so-called Aryan race and expansion of its living space—and discusses how these goals affected the course of World War II. Including first hand accounts from perpetrators, victims, and eyewitnesses, the book is immediate, human, and eminently readable.
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In War of Annihilation, noted military historian Geoffrey P. Megargee provides a clear, concise history of the Germans' opening campaign of conquest and genocide in 1941. By drawing on the best of military and Holocaust scholarship, Megargee dispels the myths that have distorted the role of Germany's military leadership in both the military operations themselves and the unthinkable crimes that were part of them.
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.
This volume comprises 11 essays--most of them revised versions of lectures given 1996-1997 at the Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg--by German historians of the younger generation (all born since 1951). The purpose of the lecture series was to "leave behind the stale and rigid terms of Holocaust scholarship and public discussion of the issue" (from the editor's foreword). The essays, focusing on Poland, the Soviet Union, Serbia, and France, aim to identify the impulses that drove German activities in each area and to identify how various political goals and ideological convictions combined to produce policy. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Entries address topics related to genocide, crimes against humanity and peace, and human rights violations; profile perpetrators including Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, and Idi Amin; and discuss institutions set up to prosecute these crimes in countries around the world.
Genocide not only annihilates people but also destroys and reorganizes social relations, using terror as a method. In Genocide as Social Practice, social scientist Daniel Feierstein looks at the policies of state-sponsored repression pursued by the Argentine military dictatorship against political opponents between 1976 and 1983 and those pursued by the Third Reich between 1933 and 1945. He finds similarities, not in the extent of the horror but in terms of the goals of the perpetrators. The Nazis resorted to ruthless methods in part to stifle dissent but even more importantly to reorganize German society into a Volksgemeinschaft, or people’s community, in which racial solidarity would supposedly replace class struggle. The situation in Argentina echoes this. After seizing power in 1976, the Argentine military described its own program of forced disappearances, torture, and murder as a “process of national reorganization” aimed at remodeling society on “Western and Christian” lines. For Feierstein, genocide can be considered a technology of power—a form of social engineering—that creates, destroys, or reorganizes relationships within a given society. It influences the ways in which different social groups construct their identity and the identity of others, thus shaping the way that groups interrelate. Feierstein establishes continuity between the “reorganizing genocide” first practiced by the Nazis in concentration camps and the more complex version—complex in terms of the symbolic and material closure of social relationships —later applied in Argentina. In conclusion, he speculates on how to construct a political culture capable of confronting and resisting these trends. First published in Argentina, in Spanish, Genocide as Social Practice has since been translated into many languages, now including this English edition. The book provides a distinctive and valuable look at genocide through the lens of Latin America as well as Europe.
Genocide occurs in every time period and on every continent. Using the 1948 U.N. definition of genocide as its departure point, this book examines the main episodes in the history of genocide from the beginning of human history to the present. Norman M. Naimark lucidly shows that genocide both changes over time, depending on the character of major historical periods, and remains the same in many of its murderous dynamics. He examines cases of genocide as distinct episodes of mass violence, but also in historical connection with earlier episodes. Unlike much of the literature in genocide studies, Naimark argues that genocide can also involve the elimination of targeted social and political groups, providing an insightful analysis of communist and anti-communist genocide. He pays special attention to settler (sometimes colonial) genocide as a subject of major concern, illuminating how deeply the elimination of indigenous peoples, especially in Africa, South America, and North America, influenced recent historical developments. At the same time, the "classic" cases of genocide in the twentieth Century - the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, Rwanda, and Bosnia -- are discussed, together with recent episodes in Darfur and Congo.
Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 and events on the Eastern Front that same year were pivotal to the history of World War II. It was during this year that the radicalization of Nazi policy -- through both an all-encompassing approach to warfare and the application of genocidal practices -- became most obvious. Germany's military aggression and overtly ideological conduct, culminating in genocide against Soviet Jewry and the decimation of the Soviet population through planned starvation and brutal antipartisan policies, distinguished Operation Barbarossa-the code name for the German invasion of the Soviet Union-from all previous military campaigns in modern European history. This collection of essays, written by young scholars of seven different nationalities, provides readers with the most current interpretations of Germany's military, economic, racial, and diplomatic policies in 1941. With its breadth and its thematic focus on total war, genocide, and radicalization, this volume fills a considerable gap in English-language literature on Germany's war of annihilation against the Soviet Union and the radicalization of World War II during this critical year. Alex J. Kay is the author of Exploitation, Resettlement, Mass Murder: Political and Economic Planning for German Occupation Policy in the Soviet Union, 1940-1941 and is an independent contractor for the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Research on War Consequences. Jeff Rutherford is assistant professor of history at Wheeling Jesuit University, where he teaches modern European history. David Stahel is the author of Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East and Kiev 1941: Hitler's Battle for Supremacy in the East.