In August 1942, Hitler directed all German state institutions to assist Heinrich Himmler, the chief of the SS and the German police, in eradicating armed resistance in the newly occupied territories of Eastern Europe and Russia. The directive for “combating banditry” (Bandenbekämpfung), became the third component of the Nazi regime’s three-part strategy for German national security, with genocide (Endlösung der Judenfrage, or “the Final Solution of the Jewish Question”) and slave labor (Erfassung, or “Registration of Persons to Hard Labor”) being the better-known others.An original and thought-provoking work grounded in extensive research in German archives, Hitler’s Bandit Hunters focuses on this counterinsurgency campaign, the anvil of Hitler’s crusade for empire. Bandenbekämpfung portrayed insurgents as political and racial bandits, criminalized to a greater degree than enemies of the state; moreover, violence against them was not constrained by the prevailing laws of warfare. Philip Blood explains how German forces embraced the Bandenbekämpfung doctrine, demonstrating the equal culpability of both the SS police forces and the “heroic” Waffen-SS combat arm and shattering the contrived postwar distinctions between them. He challenges the traditional view of Himmler as an armchair general and bureaucrat, exposing him as the driving force behind one of the most successful security campaigns in history, and delves into the contentious issue of the complicity of ordinary German police, soldiers, and citizens, as well as the citizens of occupied territories, in these state-sponsored manhunts. This book provokes new debates on the Nazi terrorization of Europe, the blind acquiescence of many, and the courageous resistance of the few.
Phillip W. Blood
Brand: Potomac Books Inc.
Used Book in Good Condition
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Hitler discussed Lebensraum in his MEIN KAMPF. (p. 97). However, the concept long predated Hitler. For instance, around the time of WWI, various German thinkers thought in terms of Germans colonizing surrounding territories and cleansing them racially of their current inhabitants. (p. xiii).
During WWII, Jews were not the only ones facing systematic racism. Thus, the Nazis referred to Russians as "Europe's Negro", etc. (p. 100). Escaped British or American POWs, who were Slavs or French, were automatically put to death in accordance with PLAN KUGEL. (p. 118).
Although some members of all nationalities collaborated with the Nazis, the scale of Ukrainian-Nazi collaboration was staggering. In November 1942, in German-occupied Russia, Hans-Adolf Prutzmann had at his disposal 15,665 Ukrainian Schuma (Schutzmannschaften) and 55,094 full-time and part-time Ukrainian Hilfspolizei. (pp. 131-132).
The author inadvertently attests to the relatively low rate of...
Libraries strong in World War II history will find this an in-depth and detailed examination of Bandenbekampfung, a team which represented the German approach to security in occupied areas during World War II. Special military libraries will find the detail and depth satisfying and unique, with documentary and oral evidence considering policies, structures, and politics like. HITLER'S BANDIT HUNTERS: THE SS AND THE NAZI OCCUPATION OF EUROPE offers far more insight and detail than a more casual examination, making it a recommended pick for libraries seeking a scholarly reference.
Diane C. Donovan California Bookwatch
This is a thoroughly researched book, closer to an academic study than a book for the general reader. I simply did not get his overall point, so three stars. Perhaps a reader more versed in German than my one class would better understand it. Blood goes into some detail on the particular meanings of some of the terms Germans used to describe looking for bandits; the word "bandit" is more or less neutral in English, but the German terms he explores have a sense closer to "vermin." The difference is major. One can capture and jail and perhaps even reform bandits, but vermin are to be destroyed.
Blood makes some interesting and eye-opening connections. He describes previous German repression of guerillas in the Franco-Prussian War, in some incidents in the first world war and particularly, repression of African rebels in Namibia. The tendency was to regard rebels as not just breakers of laws, but as vermin. Blood argues that the people considered bandits were...
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