Nazi Policy on the Eastern Front, 1941

February 2012
7 black and white, 2 line illustrations
370 pages
9x6 in
Rochester Studies in East and Central Europe
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press
BISAC HIS014000, HIS043000, HIS027100

Nazi Policy on the Eastern Front, 1941

Total War, Genocide, and Radicalization

Alex J. Kay, Jeff Rutherford, David Stahel

eBook for Handhelds
Essays provide current interpretations of Germany's military, economic, racial, and diplomatic policies in 1941.
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.

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Table of Contents

Radicalizing Warfare: The German Command and the Failure of Operation Barbarossa
Urban Warfare Doctrine on the Eastern Front
The Wehrmacht in the War of Ideologies: The Army and Hitler's Criminal Orders on the Eastern Front
"The Purpose of the Russian Campaign Is the Decimation of the Slavic Population by Thirty Million": The Radicalization of German Food Policy in Early 1941
The Radicalization of German Occupation Policies: The Wirtschaftsstab Ost and the 121st Infantry Division in Pavlovsk, 1941
The Exploitation of Foreign Territories and the Discussion of Ostland's Currency in 1941
Axis Collaboration, Operation Barbarossa, and the Holocaust in Ukraine
The Radicalization of Anti-Jewish Policies in Nazi-Occupied Belarus
The Minsk Experience: German Occupiers and Everyday Life in the Capital of Belarus
Extending the Genocidal Program: Did Otto Ohlendorf Initiate the Systematic Extermination of Soviet "Gypsies"?
The Development of German Policy in Occupied France, 1941, against the Backdrop of the War in the East
Conclusion: Total War, Genocide, and Radicalization
Appendix: Comparative Table of Ranks for 1941
Selected Bibliography
List of Contributors


It is to this new, edited collection's great credit that it succeeds in pushing the boundaries of scholarship in this area so significantly. . . . The scope and quality of this book, and its ability to interrelate such an array of complex topics, is extremely impressive. . . . By any measure, then, this book is a highly valuable addition to the literature on this area. CENTRAL EUROPEAN REVIEW

This amazing book is a valuable gift to all those interested in the history of Nazi warfare in the east. . . . It not only updates English-language readers on the most recent developments in German and post-Soviet historiography but also introduces new archival materials and makes important statements bound to produce a powerful impact in various fields. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF HISTORY

The volume contains groundbreaking new contributions and valuable overviews of topics that have already been researched. It also has the special advantage of making primary and secondary sources from other countries, especially Russia and Germany, accessible to the English-speaking world. WAR IN HISTORY

The collection is an important contribution to [scholarship on] German wartime policies in Russia. --Alexander Prusin, Associate Professor of History, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

There can be no doubt about the topic's significance. Seventy years after the beginning of "Operation Barbarossa," misconceptions still prevail among the general public as well as among scholars about the nature and consequences of the German attack on the Soviet Union. . . . The editors of the volume attempt to cover a broad spectrum of German policies, decisions, and reactions as they unfold in and beyond what Christopher Browning has called the "fateful months" in the second half of 1941. All contributors to the volume are experts in their own right and represent a group of young scholars that has the potential to shape the future of the field. --Juergen Matthaus, historian

A superb collection that materially enhances our understanding of the broader Nazi effort in the East; anyone interested in the Soviet-German conflict or the Holocaust will profit from it. JOURNAL OF MILITARY HISTORY

It is most useful to have such expertise bound together in one volume. This is a major work of scholarship. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

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