The Death Marches: The Final Phase of Nazi Genocide

The Death Marches: The Final Phase of Nazi Genocide

by Daniel Blatman
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674050495

ISBN-13: 9780674050495

Pub. Date: 01/03/2011

Publisher: Harvard University Press

From January 1945, in the last months of the Third Reich, about 250,000 inmates of concentration camps perished on death marches and in countless incidents of mass slaughter. They were murdered with merciless brutality by their SS guards, by army and police units, and often by gangs of civilians as they passed through German and Austrian towns and villages. Even in

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Overview

From January 1945, in the last months of the Third Reich, about 250,000 inmates of concentration camps perished on death marches and in countless incidents of mass slaughter. They were murdered with merciless brutality by their SS guards, by army and police units, and often by gangs of civilians as they passed through German and Austrian towns and villages. Even in the bloody annals of the Nazi regime, this final death blow was unique in character and scope.

In this first comprehensive attempt to answer the questions raised by this final murderous rampage, the author draws on the testimonies of victims, perpetrators, and bystanders. Hunting through archives throughout the world, Daniel Blatman sets out to explain—to the extent that is possible—the effort invested by mankind’s most lethal regime in liquidating the remnants of the enemies of the “Aryan race” before it abandoned the stage of history. What were the characteristics of this last Nazi genocide? How was it linked to the earlier stages, the slaughter of millions in concentration camps? How did the prevailing chaos help to create the conditions that made the final murderous rampage possible?

In its exploration of a topic nearly neglected in the current history of the Shoah, this book offers unusual insight into the workings, and the unraveling, of the Nazi regime. It combines micro-historical accounts of representative massacres with an overall analysis of the collapse of the Third Reich, helping us to understand a seemingly inexplicable chapter in history.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674050495
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
01/03/2011
Edition description:
Translatio
Pages:
592
Product dimensions:
6.98(w) x 11.32(h) x 1.42(d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations ix

Introduction 1

I The System Disintegrates

1 The Concentration Camps, 1933-1944 17

2 The Circumstances of Evacuation 51

3 Waves of Violence and Acts of Annihilation 73

4 Administrative Chaos and the Last Order 126

5 Murder Is Rampant 155

6 Dead Men Marching 297

II Criminal Communities

7 A Society in Collapse 247

8 Marched toward Gardelegen 272

9 The Burning Barn 315

10 After the Flames 343

11 The Murderers 367

Conclusion 407

Notes 435

Bibliography 517

Acknowledgments 545

Index 549

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