Hitler's African Victims: The German Army Massacres of Black French Soldiers in 1940

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During its campaign against France in 1940, the German army massacred several thousand black POWs belonging to units drafted in France's West African colonies. Documenting these war crimes on the basis of extensive research in French and German archives, Raffael Scheck advances a nuanced interpretation of the motivation for the massacres. Reviving traditional images of black soldiers as mutilating savages, a massive Nazi Propaganda offensive approved by Hitler, created their rationale. The treatment of black French POWs remained, however, suprisingly inconsistent, with abuses often triggered by certain combat situations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...this book represents investigative history at its best.... [it] not only rescues from near historical oblivion the fate of African soldiers on the Western front, it also offers a comprehensive and convincing analytical framework to explain German massacres. The book is also well-written and tightly argued... this impressive study represents essential reading for anybody interested in the history of the Second World War, Nazi Germany, and racist violence in the twentieth century more generally. If the significance of a new monograph can be measured according to the extent in which it compels us to revise our standard narratives, then this study succeeds brilliantly."
- H-German, Frank Biess, Department of History, University of California-San Diego

"...this book represents investigative history at its best." -Frank Biess, H-German, H-War

"...a well-written example of proficient historical work." -Yannick Cormier

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521730617
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/5/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 1,478,169
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Raffael Scheck is Associate Professor for Modern European History at Colby College, where he has been teaching since 1994. He received his Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 1993. He is the author of two other books, Alfred von Tirpitz and German Right-Wing Politics, 1914–1930 (1998) and Mothers of the Nation: Right-Wing Women in Weimar Germany (2004). Professor Scheck has published over a dozen articles on German right-wing politics, Swiss funding for Hitler, and the history of childhood.

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Table of Contents

1. The fate of black French soldiers in 1940; 2. The origin and evolution of the prejudice; 3. Ideological and situational factors; 4. Implications.

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