Hitler's Bandit Hunters: The SS and the Nazi Occupation of Europe

Hitler's Bandit Hunters: The SS and the Nazi Occupation of Europe

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by Philip W. Blood
     
 

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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 strategySee more details below

Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“An important book for those interested in World War II and the law of war.”

"Blood breaks new, important ground in better enabling scholars to discern the forest for the trees...[He] has rendered invaluable service in illuminating these issues to a new and unsettling degree."

“…an in-depth and detailed examination of Bandenbekampfung…offers far more insight and detail than a more casual examination, making it a recommended pick for libraries seeking a scholarly reference.”

"This book provides important new insights into the Nazis' concept and practice of security warfare."

". . . .a compelling picture of the links between the Holocaust and the campaigns against 'bandits'."

"A novel and provocative interpretation of German ‘antipartisan’ operations that offers a detailed examination of the theory and practice of Nazi security warfare."

"This book does not make for comfortable reading. It is a meticulous examination of Bandenbekämpfung, a term which has much broader and more pervasive meaning than simply ‘antipartisan warfare’ and which characterized the German approach to security in occupied areas during the Second World War. Philip Blood uses abundant documentary and oral evidence to take us beyond the verdict of Christopher Browning’s ground-breaking Ordinary Men, his study of Reserve Police Battalion 101 in Poland, by examining the policy and structure that enabled ordinary men to do such extraordinarily dreadful things."

militarytrader.com

"This book provides important new insights into the Nazis' concept and practice of security warfare."—militarytrader.com
Midwest Book Review

“An in-depth and detailed examination of Bandenbekampfung…offers far more insight and detail than a more casual examination, making it a recommended pick for libraries seeking a scholarly reference.”—Midwest Book Review
American Historical Review

"Blood breaks new, important ground in better enabling scholars to discern the forest for the trees...[He] has rendered invaluable service in illuminating these issues to a new and unsettling degree."—American Historical Review
Edward B. Westermann

"A novel and provocative interpretation of German ‘antipartisan’ operations that offers a detailed examination of the theory and practice of Nazi security warfare."—Edward B. Westermann, author of Hitler's Police Battallions: Enforcing Racial War in the East
Richard Holmes

"This book does not make for comfortable reading. It is a meticulous examination of Bandenbekämpfung, a term which has much broader and more pervasive meaning than simply ‘antipartisan warfare’ and which characterized the German approach to security in occupied areas during the Second World War. Philip Blood uses abundant documentary and oral evidence to take us beyond the verdict of Christopher Browning’s ground-breaking Ordinary Men, his study of Reserve Police Battalion 101 in Poland, by examining the policy and structure that enabled ordinary men to do such extraordinarily dreadful things."—From the foreword by Richard Holmes
NYMAS Review

“An important book for those interested in World War II and the law of war.”—NYMAS Review

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781597974455
Publisher:
Potomac Books Inc.
Publication date:
10/31/2006
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
509,249
File size:
3 MB

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