Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East

Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East

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by Stephen G. Fritz
     
 

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On June 22, 1941, Germany launched the greatest land assault in history on the Soviet Union, an attack that Adolf Hitler deemed crucial to ensure German economic and political survival. As the key theater of the war for the Germans, the eastern front consumed enormous levels of resources and accounted for 75 percent of all German casualties. Despite the

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Overview

On June 22, 1941, Germany launched the greatest land assault in history on the Soviet Union, an attack that Adolf Hitler deemed crucial to ensure German economic and political survival. As the key theater of the war for the Germans, the eastern front consumed enormous levels of resources and accounted for 75 percent of all German casualties. Despite the significance of this campaign to Germany and to the war as a whole, few English-language publications of the last thirty-five years have addressed these pivotal events.

In Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East, Stephen G. Fritz bridges the gap in scholarship by incorporating historical research from the last several decades into an accessible, comprehensive, and coherent narrative. His analysis of the Russo-German War from a German perspective covers all aspects of the eastern front, demonstrating the interrelation of military events, economic policy, resource exploitation, and racial policy that first motivated the invasion. This in-depth account challenges accepted notions about World War II and promotes greater understanding of a topic that has been neglected by historians.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Integrating a variety of factors, Fritz (history, East Tennessee State Univ.; Frontsoldaten: The German Soldier in World War II) writes that the Eastern Front was fiercer than other theaters of war because Hitler saw it as an ideological/racial war that required the physical elimination of Jews, Communists, and Slavs to allow for Lebensraum and the exploitation of resources. He considers the German army as not as innocent as has been portrayed but complicit in the Holocaust and related atrocities; career German officers should have stood up to Hitler. Not based on primary research, this is a synthesis of many secondary sources. Fritz's aim is to study the German perspective on the Eastern Front, touching on the irony, paradox, and complexity of the war. The führer, who did not always appreciate irony or complexity, is the main actor here. VERDICT Serious readers and specialists will most appreciate this book, owing to its analysis and extensive documentation.
From the Publisher

"Stephen Fritz has made a major statement. There are many books dealing with military operations in the East and many others that highlight the atrocities, the murders, and the Holocaust. Not until now has a single volume attempted to incorporate both, seeking the nexus between military operations and mass murder. The result is as complete a history of the German-Soviet war as one could desire, and it is an achievement that is likely to be unequaled for some time to come." -- Robert M. Citino, author of Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942

"Fritz has written a top-flight strategic/operational level analysis of the Russo-German War. His text is solid and impeccably supported." -- Dennis Showalter, author of Hitler's Panzers: The Lightning Attacks that Revolutionized Warfare

"Of all the hundreds of books on the Russian campaign, Mr. Fritz's is the first I have seen that demonstrates the nexus between mass murder and military operations." -- Washington Times

"Stephen Fritz brought to his sources his considerable analytical skills and clarity of expression. The product is a very readable consideration of the European war's most important front, and one that expresses a new understanding of its causes and effects." -- New York Journal of Books

"Fritz seeks to synthesize and build upon earlier scholarship while exclusively focusing on the struggle as seen from Berlin.... Ostkrieg will be a significant addition to any academic library." -- Choice

"It is truly a magnificent work of military history integrating ideological, economic, political, and military dimensions of this theater of war." -- Waterline

"Perfect for instructors and students." -- Teaching History

"An ambitious and impressive synthesis of two vast and often mutually exclusive fields of scholarship: the historiography of the Holocaust and that of the war on the Eastern Front.... [it] should serve as the starting point for all historians and students of World War II interested in the relationship of war and genocide." -- Journal of Military History

"Winner of the inaugural U.S. Commission on Military History's Brigadier General James L. Collins Jr. Book Prize in Military History" --

"We are given a superb vantage point from which to view how the Nazi regime's obsessions trapped Germany into ultimately fatal dilemmas." -- Historian

"I found Ostkreig to be one of the most informative and spellbinding reads that I have experienced in a long time. This is a real page turner as I felt myself cheering for the Russian people in their struggle to just survive from day to day." -- The Lone Star Book Review

"We now have a comprehensive, clearly written and affordable study incorporating recent research on the Eastern front." -- European History Quarterly

"…an achievement that is likely to be unequaled for some time to come." -- McCormick Messenger

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813134161
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
09/08/2011
Pages:
688
Sales rank:
657,559
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.52(h) x 2.15(d)

Meet the Author

Stephen G. Fritz, professor of history at East Tennessee State University, is the author of Frontsoldaten: The German Soldier in World War II and Endkampf: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Death of the Third Reich. He lives in Johnson City, Tennessee.

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