Hitler's Army: Soldiers, Nazis, and War in the Third Reich

Omer Bartov, Author Oxford University Press, USA $30 (256p) ISBN 978-0-19-506879-5
With liberal quotes from letters, diaries and military reports, Bartov successfully challenges the notion that the German army during WW II was apolitical and reveals how thoroughly permeated it was by Nazi ideology. Focusing on ordinary German soldiers on the Eastern front, he shows how government propaganda and indoctrination motivated the troops not only to fight well but to commit unprecedented crimes against humanity. This institutionalized brainwashing revolved around two interrelated elements: the radical demonization of the Soviet enemy and the deification of the fuhrer. Consequently, most of the troops believed the war in the Eastern theater was a struggle to dam the Jewish/Bolshevik/Asiatic flood that threatened Western civilization. This scholarly paper by a junior fellow with the Society of Fellows, Harvard University, demonstrates how Germany's soldiers were transformed into brutal instruments of a barbarous policy. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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