Marching into Darkness: The Wehrmacht and the Holocaust in Belarus

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9780674725508: Marching into Darkness: The Wehrmacht and the Holocaust in Belarus

On October 10, 1941, the entire Jewish population of the Belarusian village of Krucha was rounded up and shot. While Nazi death squads routinely carried out mass executions on the Eastern Front, this particular atrocity was not the work of the SS but was committed by a regular German army unit acting on its own initiative. Marching into Darkness is a bone-chilling exposé of the ordinary footsoldiers who participated in the Final Solution on a daily basis.

Although scholars have exploded the myth that the Wehrmacht played no significant part in the Holocaust, a concrete picture of its involvement at the local level has been lacking. Among the crimes Waitman Wade Beorn unearths are forced labor, sexual violence, and graverobbing, though a few soldiers refused to participate and even helped Jews. By meticulously reconstructing the German army's activities in Belarus in 1941, Marching into Darkness reveals in stark detail how the army willingly fulfilled its role as an agent of murder on a massive scale. Early efforts at improvised extermination progressively became much more methodical, with some army units going so far as to organize "Jew hunts." Beorn also demonstrates how the Wehrmacht used the pretense of anti-partisan warfare as a subterfuge by reporting murdered Jews as partisans.

Through archival research into military and legal records, survivor testimonies, and eyewitness interviews, Beorn paints a searing portrait of a professional army's descent into ever more intimate participation in genocide.

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About the Author:

Dr. Waitman Wade Beorn is Director of the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond.

Review:

Winner of the 2012 Thomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize

The Thomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize is awarded to an author's first book manuscript, approved for publication by the Board of Syndics of Harvard University Press in a given calendar year, that is judged outstanding in content, style, and mode of presentation.

The author's mastery of his or her field of interest and ability to fit his or her special contribution into some major problem in that field are a determining factor in the award of the prize. Eligible books are judged in terms of effective achievement of the author's purpose.

"Marching into Darkness illuminates the shadowy details of the Wehrmacht's complicity in the Holocaust. Beorn's study is a significant achievement and offers a compelling narrative to better understand how German soldiers became entangled, willingly or not, in the Final Solution. His work also provides an important link connecting the scholarship on the Holocaust to that on the Eastern Front." Kenneth Slepyan, Journal of Holocaust and Genocide Studies

"Proposing a broad notion of complicity that includes knowledge about, and explicit or implicit approval of the genocidal project, Waitman Wade Beorn's meticulously researched and intriguingly well-written case study on the murderous activities of Wehrmacht units
in Belarus is, to date, the most convincing, most complex, and in the English language certainly the most important contribution to this crucial area of Holocaust history, of military history, and of German history." Prof. Thomas Kühne, American Historical Review

"Yet, the ordeal of many victims remains untold while many perpetrators have never been exposed or brought to justice. Waitman W. Beorn takes us to the intersection of institutional involvement, individual agency, collective action and tremendous suffering in his hard-hitting microhistory of the Holocaust in Belarus 1941." Christoph Rass, European History Quarterly

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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On October 10, 1941, the entire Jewish population of the Belarusian village of Krucha was rounded up and shot. While Nazi death squads routinely carried out mass executions on the Eastern Front, this particular atrocity was not the work of the SS but was committed by a regular German army unit acting on its own initiative. Marching into Darkness is a bone-chilling expose of the ordinary footsoldiers who participated in the Final Solution on a daily basis. Although scholars have exploded the myth that the Wehrmacht played no significant part in the Holocaust, a concrete picture of its involvement at the local level has been lacking. Among the crimes Waitman Wade Beorn unearths are forced labor, sexual violence, and graverobbing, though a few soldiers refused to participate and even helped Jews. By meticulously reconstructing the German army s activities in Belarus in 1941, Marching into Darkness reveals in stark detail how the army willingly fulfilled its role as an agent of murder on a massive scale. Early efforts at improvised extermination progressively became much more methodical, with some army units going so far as to organize Jew hunts. Beorn also demonstrates how the Wehrmacht used the pretense of anti-partisan warfare as a subterfuge by reporting murdered Jews as partisans. Through archival research into military and legal records, survivor testimonies, and eyewitness interviews, Beorn paints a searing portrait of a professional army s descent into ever more intimate participation in genocide. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780674725508

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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On October 10, 1941, the entire Jewish population of the Belarusian village of Krucha was rounded up and shot. While Nazi death squads routinely carried out mass executions on the Eastern Front, this particular atrocity was not the work of the SS but was committed by a regular German army unit acting on its own initiative. Marching into Darkness is a bone-chilling expose of the ordinary footsoldiers who participated in the Final Solution on a daily basis. Although scholars have exploded the myth that the Wehrmacht played no significant part in the Holocaust, a concrete picture of its involvement at the local level has been lacking. Among the crimes Waitman Wade Beorn unearths are forced labor, sexual violence, and graverobbing, though a few soldiers refused to participate and even helped Jews. By meticulously reconstructing the German army s activities in Belarus in 1941, Marching into Darkness reveals in stark detail how the army willingly fulfilled its role as an agent of murder on a massive scale. Early efforts at improvised extermination progressively became much more methodical, with some army units going so far as to organize Jew hunts. Beorn also demonstrates how the Wehrmacht used the pretense of anti-partisan warfare as a subterfuge by reporting murdered Jews as partisans. Through archival research into military and legal records, survivor testimonies, and eyewitness interviews, Beorn paints a searing portrait of a professional army s descent into ever more intimate participation in genocide. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780674725508

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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. On October 10, 1941, the entire Jewish population of the Belarusian village of Krucha was rounded up and shot. While Nazi death squads routinely carried out mass executions on the Eastern Front, this particular atrocity was not the work of the SS but was committed by a regular German army unit acting on its own initiative. Marching into Darkness is a bone-chilling expose of the ordinary footsoldiers who participated in the Final Solution on a daily basis. Although scholars have exploded the myth that the Wehrmacht played no significant part in the Holocaust, a concrete picture of its involvement at the local level has been lacking. Among the crimes Waitman Wade Beorn unearths are forced labor, sexual violence, and graverobbing, though a few soldiers refused to participate and even helped Jews. By meticulously reconstructing the German army s activities in Belarus in 1941, Marching into Darkness reveals in stark detail how the army willingly fulfilled its role as an agent of murder on a massive scale. Early efforts at improvised extermination progressively became much more methodical, with some army units going so far as to organize Jew hunts. Beorn also demonstrates how the Wehrmacht used the pretense of anti-partisan warfare as a subterfuge by reporting murdered Jews as partisans. Through archival research into military and legal records, survivor testimonies, and eyewitness interviews, Beorn paints a searing portrait of a professional army s descent into ever more intimate participation in genocide. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780674725508

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