This essay reconstructs the activities of the German Security Police (SiPo) and Security Service (SD) field office in Generalbezirk Kiew—the German administrative unit carved out of the Kiev and Poltava provinces in Ukraine. It sheds light on the role of the SiPo/SD in the mass murder of Soviet citizens and on the social and psychological profile of its functionaries. The latter ranged from dedicated zealots to "ordinary men," but all fulfilled their murderous tasks.
Contrary to some scholars' assertions, material shortages in wartime France did not lead ordinary citizens to become indifferent to the Jews' plight. Rather, the author maintains, the material situation influenced local application of the Vichy regime's antisemitic laws and shaped relationships between natives and Jewish refugees. Officials in the Limousin region used the urban housing crisis touched off by the influx of refugees to justify evictions of foreign Jews and their expulsion to rural areas. Authorities in the small towns and villages, for their part, accused these Jews of driving the black market. However, ordinary citizens usually proved more pragmatic than ideological in their interactions with Jews.
In the early twentieth century, German natural scientists carried out sophisticated studies based on empirical research methods. The Nazis sought to situate their racism in this tradition. They were supported by many scientists, who thereby conferred legitimacy on Nazi racism. Even today some historical works imply that Nazi racist ideas were in line with scientific understandings of the time. However, the following examination of the work of Otmar von Verschuer, a leading Germany hereditary pathologist of the 1930s through the 1950s, and a key proponent of Nazi racial policies, shows this view to be ill-grounded: Nazi racist ideology was not "scientifically valid" even as the term was then understood.
In the aftermath of World War II, adults—mainly survivors—collected thousands of hand-written testimonies from child survivors of the Holocaust. In this article, the author describes the process by which the testimonies were collected and examines the underlying sensibilities of its initiators. Further, he outlines the widespread publication of children's testimonies in the immediate postwar period and the evolution of anthologies of children's testimonies. His analysis sheds new light on the social, cultural, and historical facets of the post-Holocaust Jewish world's interest in the experience of child survivors.
During their occupation of the North Caucasus in late 1942 the German forces found themselves in control of several thousand members of a little-known ethnic group called the Mountain Jews. The Nazi authorities were uncertain, however, whether these were actually "racially" Jews, and let themselves become involved in a drawn-out discussion of the question. Prior to their retreat in 1943 the Germans killed hundreds of the Mountain Jews, but the majority of those who had come under occupation survived thanks to the Germans' hesitation.