Abstract

The records of a German air force security battalion operating in the primeval forest of Białowieża (Eastern Poland) open a window onto Nazi colonization policy and the Holocaust. Using the battalion's documentation from the period 1942–1944, the author argues that Nazi Bandenbekämpfung (banditry-combating) was central to Hitler's occupation in the East after the first wave of killings in the summer of 1941. The continued killings by Luftwaffe forces implicate German troops long assumed not to have been involved in implementing Nazi racial policies. The contemporary reports discussed here describe the widespread murder of Jews, partisans, and other civilians, and shed new light on how Nazi dogma shaped the behavior of the ordinary soldier.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1476-7937
Print ISSN
8756-6583
Pages
pp. 247-272
Launched on MUSE
2010-08-14
Open Access
No
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