In many testimonies on mass murders of Jews by SS and German police units in the East, witnesses and perpetrators mention that alcohol was present or that the killers were intoxicated. In fact, it is clear from available evidence that alcohol—normally in the form of vodka or schnapps—was often available at murder sites. Despite the ubiquity of its presence, however, there has been little scholarly analysis concerning the use of alcohol or its role in the process of mass murder. This article examines the ways in which SS and police leaders used alcohol in the occupied Eastern territories, as well as the role played by alcohol in genocide. In offering insights into the use of alcohol by perpetrators during the Shoah, the study may provide insight into the role of alcohol in the conduct of other atrocities.


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pp. 1-19
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