Descent into Darkness: The Local Participation of the Wehrmacht in the Holocaust in Belarus, 1941-2 Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2022
  • Beorn, Waitman Wade
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • This study examines how and why the German army become involved in the murder of Jews in the Soviet Union in the context of the Holocaust. Focusing on the involvement of the Wehrmacht in genocide in six local areas, this work details a progression of complicity from improvised participation to the internalization of anti-Jewish measures. Moreover, it explains in detail the myriad ways in which German soldiers aided in and benefited from the murder of Jews in Belarus. This work highlights the critical importance of unit culture and the complex interaction between situational factors, values, and social-psychological forces. It also demonstrates that the antipartisan war (or threat thereof) was intentionally and successfully mobilized to increase the participation of the German Army in the Holocaust. Finally, this dissertation examines in detail the many different relationships between German soldiers and Jews that occurred in the context of the Nazi genocidal project in the East.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of History."
  • Browning, Christopher R.
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  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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