The German Army and Genocide

Crimes Against War Prisoners, Jews, and Other Civilians, 1939–1944

An astonishing visual exposé of the German Army’s crimes in World War II

“Devastating.” —Neal Ascherson, author of Black Sea

For the better part of fifty years, the powerful German army of World War II has been seen as an organization of consummate skill and honor, one that had little in common with the criminal policies and ideology of the Nazi regime. Fascinating and unforgettable, The German Army and Genocide explodes that myth. Through newly discovered documents and hundreds of astonishing photographs culled from archives all across Europe, The German Army and Genocide reveals that the nearly twenty million soldiers who passed through the feared Wehrmacht (the German army) were subjected to a massive ideological indoctrination, and that many were involved in widespread crimes against civilians and prisoners of war, acting both on orders by their superiors and—in many instances—on their own initiative. Based on a three-year German exhibit that sparked riots and heated controversy throughout the country, The German Army and Genocide features harrowing photographs taken by the soldiers themselves (often gleeful) of massacres, hangings, and torture; official army documents directing military units to murder Jewish communities; private letters written home, such as one from a young soldier who boasts that his unit had killed 1,000 Jews, adding, “and that was not enough” and military directives that definitively prove close collaboration between the SS and the regular army throughout the war.