Comrades: The Wehrmacht from Within

ISBN : 9780198797098

Felix Roemer; Alex J. Kay
416 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jun 2019
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Comrades is a new history of the mentalities of ordinary Wehrmacht soldiers, based on recently discovered intelligence records from the American interrogation camp Fort Hunt near Washington, where German prisoners of war were interned and secretly listened in on during the Second World War. US Military Intelligence captured tens of thousands of open conversations between Wehrmacht soldiers and recorded them in verbatim transcripts. The resulting collection offers new insights into the thinking and worldviews of ordinary members of Hitler's armed forces - their attitudes towards National Socialism and the 'Fuhrer', their views of the war and their experiences during the fighting, and their knowledge of and participation in war crimes and the Holocaust. The accompanying biographical information reveals how their mindsets were connected to their individual paths through the Third Reich, the Wehrmacht, and the war. The book offers a nuanced and realistic account of life in the Wehrmacht, based on unique source material, which allows us to see the Second World War through the eyes of the protagonists.


1 Introduction
2 Captivity
3 Ideology
4 Soldierly Ethos
5 Comradeship
6 Fighting Spirit
7 Troop Leaders
8 Fighting and Killing
9 War Crimes
10 Conclusion

About the author: 

Felix Romer is a research fellow in modern history at the German Historical Institute London. He has published widely on the history of National Socialism, the Third Reich and its military, and the Second World War. His book publications include Der Kommissarbefehl: Wehrmacht und NS-Verbrechen an der Ostfront (2008), Kameraden: Die Wehrmacht von innen (2012), and Die narzisstische Volksgemeinschaft: Theodor Habichts Kampf 1914 bis 1944 (2017).; Alex J. Kay received his PhD from the Humboldt University, Berlin, in 2005. Since 2014 he has been Senior Academic Project Coordinator of the 16-volume source edition The Persecution and Murder of the European Jews by Nazi Germany, 1933-1945 at the Institute of Contemporary History Munich-Berlin. Dr Kay has published widely on twentieth century German history, especially Nazi annihilation and food policies. He is author of The Making of an SS Killer: The Life of Colonel Alfred Filbert, 1905-1990 (2016) and Exploitation, Resettlement, Mass Murder: Political and Economic Planning for German Occupation Policy in the Soviet Union, 1940-1941 (2006). He is co-translator of The First World War and the End of the Habsburg Monarchy, 1914-1918 (2014) and he was awarded the Journal of Contemporary History's first George L. Mosse Prize in 2006.

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