- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: February 2021
- Print publication year: 2021
- Online ISBN: 9781108856270
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108856270
In the final year of the Second World War, as bitter defensive fighting moved to German soil, a wave of intra-ethnic violence engulfed the country. Bastiaan Willems offers the first study into the impact and behaviour of the Wehrmacht on its own territory, focusing on the German units fighting in East Prussia and its capital Königsberg. He shows that the Wehrmacht's retreat into Germany, after three years of brutal fighting on the Eastern Front, contributed significantly to the spike of violence which occurred throughout the country immediately prior to defeat. Soldiers arriving with an ingrained barbarised mindset, developed on the Eastern Front, shaped the immediate environment of the area of operations, and of Nazi Germany as a whole. Willems establishes how the norms of the Wehrmacht as a retreating army impacted behavioural patterns on the home front, arguing that its presence increased the propensity to carry out violence in Germany.
Jeff Rutherford - author of Combat and Genocide on the Eastern Front: The German Infantry's War, 1941-1944
Ben H. Shepherd - author of Hitler's Soldiers: The German Army in the Third Reich
Margit Szöllösi-Janze - editor of Science in the Third Reich
Ben H. Shepherd Source: WIH
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