Occupation and Insurgency: A Selective Examination of the Hague and Geneva Conventions on the Eastern Front, 1939-1945

Occupation and Insurgency: A Selective Examination of the Hague and Geneva Conventions on the Eastern Front, 1939-1945

Occupation and Insurgency: A Selective Examination of the Hague and Geneva Conventions on the Eastern Front, 1939-1945

Occupation and Insurgency: A Selective Examination of the Hague and Geneva Conventions on the Eastern Front, 1939-1945

Excerpt

This book focuses upon German racial policy as instituted with the establishment of the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 and for the duration of the Third Reich under Adolf Hitler until 1945. It shows how this policy and collective mindset amongst the German officer corps and the supreme leadership hindered the development of an effective, timely, and unilateral counterinsurgency policy for the German armed forces in the Soviet Union, as well as their violations of applicable international laws which governed the conduct of the war in the east.

The reader will become quite familiar with the terms “counterinsurgency” and “insurgent.” Counterinsurgency is, simply put, the efforts by conventional military or paramilitary forces to counter the activities of “irregulars” (civilians operating in a paramilitary or terrorist role), whether they be “partisans,” “terrorists” or “guerrillas” (see Colin D. Heaton, German Anti-Partisan Warfare in Europe, 1939-1945 for these legal distinctions) and to establish an environment of perceived stability according to existing civil or military law.

The ruthless nature of the National Socialist racial policies and propaganda contributed heavily to the military’s perception of the conquered Soviet peoples; their ingrained belief in the Rassenfeind (racial enemy) and German superiority were both factors which contributed to a false sense of security, thereby providing the military with a flawed self-perception and sense of invincibility.

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