By Hannes Heer, Walter Manoschek, Alexander Pollak, Ruth Wodak
How do democratic and pluralistic societies take care of worrying occasions of their previous? What recommendations and taboos are hired to reconstruct wars, revolutions, torturing, mass killings and genocide in the way to make their contradiction to uncomplicated human rights and values invisible? This interdisciplinary quantity analyzes intimately for the 1st time, in a number of genres, the heritage and photo of the "German Wehrmacht" and the debates in Austria and Germany surrounding hugely contested exhibitions concerning the warfare crimes of the German Wehrmacht in the course of WWII.
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Extra info for Discursive Construction of History: The Wehrmacht's War of Annihilation
This suggestion on the part of the military met with such a positive reaction in Berlin that all Einsatzgruppen were encouraged by means of suitable orders to adopt such an approach (see Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung, 2002, p. 94). The equation ‘Jew equals Bolshevik System’, as promulgated through National Socialist propaganda, permeated the perception of soldiers in the East: It is simply impossible to describe what we have experienced. The most satanic and criminal system of all time is the Jewish system in this ‘Soviet paradise’ – it is a paradise for Jews.
93). It was in this vein that Wehrmacht chiefs and divisional commanders formulated their guidelines for the ‘establishment of law and order’. The Wehrmacht commander in Ostland,6 Major General Walter Braeder, drew up the following list: ‘Law and order are endangered by: (a) Bolshevik soldiers and agents (Partisans), whether dispersed or strategically placed in woods and isolated locations; (b) Communist and other radical elements; (c) Jews and those friendly to Jews’ (quoted in Heer, 1995b, p.
In isolated cases, troops even took part in mass executions carried out by special task forces. In the ‘Encyclopedia of National Socialism’, Gerd R. Ueberschär offers this summary: More recent historical research, undertaken in the 1980s and 1990s, on the basis of witness statements, trial records, forces’ letters, personal 22 Wehrmacht and WWII in the War Generation’s Memory journals as well as other documents, leads us to be certain, rather than merely to suspect, that Wehrmacht units took direct part in many massacres carried out as part of the programme of extermination of European Jews, and in other war crimes, especially during the war in the East and in the conquered and occupied regions of Eastern, Southern and SouthEastern Europe, and that it waged in these areas a ruthless war of destruction, such that the Wehrmacht must be seen ultimately as an ‘accomplice to Evil’ and ‘iron-willed guarantor’, and not as the would-be non-political wing of the Nazi state.