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Hitler's Bandit Hunters: The SS and the Nazi Occupation of Europe


Hitler's Bandit Hunters: The SS and the Nazi Occupation of Europe Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In August 1942, Hitler directed all German state institutions to assist Heinrich Himmler, the chief of the SS and the German police, in eradicating armed resistance in the newly occupied territories of Eastern Europe and Russia. The directive for “combating banditry” (Bandenbekämpfung), became the third component of the Nazi regimes three-part strategy for German national security, with genocide (Endlösung der Judenfrage, or “the Final Solution of the Jewish Question”) and slave labor (Erfassung, or “Registration of Persons to Hard Labor”) being the better-known others. An original and thought-provoking work grounded in extensive research in German archives, Hitlers Bandit Hunters focuses on this counterinsurgency campaign, the anvil of Hitlers crusade for empire. Bandenbekämpfung portrayed insurgents as political and racial bandits, criminalized to a greater degree than enemies of the state; moreover, violence against them was not constrained by the prevailing laws of warfare. Philip Blood explains how German forces embraced the Bandenbekämpfung doctrine, demonstrating the equal culpability of both the SS police forces and the “heroic” Waffen-SS combat arm and shattering the contrived postwar distinctions between them. He challenges the traditional view of Himmler as an armchair general and bureaucrat, exposing him as the driving force behind one of the most successful security campaigns in history, and delves into the contentious issue of the complicity of ordinary German police, soldiers, and citizens, as well as the citizens of occupied territories, in these state-sponsored manhunts. This book provokes new debates on the Nazi terrorization of Europe, the blind acquiescence of many, and the courageous resistance of the few.

Book News Annotation:

Blood (formerly of the U. of Aachen, Germany) analyzes the shift in Nazi military operational doctrine from Partisanenbekämpfung (the combating of partisans) to Bandenbekämpfung (the combating of bandits), in occupied territories of Eastern Europe and Russia for the period 1942-45. He shows how the shift from labeling resistance "partisans" to "bandits," a shift rooted in earlier German military and political thinking, was far more than simply a semantic change. By placing resistance in the category of "bandits" and formulating military doctrine in accordance, Heinrich Himmler unleashed extraordinary brutality and discarded many of the prevailing laws of warfare. Blood traces Bandenbekämpfung from its origins through its formulation and implementation. Distributed by Books International. This is a paperback reprint of the 2006 original edition. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

The SS and the Nazi Occupation of Europe
Blood, Philip W.
Foreword by:
Holmes, Richard
Holmes, Richard
Blood, Phillip W.
Potomac Books
Military - World War II
Europe - Germany
Military-World War II General
General History
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
9 x 6 in 1.44 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » Europe » General
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » General
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » Germany
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » World History » Germany » General

Hitler's Bandit Hunters: The SS and the Nazi Occupation of Europe New Trade Paper
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Product details 424 pages Potomac Books Inc. - English 9781597971577 Reviews:
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