Advertisement

Indoctrination and the Need for a Cause

  • Omer Bartov
Part of the St Antony’s book series

Abstract

The war against the Soviet Union was described by the leaders of the Third Reich as a ‘Weltanschauungskrieg’, that is, a war of ideologies. In seeking the causes for the barbarisation of German troops on the Eastern Front it is therefore essential to examine the role played by political indoctrination among the combat elements of the army during the war. To what extent did National Socialist ideology motivate the individual soldier both in fighting the Red Army and in carrying out acts of brutality against POWs, partisans and civilians? Was there an essential difference between the war in the East and other fronts or other wars? In short, was this also an ideological, almost religious war from the point of view of the individuals at the front, and can this be seen as one of the major factors contributing to its ferocity and brutality?

Keywords

German People Nazi Party German Army Educational Officer German Soldier 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and References

  1. 6.
    D. Hollstein, Anti-semitische Filmpropaganda (München-Pullach, 1971)Google Scholar
  2. D. S. Hull, Film in the Third Reich (Berkeley: California, 1969)Google Scholar
  3. 64.
    H. Boberach (ed), Meldungen aus dem Reich (Neuwied, 1965) pp. 47–8.Google Scholar
  4. 65.
    S. Sontag, ‘Fascinating Fascism’, in her Under the Sign of Saturn 7th edn (New York, 1981) pp. 73–105.Google Scholar
  5. 88.
    G. L. Mosse, The Crisis of German Ideology (New York, 1964)Google Scholar
  6. F. Stern, The Politics of Cultural Despair (Berkeley: California, 1961).Google Scholar
  7. 92.
    P. Bucher, Der Reichswehrprozess (Boppard am Rhein, 1967).Google Scholar
  8. H. Becker, German Youth: Bond or Free (London, 1946)Google Scholar
  9. A. D. Beyerchen, Scientists under Hitler (New Haven, London, 1977)Google Scholar
  10. J. Caplan, ‘The Civil Servant in the Third Reich’ (Oxford Univ. D. Phil. thesis, 1973)Google Scholar
  11. H. Seier, Der Rektor als Führer, zur Hochschulpolitik des Reichserziehungsministeriums 1934–45’, VfZ, XII (1964) 105–46Google Scholar
  12. G. Ziemer, Education for Death (London, 1941).Google Scholar
  13. 119.
    G. Pedrocini, Les Mutinerie de 1917 (Paris, 1976)Google Scholar
  14. 123.
    E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Theories of Primitive Religion, 8th edn (Oxford, 1977) p. 7.Google Scholar
  15. 124.
    Quoted in R. Needham, Belief, Language and Experience (Oxford, 1972) p. 7.Google Scholar
  16. 132.
    P. Fussel, The Great War and Modern Memory 3rd edn (Oxford, 1979) p. 115.Google Scholar
  17. 137.
    M. I. Gurfein and M. Janowitz, ‘Trends in Wehrmacht Morale’, in D. Lerner (ed.), Propaganda in War and Crisis (New York, 1951) pp. 200–8; Shils/Janowitz, ‘Cohesion and Disintegration’, p. 304.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Omer Bartov 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Omer Bartov
    • 1
  1. 1.PrincetonUSA

Personalised recommendations