The Indoctrination of the Wehrmacht: Nazi Ideology and the War Crimes of the German Military | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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The Indoctrination of the Wehrmacht: Nazi Ideology and the War Crimes of the German Military

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The Indoctrination of the Wehrmacht

Nazi Ideology and the War Crimes of the German Military

Bryce Sait

204 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-149-9 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (March 2019)

ISBN  978-1-80073-200-1 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (September 2021)

eISBN 978-1-78920-150-5 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“Sait's work is an exciting read that makes it plausible that political indoctrination within the Wehrmacht had an important influence on the actions of soldiers during the war.” • H-Soz-Kult

“[This book] does significantly further our understanding of the mechanisms and extent of indoctrination within the Wehrmacht. Scholarly and engaging, it deserves the attention of both students and specialists in this area.” • American Historical Review

“Sait has produced an excellent, bounded study of the Nazi apparatus of indoctrination of the German military. His clear focus on the means and intent of the authorities makes this a balanced approach to peeling the onion of perpetrator motivation, both individually and at the organizational level. He addresses elements of the process that seem to be taken for granted by other scholars and, as a result, produces a book that will be appreciated by scholars and advanced students alike.” • Journal of Modern History

“Sait’s examination of the military intentionally feeding Nazi propaganda to its troops during the 1930s and the pre-Barbarossa period addresses a significant gap in the literature…[The author]  has pointed the way forward for further research with this volume.” • German History

“…a valuable addition because it explores how military education interacted with National Socialist ideology in and outside of the barracks.” • Holocaust & Genocide Studies

“This is an important book, one that provides a clear and compelling narrative for readers interested in how the Wehrmacht evolved into a willing tool of the Führer. While it relies heavily on the findings of previous research, Sait’s approach effectively situates these findings within the context of the Wehrmacht’s institutional culture dating back to the beginnings of the Nazi regime.” • Europe Now

The Indoctrination of the Wehrmacht is a well-written piece of work centering on an important topic that has not yet been adequately covered.” • Raffael Scheck, Colby College

“Both Sait’s theoretical framework and methodological approach are convincing and close a research gap that has emerged in the field over the last decade. This book is intellectually fascinating and makes a valuable contribution to our knowledge of the topic.” • Walter Manoschek, University of Vienna


Far from the image of an apolitical, “clean” Wehrmacht that persists in popular memory, German soldiers regularly cooperated with organizations like the SS in the abuse and murder of countless individuals during the Second World War. This in-depth study demonstrates that a key factor in the criminalization of the Wehrmacht was the intense political indoctrination imposed on its members. At the instigation of senior leadership, many ordinary German soldiers and officers became ideological warriors who viewed their enemies in racial and political terms—a project that was but one piece of the broader effort to socialize young men during the Nazi era.

Bryce Sait received his doctorate from Cambridge University, where he was a Commonwealth Scholar. He has taught history at Magdalene College, Cambridge, at St. Andrew’s College, Sydney University, and at the University of Western Sydney.

Subject: History: World War IIGenocide HistoryHistory: 20th Century to Present
Area: Germany


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