War, Genocide and Cultural Memory: The Waffen-SS, 1933 to Today

Claus Bundgård Christensen, Niels Bo Poulsen, Peter Scharff Smith

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportBogForskningpeer review


This book presents the most comprehensive study of the Waffen-SS until this date. It draws on archival studies done in more than 20 archives in 13 different countries over a period of 5 years. The gathered material comprises a wide-ranging selection of data such as records from the SS, contemporary Allied documents, letters from soldiers, as well as diaries and memoirs. Other major groups of material derive from the investigations into war crimes, from intelligence services and other organisations with a stake in the SS soldiers’ post-war networks and veteran societies. All this diverse data has made it possible to study the Waffen-SS not merely as a hierarchical organisation but as a living organisation made up by human beings. Based on this extensive material the book covers the entire history of the Waffen-SS and follows the post-war fate of the SS-veterans as well. The evolution of the Waffen-SS is analysed with special emphasis on the role of Nazi ideology, war crimes and atrocities, as well as the unique multi-ethnic and transnational character of the organization. The book describes the haphazard, opportunistic and sometimes chaotic growth of the Waffen-SS but also analyses how a constant focus on ideology and a continuous brutalization through commitment of war crimes had a considerable integrative power. The SS managed to form a strong ethos with lasting power both among many of the former SS-soldiers and a greater public audience, documented in the book’s study of the post-war veterans’ culture and the popular cultural memory of the Waffen-SS.
ForlagAnthem Press
Antal sider378
ISBN (Trykt)9781785279669
ISBN (Elektronisk)9781785279676
StatusUdgivet - 2023

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