DA - History and Area Studies

Historisches Abkürzungslexikon [Dictionary of Historical Abbreviations]. Peter- Johannes Schuler. Rev. 1st ed. Stuttgart: Steiner, 2009. xxvi, 430 p. ill. 17 cm. (Historische Grundwissenschaften in Einzeldarstellungen, 4). ISBN 978-3- 515-09138-1: EUR 26

The first edition was printed in 2007, but because of numerous typographical errors, it was withdrawn. This revised first edition proves a useful tool for all who carry out research in historical texts and the abbreviations that arise in them. A section devoted to German abbreviations, including those for correspondence, administration, concepts, institutions, and organizations, is followed by separate sections for Latin and foreign abbreviations as well as for weights, measures, numbers, and formats. Even with its restriction to the 20th century primarily, however, this lexicon still must be selective. Those interested in specialties such as numismatics or funeral sermons will need to consult special dictionaries, such as the Handbuch der Maße, Zahlen, Gewichte und der Zeitrechnung (see RREA 11:217). [wla/rlk]

Atlas der Vorgeschichte: Europa von den ersten Menschen bis Christi Geburt [Atlas of Prehistory: Europe from the First Humans up to the Birth of Christ]. Ed. Siegmar von Schnurbein. Stuttgart: Theiss, 2009. [2d, corrected ed. 2010] 237 p. ill. 32 cm. ISBN 978-3-8062-2105-3: EUR 49.90

History and geography cannot really be separated from each other. Many historical events can only be comprehended in the context of both time and space. There is a long tradition of wedding the two in maps. Now for the first time we have such an atlas for the prehistory of Europe.

The volume, edited by Siegmar von Schnurbein, the first director of the Roman-Germanic Commission of the German Archaeological Institute, is divided into four sections: The Early and Middle Stone Age (1.3 million–4000 BCE), the Late Stone Age (6000–2000 BCE), the Bronze Age (2200–800 BCE), and the Iron Age (800 BCE–1 CE) (there is room for debate on the exact end of the Iron Age, with some believing that it extended about four centuries into the Common Era, up through the period of the great migrations of peoples in the early Middle Ages). Each section begins with an introductory essay, and concludes with a summary of the epoch’s characteristic developments and events. A two-page glossary, a four-page index of place names, a three-page index of additional readings, and three chronological tables bring the atlas to a close.

The incorporation of the latest research into an extensive atlas with explanatory texts is a praiseworthy venture; most historical atlases give only cursory attention to the ancient world, and prehistory gets scant or no attention at all. In this work one can get a clear geographical sense of the prehistoric world. However, rather than being given central prominence, the maps are presented as supplements to the texts. There are also several technical shortcomings, such as inappropriate map scales, inadequately composed images, distorted zooming, and a lack of certain features, such as relief markings, in maps where such detail should be available. And maps showing landscape or climate features are almost entirely missing.

Despite these shortcomings, this work is an important resource in the teaching and research of prehistoric archaeology and prehistory. The texts are well written, and the many substantial illustrations, along with the maps and the texts, nicely round out the depictions of each epoch. The above-mentioned shortcomings notwithstanding, the contents of the maps are descriptive and understandable.

This work is a long-overdue contribution to the atlases of antiquity and prehistory, of great value both to specialists and to the lay reader. [mki/ga]

Lexikon zum aufgeklärten Absolutismus in Europa: Herrscher, Denker, Sachbegriffe [Encyclopedia of Enlightened Absolutism in Europe: Rulers, Thinkers, Concepts]. Ed. Helmut Reinalter. Wien: Böhlau, 2005. 663 p. 24 cm. (UTB, 8316: Geschichte). ISBN 978-3-8252-8316-2 (UTB), 978-3-205-77395-5 (Böhlau): EUR 36.90

In contrast to the many reference works on the Enlightenment, such as Werner Schneiders’s Lexikon der Aufklärung: Deutschland und Europa (RREA 2:82), that are filled with terse entries, this volume presents 167 ample articles averaging four pages each. Roughly half of them are devoted to persons, chiefly rulers (in the broad sense) and intellectuals. Thematically, this lexicon distinguishes itself from others in its focus on the relationship between absolutism and the Enlightenment. The bibliographies are heavily selective and seem to follow no particular guidelines. [sh/rlk]

Enzyklopädie Erster Weltkrieg [Encyclopedia of the First World War]. Ed. Gerhard Hirschfeld, Gerd Krumeich, and Irina Renz. Updated and expanded study edition. Paderborn [et al.]: Schöningh, 2009. 1058 p. ill. 25 cm. (UTB, 8396: Geschichte). ISBN 978-3-506-76578-9 (Schöningh); ISBN 978-3-8252- 8396-4 (UTB): EUR 49.90

The First World War does not occupy as meaningful a place in German cultural memory as does National Socialism and the Second World War. In 2004, an editorial team similar to the one that produced the Enzyklopädie des Nationalsozialismus (see RREA 4:158-159), compiled and published the Enzyklopädie Erster Weltkrieg, the first modern German-language encyclopedia of World War I (see RREA 10:237 for a review of that edition).

Currently in its third edition, this encyclopedia has been revised and expanded. It now includes helpful indexes of persons and places, covering both the narrative and the lexicon sections. The volume would have benefitted as well from an index of concepts that are not accorded their own articles. Unfortunately, the bibliography does not always reflect the most recent research, as some important titles are missing. References to secondary literature are often lacking at the end of individual articles, a disappointment for the user who would like to have reliable citations for further reading or research.

The book is well made, with heavy glossy paper, many good-quality black-and-white illustrations, and a sturdy binding. The above-mentioned flaws notwithstanding, it will certainly find much use as an indispensible reference work. No historian of the political and cultural history of the 20th century will wish to do without it. [tk/nb]

Die Autoren und Bücher der deutschsprachigen Literatur zum Ersten Weltkrieg 1914- 1939: ein bio-bibliographisches Handbuch [The Authors and Books of German- Language Literature on the First World War, 1914-1939: A Bio-Bibliographical Handbook]. Thomas F. Schneider et al. Göttingen: V&R Unipress; Osnabrück: Universitätsverlag Osnabrück, 2008. 850 p. ill. 25 cm. (Schriften des Erich- Maria-Remarque-Archivs, 23). ISBN 978-3-89971-502-6: EU 98

The title evokes Paul Raabe’s bio-bibliography Die Autoren und Bücher des literarischen Expressionismus [The Authors and Books of Literary Expressionism] (2d rev. ed., Stuttgart, 1992). The introduction, though, reveals that the five authors have a very broad concept of literature, so this volume is being reviewed in the section for 20th-century history rather than in the one for German literature. The relevant body of texts is defined as not only novels, dramas, and poetry, but also personal narratives, memoirs, anthologies, collections of letters from the field, illustrated volumes, “authentic” diaries, regimental histories, and reports of campaigns. Thus some texts are included that were rarely considered by scholarship before. The proportion of these nonfiction titles is very high. The reason for this choice of material seems to be that until now literary scholarship has looked mainly at the same canon of 20-30 texts, most of them critical of the war.

The main body of the handbook consists of 6,656 numbered entries for works by about 1,000 authors, of whom over 200 are introduced in short biographies. The main bibliography is comprised of three sections—one of titles without authors, grouped together under “anonymous,” one of named authors (many of whom are listed only with surname and military rank), and one of (usually numbered) series. Under authors (including the “anonymous” section), the titles are listed chronologically. New editions are listed under the first publication if there are variations in title, extent, place of publication, or publisher. Definite articles at the beginning of titles are included in listing the order of titles, and umlauts are interfiled with the base letter—in contrast to the usual standard in library catalogs. Titles in series are given in numerical order, and only some of them are included separately in the title author and title listings. The entries include all the necessary elements, including publisher, extent, and series. For some important anthologies the contents are listed. Small black-and-white illustrations of book covers have been added in the text. The criteria for adding biographical information are not clear, but the work seems to include mainly information that was readily available. The Deutsches Literatur-Lexikon (see RREA 6:115 and 9:339) could have provided information on some of the third-rank authors. Even considering that information was probably not available for many of the military figures who wrote memoirs, it is not accurate to call this a bio-bibliographical handbook, when it offers biographies for only about a fifth of the authors it covers.

The work includes indexes of titles (without the titles in series), subjects (e.g., places, countries, names of persons, ships, regiments, weapons, and battles), and authors, including many of those in series. A selective bibliography of secondary literature would have been useful.

Apart from categories like scholarly books, pamphlets, and articles, the authors are aiming for completeness. Here more detailed information would be helpful, if only to explain that missing titles did not fit the criteria for inclusion. For example, neither of the authors of the collection of sources Die deutschen amtlichen Dokumente über den Ursprung des Weltkriegs [The German Official Documents on the Origin of the World War] (no. 1383) has a further entry in the main section, and only the first is listed in the author index. Does this mean the title does not fit the criteria? The exclusion of pamphlets is odd—apparently this does not mean short polemic works (many of these are included), but rather broadsides. Articles in magazines, newspapers, and yearbooks are not included, but selected titles of this type should have been mentioned—one example is Kriegsbuch für die Jugend und das Volk [War Book for Youth and the People] (1915-1916). The authors cite one cumulated bibliography, one dissertation, and library catalogs as sources for the titles, and it seems that the works have not all been examined, or this would have been mentioned. Even library OPACs seem to have been defined rather narrowly and may not go beyond the catalogs that belong to the Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog. Catalogs like the one for the rich World War Library collected by the Swabian industrialist Richard Franck, which is now in the Wurttemberg State Library, are online, but only in an image catalog and are not included in the regional network or the KVC. Many relevant titles with compound words beginning with “Kriegs..” can be found but were not included. Even the OPACs, including the catalog of the German National Library, were apparently not searched thoroughly.

A researcher who plans further studies should look for additional titles and take the works published in periodicals into consideration. It is doubtful that the market will allow the authors of this bibliography to bring out a second expanded edition. Such a great effort would not have been necessary to show that there are more than 20 to 30 titles of World War I literature and that the majority of them are “war-affirming” rather than anti-militaristic or critical. [sh/gh]

Handbuch der deutschsprachigen Emigration 1933-1945 [Handbook of the German-Speaking Emigration, 1933-1945]. Ed. Claus-Dieter Krohn, in cooperation with the Gesellschaft für Exilforschung. Special printing of the 2d ed. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2008. xiii p. 1356 columns. 28 cm. ISBN 978-3-534-21999-5: EUR 49.90

The second edition of this handbook (see RREA 5:234 for a review of the 1998 first edition) deals with the very complex and controversial topic of German-speaking emigrants who left Germany between 1933 and 1945. The book is divided into six major sections, with comprehensive indexes for names, geographical entities, and institutions. The contributors are recognized scholars in their field. Because the articles were written independently of each other, there is regrettably some overlap in content and in the literature that is cited. Ideally, a discussion of the most recent literature pertaining to this topic would have been incorporated into the articles, or least included in the bibliographies that accompany the individual articles, but this did not happen. In spite of this shortcoming, the work is still a very useful resource. [wub/ldl]

Sonderzüge in den Tod: die Deportationen mit der Deutschen Reichsbahn; eine Dokumentation der Deutschen Bahn AG [Special Trains to Death: The Deportations via the German National Railway. A Documentation by the German Railway Company]. Ed. Andreas Engwert and Susanne Kill. Köln: Böhlau, 2009. 162 p. chiefly ill. 27 cm. ISBN 978-3-412-20337-5: EUR 16.90

The Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg, author of The Destruction of the European Jews (New York, 1961 and many succeeding editions) first wrote about the Deutsche Reichsbahn’s crucial complicity in the Holocaust in his 1976 article “German Railroads: Jewish Souls”, (Society 14/1 / November 1976, p. 60-75). His research was later translated into German under the title Sonderzüge nach Auschwitz (Mainz, 1981). Hilberg wrote of the frictionless efficiency with which Reichsbahn officials arranged for and scheduled “special trains” to transport Jews to the Nazis’ concentration and death camps. The railroad’s absolute priority was an efficient delivery, no matter who or what was being transported— the “logistics of the Holocaust,” as historian Kaus Hildebrand wrote in his essay on the railroads in the Third Reich in Lothar Gall and Manfred Pohl’s Die Eisenbahn in Deutschland: von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart [The Railroad System in Germany from its Beginnings to the Present] (München, 1999).

The present work is on the one hand the Deutsche Bahn’s [German Railways—the post-1990 corporate name] official writing of a portion of its own history and on the other hand a book to accompany a traveling exhibition of the same name sponsored by the German Technology Museum and the New Synagogue Foundation/Centrum Judaicum, both in Berlin. This exhibition was held between January 2008 and February 2009 at railway stations in a number of German cities (see http://de.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Sonderzüge_in_den_Tod), with photographs of railway cars used for these human transports.

The book begins with historical testimony from three persons about their experiences in these deportation trains. Succeeding chapters describe the organizational structure, top officials, and day-to-day operations of the Deutsche Reichsbahn in National-Socialist Germany and the railroad’s special relationships workings with the SS and the police apparatus. There are numerous photographs of personages and facsimiles of official regulations and decrees, most of which were veiled in euphemisms (“Special Passenger Trains”, for example). Some were unabashedly blunt, such as a July 1942 decree on “Special Trains carrying Jews from Belgium, France, and Holland via Aachen, Neuburg, and Neuschanz Destined for Labor Brigades in Auschwitz O/S” that includes the fees to be levied. Other documentation includes an organizational chart (showing the close cooperation between the Reich Security Office and the Reich Ministry of Transport), train schedules, maps, logbooks (with marginal notes made by railroad employees), photographs and documents from ghettos and death-camps, and depositions and testimonies from the 1964 Auschwitz Trial. Two chapters describe these railroad deportations from major German cities, which did not operate “by night and fog,” but rather in broad daylight.

This exhibition book succeeds not only in bringing to light these “death trains,” but also in returning a face to at least some of the countless victims of this bureaucratic perfection. [jli/ga]

Rückerstattung der Nazi-Beute: die Suche, Bergung und Restitution von Kulturgütern durch die westlichen Alliierten nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg [Restitution of Nazi Loot: The Allied Search, Recovery, and Restitution of Cultural Property after the Second World War]. Thomas Armbruster. Berlin: de Gruyter Recht, 2008. xxiv, 607 p. (Schriften zum Kulturgüterschutz). ISBN 978-3-89949-542-3: EUR 119.95

The topic of this dissertation (Universität Zürich, 2007) has previously been well explored, for example in Lynn H. Nicholas’ thoroughly researched and well-written work The Rape of Europa (New York, 1994). The present work is devoted mainly to the restitution of cultural property that was recovered after the Nazi Kunstraub [art robbery] that began with confiscations in Germany itself and quickly spread to wholesale looting of art treasures in annexed and occupied territories during the course of the war. Armbruster begins with the Allied establishment of many and diverse units for the salvage and protection of looted items, and proceeds to give a detailed account of subsequent efforts to arrive at a unified legal and policy approach to the securing and restitution of all recovered cultural property. For a reader not well versed in legal studies, this narrative may be hard to follow, not in the least because the myriad Allied initiatives to achieve this goal never succeeded; the story of post-war legislation in the area of restitution—particularly as it pertains to cultural property—is admittedly difficult to make sense of. Armbruster attempts to break up and add color to his rather dense and technical work by occasionally introducing stories of the actual return of particular objects, but these do little to illuminate the issues he is addressing.

Without doubt Armbruster has written an important book, albeit one that would have benefited from a more concentrated and systematic treatment. [frh/kst]

Die tödliche Utopie: Bilder, Texte, Dokumente, Daten zum Dritten Reich Deadly Utopia: Pictures, Texts, Documents, Data from the Third Reich]. Ed. Volker Dahm. 5th, completely rev. and expanded new ed. München: Verlag Dokumentation Obersalzberg im Institut für Zeitgeschichte, 2008. 831 p. ill. 25 cm. (Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Zeitgeschichte zur Dokumentation Obersalzberg). ISBN 978-3-9807890-6-6: EUR 29.95, ISBN 978-3-9807890- 7-3 (pbk.): EUR 21.95

Täter, Gegner, Opfer: Tondokumente zum Dritten Reich [Perpetrators, Resisters, Victims]. Comp. Albert A. Feiber and Volker Dahm. Rev. and expanded ed. München: Dokumentation Obersalzberg im Institut für Zeitgeschichte, 2008. 1 CD + booklet (20 p. ill. map). (Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Zeitgeschichte zur Dokumentation Obersalzberg). ISBN 978-3-9807890-8-0: EUR 9.80

The topic of this dissertation (Universität Zürich, 2007) has previously been well explored, for example in Lynn H. Nicholas’ thoroughly researched and well-written work The Rape of Europa (New York, 1994). The present work is devoted mainly to the restitution of cultural property that was recovered after the Nazi Kunstraub [art robbery] that began with confiscations in Germany itself and quickly spread to wholesale looting of art treasures in annexed and occupied territories during the course of the war. Armbruster begins with the Allied establishment of many and diverse units for the salvage and protection of looted items, and proceeds to give a detailed account of subsequent efforts to arrive at a unified legal and policy approach to the securing and restitution of all recovered cultural property. For a reader not well versed in legal studies, this narrative may be hard to follow, not in the least because the myriad Allied initiatives to achieve this goal never succeeded; the story of post-war legislation in the area of restitution—particularly as it pertains to cultural property—is admittedly difficult to make sense of. Armbruster attempts to break up and add color to his rather dense and technical work by occasionally introducing stories of the actual return of particular objects, but these do little to illuminate the issues he is addressing.

The editors of this fifth edition of Die tödliche Utopie admit freely in the preface that the fourth edition (2002) continued to reflect the state of research from the 1999 first edition. The present work, then, is a thoroughly revised and updated new edition. In the course of their revisions, the editors have to a large extent decoupled this work from the exhibit Dokumentation Obersalzberg (http://www.obersalzberg.de/obersalzberg-home. html?&L=0 [2011-25-11]), a permanent exhibit at the Institut für Zeitgeschichte in Berlin. This volume, then serves as an independent reference work on the history of the National Socialist regime in the Obersalzberg area, Hitler’s vacation retreat from 1923 to 1945. The material has been both updated and also expanded thematically. The actual images, texts, data, and documentation are divided into a large number of themes running through the history of the National Socialist period and the time of World War II. Each section has an extensive introduction and includes a wealth of illustrative material, including color images, for which the earlier editions were also much in demand. Appendices include a detailed chronology of the period comprising no less than 70 pages, organization charts for the Wehrmacht, local police, SA and SS organizations, a general bibliography, and indexes.

This is a successful compilation of well-presented material in the field of Third Reich history, and appropriate and useful for interested readers at all levels from students to professional historians.

Also appearing in a revised new edition is the supplemental CD Täter, Gegner, Opfer, which collects 25 sound clips (for a total running time of 80 minutes) arranged thematically and including excerpts from orations by Hitler, Himmler, and other figures, as well as contemporary radio broadcasts. [jli/kst]

Nationale Sozialisten in der NSDAP: Strukturen, Ideologie,Publizistik und Biographien des national-sozialistischen Straßer-Kreises von der AG Nordwest bis zum Kampf-Verlag 1925-1930 [National Socialists in the Nazi Party: Structures, Ideology, Publications, and Biographies of the National-Socialist Strasser Circle from the Northwest Action Committee to the Kampf Publishing Company, 1925-1930]. Markus März. Graz: Ares-Verlag, 2010. 652 p. .ill. 24 cm. ISBN 978-3-902475-79-4: EUR 24.90

Alongside earlier works, such as Reinhard Kühnl’s Die nationalsozialistische Linke 1925-1930 [The National Socialist Left] (Meisanheim an Glan, 1966) and Udo Kissenkoetter’s Gregor Strasser und die NSDAP [Gregor Strasser and the Nazi Party] (Stuttgart, 1979), there is now a new monographic examination of the NSDAP’s left wing, known as the “Strasser Circle” or the “NSDAP-Left” between 1925 and 1930. During this period, the final political orientation of the NSDAP was still undefined, and its eventual evolution into the Party of the Führer of the Third Reich was not yet inevitable. In its early history the NSDAP contained a very active left wing led by the brothers Gregor and Otto Strasser. Their criticism of both capitalism and Hitler’s social Darwinist ideas quickly led to irreconcilable differences with the Führer.

This work discusses the development, organization, and ideological influences of the NSDAP-Left, the conflict between the Strasser brothers and Goebbels, the objectives and positioning of “Strasserism” in 1925-26, and the positions of the “Revolutionary National Socialists” in the intra-party conflict of the NSDAP. There is a section about the creation of the Strasser-oriented press, the publications of the Strassers’ printing house, and the end of the Kampf publishing company. The last section comprises political biographies of the most important figures involved in the Northwest Action Committee and the publishing house and persons in the confines of its national-revolutionary milieu, many of whom continued to play a significant role after 1933. An appendix contains 10 article-length excerpts from the Berliner Arbeiterzeitung [Berlin Workers’ Newspaper] of 1926-1930 and the National-sozialistischen Briefen [National-Socialist Letters] of 1925-1930, among them the articles of association of the action committees of the north and west German Gaue [districts] of the NSDAP, and several useful indexes.

Despite the fact that the author is an interested layman rather than a professional historian, his use of literature and texts meets the standards of the historical discipline. [jli/rb]

La vie culturelle dans la France occupée [Cultural Life in Occupied France]. Olivier Barrot and and Raymond Chirat. Paris: Gallimard, 2009. 159 p. ill. 18 cm. (Découvertes Gallimard, 548: Histoire). ISBN 978-2-07-035821-2: EUR 14.50

There is no shortage of treatments of this subject, of which the most popular nowadays are those that are highly illustrated, for instance the Archives de la vie littéraire sous l’Occupation (see RREA 15/16:112). The work under review here continues this tradition, featuring a selection of impressive photographs by André Zucca. A popular, accessible treatment of life in Occupied France, this volume includes three chapters on the occupying powers and two on the French state, as well as chapters on diverse aspects of cultural life in Occupied France, selected documents from the period, and a short bibliography.

In common with many similar works published in France, this volume unfortunately pays little heed to German or neutral perspectives on the Occupation (history, facts, scholarship, sources). It presents a one-sided picture of German-French collaboration which contemporary non-French sources arguably do not support. [frh/cjm]

“Den richtigen Mann an die richtige Stelle”: Biographien und politisches Handeln von unteren NSDAP-Funktionären [The Right Man in the Right Place: Biographies and Political Dealings of Lower-level Nazi Party Functionaries]. Christine Müller-Botsch. Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2009. 369 p. 22 cm. ISBN 978- 3-593-38893-9: EUR 34.90

The available research into the lower-level, local leadership of the NSDAP (i.e., the heads of city and village divisions of the party, as well as local party blocks and cells) has always been less than satisfactory, largely due to a dearth of relevant source materials. The “Kreisleiter” (leaders of the larger territorial divisions, including districts of major urban centers) have been treated thoroughly in more than a few studies, and the leadership of the “Ortsgruppen” (representing districts of urban centers as well as smaller communities) was the subject of a notable study by Carl-Wilhelm Reibel, Das Fundament der Diktatur (Paderborn, 2002). The work under review, based on the author’s 2007 dissertation at the Free University of Berlin, takes up where Reibel left off. Based primarily on data from the files of the NSDAP in Stuttgart, Müller-Botsch extends the investigation to the lowest levels of the party. Her analysis encompasses the substructure of the “Ortsgruppen” and the sociological makeup of functionaries in the lower level units, including the Party’s expectations for members and officers, their fields of activity, and, finally, the process of their denazification after the war. This is followed by five individual case-studies, the subjects of which, regrettably, remain anonymous. The appendices briefly profile 19 more individuals (also anonymous) and include some sparse facsimiles of original source materials. There is a bibliography of sources and other literature consulted in the study, although an index is lacking.

The author takes an admittedly interdisciplinary approach, combining elements of historical, political, and sociological investigation and methodology. Given this mix, there are valuable insights to be had here, but a concrete biographical treatment and—for Stuttgart specifically—a systematic documentation of the organization of the NSDAP including actual names of the principals remains to be desired. [jli/kst]

Herrenmenschen: die deutschen Kreishauptleute im besetzten Polen; Karrierewege, Herrschaftspraxis und Nachgeschichte. [The Master Race: German District Commanders in Occupied Poland. Career Paths, Exercise of Authority, and the Aftermath]. Markus Roth. Göttingen: Wallstein-Verlag, 2009. 556 p. 23 cm. (Beiträge zur Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts, 9). ISBN 978-3-8353- 0477-2: EUR 39

This history of the Polish Occupation during World War II is rife with terror, corruption, and destruction, and German governmental officials were the force behind this brutality. Building upon Bogdan Musial’s Deutsche Zivilverwaltung und Judenverfolgung im Generalgouvernement [German Civil Administration and Persecution of Jews in the Polish Territory under German Rule] (Wiesbaden, 1999, 2004), Mark Roth in his 2008 dissertation (University of Jena) expands this body of knowledge through the examination of the activities of German officials in all governmental districts of Nazioccupied Poland. The Generalgouvernement consisted of five districts—Warsaw, Radom, Cracow, Lublin, and Galicia, into which Poles were forcibly and rapidly expelled from the rest of Poland.

Many of the German officials were young lawyers who, hoping to further their careers, played a major role in the radicalization of the Polish Occupation. The downfall of the Third Reich hit these “local kings” (those who were still living) hard. Roth describes their self-defense and self-discovery tactics, and their attempts to fit in to post-War society after being interned, going through a denazification process, and being extradited to Germany. Roth also demonstrates the significance this interim had for the later social rebirth of these Occupation officials. Chapter 5, which plots the early days of the Federal Republic of Germany, notes that many of these lawyers found careers in political and administrative positions in the post-war government.

The resources Roth consulted include an impressive array of domestic and foreign archival sources, materials from private estates, and witness interviews. Of particular prosoprographic interest is the detailed information about Occupation officials, which includes both tabular summaries of their careers and short biographies of nearly every identified government official. Because documenting an individual’s career-path is tricky business, some biographies contain gaps or inconsistencies. The author might have resolved open questions about some individuals by consulting standard sources such as Martin Schumacher’s three volumes of biographies of elected representatives of 20th-century West German parliaments at the national and state levels. (The final volume, M.d.B. [Mitglied des Bundestages], Volksvertretung im Wiederaufbau 1946-1961: Bundestagskandidaten und Mitglieder der westzonalen Vorparlamente; eine biographische Dokumentation was reviewed in RREA 6:254; an on-line edition of this latter work for the period 1946-1972 is freely accessible at http://www.kgparl.de/online-volksvertretung/ online-az.html.)

Despite some errors and inconsistencies, Markus Roth’s work is worthy of attention, because it investigates an area hitherto neglected in the research. Perhaps this work will serve to inspire similar detailed inquiry into the German occupation of other regions. [jli/jmw]

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