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Perpetrator Studies Network


Holocaust Perpetrators of the German Police Battalions: The Mass Murder of Jewish Civilians, 1940-1942

By Ian Rich.

Holocaust Perpetrators of the German Police Battalions is the first comprehensive English-language study of the structures and actions of German Police battalions in Poland and Ukraine between 1940 and 1942. Using these case studies, Ian Rich draws attention to the actions and motivations of individual lower-ranking policemen who participated in the mass murder of Jews during the Holocaust. He illuminates their pivotal roles as organizers, educators and role models, and the ways they were able to influence their subordinates to carry out these atrocities.

This book transcends anonymous group portraits and provides a micro-historical portrait of individual killers that offers broader insights into the overall actions of the SS and police under Heinrich Himmler. Rich’s comprehensive analysis of SS and police personnel records and post-war trial investigations reveals the method by which police battalions were transformed into instruments of mass murder in the occupied east during the Second World War. This book is essential to all students and scholars of Holocaust studies, Jewish studies and the Second World War.

Ian Rich is Visiting Tutor at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.

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