By Istvan Deak, Norman M. Naimark
Foreword by means of Norman M. Naimark
Read Online or Download Europe on Trial: The Story of Collaboration, Resistance, and Retribution during World War II PDF
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Extra info for Europe on Trial: The Story of Collaboration, Resistance, and Retribution during World War II
There were also those who never wavered in their allegiance to Hitler. As late as April 1945, thousands of young Scandinavian, Belgian, and French volunteers in the Waffen SS gave their lives for him while defending the entrance to the Chancellery Bunker in Berlin. It should be clear by now that one of our greatest problems will be to define properly the terms collaboration and resistance as well as to fit specific groups and individuals into these categories. It should also be evident that there were vast regional differences between Western and southern Europe, on the one hand, and Eastern as well as southeastern Europe, on the other hand.
The supreme test of the citizens’ armies came to pass in World War I when it often became extremely difficult to distinguish between innocent civilians and guerrillas hiding among the local population. Fortunately, by 1914 Europe possessed a series of international conventions and agreements for the regulation and humanization of warfare and the protection of the wounded and prisoners of war. Other clauses in these nonbinding agreements provided for the protection of the occupation forces and even, interestingly, of armed civilians in irregular resistance forces.
Guerrilla activities seldom occurred. Conservative regimes dominating Europe during the first half of the nineteenth century worried that universal conscription and a three- or four-year term of service under the flag, demanded by experts as a military necessity, would put weapons in the hands of nonprofessionals. The specter of millions of trained soldiers and former soldiers with close ties to their civilian existence haunted the military and political establishment. Would these civilians in uniform be prepared to fire, if need be, on their demonstrating or striking brothers and mothers?