Book Review: Hitler's Bandit Hunters: The SS and the Nazi Occupation of Europe


by Philip W. Blood

Washington: Potomac Books, 2008. Pp. xxii, 400. Illus., figs., append., notes, biblio., index. $19.95 paper. ISBN:159797157X

Prof. Blood, formerly of the University of Aachen , opens Hitler's Bandit Hunters by discussing the differences between "bandenbekämpfung -- anti-bandit warfare" and "partisanbekämpfung--anti-partisan warfare."  This is not just academic hair-splitting.  By adopting the former term, the Third Reich threw out both traditional and written rules of war regarding resistance movements, while pretending to continue to adhere to them, and at the same time wholly incorporated its genocidal objectives into its rear-area security policies.

Blood goes on to discuss the objectives, leadership, bureaucratic institutions, military and police organizations, and the activities undertaken on the pretext of "anti-bandit operations."  There follows extensive, often detailed accounts, of German operations against "bandits" across Europe , often in grim detail. 

Hitler's Bandit Hunters demonstrates yet again that we can still be surprised by the depths of the brutality and the horror of the Nazi regime. 

An important book for those interested in World War II and the law of war.  
Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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