A Calculus of Complicity: The Wehrmacht, the Anti-Partisan War, and the Final Solution in White Russia, 1941-42

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Abstract

On October 10, 1941, the soldiers of the 3rd Company, 691st Infantry Regiment were uneasy. The task ahead of them was something new. They were to kill the entire Jewish population of Krucha, a town in central Belarus. A few hours later, Private Wilhelm Magel stood with another soldier in front of four Jewish women and an old man with a long, white beard. The company First Sergeant, Emil Zimber, ordered the Jews to turn away from the shooters, but they remained facing the German soldiers. Zimber gave the order to fire but Magel and his colleague, a former divinity student, did not aim at their targets. They requested to be relieved from the execution detail and were assigned to guard the remaining Jews who were waiting in the village square for their turn. This German Army unit without assistance of any other organization murdered a minimum of 150 Jewish men, women, and children in Krucha that day.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-337
JournalCentral European History
Volume44
Issue number2
Early online date23 May 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

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