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The German Military and the Holocaust

German officers in the field

During World War II, the Germany military (Wehrmacht) helped fulfill Nazism's racial, political, and territorial ambitions.  In all the lands the Germans conquered, but most egregiously in eastern Europe, the Wehrmacht targeted Jews and other supposed racial inferiors, civilian and military alike, for abuse and death.  

The policies that the Nazis and the military pursued stood in stark contrast to codes of honorable military conduct and international law.  A few individuals acted according to those codes and laws, but the vast majority of German soldiers, and especially senior officers, cooperated with the Nazis, even to the point of committing genocide.  

Read about how Nazi perceptions of race influenced war in the east.

Read about how Nazi racial ideology influenced orders issued by the German Armed Forces High Command.

Watch a brief film describing the role played by the German Army during the Holocaust.