The politics of illusion and empire : the attempts to reform German occupation policy in the U.S.S.R., autumn 1942-summer 1943 / by Timothy Patrick Mulligan.
The Soviet-German war remains the central event of the Second World War in Europe. Though this conflict has received more attention in recent years, much of its story has not yet been told. This dissertation examines one episode that occurred during the period from autumn 1942 to summer 1943, when the question of a reform of German war aims and occupation policy in the U.S.S.R. (collectively termed Ostpolitik) was strongly debated among Nazi policy-makers. Rather than speculate on missed opportunities, this study will discuss the character, extent and significance of various reform efforts in the general context of Germany's belated mobilization for "total war" and with specific reference to Hitler's attempt to regain the military initiative at Kursk in July 1943. In addition, this thesis offers a case-study in the resolution of conflict in the formulation of National Socialist policy. The dynamics of that process and Hitler's role within it--the subject of recent historical debate--will be particularly considered. Chapter I examines the evolution of German leaders' divergent views toward Ostpolitik in 1941/42, including misperceptions and shared illusions regarding German power and National Socialist policy. Chapter II describes the chaotic structure of the apparatus of occupation in Russia. The efforts of Finland, Japan and other pro-Axis powers to influence German Ostpolitik in the direction of moderation are treated in Chapter III. Chapter IV reviews the individual initiatives for a general revision of policy throughout the period under study. Chapters V and VI detail the reform efforts and issues in the Ukraine and the Baltic states, respectively. Chapter VII analyzes the agrarian reform enacted in the occupied areas. German exploitation of Soviet raw materials and labor provides the focus of Chapter VIII, where reform efforts are discussed in the context of an intensified economic mobilization. Chapter IX considers reform initiatives and limitations in the areas under German military government. The debate over German anti-partisan policy is reviewed in Chapter X. Chapter XI describes the expanded use of Eastern nationals in German military service and the attendant question of their status. Chapter XII discusses in depth the early phase of the "Vlasov Movement."
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