Entziehungen: Österreichische Deserteure und Selbstverstümmler in der Deutschen Wehrmacht

TitleEntziehungen: Österreichische Deserteure und Selbstverstümmler in der Deutschen Wehrmacht
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsFritsche, Maria
Number of Pages284

"Coward", "traitor", "comrade pig" – these are the insulting names that deserters are sometimes still called today. During the National Socialist era, any attempt to withdraw from the German Wehrmacht was threatened with death. Deserters and self-mutilators were mercilessly persecuted as "traitors to the people" by the Wehrmacht justice system. Their refusal to go to war for Hitler, however, went unanswered in post-war Austria. The book traces the various motivations underlying the withdrawals and documents the sometimes adventurous escapes on the basis of sources. The persecution of deserters and self-mutilators by the Nazi military judiciary and the brutal penal system of the German Wehrmacht are also analyzed in detail. A second focus is the situation of deserters and self-mutilators in post-war Austria. Those who survived the war as deserters had to fight massive hostility and discrimination after 1945. The continuing effect of National Socialist images of the enemy and the inadequate process of coming to terms with the past turned these "disobedient" soldiers into social outsiders in Austria. 

Translated TitleEvasion: Austrian Deserters and Self-Mutilators in the German Wehrmacht
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