The Wiener Library

For the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide


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German troops watch a village burn in the Rogachyevo district of Gomel, Belarus.

US Holocaust Memorial Museum

A Blind Eye and Dirty Hands: The Wehrmacht's Crimes

Dr Geoffrey P. Megargee

Mon 11 Jun 2018

Time: 6:30pm - 8pm

After the Second World War, a myth arose to the effect that the German military, the Wehrmacht, had been an essentially anti-Nazi institution that had fought honourably against overwhelming odds, albeit under criminal leadership. Thus, any crimes were the fault of Adolf Hitler, a small circle of fanatical yes-men around him, and Nazi organizations such as the SS. In reality, the Wehrmacht’s leadership shared most of Hitler’s goals and methods. The Wehrmacht launched a war of conquest and, especially in the east, aided and committed acts of genocide. This talk will describe and explain the Wehrmacht’s role in Nazi Germany’s crimes.

About the speaker

Geoffrey Megargee is the Senior Applied Research Scholar in the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where he has served as project director and editor-in-chief for the Museum’s seven-volume Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945 since 2000. The first volume of that work appeared in June 2009 and received a National Jewish Book Award and a Judaica Reference Award, among other distinctions. Dr. Megargee received his doctorate in military history in 1998 from the Ohio State University. He is the recipient of, among other honors, a J. William Fulbright grant for research in Germany, upon which he based his book Inside Hitler's High Command (winner of the Society for Military History’s 2001 Distinguished Book Award). He is also the author of War of Annihilation: Combat and Genocide on the Eastern Front, 1941, and a contributor to the West Point History of Warfare. Dr. Megargee is a member of the Department of the Army Historical Advisory Subcommittee and Treasurer of the United States Commission on Military History, and he has served as a Trustee for the Society for Military History and a Presidential Counselor for the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. He lectures frequently on the German army in World War II and the Holocaust.

Admission is free but booking is required as space is limited. Please register to attend below.


Image credit: German troops watch a village burn in the Rogachyevo district of Gomel, Belarus. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War.

Location: The Wiener Library - click for map

How to book: