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Builders of the Third Reich: The Organisation Todt and Nazi Forced Labour

Tekijä: Charles Dick

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
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This is the first comprehensive critical study of the Organisation Todt (OT), a key institution which oversaw the Third Reich's vast slave labour programme together with the SS, Wehrmacht and industry. The book breaks new ground by revealing the full extent of the organisation's brutal and murderous operations across occupied Europe and in the Reich. For the first time, Charles Dick provides a strong voice for camp survivors overseen by the OT, drawing on an extensive collection of personal accounts and analysing the violence they endured.Builders of the Third Reich shows Hitler used the OT, which had a labour force of around 1.5 million people in 1944, as an instrument of subjugation and occupation to project German imperial power. Drawing on a broad range of primary sources, it demonstrates how the organisation participated in the plunder of Europe's raw materials and manpower, greatly boosting the German war economy. The book reveals how OT staff shot, beat or worked tens of thousands of prisoners to death, both within the SS-run concentration camp system and outside it, with analysis of OT operations showing that where it had sole, or very high levels of control over camps, prisoner death rates were extremely high. Examining how engineers and builders, individuals who fitted the category of 'ordinary men' as precisely as any other group so far examined by historians, perpetrated war crimes, this volume reflects on how few OT personnel were interrogated or came to trial and how the organisation passed largely under the radar of post-war prosecutors, researchers and the general public.… (lisätietoja)
Viimeisimmät tallentajatDen85, Hpriley3, Shrike58
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Arguing that the importance of Organisation Todt has been habitually overlooked, Charles Dick examines how the work of Fritz Todt in building the German autobahns mushroomed into an all-encompassing system that had its tentacles in every nook of German industry, and how OT's methods had a great deal to do with the lethality of the German use of forced and slave labor.

Regarding how the OT became indispensable, much of this had to do with Fritz Todt's successes in building roads and fortifications, and his close relationship with Hitler (Todt joined the Nazi Party in 1922), which allowed Todt to go from strength to strength. This was further helped by how Todt was able to win over German industrial leadership, as well as creating a bastion of technological expertise that all Nazi organizations found themselves dependent on. This was a state of affairs that continued after Albert Speer replaced Todt (dead in 1942 in an airplane crash), though it's arguable that Todt had already done the heavy lifting, and Speer never had the rapport with the old Nazi stalwarts, like Goring and Bormann, that Todt had.

Here is the thing with Todt being an "Old Fighter," it is arguable that OT was as ideologically committed to the Nazi agenda as any agency in the Third Reich, outside of the SS. There was no question that hard solutions to assorted "racial" issues would be accepted, and the leadership of the OT was larded with men who held significant ranks in the SS and SA. Further, when you look at the deaths generated by the OT building programs, it was the OT that set the killing work pace. It was the OT that mandated the inadequate standards of food, shelter, and medical care. And it was the OT who were the biggest cheerleaders for the use of slave labor in pursuit of unachievable construction and production goals. If the SS were an alibi for a nation, then it was the OT that generated a disproportionate amount of the human damage.

Highly recommended. ( )
  Shrike58 | Apr 11, 2023 |
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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This is the first comprehensive critical study of the Organisation Todt (OT), a key institution which oversaw the Third Reich's vast slave labour programme together with the SS, Wehrmacht and industry. The book breaks new ground by revealing the full extent of the organisation's brutal and murderous operations across occupied Europe and in the Reich. For the first time, Charles Dick provides a strong voice for camp survivors overseen by the OT, drawing on an extensive collection of personal accounts and analysing the violence they endured.Builders of the Third Reich shows Hitler used the OT, which had a labour force of around 1.5 million people in 1944, as an instrument of subjugation and occupation to project German imperial power. Drawing on a broad range of primary sources, it demonstrates how the organisation participated in the plunder of Europe's raw materials and manpower, greatly boosting the German war economy. The book reveals how OT staff shot, beat or worked tens of thousands of prisoners to death, both within the SS-run concentration camp system and outside it, with analysis of OT operations showing that where it had sole, or very high levels of control over camps, prisoner death rates were extremely high. Examining how engineers and builders, individuals who fitted the category of 'ordinary men' as precisely as any other group so far examined by historians, perpetrated war crimes, this volume reflects on how few OT personnel were interrogated or came to trial and how the organisation passed largely under the radar of post-war prosecutors, researchers and the general public.

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