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After the FallGerman Policy in Occupied France, 1940-1944$
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Thomas J. Laub

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199539321

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199539321.001.0001

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Resistance and Reprisals

Resistance and Reprisals

Chapter:
(p.112) 5 Resistance and Reprisals
Source:
After the Fall
Author(s):

Thomas J. Laub

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199539321.003.0006

On the morning of 21 August 1941, French Communist Party activists launched a wave of symbolic assassinations by shooting Alfons Moser, a young German naval cadet. Although preoccupied by events on the eastern front during the Moser attack, Hitler learned about subsequent assaults, condemned Stülpnagel's response of gradually increasing reprisals as ‘much too mild’, and ordered the execution of 50 to 100 hostages after every assassination. Wilhelm Keitel, Walther von Brauchitsch, Eduard Wagner, and other senior officers in Berlin condemned Stülpnagel's restraint, joined senior Nazis like Joseph Goebbels, and pressed for severe countermeasures against Jews who allegedly organized all resistance activity. Demonstrating the ideological purity of the SS, Helmut Knochen ordered SS minions to bomb seven Parisian Synagogues, embarrassed Stüpnagel, and earned the enmity of the German military administration. This chapter examines security debates between the military administration, SS, and German diplomats in Paris and a second argument between generals in Paris and Nazis in Berlin.

Keywords:   French Communist Party, Otto von Stülpnagel, Alfons Moser, hostages, Final Solution, Adolf Hitler, Wilhelm Keitel, Walther von Brauchitsch, synagogue bombing, Helmut Knochen

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