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The Second World War and the Baltic States


Edited By James S. Corum, Olaf Mertelsmann and Kaarel Piirimäe

This volume places the history of the Second World War and the Baltic states into a multidisciplinary and international perspective. It includes contributions from the fields of diplomacy, strategy, military operations, intelligence and propaganda. It presents not only a multi-layered interpretation of a region affected by total war, but also reveals a great deal about the nature of that conflict. It discusses the attitudes of the great powers towards small states, the nature of military operations around the advent of mechanization and close air support, and techniques of population control and of steering opinion in the era of ideological regimes. Contributions on these topics add to our understanding of the Second World War as a pivotal event in the history of Europe in the 20 th century.
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The Relationship of the Military and Civilian Authorities in Estonia during the German Occupation of 1941–1944


Toomas Hiio

The relationship of German military and civilian authorities in Estonia in 1941–1944 as a relatively specific field of research has not received much attention from historians and there are several reasons for this. World War II on the Eastern Front has been treated generally as a battle between two totalitarian regimes – the Soviet Union and National Socialist Germany. Even though the German occupation policy in the conquered regions of the Soviet Union became a topic of academic research even before hostilities ended,1 it was generally treated as a uniform phenomenon throughout the whole of the Eastern Front. This interpretation was common to most reference books until the end of the 20th century. However, there were not only notable differences between the occupation policies in different countries, but there were also notable differences between the military administration and the civil administration of the Reich Ministry of Occupied Eastern Territories (Reichsministerium für die besetzten Ostgebiete). These differences became clear even from the start of the occupation. In this context the classical work of Alexander Dallin should be mentioned.2

The differences in treatment of different ethnicities by the Germans – excepting Jews, Roma, Poles, Ukrainians, Byelorussians and Russians – and the occupation policy in the areas inhabited by these ethnic groups has not been deeply studied. This issue of how the Baltic peoples were treated has been considered too marginal for historians who generally prefer a broad view. Military historians concentrate on the military...

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