Edited By James S. Corum, Olaf Mertelsmann and Kaarel Piirimäe
The Relationship of the Military and Civilian Authorities in Estonia during the German Occupation of 1941–1944
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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