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The government of Germany ordered, organized and condoned several war crimes in both World War I and World War II. The most notable of these is the Holocaust in which millions of people were murdered or died from abuse and neglect, 60% of them (approximately 6 million out of 10 million) Jews. However, millions also died as a result of other German actions in those two conflicts.
Pre-World War I 
The Herero and Namaqua Genocide is considered to have been the first genocide of the 20th century. It took place between 1904 and 1907 in German South-West Africa (modern day Namibia), during the scramble for Africa.
On January 12, 1904, the Herero people, led by Samuel Maharero, rebelled against German colonial rule. In August, German general Lothar von Trotha defeated the Herero in the Battle of Waterberg and drove them into the desert of Omaheke, where most of them died of thirst. In October, the Nama people also rebelled against the Germans only to suffer a similar fate.
In total, from 24,000 up to 100,000 Herero and 10,000 Nama died. The genocide was characterized by widespread death by starvation and thirst because the Herero who fled the violence were prevented from returning from the Namib Desert. Some sources also claim that the German colonial army systematically poisoned desert wells.
World War I 
Rape of Belgium 
Bombardment of English coastal towns 
The raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby, which took place on December 16, 1914, was an attack by the German navy on the British seaport towns of Scarborough, Hartlepool, West Hartlepool, and Whitby. The attack resulted in 137 fatalities and 592 casualties. The raid was as a violation of the 1907 Hague Convention provisions that prohibited naval bombardments of undefended towns without warning, because only Hartlepool was protected by shore batteries. Germany was a signatory of the Hague Convention. Another attack followed on 26 April 1916 on the coastal towns of Yarmouth and Lowestoft but both were important naval bases and defended by shore batteries..
Unrestricted submarine warfare 
Unrestricted submarine warfare was instituted in 1915 in response to the British blockade of Germany in the North Sea. Prize rules, which were codified under the 1907 Hague Convention—such as those that required commerce raiders to warn their targets and allow time for the crew to board lifeboats—were disregarded and commercial vessels were sunk regardless of nationality, cargo, or destination. Following the sinking of the RMS Lusitania on 7 May 1915 and subsequent public outcry in various neutral countries, including the United States, the practice was withdrawn.
Attempts to destroy evidence of German crimes 
During World War II, after occupying France, Nazis seized Allied documentation regarding German war crimes in World War I and destroyed monuments commemorating them
World War II 
The Holocaust: ghettos per region and state. Color burgundy stands for 8 or more, color blue for none.
Man showing corpse of a starved infant in the Warsaw ghetto
Polish hostages preparing for mass execution 1940
Executions of Kiev
Jews by German army mobile killing units (Einsatzgruppen) near Ivangorod
, 1942. The photo was mailed from the Eastern Front to Germany and intercepted at a Warsaw post office by Polish resistance member, Jerzy Tomaszewski
who collected documentation on Nazi war crimes. The original German inscription on the back of the photograph reads, "Ukraine 1942, Jewish Action [operation], Ivangorod." 1942.
Polish teachers from Bydgoszcz
guarded by members of Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz
Burned out cars and buildings still litter the remains of the original village in Oradour-sur-Glane
, as left by Das Reich SS division
it should be noted that, as far as wartime actions against enemy nationals are concerned, the  Genocide Convention
added virtually nothing to what was already covered (and had been since the Hague Convention of 1899) by the internationally accepted laws of land warfare, which require an occupying power to respect "family honors and rights, individual lives and private property, as well as religious convictions and liberty" of the enemy nationals. But the laws of war do not cover, in time of either war or peace, a government's actions against its own nationals (such as Nazi Germany's persecution of German Jews). And at the Nuremberg war crimes trials
, the tribunals rebuffed several efforts by the prosecution to bring such "domestic" atrocities within the scope of international law as "crimes against humanity."
- Le Paradis massacre, May 1940, British soldiers of the Royal Norfolk Regiment, captured by the SS and subsequently murdered. Fritz Knoechlein tried, found guilty and hanged.
- Wormhoudt massacre, May 1940, British and French soldiers captured by the SS and subsequently murdered. No one found guilty of the crime.
- d'Ardenne Massacres, June 1944 Canadian soldiers captured by the SS and Murdered by 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend. SS General Kurt Meyer (Panzermeyer) sentenced to be shot 1946; sentence commuted; released 1954
- Malmedy massacre, December 1944, United States POWs captured by Kampfgruppe Peiper were murdered outside of Malmedy, Belgium.
- Gardelegen (war crime)
- Massacre of Kalavryta
- Unrestricted submarine warfare against merchant shipping.
- The intentional destruction of major medieval churches of Novgorod, of monasteries in the Moscow region (e.g., of New Jerusalem Monastery) and of the imperial palaces around St. Petersburg (many of them were left by the post-war authorities in ruins or simply demolished).
- The campaign of extermination of Slavic population in the occupied territories. Several thousand villages were burned with their entire population (e.g., Khatyn massacre in Belarus). A quarter of the inhabitants of Belarus did not survive the German occupation.
- Commando Order, the secret order issued by Hitler in 1942 stating that Allied combatants encountered during commando operations should be killed to the last man ("bis auf den letzen Mann niederzumachen"), even if they were unarmed or intending to surrender.
Nazi concentration camps 
After 1939, with the beginning of the Second World War, concentration camps increasingly became places where the enemies of the Nazis were enslaved, starved, tortured and killed. During the War concentration camps for “undesirables” spread throughout Europe. New camps were created near centers of dense “undesirable” populations, often focusing on areas with large communities of Jews, Poles, Communists or Roma. Since millions of Jews lived in pre-war Poland, most camps were located in the area of General Government in occupied Poland for logistical reasons. It also allowed the Nazis to transport the German Jews outside of the German main territory.
War criminals 
Massacres and war crimes of World War II by location 
- 26 March – 6 April, Operation Bamberg (Hłusk, Bobrujsk; 4,396 people, including children)
- 9 – 12 May, Kliczów-Bobrujsk massacre (520 people, including children)
- Beginning of June, Słowodka-Bobrujsk massacre (1,000 people, including children)
- 15 June Borki (powiat białostocki) massacre (1,741 people, including children)
- 21 June Zbyszin massacre (1,076 people, including children)
- 25 June Timkowiczi massacre (900 people, including children)
- 26 June Studenka massacre (836 people, including children)
- 18 July, Jelsk massacre (1,000 people, including children)
- 15 July – 7 August, Operation Adler (Bobrujsk, Mohylew, Berezyna; 1,381 people, including children)
- 14 – 20 August, Operation Greif (Orsza, Witebsk; 796 people, including children)
- 22 August – 21 September, Operation Sumpffieber (White Ruthenia; 10,063 people, including children)
- August, Bereźne massacre
- 22 September – 26 September, Małoryta massacre; 4,038 people, including children)
- 23 September – 3 October, Operation Blitz (Połock, Witebsk; 567 people, including children)
- 11 – 23 October, Operation Karlsbad (Orsza, Witebsk; 1,051 people, including children)
- 23 – 29 November, Operation Nürnberg (Dubrowka; 2,974 people, including children)
- 10 – 21 December, Operation Hamburg (Niemen River-Szczara River; 6,172 people, including children)
- 22 – 29 December, Operation Altona (Słonim; 1,032 people, including children)
- 6 – 14 January, Operation Franz (Grodsjanka; 2,025 people, including children)
- 10 – 11 January, Operation Peter (Kliczów, Kolbcza; 1,400 people, including children)
- 18 – 23 January, Słuck-Mińsk-Czerwień massacre (825 people, including children)
- 28 January – 15 February, Operation Schneehase; Połock, Rossony, Krasnopole; 2,283 people, including children); 54; 37
- Until 28 January, Operation Erntefest I (Czerwień, Osipowicze; 1,228 people, including children)
- Jaanuar, Operation Eisbär (between Briańsk and Dmitriev-Lgowski)
- Until 1 February, Operation Waldwinter (Sirotino-Trudy; 1,627 people, including children)
- 8 – 26 February, Operation Hornung (Lenin, Hancewicze; 12,897 people, including children)
- Until 9 February, Operation Erntefest II (Słuck, Kopyl; 2,325 people, including children)
- 15 February – end of March, Operation Winterzauber (Oświeja, Latvian border; 3,904 people, including children)
- 22 February – 8 March, Operation Kugelblitz (Połock, Oświeja, Dryssa, Rossony; 3,780 people, including children)
- Until 19 March, Operation Nixe (Ptycz, Mikaszewicze, Pińsk; 400 people, including children)
- Until 21 March, Operation Föhn (Pińsk; 543 people, including children)
- 21 March – 2 April, Operation Donnerkeil (Połock, Witebsk; 542 people, including children)
- 1 – 9 May, Operation Draufgänger II (Rudnja and Manyly forest; 680 people, including children)
- 17 – 21 May, Operation Maigewitter (Witebsk, Suraż, Gorodok; 2,441 people, including children)
- 20 May – 23 June, Operation Cottbus (Lepel, Begomel, Uszacz; 11,796 people, including children)
- 27 May – 10 June, Operation Weichsel (Dniepr-Prypeć triangle, South-West of Homel; 4,018 people, including children)
- 13 – 16 June, Operation Ziethen (Rzeczyca; 160 people, including children)
- 25 June – 27 July, Operation Seydlitz (Owrucz-Mozyrz; 5,106 people, including children)
- 30 July, Mozyrz massacre (501 people, including children)
- Until 14 July, Operation Günther (Woloszyn, Lagoisk; 3,993 people, including children)
- 13 July – 11 August, Operation Hermann (Iwie, Nowogródek, Woloszyn, Stołpce; 4,280 people, including children)
- 24 September – 10 October, Operation Fritz (Głębokie; 509 people, including children)
- 9 October – 22 October, Stary Bychów massacre (1,769 people, including children)
- 1 November – 18 November, Operation Heinrich (Rossony, Połock, Idrica; 5,452 people, including children)
- December, Spasskoje massacre (628 people, including children)
- December, Biały massacre (1,453 people, including children)
- 20 December – 1 January 1944, Operation Otto (Oświeja; 1,920 people, including children)
- 14 January, Oła massacre (1,758 people, including children)
- 22 January, Baiki massacre (987 people, including children)
- 3 – 15 February, Operation Wolfsjagd (Hłusk, Bobrujsk; 467 people, including children)
- 5 – 6 February, Barycz (near Buczacz) massacre (126 people, including children)
- Until 19 February, Operation Sumpfhahn (Hłusk, Bobrujsk; 538 people, including children)
- Beginning of March, Berezyna-Bielnicz massacre (686 people, including children)
- 7 – 17 April, Operation Auerhahn (Bobrujsk; ca. 1,000 people, including children)
- 17 April – 12 May, Operation Frühlingsfest (Połock, Uszacz; 7,011 people, including children)
- 25 May – 17 June, Operation Kormoran; Wilejka, Borysów, Minsk; 7,697 people, including children)
- 2 June – 13 June, Operation Pfingsrose (Talka; 499 people, including children)
- June, Operation Pfingstausnlug (Sienno; 653 people, including children)
- June, Operation Windwirbel (Chidra; 560 people, including children)
- 13 July – 21 August Daugavpils massacre by Einsatzkommando 3 and Lithuanian partisans (9,585 people, including children)
- July – August 1944, Ponary massacre (ca. 100,000 people, including children)
- 18 August – 22 August, Kreis Rasainiai massacre (1,020 children)
- 19 August, Ukmerge massacre (88 children)
- Summer-autumn-winter, Complete murder of native Jewish population in Estonia (900 individuals, including 101 children)
- 1 September, Marijampolė massacre (1,404 children)
- 2 September, Wilno massacre (817 children)
- 4 September, Čekiškė massacre (60 children)
- 4 September, Seredžius massacre (126 children)
- 4 September, Veliuona massacre (86 children)
- 4 September, Zapyškis massacre (13 children)
- 6 September – 8 September, Raseiniai massacre (415 children)
- 6 September – 8 September, Jurbork massacre (412 people, including children)
- 29 October, Kaunas massacre (4,273 children)
- 25 November, Kauen-F.IX massacre (175 children)
- 28 February, Huta Pieniacka massacre
- 28 – 29 February, Korosciatyn Massacre (ca. 150 people, including children)
- 2 June, Murder of Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam's children (9 children)
- 4–August 25, Ochota massacre (ca. 10,000 people, including children)
- 5 – 8 August, Wola massacre (40,000  up to 100,000  people, including children)
Asperg. Sinti and Roma children about to be deported, 22 May 1940.
Iaşi. Jewish bodies, 29 June 1941.
Reichskommissariat Moskau. Jewish women and children been forced out of their homes. A soldier in Romanian uniform is marching along as a guard, 17 July 1941.
Members of the 21st Latvian Police Battalion assemble a group of Jewish women for execution on a beach near Liepāja, 1941.
Eichmann and his officers were responsible for the murder of most of the Jewish population in the ghettos of the territory of Czechoslovakia, and for the transport of men, women and children of all nationalities to extermination camps, for example KZ Auschwitz-Birkenau, May–June 1944.
Collecting bodies after bombing, during Warsaw Uprising. Picture of the courtyard of Tamka 23 street where Tomaszewski was taken after being wounded on 8 September 1944.
This boy's dead, burning body shows damage done by a V-2 on a main intersection in Antwerp, on a main supply line to the Netherlands, 1944.
The bodies of Belgian men, women, and children, killed by the German military during their counter-offensive into Luxembourg and Belgium, await identification before burial, 1944.
Memorial to the murdered children of Babi Jar.
Memorial to the murdered children of Lidice.
- This article incorporates text from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and has been released under the GFDL.
See also 
- ^ Olusoga, David and Erichsen, Casper W (2010). The Kaiser's Holocaust. Germany's Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism. Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-23141-6
- ^ Levi, Neil; Rothberg, Michael (2003). The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings. Rutgers University Press. p. 465. ISBN 0-8135-3353-8.
- ^ Mahmood Mamdani, When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2001, p. 12
- ^ Allan D. Cooper (2006-08-31). "Reparations for the Herero Genocide: Defining the limits of international litigation". Oxford Journals African Affairs.
- ^ "Remembering the Herero Rebellion". Deutsche Welle. 2004-11-01.
- ^ Colonial Genocide and Reparations Claims in the 21st Century: The Socio-Legal Context of Claims under International Law by the Herero against Germany for Genocide in Namibia, 1904-1908 (PSI Reports) by Jeremy Sarkin-Hughes
- ^ Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest, Occupation and Subaltern Resistance in World History (War and Genocide) (War and Genocide) (War and Genocide) A. Dirk Moses -page 296(From Conquest to Genocide: Colonial Rule in German Southwest Africa and German East Africa. 296, (29). Dominik J. Schaller)
- ^ The Imperialist Imagination: German Colonialism and Its Legacy (Social History, Popular Culture, and Politics in Germany) by Sara L. Friedrichsmeyer, Sara Lennox, and Susanne M. Zantop page 87 University of Michigan Press 1999
- ^ Walter Nuhn: Sturm über Südwest. Der Hereroaufstand von 1904. Bernhard & Graefe-Verlag, Koblenz 1989. ISBN 3-7637-5852-6.
- ^ Marie-Aude Baronian, Stephan Besser, Yolande Jansen, "Diaspora and memory: figures of displacement in contemporary literature, arts and politics", pg. 33 Rodopi, 2007,
- ^ Samuel Totten, William S. Parsons, Israel W. Charny, "Century of genocide: critical essays and eyewitness accounts" pg. 51, Routledge, 2004,
- ^ Dan Kroll, "Securing our water supply: protecting a vulnerable resource", PennWell Corp/University of Michigan Press, pg. 22
- ^ Chuter, David (2003). War Crimes: Confronting Atrocity in the Modern World. London: Lynne Rienner Pub. p. 300. ISBN 1-58826-209-X.
- ^ Willmore, John (1918). The great crime and its moral. New York: Doran. p. 340.
- ^ France: the dark years, 1940-1944 page 273 Julian Jackson Oxford University Press 2003
- ^ Telford Taylor "When people kill a people" in The New York Times, March 28, 1982
- ^ "Home - Veterans Affairs Canada". Vac-acc.gc.ca. 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
- ^ "Army to honor soldiers enslaved by Nazis". CNN. 2008-12-23. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
- ^ "Complete tabulation of executions carried out in the Einsatzkommando 3 zone up to 1 December 1941". Holocaust-history.org. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
- ^ "Gesamtaufstellung der im Bereich des EK. 3 bis zum 1. Dez. 1941 durchgeführten Exekutionen". Holocaust-history.org. 2002-09-28. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
- ^ Muzeum Powstania otwarte, BBC Polish edition, 2 October 2004, Children accessed on 13 April 2007
- ^ O Powstaniu Warszawskim opowiada prof. Jerzy Kłoczowski, Gazeta Wyborcza – local Warsaw edition, 1998-08-01. Children accessed on 13 April 2007
Further reading 
External links