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Books not used for citations
I would like to raise the issue of inclusion of 2 books in the bibliography that are not used for citations. These are clearly not works by reputable historians, but instead by 'admirers':
- Alman, Karl (2008). Panzer vor - Die dramtische Geschichte der deutschen Panzerwaffe und ihre tapferen Soldaten (in German). Würzburg, Germany: Flechsig Verlag. ISBN 978-3-88189-638-2.
Karl Alman is a pseudonym of Franz Kurowski; the translated title is Panzers: The dramatic history of German armored forces and their brave soldiers. See De Wikipedia: Kurowski was a German author; his first publications were from the era of National Socialism. Kurowski's books have various revisionist tendencies. A number of books have been published in right-wing publishing houses. The book Stalingrad: The battle that destroyed Hitler myth was published in 1992 with the goal of "the rehabilitation of the decent, powerful German soldiers".
In their work The myth of the Eastern Front: the Nazi-Soviet war in American popular culture, Smelser and Davies characterize Kurowski as a "guru" (gurus, in their definition, are "authors popular among the readers who romanticize the German army and, in particular, the Waffen-SS").
They note: "Kurowski, like all true gurus, ignores the charges of serious misdeeds leveled against the German military and provides a heroic context for the men he describes in his many works." His first books released in English were Panzer Aces (1992) and Infantry Aces (1994). The cover art of these books evokes the "heroism, determination, and might of the German soldier".
The two books cover "many of the demigods of the Eastern Front" including Kurt Meyer, Joachim Peiper, Paul Hausser, etc. "These noted worthies of the romancers" commanded the men featured in Kurowski's "tales of bravery on the Russian battlefield".
Smelser and Davies write:
Kurowski gives the readers an almost heroic version of the German soldier, guiltless of any war crimes, actually incapable of such behavior.... Sacrifice and humility are his hallmarks. Their actions win them medals, badges and promotions, yet they remain indifferent to these awards." Etc. etc. "In this context, the war did not seem to be about conquest and racial annihilation, but rather a force to unite the German soldier as comrades in life and in death."
The conclude that Kurowski's accounts are "embellishments of the 'clean Wehrmacht' and its heroic soldiers"; they are "laudatory texts that cast the German soldier in an extraordinarily favorable light."
(Citations are from * Smelser, Ronald; Davies, Edward J. (2008). The myth of the Eastern Front: the Nazi-Soviet war in American popular culture. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521833653.}
I don't have a secondary source for Knights of the Reich
- Fraschka, Günther (1994). Knights of the Reich. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Military/Aviation History. ISBN 978-0-88740-580-8.
but I believe some original research is permitted when evaluating sources for inclusion. Title speaks for itself (IMO), but here's an Amazon review: "That Gunther Fraschka is a hero worshipper, not a biographer and certainly not a scholar, is painfully evident in this collection of sketches purporting to commemorate the deeds of Hitler's greatest heroes. Worse, his writing style is atrocious (or Johnston's translation is), consisting of prose more appropriate to a high-school essay than a serious study of the essence of heroism."
I therefore question the inclusion of these two works in the bibliography; moreover, they serve no purpose as they are not used for citations.
I earlier had two separate discussions on this topic on other articles. Here are the discussions in question: