The Legend of the Wehrmacht’s “Clean Hands”: The Attempt to Remove Nazism from the German Military

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McCracken, Kenneth R.
Wehrmacht; "Clean hands"; Post World War Two Germany; War Crimes; European History; Military History
paper description
The legend of the Wehrmacht’s “clean hands” was created with the Himmerdoer Memorandum of 1950 and sought to disassociate the German military with its Nazi past. The legend gained popularity in the minds of the German people and successfully led to Germany’s rearmament after World War Two. Beginning in 1990, the legend was destroyed as the actions of the Wehrmacht during World War Two created a different picture than that of the legend. The Wehrmacht’s hands were far from “clean” and instead were very dirty.