University Relations and Communications

Holocaust Author to Present Lecture About New Book, Marching into Darkness: The Wehrmacht and the Holocaust in Belarus

January 23, 2014



Dr. Jennifer Lynn, Department of History, 657-2922
Dr. Brent Roberts, MSUB Library, 657-1655
University Relations, 657-2269


The College of Arts and Sciences and the MSUB Library will host the special lecture, reception and book signing on Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m., in the Library building, room 148 


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — On October 10, 1941 the entire Jewish population in the Belarusian village of Krucha was rounded up and shot. While Nazi death squads routinely carried out mass-executions on the Eastern Front, this particular atrocity was not the work of the SS. In “Marching into Darkness: The Wehrmacht and the Holocaust in Belarus,” author Dr. Waitman Beorn presents a bone-chilling exposé about the ordinary German foot soldiers who participated in the Final Solution.


Dr. BeornAssistant professor of history and the Louis and Frances Blumkin Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Nebraska, Beorn will present research from his new book during a special lecture and book signing at MSU Billings on Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m., in the Library building, room 148. A question and answer session and a book-signing reception will follow the lecture. 


Although scholars have exploded the myth that the Wehrmacht played no significant part in the Holocaust, a concrete picture of its involvement at the local level has been lacking, Beorn says.


Among the crimes Beorn unearths are forced labor, sexual violence and grave robbing. By meticulously reconstructing the German army’s activities in Belarus in 1941, Marching into Darkness reveals in stark detail how the army willingly fulfilled its role as an agent of murder on a massive scale.


cover of Marching Into DarknessEarly efforts at improvised extermination progressively became much more methodical, with some army units going so far as to organize “Jew hunts.” Beorn also demonstrates how the Wehrmacht used the pretense of anti-partisan warfare as a subterfuge by reporting murdered Jews as partisans.


Through archival research into military and legal records, survivor testimonies and eyewitness interviews, Beorn paints a searing portrait of a professional army’s descent into an intimate participation in genocide.


Beorn serves as the executive director of the Sam and Frances Fried Holocaust and Genocide Education Fund Board at the University of Nebraska Omaha. He can be reached at 402-554-2604.


The event is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the MSUB Library.


For more information, visit or contact Dr. Jennifer Lynn, MSUB Department of History, at or 406.657.2922.


PHOTO ABOVE: 1) Cover of Dr. Beorn's book; 2) Dr. Beorn