Added: August 6, 2016 – Last updated: August 6, 2016


Author: Edward B. Westermann

Title: Stone-Cold Killers or Drunk with Murder?

Subtitle: Alcohol and Atrocity during the Holocaust

Journal: Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Volume: 30

Issue: 1

Year: Spring 2016

Pages: 1-19

ISSN: 8756-6583 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1476-7937 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | European History: German History | Offenders: Alcohol



Oxford University Press (Restricted Access)

Project MUSE (Restricted Access)


Author: Edward B. Westermann, Department of Humanities and Social Science, Texas A&M University at San Antonio

Abstract: »In many testimonies on mass murders of Jews by SS and German police units in the East, witnesses and perpetrators mention that alcohol was present or that the killers were intoxicated. In fact, it is clear from available evidence that alcohol--normally in the form of vodka or schnapps--was often available at murder sites. Despite the ubiquity of its presence, however, there has been little scholarly analysis concerning the use of alcohol or its role in the process of mass murder. This article examines the ways in which SS and police leaders used alcohol in the occupied Eastern territories, as well as the role played by alcohol in genocide. In offering insights into the use of alcohol by perpetrators during the Shoah, the study may provide insight into the role of alcohol in the conduct of other atrocities.« (Source: Holocaust and Genocide Studies)


  Alcohol and Atrocity (p. 2)
  Alcohol and Violence (p. 2)
  Alcohol, Germany, and SS "Virtues" (p. 3)
  Alcohol as a Reward (p. 4)
  Mass Murder and Fellowship Evenings (p. 4)
  Alcohol as Facilitator of Atrocity (p. 5)
  Alcohol and Local Auxiliaries (p. 8)
  Alcohol and the Camps (p. 9)
  Murder Banquets? (p. 10)
  Celebrating Round Numbers (p. 11)
  Sexual Violence and Alcohol (p. 11)
  Conclusion (p. 13)
  Notes (p. 14)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of Germany / Nazi Germany | Genocide: The Holocaust