The designation "Wehrmacht" replaced the previously used term Reichswehr and was the manifestation of the Nazi regime's efforts to rearm Germany to a greater extent than the Treaty of Versailles permitted.
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Recruitment for the Wehrmacht was accomplished through voluntary enlistment and conscription, with 1.
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Effectiveness of officer training and recruitment by the Wehrmacht has been identified as a major factor in its early victories as well as its ability to keep the war going as long as it did even as the war turned against Germany.
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Legally, the commander-in-chief of the Wehrmacht was Adolf Hitler in his capacity as Germany's head of state, a position he gained after the death of President Paul von Hindenburg in August 1934.
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Wehrmacht directed combat operations during World War II as the German Reich's armed forces umbrella command-organization.
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Cooperation between the SS Einsatzgruppen and the Wehrmacht involved supplying the death squads with weapons, ammunition, equipment, transport, and even housing.
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Bartov argues that far from being the "untarnished shield", as successive German apologists stated after the war, the Wehrmacht was a criminal organization.
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Likewise, the historian Richard J Evans, a leading expert on modern German history, wrote that the Wehrmacht was a genocidal organization.
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Several high-ranking Wehrmacht officers, including Hermann Hoth, Georg von Kuchler, Georg-Hans Reinhardt, Karl von Roques, Walter Warlimont and others, were convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the High Command Trial given sentences ranging from time served to life.
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Wehrmacht then evacuated up to 100 Jews and their families to the barracks of the local military command, and placed them under his protection.
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Wehrmacht helped the Polish-Jewish composer Wladyslaw Szpilman, who was hiding among the city's ruins, by supplying him with food and water.
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