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After the FallGerman Policy in Occupied France, 1940-1944$
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Thomas J. Laub

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199539321

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199539321.001.0001

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First Measures

First Measures

(p.89) 4 First Measures
After the Fall

Thomas J. Laub

Oxford University Press

Historical precedents and international agreements provided scant protect to the inhabitants of an occupied territory during World War II. Although noble in design, the Hague Convention used vague language to overcome fundamental disagreements between large and small powers and implicitly sanctioned collective reprisals by way of the Martens clause. American, British, French, and German manuals of military law sanctioned the execution of hostages and punished one man or groups of people for crimes committed by others. The first two men who served as the military commander in France, Generals Alfred Streccius and Otto von Stülpnagel, did not adopt abbreviated judicial procedures established by Hitler, viewed collective reprisals and hostage executions as a last resort, and exercised a degree of restraint. Supported by statistics that pointed toward a decrease in serious resistance activity, they endured petty attacks and avoided provocative reprisals that would undermine Franco‐German cooperation.

Keywords:   international law, laws of war, Hague Convention, Martens Clause, hostages, collective reprisals, military law, Alfred Streccius, Otto von Stülpnagel, statistics

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