Within nations occupied by the Axis Powers in World War II, some citizens and organizations, prompted by nationalism, ethnic hatred, anti-communism, antisemitism, opportunism, self-defense, or often a combination, knowingly collaborated with the Axis Powers. Some of these collaborators committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, or atrocities of the Holocaust.
Collaboration has been defined as cooperation between elements of the population of a defeated state and representatives of a victorious power. Stanley Hoffmann subdivided collaboration into involuntary (reluctant recognition of necessity) and voluntary (exploitation of necessity). According to Hoffmann, collaborationism can be subdivided into "servile" and "ideological"; the former is deliberate service to an enemy, whereas the latter is deliberate advocacy of cooperation with a foreign force which is seen as a champion of desirable domestic transformations. In contrast, Bertram Gordon uses the terms "collaborator" and "collaborationist", respectively, in reference to non-ideological and ideological collaborations.
The term "collaborator" has also been applied to persons, organizations, or countries that were not under occupation by the Axis Powers but that ideologically, financially, or militarily, before or during World War II, supported Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, or World War II-era Imperial Japan.
After the Italian invasion of Albania, the Royal Albanian Army, police and gendarmerie were amalgamated into the Italian armed forces in the newly created Italian protectorate of Albania. A fascist Albanian Militia was also formed and in the Yugoslav part of Kosovo they established Vulnetari (or Kosovars) a volunteer militia of Albanians from Kosovo. Ethnic Albanian elements of the Italian armed forces participated in the Italian invasion of Greece, and German-led Axis invasion of Yugoslavia. After the capitulation of Italy, the Germans stepped in and established more collaborationist units such as police volunteer regiments and a national militia. In annexed Kosovo, the Germans established the Kosovo Regiment out of Balli Kombëtar forces. In April 1943, Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler created the 21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian) manned by Albanians and Kosovar Albanians. By June 1944, its military value against the Albanian and Yugoslav Partisans was considered poor, after the German occupation of Albania and the creation of the Albanian client state, by November 1944 it had been disbanded. The remaining cadre, now called Kampfgruppe Skanderbeg, was transferred to the Prinz Eugen Division where they successfully participated in actions against Josip Broz Tito's partisans in December 1944. The emblem of the division was a black Albanian eagle.
At least four, and possibly five, Australian prisoners of war in Axis custody volunteered for the British Free Corps (BFC), a Waffen-SS unit. Three of the four men whose identity is known were members of the Second Australian Imperial Force's 2/32nd Battalion, and the other was a merchant seaman. Following the war the three soldiers claimed that they had joined the BFC as part of attempts to escape from German custody, and the merchant seaman stated that he had been given a choice of either signing up for the Corps or being imprisoned in a concentration camp after a relationship with a German woman was revealed. One of the soldiers and the seaman were convicted of aiding the enemy and imprisoned after the war, and the other two soldiers were not punished.
Political collaboration took separate forms across the Belgian language divide. In Dutch-speaking Flanders, the Vlaams Nationaal Verbond (Flemish National Union or VNV), an authoritarian party and part of the pre-war Flemish Movement, became a major part of the German occupation strategy and VNV politicians were promoted to positions in the Belgian civil administration. VNV's comparatively moderate stance meant that it was increasingly eclipsed later in the war by the more radical and pro-German DeVlag movement. In French-speaking Wallonia, Léon Degrelle's Rexist Party, a pre-war authoritarian and Catholic Fascist political party, became the VNV's Walloon equivalent, although Rex's Belgian nationalist stance put it at odds with the Flemish nationalism of VNV and the German Flamenpolitik. Rex became increasingly radical after 1941 and declared itself part of the Waffen SS. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Rex helped support the creation of a military unit to fight alongside German troops on the Eastern Front, the Walloon Legion, and a similar Flemish Legion was created in Flanders. Both began as formations in the German regular army but would eventually become part of the Waffen SS.
Although the pre-war Belgian government went into exile in 1940, the Belgian civil service was left in place for much of the occupation. The Committee of Secretaries-General, an administrative panel of civil servants, was created to coordinate the state's activities and, although it was intended to be a purely techocratic institution, has been accused of helping implement German occupation policies. The Belgian police have also been accused of collaborating during the occupation, especially in The Holocaust in Belgium.
The Japanese invasion was assisted by Burmese nationalists known as Burma Independence Army, who hoped for independence. They were later transformed into Burma National Army as the armed forces of State of Burma. Minority groups were also armed by Japanese, such as the Arakan Defense Army and the Chin Defense Army.
The Japanese set up several puppet regimes in occupied Chinese territories. The first of which was Manchukuo in 1932, followed by the East Hebei Autonomous Council in 1935. Similar to Manchukuo in its supposed ethnic identity, Mengjiang (Mengkukuo) was set up in late 1936. Wang Kemin's collaborationist Provisional Government of the Republic of China was set up in Beijing in 1937 following the start of full-scale military operations between China and Japan, another puppet regime was the Reformed Government of the Republic of China, setup in Nanjing in 1938. The Wang Jingwei collaborationist government, established in 1940, "consolidated" these regimes, though in reality neither Wang's government nor the constituent governments had any autonomy, although the military of the Wang Jingwei Government was equipped by the Japanese with planes, cannons, tanks, boats, and German-style stahlhelm (already widely used by the National Revolutionary Army, the "official" army of the Republic of China).
The military forces of these puppet regimes, known collectively as the Collaborationist Chinese Army, numbered more than a million at their height, with some estimates that the number exceeded 2 million conscripts. Great numbers of collaborationist troops were men originally serving in warlord forces within the National Revolutionary Army who had defected when facing both Communists and Japanese as enemies. Although its manpower was very large, the soldiers were very ineffective compared to NRA soldiers due to low morale for being considered as "Hanjian". Although certain collaborationist forces had limited battlefield presence during the Second Sino-Japanese War, most were relegated to behind-the-line duties.
The Wang Jingwei government was disbanded after Japanese surrender to Allies in 1945, and Manchukuo and Mengjiang were destroyed by Soviet troops in the invasion of Manchuria.
With the German annexation of Czechoslovakia between 1938 and 1939, the country was divided. Most of the Czech part of pre-war Czechoslovakia was reconstituted into Bohemia and Moravia, a protectorate of Nazi Germany. The Protectorate had its own military forces, including a 12-battalion 'Government Army', police and gendarmerie. The majority of the 'government army' was sent to northern Italy in 1944 as labor and guard troops. Whether or not the Government Army can be considered a collaborationist force has been debated. Its commanding officer, Jaroslav Eminger, was tried and acquitted on charges of collaboration following World War II, some members of the force engaged in active resistance operations simultaneous with their service in the army, and – in the waning days of the conflict – elements of the army joined in the Prague uprising.
The Slovak Republic (Slovenská republika) was a quasi-independent ethnic-Slovak state which existed from 14 March 1939 to 8 May 1945 as an ally and client state of Nazi Germany. The Slovak Republic existed on roughly the same territory as present-day Slovakia (with the exception of the southern and eastern parts of present-day Slovakia). The Republic bordered Germany, the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the German-occupied Poland, and Hungary.
At 04:15 on 9 April 1940 (Danish standard time), German forces crossed the border into neutral Denmark, in violation of a German–Danish treaty of non-aggression signed the previous year. After two hours the Danish government surrendered, believing that resistance was useless and hoping to work out an advantageous agreement with Germany. As a result of the cooperative attitude of the Danish authorities, German officials claimed that they would "respect Danish sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as neutrality." The German authorities were inclined towards lenient terms with Denmark for several reasons which allowed Denmark a favorable relationship with Nazi Germany. The government remained intact and the parliament continued to function more or less as it had before, maintaining control over domestic policy. Danish public opinion generally backed the new government, particularly after the fall of France in June 1940.
Prior to, during and after the war Denmark enforced a restrictive refugee policy and handed Jewish refugees that managed to get over the border over to German authorities. 21 such incidents are known and 18 of the people transferred to German custody later died in concentration camps, including a woman and her three children. In 2005 prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen officially apologized for these policies.
Newspaper articles and news reports "which might jeopardize German-Danish relations" were outlawed. Following the German assault on the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, German authorities demanded that Danish communists be arrested. The Danish government complied and directed the police to arrest 339 communists using secret registers. Of these, 246, including the three communist members of the Danish parliament, were imprisoned in the Horserød camp, in violation of the Danish constitution. On 22 August 1941, the Danish parliament passed the Communist Law, outlawing the communist party and communist activities, in another violation of the Danish constitution. In 1943, about half of the imprisoned communists were transferred to Stutthof concentration camp, where 22 of them died. On 25 November 1941, Denmark joined the Anti-Comintern Pact.
On 29 June 1941 Frikorps Danmark (Free Corps Denmark) was founded as a corps of Danish volunteers to fight against the Soviet Union. Frikorps Danmark was set up at the initiative of the SS and National Socialist Workers' Party of Denmark (DNSAP) who approached Lieutenant-Colonel C.P. Kryssing of the Danish army shortly after the invasion of the USSR had begun. According to Danish law, it was not illegal to join a foreign army, but active recruiting on Danish soil was illegal. German authorities disregarded this law and began recruiting efforts and ultimately 12,000 Danish citizens volunteered for German army duty of which 6,000 were approved for service. After the war, it was retroactively made illegal to have served in the German army and many of the returning soldiers given long prison sentences.
Industrial production and trade was, partly due to geopolitical reality and economic necessity, redirected towards Germany. Many government officials saw expanded trade with Germany as vital to maintaining social order in Denmark. It was feared increased unemployment and poverty could lead to civil unrest which would result in a crackdown by the German authorities. The Danish government and King Christian X repeatedly discouraged sabotage and encouraged informing on the resistance movement, an activity some were sentenced to death for, after the war. The structure of the Danish unemployment system meant that unemployment benefits could be denied if jobs were available in Germany and this practice was widely followed resulting in an average of some 20.000 Danes working in German factories through the 5 years of the war.
In return for these concessions, the Danish cabinet rejected German demands for legislation discriminating against Denmark's Jewish minority. Demands to introduce the death penalty were likewise rebuffed and so were German demands to allow German military courts jurisdiction over Danish citizens and demands for the transfer of Danish army units to German military use.
Although the Estonian Self-Administration did not have complete freedom of action, it exercised a significant measure of autonomy, within the framework of German policy, political, racial and economic. Thus, the Directors exercised their powers pursuant to the laws and regulations of the Republic of Estonia, but only to the extent that these had not been repealed or amended by the German military command. The Director's position was voluntary. The Self-Administration's autonomy enabled it to maintain police structures that cooperated with the Germans in rounding up and killing Jews and Roma and in seeking out and killing Estonians deemed to be opponents of the occupiers, and it was ultimately incorporated into the Estonian Security Police and SD. It also extended to the unlawful conscription of Estonians for forced labor or for military service under German command.
The Estonian Security Police and SD, the 286th, 287th and 288th Estonian Auxiliary Police Battalions, and 2.5–3% of the Estonian Omakaitse (Home Guard) militia units (approximately between 1,000 and 1,200 men) were directly involved in criminal acts, taking part in the rounding-up, guarding or killing of 400–1,000 Roma people and 6,000 Jews in the concentration camps in the Pskov region, Russia and the Jägala, Vaivara, Klooga and Lagedi camps in Estonia. Guarded by the above-listed formations, 15,000 Soviet POWs died in Estonia: some through neglect and mistreatment and some through execution.
The Vichy government, headed by Marshal Philippe Pétain and Pierre Laval, actively collaborated in the extermination of the European Jews. It also participated in Porajmos, the extermination of Roma people, and in the extermination of other "undesirables." Vichy opened up a series of concentration camps in France where it interned Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, political opponents, etc. Directed by René Bousquet, the French police helped in the deportation of 76,000 Jews to the extermination camps. In 1995, President Jacques Chirac officially recognized the responsibility of the French state for the deportation of Jews during the war, in particular the more than 13,000 victims the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup of July 1942, during which Laval decided, of his own volition (and without being requested by the occupying German authorities), to deport children along with their parents. Only 2,500 of the deported Jews survived the war. The 1944 Battle of Marseille was another event during which the French police assisted the Gestapo in a massive raid, which included an urban reshaping plan involving the destruction of a whole neighbourhood in the popular Old Port. Some few collaborators were tried in the 1980s for crimes against humanity (Paul Touvier, etc.), while Maurice Papon, who had become after the war prefect of police of Paris (a function in which he illustrated himself during the 1961 Paris massacre) was convicted in 1998 for crimes against humanity. He had been Budget Minister under President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. Other collaborators, such as Emile Dewoitine, managed to have important functions after the war (Dewoitine was eventually named head of Aérospatiale, the firm which created the Concorde plane). Debates concerning state collaboration remain, in 2008, very strong in France.
French workers at naval bases provided the Kriegsmarine with an essential workforce, thereby supporting Nazi Germany in the Battle of the Atlantic. By 1939, the Kriegsmarine's planning had presumed that they had time to build up resources before war started. When France fell and the ports of Brest, Lorient and St Nazaire became available, there were insufficient Germans to man these repair and maintenance facilities, so huge reliance was made on the French workforce. At the end of 1940, the Kriegsmarine requested 2,700 skilled workers from Wilhemshaven to work in bases on the Atlantic coast, but this was out of a total available workforce of only 3,300. This same request included 870 men skilled in machinery and engine building, but there were only 725 people with these skills in Wilhemshaven. This massive deficit was made up with French naval dockyard workers. In February 1941, the naval dockyard at Brest had only 470 German workers, compared with 6,349 French workers. In April 1941, French workers replaced defective superheater tubes on the Scharnhorst, carrying out the work slowly but, in the opinion of Scharnhorst's captain, to a better standard than could be obtained in the yards in Germany. An assessment commissioned by Vizeadmiral Walter Matthiae in October 1942 of the potential effect of withdrawal of French dockyard workers (considered possible after 32 French fatalities in an air raid at Keroman Submarine Base) stated that all repairs on the surface fleet would cease and U-boat repairs would be cut by 30 per cent. Admiral Darlan stated, on 30 September 1940, that it was useless to decline German requests for collaboration. In September 1942, Rear Admiral Germain Paul Jardel, commander of the French navy in the occupied zone stated "We have a special interest in that the workers at our arsenals work, and that they work in the arsenals and not in Germany." From a practical point of view, French workers needed employment and could be conscripted to work in Germany (as happened to nearly a thousand of them). A small number objected to carrying out war work but the majority were found by the Germans to be willing and efficient workers.
The French volunteers would form the Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism (LVF), Legion Imperiale, SS-Sturmbrigade Frankreich and finally in 1945 the 33rd Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Charlemagne (1st French), which was among the final defenders of Berlin.
Breton nationalists such as Olier Mordrel and François Debeauvais had longstanding links with Nazi Germany because of their fascist and Nordicist ideologies, linked to the belief that the Bretons were a "pure" Celtic branch of the Aryan-Nordic race. At the outbreak of the war they left France and declared support for Germany. After 1940, they returned and their supporters such as Célestin Lainé and Yann Goulet organized militias that worked in collaboration with the Germans. Lainé and Goulet later took refuge in Ireland.
On 22 September 1940, an agreement was signed Between Vichy and the Japanese, which allowed the Japanese to station no more than 6,000 troops in Indochina, and never have more than 25,000 transiting the colony. Rights were given for three airfields, with all other Japanese forces forbidden to enter Indochina without Vichy consent. Vichy signed Joint Defense and Joint Military Cooperation treaty with Japan on 29 July. It granted the Japanese eight airfields, allowed them to have more troops present, and to use the Indochinese financial system, in return for a fragile French autonomy.
The French colonial government had largely stayed in place, as the Vichy government was on reasonably friendly terms with Japan. The Japanese permitted the French to put down nationalist rebellions in 1940.
The Japanese occupation forces kept the French Indochina under nominal rule of Vichy France until March 1945, when the French colonial administration was overthrown, and the Japanese supported the establishment of Empire of Vietnam, Kingdom of Kampuchea and Kingdom of Laos as Japanese puppet states. Vietnamese militia were used to assist the Japanese. In Cambodia, the ex-colonial Cambodian constabulary was allowed to continue its existence, though it was reduced to ineffectuality. A plan to create a Cambodian volunteer force was not realized due to Japanese surrender. In Laos, the local administration and ex-colonial Garde Indigene (Indigenous Guard, a paramilitary police force) were reformed by Prince Phetsarath who replaced its Vietnamese members with Laotians.
The German Wehrmacht forces in North Africa established the Kommando Deutsch-Arabische Truppen; which comprised two battalions of Arab volunteers of Tunisian origin, an Algerian battalion and a Moroccan battalion. The four units made up a total of 3,000 men; with German cadres.
After the German invasion of Greece, a Nazi-held government was put in place. All three quisling prime ministers, (Georgios Tsolakoglou, Konstantinos Logothetopoulos and Ioannis Rallis), cooperated with the Axis authorities. Although their administrations did not directly assist the occupation forces, they collaborated with the German forces, creating armed "anti-communist" and "anti-gangster" paramilitary organisations such as the Security Battalions and others. Greek National-Socialist parties, like the Greek National Socialist Party of Georgios Merkouris, the ESPO organization or openly anti-semitic organisations, like the National Union of Greece, helped German authorities fight the Resistance, and identify and deport Greek Jews. It was also the Organization BUND, with her leader Aginor Giannopoulos, who trained a battalion of Greek Volunteers, who fought with German Uniforms in SS and in Brandenburgers. (German special units).
About one thousand Greeks from Greece and more from the Soviet Union, ostensibly avenging their ethnic persecution from Soviet authorities, joined the Waffen-SS, mostly in Ukrainian divisions. A special case was that of the infamous Ukrainian-Greek Sevastianos Foulidis, a fanatical anti-communist who had been recruited by the Abwehr as early as 1938 and became an official of the Wehrmacht, with extensive action in intelligence and agitation work in the Eastern front.
During the Axis occupation, a number of Cham Albanians set up their own administration and militia in Thesprotia, Greece, subservient to the Resistance Balli Kombëtar organization, and actively collaborated first with the Italian and, subsequently, the German occupation forces, committing a number of atrocities. In one incident, on 29 September 1943, Nuri and Mazzar Dino, Albanian paramilitary leaders, instigated the mass execution of all Greek officials and notables of Paramythia.
Hong Kong was a British crown colony before its occupation by Japanese. During the Japanese rule, former members of the Hong Kong Police including the Indians and Chinese were recruited into a reformed police called the Kempeitai with new uniforms.
The Legion Freies Indien, or Indische Freiwilligen Infanterie Regiment 950 (also known as the Indische Freiwilligen-Legion der Waffen-SS) was created in August 1942, chiefly from disaffected Indian soldiers of the British Indian Army, captured by the Axis in North Africa. Many, if not most, of the Indian volunteers who switched sides to fight with the German Army and against the British were strongly nationalistic supporters of the exiled, anti-British, former president of the Indian National Congress, Netaji (the Leader) Subhas Chandra Bose. The Royal Italian Army formed a similar unit of Indian prisoners of war, the Battaglione Azad Hindoustan. A Japanese-supported sovereign and autonomous state—the Azad Hind (Free India)—was also established with the Indian National Army as its military force. '(See also Tiger Legion.)
Among Indonesians to receive Japanese imperial honours from Hirohito in November 1943 were Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta. Sukarno actively recruited and organised Indonesian Romusha forced labour. They succeeded respectively to become the founding President of the Republic of Indonesia and Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia in August 1945.
In the days before the capture of Riga by German forces the deportations and murders of Latvians by the Soviet NKVD had reached their peak. Those that the NKVD could not deport in time before the arrival of the Germans were shot in the Central Prison. RSHA's instructions to their agents to unleash pogroms fell on fertile ground. After the entry of Einsatzkommando 1a and part of Einsatzkommando 2 into the Latvian capital contact between Viktors Arajs and Brigadeführer Walter Stahlecker was established on 1 July. Stahlecker instructed Arajs on that same day to set up a commando unit that obtained an official name Latvian Auxiliary Security Police or Arājs Kommando. The group was composed of students and former officers of far-right wing orientation; all the members of this group were volunteers, and free to leave at any time. The following day on 2 July Arajs learned from Stahlecker during a conference that the Arajs commando had to unleash a pogrom that looked spontaneous and these pogrom-like disorders were to break out before German occupation authorities had been properly established.
The Einsatzkommando influenced mobs of former members of Pērkonkrusts and other extreme right-wing groups began mass arrests, pillaging and murders of Jews in Riga, which led to death of between 300 and 400 Jews. Killings continued under the supervision of SS Brigadeführer Walter Stahlecker and ended when more 2,700 Jews had been murdered. The activities of the Einsatzkommando were constrained after the full establishment of the German occupation authority, after which the SS made use of select units of native recruits. German General Wilhelm Ullersperger and Voldemar Weiss, a well known Latvian nationalist, appealed to the population via a radio address to attack "internal enemies". During the next few months, activities of the Latvian Auxiliary Security Police was primarily focused on killing Jews, Communists and Red Army stragglers in Latvia as well as in neighboring Belorussia. The group alone murdered almost half of Latvia's Jewish population, about 26,000 Jews, mainly in November and December 1941.
The creation of the Arajs Kommando was "one of the most significant inventions of the early Holocaust", that marked a transition from German organised pogroms to systematic killing of Jews by local volunteers (former army officers, policemen, students, Aizargi). This helped resolve a chronic problem with German personnel shortages, and provided the Germans with relief from the psychological stress of routinely murdering civilians. By the autumn of 1941, the SS deployed Latvian 'Police Battalions' to Leningrad, where they were consolidated as Latvian Second SS Volunteer Brigade. In 1943, this brigade, which would later become the Latvian Nineteenth SS Volunteer Division, was consolidated with the Latvian Fifteen SS Volunteer Division to become the Latvian Legion. Although formally the Latvian Legion (Schutzmannschaft or Schuma) was a volunteer Waffen-SS military formation; it was voluntary only by name, because approximately 80-85% of personnel were conscripted into the legion.
Prior to the German invasion, some leaders in Lithuania and in exile believed Germany would grant the country autonomy along the lines of the status of the Slovakia protectorate. German intelligence Abwehr believed it had control of the Lithuanian Activist Front, a pro-German organization based in the Lithuanian embassy in Berlin. The German Nazis allowed Lithuanians to form the Provisional Government, but did not recognize it diplomatically and did not allow Lithuanian ambassador Kazys Škirpa to become the Prime Minister. Once German military rule in Lithuania was replaced by a German civil authority, the Provisional Government was disbanded.
Rogue units organised by Algirdas Klimaitis and supervised by SS Brigadeführer Walter Stahlecker started pogroms in and around Kaunas on 25 June 1941. Lithuanian collaborators would become involved in the murders of hundreds of thousands of Jews and Gypsies. Lithuanian-American scholar Saulius Sužiedėlis points to the increasingly antisemitic atmosphere clouding Lithuanian society, and the presence of antisemitic LAF émigrés who "needed little prodding from 'foreign influences'". Overall, he concludes that Lithuanian collaboration was "a significant help in facilitating all phases of the genocidal program . . . [and that] the local administration contributed, at times with zeal, to the destruction of Lithuanian Jewry". Elsewhere, Sužiedėlis has similarly emphasised that Lithuania's "moral and political leadership failed in 1941, and that thousands of Lithuanians participated in the Holocaust", though warned that, "[u]ntil buttressed by reliable accounts providing time, place and at least an approximate number of victims, claims of large-scale pogroms before the advent of the German forces must be treated with caution".
In 1941, the Lithuanian Security Police (Lietuvos saugumo policija), subordinate to Nazi Germany's Security Police and Nazi Germany's Criminal Police, was created. Of the 26 local police battalions formed, 10 were involved in systematic extermination of Jews known as the Holocaust. The Special SD and German Security Police Squad in Vilnius killed tens of thousands of Jews and ethnic Poles in Paneriai (see Ponary massacre) and other places. In Minsk, the 2nd Battalion shot about 9,000 Soviet prisoners of war, in Slutsk it massacred 5,000 Jews. In March 1942 in Poland, the 2nd Lithuanian Battalion carried out guard duty in the Majdanek extermination camp. In July 1942, the 2nd Battalion participated in the deportation of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka death camp. In August–October 1942, the police battalions formed from Lithuanians were in Ukraine: the 3rd in Molodechno, the 4th in Donetsk, the 7th-в in Vinnitsa, the 11th in Korosten, the 16th in Dnepropetrovsk, the 254th in Poltava and the 255th in Mogilyov (Belarus). One of the battalions was also used to put down the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943.
The Lithuanian Territorial Defense Force, composed of volunteers, was formed in 1944. Its leadership was Lithuanian, whereas arms were provided by Germans. The purpose of the Lithuanian Territorial Defense Force was to defend Lithuania against the approaching Soviet Army and to defend the civilian population in the territory of Lithuania form actions by partisans. In practice, it was primarily engaged in suppressing the Polish population and the Polish resistance; the LTDF disbanded after it was ordered to act under direct German command. Shortly before it was disbanded, the LTDF suffered a major defeat from Polish partisans in the battle of Murowana Oszmianka.
The participation of the local populace was a key factor in the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Lithuania which resulted in the near total destruction of Lithuanian Jews[a] living in the Nazi-controlled Lithuanian territories that would, from 17 July 1941, become the Generalbezirk Litauen of Reichskommissariat Ostland. Out of approximately 210,000 Jews, (208,000 according to the Lithuanian pre-war statistical data) an estimated 195,000–196,000 perished before the end of World War II (wider estimates are sometimes published); most from June to December 1941. The events that took place in the western regions of the USSR occupied by Nazi Germany in the first weeks after the German invasion (including Lithuania – see map) marked the sharp intensification of The Holocaust.
Luxembourg was invaded by Nazi Germany in May 1940 and remained under German occupation until early 1945. Initially, the country was governed as a distinct region as the Germans prepared to assimilate its Germanic population into Germany itself. The Volksdeutsche Bewegung (VdB) was founded in Luxembourg in 1941 under the leadership of Damian Kratzenberg, a German teacher at the Athénée de Luxembourg. It aimed to encourage the population towards a pro-German position, prior to outright annexation, using the slogan Heim ins Reich. In August 1942, Luxembourg was annexed and became a region of Nazi Germany, meaning that Luxembourgers were given the same legal obligations as German citizens. Luxembourgish men were conscripted into the German military.
The invading Japanese reorganized former British colonial police, and created a new auxiliary police. Later a 2000-men strong Malay Volunteer Army and a part-time Malay Volunteer Corps were created. Local residents were also encouraged to join Japanese Army as auxiliary 'Heiho'. There was a Railway Protection Corps as well.
During the Nazi occupation of Monaco, the Monaco police arrested and turned over 42 Central European Jewish refugees to the Nazis while also protecting Monaco's own Jews.
The Germans reformed pre-war Dutch police and established a new Communal Police, which helped Germans fight resistance and deport Jews. The Dutch Nazi Party had its own militia units, whose members were transferred to other Paramilitaries like the Netherlands Landstorm or the Control Commando. Dutch Jew-hunters massively helped the Nazis.
Thousands of Dutch volunteers joined the 11th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Nordland (created in February 1943). The division participated in fighting against the Soviet army and was crushed in the Battle of Berlin in April–May 1945.
SS-Freiwilligen Legion Niederlande, manned by Dutch volunteers and German officers, battled the Soviet army from 1941. In December 1943, it gained brigade status after fighting on the front around Leningrad. It was at Leningrad that the first European volunteer, a Dutchman, earned the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross: Gerardus Mooyman. In December 1944, it was transformed into the 23rd SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Nederland and fought in Courland and Pomerania. It found its end scattered across Germany. 49. SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Regiment "de Ruyter" fought at the Oder and surrendered on 3 May 1945 to the Americans. 48. SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Regiment "General Seyffardt" however was split up into two groups. The first of these fought with Kampfgruppe Vieweger and went under in the fighting near Halbe. The few remaining survivors were captured by the Soviets. The other half of "General Seyffart" fought with Korpsgruppe Tettau and surrendered to the western Allies. During the war famous actor and singer Johannes Heesters made his career in Nazi Germany, befriending high-ranking Nazis such as Joseph Goebbels and living in houses stolen from wealthy Jews.
In Norway, the national government, headed by Vidkun Quisling, was installed by the Germans as a puppet regime during the occupation, while king Haakon VII and the legally elected Norwegian government was in exile. Quisling encouraged Norwegians to volunteer for service in the Waffen-SS, collaborated in the deportation of Jews, and was responsible for the executions of members of the Norwegian resistance movement.
About 45,000 Norwegian collaborators joined the fascist party Nasjonal Samling (National Union), about 8,500 of them being enlisted in the collaborationist paramilitary organization Hirden. In addition, Norwegian police units like the Statspolitiet helped arrest many of Norway's Jews. Nasjonal Samling had very little support among the population at large and Norway was one of few countries where resistance during World War II was widespread before the turning point of the war in 1942/43. After the war, Quisling and other collaborators were imprisoned, fined or executed. Quisling's name has become an international eponym for traitor.
The Second Philippine Republic was a puppet state established by Japanese invasion forces. The puppet state relied on reformed Bureau of Constabulary and the Makapili militia to fight the local resistance movement and regular troops of the Philippine Commonwealth Army. The president of the republic, José P. Laurel had his own presidential guard unit. When the Americans were closing in the Philippines in 1944, the Japanese began recruiting Filipinos to augment their losses. Most of the Filipino recruits were serving in the Imperial Japanese Army and were fighting actively until Japan's surrender.
Unlike the situation in other German-occupied European countries, where the Germans installed collaborationist authorities, in occupied Poland there was no puppet government. Poland as a polity never surrendered to the Germans, instead evacuating its government and armed forces via Romania and Hungary and by sea to allied France and Great Britain, while German-occupied Polish territory was either annexed outright by Nazi Germany or placed under German administration as the General Government.
Shortly after the German invasion of Poland, the Nazi authorities ordered the mobilization of prewar Polish officials and the Polish police (the Blue Police), who were forced, under penalty of death, to work for the German occupation authorities. The primary task of the officials was to run the day-to-day administration of the occupied territories; and of the Blue Police, to act as a regular police force dealing with criminal activities. The Germans also used the Blue Police to combat smuggling and resistance and to round up (łapanka) random civilians for forced labor and to apprehend Jews (in German, Judenjagd, "hunting Jews"). While many officials and police reluctantly followed German orders, some acted as agents for the Polish resistance.
The Polish Underground State's wartime Special Courts investigated 17,000 Poles who collaborated with the Germans; about 3,500 were sentenced to death. Some of the collaborators – szmalcowniks – blackmailed Jews and their Polish rescuers and assisted the Germans as informers, turning in Jews and Poles who hid them, and reporting on the Polish resistance.
Many prewar Polish citizens of German descent voluntarily declared themselves Volksdeutsche ("ethnic Germans"), and some of them committed atrocities against the Polish population and organized large-scale looting of property.
The Germans set up Jewish-run governing bodies in Jewish communities and ghettos – Judenräte (Jewish councils) that served as self-enforcing intermediaries for managing Jewish communities and ghettos; and Jewish ghetto police (Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst), which functioned as auxiliary police forces tasked with maintaining order and combating crime. The Germans used the Judenrats to register Jews for deportation to ghettos; and the Jewish ghetto police, to disrupt Jewish resistance in the ghettos and to facilitate deportation of Jews to German concentration camps. Additionally, Jewish collaborationist groups such as Żagiew and Group 13 worked directly for the German Gestapo, informing on Polish resistance efforts to save Jews.
During German invasion of Poland and Western Europe (1939–1941) Soviet Union presented a friendly stance towards Germany with Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, joint military parades, a number of German-Soviet commercial agreements and cooperation of NKVD and Gestapo in suppressing of resistance on the occupied territories.
Following Operation Barbarossa Germany occupied large areas of western Soviet Union, parts of which remained under German control until late 1944. Soviet collaborators included numerous Russians, Ukrainians and members of other ethnic groups which inhabited the USSR. The Waffen-SS recruited from many nationalities living in the Soviet Union and the German government attempted to enroll Soviet citizens voluntarily for the OST-Arbeiter or Eastern worker program; originally this effort worked well, but the news of the terrible conditions they faced dried up the flow of new volunteers and the program became forcible.
Although Turkic peoples had been perceived initially as "racially inferior" by the Nazis, this attitude officially already changed in autumn 1941, when, in view of the difficulties faced in their invasion of the Soviet Union, the Nazis attempted to harness the anti-Russian sentiment of Turkic peoples in Soviet Union for political gain. The first Turkestan Legion was mobilized in May 1942.
The East Battalions contained between 275,000 and 350,000 "Muslim and Caucasian" volunteers and conscripts.
In Russia proper, ethnic Russians were allowed to govern the Lokot Republic, an autonomous sector in Nazi-occupied Russia. Military groups under Nazi command were formed, such as the notorious S.S. Sturmbrigade R.O.N.A., infamous because of its involvement in atrocities in Belarus and Poland, and the 30th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Russian).
Ethnic Russians also enlisted in large numbers into the many German auxiliary police units. Local civilians and Russian POWs, as well as Red Army defectors were encouraged to join the Wehrmacht as "hilfswillige". Some of them also served in so-called Ost battalions which, in particular, defended the French coastline against the expected Allied invasion.
The Kalmykian Voluntary Cavalry Corps was a unit of about 5,000 Kalmyk Mongol volunteers who chose to join the Wehrmacht in 1942 rather than remain in Kalmykia as the German Army retreated before the Red Army.
In May 1943, German General Helmuth von Pannwitz was given authorization to create a Cossack Division consisting of two brigades primarily from Don and Kuban Cossacks, including former exiled White Army commanders such as Pyotr Krasnov and Andrei Shkuro. The division however was then not sent to fight the Red Army, but was ordered, in September 1943, to proceed to Yugoslavia and fight Josip Broz Tito's partisans. In the summer of 1944, the two brigades were upgraded to become the 1st Cossack Cavalry Division and 2nd Cossack Cavalry Division. From the beginning of 1945, these divisions were combined to become XVth SS Cossack Cavalry Corps.
Pro-German Russian forces also included the anti-communist Russian Liberation Army (ROA, Russian: POA: Русская Освободительная Армия), which saw action as a part of the Wehrmacht. On 1 May 1945, however, ROA turned against the SS and fought on the side of Czech insurgents during the Prague Uprising.
Before World War II, the territory of modern Ukraine was divided primarily between the Ukrainian SSR of the Soviet Union and the Second Polish Republic. Smaller regions were part of Romania and Hungary. Only the Soviet Union recognised Ukrainian autonomy, and large numbers of Ukrainians, particularly from the East, fought in the Red Army.
The negative impact of Soviet policies implemented in the 1930s was still fresh in the memory of Ukrainians. These included the Holodomor of 1933, the Great Terror, the persecution of intellectuals during the Great Purge of 1937–38, the massacre of Ukrainian intellectuals after the annexation of Western Ukraine from Poland in 1939, the introduction and implementation of collectivization.
As a result, the population of whole towns, cities and villages greeted the Germans as liberators, which helps explain the unprecedented rapid progress of the German forces in the occupation of Ukraine.
With the change in regime ethnic Ukrainians were allowed and encouraged to work in administrative positions with the auxiliary police, post office, and other government structures, taking the place of Russians and Jews.
Soviet citizens had a page in their internal passports with information regarding their ethnicity, party status, military rank, service in the Soviet Army reserve, and information as to where they were to assemble in case of war. This document also contained markings regarding a citizens social status and reliability, (i.e., son of a kulak, party or Komsomol membership). Soviet POWs who were able to demonstrate Soviet unreliability, i.e., non-membership in the CPSU, Komsomol or be of a discriminated class were quickly released from the POW camps. Often they were offered administrative and clerical positions or encouraged to join local police units. Some were trained as camp guards, while others were encouraged (in some cases forced) to enlist to fight in anti-Soviet military divisions.
During the period of occupation, Nazi-controlled Ukrainian newspaper Volhyn wrote that "The element that settled our cities (Jews) ... must disappear completely from our cities. The Jewish problem is already in the process of being solved.
Ukrainians participated in crushing the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 and the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 where a mixed force of German SS troops, Russians, Cossacks, Azeris and Ukrainians, backed by German regular army units—killed up to 40,000 civilians.
The Ukrainian collaborationist forces were composed of an estimated number of 180,000 volunteers serving with units scattered all over Europe.
The Ukrainian Liberation Army (Ukrainian: Українське Визвольне Військо, Ukrayins'ke Vyzvol'ne Viys'ko, UVV) was formed by the German Army in 1943 to collect the Ukrainian volunteer units that came into being during World War II. It was composed of former Ukrainian Hiwis, Ostbataillonen, and other Soviet prisoners of war (POWs) or volunteers.
Headed by Ukrainian general Mykhailo Omelianovych-Pavlenko, the unit grew to the size of 50,000 by 1944 and peaked at some 80,000 towards the end of the war. The army comprised a collection of units scattered all over Europe. In April 1945, remnants of the UVV were attached to the Ukrainian National Army, commanded by general Pavlo Shandruk.
On 18 September 1941 in Zhytomyr 3,145 Jews were murdered with the assistance of the Ukrainian People's Militia (Operational Report 106). In Korosten Ukrainian militia rounded up 238 Jews for liquidation (Operational Report 80) and carried out the killings by themselves – similar to Sokal, where on 30 June 1941 they arrested and executed 183 Jews. At times the assistance was more active. Operational Report 88 informs that on 6 September 1941 for example, 1,107 Jewish adults were shot by the German forces while the Ukrainian militia unit assisting them liquidated 561 Jewish children and youths.
On 28 April 1943 German Command announced the establishment of the SS-Freiwilligen-Schützen-Division "Galizien". It has been accounted that approximately 83,000 people volunteered for service in the Division. The Division, was used in Anti-partisan operations in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. During the Brody offensive and Vienna Offensive to fight the Soviet forces. Those that survived surrendered to the Allies and the bulk emigrated to the West, primarily England, Australia and Canada.
In Belarus under German occupation, the local pro-independence politicians attempted to use the Nazis with the aim to reestablish an independent Belarusian state. A Belarusian representative body – the Belarusian Central Council – was created under German control in 1943 but did not receive any real power from the German administration and concentrated mainly on managing social issues and education. Belarusian national military units (the Belarusian Home Defence) were only created a few months before the end of the German occupation.
Some Belarusian collaborators participated in various massacres of Jews and Belarusian villagers, however, most of these massacres had to be carried out by Baltic and Ukrainian collaborators because of a relatively small willingness of Belarusians to participate.
Many of the Belarusian collaborators retreated with German forces in the wake of the Red Army advance. In January 1945, the 30th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Belarussian) was formed from remainders of Belarusian military units. The division participated in a small number of combats in France but demonstrated active disloyalty to the Nazis and saw mass desertion.
Ethnic Armenian, Georgian, Turkic and Caucasian forces deployed by the Nazis consisted primarily of Soviet Red Army POWs assembled into ill-trained legions. Among these battalions were 18,000 Armenians, 13,000 Azerbaijanis, 14,000 Georgians, and 10,000 men from the "North Caucasus." American historian Alexander Dallin notes that the Armenian Legion and Georgian battalions were sent to the Netherlands as a result of Hitler's distrust of them, many of which later deserted. According to author Christopher Ailsby, the Turkic and Caucasian forces formed by the Germans were "poorly armed, trained and motivated", and were "unreliable and next to useless".
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (the Dashnaks) were suppressed in Armenia when the Armenian Republic was conquered by the Russian Bolsheviks in 1920 and ceased to exist. During World War II, some of the Dashnaks saw an opportunity in collaboration with the Germans to regain Armenia's independence. The Armenian Legion under the leadership of Drastamat Kanayan participated in the occupation of the Crimean Peninsula and the Caucasus. On 15 December 1942, the Armenian National Council was granted official recognition by Alfred Rosenberg, the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories. The president of Council was Professor Ardasher Abeghian, its vice-president Abraham Guilkhandanian and it numbered among its members Garegin Nzhdeh and Vahan Papazian. Until the end of 1944 it published a weekly journal, Armenian, edited by Viken Shantn who also broadcast on Radio Berlin with the aid of Dr. Paul Rohrbach.
The British territory of Straits Settlements became under Japanese occupation after the fiasco suffered by Commonwealth forces in the Battle of Singapore. The Straits Settlements Police Force came under the control of the Japanese and all vessels owned by the Marine Police were confiscated.
Prior to being invaded by Nazi Germany, the Yugoslav government was working on forging a pact with Germany. That pact was rejected by Yugoslav antifascists, who guided by general Dušan Simović demonstrated on 26 March 1941, and forced the government to withdraw. Angered by what he perceived as treason, Hitler invaded the Kingdom of Yugoslavia without warning on 6 April 1941. Eleven days later Yugoslavia capitulated.
Although they are of German ethnicity, it is important to note that officially Yugoslavia was their country. Volksdeutsche collaborators were the most common in the former territory of Yugoslavia. They were the founding stone for the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen which later expanded to include other ethnic groups.
Soldiers of the division are noted to have reportedly brutally punished civilians accused of, or proven to be working with partisans in both Occupied Serbia and the Independent State of Croatia, going so far as to level entire villages with no buildings being exempt from destruction.
Due to the collaboration, Josip Broz Tito, leader of the post-war Communist regime, declared the rights of ethnic Germans to be null and seized all of their property as well as expelling hundreds of thousands of them with no fair trial.
The 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian), manned by Bosnian Muslims and commanded by German officers, was created in February 1943 and operated until December 1944. The division participated in anti-guerrilla operations in Yugoslavia.
Ante Pavelić's puppet Independent State of Croatia was an ally of Nazi Germany. The Croatian extreme nationalists, Ustaše, killed thousands (around 100,000), primarily Serbs, in the Jasenovac concentration camp.
The 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian), created in February 1943, and the 23rd Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Kama, created in January 1944, were manned by Croats and Bosniaks as well as local Germans. Earlier in the war, Pavelić formed a Croatian Legion for the Eastern front and attached it to the Wehrmacht. Volunteer pilots were also joining the Luftwaffe as Pavelić did not want to get his army directly involved for both propaganda reasons (Domobrans/Home Guards were a "chieftain of Croatian values, never attacking and only defending") and due to a safeguard need for political flexibility with the Soviet Union.
Pavelić sought to eliminate an inferiority complex among the leadership as well as attempt to get favoritism from the Germans by proclaiming Croats as descendants from Goths. The "Poglavnik" also stated that "Croats are not Slavs, but Germanic by blood and race". Nazi German leadership was indifferent to this claim.
Serbian collaborationist organizations the Serbian State Guard and the Serbian Volunteer Corps, the party militia of the extreme right-wing Yugoslav National Movement "Zbor", lead by Dimitrije Ljotić, had over 30,000 members and helped guard and run concentration camps, and fought the Yugoslav Partisans alongside the Germans. There was over 1000 Serbs in the mainly Volksdeutsche Waffen-SS Prinz Eugen division by 1944. Civilians collaborated to deport Jews to work camps in The General Government, resulting in Serbia being the second fully "judenfrei" country in Europe.
Most Chetniks in Yugoslavia collaborated with the Axis occupation to one degree or another in order to fight the rival Partisan resistance, whom they viewed as their primary enemy, by establishing modus vivendi or operating as "legalised" auxiliary forces under Axis control. Some units engaged in marginal resistance activities and avoided accommodations with the enemy. Over a period of time, and in different parts of the country, the Chetniks were drawn progressively into collaboration agreements: first with the Nedić forces in Serbia, then with the Italians in occupied Dalmatia and Montenegro, with some of the Ustaše forces in northern Bosnia, and after the Italian capitulation also with the Germans directly. While Chetnik collaboration reached "extensive and systematic" proportions, the Chetniks themselves referred to this policy of collaboration as "using the enemy".
The Russian Protective Corps was an armed force composed of anti-communist White Russian émigrés that was raised in the German-occupied territory of Serbia during World War II.
The Italian governorate of Montenegro was established as an Italian protectorate with the support of Montenegrin separatists known as Greens. The Lovćen Brigade was the militia of the Greens who collaborated with the Italians. Other collaborationist units included local Chetniks, police, gendarmerie and Sandžak Muslim militia.
In Bulgaria-annexed Yugoslav Macedonia, the Ohrana was organized by the occupation authority as auxiliary security forces.
In April 1943, Heinrich Himmler created 21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian) manned by Albanian and Kosovo Albanian volunteers. By June 1944, the military value was deemed low in lieu of partisan aggression and by November 1944 it was disbanded. The remaining cadre, now called Kampfgruppe Skanderbeg, was transferred to the Prinz Eugen Division where they successfully participated in actions against Tito's partisans in December 1944. The emblem of the division was a black Albanian eagle. Balli Kombëtar was an Albanian nationalist and anti-communist organization which collaborated with the Axis Powers during their occupation of Greece and Yugoslavia. Their agenda was the creation of "Greater Albania".
The Slovene Home Guard was a collaborationist force formed in September 1943 in the area of the Province of Ljubljana (then a part of Italy). It functioned like most collaborationist forces in Axis-occupied Europe during World War II, but had limited autonomy, and at first functioned as an auxiliary police force that assisted the Germans in anti-Partisan actions. Later, it gained more autonomy and conducted most of the anti-partisan operations in the Province of Ljubljana. Much of the Guard's equipment was Italian (confiscated when Italy dropped out of the war in 1943), although German weapons and equipment were used as well, especially later in the war. Similar, but much smaller units, were also formed in the Littoral (Primorska) and Upper Carniola (Gorenjska).
The Channel Islands were the only British territory in Europe occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II. The policy of the Island governments, acting under instructions from the British government communicated before the occupation, was one of passive co-operation, although this has been criticised, particularly in the treatment of the few Jews in the islands. These measures were administered by the Bailiff and the Aliens Office. One Jew from Jersey died in a Jersey mental hospital during the war, three who had come to Guernsey were deported to France and from there were rounded up and sent to a camp and died.
Following the liberation of 1945 allegations against those accused of collaborating with the occupying authorities were investigated. By November 1946, the UK Home Secretary was in a position to inform the UK House of Commons that most of the allegations lacked substance and only 12 cases of collaboration were considered for prosecution, but the Director of Public Prosecutions had ruled out prosecutions on insufficient grounds. In particular, it was decided that there were no legal grounds for proceeding against those alleged to have informed to the occupying authorities against their fellow-citizens.
In Jersey and Guernsey, laws were passed to retrospectively confiscate the financial gains made by war profiteers and black marketeers, although these measures also affected those who had made legitimate profits during the years of military occupation.
During the occupation, cases of women fraternising with German soldiers had aroused indignation among some citizens. In the hours following the liberation, members of the British liberating forces were obliged to intervene to prevent revenge attacks.
The British Free Corps (German: Britisches Freikorps) was a unit of the Waffen SS during World War II consisting of British and Dominion prisoners of war who had been recruited by the Nazis. Research by British historian Adrian Weale has identified 54 men who belonged to this unit at one time or another, some for only a few days. At no time did it reach more than 27 men in strength.
Although official Nazi policy barred non-Germans from joining the regular German army, the Wehrmacht, volunteers from most occupied countries and even a small number from some Commonwealth countries. were permitted to join the ranks of the Waffen SS and the auxiliary police (Schutzmannschaft). Overall, nearly 600,000 Waffen-SS members were non-German, with some countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands contributing thousands of volunteers. Various collaborationalist parties in occupied France and the unoccupied Vichy zone assisted in establishing the Légion des volontaires français contre le bolchevisme (LVF). This volunteer army initially counted some 10,000 volunteers and would later become the 33rd Waffen SS division, one of the first SS divisions composed mostly of foreigners.
Following is a list of the 18 largest Waffen SS divisions composed mostly or entirely of foreign volunteers (note that there were other foreign Waffen SS divisions composed mostly of forced conscripts).
Apart from frontline units, volunteers also played an important role in the large Schutzmannschaft units in the German-occupied territories in Eastern Europe. After Operation Barbarossa recruitment of local forces began almost immediately mostly by initiative of Himmler. These forces were not members of the regular armed forces and were not intended for frontline duty, but were instead used for rear echelon activities including maintaining the peace, fighting partisans, acting as police and organizing supplies for the front lines. In the later years of the war, these units numbered almost 200,000.
By the end of World War II, 60% of the Waffen SS was made up of non-German volunteers from occupied countries. The predominantly Scandinavian 11th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Nordland division along with remnants of French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch volunteers were last defenders of the Reichstag in Berlin.
The Nuremberg Trials, in declaring the Waffen SS a criminal organisation, explicitly excluded conscripts, who had committed no crimes. In 1950, The U.S. High Commission in Germany and the U.S. Displaced Persons Commission clarified the U.S. position on the Baltic Waffen SS Units, considering them distinct from the German SS in purpose, ideology, activities and qualifications for membership.
The Japanese also recruited volunteers from a number of occupied regions and from among POW's.
Though Germany was trying to murder all Jews in the Holocaust, a minority of Jews chose to collaborate with the Germans. The collaborators included individuals such as Gestapo collaborators Abraham Gancwajch and Stella Kubler, concentration-camp kapos like Eliezer Gruenbaum, Judenrat (Jewish council) members and bosses such as Chaim Rumkowski, and organizations such as Żagiew or Group 13 in the Warsaw Ghetto. Similar Jewish individual and group collaborators of the Gestapo operated in other cities and towns across German-occupied Poland—Alfred Nossig in Warsaw, Józef Diamand in Kraków, Szama Grajer in Lublin. Around early 1940s, Gestapo has been estimated to have had around 15,000 Jewish agents in Poland.
Jewish agents helped the Germans in return for limited freedom and other compensations (food, money) for the collaborators and their relatives. One of their assignments was to hunt down Jews who were in hiding; one of the most infamous cases involved about 2,500 Jews being lured out of hiding and subsequently captured by the Germans in the aftermath of the Hotel Polski affair in which Żagiew agents where involved. Jewish collaborators also informed Germany's Gestapo of Polish resistance, including on its efforts to hide Jews. and engaged in racketeering, blackmail, and extortion in the Warsaw Ghetto.
During the war, some Jewish collaborators were executed by the Polish underground. After World War II, a number of others were tried in Jewish transition camps and in Israel, though none of them received sentences of more than 18 months' imprisonment.
A number of international companies have been accused of having collaborated with Nazi Germany before their home countries' entry into World War II, though it has been debated whether the term "collaboration" is applicable to business dealings outside the context of overt war. American companies that had dealings with Nazi Germany included Ford Motor Company, Coca Cola, IBM, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., and the Associated Press.
In December 1941, when the United States entered the war against Germany, 250 American firms owned more than $450 million of German assets. Major American companies with investments in Germany included General Motors, Standard Oil, IT&T, Singer, International Harvester, Eastman Kodak, Gillette, Coca-Cola, Kraft, Westinghouse, and United Fruit. Many major Hollywood studios have also been accused of collaboration, in making or adjusting films to Nazi tastes.
German financial operations worldwide were facilitated by banks such as the Bank for International Settlements, Chase and Morgan, and Union Banking Corporation. Robert A. Rosenbaum writes: "American companies had every reason to know that the Nazi regime was using IG Farben and other cartels as weapons of economic warfare"; and he notes that "as the US entered the war, it found that some technologies or resources could not be procured, because they were forfeited by American companies as part of business deals with their German counterparts." After the war, some of those companies reabsorbed their temporarily detached German subsidiaries, and even received compensation for war damages from the Allied governments.
The Vichy government in France is one of the best known and most significant examples of collaboration between former enemies of Germany and Germany itself. When the French Vichy government emerged at the same time of the Free French in London there was much confusion regarding the loyalty of French overseas colonies and more importantly their overseas armies and naval fleet. The reluctance of Vichy France to either disarm or surrender their naval fleet resulted in the British destruction of the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir on 3 July 1940. Later in the war French colonies were frequently used as staging areas for invasions or airbases for the Axis powers both in Indo China and Syria. This resulted in the invasion of Syria and Lebanon with the capture of Damascus on 17 June and later the Battle of Madagascar against Vichy French forces which lasted for seven months until November the same year.
Denmark's government cooperated with the German occupiers until 1943 and actively helped recruit members for the Nordland and Wiking Waffen SS divisions and helped organize trade and sale of industrial and agricultural products to Germany. In Greece, the three quisling prime ministers (Georgios Tsolakoglou, Konstantinos Logothetopoulos and Ioannis Rallis) cooperated with the Axis authorities. Agricultural products (especially tobacco) were sent to Germany, Greek "volunteers" were sent to work to German factories, and special armed forces (such as the Security Battalions) were created to fight along German soldiers against the Allies and the Resistance movement. In Norway the government successfully managed to escape to London but Vidkun Quisling established a puppet regime in its absence—albeit with little support from the local population.
RSHA von einer begrüßenswerten Aktivitat der ukrainischen Bevolkerung in den ersten Stunden nach dem Abzug der Sowjettruppen.
Abraham Gancwajch (1902–1943) was a prominent Nazi collaborator in the Warsaw Ghetto during the World War II occupation of Poland, and a Jewish kingpin of the ghetto underworld. Opinions about his ghetto activities are controversial, though modern research concludes unanimously that he was an informer and collaborator motivated chiefly by personal interest.Andon Kalchev
Andon Kalchev (Bulgarian: Андон Калчев) (1910 – 27 August 1948) was a Bulgarian army officer, one of the leaders of the Bulgarian-backed Ohrana, a paramilitary formation of Bulgarians in Greek Macedonia during World War II Axis occupation. He was active outside the Bulgarian occupied area of Macedonia, under the tolerance of the Italian and German authorities which used him in their fights with rival Greek EAM-ELAS and Yugoslav Communist resistance groups. Because of his activity, he was sentenced to death by Greek military tribunal, and was executed by firing squad on 27 August 1948.Byelorussian collaboration with Nazi Germany
During World War II, some Belarusians collaborated with the invading Axis powers. Until the beginning of Operation Barbarossa in 1941, the territory of Belarus was under control of the Soviet Union, as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. However, memories of the Soviet repressions in Belarus and collectivization, as well as of the polonization and discrimination of Belarusians in the Second Polish Republic were still fresh, and many people in Belarus wanted an independent Belarus. Many Belarusians chose to cooperate with the invaders in order to achieve that goal, assuming that Nazi Germany might allow them to have their own independent state after the war ended.
The Belarusian organizations never received any administrative control over the territory of Belarus, the real power was in the hands of the German civil and military administrations. The collaborationist Belarusian Central Rada, presenting itself as a Belarusian governmental body, was formed in Minsk a few months before Belarus was taken over by the Soviet Army.
Before the war, a Belarusian National Socialist Party was formed by a small group of Belarusian nationalists in Poland-controlled West Belarus in 1933. The group was far less influential than other Belarusian political parties in interwar Poland, such as the Belarusian Peasants' and Workers' Union and the Belarusian Christian Democracy. BNSP was banned by the Polish authorities in 1937. Its leaders left for Berlin and became one of the first advisers to the Germans at the onset of Operation Barbarossa.Collaboration in German-occupied Soviet Union
A large numbers of Soviet citizens of various ethnicity collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II. It is estimated that the number of Soviet collaborators with the Nazi German military was between one and two and a half million.Collaborationism
Collaborationism is cooperation with the enemy against one's country in wartime.Stanley Hoffmann subdivided collaboration onto
involuntary (reluctant recognition of necessity) and
voluntary (an attempt of exploiting necessity).According to him, collaborationism can be subdivided onto
ideological,the former is a deliberate service to an enemy, whereas the latter is a deliberate advocacy of co-operation with the foreign force which is seen as a champion of some desirable domestic transformations. In contrast, Bertram Gordon used the terms "collaborator" and "collaborationist" for non-ideological and ideological collaborations, respectively.Poor choices of voluntary collaborators may further undermine the already weak legitimacy of an occupation regime. John Hickman identifies thirteen reasons why occupied populations might hold collaborators in contempt.
perceived as scapegoats for defeat
perceived as opportunistic
perceived as benefitting from their own poor decisions as leaders before the occupation
perceived as violating the norms of the traditional political order
perceived as having no lasting political loyalties
perceived as guilty of more than collaboration
perceived as cowardly
perceived as deceived by the occupier
perceived as self-deceived
perceived as cheaply bought
perceived as diverting political focus
perceived as representing powerlessness
perceived as escaping their own guiltCollaborator
Collaborator or collaborators may refer to:
Collaboration, working with others for a common goal
Collaborationism, working with an enemy occupier against one's own country
Collaboration with the Axis Powers during World War IIDemocratic National Front Party
Democratic National Front Party (in Albanian: Partia Balli Kombëtar Demokrat) (PBKD), also sometimes referred to as the Right National Front or Right National Party, is a political party in Albania led by Artur Roshi. It was formed in 1998 by breaking away from the ultra-nationalist National Front. The PBKD is a right-wing group with nationalist policies which aim to create a Greater Albania. It remains closely linked to the National Front, but has made its policies more moderate.
In the 2005 elections, PBKD was part of the Alliance for Freedom, Justice and Welfare. PBKD got 0.6% of the proportional votes, and no seats.
In 2005 the congress of the National Front rejected a proposal to merge the two parties.Expulsion of Cham Albanians
The expulsion of Cham Albanians from Greece was the forced migration of thousands of Cham Albanians from parts of the Greek region of western Epirus after the Second World War to Albania, at the hands of elements of the Greek Resistance; the National Republican Greek League (EDES) (1944) and EDES veteran resistance fighters (1945).In the late Ottoman period, tensions between the Muslim Chams and the local Greek Orthodox Christian population emerged through communal conflicts that continued during the Balkan Wars, when part of the historic region of Epirus, then under Ottoman rule, became part of Greece. During the First Balkan War, a majority of Cham Albanians, though at first reluctant, sided with the Ottoman forces against the Greek forces and formed irregular armed units and burned Christian Orthodox-inhabited settlements, with only few Albanian beys willing to accept Greek rule in the region. As a response to this activity Greek guerilla units were organized in the region. After the Balkan wars and during the interwar period, the Muslim Chams were not integrated into the Greek state, which adopted policies that aimed to drive them out of their territory, partly through their inclusion in the Greek-Turkish population exchange, although this was not realized because of objections by Italy's fascist regime. Furthermore, the attempted settlement of Greek refugees from Asia Minor within the area and bouts of open state repression in the 1920s and 1930s, in particular by the authoritarian Metaxas regime, led to tensions between the Cham minority and the Greek state. Meanwhile, Fascist Italian propaganda initiated in 1939 an aggressive pro-Albanian campaign for the annexation of the Greek region and the creation of a Greater Albanian state. As such with the onset of the Second World War, a majority of the Muslim Cham population collaborated with the Axis troops, either by providing them with indirect support (guides, local connections, informants etc.) or by being recruited as Axis troops and armed irregulars. The latter cases were responsible for atrocities against the local Greek populace. Overall, the Muslim Chams were sympathetic to Axis forces during the war and benefited from the Axis occupation of Greece. Armed Cham collaborator units actively participated in Nazi operations that resulted in the murder of more than 1,200 Greek villagers between July and September 1943, and, in January 1944, in the murder of 600 people on the Albanian side of the border. There were also moderate elements within the Muslim Cham community who opposed hatred of their Greek neighbors. A limited number of Muslim Chams enlisted in Albanian and Greek resistance units in the last stages of World War II.Collaboration with the Axis fueled resentment by the Greek side and in the aftermath of World War II, most of the Muslim Cham community had to flee to Albania. In the process between 200 and 300 Chams were massacred by EDES forces in various settlements, while 1,200 were murdered in total. Some Albanian sources increase this number to c. 2,000. In 1945-1946, a special collaborator's court in Greece condemned a total of 2,109 Cham Albanians in absentia for collaboration with the Axis powers and war crimes. The estimated number of Cham Albanians expelled from Epirus to Albania and Turkey varies: figures include 14,000, 19,000, 20,000 and 25,000. According to Cham reports this number should be raised to c. 35,000. Atrocities were not encouraged by the EDES leadership and the British mission, but both were unable to prevent them. Several local Greek notables promised safe passage and offered to host all those Chams who would abandon the Nazi side.Moreover, according to Albanian sources an additional 2,500 Muslim Cham refugees lost their lives through starvation and epidemics on their way to Albania. After the members of the community settled in Albania, the People's Republic of Albania did not treat them as victims but took a very distrustful view towards them and proceeded with arrests and exiles. The Cham Albanians were labelled as "reactionaries" and suffered a certain degree of persecution within Albania, probably because they were Greek citizens, their elites were traditionally rich landlords, they had collaborated with the Axis forces and they had been involved in anti-communist activities.India in World War II
During the Second World War (1939–1945), India was controlled by the United Kingdom, with the British holding territories in India including over five hundred autonomous Princely States; British India officially declared war on Nazi Germany in September 1939. The British Raj, as part of the Allied Nations, sent over two and a half million soldiers to fight under British command against the Axis powers. The British government borrowed billions of pounds to help finance the war. India also provided the base for American operations in support of China in the China Burma India Theater.
Indians fought with distinction throughout the world, including in the European theatre against Germany, in North Africa against Germany and Italy, in the South Asian region defending India against the Japanese and fighting the Japanese in Burma. Indians also aided in liberating British colonies such as Singapore and Hong Kong after the Japanese surrender in August 1945. Over 87,000 Indian soldiers (including those from modern day Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh) died in World War II. Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from 1942 asserted the British "couldn't have come through both wars [World War I and II] if they hadn't had the Indian Army."The Muslim League supported the British war effort while the largest and most influential political party existing in India at the time, the Indian National Congress, demanded independence before it would help Britain. London refused, and when Congress announced a "Quit India" campaign in August 1942, tens of thousands of its leaders were imprisoned by the British for the duration. Meanwhile, under the leadership of Indian leader Subhas Chandra Bose, Japan set up an army of Indian POWs known as the Indian National Army, which fought against the British. A major famine in Bengal in 1943 led to millions of deaths by starvation, and remains a highly controversial issue regarding Churchill's reluctance to provide emergency food relief.Indian participation in the Allied campaign remained strong. The financial, industrial and military assistance of India formed a crucial component of the British campaign against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. India's strategic location at the tip of the Indian Ocean, its large production of armaments, and its huge armed forces played a decisive role in halting the progress of Imperial Japan in the South-East Asian theatre. The Indian Army during World War II was one of the largest Allied forces contingents which took part in the North and East African Campaign, Western Desert Campaign. At the height of the World War, more than 2.5 million Indian troops were fighting Axis forces around the globe. After the end of the war, India emerged as the world's fourth largest industrial power and its increased political, economic and military influence paved the way for its independence from the United Kingdom in 1947.Municipality of Kočevje
The Municipality of Kočevje (pronounced [kɔˈtʃeːu̯jɛ]; Slovene: Občina Kočevje) is a municipality in southern Slovenia. The seat of the municipality is the city of Kočevje. Today it is part of the Southeast Slovenia Statistical Region. In terms of area, it is the largest municipality in Slovenia.Nebojša Medojević
Nebojša Medojević (Serbian Cyrillic: Небојша Медојевић) (born June 13, 1966 in Pljevlja, Montenegro, SFR Yugoslavia) is a politician in Montenegro. He is the president of Movement for Changes (PzP), a political party emerging from the Montenegrin NGO Group for Changes. He ran for president in the 2008 presidential election of Montenegro.Sotirios Gotzamanis
Sotirios Gotzamanis (Greek: Σωτήριος Γκοτζαμάνης; 1884 – November 28, 1958) was a Greek physician and politician. He was born in Giannitsa, Central Macedonia, which at the time of his birth was part of the Ottoman Empire. He studied medicine in Padua, Italy. In 1913, he moved to Thessaloniki when his home region became part of Greece in the aftermath of the Balkan Wars. From 1919 to 1936, he served in the Hellenic Parliament for the Thessaloniki-Pella constituency. He served as Minister of Health, Welfare and Care in the first government of Panagis Tsaldaris (1932–1933). In the parliamentary elections of 1936, he was leader of the National Reform Party. After the German invasion of Greece, he supported collaboration with the Axis powers. On April 30, 1941, he was appointed minister of finance in the collaborationist government of Georgios Tsolakoglou. After the dismissal of Tsolakoglou on December 2, 1942, Gotzamanis continued in his post in the government of Konstantinos Logothetopoulos. His ministry also oversaw agriculture, industry, trade and labor. When Logothetopoulos was dismissed in 1943, the Italians favored him to succeed Logothetopoulos as Prime Minister of Greece, but the position went to Ioannis Rallis instead. As the Axis forces withdraw from Greece in 1944, Gotzamanis fled to Italy and then Nazi Germany. In his absence, a Greek court sentenced him to death in January 1945 for treason. He returned to Greece several years later and was a candidate for mayor of Thessaloniki in 1954. He participated in the elections of 11 May 1958. He died 6 months later of a stroke and uremia at the age of 73. He is buried in Thessaloniki.Stevan Moljević
Stevan Moljević (6 January 1888 – 15 November 1959) was a Serbian and Yugoslav politician, lawyer and publicist, president of the Yugoslav-French Club, president of the Yugoslav-British Club, president of Rotary International Club of Yugoslavia and member of the Central National Committee of Yugoslavia in World War II.
In his 1941 memorandum "Homogeneous Serbia", Moljević advocates the creation of the Greater Serbia and its ethnic cleansing of the non-Serb population. This committee had secondary status while Moljević did not rise to prominence in this committee until 1943, which undercut the perception about Moljević's "Homogeneous Serbia" being the centerpiece of coherent set of Chetnik war objectives.The FBI Story
The FBI Story is a 1959 American drama film starring James Stewart, and produced and directed by Mervyn LeRoy. The screenplay by Richard L. Breen and John Twist is based on a book by Don Whitehead.Turkic, Caucasian, Cossack, and Crimean collaborationism with the Axis powers
During World War II, many military units formed of non-Russian volunteers were engaged on the Axis side on the Eastern Front and other theatres. These units were often under the command of German officers and some published their own propaganda newssheets.Turncoat
A turncoat is a person who shifts allegiance from one loyalty or ideal to another, betraying or deserting an original cause by switching to the opposing side or party. In political and social history, this is distinct from being a traitor, as the switch mostly takes place under the following circumstances:
In groups, often driven by one or more leaders.
When the goal that formerly motivated and benefited the person becomes (or is perceived as having become) either no longer feasible or too costly even if success is achieved.From a military perspective, opposing armies generally wear uniforms of contrasting colors to prevent incidents of Friendly fire. Thus the term "turn-coat" indicates that an individual has changed sides and his uniform coat to one matching the color of his former enemy. For example, in the English Civil War during the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell's soldiers turned their coats inside out to match the colours of the Royal army (see Examples below).Ukrainian Auxiliary Police
The Ukrainische Hilfspolizei or the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police (Ukrainian: Українська допоміжна поліція, Ukrains'ka dopomizhna politsiia) was the official title of the local police formation set up by Nazi Germany during World War II in Reichskommissariat Ukraine; shortly after the German conquest of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union, Germany's former ally in the invasion of Poland.The Ukrainian Auxiliary Police was created by Heinrich Himmler in mid-August 1941 and put under the control of German Ordnungspolizei in General Government territory. The actual Reichskommissariat Ukraine was formed officially on 20 August 1941. The uniformed force was composed in large part of the former members of the Ukrainian People's Militia created by OUN in June. There were two categories of German-controlled Ukrainian armed organisations. The first comprised mobile police units most often called Schutzmannschaft, or Schuma, organized on the battalion level and which engaged in the murder of Jews and in security warfare in most areas of Ukraine. It was subordinated directly to the German Commander of the Order Police for the area.The second category was the local police force (approximately, a constabulary), called simply the Ukrainian Police (UP) by the German administration, which the SS raised most successfully in the District of Galicia (formed 1 August 1941) extending south-east from the General Government. Notably, the District of Galicia was a separate administrative unit from the actual Reichskommissariat Ukraine. They were not connected with each other politically.The UP formations appeared as well further east in German occupied Soviet Ukraine in significant towns and cities such as Kyiv. The urban based forces were subordinated to the city's German Commander of State protection police (Schutzpolizei or Schupo); the rural police posts were subordinated to the area German Commander of Gendarmerie. The Schupo and Gendarmerie structures were themselves subordinated to the area Commander of Order Police.Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic
Uzbekistan (US: (listen), UK: ) is the common English name for the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Uzbek SSR; Uzbek: Ўзбекистон ССР, Oʻzbekiston SSR; Russian: Узбекская ССР, Uzbekskaya SSR) and later, the Republic of Uzbekistan (Uzbek: Oʻzbekiston Respublikasi, Ўзбекистон Республикаси), that refers to the period of Uzbekistan from 1924 to 1991. as one of the constituent republics of the Soviet Union. It was governed by the Uzbek branch of the Soviet Communist Party, the only legal political party, from 1925 until 1990. From 1990 to 1991, it was a sovereign part of the Soviet Union with its own legislation. Sometimes, that period is also referred to as Soviet Uzbekistan.
Beginning 20 June 1990, the Uzbek SSR adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty within its borders. Islam Karimov became the republic's inaugural president.
On 31 August 1991, the Uzbek SSR was renamed the Republic of Uzbekistan and declared independence three months before the Soviet Union's dissolution on 26 December 1991.
Uzbekistan was bordered by Kazakhstan to the north; Tajikistan to the southeast; Kirghizia to the northeast; Afghanistan to the south; and Turkmenistan to the southwest.Zaharije Ostojić
Zaharije Ostojić (Serbian Cyrillic: Захарије Остојић; 1907 – April 1945) was a Montenegrin Serb military officer who served as the chief of the operational, organisational and intelligence branches of the Chetnik Supreme Command led by Draža Mihailović in Yugoslavia during World War II. He was a major in the Royal Yugoslav Army Air Force prior to the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia, and was involved in the coup that deposed Prince Paul of Yugoslavia on 27 March 1941. After the coup, he escorted Prince Paul to exile in Greece, and was in Cairo at the time of the invasion in April. In September 1941, he was landed on the Italian-occupied Montenegrin coast along with a British Special Operations Executive (SOE) liaison officer and two companions. He escorted the SOE officer to the German-occupied territory of Serbia and introduced him to the Yugoslav Partisan leader Josip Broz Tito then Mihailović. Ostojić soon became Mihailović's chief of staff, and after the German attempt to capture the Chetnik leader during Operation Mihailović in December 1941, brought the Chetnik Supreme staff to Montenegro where they were re-united with Mihailović in June 1942. During the remainder of 1942, Ostojić launched a counter-attack against Ustaše troops of the Independent State of Croatia returning to the eastern Bosnian town of Foča where they were expected to continue their genocidal anti-Serb policies. As many as 2,000 local Muslims were subsequently killed in the town by forces under Ostojić's command. Ostojić later oversaw large-scale massacres of civilians and burning of Muslim villages in the border region between Montenegro and the Sandžak.
While the Chetniks were an anti-Axis movement in their long-range goals and did engage in marginal resistance activities for limited periods, they also carried out almost throughout the war a tactical or selective collaboration with the occupation authorities against the Partisans. The Chetnik movement adopted a policy of collaboration with the Axis powers, and engaged in cooperation to one degree or another by establishing modus vivendi or operating as auxiliary forces under Axis control. This was demonstrated in late 1942 and early 1943, when Ostojić planned and oversaw the Chetnik involvement in the large Axis anti-Partisan offensive Case White alongside Italian troops. In 1944, he became a leader of the Chetnik forces in Herzegovina, and along with Dobroslav Jevđević was involved in attempts to come to terms with the Allied forces. In late 1944, as the Partisans tightened their grip on the country and the Soviet Red Army assisted in the capture of Belgrade, he rejoined Mihailović in northeastern Bosnia but they could not agree on what course of action to take. Ostojić, along with Chetnik leaders Pavle Đurišić and Petar Baćović and Chetnik ideologue Dragiša Vasić decided to move west to the area of the Ljubljana Gap in modern-day Slovenia where other friendly forces were concentrating. In early April 1945, faced with attacks by the Partisans and the Armed Forces of the Independent State of Croatia (HOS) along their route, the combined Chetnik force was defeated by HOS forces in the Battle of Lijevče Field, after which Ostojić was captured by the Ustaše in an apparent trap. According to some sources, he was killed in the Jasenovac concentration camp alongside Đurišić, Baćović and Vasić.