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16 Jan

Collaboration with the Axis Powers during World War II

 wilik

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Within nations occupied by the Axis Powers, some citizens, driven by nationalism, ethnic hatred, anti-communism, anti-Semitism, or opportunism knowingly engaged in collaboration with the Axis Powers during World War II. Some of these collaborationists committed the worst crimes and atrocities of the Holocaust.[1]

Collaboration is “a co-operation between elements of the population of a defeated state and the representatives of the victorious power”.[2] Stanley Hoffmann subdivided collaboration into involuntary (reluctant recognition of necessity) and voluntary (an attempt of exploiting necessity).[3] According to him, collaborationism can be subdivided into servile and 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.[3] In contrast, Bertram Gordon used the terms “collaborator” and “collaborationist” for non-ideological and ideological collaborations, respectively.[4]

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Requirements for collaboration[edit]

The Nazis did not consider everyone equally fit for cooperation. Even people from closely related nations were often valued differently in accordance with Nazi racial theories. The Jews were considered to be worst of all races and thus unfit for cooperation, although some were used in concentration camps as Kapos to report on other prisoners and enforce order. Others governed ghettos and helped organize deportations to extermination camps (Jewish Ghetto Police).

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