For many years, the history of Byelorussia under Nazi occupation was written primarily from the perspective of the resistance movement. This movement, a reaction to the brutal occupation policies, was very strong indeed. Still, as the author shows, there existed in Byelorussia a whole web of local institutions and organizations which, some willingly, others with reservations, participated in the implementation of various aspects of occupation policies. The very sensitivity of the topic of collaboration has prevented researchers from approaching it for many years, not least because in the former Soviet territories ideological considerations have played an important role in preserving the topic's "untouchable" status.
Focusing on the attitude of German authorities toward the Byelorussians, marked by their anti-Slavic and particularly anti-Byelorussian prejudices on the one hand and the motives of Byelorussian collaborators on the other, the author clearly shows that notwithstanding the postwar trend to marginalize the phenomenon of collaboration or to silence it altogether, the local collaboration in Byelorussia was clearly visible and pervaded all spheres of life under the occupation.
Leonid Rein was born in Byelorussia (then part of the USSR) and graduated from Haifa University. While studying for his Ph.D. he received the Wolf Foundation's student grant of excellence and his dissertation was awarded a prize by the Norbert and Lisa Schechter Foundation. He is currently a Research Associate at the International Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem (Israel), specializing in Nazi occupation policies, local collaboration, and the Holocaust in the Soviet territories.
Preface Abbreviations Introduction Chapter 1. Collaboration in Occupied Europe: Theoretical Overview Defining the Collaboration Comparative Overview The Background The Nazi Attitude toward Collaboration The Collaboration and Collaborators Economic Collaboration Police Collaboration Collaboration in the Persecution of Jews Military Collaboration Chapter 2. Historical Background General Information Byelorussia between Two World Wars "Reunification" of Byelorussia The Outbreak of the War Chapter 3. German Policies in Byelorussia (1941 - 1944) The Eastern Policies of the Third Reich Hitler's Vision of the East The Ostministerium and the Eastern Policy The Wehrmacht and the East German Visions of Byelorussia Germans and Byelorussian Nationalists on the Eve of the Nazi Invasion into the USSR The Nazi Regime in Byelorussia: From Invasion to Occupation Local Self-Administration and Occupation Agricultural Policies of the German Occupier Labor Policies under German Occupation The Outcome and Shift in Occupation Politics Chapter 4. Byelorussian "State-Building": Political Collaboration in Byelorussia "Local Self-Administration" The Byelorussian Popular Self-Aid Organization The Union of Byelorussian Youth (SBM) The Byelorussian Central Council Chapter 5. The Cross and the Hooked Cross: the Church's Collaboration in Occupied Byelorussia Background Rosenberg's Influence From Theory to Practice Chapter 6. Ideological Collaboration in Byelorussia: The "Legal" Press as a Propagandist Tool of the Nazis' New Europe Chapter 7. Collaboration in the Politics of Repression Collaboration in the Holocaust The Extermination Process in Byelorussia Chapter 8. Military-Police Collaboration in Byelorussia The Beginnings Local Auxiliary Security Forces: Strength, Structure and the German Attitude Dogmatism vs. Reality: Byelorussian "Self-Defense" and the "Home Guard" Strange Allies: Armija Krajowa and Germans "Untermenschen" in SS Uniforms Summary Appendix: SS and Military Ranks Glossary Bibliography Index of Places Index of Persons