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 untouchableA" status.
Focusing on the attitude of German authorities toward the Byelorussians, marked by their anti-Slavic and particular 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 Fellow at the International Institute for Holocaust Research Yad Vashem (Israel), specializing in the Nazi occupation policies, local collaboration, and Holocaust in the Soviet territories.
Preface vi Abbreviations xvi Introduction 1 Chapter I: Collaboration in Occupied Europe: Theoretical Overview 14 Defining the Collaboration 14 Comparative Overview 23 The Background 23 The Nazi Attitude toward Collaboration 29 The Collaboration and Collaborators 36 Economic Collaboration 45 Police Collaboration 48 Collaboration in the Persecution of Jews 52 Military Collaboration 61 Chapter II: Historical Background 74 General Information 74 Byelorussia between Two World Wars 76 ReunificationA" of Byelorussia 90 The Outbreak of the War 95 Chapter III: German Policies in Byelorussia (1941-1944) 109 The Eastern Policies of the Third Reich 109 Hitler's Vision of the East 110 The Ostministerium and the Eastern Policy 112 The Wehrmacht and the East 114 German Visions of Byelorussia 115 Germans and Byelorussian Nationalists on the Eve of the Nazi Invasion into the USSR 122 The Nazi Regime in Byelorussia: From Invasion to Occupation 128 Local Self-Administration and Occupation 131 Agricultural Policies of the German Occupier 140 Labor Policies under German Occupation 145 The Outcome and Shift in Occupation Politics 152 Chapter IV: Byelorussian State-BuildingA": Political Collaboration in Byelorussia 171 Local Self-AdministrationA" 173 The Byelorussian Popular Self-Aid Organization 190 The Union of Byelorussian Youth (SBM) 202 The Byelorussian Central Council 221 Chapter V: The Cross and the Hooked Cross: the Church's Collaboration in Occupied Byelorussia 256 Background 256 Rosenberg's Influence 261 From Theory to Practice 265 Chapter VI: Ideological Collaboration in Byelorussia: The LegalA" Press as a Propagandist Tool of the Nazis' New EuropeA" 270 Chapter VII: Collaboration in the Politics of Repression 305 Collaboration in the Holocaust 305 The Extermination Process in Byelorussia 309 Local Attitudes toward the Persecution of Jews 318 Misappropriation of Jewish Property as a Form of Collaboration 331 The Collaboration in a War against undesirable elementsA" 337 Collaboration in the Anti-Partisan OperationsA" 337 Autonomous District LokotA" and Anti-Guerilla Warfare in Western Russia and Eastern Byelorussia Cossacks and Anti-Partisan Fighting in Byelorussia 351 Local Collaboration in Anti-Partisan Fighting in Generalkommissariat WeiA ruthenien: Byelorussian Self-Defense Corps 360 Defensive and Auxiliary Police Villages 363 Terror as a Means of Anti-Guerilla Fighting 368 Against the Strangers 371 Collaboration in the Anti-Polish campaign in Byelorussia 372 Chapter VIII: Military-Police Collaboration in Byelorussia 401 The Beginnings 401 Local Auxiliary Security Forces: strength, structure and the German attitude 405 Dogmatism vs. Reality: Byelorussian Self-DefenseA" and the Home GuardA" 435 Strange Allies: Armija Krajowa and Germans 446 UntermenschenA" in SS-Uniforms 454 Summary 490 Appendix: SS and Military Ranks 508 Glossary 509 Bibliography 512 Index of Places Index of Persons