Collaboration in the Territories Incorporated into the Third Reich Cover Image

Kolaboracja na terenach wcielonych do Rzeszy Niemieckiej
Collaboration in the Territories Incorporated into the Third Reich

Author(s): Ryszard Kaczmarek
Subject(s): History
Published by: Instytut Pamięci Narodowej

Summary/Abstract: The article analyzes the phenomena of collaboration and collaborationism in all territories incorporated into the Third Reich. Nowhere, apart from a specific situation in Luxembourg, one may find in those territories national collaboration, that is to say the creation of state institutions collaborating with the Germans. The reason was the lack of initiative on the part of Germans. All territories incorporated into the Reich were treated offi cially or unofficially as parts of the Third Reich, and that is why the possibility to create there state semi-sovereign institutions was not planned. The support of collaboration in the annexed territories looked different. Simultaneously when integrating with the Reich the attempts were made to develop collaborative attitudes by Nazifi cation. The process of Nazification was very unequal and was taking place differently in every analyzed territory. In the Polish incorporated territories the process of establishing the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party) and transmitting organizations were nearly instantly being initiated. They acquired members nearly solely from the circle of the representatives of the pre-war German minority members who were politically active before 1939. The membership in the Nazi Party was elitist in the east and amounted to 2–3 per cent. In the west the intermediary solution was adopted, that is to say – the national socialist movements were being created which constituted the step in the path to the membership in the Nazi Party. The membership in those organizations in Luxembourg, Alsace and Lorraine was a mass scale phenomenon, and was not restricted by ‘racial’ limitations. After the end of the war, there were no precise criteria how to differentiate between the collaboration attitudes in the incorporated territories from those which are described as adjustment and passive and active resistance. It resulted in accusing a large part of the native population of collaboration without differentiation between that group and the German minority which in fact participated in that process on a mass scale. The indicator factor of collaboration in the eastern territories was rather the membership in Nazi organizations, than the active engagement in the activities of the German state apparatus, party structures and terror apparatus.

  • Issue Year: 12/2008
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 159-181
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Polish