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Soviet Nationalities in German Wartime Strategy, 1941-1945.

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Interim rept.,

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This study addresses the policies of Nazi Germany toward the Soviet nationalities during World War II and examines the effect and implications of the nationality issue in the armed conflict between the two countries. Before the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the attitudes of the top Nazi leaders toward the Soviet nationalities were characterized by a mixture of ignorance and contempt conditioned by Nazi racial dogmas. Such attitudes were reflected in Nazi war objectives that aimed at the subjugation and economic exploitation of the Soviet peoples and precluded any attempt to harness to the German cause strong anti-Soviet and nationalist sentiments in the Soviet borderlands. Particularly oppressive were German occupation policies in the Ukraine the Baltic States. The exception to German occupation conduct was the enlightened policy pursued by the Germans in the Caucasus. In view of the oppressive treatment of the Soviet nationalities, except in the Caucasus, it is surprising to find that the Germans were able to secure the military collaboration of huge numbers of Soviet non-Russians. This leads us to conclude that the anti-Sovietism of many non-Russians was of such intensity as to overcome growing misgivings about and dislike for the Germans. Two basic forms of military collaboration were observed throughout the war. The first involved the direct incorporation of former Soviet citizens in the Wehrmacht German armed forces as auxiliaries. The second consisted of units earmarked by the Germans for internal security and antipartisan functions.

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  • Humanities and History

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