Because we have two history buffs in the house — my husband and son — The Military Channel plays pretty much nonstop around here. Which is a good thing, because without those two history buffs, my daughter and I would probably watch The CW and E! News all the time.
It’s also a good thing because I learn a lot about history that I never learned in school, like the fact that there were a whole bunch of people and organizations who collaborated with the most evil regime of the 20th century.
Nazi Collaborators, released on DVD Oct. 16, 2012, is a 13-part documentary that draws on 4000 hours of archival film. Yes, just when you think there can’t possibly be any more historical footage out there, networks like The Military Channel unearth it.
What’s amazing to me is that we can look back on that awful period of history and recognize right away that it was so, so wrong. And yet, at the time there were so many that worked with Hitler and his network. Some did it for financial gain, others for the promise of elevated status. Some believed that siding with the imperialist Germans offered the best chance of survival for their people, while others later claimed they would be killed if they refused.
From the Jewish leader who offered up his people as free labor to the ex-French Prime Minister who actively aided the Nazi hunt for the Resistance; from the IRA-German plot to invade Northern Ireland to the brutal killing squads of Lithuania, Nazi Collaborators explores the complex motivations behind the controversial paths chosen by some.
It’s all very chilling — and may we watch shows, movies and DVDs about this time in history to remind us of what once was. Included:
- Rumkowski and the Polish Jewish Ghetto
- Laval and French Vichy Government
- Arajs and the Latvian Holocaust
- Degrelle and the Belgian SS
- Sakic and the Croatian Concentration Camps
- Quisling and the Puppet Norwegian Nazis
- Sean Russell and the IRA
- The Grand Mufti and Jerusalem Collaboration
- German Mischlinge – Jews that supported Hitler
- Rallis and the Greek Puppet Government
- Mussert – “Shadow Fuehrer” of Holland
- Nevanlinna – The Finnish Collaborator
- The Schutzmannschaft Killing Squads