How many Belarusians fought on Hitler's side and why is it trying to remain silent

History 28/01/20 How many Belarusians fought on Hitler’s side and why is it trying to be silent

When it comes to collaboration in the USSR during the Second World war, the first thing they say about the Balts, Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars. Who almost never mention is the people of Belarus. Since Belarusians are traditionally associated with the guerrillas, but not with the policemen and executioners.

the Belarusian partisans

According to Soviet historians on the territory of Belarus, the guerrilla movement was the most widespread. Contemporary study of archival documents shows that many of the data about the guerrillas (and Belarusian also) do not correspond to reality. The theme of the partisan movement of the great Patriotic war is still waiting for his impartial and objective researchers.

But in any case, on the territory of Belarus, the guerrilla movement was actually much more advanced than the other occupied territories. And this fact was always present as a sign of the national struggle of the Belarusian people against the German invaders. Without denying this assertion, it is worth noting that such a large number of partisans in the Belarusian land has a slightly different reason.

the Largest number of partisan detachments were formed not upon approaching the front of the mobilized local residents, under the leadership of local party, Soviet and economic management. And not getting formed units across the front line. The vast majority of the Belarusian partisans are former fighters and commanders of the Western front, caught in a “pot” in the early days of the war. A huge number were surrounded troops and gave the mass partisan movement in Belarus.

as for the local population, then it was not so straightforward, as they might think in the Soviet period.

Belarusian nationalists

the Firste unit in the Wehrmacht from Belarusians were formed prior to the beginning of the great Patriotic war. It was a separate platoon of the regiment of special purpose “Brandenburg”. Its members included former soldiers of the Polish army of the Belarusian nationality. Active participation in the formation of so and Belarusian emigrants living in Germany, Poland and other European countries.

unlike, for example, Ukrainian nationalists, immigrants, and Belarusian were not so numerous, but still there. It is, first and foremost, the representatives of which existed short time in 1918 the Belarusian people’s Republic, emigrated after its liquidation.

At the beginning of the war with the USSR, the Belarusian nationalists, as well as many others, believed in the possibility of creating (with German assistance) their own independent state. The local population, especially in the newly annexed Western regions, harbored great sympathy for the Soviet regime. The success of the Wehrmacht at the front was an additional incentive to ensure that Belarusians willingly went to serve the Germans than to go to the guerrillas.

Data on how many Belarusians in the German service and how willingly they were going to serve, is very contradictory.

In the book by S. Pinchuk, “Soviet partisans. Myths and realities” argues that over the entire period of the war in the Wehrmacht and the SS took the service about 50 thousand Belarusians, but other sources give figures up to 70 thousand.

Andriy Karashchuk in the book “Eastern volunteers in Wehrmacht, police and SS,” reports that in 1943, in the formation of police battalions in Baranovichi, Slonim, and Slutsk districts have responded so many volunteers that they were transferred to other regions.

But Sergei Chuyev in his book “Damned soldiers. The traitors on the side of the third Reich” claims that the battalions were recruited forcibly, and personnel to the places of formation were sent under escort.

we Can assume that the situation changes dramatically in the course of the war. At the beginning of the actubut there were a lot of volunteers. When the Red army began to win victories, and it became clear that Germany begins to lose the war, the local population is disappointed in the policy of the occupation authorities, and the leaders of the nationalists realized that hope for the creation of any independent state impossible, and the Germans are not interested in it, then the mood changed. Willing to serve the Germans became more and less cases of care of individual soldiers and whole units to the partisans became regular.

In the ranks of the Wehrmacht and the SS

the First units began to be created as soon as the Wehrmacht troops seized the territory of Belarus. It was an impromptu part of the local residents and prisoners of war that were intended to aid the Germans in the destruction of the encircled in the forests of the red Army. Their actions were often quite successful. By the end of 1941 on the basis of these pieces were created “Belarusian auxiliary police.”

the Small police was not able to fight with the guerrillas. For these purposes, the summer of 1942 it was decided to create the Belarusian corps of self-defense. Originally planned for three divisions and separate parts, but as a result was formed by two dozen independent battalions. Who were not armed. The German command decided not to allow the establishment of an independent Belarusian parts and in the spring of 1943 the corps was disbanded.

summer 1942 the German high command initiated the formation of the Belarusian auxiliary police battalions “noise” (from Schutzmannschaft). Their formation lasted until the spring of 1944, there were 11 battalions, one artillery battalion and a cavalry squadron. The battalions were of two types: six front (for fighting partisans) and five tonic (for protection of important sites). Although the battalions of the “noise”, even the command structure was from among the former officers of the Soviet Belarusians or the Polish army, they obeyed the German command.

in addition to police batalanew was created as follows: railway guard battalion, airborne battalion “of Dalvin” (created by the Abwehr for intelligence and sabotage operations in the Soviet rear), the 13th Belarusian police battalion diabetes.

in the Spring of 1944 began the formation of the Belarusian home defence. In its composition was formed and 39 infantry 6 battalion, and cavalry squadron. In total, they were more than 21 thousand people, but really only a few parts were used in operations against the guerrillas.

After 1944, the Red army liberated Belarus, the remnants of the police and other parts were allotted to Poland.

There from the Belarusian and Ukrainian battalions were formed brigade auxiliary police “Zigling” (Schutzmannschaft-Brigade Siegling), which in the fighting did not participate.

Later, from the Belarusian part of the Belarusian was formed a Grenadier brigade of SS, and later expanded in the 30-th Grenadier division of the Waffen SS. In April 1945 all Belarussians from this division were simply disbanded.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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