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11-08-2015, 18:52

The Collaborators

The conquerors claimed that they would make a 'new order' prevail in the occupied states. Some groups in these states motivated by ideology, others bv opportunism, or by the expecta non oi profit declared their adherence to the new order. Thev were the 'collaborators'. Italy did not recruit many except from the substantia] colonies of Italians in southern France and in Tunisia, whom the former consuls tried to organize. Thev failed completely in Corsica. A handful of Corsican adherents to the Italian 'new order' remained in Italy at a safe distance from their iel low -countrymen, who would have carved them to pieces. The Nazis were more successful. They granted privileged status to the colonies of Volkdeutsche scattered about Hungarv, Rumania, Slovakia and Croatia. People of German origin in these countries effectively enjoyed double nationality. They kept their language and appointed leaders who recognized Hitler as their Fuhrer. They governed themselves and sometimes raised taxes for their own profit. Nazi propaganda in the countries they occupied was cunning and persistent. Every medium wTas used to diffuse it, newspapers, books, films and especially the radio. Libraries were purged. Lecture series were organized, as well as concerts, exhibitions and performances of plays. Despite rivalry between departments in the German government, it was principally Goebbels' methods, which had been employed so successfully in Germany, which were adopted. Deviations from orthodoxy were silenced by a painstaking and fastidious censorship. The same propaganda slogans were repeated over and over again. Communists, they said, were pernicious. So were liberal democrats, freemasons and Jews. They condemned capitalists. They affirmed the superiority of fascist socialism, which was historically inevitable. They promised Europe peace and prosperity now that it had finally been unified by the German rod. These propaganda slogans were convincing so long as the Wehrmacht was winning battles. After the Wehrmacht stopped winning, propaganda was overshadowed by the facts themselves. Groups of collaborators assembled in every state, except Poland and Soviet Russia where, despite separatist tendencies among minorities in these states, the Germans' systematic cruelty provoked unanimous opposition to the occupation. In most cases, 'collaborators' were drawm from fascist movements which had existed before the war, but their numbers swelled with new recruits. Some groups, such as the French Popular Party, transferred their allegiance to the Germans, while German subsidies created newT groups. They modelled themselves on Nazism, aped Nazi rites and ceremonies, and furnished a supply of acolytes to Mall the perverse operations of the German police. Although Quisling was given power in Norway, the Germans generally preferred to keep their collaborators in reserve, as a means of exerting pressure on the authorities in command. The Iron Guard in Rumania acted on Antonescu in this way. In France various groups in the occupied northern zone exerted pressure on the Vichy government. The groups of collaborators never accumulated a large following, except perhaps in Flanders and in Croatia. Public opinion generally ignored them or execrated them. Japan made use ofJapanese nationals who had already settled in the conquered countries as businessmen or industrialists. She also rallied the national liberation movements which had been encouraged by Japanese victory. In Nankin the Japanese set up a rival government to Chang Kai-Shek's. It planned to integrate China into the new Asia. In India thevused Sadat Chandra Bose, a militant in the Congress Party, to foment an uprising. Unlike Nehru and Gandhi, Bose wanted to take advantage of British misfortunes ofexpell the British from India. The Japanese raised and outfitted a small volunteer army from Indian prisoners of war.