Nederlands Holocaust in Europe Perpetrators and victims


The massacre of millions of Jews was not just the work of the Germans. After the outbreak of the Second World War, the National Socialist regime also attracted many volunteers from other countries. In all the countries occupied by the Nazis there were people who collaborated with the new regime and helped the Nazis in tracking down and arresting Jews. A considerable number of the security guards in the numerous camps and ghettos in Eastern Europe were Ukrainian and Lithuanian volunteers. The Waffen-SS also had several international divisions, including a few from Western European countries. In the 1930s, many Ukrainians, people from the Baltic States, and Tatars had suffered under the Stalinist regime and therefore fought with the National Socialists.  In several cases, Polish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, and White Russian citizens actually helped murder their Jewish fellow-countrymen and villagers. For instance, in 2001, it was revealed that in 1941, the Jewish population of the Polish village Jedwabne (1400 people out of which half were Jewish), were not murdered by the Nazis or the  Wehrmacht soldiers, but by their own Polish fellow-villagers. Jedwabne was not an exception.

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  1. Ukrainian SS volunteers being decorated. Photo from 1943.NIOD Collection, Amsterdam
  2. French propaganda poster for the German campaign against Bolshevism. “They sacrifice their blood, will you sacrifice your work.”NIOD Collection, Amsterdam
  3. Two Ukrainian SS officers while suppressing the revolt in the Warsaw Ghetto (1943).NIOD Collection, Amsterdam
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