Byelorussian collaboration with the Axis powers

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Headquarters of Belarusian Central Rada, a pro-Nazi semi-government of Belarus operating from Minsk, June 1943.

During World War II, some Belarusians collaborated with the invading Axis powers. Until the beginning of Operation Barbarossa in 1941, the territory of Belarus was under control of the Soviet Union, as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. However, memories of the Soviet repressions in Belarus and collectivization, as well as of the polonization and discrimination of Belarusians in the Second Polish Republic were still fresh, and many people in Belarus wanted an independent Belarus. Many Belarusians chose to cooperate with the invaders in order to achieve that goal, assuming that Nazi Germany might allow them to have their own independent state after the war ended.

The Belarusian organizations never received any administrative control over the territory of Belarus, the real power was in the hands of the German civil and military administrations. The collaborationist Belarusian Central Rada, presenting itself as a Belarusian governmental body, was formed in Minsk few months before Belarus was taken over by the Soviet Army.

Before the war, a Belarusian National Socialist Party was formed by a small group of Belarusian nationalists in Poland-controlled West Belarus in 1933. The group was far less influential than other Belarusian political parties in interwar Poland, such as the Belarusian Peasants' and Workers' Union and the Belarusian Christian Democracy. BNSP was banned by the Polish authorities in 1937. Its leaders left for Berlin and became one of the first advisers to the Germans at the onset of Operation Barbarossa.[1][2]

Administration[edit]

Belarusian military and paramilitary units in the German army[edit]

Minsk training base in 1942, leaders of the Schutzmannschaft Battalions 102 and 115, as well as the Ukrainian Battalion 118 ready for service in Reichskommissariat Ostland

German Commanders and officers associated with Belarus[edit]

Political leaders[edit]

The unofficial White-red-white flag of Belarus which became associated with collaboration during World War II[citation needed]
  • Radasłaŭ Astroŭski, Mayor of Smolensk and later the President of Belarusian Central Rada
  • Jury Sabaleŭski, Major of Baranavičy and Vice-President of the Belarusian Central Council
  • Mikałaj Łapicki, Orthodox priest and Editor-in-Chief of the Ranica newspaper
  • Vacłaŭ Ivanoŭski, Mayor of Minsk
  • Ivan Jermačenka, local political adviser
  • Stanisłaŭ Stankievič, Mayor of Barysaŭ
  • Emmanuel Jasiuk, Mayor of Klecak
  • Jaŭchim Kipel, president of the Second All-Belarusian Rada Congress
  • Ivan Kasiak, Belarusian provincial governor
  • Jury Bartyševič, Minister of Administration of occupational Astroŭski government
  • Anton Adamovič, member in self-help Belarusian organization
  • Mikoła Abramčyk, editor of the Ranica newspaper
  • Stanisłaŭ Hrynkievič

Military commanders[edit]

German-collaborationist Biełaruskaja Krajovaja Abarona, Minsk, June 1944.

Political organizations[edit]

  • Belarusian National Socialist Party
  • Self-help Belarusian Groups
  • Belarusian affairs office
  • Belarusian "Ventruensausschuss" administrative-political organization
  • First Zentralrat political organization

Media[edit]

  • Ranica, a Berlin-based Belarusian newspaper

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jury Turonak.
  2. ^ Rein 2013, The Kings and the Pawns, page 135.

References[edit]