“We must thank Martin Dean for the original research in his Collaboration in the Holocaust: Crimes of the Local Police in Belorussia and Ukraine, 1941–44. On this, as on most other topics regarding Ukraine, the complexity of the facts defies simplistic generalization.”
— Jack F. Matlock, Jr., New York Review of Books
“An impressive amount of research backs up sound conclusions.”
— Frederic Krome, Library Journal
“In Dean’s scrupulous research, utilizing eyewitness testimony, trial records and documents only now made available what with the opening of the Soviet archives, he not only helps complete the historical record of that area and that period, but he also sets the record straight—undeniably and unquestionably.”
— Dr. Diane Cypkin, Martyrdom and Resistance
According to German bookkeeping, more than a million Jews were shot by Himmler’s police forces and their local collaborators in the East. Martin Dean’s new book examines the participation of local Belorussian and Ukrainian police in this crime. Much has been written about the role of the Einsatzgruppen in the initial wave of killings in 1941. During the “second wave” in 1942, however, in many areas the death toll exceeded that in 1941. Local police assisted the Germans in the murder of their neighbors within earshot of their own homes. The numbers of indigenous police personnel involved in the atrocities outnumbered their Nazi German colleagues.
Who were these people and what were their motives? Many of “Hitler’s willing executioners” were in fact local volunteers from within these small rural communities. Their motives included greed, ambition, and anticommunism as well as hatred of the Jews. Some collaborators displayed especial zeal in searching out victims hiding in the ghettoes and forests. Practical realities as much as ideological convictions determined the implementation of Nazi genocide in the vast expanses of the East. (From the book jacket.)
“A major contribution to the study of the Holocaust and the German occupation of the Soviet Union. Based upon extensive documentation, much of it from newly opened archives in eastern Europe and Russia, and combining postwar judicial inquiries and survivors’ testimonies and memoirs with contemporary German sources, this is the first study to focus on the role played by local collaborators in the murder of the Jews, other civilians, and Soviet troops....Dean’s balanced and yet passionate study of a hitherto neglected aspect of the Holocaust and German occupation policies enables him to grapple with some of the most disturbing questions of the period....Dean concludes that the wholesale murder of the Jews could not have taken place without massive collaboration from the local police and its new recruits....What makes such massacres so disturbing is that, unlike the extermination camps, here the perpetrators often knew their victims by name, had lived next to them for many years, and had not shown such murderous inclinations in the past....Dean’s...contribution is not only packed with information and insights, it also has the great merit of going beyond the perspective of the German perpetrators by including the narratives of the local collaborators, the Jewish victims, and the partisans....Dean innovates both by shedding light on the crucial issue of collaboration and by employing a methodological model that future scholars can emulate. This book should be read by all scholars of World War II, the Holocaust, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and genocide.”
— Omer Bartov, Slavic Review
“A plus in the historiography of the topic...the author places the topic on the plane where it can be nationally analyzed and understood.”
— Andrew Ezergailis, American Historical Review
Martin Dean is an applied research scholar at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies in Washington, DC, and was the Museum’s 1997–98 Pearl Resnick Postdoctoral Fellow.