Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Jonathan D. Huener
When the military forces of the Third Reich invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, the German authorities used local anti-Communist collaborators to facilitate the invasion and the occupation of the conquered territories. Many of these Byelorussian collaborators became complicit in the perpetration of the Holocaust and eagerly created a puppet regime under the direct control of the Schutzstaffel (SS). However, this regime and the crimes of its members remain largely unknown.
As the Third Reich crumbled, the members of the SS-sponsored Byelorussian Central Council (BCC) hid themselves in the confusion of postwar Europe’s Displaced Persons camps, where they began to forge relationships with the intelligence agencies of the western Allies. As the mistrust between the Soviet Union and its erstwhile allies grew, these Nazi collaborators represented themselves as anti-Communist refugees from Stalinist persecution. They successfully navigated the currents of the early Cold War, evading arrest and prosecution for their wartime crimes with the help of their new sponsors in American intelligence. Many of the most notorious members of the BCC immigrated to the United States and became naturalized citizens, trading the vestiges of the Third Reich’s Byelorussian intelligence networks and military forces to American intelligence in exchange for protection from extradition and prosecution.
This work focuses on the members of the BCC, the extent of their criminal collaboration with the Third Reich, and the role American intelligence played in helping these Byelorussian Nazi collaborators escape justice and become United States citizens.
Number of Pages
Alexander, Mark, "Nazi Collaborators, American Intelligence, and the Cold War: The Case of the Byelorussian Central Council" (2015). Graduate College Dissertations and Theses. 424.