Collaboration

Some countries in Europe developed policies to help the Nazi Germany, especially in those countries that were under German occupation, this was  called collaboration. There were two main forms of collaboration, first there was technical collaboration, this was where people cooperated with the German occupiers without sharing their Nazi ideals. These were collaborators. Secondly there was ideological collaboration where not only there was cooperation with the German occupier but also acceptance of Nazi ideology and a desire to see a German victory. There was active collaboration on the part of 1 to 2% of the European population. At European level there were both types of collaboration.

A policy based on ideological collaboration and led by collaborationists was set up in Norway, Hungary and Croatia. These regimes were totalitarian and applied Nazi racist measures and voluntarily put their economies at the service of the Nazis. Other countries offered technical collaboration. Here governments made limited concessions to the Germans hoping to win favours. This was the case with the Vichy Regime which had been imposed by Marshal Pétain in France. Other occupied countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark evidenced minimal collaboration. The way these countries were administered had to take into account the requirements of the Nazis but as far as possible limited these requirements. As regards the industries in these occupied countries it is also possible to speak of technical collaboration imposed by the victors.

The two forms of collaboration concerned only a minority of individuals within Europe. Individual collaboration could take the form of letters of denunciation for example. However the reprisals taken by the German abuses stopped a large part of the population from collaborating or even coming to an understanding with the Germans and also led a small number to resist.

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