“Nazi Collaborators” coming to Military Channel

In the last decade or two, much of American television has had its roots in series that launched in Britain, and we’ve certainly imported our share of UK series for broadcast here. But rarely do we import something this potentially incendiary. Oct. 4, Military Channel will premiere the 13-part series Nazi Collaborators, exploring the unsettling and often unasked questions of how thousands of non-Germans could have chosen to collaborate with the Nazis. The answers are varied and often as controversial as the questions.

Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, which the makers of Nazi Collaborators obviously know full well. In examining case by case the motivations and consciences of those who did the Nazis’ bidding, the series metaphorically asks the viewer: What would you have done under the circumstances?

To get at this question, each episode traces the experiences of those known to have been prominent collaborators, like Pierre Laval, who assisted Hitler’s objectives in rounding up the Jews of Vichy, or Latvia’s Viktor Arajs, whose own self-formed Kommando actively participated in the slaughter of some 26,000 people. Puppet “Führers” from occupied territories, including Croatia, Holland and Belgium supported Hitler’s objectives, as did even the Irish Republican Army (IRA), with the questionable rationale that England’s enemy was by necessity its friend.

Some of the collaborators profiled in Nazi Collaborators argue that they had no choice. Some chose self-preservation over annihilation. And some had darker, more sinister motives. But with the defeat of Hitler’s armies, all found themselves written into history as having aided and abetted the greatest evil humanity had ever known.

Using rare footage, contemporary interviews with eyewitnesses as well as historians and reconstructions of key events, this series pulls back the warm, fuzzy blanket of the memory of victory to uncover the often-too-terrible truths it conceals.


  1. There seemed to have been too much editoralizing in the series for my taste.

    For example, the collaborators of Latvia were shown in a negative light yet most of them saw service for the Nazis as preferable to Stalinist oppression.

    I wonder why this series did not discuss the collaboration of Russians, particularly members of Vlasov’s so called Russian Liberation Army. It is probibly the most unknown story of the war, and the most tragic.

    • This is an awesome series. I am going to attempt to collect the DVD set. Reminded me of much I have forgotten and informed me of much that I haven’t but should have been aware of. Because history repeats itself.

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