Collaborationism. How Europeans Rewrite History

During World War II, millions of Europeans collaborated with the Nazis. After the defeat of the German Reich, the Holocaust gradually dominated the historical memory in the Western Europe, while in the Eastern Europe it was a joint struggle of the USSR and anti-fascist forces against a common enemy. However, with the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the Eastern enlargement of the European Union, the situation changed. Politicians from the countries of the «new Europe» began to impose their anti-Soviet interpretation of the past. European institutions, previously dealing with the crimes of Nazism, began the investigation of the «communist crimes».

RISS experts analyze the efforts of European historians to demonize the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Treaty of 1939 and to revise their attitude towards collaborators. Analysts believe the deliberate rewriting of history has far-reaching political goals.


  • Eastern European countries tried to justify their collaboration with the Nazis. They presented themselves as fighters with the two occupants, thus equating the Nazis and the Soviets. Subsequently, Eastern Europeans treated Stalin as the ultimate villain. As a result, Russophobia provides basis for the revision of World War II memories and hence the revision of the borders in the Eastern Europe.
historical memory USSR Holocaust Collaborationism