Soviet women collaborators in occupied Ukraine 1941-1945

Daria Rudakova

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Abstract

Despite the recent growth in scholarship on collaboration in the occupied Soviet territories during the Second World War, there appears to be a gap in the historiography concerning civilian women and their experiences under occupation. Soviet post-war war crimes trials reveal that women made up a small but important number of local collaborators with the Nazi occupation regime in Ukraine. The crimes these women committed during the German occupation ranged from denunciation, to helping the occupation regime through administrative work, to actively being an agent provocateur and a spy. Some had little participation in the Nazi atrocities while others had first-hand involvement in interrogations and beatings of victims. A few of the women even denounced fellow neighbors, friends and family members to the occupiers. This article argues that there was no one stereotypical female collaborator nor was there one dominant motivating factor for collaboration among the women in this study. Their age, nationality, educational and socio-economic background varied significantly, and so did their motivations and degrees of involvement in the Nazi murder of Jews and Soviet partisans. The reasons for the women collaborators’ actions during the occupation were as individual and varied as the women themselves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-545
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Journal of Politics and History
Volume62
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2016

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