How many faces does war have? How many faces do its particular aspects have? In the latest episode of “War Diaries”, we are going to focus on the word “occupation”. As it turns out, one must not treat occupation in different parts of Europe during the Second World War in the same way. We tend to use the word “occupation” somewhat thoughtlessly, but it often results in bending the image of the war. For instance, it is utterly incorrect to see occupied Austria through the same prism as occupied France. Let us remember that a large number of Austrian citizens supported the Nazi rule and the process of annexation actually occurred quite naturally. In the case of France, the situation was just the opposite. If you wish to elaborate on the topic, make sure to watch the fourth episode of “War Diaries” in which we comprehensively explain the situation of occupied European states during the Second World War.
It is very easy to judge people and events from the Second World War, shooting your opinions from the comfortable position of our modern world. It is very easy to be a smart-ass right now, when all the information is in our reach, you just need to pull out your smartphone.
This wasn’t the case in the times of war. You knew only what you were told, or read in propaganda-driven newspapers, or heard on propaganda-driven radio. Collaboration with Germany was a very wide phenomenon, having all shades of grey.
On the one side we have these forcefully drafted men. Your choice was to go with Wehrmacht or get a bullet in the head. What would you do? I’d go. I wouldn’t be proud of it, but the will to live is somewhat stronger than anything else for some people. Imagine how much suffering these people had to sustain, on the Eastern Front, especially. Not for “their cause”. Not for their nation. Only for survival. Forced to do some really bad shit. Their tragedy is something indisputable for us.
The other side were collaborators who believed. Many believed in the idea of fighting against Bolshevism. That was the catchiest and probably the smartest thing that Nazi propaganda had to offer. Can we condemn them for getting into this? Of course, they could pull out their phones and check what is the truth, what kind of monsters their new “friends'' really are. Oh wait… they couldn’t. Yet, seeing how many people are ready to swallow any propaganda nowadays (being fanatically convinced that this is the truth), I doubt things changed with this “age of information”. Look how many people today are attracted to Communism, even if all the knowledge is right in their reach - ready to be grasped.
The last ones, who we really condemn, were those who sold their souls for selfish benefits. Traitors, opportunists and first of all - many politicians - they all deserved to be shot.
Now, let’s watch the third part of War Diaries, shall we?
In the next episode of War Diaries, we encourage you to confront myths about the Red Army, especially rooted in Western pop culture. Do you think that Red Army soldiers were noble, proud liberators? Reconsider this while watching this video.
Here is our first episode of the short “War Diaries” documentary. Our goal here is not to educate you, there’s almost no “hard knowledge” in the video. We wish to give you some of the general emotions we feel about those times, to encourage you to dig deeper. Did you think the death toll in Western Europe was tremendous? Watch and think again.