Nazi Collaborators DVD Review

nazi collaborators dvd review

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” — George Santayana

When viewed from a distance of more than a half-century, it’s easy to lose sight of the specifics that lead to World War II. How could the Nazi Party, a group nearly universally vilified, have possibly tempted so many to collusion? What were the motives of those who sided with the Axis of Evil?

Nazi Collaborators is an exhaustive look at how so many world citizens, political leaders and countries were mislead, beguiled and seduced into serving the Third Reich. Some opportunists saw collaboration as a way to gain power and status. Others, living under Stalin’s reign of terror or British colonial rulers, decided to back the enemy of their enemy. Some chose to serve as a means of survival in a turbulent time, and some believed wholeheartedly in Adolf Hitler’s leadership.

The complex motivations of the Nazi collaborators are explored through archival film and documents, accompanied by interviews with WWII survivors, veterans and historians. It’s a fascinating and disturbing look at the underbelly of the most studied conflict in the history of the world.

The episode about Viktor Quisling, a Norwegian politician and Nazi collaborator, was especially interesting, as the name “Quisling” has become globally synonymous with “traitor.” I had heard the term before, but never knew its etymology.*

Documentaries like this help keep us armed with both information and questions to better recognize the dark potential of our geopolitical theater. The presentation is dry and might not have mass appeal, but the stories are unquestionably intriguing for those willing to invest the time.

This four-disc set has no special features. A short documentary about tracking down the interviews, or a look into the research process would be nice, but the most interesting stuff, I feel, is already on the screen.

* Keeping things timely: In the book “World War Z,” the American military uses the term “Quisling” to describe a psychological condition where a person has become so thoroughly broken by the zombie apocalypse that they actually begin to behave like zombies. Knowledge is power!