Nazi Collaborators and Cold Warriors: America's Belarusian Quislings Open Access
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During World War II, opportunistic Belarusian nationalist leaders compromised the independence and integrity of their young movement by tying it to Nazi Germany and becoming culpable in the crimes of the Holocaust. Fighting among themselves for control of the anticommunist Belarusian diaspora after World War II, many Belarusian nationalist collaborators became involved in the early Cold War anti-Soviet campaigns of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Virtually all of the leaders of the Belarusian Nazi puppet regime immigrated to the US in the early Cold War and continued their hardline anti-Soviet political activism in their new homes. After decades living confidently in the US under their own names, these Belarusian collaborators became the focus of renewed government investigations into Nazi war criminals in the US and the center of a public scandal. This dissertation examines these understudied figures and their influence on world events from their place on the peripheries of power. It investigates leading Belarusian nationalists’ ties to Nazi Germany during World War II, their anti-Soviet covert operations with the CIA in the early Cold War, and their participation in American anticommunist politics. Finally, this dissertation explores how these figures affected the development of US government investigations into Nazi war criminals living in the US in the 1970s and 1980s.