Both contemporaries and later historians have seen the mass surrenders of 1941 as a ‘plebiscite’ against Soviet power. This chapter investigates the extent to which this thesis can be supported by empirical evidence. It analyses the reasons for defection and shows that defeatism and the will to survive this war were slightly more important than political considerations. While a large minority was indeed opposed to Stalinism and motivated to go over to the enemy by their politics, only a radical minority wanted to take up arms against the Soviet side. The large majority, thus, were refugees from this war and from Stalinism rather than willing collaborators.
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