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Stalin's DefectorsHow Red Army Soldiers became Hitler's Collaborators, 1941-1945$
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Mark Edele

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198798156

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198798156.001.0001

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(p.95) 6 Motivations
Stalin's Defectors

Mark Edele

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   defeatism, survivalism, Stalinism, anti-Stalinism, Red Army, Ivan Nikitich Kononov, anti-Semitism, anti-Communism, Bolshevism, fascism

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