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Axis Collaborationist Forces in WWII
Collaboration with the Axis forces was wide spread and occured in one form or another in all occupied nations during WWII. Collaboration was the manner in which, either willingly or through force of circumstance, an occupied nation provided direct or indirect political and para-military support to the Axis powers. Collaborationist activities ranged from the relatively benign (and impossible to avoid) politcal and economic administations - the puppet governments, to actual para-military support in the form of local defense units and various police and security formations. The various "puppet governments" formed under German occupation enforced low-key occupation policies in some nations, while in others they were brutal and harsh. Either way, many sectors of the population in the occupied nations continued to support their governments-in-exile, and/or aided the resistance and partisan organizations that grew increasingly as the war progressed. Collaborationist forces in most nations were often seen as criminals and traitors, while in ironic contrast, many foreign volunteers were actually gathered through these same collaborationist organizations for service within the German Wehrmacht. In fact, some collaborationist organizations formed entire independent units that fought with great distinction within the Wehrmacht. Foreign volunteer units gathered via collaborationist organizations are covered in the section on Foreign Volunteers. When the Axis were finally crushed in 1945, collaborationist forces suffered heavily. Most collaborationist were executed or imprisioned in the post-WWII era.