After the Second World War ended, in the famous Nuremberg Trials, the Allies
(British, French, Americans, and Soviets) prosecuted twenty-two of Nazi Germany’s
military, economic, and political leaders for their crimes against humanity. Others, like
Hitler, escaped justice by committing suicide. But they alone were not responsible for
carrying out the Holocaust. Many others assisted them in a variety of ways. First, explain
what the Holocaust was and how it was ideologically, politically, socially, and/or
economically linked to the Second World War. Second, explain who else was responsible
for carrying out the Holocaust. Why did so many individuals abandon their fellow
human beings in the name of collaboration? What different forms did collaboration
take? To what extent were collaborators and collaborationists equally responsible as
their German counterparts for supporting and seeing the “Final Solution” to the end?
Finally, while some chose to collaborate, others chose to resist, bravely opposing the
Nazis. To what extent did resistance movements undermine the war effort and the
Holocaust? Can a history of the Second World War be written without acknowledging
their role in the war?