The fedayeen of the reich: muslims, Islam and collaborationism during World War II
Author(s)De Cordier, Bruno
KeywordsHistory and Archaeology
World War II
AbstractFrom 1941 to 1945, between 372,000 and 445,000 men of Muslim background and primarily from Soviet Eurasia and the Balkans, served in Hitler’s armies as combatants or as labour auxiliaries. This little-known page of war history is often used to discredit Islam and Muslims. But what were the actual sizes and causes of the phenomenon? This paper examines the circumstances and the proportions of wartime collaborationist movements among Muslims, and compared these to collaboration among non-Muslim groups in the territories and countries concerned. It thereby focuses on the cases of the Central Asian Turkestan Legion of the Wehrmacht and of the Bosnian Handschar division of the Waffen-SS.