Looking closely at the documentary photographs of Nazi accomplices from the ranks of the Auxiliary Police (Hilfspolizei-Hipo) created in the territories captured by the Nazis during the Great Patriotic War, one cannot but pay attention to one extremely characteristic detail: the presence of young people of military age among those depicted on them. How so? Those who were obliged at this moment to fight with the invaders in the ranks of the Red Army, defending their homeland and father's house, suddenly found themselves in the service of the invaders ...
Let's talk about how this happened.
Indeed, the decision on mass military draft on the territory of the Soviet Union was made on June 22, 1941. The next day, the mobilization of military-liable citizens of 1905-1918 years of birth began, which was carried out in 14 of the USSR military districts of 17. Over the week, nearly 5 and a half million soldiers and commanders joined the Red Army. However, as we see, the children born in 1922-1923, that is, those who were 41 to 18-19 years old, were not affected by this appeal. Perhaps the point here is that until 1939 they were called up for active military service from the age of 21.
Nevertheless, the difficult situation on the fronts, the enormous losses of the Red Army forced the State Defense Committee on August 10, 1941 to start the second wave of mobilization, which affected not only the guys born in 1922-23, but also those who were born until 1894. The call was already in all districts. In the part of the Red Army went another 6,8 million Soviet citizens. However, one should not forget that by this moment the enemy had already seized significant territories of our country, on which they simply did not manage to carry out a comprehensive mobilization. Here is the first source of potential conscripts in the ranks of the police ...
Now about the others. Huge crowds of young people who literally stormed military enlistment offices in the first days and weeks of the Great Patriotic War are, no matter how someone wants to prove the opposite, not fiction and not propaganda, but the most authentic reality, “reinforced concrete” confirmed documented. There were, however, those who did not rush to the front at all. Someone was simply afraid to go to war, and someone dodged the draft for "ideological reasons." It is only liberal historians who are trying to prove that Stalin and Beria invented every single enemy of the Soviet regime. In fact, those who in 1941 did not consider their state the workers and peasants, nor the Red Army, which defended it, in the country, alas, was missing.
By the way, it was they who ran in the first place to sign up for the police created by the invaders and for the punitive teams of Schutzmann-schaft. I really wanted to settle accounts with the hated Bolsheviks. As a rule, these were the children of those who during the period of the revolution and the Civil War lost their wealth, high social status, and power. Separately, it is worth mentioning here also nationalists, primarily Ukrainian and Baltic. These were ready to serve the Nazis in order to be able to slaughter commissars and ethnically “wrong” ones.
However, among the future Hitler minions there were those who, while talking about a mortal resentment against the Soviet regime, hid the usual bestial desire to rob their fellow countrymen and powerfully hide over them. Of course, they were hiding from the draft in the Red Army, but they considered the policeman “dustless” and, as it seemed, safe service for great luck. Criminals also belonged to this disgusting category, which, as a matter of fact, no one took to the front, but the occupiers willingly accepted the ranks of the "assistants". We will leave delusional tales about the lessons “heroically struggling with the Nazis” on the conscience of some Russian filmmakers, either consciously lying, or simply not having an idea of the real events of those years.
Another category of police “youngsters” consisted of those whom the Nazis selected from prisoners of war. Often, at the initial stage of the war, a man had time to both be called up and get captured just next to his own house. Such people, depressed, demoralized, weak in spirit, the Germans faced a simple choice: either the bandage Hilfspolizei - or a concentration camp. They could have threatened to shoot on the spot, while killing someone for clarity.
In any case, everyone has always had a choice. The pitiful assurances that “there was no other way,” sounded later when the Red Army drove the Nazis back to the West, cost absolutely nothing. To become a hero or a traitor, to swell with hunger or to creep over a policeman, freeze in a guerrilla dugout, risking his life in battles or participating in bullying of civilians and their executions - here everyone decided for himself. And there were no excuses for those who, having betrayed their homeland, transformed from its protector into her executioner, there was, is not and cannot be.