Alieś Simakoŭ. The Belarusians and the Indians: the Second World War.
Mainly entries from the Belarusian-Indian Society’s Bibliography database are used to evaluate the Indian-related concepts and practices of Belarusians, their neighbors, counterparts and adversaries in World War II and to trace wartime contacts and mutual influences. Western / Hitlerite thought is analyzed for the presence of Indian comparisons applied or applicable to Belarus: the population’s “primitive” communism, “cruelty”, “dividing” cults, war on guerrillas with K. May, “expansion” and other sources of ideas and inspiration are the Wild East’s targets, means and modes of treatment. Alcohol / tobacco, reservation / ghetto, genocide as tools and methods of conquest, extermination with their roots in the early Americas, Columbus, Chatyń, the Seminole Wars, the role of the swastika, the “racial” sense of the names “White Russia”, “Red partisans” are among the matters discussed. The comparative assessment of the degree of “Indianness” in reactions, adaptations, stereotypes of the Belarusian, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Jewish communities reveals ethical barriers to indigenous unity and controversies over ethnic “victimology”. With some exceptions in the retreating phase, the Germans don’t associate themselves with the Indians, but encourage to use Indian fighting skills. Belarusian-Indian connections / parallels, the Indian impact, such as mascots, play Indians, on the warring sides in the arts, memoirs, publicism as well as books published, available and survived are drawn. Wareffected professional activities in Belarus and its diaspora, the Indian topic in reading and creative work, the collaborationist press and correspondence supplement the material on the spiritual state of the people.