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Hiwi (volunteer) facts for kids

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Auxiliary volunteer
Hilfswilliger, Hiwi
Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-004-3632-24, Russland, einheimische Freiwillige der Wehrmacht.jpg
Russia, January 1942, two former Soviet soldiers in the German Wehrmacht army, decorated with the General Assault Badge
Active 1941–1944
Country Occupied Soviet Union, Eastern Front (World War II), occupied Poland
Allegiance Nazi Germany
Branch War Ensign of Germany (1938–1945).svg Wehrmacht
Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Schutzstaffel
Type Auxiliary forces
Size 600,000 (in 1944)
Nickname(s) Hiwi, Askari

Hiwi, the German abbreviation of the word Hilfswilliger or, in English, auxiliary volunteer, designated, during World War II, the member of different kinds of voluntary auxiliary forces made up of recruits indigenous to the territories of Eastern Europe occupied by Nazi Germany.

Adolf Hitler reluctantly agreed to allow recruitment of Soviet citizens in the Rear Areas during Operation Barbarossa. In a short period of time, many of them were moved to combat units.

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