Nazi Collaborators


I’ve studied the Holocaust and representation of trauma in media at University so whenever there’s an opportunity to review Nazi related films and documentaries I am the first to put my hand up. It’s a subject I never seem to tire of, but History Channel documentaries are tedious with their reliance on talking heads, repetition and only focusing on Jewish stories.

So when a set like this comes along which tells stories about the involvement of people from places like Norway, Greece, Holland, Latvia, Poland, France, Croatia, Palestine, Finland, Ireland (specifically the IRA?!?!?!) and it’s not a History Channel production, I’m excited.

Nazi Collaborators is a 13 episode, four disc box-set. It focuses on the men and women who conspired with the Nazis out of greed, a hatred of communism/Jews, and fear. Although I knew of some of them from various films and documentaries I have seen previously there were some surprising (the IRA connection) and very interesting stories here. So onto the collection.

Disc One

Chaim Rumkowski – Was a Polish Jew who was a Nazi appointed head of the Ältestenrat (council of elders) and ran the Łódź Ghetto. He believed that by making the Jews productive and helping the Germans by making shoes, uniforms, ammunitions and backpacks that he would be a valuable asset and save Jewish lives. Lesson? Never trust a Nazi.

Pierre LavalA French Politician and former Prime Minister, he collaborated with the Nazis to try and ensure loss of life and destruction if France but was later convicted of high treason.

The Arajs Kommando – Were a unit of Latvian Auxiliary Police led by Viktors Arājs and known for some of the most notorious killings of Jews in the Balkans. It is thought they killed 26,000 Jews, most from the Riga ghetto.

The Belgian Collaborator – Léon Degrelle, founder of Rexism and Hitler Wannabe who, later in life became a Holocaust denier.

Disc Two

The Croatian Collaborator – Dinko Sakic was the commandant of Jasenovac concentration camp, also known as “the Auschwitz of the Balkans”. Sakic and his men were particularly fond of a crude weapon called the Serb Cutter. He was later caught after 50 years in Argentinia.

Vidkun Quisling – Another anti-Communist Politician who created a new government after the Nazi’s invaded. Got royally screwed by Hitler but maintained he did everything for the betterment of Norway.

IRA – One of the more interesting stories, a rather strategic plan for the Nazis to deal with the IRA to gain strategic advantage over England but it all turned out to be a bit of a comical mess and never really worked out.

Disc Three

The Grand Mufti – The Mufti met with Hitler and was set to be the leader of Palestine after the extermination of Jews.

Jews in Germany Who Fought Hitler and Supported Him – Focuses on “Mischling” or crossbreeds (half/quarter Jew and German) who fought along with the Nazis.

Dutch Collaborator – Anton Mussert was a founder of the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands. He was declared by Hitler to be the Fuhrer of the Dutch people and was put in charge of establishing the Dutch SS.

Disc Four

The Greek Collaborator – Ioannis Rallis was used by the Nazis to form a puppet government to prevent Greece succumbing to a Communist regime. He created security battalions that acted against resistance groups

The Good Collaborators? – This episode focuses on Finland and their choice to be co-belligerents with the Nazis as they were fighting a common enemy: Communism and Russia.

Hitler’s Killer Police – The last episode focuses on auxiliary police battalions of the Eastern Occupied countries. Ranging from Poles, Belarusians to Lithuanians, the SS death squads were responsible for the round up and murder of Jews.

A well-researched show with a lot of archive footage I have never seen and it is only repeated minimally. It’s hard for me to find the subject matter shocking anymore, I am just numb to it as I have seen so many images of the Holocaust repeated and used in different contexts. I remain to this day absolutely horrified by what the Nazis did to the Jews but it is the stories of individuals that resonate with me more than images of destruction and death. There’s both on display here and the personal insights into what survivors went through and saw is utterly horrific.

A must buy for those interested in World War II and a must see for anyone with a fleeting interested in WWII and the Nazis.


There’s a selection of two-part clips from other titles that are available: Apocalypse The Second World War, The Noise and the Fury, and Nazi Hunters.

Nazi Collaborators is a 657 minute, 4 disc box-set available on DVD from Madman Entertainment.

Dreamachine Exhibition

Dreamachine-CoverORDER DVD

The Dreamachine is a stroboscopic apparatus that when sat in front of with the eyes closed induces a hallucinogenic, hypnagogic state. It was invented in the ‘60s by Beat writer/poet Brion Gysin with the help of Ian Sommerville after being inspired by W. Grey Walter’s book, The Living Brain. William Burroughs had long been an advocate of the machine and helped it gain more widespread attention.

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Mondo Collecto

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Mondo Collecto is a quirky shot-on-video low budget documentary laced with Mondo-esque qualities; from interludes of 60s style Go Go dancers, to the mix of real and fictional characters and subjects. This film does emulate some Mondo film qualities but isn’t consistent with narration or pattern or have the usual blatant exploitive agenda like most Mondo films have.

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Muscle Shoals


According to the native Yuchi people, the Tennessee river (or in their language The Singing River) is home to the Singing Woman, whose songs contain the wisdom to answer all of life’s questions. Sitting alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals seems to have absorbed that spirit as a disproportionately vast number of seminal recordings have taken place in this tiny town. Artists as diverse and varied as the Rolling Stones, Steve Winwood, Aretha Franklin, and Jimmy Cliff have come, and all recorded career-defining hits.

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London: The Modern Babylon

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From the fertile mind of director Julien Temple (The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, The Filth And The Fury etc etc) comes this potted history of old London town.

 Starting at the beginning of the 20th Century and charting the history of London and England through the peaceful times and the wars, the Edwardian debs, the suffragette movement, the jazz age, vaudeville, brown shirts and fascism, the sex drugs and rock and roll, the pop songs, the class system, immigration, racism and more, this is essentially a love/hate story from Temple. He shows us what is great about London but he’s not shy about showing the shitty underbelly of society as well.

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Generation Iron

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This “follow up” to the 70’s iconic film Pumping Iron follows the paths taken by eight body builders as they prepare for the 2012 Mr. Olympia competition, the premiere event on the bodybuilding calendar.

Director Vlad Yudin probably couldn’t have hoped for a better cast – with defending champ Phil “The Gift” Heath, number one competitor Kai “The Predator” Greene, old school iron pumper Branch Warren, the scientific lab rat Ben Pakulski, fresh out of prison Victor Martinez, German “Arnie” wannabe Dennis Wolf (yes, he wants to act as well!), Japan’s Hidetada Yamagishi and European newbie Roelly Winklaar along with his fiery trainer Sibil “grandma” Peeters offering quite different approaches and opinions on the sport. If indeed you consider it a sport. Whatever professional body building is though, it is compelling.

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The Life After Death Project


Director Paul Davids (The Sci-fi Boys) was alone in his house, when a blot of ink mysteriously appeared on a document he’d just printed. This seemingly small event soon mushrooms into a much larger investigation when Davids realises that the sentence altered by the blot now appears to refer to Joe Moe, carer for the late Forrest J. Ackerman. Ackerman, a legend and early populariser of the science fiction scene (and coiner of the term “sci-fi”) had died fairly recently at the time. Though famously atheistic, Ackerman had promised to come back and provide proof if he discovered that life after death existed.

What follows is a long and rambling look at the possibility of ghosts and an afterlife, with a particular focus on the idea that Ackerman is haunting a number of his associates. There’s not really much of a thread to hold it together – Davids simply provides us with scene after scene of himself or other talking heads holding forth on haunting in general, or this case in particular.

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Punk and Disorderly


Formed officially in 2002, the annual Punk & Disorderly festival in Germany has become one of the biggest events on the international stage for punk bands. Primarily made up of German and older UK acts, the fest has gone from strength to strength as the years have gone on. This two-disc DVD documents the 2005 and 2006 editions of the festival, covering both the main and second stages of each year.

The main impression that is immediately drawn from Punk & Disorderly is the remarkable variation that is displayed amongst the bands. This includes variation in sound (ranging from shredding hardcore to ska), band personnel (from ageing overweight men to young women and a variety of races and languages) and instrumentation, where the usual guitar bass ‘n’ drums can be augmented with anything from a tin whistle to a washboard.

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Road Rant – A Week on the Road With Lydia Lunch


Despite having seen Big Sexy Noise perform in 2011, I’ll admit that I am not the hugest Lydia Lunch fan and that my knowledge of most of her musical output is limited. I can’t even remember when exactly I first heard her spoken word but I do remember that she pulled absolutely no punches. There’s a rant she does where Kurt Cobain and the fact that Nirvana weren’t the oppressed speaking to the oppressed but middle class males addressing to a mostly middle class male audience. I don’t remember exactly what she said however the shock value was striking and highly likely filled with obscenities.

Road Rant follows Lydia Lunch in France for a week as she promotes her book Paradoxia: A Predator’s Diary and plays a number of shows accompanied by horn player Terry Edwards and keyboard player, Joe Budenholzer. Lunch is clearly the least musically talented of the bunch but still clearly the main focus as the combination of words and performance is her strength.

The on-stage performances are intertwined with crude (in both senses of the word) animation by Merrill Aldighieri, a radio station interview and conversations with Lunch whilst travelling. During the radio interview is Lunch is asked her opinion of the success of Courtney Love and Babes in Toyland and admits she has respect for the latter but thinks that the former’s success is largely due to her dead husband’s talent.

It’s clear that Lydia is most at home on stage although she often comes across as disappointed when there is little reaction to her provocations but it’s hardly surprising given that many present don’t even speak the same language. Lydia mostly speaks abrasively about sex and empowering femininity over the brass and keyboard tinkerings although there are a few times where it could almost be considered singing.

The performances are often both confrontational and compelling but it’s hard to shake that feeling that they’d be more so in an environment where English is the native language of both the audience and the speaker…

The extras include Headless Angel, which is Lydia reading a poem in a cemetery. The trailer for the 1988 film The Gun is Loaded and a bonus interview with Lydia Lunch and Joe Budenholzer. Terry Edwards is in the van but is usually reading or just smiling. I would have liked to have heard more from the two token males and their takes of events but unfortunately we don’t even get to hear Terry Edwards speak But, let’s face it, the main reason people will watch this is due to the Lydia Lunch factor which this DVD delivers in spades.

Road Rant – A Week on the Road With Lydia Lunch is available on DVD from MVD Visual.