Iskander Giliazov analyzes the vicissitudes of German policies towards Russian/Soviet Muslim minorities in the course of World War I and World War II. The article explores such issues as propaganda, organization of prisoners of war camps, establishment of specifically Muslim military units.
Giliazov argues that during World War I Germany propagated common struggle against colonialism that would help defeat Great Britain, France and Russia (all of whom could be considered colonial powers). In the second World War German propaganda placed emphasis upon the common struggle against Bolshevism, which suppressed national movements. In both cases, according to the author, leaders of Muslim minorities were not in a position to define the destinies of their peoples. They had to produce conditions, on which they were prepared to join the struggling parties, and request promises of assistance in nation building in the future. These hopes remained unfulfilled.