How were Russians treated during the 1930s?

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SebastianHill
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How were Russians treated during the 1930s?

Post by SebastianHill » 07 Feb 2020 22:49

Hello everyone.

Recently I have been researching my mother’s side of the family.

I always knew that my maternal grandfather was German and that my grandparents got married in Germany in the 1930s (I found it was precisely in 1938). But, I was very surprised to find out that my maternal grandmother was Russian. She was not an ethnic German, she was an ethnic Russian and I have traced her family back for a long time and all of her family members had Russian surnames. She moved to Germany in 1936 and she worked as a nurse.

Now, 1936 was a year after the Nuremberg Laws. How were Russians thought of racially in the 1930s? Were Russians considered Aryans? Because as far as I know, my grandmother was not targeted because of her origins.

My grandparents survived the war and moved to the UK after the war. They were married for over 40 years.

Unfortunately I am not able to ask my grandmother anything because she passed away years ago.

I know that during the war the Nazis depicted the Russians as subhumans in Nazi propaganda, but were their attitudes different before the war?

If anyone can recommend me any books about Russians living in Germany during the Third Reich, I would be very grateful. I want to learn more about what life was like for non-Germans who were not Jews, Gypsies or blacks (I have read many books and watched many documentaries about how tough life was like for those peoples). How was life like for English people, Polish people, Dutch people, Russian people, French people, etc, during the 1930s? I mean, many ethnic Germans must have had some sort of non-German ancestry. There is even a Wikipedia article about Nazis who had non-Germanic descent.

P.S. I am a member of a tropical fishing club and one of the guys there is of Polish descent on his father’s side and his paternal grandparents were German and Polish. We had a good chat about our families a few weeks ago.

The whole thing has got me thinking, did the Nazis only change their minds after the war began? Did their racial laws apply to all Poles, Russians, etc?

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Re: How were Russians treated during the 1930s?

Post by chopp » 16 Feb 2020 01:23

I found "Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945" by Marie Illarionovna Vassiltchikov, a Russian princess, interesting. Her family had moved to Poland after the revolution & then to Berlin when the russians invaded. Germany & Italy were the only places she cd get a work permit. Since she was related to german royalty she was treated well. Later she claimed Hitler turned against the royals. I read it long time ago & cant remember what she said about how normal Russians in Germany were treated. It's an interesting read because she really got around. Good luck!

PS: Rembered meeting a German woman in Berlin who had a Polish surname. Her father was on a sub torpedoed by the Brits.
He then spent several happy years working on a farm in northern England & then 45 not so happy years in the GDR. Anyway, they were at least part Polish & lived in Germany without problems.

SebastianHill
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Re: How were Russians treated during the 1930s?

Post by SebastianHill » 01 Mar 2020 18:49

chopp wrote:
16 Feb 2020 01:23
I found "Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945" by Marie Illarionovna Vassiltchikov, a Russian princess, interesting. Her family had moved to Poland after the revolution & then to Berlin when the russians invaded. Germany & Italy were the only places she cd get a work permit. Since she was related to german royalty she was treated well. Later she claimed Hitler turned against the royals. I read it long time ago & cant remember what she said about how normal Russians in Germany were treated. It's an interesting read because she really got around. Good luck!

PS: Rembered meeting a German woman in Berlin who had a Polish surname. Her father was on a sub torpedoed by the Brits.
He then spent several happy years working on a farm in northern England & then 45 not so happy years in the GDR. Anyway, they were at least part Polish & lived in Germany without problems.
Hey, thanks for your reply.

Thank you for recommending that book. I bought it and Michael Kellogg’s “The Russian Roots of Nazism: White Emigres and the Making of National Socialism, 1917-1945“. I’m looking forward to reading Kellogg’s book because I’m not aware of any Russians having any positive influence on the Nazis and Nazi ideology. Hitler stated in Mein Kampf that the Russians were racially inferior and that the Germans had a right to invade and conquer Eastern Europe. During the war, Russians were described as subhumans.

What was the racial status of the Russians during the Third Reich? Were Russians classified as Aryans?

My grandparents got married in the late 1930s after the Nazis had enacted the Nuremberg Laws. An ethnic Russian and an ethnic German in Germany. As far as I know, the Nuremberg laws only affected Jews, Gypsies and blacks, not Slavs.

During the war there were many Jews who pretended to be Poles and obtained Aryan Papers to avoid going to a ghetto and ended up living in a city or a town. Did any Jews pretend to be Russians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, etc, to obtain Aryan Papers? I know that the Nazis thought that the Nordic race was the master race so surely they must have been aware of how many Nordics were in Eastern Europe.

I can’t find any information about the Nazis prohibiting sexual intercourse between Germans and Russians, apart from between Germans and Soviet POWs.

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Re: How were Russians treated during the 1930s?

Post by SebastianHill » 11 Mar 2020 08:50

I have done a little bit of research on Nazi propaganda against the Russians.

Hitler said to the German people after he invaded the Soviet Union:
You probably all felt that this was a bitter and difficult step for me. The German people have never had hostile feelings toward the peoples of Russia. During the last two decades, however, the Jewish-Bolshevist rulers in Moscow have attempted to set not only Germany, but all of Europe, aflame. Germany has never attempted to spread its National Socialist worldview to Russia. Rather, the Jewish-Bolshevist rulers in Moscow have constantly attempted to subject us and the other European peoples to their rule. They have attempted this not only intellectually, but above all through military means.
https://research.calvin.edu/german-prop ... itler4.htm

Now, before the invasion of the Soviet Union, did Nazi propaganda ever portray the Russians to be subhumans or in any negative way? The Nazi propaganda I have found depicting the Russians as racially inferior, subhumans, etc, is dated after the invasion of the Soviet Union.

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Nickdfresh
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Re: How were Russians treated during the 1930s?

Post by Nickdfresh » 12 Mar 2020 19:09

SebastianHill wrote:
01 Mar 2020 18:49
...
I can’t find any information about the Nazis prohibiting sexual intercourse between Germans and Russians, apart from between Germans and Soviet POWs.
Seeing as the Wehrmacht used numbers of Russian/Soviet women as "comfort women" in forced brothels on the Eastern Front, I suspect such legislation would have been very problematic to say the least...

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Re: How were Russians treated during the 1930s?

Post by SebastianHill » 13 Mar 2020 17:20

Nickdfresh wrote:
12 Mar 2020 19:09
SebastianHill wrote:
01 Mar 2020 18:49
...
I can’t find any information about the Nazis prohibiting sexual intercourse between Germans and Russians, apart from between Germans and Soviet POWs.
Seeing as the Wehrmacht used numbers of Russian/Soviet women as "comfort women" in forced brothels on the Eastern Front, I suspect such legislation would have been very problematic to say the least...
Have you not read about how the Nazis forbid sexual intercourse between Wehrmacht soldiers and the women in Eastern Europe during the war?

Here you go:
The Nazis at the beginning of the war banned sexual relations between Germans and foreign slave workers.[28] In accordance to these new racial laws issued by the Nazis; in November 1941, the commander of the 18th Panzer Division warned his soldiers not to have sex with "sub-human" Russian women, and ordered that any Russian women found having sex with a German soldier was to be handed over to the SS to be executed at once.[29]
A decree ordered on 20 February 1942 declared that sexual intercourse between a German woman and a Russian worker or prisoner of war would result in the latter being punished by the death penalty.[30] During the war, hundreds of Polish and Russian men were found guilty of "race defilement" for their relations with German women and were executed.[31][32]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_crime ... _Wehrmacht

The article also mentions about the cases of when rape was brought to the courts.

And, I think you should read Read Peter Longerich’s book Heinrich Himmler: A Life and Michael Butleigh’s book The Racial State: Germany 1933-1945. The Nazis used the same decrees issued to Polish workers to the other Eastern European workers after they invaded the Soviet Union.

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Nickdfresh
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Re: How were Russians treated during the 1930s?

Post by Nickdfresh » 14 Mar 2020 18:20

Well, as we know Nazis always obeid laws:
In the Soviet Union, women were kidnapped by German forces for prostitution as well; one report by International Military Tribunal writes: "in the city of Smolensk the German Command opened a brothel for officers in one of the hotels into which hundreds of women and girls were driven; they were mercilessly dragged down the street by their arms and hair."[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_mi ... ern_Europe
BTW:
Have you not read about how the Nazis forbid sexual intercourse between Wehrmacht soldiers and the women in Eastern Europe during the war?

Here you go:
Have you not bothered to read your own link you posted?
Mass rape
Rape, while officially forbidden, was allowed in practice by the German military in eastern and southeastern Europe, while northern and western countries were relatively spared.[92][93] In Occupied Denmark, which initially agreed to collaborate with Nazi Germany, rapes were not widespread, and German officials promised to punish them.[92] By contrast thousands of Soviet female nurses, doctors and field medics fell victim to rape when captured, and were often murdered afterwards.[19]

German soldiers used to brand the bodies of captured partisan women – and other women as well – with the words "Whore for Hitler's troops" and rape them.[94] Following their capture some German soldiers vividly bragged about committing rape and rape-homicide.[95] Susan Brownmiller argues that rape played a pivotal role in the Nazis' aim to conquer and destroy people they considered inferior, such as Jews, Russians, and Poles.[96] An extensive list of rapes committed by German soldiers was compiled in the so called "Molotov Note" in 1942. Brownmiller points out that Nazis used rape as a weapon of terror.[97]

Examples of mass rapes in Soviet Union committed by German soldiers include:

Smolensk: German command opened a brothel for officers in which hundreds of women and girls were driven by force, often by arms and hair.[98]
Lviv: 32 women working in a garment factory were raped and murdered by German soldiers, in a public park. A priest trying to stop the atrocity was murdered.
Lviv: Germans soldiers raped Jewish girls, who were murdered after getting pregnant.[99] It is estimated that over a million children were born to Russian women, fathered by German soldiers.[100]:56[101]
Author Ursula Schele, estimated in the Journal "Zur Debatte um die Ausstellung Vernichtungskrieg. Verbrechen der Wehrmacht 1941-1944" that one in ten women raped by German soldiers would have become pregnant, and therefore it is probable that up to ten million women in the Soviet Union could have been raped by the Wehrmacht.[102]:9

Birgit Beck, in her work Rape: The Military Trials of Sexual Crimes Committed by Soldiers in the Wehrmacht, 1939–1944, describes the leniency in punishing sex crimes by German authorities in the East, at the same time pointing out heavy punishments applied in the West.[103] If a soldier who committed a rape was subsequently convicted by a court-martial, he would usually be sentenced to four years in prison[104] The German penal code was also valid for soldiers in war.[105] However, until 1944 only 5,349 soldiers of the Wehrmacht on all fronts were sentenced because of indecency offence "Sittlichkeitsvergehen" or rape "Notzucht".[106] Historian Mühlhäuser believed that sexual assault was not an exception but common, and that the actual number of rapes committed by German soldiers are without question much greater.[107]

Other sources estimate that rapes of Soviet women by the Wehrmacht range up to 10,000,000 incidents, with between 750,000 and 1,000,000 children being born as a result.[100][101][102][108]

In Soviet Russia rapes were only a concern if they undermined military discipline.[103] Since 1941, rape was theoretically punishable with the death sentence, although rapes were rarely prosecuted in practice and rapes by Germans of non-German women were not taken seriously, nor was it punishable by death, especially in the eastern European territories.[100]:288 In October 1940 the laws on rape were changed, making it a "petitioned crime" – that is a crime for which punishment had to be requested. Historian Christa Paul writes that this resulted in "a nearly complete absence of prosecution and punishment for rape".[100]:288 There were rape cases in the east where the perpetrators were sentenced if the rape was highly visible, damaging to the image of the German Army and the courts were willing to pass a condemning verdict against the accused.[100]:289

According to the historian Regina Mühlhäuser, the Wehrmacht also used sexual violence and undressing in numerous cases of interrogations.[109] Mühlhäuser adds that the number of illegitimate children born in the occupied regions did not exceed the prewar time. She comes to the conclusion that rapes on the Eastern front were not singular cases but has to admit that the state of source material is very poor.[110]

There were rapes committed by soldiers of the Wehrmacht forces against Jewish women and girls during the Invasion of Poland.[111] Rapes were also committed against Polish women and girls during mass executions carried out primarily by the Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz, which were accompanied by Wehrmacht soldiers and on territory under the administration of the German military, the rapes were carried out before shooting the female captives.[112]

Only one case of rape was prosecuted by a German court during the military campaign in Poland, the case of gang rape committed by three soldiers against women of the Jewish Kaufmann family in Busko-Zdrój; however, the German judge sentenced the guilty for Rassenschande – shame against the [German] race as defined by the racial policy of Nazi Germany – and not rape.[113]

Wehrmacht brothel system
Main article: German military brothels in World War II


A military brothel (Soldatenbordell) in Brest, France, housed in what had been a synagogue[114]
Under the German occupation, a widespread system of sexual slavery (forced prostitution) was instituted.[100] The Wehrmacht also ran brothels where women were forced to work.[94][115] The reason for establishing these brothels was the German officials' fear of venereal disease and onanism (masturbation). The Oberfeldarzt der Wehrmacht (Chief Field Doctor of the Wehrmacht) drew attention to "the danger of [the] spread of homosexualism".[113][116]

On 3 May 1941, the Foreign Ministry of the Polish Government in Exile in London issued a document describing the mass raids carried out in Polish cities with the aim of capturing young women, who were later forced to work in brothels attended by German officers and soldiers.[113]

In the Soviet Union women were kidnapped by German forces for prostitution; one report by the International Military Tribunal stated that "in the city of Smolensk the German Command opened a brothel for officers in one of the hotels into which hundreds of women and girls were driven; they were mercilessly dragged down the street by their arms and hair."[117]

The Nuremberg trials did not prosecute anyone for rape or other sexual violence; rape was defined as a crime against humanity, but prosecutors deemed that such crimes had "no nexus to war".[100]
From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_crime ... Sex_crimes

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Re: How were Russians treated during the 1930s?

Post by OpanaPointer » 14 Mar 2020 19:17

I did a paper entitled "Effects of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on Soviet Cinema." Broke it down to three periods, before, during, and after. I chose three major Soviet motion pictures for each period, movies that reflected the country's attitude toward Germany. I compared those with similar German films, politically-charged pieces. "Alexander Nevsky", by Sergey Mikhaylovich Eizenshteyn, was the centerpiece of the paper's first section, showing the Teutonic knights being badly outwitted by the Russian hero. This was typical of Russo-German attitudes of the day. German movies had Russians as 99.99% dull serf and the balance as evil political demons. The center section had both sides playing nice, and after Barbarossa they went back to normal as far as the Kino was concerned.
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Re: How were Russians treated during the 1930s?

Post by SebastianHill » 16 Mar 2020 19:16

Nickdfresh,

This thread is not about the behaviour of the soldiers of the Wehrmacht during the war. I am specifically wanting to know more about the laws regarding interactions (either friendly or sexual) between Germans and Russians,

Hans F. K. Günther influenced the Nazis and he wrote that there were five different races in Europe: Nordic, Mediterranean, Dinaric, Alpine and East Baltic. He wrote that the East Baltic was the most prominent race in Eastern Europe and that the Nordic race was to be found in Poland, Russia, etc. He also wrote that the Old Slavs were Nordic. He acknowledged that the different races were found in the German people.

Ernst Brandis defined ‘German blood’ in October 1935 as:
The German people is no unitary race, rather it is composed of members of different races (of the Nordic, Phalian, Dinaric, Alpine, Mediterranean, East-Elbian race) and mixtures between these. The blood of all these races and their mixtures, which thus is found in the German people, represents 'German blood’.
Christopher Hutton, “Race and the Third Reich”, page 92.

So, each race mentioned as representing German blood was found in both ethnic Germans and ethnic Russians.

As far as I know, German citizens were allowed to have friendships and sexual relations with ordinary Russians.

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Re: How were Russians treated during the 1930s?

Post by SebastianHill » 16 Mar 2020 19:44

Egon Leuschner, of the Racial Policy Office, in his work Nationalsozialistische Fremdvolkpolitik (National Socialist policy towards foreign peoples) in 1942 wrote:
In German:

Sowjet-Volker

Die unendliche Weite des Raumes zwischen nordlichem Eismeer und Kaukasus ist das Siedlungsgebiet von zahlreichen Volker-schaften, die voneinander rassisch sehr verschieden sind und nach Leistung und Kulturniveau weit unter den iibrigen europaischen Volkern stehen. Mangelnde politische Tatkraft und ein gering ent-wickeltes volkisches BewuBtsein sind dieUrsachen ihrer geschichts-losen Vergangenheit. Unselbstandig, einst staatlich zusammengefaBt im russischen Reich, fiihren sie heute in der Sowjetunion unter der blutigen Gewaltherrschaft des Bolschewismus, der jede eigen-volkische Regung im Keime erstickt r ein noch kummerlicheres Da-sein. Diese russischen Volker sind selbst nicht einmal alle unter-einander stammesgleich, sondern teilweise sogar stammesfremd. Durchweg weichen sie alle von der rassischen Beschaffenheit des deutschen Volkes so weit ab, daB sie niemals fui uns umvolkbar sind. Asiatisch-mongolide Rasseneinschlage sind selbst bei der uns
artverwandten Bevolkerungsschicht so zahlreich und stark vorhan-den, daB Teile von ihr als geradezu rassefremd angesehen werden mussen. (Vergleiche sowjetische Kriegsgefangene.) Im eigentlichen Sinne des Wortes kann man, sofern die Summe aller Menschen der russischen Volkerschaften volksbiologisch gemeint ist, nicht von Russen schlechthin sprechen. Die Bezeichnung Russen ist mehr ein staatsrechtlicher als ein volkischer Begriff. Dieser Ausdruck bleibt fur eine biologische Betrachtung aber brauchbar, wenn wir dar-unter die Gesamtheit der russischen Volker in ihrem rassischen Ab-stand zum deutschen Volke verstehen. Eine Ausnahme bilden die Ukrainer, deren Siedlungsgebiet bis in das friihere Polen hinein-reicht. Allein im Generalgouvernement leben iiber 700000 Ukrainer. Sie unterscheiden sich in ihrer geistigen Haltung von den Russen ebenso wie von den Polen, was gewiB auf den stark vorhandenen dinarischen Rasseneinschlag zuruckzufiihren ist. Gegeniiber den Polen und Russen, die zu den nordslawischen Volkern rechnen, zahlen die Ukrainer zu den Siidslawen.

In English (Google translate):

Soviet people

The endless expanse of space between the northern Arctic Ocean and the Caucasus is the settlement area of ​​numerous people races that are racially very different from each other and after Performance and level of culture far below the rest of Europe People. Lack of political vigor and little Developed popular consciousness is the cause of their historical loose past. Independent, once grouped by the state in the Russian Empire, they undertake today in the Soviet Union the bloody tyranny of Bolshevism, which popular emotion in the bud suffocates an even more griefful his. These Russian people are not all equal to each other but sometimes even foreign to each other.All of them deviate from the racial nature of the German people so far away that we can never are. Asian-Mongolian racial strikes are even with us related population strata so numerous and strongly existing that parts of her are regarded as outright racial have to. (Compare Soviet prisoners of war.) Actually One can sense the word, provided the sum of all people Russian communities are meant by biological biology, not by Russians speak par excellence. The term Russians is more a constitutional as a popular concept. This expression remainsbut useful for a biological view if we among the totality of the Russian people in their racial descent stood to understand the German people. The exception is Ukrainians, whose settlement area extends into former Poland enough. Over 700,000 Ukrainians live in the General Government alone. They differ in their intellectual attitudes from the Russians as well as from the Poles, which certainly on the strong one dinaric racial impact. Against the Poles and Russians who count among the North Slavic people the Ukrainians pay to the Slavs.
https://archive.org/stream/Leuschner-Eg ... n_djvu.txt

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