Leningrad siege War crimes or not?

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snpol
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Re: Leningrad siege War crimes or not?

Post by snpol » 02 Jan 2023 17:51

wm wrote:
02 Jan 2023 17:14
snpol wrote:
02 Jan 2023 04:25
Should the Jews who died in Leningrad from starvation be regarded as victims of the Holocaust?
The problem was Stalin didn't protest and didn't demand reprisals (with the intention of stopping German atrocities) - especially the early ones like the mass murder of Soviets POWs. Probably because his hands weren't clean either.

The Polish Government-in-Exile demanded reprisals (for the early atrocities of 1939-1941) and even wanted to use its own air force to do it. Later, Polish Jews, during the Holocaust, demanded them too. But the Allies refused (in my opinion correctly).
But it would be radically different if the Soviet Union joined the Poles - such demands would be hard to refuse.
I'm very sorry but your comment is unclear and you haven't answered my question.
Do you mean that Stalin had to demand carpet bombings of Helsinki to force Finland to allow food supplies to Leningrad?
Or maybe you mean that in 1944 Finland had to be occupied and civil population had to be punished using mass deportation for starvation of civilians in Leningrad?
I don't agree with both variants. So what Stalin had to do in real terms?

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Re: Leningrad siege War crimes or not?

Post by snpol » 02 Jan 2023 18:02

wm wrote:
02 Jan 2023 17:05
snpol wrote:
02 Jan 2023 04:25
2) It is estimated that about 26 mln. Soviet citizens died as a result of the war. According to your logic the Soviet union had to surrender in attempt to avoid 'the calamity'. Btw, Poland surrendered but nevertheless millions of its citizens were killed, murdered during the occupation including almost whole Jewish community.

Although Poland didn't surrender, the fight continued in exile, and the army numbered 250,000 in the end. The Poles died because they were nationalistic, anti-German, and well-known for their fierce resistance - the Germans were well aware of it.
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polacy_w_Wehrmachcie
Przybliżoną liczbę Polaków i obywateli polskich wcielonych do armii niemieckiej szacuje się na ok. 375 000[13], co stanowiło w sumie ok. 2% ogólnej sumy wszystkich żołnierzy Wehrmachtu.
The approximate number of Poles and Polish citizens conscripted into the German army is estimated at approx. 375,000[13], which in total constituted approx. 2% of the total sum of all Wehrmacht soldiers.

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wm
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Re: Leningrad siege War crimes or not?

Post by wm » 02 Jan 2023 18:13

The Polacy_w_Wehrmachcie people were German citizens of Polish origin (i.e., members of the Polish minority in Germany.)
The (inconvenient) fact was it was their duty to serve and protect Germany.
Although many didn't accept it and eventually deserted.

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Re: Leningrad siege War crimes or not?

Post by antwony » 02 Jan 2023 18:21

A Russian and a Pole having a flame war about Finnish war-crimes. Great thread...
snpol wrote:
31 Dec 2022 23:56
Could Finland establish humanitarian corridors to evacuate children, women, the old, the disabled and the sick from Leningrad? In theory yes.
Allowing Soviet civilans to travel through Finnish occupied area, through Kannas, round the western end of Laatokka and then east over Syväri was never going to happen. Theoretically possible, but in practicality, obviously not.
snpol wrote:
31 Dec 2022 23:56
In real life the Finnish government (democratically elected) established the siege along with Hitler's regime.
I reckon that right now the siege of this type (in any modern war) would be regarded as a war crime. And what is your opinion?
Siege =/= war crime
snpol wrote:
01 Jan 2023 19:02
Finnish government being well aware about humanitarian catastrophe in Leningrad, about mass starvation nevertheless did nothing. As I understand you approve it.
Seppo never offered an approval of anything, you're fighting straw men. Finland was starving in the winter of 1941-2. Aren't sure what they knew of the situation in Leningrad but they weren't able to help.
snpol wrote:
02 Jan 2023 04:25
Should the Jews who died in Leningrad from starvation be regarded as victims of the Holocaust? I believe that yes. If you agree then it looks as Finland assisted the Holocaust genocide.
To be polite, you have some rather interesting beliefs.

Finland did participate in the Holocaust and committed a long list of warcrimes in WW2. You really should read more, there's no need to invent stuff based on your "interesting" beliefs.

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wm
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Re: Leningrad siege War crimes or not?

Post by wm » 02 Jan 2023 18:25

snpol wrote:
02 Jan 2023 17:51
I'm very sorry but your comment is unclear and you haven't answered my question.
Do you mean that Stalin had to demand carpet bombings of Helsinki to force Finland to allow food supplies to Leningrad?
Or maybe you mean that in 1944 Finland had to be occupied and civil population had to be punished using mass deportation for starvation of civilians in Leningrad?
I don't agree with both variants. So what Stalin had to do in real terms?
The point is sieges were legal, and only buildings dedicated to religion, art, science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals were protected (if possible.)
So nothing could have been done in this case.
But he could have done something about the mass murders (of Soviet POWs, Jews, others) and didn't.

Siege - a military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling the surrender of those inside.

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Re: Leningrad siege War crimes or not?

Post by Seppo Koivisto » 03 Jan 2023 08:45

snpol wrote:
02 Jan 2023 12:54
1) I repeat it again - it's apolitical forum and discussion of current events is not allowed.
However, it is possible to make abstract remarks related to many armed conflicts.
- lies, propaganda are common during war time. Any reports that are not confirmed by independent sources should be viewed with grain of salt and are no more than allegations
- use of human shields is not rare and the side that uses it as a rule tries to find false justifications
- the advancing side is interesting in evacuation of civilians as soon as possible to use overwhelming firepower freely.
- attempts to evacuate encircled troops via humanitarian corridors also are not rare. Shelling in this case is a common solution.
2) You have made an interesting claim - that Finland provided the humanitarian corridor through the lake of Ladoga. Would you be so kind to back the claim by reference to reputable source?
Well, you said:
I reckon that right now the siege of this type (in any modern war) would be regarded as a war crime.
I took the Siege of Mariupol as an example what is considered a war crime in modern war. Hard to find any other example in modern times.

Then you said:
As you mentioned the siege of Mariupol then while democratically elected Finnish government didn't propose use of (the Red Cross backed) humanitarian corridors then by contrast humanitarian corridors were actively used in Mariupol and there was no cooperation directly between Moscow and Kyiv.
I showed that Russia bombarded the humanitarian corridors during the Siege of Mariupol.

There is a very good article in the Journal of the Association for Military History in Finland, 25/2006, called The Siege of Leningrad: the Aims of Germany and Finland by Mauno Jokipii and Ohto Manninen. Unfortunately the English summary is very short.
http://sshs.fi/pdf/Sotahistoriallinen%2 ... 202006.pdf

According to the article Zhukov had people shot trying to leave the town (page 281). In July 1942 Zhdanov had all people evacuated not important for the war effort, often by force, because people thought it would not be better elsewhere. In the latter half of 1942 the mortality rate in Leningrad was already normal (page 285). So, the answer to your original question:
Could Finland establish humanitarian corridors to evacuate children, women, the old, the disabled and the sick from Leningrad?
Is probably no, because it would not have been allowed by the Soviet officials and the citizens of Leningrad didn't want to move. Only time it would have any effect would have been the harsh winter of 1941-42, when the food situation also in Finland was critical.

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wm
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Re: Leningrad siege War crimes or not?

Post by wm » 03 Jan 2023 11:32

If war crimes were (supposedly) committed, it would be useful to mention the actual law that was broken.
And if the usual suspects: the US, China, Russia, Israel, accept the law. Because major powers reject many of the newest ones as pointlessly woke and intrusive.
And that includes the very legality of that International Criminal Court in Hague.

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wm
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Re: Leningrad siege War crimes or not?

Post by wm » 03 Jan 2023 14:33

"Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the protection of victims of international armed conflicts (Protocol I)" is relevant here, including

Article 51 - Protection of the civilian population
Article 52 - General protection of civilian objects
Article 53 - Protection of cultural objects and of places of worship
Article 54 - Protection of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population

As far as I can tell, it was signed by China (with reservations?), but not by the US, Russia, or Israel.

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Re: Leningrad siege War crimes or not?

Post by gebhk » 03 Jan 2023 14:58

Surely, the 1949 review of the Geneva Convention is irrelevant here since the alleged crime occured 1941-44?
Last edited by gebhk on 03 Jan 2023 21:26, edited 1 time in total.

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wm
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Re: Leningrad siege War crimes or not?

Post by wm » 03 Jan 2023 15:32

In this case, I meant the Mariupol affair.

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Re: Leningrad siege War crimes or not?

Post by Frollo » 03 Jan 2023 16:35

wm wrote:
03 Jan 2023 11:32
If war crimes were (supposedly) committed, it would be useful to mention the actual law that was broken.
And if the usual suspects: the US, China, Russia, Israel, accept the law. Because major powers reject many of the newest ones as pointlessly woke and intrusive.
And that includes the very legality of that International Criminal Court in Hague.
Keeping abusing the term "wOkE" to even define basic civilization will backfire on those who abuse it sooner or later :D

They reject them because they hamper their ability to commit war crimes, that's all :D

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Re: Leningrad siege War crimes or not?

Post by snpol » 05 Jan 2023 11:51

antwony wrote:
02 Jan 2023 18:21
(1) A Russian and a Pole having a flame war about Finnish war-crimes. Great thread...
snpol wrote:
31 Dec 2022 23:56
Could Finland establish humanitarian corridors to evacuate children, women, the old, the disabled and the sick from Leningrad? In theory yes.
(2) Allowing Soviet civilans to travel through Finnish occupied area, through Kannas, round the western end of Laatokka and then east over Syväri was never going to happen. Theoretically possible, but in practicality, obviously not.
snpol wrote:
31 Dec 2022 23:56
In real life the Finnish government (democratically elected) established the siege along with Hitler's regime.
I reckon that right now the siege of this type (in any modern war) would be regarded as a war crime. And what is your opinion?
(3) Siege =/= war crime
snpol wrote:
01 Jan 2023 19:02
Finnish government being well aware about humanitarian catastrophe in Leningrad, about mass starvation nevertheless did nothing. As I understand you approve it.
(4) Seppo never offered an approval of anything, you're fighting straw men. Finland was starving in the winter of 1941-2. Aren't sure what they knew of the situation in Leningrad but they weren't able to help.
snpol wrote:
02 Jan 2023 04:25
Should the Jews who died in Leningrad from starvation be regarded as victims of the Holocaust? I believe that yes. If you agree then it looks as Finland assisted the Holocaust genocide.
(5) To be polite, you have some rather interesting beliefs.
Finland did participate in the Holocaust and committed a long list of warcrimes in WW2. You really should read more, there's no need to invent stuff based on your "interesting" beliefs.
1) The Leningrad siege can be compared with other military operations during WW2, including ones happened in Poland. Why not?
2) The evacuation of civilians from Leningrad technically was possible. Apparently the main obstacle was absence of political will in Finnish government. The question that I tried to hold in this context - had the possibility of evacuation of civilians from Leningrad been discussed in Helsinki? Probably there was no such a discussion, as my question remained unanswered.
3) No doubt that a siege itself (as military operation) used during a war is not a war crime. But each siege has specific details and the devil is in the details. So we return to the question in the title that I would like formulate in the following form - Can the Leningrad siege as it was going be regarded as a war crime?
4) I believe that it's up our friend mr.Koivisto to clarify his point of view answering my indirectly asked question in the form of the statement.
5) Dear sir, I would like to assure you that the "interesting beliefs" that you attribute to your obedient servant is purely a fuit of your rich imagination. As for your kind recommendation to read more then I have an advantage in this context - I'm able also to read sources in Russian.

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wm
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Re: Leningrad siege War crimes or not?

Post by wm » 05 Jan 2023 12:30

The Basic Field Manual (1940) explains it perfectly. The overring principle was of military necessity:
a belligerent is justified in applying any amount and any kind of force to compel the complete submission of the enemy with the least possible expenditure of time, life, and money.
The principle is limited by:
Written rules. - Many of the rules of war have been set forth in treaties or conventions to which the United States and other nations are parties. These are commonly called the written rules or laws of war.
Unwritten rules.-Some of the rules of war have never yet been incorporated in any treaty or convention to which the United States is signatory. These are commonly called the unwritten rules or laws of war, although they are well defined by recognized authorities on international law and well established by the custom and usage of civilized nations.
To declare the Leningrad siege a war crime, a written or unwritten rule is needed that says so.

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Re: Leningrad siege War crimes or not?

Post by snpol » 05 Jan 2023 13:26

Seppo Koivisto wrote:
03 Jan 2023 08:45
I showed that Russia bombarded the humanitarian corridors during the Siege of Mariupol.
In fact you pointed to the allegations made by one of belligerents and not confirmed by any independent sources.
There is an alternative explanation - the humanitarian corridors were shelled by the besieged side in attempt to preserve human shield.
However it is not confirmed by independent sources.
Seppo Koivisto wrote:
03 Jan 2023 08:45
There is a very good article in the Journal of the Association for Military History in Finland, 25/2006, called The Siege of Leningrad: the Aims of Germany and Finland by Mauno Jokipii and Ohto Manninen. Unfortunately the English summary is very short.
http://sshs.fi/pdf/Sotahistoriallinen%2 ... 202006.pdf
According to the article Zhukov had people shot trying to leave the town (page 281). In July 1942 Zhdanov had all people evacuated not important for the war effort, often by force, because people thought it would not be better elsewhere.
It's an interesting information. However, what are primary sources of these claims?
Military age men could be regarded as deserters. Was alleged Zhukov's order applied to the women, the old, to children as well?
Forced evacuation during war time is not rare. It could simplify apparent problems with logistics. Yes, 1941/42 Winter was the critical period. Later the scale of the humanitarian catastrophe was much lower.
Seppo Koivisto wrote:
03 Jan 2023 08:45

In the latter half of 1942 the mortality rate in Leningrad was already normal (page 285). So, the answer to your original question:
Could Finland establish humanitarian corridors to evacuate children, women, the old, the disabled and the sick from Leningrad?
Is probably no, because it would not have been allowed by the Soviet officials and the citizens of Leningrad didn't want to move. Only time it would have any effect would have been the harsh winter of 1941-42, when the food situation also in Finland was critical.
Thank you for your answer.

snpol
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Re: Leningrad siege War crimes or not?

Post by snpol » 05 Jan 2023 13:43

Dear mr.Koivisto, I would like to quote your source
Lisäksi Stalin esti myös siviilien käyttämisen puolustustahdon heikentäjinä käskemällä 21.9.1941, että oli ehdottomasti
ammuttava sellaiset venäläiset (vanhukset jne.), jotka saksalaisten lähettäminä saapuisivat, delegaatteina, kehottamaan kaupungin väestöä
antautumaan ja tekemään rauhan. Käskyn täytäntöön soveltanut kenraali Zukov ammutti myös kaupungista pakenevia ja ilman käskyä vetäytyviä."
In addition, Stalin also prevented the use of civilians as undermining the will to defend by ordering on 21 September 1941 that it was absolutely
to shoot such Russians (elderly people, etc.) who, sent by the Germans, would arrive, as delegates, to urge the population of the city
to surrender and make peace. General Zukov, who implemented the order, also shot those fleeing the city and retreating without an order."

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