NKVD massacres of prisoners 1941

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SloveneLiberal
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NKVD massacres of prisoners 1941

Post by SloveneLiberal » 29 Jan 2019 14:07

Soviet communist regime used German attack in June 1941 also for purges and killings of many political prisoners. In the diary of Halder for example it is mentioned that German's saw Soviet crimes in Lwow. ( note for 1. July 1941 )

Wikipedya is talking about 100.000 killed in those extrajudicial executions. But it is also mentioning that in other parts of Soviet union even more people were killed at that time:

In excess of 100,000 (500,000 if counted are executed in prisons in the interior of Russia far from the German reach)

QUESTION: Does anyone has more informations about those killings inside Soviet Union?


About Lwow killings:

Lviv (Lwów in pre-war Poland): the massacres in this city began immediately after German attack, on June 22 and continued until June 28, culminating in the Lviv pogroms. The NKVD executed several thousand inmates in a number of provisional prisons. Among the common methods of extermination were shooting the prisoners in their cells, killing them with grenades thrown into the cells or starving them to death in the cellars. Some were simply bayoneted to death It is estimated that over 4000 people were murdered that way, while the number of survivors is estimated at approximately 270. A Ukrainian uprising briefly forced the NKVD to retreat, but it soon returned to kill the remaining prisoners in their cells. In the aftermath, medical students described the scene at one of the prisons: "From the courtyard, doors led to a large space, filled from top to bottom with corpses. The bottom ones were still warm. The victims were between 15 and 60 years old, but most were 20-35 years old. They laid in various poses, with open eyes and masks of terror on their faces. Among them were many women. On the left wall, three men were crucified, barely covered by clothing from their shoulders, with severed male organs. Underneath them on the floor in half-sitting, leaning positions – two nuns with those organs in their mouths. The victims of the NKVD's sadism were killed with a shot in the mouth or the back of the head. But most were stabbed in the stomach with a bayonet. Some were naked or almost naked, others in decent street clothes. One man was in a tie, mostly likely just arrested.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NKVD_pris ... res#Poland

http://militera.lib.ru/db/0/pdf/halder_eng6.pdf

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Re: NKVD massacres of prisoners 1941

Post by Art » 29 Jan 2019 18:13

I love wiki articles:
Timothy Snyder estimates that the NKVD shot some 9,817 imprisoned Polish citizens following the German invasion of the USSR in 1941
1) It's not what Timothy Snider estimated, it is what the NKVD report from January 1942 said. See the history of Gulag by M. Petrov
http://www.pseudology.org/gulag/Glava09.htm
2) There is no word about "Polish citizens" in the original. The regional breakdown actually looked as follows:
Ukrainian SSR - 8789
Belorussian SSR - 530
Estonian SSR - 205
Orel oblast' - 291

The motive in most cases was a lack of time to organize evacuation to the east. Information about tortures, crucifixion etc seems to stem from propaganda coverage (the events made a large presence in OUN and Nazi antisemitic propaganda as an exposition of "Jewish atrocities").

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Re: NKVD massacres of prisoners 1941

Post by SloveneLiberal » 29 Jan 2019 19:34

Art I think Lwow was annexed to Ukraine after Soviet invasion of eastern Poland in 1939. Around 300.000 former polish citizens were then deported in Soviet union. Many also killed like in Katyn massacre for example. So it is most likely considering this big repression that many former polish citizens were still in prisons when German army invaded SU. And were then killed by NKVD.

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Re: NKVD massacres of prisoners 1941

Post by SloveneLiberal » 29 Jan 2019 20:31

Soviet report about killings most likely does not mention all the massacres. For example in Lithuanua around 70 political prisoners from Telsiai prison were killed by NKVD in June 1941. Some were bussines or land owners, some members of political parties or just people jailed for owning books critical of communism or Lithuanian flag.

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Re: NKVD massacres of prisoners 1941

Post by Art » 30 Jan 2019 07:43

I'm just pointing out that the original report doesn't call all 9817 "Polish citizens". Sure, some of them were not citizens of Poland and never were. For example:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Spi ... and_legacy
So Snyder has a misinterpretation here.

Telsiai is a moot story - it looks like no Soviet documents survived, at least I don't see that anyone explored them.

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Re: NKVD massacres of prisoners 1941

Post by SloveneLiberal » 30 Jan 2019 08:42

Yes i agree that all those killed were not former Polish citizens. On the other hand lady Spiridonova was not killed on the territory of former eastern Poland but in Orel prison. I meant before in previous post that likely those killed by NKVD in Lwow which was the biggest killing as i understand were former polish citizens.
Last edited by SloveneLiberal on 30 Jan 2019 11:43, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: NKVD massacres of prisoners 1941

Post by SloveneLiberal » 30 Jan 2019 09:07

About Telšiai prison killings i found two articles which are talking about court trial in Lithuania of an NKVD officer Petras Raslanas who was convicted in absentia to life in prison in 2001. Apparently court had documents which were written by him in 1942 like explaining the killings to party leaders.

https://trialinternational.org/latest-p ... -raslanas/

https://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/4804/

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Re: NKVD massacres of prisoners 1941

Post by Art » 30 Jan 2019 11:28

I mean that the number 9817 explicitly includes people who were not Polish citizens, like Spridonova and others executed in the Orel prison. Hence Snyder who calls them "Polish citizens" is wrong. But yes, the bulk where from former Poland.
Apparently court had documents which were written by him in 1942 like explaining the killings to party leaders.
The story didn't surface in NKVD convoy troops or Gulag document, at least I don't see that anyone described it from this type of documents. A Lithuanian version, as far as I see, states that Raslanas acted on his own initiative without communications with superiors.
Again, I'm skeptical about methodical tortures and mutilations described in the links above. Men had to execute prisoners ASAP, Wehrmacht of Lithuanian insurgents could arrive every minute. Not a situation to practice some sophisticated tortures and executions.

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Re: NKVD massacres of prisoners 1941

Post by David Thompson » 30 Jan 2019 18:54

See also:

Soviet clearing murders 1941
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=76922
Did the Wehrmacht liberate any GULAG camps in 1941/42?
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=169004
Massacre in Lvov, Ukraine 1941
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=28082
Lvov-1941
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=113291
Soviet NKVD crimes in Lviv video
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=120679
Lemberg/Lvov Fotos - Warning: Some are a bit graphic
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=92916

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Re: NKVD massacres of prisoners 1941

Post by SloveneLiberal » 30 Jan 2019 20:38

D. Thompson thx. I found SS reports quite interesting. Yet just them alone are kind of to less to believe in. The SS being declared as criminal organization by the court in Nuremberg... their reputation is bad and many people would not take their accounts as proofs of Soviet crimes.It is problematical because of antisemitic bias seeing Jews as responsible for NKVD crimes yet they are many times even victims of NKVD. Yet i believe they should be carefully compared with other sources in this matter.

Youtube link not working. XD

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Re: NKVD massacres of prisoners 1941

Post by SloveneLiberal » 30 Jan 2019 21:34

From report of Jan Gross to NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR SOVIET AND EAST EUROPEAN RESEARCH about Lwow killings page 84-87:

https://www.ucis.pitt.edu/nceeer/1983-620-6-Gross.pdf

Testimony of mr. Jan Moldauer a Jewish man who was ordered by armed Ukrainians to bring bodies of tortured NKVD victims from prison in Boryslaw. Page 89/90

When Germans entered town, [Boryslaw, in the Drohobycz
county, Ukrainians wearing armbands and carrying rifles immediately appeared in the streets .
They dragged Jews out of their
houses, presumably to work . What kind of work was this? We
were brought to the NKVD building -- I was taken together with
a friend -- where there were already about 300 Jews, and we
were ordered to bring corpses out of the cellars and to segre -
gate them . Heaps of corpses . We had to wash some of the
bodies . I went once into this cellar . Corpses were not really
buried . They were covered with five to ten centimeters of dirt .

These were fresh corpses . These were the bodies of people ar -
rested during the last week or ten days . This fellow Kozlowski
and his sister were among them . The girl's nipples, she was
about 16 years old, were torn out as if with pliers, her face
was burned -- people said it was done after execution so that
victims couldn't be recognized but I think not . Kozlowski had
only one eye and it was all swollen, his lips were sewn together with barbed wire,
his hands were crushed and also burned, the
skin was peeling off as if they poured boiling water all over .
She was naked, he wasn't . They had no shoes . The impression
was horrible . I didn't look at any more corpses, because I
simply couldn't . But these were my friends . So I washed their
bodies . There were several dozen corpses altogether . I remem -
ber a very long row . The majority of these people were not normally killed with a shot, but badly maimed"


How USA viewed Soviet occupation of east European lands in 1943:


https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom ... 0034-5.pdf

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Re: NKVD massacres of prisoners 1941

Post by SloveneLiberal » 31 Jan 2019 10:26

Aftermath of NKVD killings in Lwow and some videos

The German propaganda claimed those killed in NKVD massacres in Lwow were almost all Ukrainians. However at least one third of victims had disctincly Polish and Jewish names. With this they were clearly encouraging Ukranian nationalists to take revenge. Holocaust scholar and survivor, Filip Friedman from Lviv, uncovered an official Report of the Reich Security Main Office which documented the massacre as follows: "During the first hours after the departure of the Bolsheviks [i.e. the Soviet Army], the Ukrainian population took praiseworthy action against the Jews... About 7,000 Jews were seized and shot by the [Ukrainian] police in retribution for inhuman acts of cruelty [at Brygidki and the other prisons]..." (dated 16 July 1941).

Later organization of Ukrainian nationalists ( OUN ) helped SS Einsatzgruppe C to arrest more Jews and Poles indcluding many university proffessors with their families. Later many of them were killed by SS. 38 intelectualls were murdered at Vulka hills.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lviv_pogroms_(1941)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_ ... professors

Two videos of Lwow NKVD killings:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tuz8vmg8huI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ShDJhRNlKg

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Re: NKVD massacres of prisoners 1941

Post by SloveneLiberal » 31 Jan 2019 21:18

We did not try to answer the question about killings and death tolls inside Soviet union yet. It is claimed by Wikipedya article 400.000 died. Were executions of political prisoners speeded up with the start of war? Did the mortality rate grew because political prisoners were the first to get much less food after the start of war?
Last edited by SloveneLiberal on 01 Feb 2019 08:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: NKVD massacres of prisoners 1941

Post by SloveneLiberal » 31 Jan 2019 21:44

Robert Conquest seems to confirm that war had a great impact on mortality rate in gulags. He says that during the years 1939-42 more than 25% of Poles which were deported to Soviet union died.

R. Conquest book Izobčeni izbrisani, page 528. Pubslihed in Ljubljama 1972.

Wikipedya is saying even more died:

According to Norman Davies,almost half had died by the time the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement had been signed in 1941. Around 55% of the deportees to Siberia and Soviet Central Asia were Polish women.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_re ... 80%931946)

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Re: NKVD massacres of prisoners 1941

Post by SloveneLiberal » 01 Feb 2019 14:48

I found in memories of Karlo Stajner who was a political prisoner under Stalin and in Norilsk NKVD prison at the start of war that indeed executions of political prisoners were speeded up after the start of war and food rations became lower. Norilsk was deep inside Soviet union.

Pages 155 to 164.

Karlo Stajner 7000 dni v Sibiriji. Book published in Slovenia in 1979.

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