So, why it was illegal? Soviet accusations of "war crimes" are very well known to Finns too (but that's another story; just say that I refer to the so called "List #1" or "Zhdanov's list"). In western countries you have to have really good proves to be sure someone really is a war criminal. In Soviet union even the slightest suspicions were enough for quite senseless sentences.
Typically fabricated accusations were based on the information of a person or a group of persons. "Witnesses" were dead-scared for their own life and said what "was needed" for such sentence. I bet if we compared these "evidences" we could find their similarities. These accusations wouldn't be acceptable in any western court.
So, you really believe all Soviet era sentences were quite correct and acceptable? It it quite clear that most of them were illegal and based on lies and false evidences.oleg wrote:Is that entirely impossible, that Hartman for instance gunned some poor shmak down after he parachuted out of burning plane? Or that he by mistake strafed some refugee column? After all he could have gotten his 10 for "anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda" - which is most likelly. When again what would Soviet pilot get for the same kind of activities against Germany , in the German POW camp?
Using your point of view all German soldiers were war criminals just because they attacked. When we are talking about war crimes there is no reciprocity i.e. crimes of Germans' are quite separate of crimes of Soviets' and the crimes of other sides can not be justified by the crimes of the other side. So, stop accusing Germans, Oleg. We are now talking about Soviets' behaviour and treating of German POWs in USSR during and after WW II.
If we go back to the topic I can tell that I'm reading the Finnish book "God Will Overthrow one's Angel" [worth reading, also published in German: "Der Gott stürz seine Engel", Fritz Molden Verlag, 1972] written by Aino Kuusinen (the second wife of Otto Wilhelm Kuusinen) and there is mentioned an Austrian soldier who after WW I had a similar kind of "fate" I told about earlier. So that same happened also after WW I not only after WW II.