Question about how Germany treated German POW's

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
Adonnus
Member
Posts: 13
Joined: 07 Apr 2016 07:22
Location: Australia

Question about how Germany treated German POW's

Post by Adonnus » 02 Jul 2022 18:19

I was wondering what the German government's reaction was to a large quantity of Germans being taken prisoner for the first time by the USSR in late 1941 - early 1942, and especially after that point. How did the regime deal with public opinion in regards to those prisoners? Did they hush up their families? Were the prisoners considered as good as dead, or did the Reich government try to negotiate some kind of fair treatment for them? I am mainly asking about prisoners taken by the USSR.

steve248
Member
Posts: 3789
Joined: 10 Aug 2003 20:53
Location: Hertfordshire, England

Re: Question about how Germany treated German POW's

Post by steve248 » 05 Jul 2022 14:33

I maybe wrong but was the USSR at the time (1941-1945) affiliated with the International Red Cross? If not, the problem of home countries contacting their POWs held by the enemy would be remote.
Out of interest just a couple of years ago I published a book about a Gestapo officer, Horst Kopkow. In the research period I came across a document that showed the lengths the Russians went to to sow dissent among the German population. As part of their agent infiltration program, German POWs possibly communist to begin with were infiltrated across the lines with thousands of postcards from POWs in Russian hands to their families at home. The idea being to drop them in mail boxes. Presumably some got through.

User avatar
Hans1906
Member
Posts: 4276
Joined: 06 Jan 2020 23:13
Location: Deutschland

Re: Question about how Germany treated German POW's

Post by Hans1906 » 06 Jul 2022 13:01

Between 1941 and 1945 well over 5 million Soviet soldiers were taken prisoner by the Germans. 3.3 million Soviet prisoners of war died in the process. For other prisoners of war, the death rate was a maximum of two percent...
Source: Kriegsgefangene des Zweiten Weltkrieges: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kriegsgef ... %20Prozent.

(Wikipedia article only av. in french and german language)


Hans
„Im Leben gibt’s die Bösen und die Guten. Und die dazwischen, das sind die Bagaluten.“

MargeBeatty
New member
Posts: 1
Joined: 21 Aug 2022 08:33
Location: 35158 Bradly Crest Suite 088 Winfield

Re: Question about how Germany treated German POW's

Post by MargeBeatty » 21 Aug 2022 08:35

Was the USSR at the time (1941–1945) a member of the International Red Cross? I could be incorrect. If not, there would be little chance of home nations being able to communicate with their POWs detained by the enemy.
I wrote a book about Horst Kopkow, a Gestapo officer, a couple of years ago out of curiosity. During my study, I came across a paper that demonstrated the lengths the Russians would go to in order to foment discord among the German populace. Thousands of postcards from German POWs in Russian hands to their families back home were used to sneak German POWs—some of whom may have been communist to begin with—across the lines as part of their agent infiltration effort. Tossing them in postal boxes was the plan. I suppose some made it.

Return to “German Strategy & General German Military Discussion”