Soviet civilian deaths during the war. 6.8 or 18.3 million?

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Pods
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Soviet civilian deaths during the war. 6.8 or 18.3 million?

Post by Pods » 20 May 2021 23:19

The Soviets established the "Extraordinary State Commission for Investigation of the Atrocities of German Fascist Invaders" or "ChGK" to find out the death of civilians caused by the German occupation. The resulting figure was 6.8 million.

However, current figures speak of 27 million deaths in total. Subtracting the military deaths calculated by Krivosheev (27-8.7) would give a total of 18.3 million civilian deaths.

Which figure is correct? why is there such a huge discrepancy?

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stg 44
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Re: Soviet civilian deaths during the war. 6.8 or 18.3 million?

Post by stg 44 » 21 May 2021 02:01

This Russian language article proposes 4.5 million civilian deaths and estimates that the ChGK overestimated civilian losses by not accounting for increased civilian mortality in wartime due to the lack of medicine/doctors and other conveniences of peacetime civilization:
http://www.demoscope.ru/weekly/2013/0559/analit01.php

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Re: Soviet civilian deaths during the war. 6.8 or 18.3 million?

Post by Art » 21 May 2021 20:02

Pods wrote:
20 May 2021 23:19
The Soviets established the "Extraordinary State Commission for Investigation of the Atrocities of German Fascist Invaders" or "ChGK" to find out the death of civilians caused by the German occupation. The resulting figure was 6.8 million.
"Caused by German occupation" and total excess deaths are different things, even irrespective of the very approximate character of GChK's calculations. Post-war Germany is an interesting example, even after hostilities ended there were hundred thousands excess deaths in 1946-1948 in Eastern zone alone simply due to deterioration of living conditions:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Germany
Extrapolating this trend to the Soviet Union one can easily arrive to millions of civilian deaths not caused by violent reasons, and wartime living standards in wartime SU were undoubtedly worse than in the post-war Germany.

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Re: Soviet civilian deaths during the war. 6.8 or 18.3 million?

Post by Art » 21 May 2021 20:13

This Russian language article proposes 4.5 million civilian deaths and estimates that the ChGK overestimated civilian losses by not accounting for increased civilian mortality in wartime due to the lack of medicine/doctors and other conveniences of peacetime civilization:
http://www.demoscope.ru/weekly/2013/0559/analit01.php
There is a huge methodical error here. Zemskov assumes that, if the number of deaths in 1940 was 4.2 million, than the normal numbers of deaths from June 1941 to the end of 1945 would be expected as 4.2x4.5=18.9 million. In fact, a large proportion of those 4.2 million were newly born children. Since the birth rate declined after the war start and very strongly, you just can't use this simple math. In fact, death rates should be applied to the actual wartime level of birth not to the level of 1940. That would decrease the expected number of deaths by several million.

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Re: Soviet civilian deaths during the war. 6.8 or 18.3 million?

Post by Sean Oliver » 18 Jun 2021 07:48

'
Has there been an attempt to establish the numbers of Soviet civilian deaths in German occupied areas only and compare it to the number of Soviet civilian deaths in 'non-German-occupied', Soviet-controlled areas? That might be interesting.

The above article uses the phrase "deaths caused by German occupation". This is maddeningly vague and basically useless without clarification. It could be interpreted to mean a number of different things by different people.

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Der Alte Fritz
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Re: Soviet civilian deaths during the war. 6.8 or 18.3 million?

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 18 Jun 2021 18:30

The 27 million figure is demographic figure of 'excess losses' (Andreev, EM; Darski, LE; Kharkova, TL (11 September 2002). "Population dynamics: consequences of regular and irregular changes". In Lutz, Wolfgang; Scherbov, Sergei; Volkov, Andrei. Demographic Trends and Patterns in the Soviet Union Before 1991. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-85320-5. E.M. Andreev, L.E. Darski and T. L. Kharkova ("ADK") authored The Population of the Soviet Union 1922–1991, which was published by the Russian Academy of Science in 1993.)
The total losses are 45 million, the difference between the two figures are the people who would normally have died anyway between 1941 and 1945

Pavel Polian 1996 From Жертвы двух диктатур. Extraordinary State Commission March 1946:
Civilians Killed............6,074,857
POW Dead --------------- 3,912,283
Forced Labor Dead ------3,998,796
Total ---------------------13,985,936

Philmoshin 1995 reckoned
Violent deaths .......................7.4 million
Forced Labourers in Germany ..... 2.1 million
Famine in occupied areas ...........4.1 million
total ....................................13.6 million
(but at this time he was aimining for a total of 20 million deaths

These figures would include Holocaust deaths 2.5 million (1941 borders)
Not included are 2.5 to 3.2 million deaths from famine within the Soviet Union caused by wartime shortages
GULAG deaths were reported at 620,000 but may have been 1.1 million

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Re: Soviet civilian deaths during the war. 6.8 or 18.3 million?

Post by Martin_from_Valhalla » 21 Jul 2021 08:03

In the times of Stalin the official figure was about 7 million. According to sensus in the times of Khrustchev the figure ws about 20 million. In the times of Gorbachev's Perestroika the number of deaths grew to 26 millions. Recently a new number 40 millions popped up. Why do numbers differ? Every government or political party at the head of Russia has/had its aims and agenda.

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Re: Soviet civilian deaths during the war. 6.8 or 18.3 million?

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 21 Jul 2021 08:36

The 40 (42) million figure is the total number of people who died. The 26 million figure is the number of EXCESS DEATHS so the number of people who died who would have been expected to live in peacetime. Taking one from another shows that normal deaths for the period was 16 million spread over 4 years of wartime, so 4 million a year on average.
The figures differ from Stalin and Krushchev because they did not count all categories of people and so reduced the total.

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Re: Soviet civilian deaths during the war. 6.8 or 18.3 million?

Post by Art » 21 Jul 2021 10:32

Martin_from_Valhalla wrote:
21 Jul 2021 08:03
In the times of Stalin the official figure was about 7 million. According to sensus in the times of Khrustchev the figure ws about 20 million.
More than 20 million. Which, formally speaking, doesn't contradict to 26.6 million officially accepted in 1990. The number of excess deaths equal to 20+ million followed from the results of the census of 1959, hence official estimates in 1960s. What was different in 1990 is that for PR reasons the government wanted a precise figure, so statisticians arrived to 26.6 million. Its precision is somewhat misleading though, because to a large degree it is based on educated guess.
Stalin's statements should be viewed within the context of the nascent Cold War. He was naturally unwilling to disclose Soviet manpower weakness to former allies/present opponents.

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