Some images of Soviet Partisans

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Juha Hujanen
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Post by Juha Hujanen » 03 May 2003 17:42

I still think there's a difference to bomb cities,when there's at least chance to hit legimite targets,than to beat children to death with rifle butts.

I'm glad that we have this discussion,because majority of Russians,not to mention others people of world are aware of Russian partisan atrocities in Finland.I'm afraid this thing can't be overlooked with "ce est le guerre".If we do that,tomorrow someone will try to minimize Einsatzgruppen atrocities and we don't want that.

Regards/Juha

Sokol
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Post by Sokol » 03 May 2003 18:29

I think what the Soviets did to Finnish civilians is fully understandable. This may sound cold-hearted, but Finland was part of the German camp. Soviet partisans wouldn't give a damn about the fact that those civilians were Finnish. They were the "Enemy". And the "Enemy" had already slaughtered countless tens of thousands (heck, hundreds of thousands and millions) in the Ukraine and in Belorussia.

Someone made a point about the Germans killing 17 million Russians. Well, they may have killed 17 million on the territory of the Soviet Union, but less than half of those killed were ethnically "Russian". If the world doesn't recognise the difference between Soviet and Russian, why should it recognise the difference between German and Finnish?

Regards,
Sokol

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KalaVelka
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Post by KalaVelka » 03 May 2003 19:34

BS, in finnish front soviet partisans were butchers, thiefs, murderers and as somebody sayed before, scum of the earth. If somebody defends them and compares them to citybombing, do you also think that what einsaztgruppens did was also right? That was same BS what einsazguys did as what soviet partisans did here in Finland!

Lars EP
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Post by Lars EP » 03 May 2003 22:20

KalaVelka wrote:BS, in finnish front soviet partisans were butchers, thiefs, murderers and as somebody sayed before, scum of the earth. If somebody defends them and compares them to citybombing, do you also think that what einsaztgruppens did was also right? That was same BS what einsazguys did as what soviet partisans did here in Finland!
For the last time: I am not saying it was right! But as earlier pointed out, for the Soviet partisan, who had lost his family and friends in Germanys ethnic cleansing, there was no difference between Finns and Germans. It is dead easy to sit with 20-20 hindsight and say: There was!

Of course there was. But you start out by extreme generalization, stating that all Soviet partisans where murderous scum. How can you then expect somebody who is in the middle of seing his country, and everything he knows being ripped apart by an enemy that seems to think that everything of Slavic origin is worthless, to react in more objective manner?

I am absolutely certain that many partisans who crossed the Finnish border where murderers and bandits. I am also certain that some of these murderers and bandits had become so, because of other murderers and bandits had killed their families. And I am certain that they where not all murderers and bandits.

As historians, amateurs or professionals, we owe it to ourselfs and others to try and be as objective as possible. Otherwise we are not historians, but propagandists.

Regards --- Lars

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Post by Lars EP » 03 May 2003 22:31

hmononen wrote: We don't need to portray either side as saints or devils in the Finno-Soviet wars, but still there is a striking difference if one looks at the question which side adhered to the International Laws of warfare. And like the gentlemen above have stated, the so-called Partisans had one of the worst track records in this respect in their raids to Finnish territory. War crimes in the disguise of civilian clothing and outcomes of military battles between the combatants wearing their respective uniforms are legally and ethically two entirely separate matters.
Possible, I wont deny that. But I would like to point out, that, as I've earlier stated, the German high-command had from the beginning stressed, that the Geneva-covention was not to be respected, regarding Soviets pow's or civilians. In that light, I think it would be to much to expect that Soviet partisans should be expected to differ much in their response.

Regards --- Lars

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Hanski
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Post by Hanski » 03 May 2003 22:44

Sokol wrote:I think what the Soviets did to Finnish civilians is fully understandable. This may sound cold-hearted, but Finland was part of the German camp. Soviet partisans wouldn't give a damn about the fact that those civilians were Finnish. They were the "Enemy". And the "Enemy" had already slaughtered countless tens of thousands (heck, hundreds of thousands and millions) in the Ukraine and in Belorussia.
Sokol, I do respect your expertise in war history demonstrated in discussions on other threads, but here I have to strongly disagree with you. In fact, what you are saying, is insulting even for the Russians: you are letting us understand that Russians are totally ignorant morons, unable to make such basic distinctions as to who they are fighting against.

Lars EP, truthful history research does not make the automatic assumption that if one side acts in a certain way, there must be a mirror image on the other side, acting precisely the same. Or, if you are claiming that Finland must be judged as just one of the Axis countries, please go and read the thread with the title "What defines an Axis nation?" elsehere in this forum.

Ukraine and Byelorussia are thousands of miles from Finland. What atrocities against civilians ever may have taken place there, certainly did not take place in Soviet Karelia, or to my knowledge, even further North where German troops were attacking, for the simple reason that these districts are very sparsely populated wilderness, and the Germans never advanced far enough to encounter civilians.

Regarding the Finnish administration of the Karelia occupied by Finnish troops, including Petrozavodsk, Olonets, and other towns, it is something quite extraordinary, or one might even say unique, compared to how occupation forces treat the civilian population in general elsewhere. Partially motivated by the ideological desire to join nations with ethnical ties to the Finns, many school teachers volunteered to serve in those communities, and primary schools were organised as well as public health care, which was on a higher standard than during Soviet rule.

The Russian civilian population was not oppressed, though those with Karelian-Finnish ethnicity were given priority. In fact, the Finns treated the local civilian population in such a way which later caused them problems after the Finns had withdrawn, since the Soviets suspected their own countrymen of collaboration with their enemy to have deserved such treatment. This was told in a TV documentary by a Russian eyewitness.

Now, please don't claim this is only propaganda - first find out the facts. Colonel Helge Seppälä is one of the critical researchers of The Finnish occupation administration in his book "Suomi miehittäjänä" (Finland as an Occupier), which unfortunately is published in Finnish only. Please also remember that after the war, the victorious Soviets took care that all Finns suspected of war crimes were tried in court, and as far as I know, nothing emerged that could be called scandalous.

I am quite well aware that the Finnish theatre of war was only a sideshow in WWII, and great ignorance prevails among the rest of the world regarding the events there. Partially this is due to the language barrier, and partially to the Allied dominance of post-war history writing and publicity in the mass media. I hope this forum will allow an opportunity to fill in that gap.

There was no justification whatsoever on the grounds that atrocities against civilians would have been "revenge" -- the Axis troops there never committed anything comparable to the war crimes of the Partisans.
Let's not confuse here what Axis occupation might have done elsewhere.

Also, the preceding Winter War 1939-40 certainly did not give any justification to treat Finnish civilians like the Partisans did in 1941-44. In this front the Soviets knew their enemy well, including its adherence to the International Law on Warfare, but if there were a gang who didn't give a damn to the rules of war, it is simply a gang of war criminals.

Crime may be "fully understandable" in terms of forensic psychiatry, but it is totally unacceptable and unjust in the opinion of most people.

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 03 May 2003 23:12

Lars EP wrote:for the Soviet partisan, who had lost his family and friends in Germanys ethnic cleansing, there was no difference between Finns and Germans.
AFAIK the partisans at Finnish front were "local", so their families were OK
Lars EP wrote:But you start out by extreme generalization, stating that all Soviet partisans where murderous scum.
If you read what KalaVelka wrote more careful, you find out that he wrote about the partisans at Finnish front.
Lars EP wrote: I am also certain that some of these murderers and bandits had become so, because of other murderers and bandits had killed their families.
Look at my first answer.
Lars EP wrote: And I am certain that they where not all murderers and bandits.
Agree. I´ve heard of the ex-partisans suffering from mental problems for what they did and saw at the war. They and some others deeply regret their participation of that kind of actions.

Regards, Juha

P.S. number of the partisans at Finnish front were true pro´s: murders and rapist released from Soviet prisons to do what they were good at, and what they really enjoyed.

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Post by Sokol » 04 May 2003 12:26

Hmononen, a thought provoking and well written argument. Although, my point was not that the Soviet partisans believed they were fighting Germans in Finland, but that they believed it simply didn't matter; they were the Enemy. Soviet propaganda had assured that everybody knew exactly what the "Enemy" was capable of in other parts of the Soviet Union.

But I do stand corrected on a number of key issues. I'm an amateur theorist on WW2 strategy and tactics, not on the lawless killings of millions of civillians. But, in that department, I now know who to turn to.

Thanks,
Sokol

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KalaVelka
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Post by KalaVelka » 04 May 2003 12:51

Sokol wrote:Hmononen, a thought provoking and well written argument. Although, my point was not that the Soviet partisans believed they were fighting Germans in Finland, but that they believed it simply didn't matter; they were the Enemy. Soviet propaganda had assured that everybody knew exactly what the "Enemy" was capable of in other parts of the Soviet Union.

But I do stand corrected on a number of key issues. I'm an amateur theorist on WW2 strategy and tactics, not on the lawless killings of millions of civillians. But, in that department, I now know who to turn to.

Thanks,
Sokol
Nazis thinked also that slavs and other subhumans should be killed. That was because propaganda also.

Sokol
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Post by Sokol » 04 May 2003 13:05

KalaVelka, I do realize English is not your native language (it is not mine either), but what do you mean when you say:
Nazis thinked also that slavs and other subhumans should be killed. That was because propaganda also.
Are you implying that Slavs are subhumans? Or do you just mean that Slavs were regarded as subhumans due to German propaganda? If that is the case, I apologize for the missunderstanding.

Regards,
Sokol

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KalaVelka
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Post by KalaVelka » 04 May 2003 16:50

I meant that germans thinked that slavs were "subhumans" and thats coz propaganda was succesful and thats why i sayed that other subhumans. i should have put "" at my previos message.

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AHLF
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Post by AHLF » 04 May 2003 17:35

Well, amigos, from my pov, most of you justify such treatment of partisans:
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KalaVelka
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Post by KalaVelka » 04 May 2003 18:17

That's right. Partisans were warcriminals and didnt deserve nothing else.

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Hanski
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Post by Hanski » 04 May 2003 18:21

I agree with both Sokol and KalaVelka: propaganda must have been a key factor among both German and Soviet troops, used to justify abandoning of the Geneva Convention and International Law in treatment of the adversary.

Both The III Reich and the USSR were totalitarian dictatorships, where freedom of opinion was not allowed and the State had the monopoly of Truth. When the State takes the responsibility away from the individual and lets its people understand that the ends sanctify the means, things happen like the Holocaust, the slaughter of civilians in Byelorussia and Ukraine, the Katyn murders, or "Partisan" atrocities against Finnish civilians, as well as the cruelties committed by the Japanese in the Asian territories they occupied.

To avoid false generalisations regarding Finland, I have made an attempt at emphasizing the differences from the Axis nations proper, in

http://www.thirdreichforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=20709

Finland remained a multi-party parliamentary democracy throughout the WWII, so there was no single ideology that could have dictated what people "must" think. Yes, Finns did make propaganda directed at the enemy as well as own troops and own civilian population, just like for example Great Britain, but the Finnish Government never urged anyone to abandon International Law.

Besides propaganda, another possible explanation for the Partisan mode of action in raids against Finnish civilians is mentioned in one of the previous messages: if the "Partisans" actually were violent criminals released from prison for this purpose, it is no wonder they had no respect for rules of warfare.

AHLF: if you ask how civilian-clad "Partisans" should be treated if captured, it does not matter what we think. What gives justification is again stated in International Law: combatants disguised as civilians (or in the uniform of their enemy) do not have the protection given in the rules of warfare to Prisoners of War, which means death penalty for them is in accordance with the International Law.

The USSR broke the International Law as well for the part of the Desants who wore Finnish uniforms, and underneath them the Red Army uniform in case they would be caught.

The Finnish long-range patrols wore Finnish uniforms. Some clandestine reconnaissance / espionage patrols who were sent across the border before the hostilities broke out did not, but wore civilian clothing (however, not committing atrocities). It is self-evident they would have been executed if captured, and in accordance with International Law.

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AHLF
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Post by AHLF » 04 May 2003 18:22

KalaVelka wrote:That's right. Partisans were warcriminals and didnt deserve nothing else.
Acceptable.

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