michael mills wrote:The record shows that, after the starvation winter of 1941-42, the German authorities did succed in feeding all the surviving Soviet POWs, as there was no further mass-starvation after the Spring of 1942.
The reason why there was no further mass starvation – at least not on the previous scale – after the spring of 1942 is explained i.a. in Bräutigam’s memorandum of 25 November 1942, from which it also becomes clear that the author considered the mass dying until the spring of 1942 to have been everything other than inevitable:
[…]Of primary importance, the treatment of prisoners of war should be named. It is no longer a secret from friend or foe that hundreds of thousands of them literally have died of hunger or cold in our camps. Allegedly there were not enough food supplies on hand for them. It is especially peculiar that the food supplies are deficient only for prisoners of war from the Soviet Unions, while complaints about the treatment of other prisoners of war, Polish, Serbian, French and English, have not become loud. It is obvious that nothing is so suitable for strengthening the power of resistance of the Red Army as the knowledge that in German captivity a slow miserable death is to be met. To be sure the Main Department for Politics has succeeded here by unceasing efforts in bringing about a material improvement of the fate of the prisoners of war. However this improvement is not to be ascribed to political acumen, but to the sudden realization that our labor market must be supplied with laborers at once. We now experienced the grotesque picture of having to recruit millions of laborers from the occupied Eastern territories, after prisoners of war have died of hunger like flies, in order to fill the gaps that have formed within Germany. Now the food question no longer existed.[…]
Source of quote: http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/USSR1.htm
Emphases are mine.
michael mills wrote:Practically all the Soviet POWs taken from 1942 onward survived their captivity in German hands; one million of them even ended up fighting on the German side, to liberate their country from the Stalinist tyranny.
The above statement is too imbecile even for Michael Mills, who should at least have read my translation from Streit’s Keine Kameraden. Die Wehrmacht und die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen 1941-1945
, 2nd edition 1997, pages 244- 249, in my post of Fri Oct 18, 2002 6:07 pm on the thread
Timeline of Soviet POW Mortality (for Viriato)http://www.thirdreichforum.com/phpBB2/v ... 8390ffaa92
before writing such fathomless nonsense.
A partial quote from that post:
The Development of Mortality 1942-1945
Although in the years 1942 to 1945 prisoners of war were constantly being transported from the eastern parts of the Wehrmacht High Command area for labor service on the territory of the Reich, the manpower shortage of the German war industry could not be done away with. It is true that the number of prisoners of war employed on the territory of the Reich increased from 487,535 in October 1942 over 505,795 in July 1943 and 594,729 in February 1944 to about 750,000 on 1 January 1945. When one compares this with the total number of prisoners who fell into German hands and with the total number of prisoners present at the respective times, however, it becomes clear that a great part of the transports only served to replace the losses that had occurred through death or work incapacity. The total number of prisoners had increased from 3,350,000 in December 1941 over 4,716,903 in mid-July 1942, 5,003,697 in January 1943, and 5,637,482 in February 1944 to 5,734,528 on 1 February 1945. The number of prisoners present in the Wehrmacht High Command and Army High Command areas, on the other hand, had grown from 976,458 in March 1942 to 1,675,626 in September 1942, but then dropped over 1,501,145 on 1 January 1943 and 1,054,820 on 1 May 1944 to 930,287 on 1 January 1945. While the total number of prisoners increased by 1,017,625 between July 1942 and February 1945, the number of those remaining in captivity in the same period dropped by 745,000 – despite all efforts to increase the number of workers.
The steady diminution of the number of prisoners was partially due to releases – almost exclusively of “auxiliaries” and volunteers for the “eastern troops”. Until 1 May 1944 818,220 prisoners had been released in the Wehrmacht High Command and Army High Command areas; until the end of the war another 200,000 may have been released in the course of the efforts to strengthen the “eastern troops”, so that in total one may count on about a million released.
What mainly decimated the number of prisoners, however, was the continuing extraordinarily high mortality of the prisoners, which in the winters of 1942/43 and 1943/44 and then from the summer of 1944 onward reached new peaks. Exact data cannot be provided here either. If one deducts from the total number of Soviet prisoners who fell into German hands those who were still in captivity on 1 January 1945 – 930,287 -, the estimated number of releases – 1,000,000 – and the estimated number of prisoners who got back to the Soviet side through escape or during the retreats – 500,000 –, there results a number of about 3,300,000 prisoners who perished in German captivity or were murdered by the Einsatzkommandos, i.e. 57.8 per cent of the total number of prisoners.
The full significance of this number shows when comparing it to the mortality of other prisoners in German custody. Until 31 January 1945 there had died 14,147 of the French, 1,851 of the British and 136 of the American prisoners. In relation to the respective total number these deaths amounted to 1.58 per cent for the French, 1.15 per cent for the British and 0.3 per cent for the Americans. [Footnote: Based on the number of existing prisoners as of 1.11.1944, according to a listing of the Wehrmacht Information Bureau: French 893,672, British 161,386, Americans 45,576. The number of French prisoners was originally much higher, but a great many had been released. Of the Polish prisoners there were 67,055 still registered on 1.11.1944, so that the mortality (with 3,299 deaths) would be 4.92 per cent. It must be taken into account in this respect that also in their case the overwhelming majority had been released, although they had been treated considerably worse than the released French prisoners of war. If in the case of the French also those released were taken into account, the distance towards the mortality of Soviet prisoners of war would be even greater.]
Of the 3,155,000 German prisoners who fell into the hands of the Red Army between 1941 and 1945, there died between 1,110,000 and 1,185,000, i.e. between 35.1 per cent and 37.4 per cent. [Footnote: Kurt W. Böhme, Die deutschen Kriegsgefangenen in sowjetischer Hand, page 151 and errata sheet]
The mortality of Soviet prisoners between 1942 and 1945 can not be described in as much detail as the mass dying between October 1941 and March 1942, but more general statements are possible. In the period between 1 February 1942 and the end of the war, i.e. at a time when the value of Soviet prisoners for the German armament industry had been clearly recognized by many among the German leadership, there died about 1,300,000 Soviet prisoners. This leads to the assumption that the ideologically motivated priorities set for the war in the East in the spring of 1941 remained determining to a much higher degree than could be expected on account of the continuously repeated endorsements of the need to improve the working capacity and thus the survival chances of the prisoners by a better treatment.[...]
Emphases are mine.
As I pointed out in one of my last posts, the number of deaths between 1942 and 1945 amounts to ca. 48 % of the total number of prisoners taken (ca. 5,700,000) minus deaths until the spring of 1942 (ca. 2,000,000) minus releases (ca. 1,000,000): 1,300,000 ./. 2,700,000 = 48 %. If the 500,000 who got back to the Soviet side through escape or during the retreats are further deducted from the total, the mortality rate among those prisoners who remained in captivity rises to 1,300,000 ./. 2,200,000 = 59 % between 1942 and 1945, a percentage almost as high as the one verified during the first eight months of the war, when ca. 2,000,000 out of 3,350,000 POWs = 60 % perished.
michael mills wrote:The figures quoted by Hoffmann are exactly the same as those quoted by you, with the exception of the 17,000 reportedly captured after the initial phase. He gives a source for his figures:
Vizegeneralsekretaer des finnischen Roten Kreuzes Rosen an Oberst a.D. Roschmann, 7.12.1981, in: Roschmann, Hans, Gutachten zur Behandlung und zu den Verlusten sowjetischer Kriegsgefangener in deutscher Hand von 1941-1945 und zur Bewertung der Beweiskraft des sogenannten "Documents NOKW 2125" (Nachweisung des Verbleibs der sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen nach dem Stande vom 1. 5. 1944), Ingolstadt 1982, Beilage B zu Anlage 2.
I presume that Hoffmann’s source Roschmann is the same Roschmann who Streit mentions in his response to Hoffmann’s criticism on pages 10 and following of the 1997 edition of Keine Kameraden. Die Wehrmacht und die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen 1941 - 1945
Wie nicht anders zu erwarten, löste die von mir berechnete Zahl der Todesopfer - etwa 3 300 000 - Widerspruch aus. Alfred Streim schätzt dagegen eine Zahl von “mindestens 2 530 000”. Seine Berechnung basiert in erster Linie auf einer Aufstellung von OKW/Kgf. vom 1.Mai 1944; er legt eine Gesamtzahl von etwa 5 200 000 Gefangenen zugrunde. Während Streim seinen Berechnungsmodus offenlegt, nennt Joachim Hoffmann bei einer Gesamtzahl von “genau 5 245 882” eine Opferzahl von “rund 2 Millionen”, ohne diese Zahl näher zu begründen; er führt lediglich “unbekannte Originalakten und sonstige Unterlagen” an, ohne sie nachzuweisen. [Fußnote] Weder Streim noch Hoffmann begründen, weshalb die von mir einer Aufstellung der Abt. Fremde Heere Ost im OKH entnommene Gesamtzahl von 5 754 528 (für Februar 1945) nicht zutreffen sollte. Diese Größenordnung ist aber in den Akten noch einmal belegt. Der Chef des Kriegsgefangenenwesens schätzte die Gesamtzahl der sowjetischen Gefangenen im Dezember 1944 auf 5,6 Millionen.”
[Fußnote, S. 304]
“Die Kriegsführung aus der Sicht der Sowjetunion” (1984), S. 730. - Roschmann, Gutachten, S. 17-25, rechnet die Zahl durch mehrfachen Abzug desselben Faktors auf 1 680 000 herunter. Er argumentiert, die Fronttruppen hätten in der Siegeseuphorie 1941 stark überhöhte Zahlen gemeldet. Deswegen vernachlässigt er eine Zahl von 280 810, die in der Aufstellung vom 1.5.44 als “Abgänge beim Transport, Zählfehler u. dergl.” erklärt ist, von vornherein (Streim, S. 225, rechnet sie mit gutem Grund “zu einem großen Teil zu den Todesfällen”). Sodann zieht R. von den 845 128 für den OKH-Bereich gemeldeten Todesfällen kurzerhand 300 000 als “Meldefehler” ab. Er nimmt nicht zur Kenntnis, daß der Generalquartiermeister des Heeres schon am 25.12.1941 die Kriegsgefangenenstatistik wegen “nunmehr festgestellter Fehlmeldungen [...] um rund 500 000” berichtigt hatte: KTB OKW, Bd. I, S. 1106.
As was to be expected, the number of deaths I calculated - about 3 300 000 - led to protests. Alfred Streim estimates a number of “at least 2 530 000”. His calculation is mainly based on a listing by the OKW/Kgf. of 1 Mai 1944; and he considers a total number of about 5 200 000 prisoners. Whereas Streim openly shows his way of calculation, Joachim Hoffmann speaks of a total number of “exactly 5 245 882” and a number of victims of “around 2 million”, without providing a detailed justification of this number; he merely refers to “unknown original files and other documents” without providing evidence to their existence. [emphasis mine] [Footnote] Neither Streim nor Hoffmann explain why the total number that I took from a listing of the Abt. Fremde Heere Ost at the OKH, 5 754 528 (as of February 1945) should not be accurate. For this order of magnitude, however, there is further proof in the files. The Chief of Prisoner of War Matters estimated the total number of Soviet prisoners in December 1944 at 5.6 million.
[Footnote, page 304]
“Die Kriegsführung aus der Sicht der Sowjetunion” (1984), S. 730. - Roschmann, Gutachten, pages 17-25, reduces the number by repeated deduction of the same factor to 1 680 000.[emphasis mine] He argues that the front-line troops had reported strongly exaggerated numbers in the victory euphoria of 1941. Thus he dismisses a number of 280 810 that is explained in the listing of 1.5.44 as “Losses during transport, counting errors and similar” right away (Streim, S. 225, considers it, with good reason, as referring “to a large extent to deaths”). Hereafter R. takes the 845 128 deaths reported for the OKH area and simply deduces 300 000 as a “reporting error”. He does not take into consideration that the General Quarter of the Army had already on 25.12.1941 corrected the statistics of prisoners of war due to “reporting errors detected in the meantime [...] by around 500 000”: KTB OKW, Volume I, page 1106.[emphasis mine]
In the face of this display of intellectual dishonesty by Hoffmann's source, it seems altogether reasonable to consider Jonathan North’s sources more reliable than Mr. Roschmann.