Soviet Union murdered German Prisoner of wars

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wildboar
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Soviet Union murdered German Prisoner of wars

Post by wildboar » 21 Apr 2002 13:33

Soviet Union had not signed Geneva convention and treated German Priosner of War badly

The Soviets took ferocious revenge on the millions of POWs who fell into their hands during the war. Many were simply executed; most were sent to concentration camps where they died of exposure, starvation, and overwork. German POWs (along with Romanians, Italians, and others) "were [not] treated even remotely in accordance with the Geneva Convention. Thousands froze to death and starved on the march or in unheated cattle trucks, and once in campas they were treated as slave labor. Heat, shelter, and clothing were all inadequate, diseases such as typhus were rampant, and food was so scarce that on occasion cannibalism occurred. In all, at least one million German prisoners died out of the 3,150,000 taken by the Red Army
."

Source-S.P. MacKenzie, "The Treatment of Prisoners of War in World War II," The Journal of Modern History, 66: 3 [September 1994], p. 511.

It is known fact that vast majority of german pows in ussr died in gulag slave labour camps located in siberia
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Post by Davey Boy » 21 Apr 2002 15:53

The Soviets did nothing to the Germans that wouldn't have been done to them if they fell into German hands.

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Post by Pumpkin » 21 Apr 2002 16:27

I'm surprised that "only" 1/3 would've died. Of the prisoners taken at Stalingrad, didn't only 5000 Germans eventually return home?

How long after the war were German POW kept by the western allies?

How many of the Soviet POW's died in Germany, if one separates this from execution of suspected political commissars and such?

Is it a myth that many of the POW-survivors were deported after having been "liberated" by Stalin, because he feared that they had been indoctrinated or that infiltrators might hide among them?

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Post by mike262752 » 22 Apr 2002 03:42

HETMAN wrote:The Soviets did nothing to the Germans that wouldn't have been done to them if they fell into German hands.


I get to kill you because you lost the war..... ya that makes sense

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Post by Davey Boy » 22 Apr 2002 10:30

mike262752 wrote:
HETMAN wrote:The Soviets did nothing to the Germans that wouldn't have been done to them if they fell into German hands.


I get to kill you because you lost the war..... ya that makes sense


No, I get to kill you because you treated my people like animals and set out to exterminate them from the face of the earth...does that make a little more sense to you?
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Post by Pumpkin » 22 Apr 2002 11:32

By that logic, Hetman, you justify the rise of nazism and their war on Marxism. Even before there was any fascism, who was threatening the world? Who treated people as animals? The Marxists did. That threat is why fascism came into existance.

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Post by Davey Boy » 22 Apr 2002 12:57

Pumpkin wrote:By that logic, Hetman, you justify the rise of nazism and their war on Marxism. Even before there was any fascism, who was threatening the world? Who treated people as animals? The Marxists did. That threat is why fascism came into existance.


You've got it all wrong. You're talking about a potential political threat. I'm talking about seeing your village burned to the ground and your relatives machine gunned. I'm also talking about hearing stories about how your fellow soldiers are shot, hanged, starved and tortured by the German invaders.

Hey, the Soviets weren't angles. I'm the first to admit that. My relatives were sent to Siberia because they happened to own some land in eastern Poland in '39. But I can see the war from the Soviet soldiers' perspective, after the German invasion. The Germans brought a lot of the suffering on themselves. You just don't do what they did and then expect to be treated fairly.

Of course, that's not to say the Soviets would't have committed similar sorts of crimes on Germany if they invaded first. They probably would've; look at Poland in '39. But I guess we'll never know, because it was the Germans who unleashed the whole mess.

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wildboar
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how do you hold german civilian's responsible.

Post by wildboar » 22 Apr 2002 18:21

Hetman Wrote
No, I get to kill you because you treated my people like animals and set out to exterminate them from the face of the earth...does that make a little more sense to you?


Hetman how do you hold all the german civilians responsible for act of nazi vandals(such as atrocities in poland & ostfront) when (german civilians)themselves lived under there terror of nazi's

do you support soviet pre-planned atrocities on german civilian's

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Re: Soviet Union murdered German Prisoner of wars

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 22 Apr 2002 18:36

wildboar wrote:Soviet Union had not signed Geneva convention and treated German Priosner of War badly

The Soviets took ferocious revenge on the millions of POWs who fell into their hands during the war. Many were simply executed; most were sent to concentration camps where they died of exposure, starvation, and overwork. German POWs (along with Romanians, Italians, and others) "were [not] treated even remotely in accordance with the Geneva Convention. Thousands froze to death and starved on the march or in unheated cattle trucks, and once in campas they were treated as slave labor. Heat, shelter, and clothing were all inadequate, diseases such as typhus were rampant, and food was so scarce that on occasion cannibalism occurred. In all, at least one million German prisoners died out of the 3,150,000 taken by the Red Army
."



Source-S.P. MacKenzie, "The Treatment of Prisoners of War in World War II," The Journal of Modern History, 66: 3 [September 1994], p. 511.

It is known fact that vast majority of german pows in ussr died in gulag slave labour camps located in siberia



1.how 1/3 is a majority?
2.Did you find any official Soviet document that proves that atrocities were ordered from the above?
3. USSR did the best it could to treat POWs in accordance with Hague convention and no none of POWs were sent to the GULAG - POWS camps were separate organization which was not even under NKVD jurisdiction –and no none of the were “slave” camps – I don’t remember that anyone ever paid to slaves.

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 22 Apr 2002 21:14

Pumpkin wrote:I'm surprised that "only" 1/3 would've died. Of the prisoners taken at Stalingrad, didn't only 5000 Germans eventually return home?


Mortality of German prisoners in Soviet captivity was much higher in 1941-43 than thereafter, the case of Stalingrad, where most prisoners died of hunger and disease in the months after capture and all but 5,000 of the remainder perished in the Gulag, being the most striking example. Regarding the overall death toll in Soviet captivity, there are the estimates of the 1974 Maschke Commission and of German historian Rüdiger Overmans in his recent study Deutsche Militärische Verluste im Zweiten Weltkrieg. From this book I translated the following passages:

4.2.5.3 Prisoners of War

Now to the last section of the assessment: captivity, which for many German soldiers was the last stage of their military career. Unlike in the previous sections it will be necessary in the following to explain the methodological aspects first of all. Only after this can we proceed to an interpretation of the contents of the data.

In the explanation of the conception it was pointed out that the variable “type of death” can be understood as a continuum, with a great degree of accuracy of information being linked to the two extremes “died on the German side” and “died in captivity”, whereas the middle category, “missing”, is a consequence of the fact that, whereas death is a certainty, the circumstances are not exactly known. The quantitative dimensions of this margin of insecurity are shown in table 63.

Table 63: Deaths by year and type of death

(i) Died on the German side
1941 and before 428,066
1942 451,066
1943 501,066
1944 911,561
1945 559,726
1946 and after 0
Sum 2,851,485

(ii) Missing
1941 and before 30,495
1942 115,881
1943 288,686
1944 844,695
1945 727,814
1946 0
Sum 2,007,571

(iii) Died in captivity
1941 and before 0
1942 5,033
1943 22,297
1944 45,330
1945 252,188
1946 and after 134,627
Sum 459,475
Sum of (i) +(ii)+(iii) 5,318,531

The first thing that becomes visible is that the part of deaths that clearly occurred on the German side is very high until about 1941, ca. 90 %. This part diminishes in every following year of the war until reaching only about one-third in 1945. On the other hand, the percentage of those who died as prisoners of war increases from marginal parts to about 16 % in the year 1945 – the later years are not taken into consideration given that after 1945 deaths can only have occurred in prisoner of war camps. What important for the present study, however, is mainly the part of the category “Missing” – which rises from less than 10 % to almost 50 %. The cases are not equally distributed over all fronts, however.
Table 64 still shows a rather clear distribution – mainly in the West, but also in the other theaters of war the number of those who died on the German side is very high. Altogether there are only about 180,000 persons regarding whom the exact circumstances of death are not known – a part of whom may thus have died in captivity.

Table 64: Deaths by Theaters of War and Destiny

Other Theaters of War

1941 and before
Died on the German side: 84,000
Missing: 0

1942
Died on the German side: 40,000
Missing: 8,132

1943
Died on the German side: 72,000
Missing: 6,099

1944
Died on the German side: 199,132
Missing: 79,287

1945
Died on the German side: 27,000
Missing: 30,495

Sum Other Theaters of War
Died on the German side: 422,132
Missing: 124,013

West (until 31.12.1944)

1941 and before
Died on the German side: 68,000
Missing: 4,066

1942
Died on the German side: 12,000
Missing: 0

1943
Died on the German side: 11,000
Missing: 0

1944
Died on the German side: 198,132
Missing: 46,759

Sum West (until 31.12.1944)
Died on the German side: 289,132
Missing: 50,825

East (until 31.12.1944)

1941 and before
Died on the German side: 276,066
Missing: 26,429

1942
Died on the German side: 399,066
Missing: 107,749

1943
Died on the German side: 418,066
Missing: 282,587

1944
Died on the German side: 514,297
Missing: 718,649

Sum East (until 31.12.1944)
Died on the German side: 1,607,495
Missing: 1,135,414


Final Battles 1945

Died on the German side: 532,726
Missing: 697,319

Wholly different is the distribution in the categories “Eastern Front” and “Final Battles”. Already in 1944 the part of the not clearly established cases is higher than that of those who are died on the German side. This applies even more to the Final Battles, the examination of the concrete cases having shown that two thirds of the losses of this phase were incurred by the units fighting in the East – especially in what concerns the not clearly established cases.

What do these considerations imply for the results of the present study? They show that the tables about deaths in captivity are to be looked at with reservations insofar as they, one the one hand, show not to the sum of those who died there but only to the sum of documented deaths. On the other hand it becomes clear where there are still greater margins of uncertainty – not in the West or in the other theaters of war, but mainly in the East. What relevance does this realization have for the central question of the examination, about the sum of deaths? None at all at right away, given that the death of those in question cannot be doubted – the sum of losses therefor doesn’t change. What changes, however, is the distribution of the variables with regard to the various theaters of war – not so much in the West, but mainly in the East. The dimension of these inexactitudes is what is to be examined in the interpretation of the contents of the results.

First of all an overview of the number of deaths in captivity:

Table 65: Deaths in captivity (by custodian state)

Total number of prisoners of war

France 940,000
Great Britain 3,640,000
USA 3,100,000
Yugoslavia 190,000
Other States 170,000
USSR 3,060,000
Sum 11,100,000

Deaths in captivity according to present study

France 34,000
Great Britain 21,000
USA 22,000
Yugoslavia 11,000
Other States 8.000
USSR 363,000
Sum 459,000

Deaths in captivity according to Maschke Commission

France 25,000
Great Britain 1,300
USA 5,000
Yugoslavia 80,000
Other States 13.000
USSR 1,090,000
Sum 1,214,300

When comparing the data about deaths related to the various custodian states, hardly a case of coincidence can be observed. The figures do, however, show a similar trend – custodian states with high death rates according to the data of the Maschke Commission also show an above average death rate in the present study. The same goes for states with low death rates. The question how the nevertheless existing differences in the absolute values can be explained will be examined in the following.
First it should be pointed out that – except in case of the Soviet Union – the losses in captivity in all custodian states are but fractions of percentages of the total losses and are thus in an order of magnitude that cannot be evaluated accurately even with the present, relatively large sample. Furthermore the methods of establishing the figures vary. The data of the Maschke Kommission are based on files of the custodian state and numerous testimonials of German prisoners of war. In matters of content they refer, in what concerns to the Western Allies, to those who died in Allied custody in a narrower sense. The compilation techniques of the present study, however, mandate the inclusion in the category “captivity” also of such cases that formally fall under that category but for which the respective custodian state was not responsible in material terms. This applies especially to the differences in the data related to Great Britain, the USA and the “other countries”.

Things are different in the case of France, where the numbers of the Maschke Commission are based on the official French data and there are substantial indications for the assumption that, of the ca. 180,000 missing in the West, a great number died indeed in French custody – or as mercenaries in Indochina. Even more difficult is the situation regarding deaths in Yugoslavian custody – apart from rather contradictory German testimonials on the one hand and the documented cases underlying the present study on the other there is no examination that could contribute to the clarification of the question.

Given this unsatisfactory state of research the question arises how reliable data about the deaths in captivity could be obtained. Not by means of an empiric compilation analogous to the present one, given that the information deficits pointed out are not caused by methodological deficiencies of the study – the study only demonstrates the fact that the information available to the German authorities is insufficient. Only the evaluation of reports presently coming in from the former Soviet Union, the recovery of unburied dead presently under way both in the former USSR and in Eastern Germany as well as the registration of graves in the Soviet Union by the VDK will lead to an improvement of the state of information in the next years or decades.

But independently of what the number of deaths in captivity actually is, the differences – at least in what concerns the Western Allies – are so small that they cannot significantly affect the results of this study so far. This does not apply in regard to Yugoslavia let alone for the Soviet Union – here the difference between 300,000 or a million deaths is so huge that it influences the distribution of the variables. It will thus be attempted in the following to localize the differences more closely.


Table 66: Deaths in Soviet custody by years

Deaths in Soviet captivity according to present study

1941/42 5,000
1943 21,000
1944 41,000
1945 178,000
1946 and after 118,000
Sum 363,000

Missing according to present study*

1941/42 134,000
1943 283,000
1944 719,000
1945 ca. 400,000
1946 and after -
Sum 1,536,000

* The number of missing in 1945 was estimated for the present study on the basis of the established fact that about two thirds of deaths during the Final Battles occurred in the East of Germany.

Deaths in Soviet captivity according to Maschke Commission

1941/42 166,000
1945 154,000
1946 224,000
1945 550,000
1946 and after included in 1945
Sum 1,094,000

Table 66, which differentiates the number of deaths by years, shows first the number of prisoners of war in Soviet custody and the missing on the Eastern Front, followed by the data of the Maschke Commission. According to the present study a total of ca. 363,000 German soldiers died in Soviet captivity – the sum of individually documented deaths. The approach of the Maschke Commission was another: they established, on the basis of various sources, the number of soldiers taken prisoner as well as the percentage of those who died every year. Although it is an estimate, it can be considered as well founded. When comparing the number of the missing established in the present study, ca. 1.5 million, with the difference in deaths considered by the present study on the one hand and the Maschke Commission on the other, it becomes visible that the difference, ca. 700,000 deaths, corresponds to about half of the number of missing. And it seems altogether plausible, although it cannot be proven, that half of those missing were killed in battle and the other half actually died in Soviet custody . Parting from this consideration the question arises how these ca. 700,000 cases are distributed temporarily. For this it is necessary to recall the conduction of military operations. In the first year, i.e. until ca. the middle of 1943, when the German armies were attacking, they were usually in conditions to recover their own dead in the conquered areas. This means that, at the beginning, the overwhelming majority of missing were taken prisoner and died in Soviet custody – out of the Germans taken prisoner at Stalingrad alone ca. 90,000 died rather soon in captivity. The more the initiative went over to the Soviet side and the more often large units were destroyed and taken prisoner, the greater the number of men killed in battle among those missing is likely to have been.

In relation to the above data this plausible if not provable consideration has the consequence that the results of the present study should be modified. Presumably the number of missing in the years 1941/42 must be almost wholly added to the deaths in captivity, whereas in the following years an ever growing part must be added to those killed on the German side. If the numbers of the present study are nevertheless used for the further assessment, this is only because the above considerations, while plausible, are not based on documented individual fates like the remaining results of the present study. As already mentioned, it must be left to a complementary study to evaluate the information arriving from the former Soviet Union at present and in the future, in order to obtain more accurate results in what concerns captivity.


How long after the war were German POW kept by the western allies?


The following may give you an idea:

A total of 11 094 000 members of the Wehrmacht went into captivity in World War II, thereof 3, 349,000 in the East and 7 745 000 in the West. In Soviet custody there were 3 155 000 (thereof 25 000 handed over to Czechoslovakia and 70 000 handed over to Polan), in Yugoslavia 194 000, in the custody of the USA: 3 800 000 (thereof 667 000 handed over to France, 135 000 to Russia, 31 000 to Belgum and 5 000 to Luxembourg; 379 000 lived in the USA, the others in American camps in Europe), in the custody of Great Britain 3 700 000 (thereof 25 000 handed over to France, 33 000 to Belgium and 7000 to the Netherlands. 385 000 lived on the British Isles, 103 000 in the Near East, 1 600 in Australia, 34 000 in Canada, 46 000 in North Africa, the rest on the European continent) and in France including North -Africa 245 000 prisoners taken and 692 000 taken over, together 937 000 men.
German prisoners of war lived through a total of 5 billion days of captivity, thereof 43,7 % in the East, 56,3 % in the West. Between 1941 and 1956 they provided about 2 million working days. In the West there were at least 178 000 escape attempts according to official documents, most of which were without success. There are no corresponding data for the East. At least 1.2 million German soldiers died in captivity.


Translated from:

Heribert Schwan/Rolf Steininger, Besiegt, besetzt, geteilt. 1979 Stalling Verlag GmbH, Oldenburg - München - Hamburg, pages 116/117

How many of the Soviet POW's died in Germany, if one separates this from execution of suspected political commissars and such?


According to German historian Christian Streit, author of Keine Kameraden: Die Wehrmacht und die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen 1941-1945, about 3,300,000 out of ca. 5,700,000 Soviet prisoners of war perished in German captivity. The majority died of starvation, exposure, disease and brutal treatment. About 600,000 were sorted out as "unreliable elements" and executed by SS and SD forces, according to Streit.

German historian Christian Gerlach, author of Krieg, Ernährung, Völkermord, does not challenge Streit's figures on the total death toll, but considers his estimate on the numbers executed by German special forces to be too high. According to Gerlach, the majority of the hundreds of thousands of Soviet POWs who were executed fell victim to Wehrmacht units and were mostly killed while being marched to prison camps, rather than sorted out and executed by killing squads thereafter.

Is it a myth that many of the POW-survivors were deported after having been "liberated" by Stalin, because he feared that they had been indoctrinated or that infiltrators might hide among them?


No, that's a fact. Many Soviet POWs survived German captivity only to end up in Stalin's Gulag.

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Post by michael mills » 25 Apr 2002 08:59

One thing that should be considered is the PATTERN of mortality.

According to the Overmans figures quoted by Mr Muehlenkamp, the vast majority of the deaths of German POWs in Soviet hands occurred toward the end of the war, or even after the end of the war. According to those figures, 178,000 died in 1945 and a further 118,000 in 1946 or subsequent years, a total of 296,000. This represents 81.5% of total deaths.

By contrast, according to Overmans, only 67,000 died until the end of 1944.

Given that the war ended on 8 May 1945, a large proportion of the deaths in 1945, perhaps the majority, must have occurred after the end of the war. That indicates that conditions for German POWs in Soviet hands remained bad, and they continued to die.

In the case of Soviet POWs in German hands, the great majority of the deaths occurred in the period from the begining of the German-Soviet war in 1941 until the Spring of 1942. The death-rate was highest in the winter of 1941-42, when a large proportion of the huge numbers of Soviet soldiers who had been captured in the Summer and Autumn of 1941 died of starvation and cold.

After that, the death-rate was much lower, since the German authorities improved the conditions of the POWs. Although further large numbers of Soviet soldiers were captured in 1942, deaths among them were fewer, and it is from that group that large large numbers were recruited to fight on the German side, including General Vlasov. It appears that the fact of the deaths of huge numbers of Soviet POWs until early 1942 due to their treatment by the German authorities was not enough to offset anti-Soviet attitudes among Soviet POWs captured subsequently, particularly among those from the minority peoples, given the improvement in conditions.

After 1942, there seems to be no policy or inclination on the part of the German authorities to "punish" the Soviet POWs, but rather to use them as a source of labour and of recruits.

By contrast, the ongoing deaths among German POWs in Soviet hands in 1945 and subsequent years indicates a punitive element in their treatment by the Soviet authorities, as well as their exploitation for forced labour.

It would be interesting to look at the mortality rates of the German POWs in different years for comparative purposes, ie whether the mortality rate of those captured in 1942 and 1943 was greater than in later years. Unfortunately, I do not have those figures.

Krivosheev does give some clues. According to a table on page 277 of his book, of the 3.78 million POWs (all nationalities) captured between 22 June 1941 and 8 May 1945, 1.94 million or 51% were taken prisoner after 1 January 1945. In 1944, 1.204 million, or 32%, were captured.

If we apply those percentages to the 2.39 million Germans that Krivosheev states were taken prisoner before the end of the war, it means that 764,800 were taken prisoner in 1944, and 1.22 million in 1945, up until the German surrender. Only 405,000 were taken prisoner up to the end of 1943, of which 100,000 were those who went into captivity after the surrender at Stalingrad.

The difference of 765,000 between Krivosheev's figure of 2.39 million Germans captured until the end of the war and the total of 3.155 million cited by Mr Muehlenkamp must represent those German soldiers who became POWs after the German surrender on 8 May 1945. Krivosheev states that "after 9 May 1945 1,284,000 enemy servicemen surrendered their weapons to Soviet troops".

Therefore, we can say that 2.75 million German soldiers went into captivity from 1944 onward, or 87% of the total. Of the total deaths of 363,000 (according to Overmans), 337,000 or 93% occurred from 1944 onward. Therefore there is a good correlation between the concentration of the total number captured and that of total deaths.

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Post by Laurent » 25 Apr 2002 11:15

>> only 67,000 died until the end of 1944.

This number seems doutful to me. About 100 000 Germans were captured in Stalingrad, most of them ill, wounded and/or starving, and I have read that at least 2/3 of them died in 1943.

If both sentences above are true, that means that none of the other German POWs, about 1 million, die in Soviet captivity ?

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Re: Soviet Union murdered German Prisoner of wars

Post by Cantankerous » 15 Aug 2020 03:40

Were there any instances of Red Army officials and NKVD agents killing German POWs after they scolded those POWs for refusing to budge from Hitler's view of Slavs as inferior to Aryans and communism as a Jewish invention, considering that Soviet factory workers had put so much effort into making industrial infrastructure and weaponry and Stalin agreed with Marx and Lenin that Judaism, like any other religion, was "opium of the people"?

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Re: Soviet Union murdered German Prisoner of wars

Post by Sheldrake » 15 Aug 2020 09:22

Cantankerous wrote:
15 Aug 2020 03:40
Were there any instances of Red Army officials and NKVD agents killing German POWs after they scolded those POWs for refusing to budge from Hitler's view of Slavs as inferior to Aryans and communism as a Jewish invention, considering that Soviet factory workers had put so much effort into making industrial infrastructure and weaponry and Stalin agreed with Marx and Lenin that Judaism, like any other religion, was "opium of the people"?
This would be difficult to prove!

Was the German fatality rate as a captive were much different to any of the other wave of "enemies of the people" that fed the the Gulag system? Estimate of Soviet deaths are 1.5-1.8 million out of about 18 million captives. However, the figures were distorted by the Soviet practice of discharging inamates too ill to work or about to die.

The last big soviet famine was which would have affected German PW mortality

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Re: Soviet Union murdered German Prisoner of wars

Post by Sid Guttridge » 15 Aug 2020 10:11

Hi Guys,

The original poster in 2002 said, "It is known fact that vast majority of german pows in ussr died in gulag slave labour camps located in siberia".

However, it isn't a "known fact".

According to the Maschke Commission of 1974 and Overmans, "only" a bit over a million Germans died in captivity out of over 3,000,000 captured.

Cheers,

Sid.
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 15 Aug 2020 11:19, edited 1 time in total.

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