German soldiers in Russian captivity until the 1970s?

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Panzermahn
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German soldiers in Russian captivity until the 1970s?

Post by Panzermahn » 22 Sep 2003 08:42

I read from http://www.eliteforcesofthethirdreich.com that some German soldiers and officers of the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS were held until the 1970s? Is this a flagrant violation of international law?

Rob's http://www.wssob.com mentioned that the Russians released 50 flemish Waffen SS POWs in 1964!!!!!!!

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 22 Sep 2003 08:55

If they were convicted of the war crimes and got their 25 years – that sounds about right time -frame wise.

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 22 Sep 2003 19:49

This is not so funny, Oleg.

As far as I know very many POWs in USSR were sentenced of war crimes. Most sentences compared to the seriousness of the so called "war crimes" were quite irrational. Typically they were 10, 15, 20 or 25 years. Even the ordinary murderers had shorter sentences in USSR. In Soviet GULAG even staying alive longer than a year was a big achievement, so these sentences were quite senseless.

Accusations were usually made hastily and POWs got easily additional 5 or 10 years for example if they stole food to stay alive. POWs had no chance for unbiased trials. This touched upon hundreds of thousands people (and millions if Soviet purges are counted) of which most were innocent.

Certain POWs including many Finns took the citizenship of USSR which was a very bad mistake. After that they had no hope for returning back home. I think most former POWs still alive in 1960s or 1970's in USSR had been released from the camps a long time ago after Stalin's death and lived and worked in USSR (usually with a Soviet wife and kids) many years after they had a change to try to come back home. Anyway these were not common cases.

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 22 Sep 2003 20:02

between 1934 and 1953, 1,053,829 persons died in the camps of the GULAG. So I am not too sure what you refering to.

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Post by Witch-King of Angmar » 22 Sep 2003 20:41

oleg wrote:If they were convicted of the war crimes and got their 25 years – that sounds about right time -frame wise.


What kind of warcrime got the 10 years for Erich Hartmann?

~The Witch King of Angmar

PS I expect answers from other members also.

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 22 Sep 2003 20:47

Witch-King of Angmar wrote:
oleg wrote:If they were convicted of the war crimes and got their 25 years – that sounds about right time -frame wise.


What kind of warcrime got the 10 years for Erich Hartmann?

~The Witch King of Angmar

PS I expect answers from other members also.
I would not know - I have not seen his file.

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Scott Smith
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Post by Scott Smith » 23 Sep 2003 02:39

Hartmann shot down 352 Soviet aircraft and refused to collaborate with the VVS after the war.
:)

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 23 Sep 2003 02:42

Scott Smith wrote:Hartmann shot down 352 Soviet aircraft and refused to collaborate with the VVS after the war.
:)
Have you seen his file Scott? Long time no see btw.

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Post by Scott Smith » 23 Sep 2003 02:56

oleg wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:Hartmann shot down 352 Soviet aircraft and refused to collaborate with the VVS after the war.
:)

Long time no see btw.

Have either of us been anywhere lately?
:D

Have you seen his file Scott?

I have only read the biography on him below.

This book is available from Amazon to support this very site ONLY by clicking my link below:

CLICK! Image

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 23 Sep 2003 02:58

Scott Smith wrote:
oleg wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:Hartmann shot down 352 Soviet aircraft and refused to collaborate with the VVS after the war.
:)

Long time no see btw.

Have either of us been anywhere lately?
:D

Have you seen his file Scott?

I have only read the biography on him below.

This book is available from Amazon to support this very site ONLY by clicking my link below:

CLICK! Image

Have the authors of the book seen his file then?

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Harri
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Post by Harri » 23 Sep 2003 23:46

oleg wrote:between 1934 and 1953, 1,053,829 persons died in the camps of the GULAG. So I am not too sure what you refering to.


Oh really? BTW very accurately counted! :lol:

I just wonder what happened to the rest if they didn't die? Were they perhaps shot? Alone between 1936 and 1938 about 1,7 million members of Communist Party were "liquidated" (I see, they were not in the camps... :roll:). During Stalin's period there were averagely about 15 million slave workers a year. Do you really state that your figure is correct? Solzhenitsyn has said about 60 million people died in camps. You make GULAG sound like "summer camps".

I think according to your figures during the constructing of the so called Stalin's Canal no-one apparently died because there were the same amount of slave workers when the project started and also when it ended... :roll:

----

Actually were were talking about illegally sentenced POWs who managed to return home perhaps after tens of years in Soviet camps. Again you managed to turn this totally off topic...

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 24 Sep 2003 00:03

Harri wrote:
oleg wrote:between 1934 and 1953, 1,053,829 persons died in the camps of the GULAG. So I am not too sure what you refering to.


Oh really? BTW very accurately counted! :lol:

I just wonder what happened to the rest if they didn't die? Were they perhaps shot? Alone between 1936 and 1938 about 1,7 million members of Communist Party were "liquidated" (I see, they were not in the camps... :roll:). During Stalin's period there were averagely about 15 million slave workers a year. Do you really state that your figure is correct? Solzhenitsyn has said about 60 million people died in camps. You make GULAG sound like "summer camps".

I think according to your figures during the constructing of the so called Stalin's Canal no-one apparently died because there were the same amount of slave workers when the project started and also when it ended... :roll:

----

Actually were were talking about illegally sentenced POWs who managed to return home perhaps after tens of years in Soviet camps. Again you managed to turn this totally off topic...

Where did you even get you cosmic figueres .?
Victims of the Soviet Penal System in the Pre-war Years:A First Approach on the Basis of Archival Evidence
J. ARCH GETTY, GABOR T. RITTERSPORN, andVIKTOR N. ZEMSKOV

The Great purges of the 1930s were a maelstrom of political violence that engulfed all levels of society and all walks of life. Often thought to have begun in 1934 with the assassination of Politburo member Sergei Kirov, the repression first struck former political dissidents in 1935-1936. It then widened and reached its apogee in 1937-1938 with the arrest and imprisonment or execution of a large proportion of the Communist Party Central Committee, the military high command, and the state bureaucracy. Eventually, millions of ordinary Soviet citizens were drawn into the expanding terror.
Debate in the West about the precise numbers of victims has appeared in the scholarly press for several years and has been characterized by wide disparity, often of several millions, between high and low estimates. Using census and other data, scholars have put forward conflicting computations of birth, mortality, and arrests in order to calculate levels of famine deaths due to agricultural collectivization (1932-1933), victims of the Great Terror (1936-1939), and total “unnatural” population loss in the Stalin period. Anton Antonov-Ovseenko, Robert Conquest, Steven Rosefielde, and others have posited relatively high estimates (see Table 1). On the other hand, Stephen Wheatcroft and others working from the same sources have put forth lower totals. Both “high” and “low” estimators have bemoaned the lack of solid archival evidence and have claimed that should such materials become available, they would confirm the author’s projection. The debate, along with disputes on the “totalitarian” nature of the Stalinist regime, the importance of Joseph Stalin’s personality, and the place of social history in Soviet studies, has polarized the field into two main camps, perhaps unfortunately labeled “Cold Warriors” and “revisionists.” Revisionists have accused the other side of using second- hand sources and presenting figures that are impossible to justify, while the proponents of high estimates have criticized revisionists for refusing to accept grisly facts and even for defending Stalin. Both sides have accused the other of sloppy or incompetent scholarship.
Now, for the first time, Soviet secret police documents are available that permit us to narrow sharply the range of estimates of victims of the Great Purges. These materials are from the archival records of the Secretariat of GULAG, the Main Camp Administration of the NKVD/MVD (the USSR Ministry of the Interior). They were housed in the formerly “special” (that is, closed) sections of the Central State Archive of the October Revolution of the USSR (TsGAOR), which is now part of the newly organized State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF). A few Moscow scholars (among them V. N. Zemskov) had access to some of them in the past but were not allowed to cite them properly. Now, according to the liberalized access regulations in Russian archives, scholars are able to consult these documents and to publish exact citations. (See “A Note on Sources” at the end of this article.)
We propose to deal here only with quantitative elements of the terror, with what we can now document of the scale of the repression. Of course, such a cold numerical approach risks overshadowing the individual personal and psychological horror of the event. Millions of lives were unjustly taken or destroyed in the Stalin period; the scale of suffering is almost impossible to comprehend. The horrifying irrationality of the carnage involves no debatable moral questions - destruction of people can have no pros and cons. There has been a tendency to accuse “low estimators” of somehow justifying or defending Stalin (as if the deaths of 3 million famine victims were somehow less blameworthy than 7 million).
Scholars and commentators will make use of the data as they choose, and it is not likely that this new information will end the debates. Still, it seems a useful step to present the first available archival evidence on the scale of the Great Terror. Admittedly, our figures are far from being complete and sometimes pose almost as many questions as they answer. They nevertheless give a fairly accurate picture of the orders of magnitude involved and show the possibilities and limits of the data presently available.
The penal system admrnistered by the NKVD (Peoples' Commissariat of Internal Affairs) in the 1930s had several components: prisons, labor camps, and labor colonies, as well as "special settlements" and various types of non-custodial supervision. Generally speaking, the first stop for an arrested person was a prison, where an investigation and interrogation led to conviction or, more rarely, release. After sentencing, most victims were sent to: one of the labor camps or colonies to serve their terms. In December 1940, the jails of the USSR had a theoretical prescribed capacity of 234,000, although they then held twice that number. Considering this-and comparing the levels of prison populations given in the Appendixes for the 1930s and 1940s one can assume that the size of the prison system was probably not much different in the 1930s.
Second, we find a system of labor camps. These were the terrible “hard regime” camps populated by dangerous common criminals, those important politicals” the regime consigned to severe punishment, and, as a rule, by other people sentenced to more than three years of detention. On March 1, 1940, at the end of the Great Purges, there were 53 corrective labor camps (ispravitel’no-trudovye lageri: ITL) of the GULAG system holding some 1.3 million inmates. Most of the data cited in this article bear on the GULAG camps, some of which had a multitude of subdivisions spreading over vast territories and holding large numbers of people. BAMLAG, the largest camp in the period under review, held more than 260,000 inmates at the beginning of 1939, and SEVVOSTLAG (the notorious Kolyma complex) some 138,000.
Third came a network of 425 “corrective labor colonies” of varying types. These colonies were meant to confine prisoners serving short sentences, but this rule varied with time. The majority of these colonies were organized to produce for the economy and housed some 315,000 persons in 1940. They were nevertheless under the control of the NKVD and were managed-like the rest of the colony network-by its regional administrations. Additionally, there were 90 children’s homes under the auspices of the NKVD.
Fourth, there was the network of “special resettlements.” In the 1930s, these areas were populated largely by peasant families deported from the central districts as “kulaks” (well-to-do peasants) during the forced collectivization of the early 1930s. Few victims of the Great Purges of 1936-1939 were so exiled or put under other forms of non-custodial supervision: in 1937-1938, only 2.1 percent of all those sentenced on charges investigated by the political police fell into this category. This is why we will not treat exile extensively below.
Finally, there was a system of non-custodial “corrective work” (ispravitel’no-trudovye raboty), which included various penalties and fines. These were quite
common throughout the 1930s-they constituted 48 percent of all court sentences in 1935-and the numbers of such convictions grew under the several laws on labor discipline passed on the eve of the war. Typically, such offenders were condemned to up to one year at “corrective labor,” the penalty consisting of work at the usual place of one’s employment, with up to 25 percent reduction of wage and loss of credit for this work toward the length of service that gave the right to social benefits (specific allocations, vacation, pension). More than 1.7 million persons received such a sentence in the course of 1940 and almost all of them worked in their usual jobs “without deprivation of freedom.” As with resettlements, this correctional system largely falls outside the scope of the Great Terror.
Figure A provides the annual totals for the detained population (GULAG camps, labor colonies, and “kulak” resettlements, minus prisons) in the years of the Great Purges. It shows that, despite previously accepted-and fairly inflated-figures to the contrary, the total camp and exile population does not seem to have exceeded 3.5 million before the war. Were we to extrapolate from the fragmentary prison data we do have (see the Appendixe’s), we might reasonably add a figure of 300,000-500,000 for each year, to put the maximum total detained population at around 3 million in the period of the Great Purges.
Figure A: Camp, Colony, and "Kulak" Exile Populations, USSR, 1935-1940
Mainstream published estimates of the total numbers of “victims of repression” in the late 1930s have ranged from Dmitrii Volkogonov's 3.5 million to Ol'ga Shatunovskaia's nearly 20 million. (See Table 1.) The bases for these assessments are unclear in most cases and seem to have come from guesses, rumors, or extrapolations from isolated local observations. As the table shows, the documentable numbers of victims are much smaller.
We now have archival data from the police and judiciary on several categories of repression in several periods: arrests, prison and camp growth, and executions in 1937-1938, and deaths in custody in the 1930s and the Stalin period generally. Runs of data on arrests, charges, sentences, and custodial populations in the 1930s unfortunately reflect the simultaneous actions of several punitive agencies including the secret police, procuracy, courts, and others, each of which kept their own records according to their own statistical needs. No single agency (not even the secret police) kept a “master list” reflecting the totality of repression. Great care is therefore needed to untangle the disparate events and actors in the penal process.

A 1953 statistical report on cases initiated or investigated by the NKVD provides data on arrests and on the purported reasons for them. According to these figures, 1,575,259 people were arrested by the security police in the course of 1937-1938, 87.1 percent of them on political grounds. Some 1,344,923, or 85.4 percent, of the people the secret police arrested in 1937-1938 were convicted. To be sure, the 1,575,259 people in the 1953 report do not comprise the total of 1937-1938 arrests. Court statistics put the number of prosecutions for infractions unrelated to “counterrevolutionary” charges at 1,566,185, but it is unlikely that all persons in this cohort count in the arrest figures. Especially if their sentence was non-custodial, such persons were often not formally arrested. After all, 53.1 percent of all court decisions involved non-custodial sentences in 1937 and 58.7 percent in 1938, and the sum total of those who were executed or incarcerated yields 647,438 persons in categories other than “counterrevolution.” Even if we remember that during the Great Purges the authorities were by far more inclined to detain suspects than in other times, it seems difficult to arrive at an estimate as high as 2.5 million arrests on all charges in 1937-1938.
Although we do not have exact figures for arrests in 1937-1938, we do know that the population of the camps increased by 175,487 in 1937. and 320,828 in 1938 (it had declined in 1936). The population of all labor camps, labor colonies, and prisons on January 1, 1939, near the end of the Great Purges; was 2,022,976 persons. This gives us a total increase in the custodial population in 1937-1938 of 1,006,030. Nevertheless, we must add to these data the number of those who had been arrested but not sent to camps, either because they were part of a small contingent released sometime later or because they were executed.
As Table 1 shows, popular estimates of executions in the Great Purges of 1937-1938 vary from 500,000 to 7 million. We do not have exact figures for the numbers of executions in these years, but we can now narrow the range considerably. We know that between October 1, 1936, and September 30, 1938, the Military Board of the Supreme Court, sitting in 60 cities and towns, sentenced 30,514 persons to be shot. According to a press release of the KGB, 786,098 persons were sentenced to death “for counterrevolutionary and state crimes” by various courts and extra-judicial bodies between 1930 and 1953. It seems that 681,692 people, or 86.7 percent of the number for this 23-year-period were shot in 1937-1938 (compared to 1,118 persons in 1936). A certain number of these unfortunates had been arrested before 1937, including exiled and imprisoned ex-oppositionists who were summarily killed in the autumn of 1937. More important, however, our figures on 1937-1938 executions are not entirely comparable to those quoted in the press release. Coming from a 1953 statistical report “on the quantity of people convicted on cases of NKVD bodies,” they also refer to victims who had not been arrested for political reasons, whereas the communique concerns only persons persecuted for “counterrevolutionary offenses.” In any event, the data available at this point make it clear that the number shot in the two worst purge years was more likely a question of hundreds of thousands than of millions.
Of course, aside from executions in the terror of 1937-1938, many others died in the regime’s custody in the decade of the 1930s. If we add the figure we have for executions up to 1940 to the number of persons who died in GULAG camps and the few figures we have found so far on mortality in prisons and labor colonies, then add to this the number of peasants known to have died in exile, we reach the figure of 1,473,424. To be sure, of 1,802,392 alleged kulaks and their relatives who had been banished in 1930-1931, only 1,317,022 were still living at their places of exile by January 1, 1932. (Many people escaped: their number is given as 207,010 only for the year of 1932.) But even if we put at hundreds of thousands the casualties of the most chaotic period of collectivization (deaths in exile, rather than from starvation in the 1932 famine), plus later victims of different categories for which we have no data, it is unlikely that “custodial mortality” figures of the 1930s would reach 2 million: a huge number of “excess deaths” but far below most prevailing estimates. Although the figures we can document for deaths related to Soviet penal policy are rough and inexact, the available sources provide a reliable order of magnitude, at least for the pre-war period.
Turning to executions and custodial deaths in the entire Stalin period, we know that, between 1934 and 1953, 1,053,829 persons died in the camps of the GULAG. We have data to the effect that some 86,582 people perished in prisons between 1939 and 1951. (We do not yet know exactly how many died in labor colonies.) We also know that, between 1930 and 1952-1953, 786,098 “counter-revolutionaries” were executed (or, according to another source, more than 775,866 persons “on cases of the police” and for “political crimes”). Finally, we know that, from 1932 through 1940, 389,521 peasants died in places of “kulak” resettlement. Adding these figures together would produce a total of a little more than 2.3 million, but this can in no way be taken as an exact number. First of all, there is a possible overlap between the numbers given for GULAG camp deaths and “political” executions as well as between the latter and other victims of the 1937-1938 mass purges and perhaps also other categories falling under police jurisdiction. Double-counting would deflate the 2.3 million figure. On the other hand, the 2.3 million does not include several suspected categories of death in custody. It does not include, for example, deaths among deportees during and after the war as well as among categories of exiles other than “kulaks.” Still, we have some reason to believe that the new numbers for GULAG and prison deaths, executions as well as deaths in peasant exile, are likely to bring us within a much narrower range of error than the estimates proposed by the majority of authors who have written on the subject.


Contributors
Peter A. Coclanis is an associate professor of history and the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the Universitv of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He worked under Stuart W. Bruchey at Columbia University, earning his doctorate in 1984. He is the author of The Shadow of a Dream: Economic Life and Death in the South Carolina Low Country, 1670-1920 (1989), as well as of numerous articles in economic and social history. Currently, he is writing a book on the history of rice. Coclanis spent the 1992-1993 academic year conducting research in Southeast Asia on a Fulbright Research Fellowship.
J. Arch Getty is a professor of history at the University of California, Riverside. He studied with Roberta Manning and received his Ph.D. from Boston College in 1979. He is the author of Origins of the Great Purges: The Soviet Communist Party Reconsidered, 1933-1949 (1985) and co-editor of Stalinist Terror: New Perspectives (1993). His research is on the political history of the Soviet Union in the 1930s and concentrates on the history of the Soviet Communist Party. Getty is now writing (with Gabor Rittersporn) Society and Politics in the Soviet 1930s (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press), a treatment of the state-society question in the pre-war Stalin period, and is collaborating in the editing of a series of researchers' guides to Russian archives.
James L. Huston is an associate professor of history at Oklahoma State University. He received his doctorate in 1980 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, under the guidance of Robert W. Johannsen. He is the author of The Panic of 1857 and the Coming of the Civil War (1987), which was subsequently awarded the Phi Alpha Theta prize for an author's first book. Although Huston has pursued a number of topics in political and economic history, his major concern has
been an investigation of protectionist political economy. He is currently completing a book-length manuscript on this topic.
Marc Raeff is Bakhmeteff Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies at Columbia University. He earned his doctorate in history from Harvard University in 1950. His recent books include The Well-Ordered Police State: Social and Institutional Change through Law in the Germanies arid Russia, 1600-1800 (1983), Understanding Imperial Russia: State and Society in the Old Regime (1984), and Russia Abroad: A Cultural History of the Russian Emigration, 1919-1939 (1990).
Gabor T. Rittersporn is a senior research fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. He studied at the universities of Szeged (Hungary), Leningrad, and Tokyo, defending his doctoral dissertation at the Sorbonne in 1979. His research interests involve the interaction of collective representations, social practices, and political processes in the Soviet and post-Soviet periods, with particular emphasis on the evolution of penal policy. Rittersporn is the author of Stalinist Simplifications and Soviet Complications: Social Tensions and Political Conflicts in the USSR, 1933-1953 (1991).
Paul W. Schroeder is professor of history and political science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of three books and many articles on the history of international politics from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, as well as Austrian and German history. His latest work, The Transformation of European Politics, 1763-1848, will be published by Oxford University Press in the Oxford History of Modern Europe series early in 1994. His current research is on change, development, and learning in international politics, 1648 to 1945.
Carl Strikwerda received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan under the supervision of Louise A. Tilly and is now an associate professor of history at the University of Kansas. The co-editor with Camille Guerin-Gonzales, Oberlin College, of The Politics of Immigrant Workers: Labor Activism and Migration in the World Economy since 1830 (1993), he is currently editing a volume with Ellen Furlough. Kenyon College, on the history of consumer cooperation. Strikwerda has hadarticles published in Comparative Studies in Society and History, International Labor and Working Class History, and the Journal of Urban History, and recently completed a manuscript on Catholic and Socialist workers in Belgium between 1870 and 1914. His article in this issue grew out of research for a book on the conflict between nationalism and internationalism in the era of World War 1.
Viktor N. Zemskov is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He received his kandidat nauk degree from the History Faculty of Moscow State University in 1974, specializing in the history of the Soviet working class. He has written The Leading Force of National Struggle: The Struggle of the Soviet Working Class in the Period of Fascist Occupation of the USSR, 1941-1944 (in Russian) (1986). In 1989, Zemskov was among the first researchers admitted to the secret archives of the GULAG system, and he published a series of articles in Argumenty i fakty and Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniia on prisoners, exiles, and repatriation in the Stalin period. He is now preparing two books, one on Soviet citizens dn forced labor in Nazi Germany, 1941-1945 and another on exiles in the USSR, 1930-1960.

this like 25 time I posted -don't you people ever use serach function?

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Post by witness » 24 Sep 2003 00:26

Really interesting Oleg.
And just if to get some perspective..

This was translated by Roberto quite a while ago -
The basis for the treatment of prisoners of war was to be the Hague Convention of 1907, according to which prisoners were to be treated humanely and "in regard to food, accommodation and clothing in the same way as the troops of the government that has taken them prisoner". The Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War of 1929 contained further provisions about a humane treatment of prisoners including the prohibition “to use them for harsh and dangerous work”. Except in Japan and in the Soviet Union these conventions were valid in all nations taking part in the Second World War.
The German command did not accord the protection of international laws of war to the 400,000 Polish soldiers who became prisoners after the assault on Poland. It took away the status of prisoners of war from the soldiers on ground that a no longer existing Polish state could not have armed forces. The prisoners could be declared civilians and used as forced laborers in the German industry and agriculture. The strictest provisions applied to them: infractions were generally punished by murder or internment in a concentration camp. The same fate awaited the about 100,000 Serbian prisoners after the conclusion of the Balkans campaign, who as so-called “Südostgefangene” (south eastern prisoners) were also used in the German economy under the worst conditions.
The conventions were generally complied with, on the other hand, in the western theaters of war. Norwegian, Danish, Belgian, Dutch and Greek soldiers were released from captivity soon after the end of hostilities. About 15,000 heavily wounded Allied soldiers were exchanged via Sweden, Spain or Switzerland against an equal number of heavily wounded Germans. About 1.6 million of the French soldiers taken prisoner during the German offensive in the West in 1940 had to do remunerated labor service in the German Reich.
After the beginning of the German assault on the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 the Wehrmacht took prisoner about 3.35 million Soviet soldiers in gigantic encirclement battles until the end of the year. Until the end of the war about 5.7 million Red Army soldiers went into German captivity, which 3.3 million of them did not survive. In the war of annihilation against the Soviet Union the German command considered that it didn’t have to show any consideration to Soviet prisoners
. Jews and Communist functionaries (the latter within the scope of the “Commissar Order”) were systematically singled out and murdered. With the coming of cold in the autumn of 1941 mortality soared and about 2 million Soviet prisoners of war froze to death in the improvised camps without housing or died due to inhumane treatment. The “death by hunger” taken into account by the NS regime was omnipresent, many prisoners tried to avoid it through cannibalism. Hundreds of thousands of exhausted Soviets lost their lives on transports to forced labor in Germany or succumbed to epidemics in gathering camps. About 930,000 Soviet prisoners of war survived the war in Germany. A million men had been previously released by the Germans, many of them as "Hilfswillige" in the service of the Wehrmacht, which itself was losing huge numbers of German prisoners since 1943. Until the end of the war about 11 million German soldiers were in captivity.
With the capitulation of 91.000 soldiers of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad in February 1943 and of about 130,000 soldiers of the German Africa Corps in Tunis three months later huge Wehrmacht units went into captivity for the first time. Until then there were about 100.000 soldiers in Soviet and a few thousand men in British captivity, mostly members of the navy and pilots shot down. At the end of July 1943 the “Nationalkomitee Freies Deutschland (NKFD)” came into being near Moscow as an anti-National Socialist organization of German Communists in exile and Wehrmacht prisoners of war. Their attempts to induce German front line soldiers to surrender through loud speaker addresses and leaflets met with little success, however. The Western Allies also intended to encourage German soldiers to surrender, after the Allied invasion in Normandy in June 1944, with millions of red passage bills distributed from the air and containing the assurance that surrendering soldiers would be treated according to the rules of the Hague and Geneva conventions.
After the liberation of France by the Western Allies the number of Germans taken prisoner by the Anglo-Americans jumped from 200,000 in the summer of 1944 to more than a million men in the spring of 1945. Thanks to food packages of the American and the International Red Cross the German prisoners of war in prison camps in Western Europe and North America had sufficient food and their bare necessities covered otherwise. Only the mass of about 7,5 million German prisoners of war after the capitulation in May 1945 led to grievous supply difficulties. Especially in the "Rheinwiesenlager" such as Remagen thousands of German prisoners of war died of hunger and exhaustion in makeshift dugouts or in the open field.
The about 3.3 million German prisoners in Soviet captivity fared much worse. The masses of illustrated leaflets distributed from the air by the Soviets with pictures of satisfied Wehrmacht soldiers did not nearly reflect the conditions in the Siberian prison camps, in which until 1944 only one in every ten prisoners survived.
After forced labor, hunger and disease about two million prisoners from the Soviet Union returned to Germany, the last of them in January 1956
http://www.dhm.de/lemo/html/wk2/kriegsv ... index.html

Emphases are mine.

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 24 Sep 2003 00:29

Harri wrote:
oleg wrote:between 1934 and 1953, 1,053,829 persons died in the camps of the GULAG. So I am not too sure what you refering to.


Oh really? BTW very accurately counted! :lol:

I just wonder what happened to the rest if they didn't die? Were they perhaps shot? Alone between 1936 and 1938 about 1,7 million members of Communist Party were "liquidated" (I see, they were not in the camps... :roll:). During Stalin's period there were averagely about 15 million slave workers a year. Do you really state that your figure is correct? Solzhenitsyn has said about 60 million people died in camps. You make GULAG sound like "summer camps".

I think according to your figures during the constructing of the so called Stalin's Canal no-one apparently died because there were the same amount of slave workers when the project started and also when it ended... :roll:

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Actually were were talking about illegally sentenced POWs who managed to return home perhaps after tens of years in Soviet camps. Again you managed to turn this totally off topic...

Illegal why it was illegal?

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Xavier
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Post by Xavier » 24 Sep 2003 00:37

during the war, combatants could be held as "enemys pow's" when war ended, all pow had to be released, unless under investigation for war crimes. that's why they were illegal prisioners.

no war, no POW...

simple.

Xavier
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