Scott Smith wrote:
Sanning wrote:[...]Furthermore, the allegation of systematic German brutality in Russia is exposed as plain Soviet propaganda. It is true that starvation was widespread in the large cities of the German-occupied Soviet Union, that large numbers of Soviet prisoners-of-war died of hunger, that the Soviet cities were in ruins after' the German armies retreated, and that the Soviet population suffered tens of millions of dead during the Second World War. However, we also know that the inhumane Soviet scorched-earth strategy was the cause of hunger in the German-occupied Soviet territories, of an orgy of destruction previously unknown in warfare, and of the death of up to 20 million Soviet civilians, many of whom had been deported to the frozen wastes of Siberia and the Urals where epidemics, lack of housing and medical care, unimaginably hard work loads, and an extreme climate allowed only the toughest to survive. Add the costly human-wave tactics of Soviet military strategy and it is evident that Soviet brutality alone was responsible for the unbelievably huge losses of life suffered by the peoples of the Soviet Union-more than 30 million dead![/i]
It is amusing how piously and uncritically these "Revisionist" freaks, who profess to be so "skeptical" about the assessment of the death toll of Nazi crimes by historians, accept the numbers from nowhere cooked up by their guru of statistical manipulation, the same fellow who, IIRC, tried to demonstrate that less than a million Jews died in World War II and that most of these perished in the ranks of the Red Army.
1. Sanning thinks that "the allegation of systematic German brutality in Russia is exposed as plain Soviet propaganda".
The fellow obviously has never read or conveniently ignored the documentary evidence to the policies, orders and mentality underlying that very brutality, such as the following:
[…]As for the Poles and Ukrainians, Frank's attitude was clear. They were to be permitted to work for the German economy as long as the war emergency continued. Once the war was won, he told the District Standortfuehrung and Political Leaders at a conference at Cracow on 14 January '1944 :
"* * * then, for all I care, mincemeat [Hackfleisch] can be made of the Poles and the Ukrainians and all the others who run around here-it does not matter what happens." (2233-BB-PS)[…]
From the judgement of Hans Frank at the Nuremberg Trial.
Source of quote: http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/Frank.htm
Two world-views fighting each other. Demolishing verdict about Bolshevism, which is equal to asocial criminality. Communism is an enormous danger for the future. We must depart from the standpoint of soldierly comradeship. The Communist is no comrade before and no comrade afterwards. This is a fight to annihilation. If we don’t see it as this, we will defeat the enemy, but in 30 years we will again be faced with the communist enemy. We don’t make war to conserve the enemy.
Fight against Russia:
Annihilation of the Bolshevik commissars and the communist intelligence. The new states must be Socialist states, but without an intelligence of their own. It must be prevented that a new intelligence comes into being. A primitive Socialist intelligence is sufficient.
The fight must be conduced against the poison of disintegration. This is not a matter for military tribunals. The leader of the troops must know what this is about. The must lead in the fight. The troops must defend themselves with the means by which they are attacked. Commissars and GPU-people are criminals and must be treated as such.
For this the troops need not come out of the hands of their leaders. The leader must issue his directives in consonance with the feelings of the troops. [Marginal note by Halder: This fight is very much differentiated from the fight in the West. In the East harshness means mildness in the future.
The leader must require themselves to do the sacrifice of overcoming their considerations.
[Marginal note: Order of the Commander in Chief of the Army]
From Hitler’s briefing of his generals on 30 May 1941, as taken down by Chief of the General Staff Halder. My translation from Christian Streit’s Keine Kameraden: Die Wehrmacht und die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen 1941-1945
, emphases are mine.
[…]1. For offenses committed by members of the Wehrmacht and its employees against enemy civilians, prosecution is not compulsory, not even if the offense is at the same time a military crime or violation.[…]
From the Führer Decree of 13 May 1941, on Regulation of Conduct of
Troops in District "Barbarossa" and Handling of Opposition.
Source of quote: http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/USSR5.htm
[…]b. To nip the plots in the bud the most drastic means are to be employed immediately at the first provocation in order to make the authority of the occupation force prevail and to prevent further spreading. Attention should be paid to the fact that a human life in the countries concerned often means nothing and only by unusual severity can a deterrent effect be achieved. In these cases the life of one German soldier must be atoned for by the death sentence for 50 to 100 communists, as a rule. The manner of execution shall further increase the deterrent effect.[…]
From Keitel’s order of 16 September 1941
Source of quote: http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/USSR4.htm
[…]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. In the prevailing limitless abuse of the Slavic humanity, "recruiting" methods were used which probably have their origin only in the blackest periods of the slave trade. A regular manhunt was inaugurated. Without consideration of health or age the people were shipped to Germany, where it turned out immediately that far more than 100,000 had to be sent back because of serious illnesses and other incapabilities for work. This system in no way considered that these methods would of necessity have their effect on the power of resistance of the Red Army, since these methods were used only in the Soviet Union of course, and in no way remotely resembling this form in enemy countries like Holland or Norway. Actually we have made it quite easy for Soviet propaganda to augment the hate for Germany and the National Socialist system. The Soviet soldier fights more and more bravely in spite of the efforts of our politicians to find another name for this bravery. Valuable German blood must flow more and more, in order to break the resistance of the Red Army. Obviously the Main Department for Politics has struggled unceasingly to place the methods of acquiring workers and their treatment within Germany on a rational foundation. Originally it was thought in all earnestness to demand the utmost efforts at a minimum cost of the biological knowledge has led to an improvement. Now 400,000 female household workers from the Ukraine are to come to Germany, and already the German press announces publicly that these people have no right to free time and may not visit theaters, movies, restaurants, etc. and may leave the house at the most three hours a week apart from exception concerning duty.
In addition there is the treatment of the Ukrainians in the Reichs Commissariat itself. With a presumption unequalled we put aside all political knowledge and to the glad surprise of all the colored world treat the peoples of the occupied Eastern territories as whites of Class 2, who apparently have only the task of serving as slaves for Germany and Europe. Only the most limited education is suitable for them, no solicitude can be given them. Their sustenance interests us only insofar as they are still capable of labor, and in every respect they are given to understand that we regard them as of the most minute value.[…]
From the Memorandum by Bräutigam Concerning Conditions in Occupied Areas of the USSR, 25 October 1942
Source of quote: http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/USSR1.htm
Emphases are mine. Protocol of a meeting of the secretaries of state on 21.5.1941
Source: International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg 1948, Volume 31, page 84
[…]1.) Der Krieg ist nur weiterzuführen, wenn die gesamte Wehrmacht im 3. Kriegsjahr aus Rußland ernährt wird.
2.) Hierbei werden zweifellos zig Millionen Menschen verhungern, wenn von uns das für uns Notwendige aus dem Lande herausgeholt wird.
3.) Am wichtigsten ist die Bergung und Abtransport von Ölsaaten, Ölkuchen, dann erst Getreide. Das vorhandene Fett und Fleisch wird voraussichtlich die Truppe verbrauchen.[…]
[…]1.) The war can only be continued if the whole Wehrmacht is fed out of Russia in the 3rd war year.
2.) Due to this umpteen million people will doubtlessly starve to death when we take what is necessary for us out of the land.
3.) Most important is the collection and shipment of oil seeds and oil cake, only thereafter of grain. The available fat and meat will presumably be consumed by the troops.[…]
Emphasis is mine. “Wirtschaftspolitische Richtlinien für die Wirtschaftsorganisation Ost vom 23.5.1941, erarbeitet von der Gruppe Landwirtschaft”
(“Guidelines of Economic Policy for the Economic Organization East, prepared by the Agriculture Group”)
Source: Bundesarchiv/Militärarchiv, RW 31/144
Aus dieser Lage, die die Billigung der höchsten Stellen erfahren hat, […] ergeben sich folgende Konzequenzen:
I. für die Waldzone: […]
b) Ein deutsches Interesse an der Erhaltung der Erzeugungskraft dieser Gebiete ist, auch hinsichtlich der Versorgung der dort stehenden Truppen, nicht vorhanden. […] Die Bevölkerung dieser Gebiete, insbesondere die Bevölkerung der Städte, wird größter Hungersnot entgegensehen müssen. Es wird darauf ankommen, die Bevölkerung in die sibirischen Räume abzulenken. Da Eisenbahntransport nicht in Frage kommt, wird auch dieses Problem ein äußerst schwieriges sein. […]
Aus all dem folgt, daß die deutsche Verwaltung in diesem Gebiet wohl bestrebt sein kann, die Folgen der zweifellos eintretenden Hungersnot zu mildern und den Naturalisierungsprozeß zu beschleunigen. Man kann bestrebt sein, diese Gebiete intensiver zu bewirtschaften im Sinne einer Ausdehnung der Kartoffelanbaufläche und anderer für den Konsum wichtiger, hohe Erträge gebender Früchte. Die Hungersnot ist dadurch nicht zu bannen. Viele 10 Millionen Menschen werden in diesem Gebiet überflüssig und werden sterben oder nach Sibirien auswandern müssen. Versuche, die Bevölkerung dort vor dem Hungertode dadurch zu retten, daß man aus der Schwarzerdezone Überschüsse heranzieht, können nur auf Kosten der Versorgung Europas gehen. Sie unterbinden die Durchhaltefähigkeit Deutschlands im Kriege, sie unterbinden die Blockadefestigkeit Deutschlands und Europas. Darüber muß absolute Klarheit herrschen. […]
I. Armeeversorgung. Die Ernährungslage Deutschlands in dritten Kriegsjahr erfordert gebieterisch, daß die Wehrmacht in ihrer Gesamtverpflegung nicht aus dem großdeutschen Raum bzw. angegliederten oder befreundeten Gebieten, die diesen Raum durch Ausfuhren versorgen, lebt. Dieses Minimalziel, die Versorgung der Wehrmacht aus Feindesland im dritten und evtl. weiteren Kriegsjahren, muß unter allen Umständen erreicht werden.
II. Versorgung der deutschen Zivilbevölkerung
1) Erst nach der Abdeckung dieses Heeresbedarfs, der unter allen Umständen aus den Osträumen bereitgestellt werden muß, haben Lieferungen nach Deutschland zur Deckung des Zivilbedarfs einzusetzen. Hiebei ist jede Verzettelung auf Nebengebiete unter allen Umständen zu unterlassen. Im Vordergrund steht der Transport von Ölsaaten – insbesondere Sonnenblumenkerne, aber auch Leinsaat, Baumwollsaat, Sojabohnen – nach Deutschland, um die Fettbilanz zu verbessern. […]
2) Erst nach der Bewältigung des Transports der Ölsaaten kann eine Getreideausfuhr stattfinden, die selbstverständlich außerordentlich erwünscht ist, da ja Großdeutschland in steigendem Maße die besetzten Gebiete beliefern muß und auch selbst für die Zukunft seiner Reserven nach der schlechten Ernte 1940 und der bestenfalls zu erwartenden mittleren Ernte in diesem Jahr auffüllen muß. […]
V. Diese Ausführungen zeigen, worauf es ankommt. Das Minimalziel muß sein, Deutschland im 3. Kriegsjahr völlig von der Versorgung der eigenen Wehrmacht zu befreien, um der deutschen Ernährungswirtschaft die Möglichkeit zu geben, einerseits die bisherigen Rationen beizubehalten, andererseits gewisse Reserven für die Zukunft anzulegen. Außerdem wird es notwendig sein, auf den drei entscheidenden Lebensmittelgebieten – Ölsaaten, Getreide und Fleisch – Zufuhren in einem größtmöglichen Umfang für Deutschland freizumachen, um die Ernährung nicht nur Deutschlands, sondern auch der besetzten Gebiete im Norden und Westen zu gewährleisten. […]
Abschließend sei nochmals auf das Grundsätzliche hingewiesen. Rußland hat sich unter dem bolschewistischen System aus reinen Machtgründen aus Europa zurückgezogen und so das europäische arbeitsteilige Gleichgewicht gestört. Unsere Aufgabe, Rußland wieder arbeitsteilig in Europa einzubeziehen, bedeutet zwangsläufig die Zerreißung des jetzigen wirtschaftlichen Gleichgewichts der UdSSR. Es kommt also unter keinen Umständen auf eine Erhaltung des Bisherigen an, sondern auf bewußte Abkehr vom Gewordenen und Einbeziehung der Ernährungswirtschaft Rußlands in den europäischen Rahmen. Daraus folgt zwangsläufig ein Absterben sowohl der Industrie wie eines großen Teils der Menschen in den bisherigen Zuschußgebieten.
Diese Alternative kann nicht hart und scharf genug herausgestellt werden.
From this situation, which has been approved by the highest entities, […] there result the following consequences:
II. for the forest zone: […]
b) There is no German interest in maintaining the productive capacity of these regions, also in what concerns the supplies of the troops stationed there. […] The population of these regions, especially the population of the cities, will have to anticipate a famine of the greatest dimensions. The issue will be to redirect the population to the Siberian areas. As railway transportation is out of the question, this problem will also be an extremely difficult one. […]
From all this there follows that the German administration in these regions may well attempt to milder the consequences of the famine that will doubtlessly occur and accelerate the naturalization process. It can be attempted to cultivate there areas more extensively in the sense of an extension of the area for cultivating potatoes and other high yield fruits important for consume. This will not stop the famine, however. Many tens of millions of people will become superfluous in this area and will die or have to emigrate to Siberia. Attempts to save the population from starvation death by using excesses from the black earth zone can only be made at the expense of the supply of Europe. They hinder Germany’s capacity to hold out in the war, they hinder the blockade resistance of Germany and Europe. This must be absolutely clear.[…]
III. Army food supplies. The food situation of Germany in the third year of the war makes it mandatory that the Wehrmacht does not take its food supply out of the greater German area or the annexed or allied areas supplying this area through exports. This minimal goal, the supply of the Wehrmacht out of enemy territory in the third and eventually further years of the war, must be achieved under any circumstances.
IV. Food supplies for the German civilian population
1) Only after covering the army’s needs, which under any circumstance must occur out of the eastern areas, may there be shipments to Germany to cover civilian needs. Deviations to secondary areas are to be avoided under any circumstances. Priority is to be given to the shipment of oil seeds – especially sunflower seeds, but also linen seed, cotton seed and soy beans – to Germany in order to improve the fats balance. […]
2) Only after the transport of the oil seeds has been handled can there be shipments of grain, which of course are extremely desirable as Greater Germany must increasingly supply the occupied areas and also stock up its own reserves after the bad harvest of 1940 and the at best average harvest to be expected this year. […]
V. These considerations show what the key issues are. The minimal goal must be to completely free Germany from the feeding of its own Wehrmacht in the 3rd year of the war in order to give German food economy the possibility of on the one hand keeping the rations so far issued and on the other to create certain reserves for the future. It will further be necessary to make available supplies for Germany to the greatest extent possible in the three key fields of nourishment – oil seeds, grain and meat – in order to guarantee the feeding not only of Germany, but also of the occupied areas in the north and west. […]
Finally the basics must be again pointed out. Russia under the Bolshevik system has withdrawn from Europe for pure reasons of power and thus disturbed the European work-sharing balance. Our task of reintegrating Russia into this balance necessarily implies tearing apart the present-day economic balance of the USSR. There is no question of maintaining what is there, but we are consciously moving away from it and integrating the food economy of Russia in the European area. This will necessarily lead both the industry and a great part of the people in the hitherto food importing areas to die off.
This alternative cannot be pointed out clearly and harshly enough.
Emphases are mine.File note on a meeting about economic policies and organization of the economy in the newly occupied territories with Hermann Göring on 8.11.1941
Source: Bundesarchiv/Militärarchiv, WI ID/1222
[…] Hinsichtlich der Ernährung bemerkte er [Göring], daß die Truppe ihren Bedarf an Konserven wesentlich einschränken müsse. Der Wehrmacht machte er den Vorwurf, dass sich im Gebiet um Minsk in den Wäldern noch grosse Viehherden herumtreiben, die aber wegen der Partisanen nicht geborgen werden können. Einsatz von Truppen sei unbedingt notwendig.
Das Schicksal der Grosstädte insbesondere Leningrads sei ihm völlig schleierhaft. In diesem Kriege werde das grösste Sterben seit dem dreissigjährigen Krieg sein.
Wenn das Getreide nicht abbefördert werden kann, soll dieses zur Schweinezucht verwandt werden. Ab 1943 verlange er eine Höchstausnutzung der Ukraine. Die Versorgung ganz Europas müsse dann sichergestellt sein. […]
[…] In regard to food matters he [Göring] remarked that the troops must significantly reduce their consume of conserves. To the Wehrmacht he addressed the reproach that in the area around Minsk there are still huge herds of cattle running around in the woods which cannot be collected due to the partisans. The deployment of troops was absolutely necessary.
The fate of the major cities, especially Leningrad, was completely indifferent to him. [Translator’s note: the German term “schleierhaft” literally means “veilful” and may also be translated as “unexplainable”. Translating the term as “indifferent” (in the sense of “I don’t know what will happen to them, and I couldn’t care less”) was considered to better fit the context, however.] This war would see the greatest dying since the Thirty Years War.
If the grain could not be shipped off it should be used for raising pigs. From 1943 onward he required a maximum exploitation of the Ukraine. The food supply for the whole of Europe must then be guaranteed. […]
Emphases are mine.
2. Sanning blames the starvation of Soviet prisoners of war and civilians in the cities of the occupied territories on Soviet scorched-earth warfare.
Indeed that was the line of German wartime propaganda:
The military leadership tried already at an early stage to find a relieving explanation for the mass dying of the prisoners of war, given that the misery of the prisoners led to unrest among the civilian population of the occupied territories and of course among the prisoners themselves. The Department Wehrmacht Propaganda at the Wehrmacht Command Staff on 10 November gave instructions as to how the propaganda was to be conducted:
As the mood in the prisoner of was camps cannot be hidden from the civilian population and the partisans and thus will also become known to the enemy, a carefully prepared counter-propaganda […] must be carried out. […] It is not the intention of the German Wehrmacht to insufficiently feed the prisoners of war or to delay their labor employment. The guilt for this war and thus also for the privations that the prisoners of war must bear lies with the Moscow rulers. Stalin has given the criminal order to destroy food stock and means of production and transport. The prisoners’ own countrymen have partially carried out this diabolic order […] The German Wehrmacht has orderly supplies at its disposal and has all that it needs. Nobody can expect of it, however, that beside this it still carries out huge transports of food for the prisoners while the fighting is still going on.
The tight supplies and the makeshift accommodation characterize especially the transit camps at the front. As the prisoners are transported further westward, the situation improves.
I translated the above from Christian Streit, Keine Kameraden. Die Wehrmacht und die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen 1941-1945
, page 128.
As becomes apparent from the above, the Germans themselves were aware that blaming the misery of the prisoners of war on Stalin’s “scorched earth” warfare was a mere propaganda stance.
Other statements showing that they knew very well what was actually
behind this misery – i.e. their own policies of exploitation and deliberate neglect – can be found e.g. in the letter that the Armament Inspector Ukraine, Lieutenant General Hans Leykauf, wrote to the Chief of the Industrial Armament Department at the Wehrmacht Supreme Command, General of Infantry Thomas, on 2 December 1941:
[…]Eine Abschöpfung landwirtschaftlicher Überschüsse aus der Ukraine für Ernährungszwecke des Reiches ist mithin nur denkbar, wenn der ukrainische Binnenverkehr auf ein Minimum gedrückt wird. Es wird versucht das zu erreichen
1. durch Ausmerzung überflüssiger Esser (Juden, Bevölkerung der ukrainischen Großstädte, die, wie Kiew, überhaupt keine Lebensmittelzuteilung erhalten);
2. durch äußerste Reduktion der den Ukrainern der übrigen Städte zur Verfügung gestellten Rationen;
3. durch Verminderung des Verzehrs der bäuerlichen Bevölkerung.
Man muß sich darüber klar sein, daß in der Ukraine letzten Endes nur die Ukrainer durch Arbeit Wirtschaftswerte erzeugen können. Wenn wir die Juden totschießen, die Kriegsgefangenen umkommen lassen, die Großstadtbevölkerung zum erheblichen Teile dem Hungertode ausliefern, im kommenden Jahre auch einen Teil der Landbevölkerung durch Hunger verlieren werden, bleibt die Frage unbeantwortet: Wer denn hier eigentlich Wirtschaftswerte produzieren soll. Daß bei dem Engpaß Mensch im Deutschen Reich weder jetzt noch in absehbarer Zukunft Deutsche in erforderlicher Zahl zur Verfügung stehen können, ist unzweifelhaft. Wenn der Ukrainer aber arbeiten soll, muß er physisch erhalten werden, nicht aus einem Sentiment, sondern aus sehr nüchternen wirtschaftlichen Erwägungen. Dazu gehört aber in erster Linie auch die Schaffung eines geordneten Verhältnisses zwischen Geld, Warenpreisen und Arbeitslohn.[…]
Source of quote:
Ernst Klee / Willi Dreßen, "Gott mit uns". Der deutsche Vernichtungskrieg im Osten 1939-1945
, 1989 S. Fischer Verlag GmbH Frankfurt am Main, pages 198 to 201.
Reference: Nuremberg Document 3257-PS, IMT, Volume XXXII.
The export of agricultural surpluses from the Ukraine for the purpose of feeding the Reich is only possible if the internal trade in the Ukraine is reduced to a minimum. This can be attained by the following measures:
1. Elimination of unwanted consumers (Jews; the populations of the large Ukrainian towns, which, like Kiev, receive no food allocation whatsoever).
2. Reduction as far as possible of food rations allocated to the Ukrainians in other towns.
3. Reduction of food consumption by the peasant population.
It must be realized that in the Ukraine eventually only the Ukrainians can produce economic values by labor. If we shoot the Jews, let the prisoners of war perish, condemn considerable parts of the urban population to death by starvation and also lose a part of the rural population by hunger during the next year, the question remains unanswered: Who, then, is supposed to produce economic values here?
Emphases are mine.
How does Sanning marry this documentary evidence with his contention that Stalin’s “scorched earth” warfare – rather than the ruthless exploitation of the occupied territories by the German occupiers – was the main cause of the starvation of Soviet prisoners of war and civilians?
Another document that should give Sanning some problems is Rosenberg’ letter to Keitel concerning maltreatment of USSR prisoners of war of 28 February 1942, the translation of which is featured under http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/pow2.htm
and which contains no mention of Soviet “scorched-earth” policies whatsoever, but the following passage instead:
[…]Anyhow, with a certain amount of understanding for goals aimed at by German politics, dying and deterioration could have been avoided in the extent described. For instance, according to information on hand, the native population within the Soviet Union are absolutely willing to put food at the disposal of the prisoners of war. Several understanding camp commanders have successfully chosen this course. However in the majority of the cases, the camp commanders have forbidden the civilian population to put food at the disposal of the prisoners, and they have rather let them starve to death. Even on the march to the camps, the civilian population was not allowed to give the prisoners of war food. In many cases, when prisoners of war could no longer keep up on the march because of hunger and exhaustion, they were shot before the eyes of the horrified civilian population, and the corpses were left.[…]
Emphasis is mine.
Sanning may explain how, if – as he contends – the occupied territories were left bare and barren by Stalin’s scorched-earth warfare, the feeding of Soviet prisoners of war by the local civilian population could possibly have been seen by a high-ranking Nazi official as a solution to the “problem” of providing food to the prisoners of war.
3. Sanning blames the death of “up to 20 million Soviet citizens” on Stalin’s scorched-earth warfare and on their having been “deported” (a similar population movement organized by the Nazis he would no doubt call “evacuation” or use another benevolent term) to “the frozen wastes of Siberia and the Urals where epidemics, lack of housing and medical care, unimaginably hard work loads, and an extreme climate allowed only the toughest to survive”.
Whence did the fellow dig up this fantastic number, I ask?
What evidence can he provide to support his contention of so high a death toll?
What evidence can he provide that mortality in Soviet-held areas in Siberia was higher than in German-held areas in the Western Soviet Union, where they were exposed to the brutalities of German “anti-partisan” warfare and the ruthless exploitation of the land for the benefit of the German army and home front?
Richard Overy wrote:Hundreds of ruined villages and a death toll that passed an estimated one million bore terrible testimony to the price paid for Hitler’s ‘kind of terror’.
Source of quote:
Richard Overy, Russia’s War
, page 151
Overy’s source is Maslov, A.A. ‘Concerning the Role of Partisan Warfare in Soviet Military Doctrine in the 1920s and 1930s’ , Journal of Slavic Military History
, 9 (1996). How the figure is broken down by the various Soviet Republics I don’t know. The figure for Belorussia, according to the recent study Kalkulierte Morde
by German historian Christian Gerlach, is ca. 345,000. The figure of ca. one million victims of anti-partisan warfare in all occupied territories of the USSR is also mentioned in Alexander Werth's classic Russia at War
On pages 133/134 of the same book,
Richard Overy wrote: The exact number of Ukrainians who died at the hands of the German occupiers will probably never be known. Death was meted out arbitrarily. Peasants who, when questioned by German officials, admitted to being able to read and write were liable to be shot as ‘intellectuals’. Farmers who withheld food stocks or refused to work in the fields for the Germans were hanged as an example to the rest. In the district of Rivne the German farm administrators introduced flogging for everything from slack work to the failure of peasants to remove their caps in the presence of the Germans; they imposed curfews; the carrying of a knife was punishable by death. Thousands of peasants were hanged or shot for suspected partisan activity. Throughout the Ukraine 250 villages and their populations were deliberately obliterated to encourage good behavior in the rest.
Thousands more died of starvation. The seizure of food supplies to feed the vast German army and its hundreds of thousands of horses left the cities of the conquered regions desperately short of food. In the Ukraine it was decided to eliminate ‘superfluous eaters’, primarily Jews and the populations of the cities. In Kiev the meagre food ration was cut sharply (200 grams of bread per week), roadblocks were set up to prevent food from entering the city and the collective-farm markets supplying the city were suspended. As the supply of food reached famine levels, the peoples of the East were denied effective medical care. In Kharkov around 80,000 died of starvation, in Kiev almost certainly more.
Emphases are mine.
My other sources on deaths by starvation, etc. are the following works referred to by R.J. Rummel in his book Democide: Nazi Genocide and Mass Murder
, Transaction Publishers New Brunswick & London, 1992:
Gil Elliot, Twentieth Century Book of the Dead
, 1972 Allen Lane The Penguin Press, London, pages 54-58:
6,500,000 to 7,500,000 (“from famine disease, exposure; 0.5 million assumed to have died after the war and are not included”)
Roy Medvedev, Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism
, translated by Colleen Taylor, 1972 Alfred A. Knopf, New York, page 140:
5,000,000 (“famine/disease; from Soviet demographer M. Maksudov")
It does not become clear from Rummel’s references if the figures include the victims of the siege of Leningrad, so I assumed that they do. Most estimates on the death toll of that siege are in the order of ca. 1,000,000 victims. See e.g. Harrison E. Salisbury, The 900 Days. The Siege of Leningrad
, Avon Books, New York, 1970, pages 590 and following:
Estimates of the Leningrad death toll as high as 2,000,000 have been made by some foreign students. These estimates are too high. A total for Leningrad and vicinity of something over 1,000,000 deaths attributable to hunger, and an overall total of deaths, civilian and military, on the order of 1,300,000 to 1,500,000 seems reasonable.
Making an allowance for exaggerations and/or civilians who fell victim to the consequences of Stalin’s “scorched earth” policy during retreat in 1941/42, I assumed a total of ca. 5,000,000 victims of starvation, disease, exposure, overwork, ill-treatment among the Soviet population, including those of the siege of Leningrad. That this figure is by no means on the high side is shown by the following passage from an online article by German historian Wigbert Benz featured on the site http://www.wk-2.de/unternehmen_barbarossa.html
Wigbert Benz wrote:Die heutige Forschung, z.B. Hans-Heinrich Nolte, Osteuropa-Historiker an der Universität Hannover, beziffert unter Einbeziehung neuerer russischen Forschungen die sowjetischen Menschenopfer im "Unternehmen Barbarossa" auf ca. 27 Millionen - darunter allein sieben Millionen Hungertote hinter der Front.
Current research, for example Hans-Heinrich Nolte, Eastern Europe historian at Hannover University, estimate the Soviet human victims of "Operation Barbarossa", taking into account recent Russian research, at ca. 27 million - thereof seven million starvation dead behind the front line alone.
4. What Sanning also conveniently overlooks is that Stalin’s measures he makes such a fuss about, however brutal, were taken within the scope of the Soviet Union’s efforts to defend itself against the aggression of an enemy whose intentions, as becomes apparent i.a. from the documents cited above, were not exactly benevolent: the Nazis wanted to destroy the Soviet state and its representatives (including the Soviet prisoners of war), to wipe out certain segments of the population, to ruthlessly exploit the country for the benefit of the German army and home front at the expense of the starvation death of “umpteen million” people and to turn those who would not be either left to die or expelled to Siberia into rightless helots living at the whim of their German masters.
5. Last but not least, and as I already said on another thread of this forum, Mr. Sanning should read Max Domarus' assessment of Hitler's own scorched earth order of 19 March 1945:
Max Domarus wrote:Warum sich Shirer (Aufstieg und Fall des Dritten Reiches, a.a.O. S. 1009) über diesen “niederträchtigen” Befehl Hitlers so erregt, ist nicht ganz verständlich. Die Deutschen konnten innerhalb der Reichsgrenzen von 1937 doch wirklich machen und zerstören, was sie wollten. Es hat viel “niederträchtigere” Befehle Hitlers gegeben (Kommissarbefehl, Kommandobefehl usw) durch die andere Völker vergewaltigt und Grundsätze des Völkerrechts mißachtet wurden. Der Befehl Hitlers v. 19.3.1945 was sowohl völker – als auch staatsrechtlich und militärisch durchaus in Ordnung.
Source of quote:
Max Domarus, Hitler Reden und Proklamationen 1932 – 1945
, Leonberg 1973, page 2214
Why Shirer (Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, as mentioned, page 1009) gets so excited about this “infamous” order of Hitler’s is not quite understandable. Within the Reich’s borders of 1937 the Germans could do and destroy what they wanted, after all. There were much more “infamous” orders of Hitler’s (Commissar Order, Commando Order, etc.) by which other peoples were raped and the principles of international law disrespected. Hitler’s order of 19.3.1945 was quite in order from the point of view of international and public law and from a military point of view.
Emphasis is mine.
Domarus' statement is that a state may on its own territory destroy whatever it thinks must be destroyed to hamper the enemy's war effort and to further its own.
I agree with this assessment, my only reservation being that it does not necessarily apply where the war is irredeemably lost and the invading victor is not out to destroy the country of the vanquished anyway.
But "Revisionists" will have to make up their minds whether they consider Stalin's scorched-earth warfare criminal and apply the same reasoning to Hitler's order of 19 March 1945, or consider both to be lawful.
It is a question of existence, thus it will be a racial struggle
of pitiless severity, in the course of which 20 to 30 million Slavs and Jews will perish through military actions and crises of food supply.
Heinrich Himmler, June 1941, as quoted by Christopher Browning,
in Nazi Policy, Jewish Workers, German Killers
Source of quote: