Soviet Death Toll in WWII As A Whole

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
nickterry
Member
Posts: 521
Joined: 16 Jan 2006 23:20
Location: Bristol

Soviet Death Toll in WWII As A Whole

Postby nickterry » 26 Feb 2006 22:42

Separated out by me from the 'Stalinist crimes' thread, some data and estimates on the Soviet death toll in WWII. I'd welcome serious comments for improving the knowledge about the grey areas, it would be useful to have a resource for this here.

N.B. because so much of this mortality was criminal, this thread should stay here and not in the Eastern Front forum.

N.B. also, the total of excess deaths is a demographic constant - the only way to un-kill these people is to point to significant emigration or population displacement. Since there are both Nazi and Soviet crimes included here, scepticism about one has to be met with sourced explanation as to why the missing mortality belongs in another category. This is for once ultimately a zero-sum game. :wink:

Demographics

The best demographic study indicates a total of 26.6 million excess deaths in the Soviet Union between 1941 and 1945

A Population as of 22.6.41 196.7 million
B Population as of 31.12.45 170.5 million
C Population of A alive as of 31.12.45 159.5 million
D Population decline 37.2 million
E Normal deaths at 1940 rates 11.9 million
F Excess deaths 25.3 million
G Excess deaths of children born in war 1.3 million
H Total 26.6 million

known as the ADK study to Wheatcroft, Ellman, Maksudov and other experts cited above and elsewhere.
http://sovietinfo.tripod.com/ELM-War_Deaths.pdf

The 31.12.45 borders were not precisely identical with those of 22.6.41. Noticeable depopulations occurred from the flight of Finns and Japanese (720,000), as well as Germans from Koenigsberg (Kaliningrad oblast) = 1.157 million. Some territory which was Soviet on 22.6.41 was transferred to Poland (Bialystok district). I don't have the figures so let us assume they more or less cancel each other out. There were other population displacements (which I refer to at the end) which may have reduced the demographic death toll

of the 26.6. million deaths, about 10 million appear to be military losses and 16.6 million civilian losses.

Military Losses

the following are recognised as military deaths including POWs, also including NKVD frontier forces:

8.668 million minimum.

- 5.227 million killed in action
- 1.103 million died of wounds
- 0.556 million nonbattle deaths of which 267,000 disease, 289,000 accidents and executions
= 6.886 million

- 3.396 million missing in action
- 1.163 million unaccounted losses in first six months

= 11.444 million

LESS

- 0.940 million reconscripted from liberated territories, escaped from encirclement (okruzhentsy)
- 1.836 million POWs returned at end of war
= 2.776 million missing in action refound

= 8.668 million absolute fatal losses

POWs

This figure of 8.668 million is an underestimate of mortality among POWs by about 1 million, since adding the missing in action plus 'unrecorded losses in 1941', subtracting those returning from captivity, one ends up with 1.7 million, but the real figure for POW deaths based on German statistics is closer to 3 million.

Not included in the Soviet military registry statistics are 500,000 conscripts who simply vanished before reaching their units. Most likely the conscripts were taken prisoner on top of a further 500,000 civilians of military age.

Christian Streit, Keine Kameraden, calculates that 3.3 million of a total 5.7 million captured by the Germans died in captivity.

The number of 5.7 million stems from Gehlen's Fremde Heere Ost. The OKW POW Department spoke of 5.6 million Soviet POWs in December 1944. While the Germans inflated their prisoner claims to some degree, the figure of 5.7 million captured is not incompatible:

- 3.396 million missing in action
- 1.163 million unaccounted losses in first six months, presume most taken prisoner
- 0.5 million conscripts never arriving with units
- 0.5 million military age males never conscripted taken prisoner
= 5.559 million, less unknown number killed in action from unaccounted losses.

Alfred Streim calculates 2.53 million deaths among Soviet POWs out of 5.2 million, without explaining why he rejects the FHO and OKW POW Department figures.

All these things considered, one can point to a certain German inflation of POW numbers and possibly also to a Soviet massaging down of missing in action, but neither side's figures are wholly incompatible with each other, especially when one adds in the reservists and military-age men captured before being registered in their units during 1941. These latter phenomena are amply documented in the German files, BTW.

I split the difference between Streim and Streit, tending towards Streim to account for 'ghost' prisoners claimed in the Monty Haul encirclements, to come to a figure of 2.7 million Soviet POWs and civilian military-age men treated as prisoners of war, dying in German captivity.

Other Military Deaths

Not included are auxiliary organisations (railways, militia). Let us estimate at least 100,000 losses among paramilitaries from combined battle casualties and imprisonment, neither included in the above figures.

One must also add losses of those Soviet civilians who joined German military service as Hiwis, Schumas, Osttruppen, Baltic and Galician SS divisions, not all of whom were former prisoners of war. I would estimate at least 200,000 such deaths.

Thus I proceed with a rounded 10 million military and POW death toll. This is also the death toll advanced by Dmitri Volkogonov, and other historians.

It's dimly possible that some of the RKKA casualty data has been massaged for political reasons, but not to a vast extent, the ebb and flow of casualties recorded in Krivosheev's work fits the known operational history of the Eastern Front very well, with the exception of the early 1941 battles, for which Krivosheev's team has however highlighted the extra 1.103 million, which seems right.

Naturally, those wishing to claim higher military losses have to lower their estimates for civilian losses.

Civilian Losses

Logically, these should equal 16.6 million.

Not all were caused by the Germans, nor can all be blamed on one side or another exclusively.

The single largest and best documented proportion of this figure are those Soviet citizens shot, gassed, hung or burnt to death by German and Romanian occupation forces. 6 million is the figure given by the Soviet Extraordinary Commission investigations, >2.8 million of whom were Jews, 3.2+ million non-Jews. My earlier figures in another thread abstracted out Jewish deaths and placed them under the Holocaust rubric. (Sources: Polian, Liudskie poteri SSSR v VOV)

A second well documented group are the victims of the siege of Leningrad - 800 to 900,000 depending on source used.

On the Soviet side of the front, 622,000 deaths in the GULag system can be documented precisely.

Also on the Soviet side of the front, hundreds of thousands died from among deportees. Combined number of deportations (Poles, Chechens, Volga Germans etc) from 1940-1945 is 2.725 million, most but not all survived. (Polian) Let us assume for the moment at least 400,000 to take the combined GULag-deportation death toll during the war to over 1 million. This figure is already included in the above totals for GULag/deportation mortality; the greatest mortality within the GULag and places of exile occurred during the war.

Executions: 42,149 executions for political offenses between 1941 and 1945, plus 22,572 for criminal offences = 64,721 executions, excluding those of military personnel which are buried in 'nonbattle losses' included above.


So far

- 9.8 million Red Army men and POWs killed or died in captivity (incl executions, nonbattle accidents etc)
- 200,000 Soviet civilian volunteers for German service killed

- 622,000 GULag inmates died
- 64,721 civil executions for political and criminal offences

- 900,000 victims of the siege of Leningrad
- 6 million victims of shootings, gassings, hangings (Jews and non-Jews) under occupation

17,586,000

plus at least 400,000 deaths among deportees (could be higher)

= 18 million


The Difficult Areas

Deaths among Soviet civilian Ostarbeiter as well as Soviet civilians deported to KZs remain unknown precisely. Of 3 million deported, up to 40% did not return to some provinces. Some Ostarbeiter were able to relabel themselves Poles, especially Ukrainians, but note that many were evacuated by the Germans and thus do not appear in the 3 million Ostarbeiter figure. Ditto from the Baltic states. There was noticeable mortality among Ostarbeiter, but for example only 15,000 were recorded as dying by the Germans in 1943. This was significantly better than in 1942 (for which no figures as yet), and would have worsened drastically in 1944 and especially in 1945. Arrests among Ostarbeiter which could lead to being sent to a KZ were considerable, but no sense of a reliable breakdown has yet come forth. There were a great many deportations to KZs direct from the occupied territories. An average of 100 Ostarbeiter a month were killed in air-raids, thus at least 4,000 died in this way.

Taken together, we are definitely talking several 100,000 deaths among Ostarbeiter and Soviet civilian KZ victims, but how many is unknown. The high non-returning rate is the most significant feature, these people either died or remained behind.

Best estimate (Shevyakov, Polian) is that no more than 500,000 succeeded in emigrating from the Soviet Union in 1945, this includes Balts, Ukrainians, Poles from western Belorussia etc. Repatriation was vigorously enforced for all those who came from the pre-1939 borders, for others it was possible to claim Polish etc citizenship. Note that the majority of this half a million were not necessarily included in the 3 million Ostarbeiter number for deportations, they included e.g. privileged collaborators evacuated by the Germans, not counted by Soviet deportation figures.

So let us assume 800,000:
- 500,000 not returning to Soviet Union (collaborators, Ostarbeiter, Poles, Balts, Ukrainians emigrating, KZ inmate-DPs)
- up to 300,000 Ostarbeiter and Soviet inmates of German KZs died
= compatible with known repatriation data.

Deaths under German occupation from starvation and disease has been estimated by one Russian historian as either
6.5 or 8.5 million (Shevyakov 1991, 1992). The logic of these figures, which came from glasnost era, is that they of course preclude the possibility of any deaths on the Soviet side of the front. This is obviously flawed. Equally, to place 6 or 8 million deaths from disease and starvation exclusively onto Soviet controlled territory is implausible. This would imply a famine on the scale of 1933 with very little confirmation or even a picture of where in the Soviet Union it occurred.

There was, however, considerable mortality among evacuees in 1941-2, resulting from the hasty transfer of workforces and populations to the east. About this we still know exceedingly little.

An unknown number of deaths must be ascribed to so-called collateral damage - bombs, shells, stray bullets, unintended military action which killed civilians. Though both sides tried to evacuate the frontline areas they also both used extensive civilian labour forces within artillery range, never mind that of airpower. Refugee columns were machine-gunned, Moscow bombed, Minsk set afire by the Luftwaffe, while civilians remained in Stalingrad throughout the siege. Given this was the largest land war in human history, one would expect massive civilian casualties from collateral damage.

So the remaining 7.8 million is a set of three estimates and split-the-difference:

- 1-2 million civilians killed by military action
- around 3 million civilians dying of starvation and disease under German occupation
- up to 3 million civilians dying of disease, hunger and exhaustion on Soviet territory (especially evacuees)

Finally, one must add in victims of Soviet underground and partisan movements as well as victims of the Polish-Ukrainian mutual ethnic cleansings especially in Volhynia. These will account for much of the balance remaining after the figures above. The latter is in the hundreds of thousands, the former in the tens of thousands of civilian collaborators and bystanders killed. Further to be added to this category would be NKVD repressions in western Belorussia, western Ukraine and the Baltic States in 1944 and 1945. This would be AFAIK in the tens of thousands killed in anti-nationalist partisan actions (again factored into the figure for Stalinist executions).

Of the above, 'Soviet crimes' caused over 1 million deaths (already factored onto the Stalin side above), Soviet warfare killed 200,000 of its own citizens in enemy uniform, Soviet wartime chaos may have caused up to 3 million more civilian deaths, plus military nonbattle deaths (556,000) plus a certain number of the deaths from collateral damage by bombing their own population on the German side of the front. Total, under 5 million, of whom only 20% can be deemed deliberate.

The Germans inflicted 9.2 million military deaths and caused directly or indirectly around 12 million civilian deaths, incorporating killings, indirect methods, and collateral damage. Total, more than 21 million.

Poles and Ukrainians succeeded in killing thousands of each other in an almost entirely separate war.

Finally, some reduction of the overall death toll arrived at through demographic means may be adduced from population movements, e.g. resettlement of Poles from western Belorussia and Ukraine in 1944-45, the aforementioned expulsions of Finns, Japanese and Germans, plus the non-returning Ostarbeiter, KZ inmates and also a number of Jewish refugees from eastern Poland who went west before the end of 1945. This reduction, which is difficult to estimate offhand, would of course be taken directly from the numbers deemed to have died of disease and starvation on either side of the front.


Hard Data, Estimates and Guesstimates

- 9.244 million Soviet military deaths incl POWs*
- 556,000 Soviet military nonbattle deaths*
- 200,000 Soviet civilian volunteers for German service killed

- 622,000 GULag inmates died*
- 64,721 civil executions for political and criminal offences*
- estimated 400,000 deaths among 2.75 million deportees
- > 3 million deaths in Soviet controlled territory from disease, hunger, exhaustion (esp. evacuees)

- estimated 100,000 killed in Polish-Ukrainian conflicts, by NKVD in 1944-45 in reannexed territories, etc.

- 900,000 victims of the siege of Leningrad*
- 6 million victims of shootings, gassings, hangings (Jews and non-Jews) under Axis occupation*
- > 3 million deaths in Axis occupied territory from disease, hunger, exhaustion
- 300,000 deaths among Ostarbeiter and Soviet inmates of German KZs

- 500,000 not returning to Soviet Union (collaborators, Poles, Balts, Ukrainians emigrating, KZ inmate-DPs)

total 25.472 million

- 1.128 million or more deaths from collateral damage

total 26.6 million

- unknown number displaced out of Soviet territory during population exchange programs in 1944-45

* = hard data with chronological/regional breakdowns from source below.

Sources:

Polyan, Pavel, Ne po svoei vole – istoriia i geografiia prinuditel’nykh migratsii v SSR. Moscow, OGI-Memorial, 2001
English edition as Against Their Will: The History and Geography of Forced Migrations in the USSR. Budapest/New York, 2004

Polyan, Pavel, Zhertvy dvuch diktatur. Zhizhn’, trud, unizhenie i smert’ sovetskikh voennoplennykh i ostarbeiterov na chuzhbine i na rodine. Moscow, 2002

Rossiia i SSSR v voinakh XX Veka. Poteri vooruzhenykh sil. Statistcheskoe issledovanie. G.F. Krivosheev (ed). Moscow, 2001. Earlier edition in English as Krivosheev, G.F (ed), Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century. London, 1997

Streit, Christian, Keine Kameraden. Die Wehrmacht und die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen 1941-1945. Bonn, 1991

Liudskie poteri SSR v Velikoi Otechestvennnoi voine. Sankt-Petersburg 1995

Berkhoff, Karel C., Harvest of Despair. Life and Death in Ukraine Under Nazi Rule. London, 2004



Further Reading Online

most of the 1990s journal exchanges between Wheatcroft, Getty et al vs Conquest, Keep and Rosefielde on GULag and repression deaths can be found here;

http://sovietinfo.tripod.com

Russian readers can find more from Memorial website, online books, esp. Polian and book on repression of Poles:

http://www.memo.ru/about/biblio/

More unpublished papers at

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/econo ... ive/persa/

Russian-language academic history works via pdf

http://www.auditorium.ru/p/index.php?a= ... pline_id=2

Pavel Polian, Against Their Will

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASI ... 41-0259058

Russian version on-line:

http://www.memo.ru/history/deport/index.htm

User avatar
Kunikov
Member
Posts: 4210
Joined: 20 Jan 2004 19:23

Postby Kunikov » 28 Feb 2006 22:02

Excellent post, very useful and addresses many of the issues I've been researching and looking at.

User avatar
Exxley
Member
Posts: 252
Joined: 08 Feb 2005 01:17
Location: Lyon, France

Postby Exxley » 28 Feb 2006 23:52

I agree as well, thanks very much nick.

User avatar
Kim Sung
Member
Posts: 5037
Joined: 28 May 2005 13:36
Location: The Last Confucian State

Postby Kim Sung » 01 Mar 2006 08:02

I posted simpler data on Soviet casualties last year.

viewtopic.php?t=80049&highlight=

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8644
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby michael mills » 02 Mar 2006 05:14

Some of the figures of Soviet civilian casualties may be somewhat padded.

For example, I have seen figures of 600,000 for the civilian victims of the siege of Leningrad, substantially below the maximum of 900,000 cited.

A good recent book to consult on the siege is "Life and Death in Besieged Leningrad, 1941-44", edited by John Barber and Andrei Dzeniskevich (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).

The overview chapter in that book gives a breakdown of civilian deaths by month. It shows the number of deaths dropped to relatively low levels after the worst part of the siege was over and part of the civilian population was evacuated.

Another obscure area is how official Soviet bodies such as the investigative commissions set up at the end of the war treated the death of Soviet civilians caused by forces aligned with the Soviet Government.

For example, one of the major causes of Soviet civilian mortality in the German-occupied areas was the war between the German occupation forces and various anti-German partisan forces, some aligned with the Soviet Government and others not. In the course of that conflict, the German forces waged a campaign of terror against segments of the civilian population believed to helping the partisans, destroying whole villages and often slaughtering the inhabitants.

But there was also a campaign of terror waged by the partisans, which had the twofold objective of coercing the civilian population to give them food and other forms of assistance (which attracted German reprisals), and also dissuading it from collaborating with the occupiers and "punishing" any who did. That campaign of terror must have caused considerable casualties among the civilian population in the affected areas, the number being unknown.

The destruction of entire villages and their populations by Jewish partisans is documented, not least by the boasting of the partisans themselves in post-war memoirs. That must be only the tip of the iceberg. Other partisan groups aligned with the Soviet Government must have perpetrated similar actions.

It is hardly likely that the post-war commissions set up by the Soviet Government would have dared to record cases of such terrorism by pro-Soviet forces. It may reasonably be assumed that the victims of violence by anti-German partisans were ascribed by the investigative commissions to German actions.

Another source of civilian mortality in the German-occupied areas was internecine fighting between various ethnic groups in which the German occupiers took little if any part, due to that fact their forces were too small to control the whole territory effectively. There was conflict between Ukrainians and Poles, between Ukrainians and Jews, and between Poles and Jews. Again one wonder how such casualties were accounted for in the official Soviet statistics; presumably they were ascribed to the Germans or their allies.

There was also a considerable mortality in the non-occupied part of the Soviet Union, caused primarily by famine resulting from the fact that millions of people were evacuated to the Soviet interior without making adequate provision for their food supply. There were reports of workers falling dead from starvation at their machines in factories in the Urals. Information on the problems of food supply in the non-occupied part of the Soviet Union is given in the book "The Bread of Affliction : The Food Supply in the USSR during World War II" by William Moskoff (Cambridge [England] ; New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press, 1990).

In assessing the total number of Soviet civilian casualties, it is necessary to distinguish between those caused by the German occupiers and their allies, those caused by actions of the Soviet Government or forces aligned with it, and those caused by forces aligned with neither of the two main protagonists.

nickterry
Member
Posts: 521
Joined: 16 Jan 2006 23:20
Location: Bristol

Postby nickterry » 02 Mar 2006 10:56

michael mills wrote:Some of the figures of Soviet civilian casualties may be somewhat padded.

For example, I have seen figures of 600,000 for the civilian victims of the siege of Leningrad, substantially below the maximum of 900,000 cited.

A good recent book to consult on the siege is "Life and Death in Besieged Leningrad, 1941-44", edited by John Barber and Andrei Dzeniskevich (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).

The overview chapter in that book gives a breakdown of civilian deaths by month. It shows the number of deaths dropped to relatively low levels after the worst part of the siege was over and part of the civilian population was evacuated.

Another obscure area is how official Soviet bodies such as the investigative commissions set up at the end of the war treated the death of Soviet civilians caused by forces aligned with the Soviet Government.

For example, one of the major causes of Soviet civilian mortality in the German-occupied areas was the war between the German occupation forces and various anti-German partisan forces, some aligned with the Soviet Government and others not. In the course of that conflict, the German forces waged a campaign of terror against segments of the civilian population believed to helping the partisans, destroying whole villages and often slaughtering the inhabitants.

But there was also a campaign of terror waged by the partisans, which had the twofold objective of coercing the civilian population to give them food and other forms of assistance (which attracted German reprisals), and also dissuading it from collaborating with the occupiers and "punishing" any who did. That campaign of terror must have caused considerable casualties among the civilian population in the affected areas, the number being unknown.

The destruction of entire villages and their populations by Jewish partisans is documented, not least by the boasting of the partisans themselves in post-war memoirs. That must be only the tip of the iceberg. Other partisan groups aligned with the Soviet Government must have perpetrated similar actions.

It is hardly likely that the post-war commissions set up by the Soviet Government would have dared to record cases of such terrorism by pro-Soviet forces. It may reasonably be assumed that the victims of violence by anti-German partisans were ascribed by the investigative commissions to German actions.

Another source of civilian mortality in the German-occupied areas was internecine fighting between various ethnic groups in which the German occupiers took little if any part, due to that fact their forces were too small to control the whole territory effectively. There was conflict between Ukrainians and Poles, between Ukrainians and Jews, and between Poles and Jews. Again one wonder how such casualties were accounted for in the official Soviet statistics; presumably they were ascribed to the Germans or their allies.

There was also a considerable mortality in the non-occupied part of the Soviet Union, caused primarily by famine resulting from the fact that millions of people were evacuated to the Soviet interior without making adequate provision for their food supply. There were reports of workers falling dead from starvation at their machines in factories in the Urals. Information on the problems of food supply in the non-occupied part of the Soviet Union is given in the book "The Bread of Affliction : The Food Supply in the USSR during World War II" by William Moskoff (Cambridge [England] ; New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press, 1990).

In assessing the total number of Soviet civilian casualties, it is necessary to distinguish between those caused by the German occupiers and their allies, those caused by actions of the Soviet Government or forces aligned with it, and those caused by forces aligned with neither of the two main protagonists.



Michael,

thanks for your comments. I took almost everything you said into account

- highlighting considerable mortality from starvation in Soviet-occupied territory
- pointing to murders of collaborators and bystanders by Soviet partisans
- indicating that there was considerable mortality from internecine ethnic warfare in particular between Poles and Ukrainians

these two together I estimated as 'the latter is in the hundreds of thousands, the former in the tens of thousands of civilian collaborators and bystanders killed'. Whether or not these killings were ascribed to the Germans, one would need to ascertain by a synoptic reading of EC reports and nationalist claims in e.g. Volhynia.

Note that I would could all Schutzmannschaften killed by the partisans as Soviet citizens fighting for the Germans, which I estimated as > 200,000 (8,000 Estonians alone).

At best, one is confronted by the puzzle of whether these deaths have been uniformly subsumed into the EC statistics, or were reported separately. My understanding is deaths inflicted by Soviet partisans went simply unrecorded in the EC, whereas killings by nationalist partisans may well have been often ascribed to the Germans. This produces a possible variation of ca. 100-150,000 (maximum) to abstract out of the 6+ million recorded in the EC.

I have been documenting extensive killings by Soviet partisans in my research on Belorussia and Russia, the brutality was indeed considerable. German reports are extensive on this subject. Soviet partisan and NKVD reports that have been published indicate a similarly brutal treatment of traitors/spies in partisan-controlled territory. However, we are talking in the tens of thousands.

You are right that there are alternative figures for deaths from starvation during the siege of Leningrad. 600,000 may well therefore be more reasonable.

Serious Russian historians have been writing extensively but so far fragmentarily on the increased mortality in wartime in Soviet-controlled territory. The Liudskie poteri collection devotes at least a quarter of its articles to this theme, but seemingly no one will commit him- or herself to a figure. All indications are that increased mortality was at its greatest in 1941 and 1942, then declined slowly. An open question is whether one also should not consider the 1947 famine as part of the demographic aftershock of the war.

I have some other thoughts which will go into a separate post, that I would like your input on, Michael.

nickterry
Member
Posts: 521
Joined: 16 Jan 2006 23:20
Location: Bristol

Effects of Emigration, Resettlement and Non-Repatriation

Postby nickterry » 02 Mar 2006 11:42

I already alluded to the possible demographic impact of emigration/non-repatriation as well as population exchanges on the ADK figure of 26.6 million excess deaths in the Soviet Union during World War II, which is derived from a comparison of population registration data from 1941 and the end of 1945 (31.12.45)

Of minor statistical significance would be the emigration of Poles of the Anders Army to Iran and ultimately to the west during the war itself. Most but by no means all were POWs, about whom we simply don't know if they were registered in the overall 1941 Soviet Union population statistics.

The numbers of potential and actual emigres vastly increase for 1945. Russian historians proceed from a figure of 500,000 non-repatriated citizens who had inhabited Soviet territory as of the outbreak of war. Up to 300,000 stemmed from the Baltic states, including tens of thousands who fled to Sweden and Finland as well as those evacuated to Germany. There were repatriations from Finland of around 30,000. Figures for DPs in Germany are reasonably consistent with the overall figure of 500,000.

More statistically curious is measuring the impact of repatriation from 1945 to 1946. As of 10.7.45 a total of 2,565,129 Soviet citizens (POWs and civilians) had been repatriated, by 1.3.1946 the number had risen to 5,352,963. There do not, alas, appear to be figures for 31.12.45 so far published, though they must surely exist since figures for the first half of 1945 are available monthly.

By 1.1.1952, the number of repatriated citizens had risen to 5,457,856, thus 104,893 Soviet citizens who had been resident in the Soviet Union before 22.6.1941 were not registered in the population statistics of 31.12.45 used by ADK. (All this from Polian and Arzamaskin, whom Polian cites in addition to archival data.)

To what extent the repatriation was in full flood during the first two months of 1946 is of course difficult to ascertain, but let us assume at least another 100,000.

Of possibly more serious concern is gauging the impact of population exchanges. The aforementioned flight of the population of Koenigsberg is irrelevant, since this was not prewar Soviet territory. I would also assume that the figures for Japanese expellees reflected people who were not Soviet citizens before 22.6.1941.

The same cannot be said of the Finns, who numbered 424,000. Here as with all population exchange and repatriation figures, the ongoing nature of the process makes it difficult to ascertain how many had already been expelled before the end of 1945.

More serious still are the border changes in eastern Poland. Much of the Bialystok area was ceded back to Poland, precisely when is something that would be worth finding out. Moreover, the Polish-Belorussian/Ukrainian population exchange program was already underway in 1945, and ultimately affected:

(all from Polian, Against Their Will, p.41)
by 31.10.1946
789,982 Poles left territory of Ukrainian SSR; 482,109 Ukrainians moved from Poland to Ukraine = minus 307,873
231,152 Poles left territory of Belorussian SSR; 35,961 Belorussians moved from Poland to Belorussia = minus 195,191
69,724 Poles left territory of Lithuania; 14,000 Lithuanians moved from Poland to Belorussia = minus 55,724
total = a subtraction of 558,788 Poles from the Soviet population


To recap, there are the following potential reductions in population cause not by excess deaths but by emigration:

- 500,000 non-repatriated DPs and refugees, primarily from the Baltic states and annexed territories
- 104,893 Soviet DPs who were repatriated between March 1946 and January 1952
- at least 100,000 Soviet DPs repatriated between 31.12.1945 and 1.3.1946
- part of 424,000 Finns resettled from Soviet territory to Finland
- part of a balance of 558,788 Poles resettled from annexed territories over the contrarian movement

The whopper is the Bialystok district which had been Soviet in 1941, but was ceded to Poland after the war. The signing of the Soviet-Polish treaty appears to have been 21 April 1945. I have no figures immediately to hand for the population of this territory ceded to Poland, but it must have been of the order of a million inhabitants.

I only have ADK's article in a 1995 version, and it does not mention factoring out or in any of the above. So for the moment, I will give them the benefit of the doubt and speak of a potential reduction in the Soviet death toll of perhaps 2 million people.

ADK's population statistics, naturally being based on registrations, most likely suffered from a hidden margin of error for transients. Normally demographers such as ADK allow and correct for this kind of fluctuation. Thus, the effects of emigration and repatriation might serve only to dampen down the overall figure.(Another related aspect is the extent to which repatriated citizens were registered at all in the overall population statistics.)

There are no easy answers, but the above indicates that by no means all population losses recorded by demographic statistics stemmed from excess deaths.

I believe some further population registration statistics for 1946-1947 are available in works on the 1947 famine, and will seek them out. They may help clarify some of the above, since most of the population movements were still in full flood during 1946.

Boby
Member
Posts: 2336
Joined: 19 Nov 2004 17:22
Location: Spain

Postby Boby » 02 Mar 2006 12:12

Hello all

According to Ereignismeldung Nr. 191 of 10.04.1942, the daily death rate in Leningrad was about 8.000

Source: Osobyi Arkhiv, 500-1-25, Fols. 264-270

Regards

nickterry
Member
Posts: 521
Joined: 16 Jan 2006 23:20
Location: Bristol

Postby nickterry » 02 Mar 2006 18:42

Thanks Boby for the source on Leningrad

An article on Moscow in WWII (Matveev, otechestvennaia istoriia, available from auditorum.ru in Russian) gives the following data from archival sources

Population
1939 4,137,018 (January census)
6.1941 4,215,800
9.41 4,236,200 (refugees)
10.41 3,148,000
11.41 2,476,700
12.41 2,243,900
1.42 2,027,818
1.43 2,743,649
1.44 3,026,584
1.45 3,324,820 (79% of prewar pop)

The precipitate drop in the last quarter of 1941 is due to the mass evacuations as well as the call-up of militia and soldiers (who then were no longer registered as inhabitants, but instead part of the army).

Ratio of Births to Deaths was
1939 + 53,691 (1.2% growth on 1.39 census)
1940 + 42,122
1941 + 25,609 (1st half)
1941 + 7,783 (2nd half) = +33,384
1942 – 44,102
1943 – 45, 312
1944 + 3,813
1945 + 27,746
In 1942, there were 82 284 deaths versus only 38,182 births.

For the entire war and immediate aftermath (7.41-12.45, thus compatible with ADK's data):
Births = 218,475
Deaths = 265,648
excess deaths: = 47,173 excess of deaths over births.

Because of the changing population I find it difficult to extrapolate demographic trends from this.

I would imagine mortality would have been considerable among the 2 million evacuated from the city in 1941.

Moscow was generally well-treated, being the capital (despite the evacuation of many ministries to Kuibyshev and elsewhere) and supreme headquarters, so evidently did not lack grossly for rations. But the chronological development shows a probably common pattern, namely an excess of deaths over births even under relatively favourable conditions during 1942 and 1943.

http://www.auditorium.ru/p/index.php?a= ... id_res=545

nickterry
Member
Posts: 521
Joined: 16 Jan 2006 23:20
Location: Bristol

Nationalities of Military Dead

Postby nickterry » 02 Mar 2006 20:09

From http://www.demoscope.ru/center/center.htm (article by Mikhail Filimoshin)

Nationality breakdown of 8,668,400 Soviet military casualties

Russians 5,747,100
Ukrainians 1,376,500
Belorussians 251,400
Tatars 188,300
Jews 138,700
Kazakhs 130,000
Uzbeks 121,400
Armenians 83,200
Georgeians 79,700
Mordovians 63,300
Chuvash 63,100
Azerbaijanis 58,100
Moldavians 53,700
Baltic peoples 44,200
Bashkirs 32,100
Kirgiz 26,900
Udmurts 23,400
Tadjiks 22,500
Turkmenis 21,700
Mariitsi 20,800
Komi 16,500
Buriats 13,00
Dagestan peoples 11,300
Ossetians 10,400
Others 71,100

The low casualties of the Belorussians is especially curious, given the total devastation of the republic and its depopulation by a quarter during the war - the republic was however overrun very swiftly; a better comparison would be with the 44,200 casualties of the Baltic states than with the colossal population of the Ukraine. (Also, Jews, ethnic Russians and Ukrainians from Belorussia would have been registered thus, and these formed a significant portion of the urban population.)

Dan
Financial supporter
Posts: 3323
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 14:06
Location: California

Postby Dan » 02 Mar 2006 20:13

An open question is whether one also should not consider the 1947 famine as part of the demographic aftershock of the war.


Good point, and thanks for a great and informative thread.

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8644
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby michael mills » 02 Mar 2006 23:38

I would imagine mortality would have been considerable among the 2 million evacuated from the city in 1941.


The book on Leningrad that I referred to has a chapter on the evacuation of civilians from Leningrad and their state of health.

According to it, there was indeed a considerable mortality among the evacuees, due to their debilitated condition from the malnutrition they had suffered before evacuation. Many died on the evacuation trains, and their bodies were simply off-loaded onto the side of the railway line. The chapter refers to reports of bodies strewn along the railway line or piled up at stopping places.

nickterry
Member
Posts: 521
Joined: 16 Jan 2006 23:20
Location: Bristol

Postby nickterry » 02 Mar 2006 23:52

michael mills wrote:
I would imagine mortality would have been considerable among the 2 million evacuated from the city in 1941.


The book on Leningrad that I referred to has a chapter on the evacuation of civilians from Leningrad and their state of health.

According to it, there was indeed a considerable mortality among the evacuees, due to their debilitated condition from the malnutrition they had suffered before evacuation. Many died on the evacuation trains, and their bodies were simply off-loaded onto the side of the railway line. The chapter refers to reports of bodies strewn along the railway line or piled up at stopping places.


Yep. That's what happened on pretty much every train transport east or west in the Soviet Union in the 1930s and 1940s.

I went to the library to look at the rest of the Liudskie poteri collection I didn't have copied, and Kumanev had an article in there in which he basically managed to avoid discussing the mortality among the 25 million evacuees. Even if one posited only an average 3% mortality during transports and subsequently after arrival, which is not unreasonable, this would cause 750,000 premature deaths. But he gives some decent-ish figures for overall evacuation numbers (very low in Baltic states) which I should really post somewhere.

I've downloaded a ton of articles in Russian and English, including one entitled 'A New Estimate of Ukrainian Population Losses During the Crises of the 1930s and 1940s' from 2002. Bet you'd like to know what that one has to say. :wink:

On Monday I'll be able to get hold of one of the many ADK books covering demographics in 1922-1959, so hopefully this monograph will explain their methodologies better and elucidate what was included in the registration statistics for 1941 and 1945.

Michael, could you have a look-see whether you have anything or can access anything on the transfer of the region around Bialystok from Soviet to Polish control in 1945, what the population was, etc? I'm searching through my bookshelves and online and not seeing the wood for the trees.

nickterry
Member
Posts: 521
Joined: 16 Jan 2006 23:20
Location: Bristol

Postby nickterry » 03 Mar 2006 00:49

This is a placeholder post for material from a 2002 article in Population Studies on the changes to the Ukraine's population in the 1930s and 1940s. It's evidently professional demographers at work (four of them, two French, one Russian and one Ukrainian).

They conclude for the 1930s

2,582 million excess deaths in the Ukraine from 1926 to 1939
930,000 lost due to out-migration, all of which was forcible (dekulakisation and GULag deportations)*
1,057,000 birth deficit

* 400,000 dekukalisation, 530,000 GULag

for a 1939 population of 30,946,000.

Their estimate for excess deaths is broadly in line with an estimate by Maksudov in 1989 (4.5 million total deficit). The Ukrainian member of the foursome had previously estimated in 1996 a deficit of 5.8 million. The reason for the discrepancy was the use of model fertility curves rather than using birth registration data.

Incidentally, this much, much lower figure of excess deaths (almost entirely caused by the 1933 famine) is in line with other demographic calculations for the entire Soviet Union over 1932-34 e.g. by Elena Osokina.


The material on the border changes in 1939 and again in 1945 is also very interesting:

addition of 7,022,000 from Poland, 1939
addition of 3,173,000 from Bessarabia/Romania, 1940, losing 2,452,000 to Moldova in the same year
= + 7,743,000 for Ukraine in 1940-41.

addition of Northern Bukovina in 1942 - 574,000 - retained after 1945
addition of 829,000 from sub-Carpathian Ruthenia, Hungary, in 1945.
= + 10,220,000 raw additions by 1945

Apparently sub-Carpathian Ruthenia was not included in the 1945-46 registration statistics.

for wartime:

The authors take a span of 1939 to 1947 but give year by year breakdowns for out- and in-migrations (deportations, evacuations, Ostarbeiter, repatriations, etc). This comes to 9,354,000 out and 6,536,000 in, for a deficit of 2,818,000. However this figure doesn't seem to be completely reconciled with their subsequent calculations for population losses. Not sure why.

Population losses from 1939-47 inside the Ukraine:
6,704,000 during war
1,993,000 from emigration (mostly east!!!!!)
3,517,000 birth deficit

376,000 pre- and postwar excess deaths, mainly in 1947 famine.

leaving a 1949 population of 35,675,000 (back-projected from 1959 census and by other demographic tools)

They re-weight these figures for yet more demographic reasons to:
7.4 million excess deaths
2.3 million out-migrants
4.1 million birth deficit = 13.8 million population loss

(can't be bothered to do the maths now, but this would mean between 6.9-7 million in wartime and 400-500,000 in 1939-41 - not many - and 1945-49 during the 1947 famine)

The lower figure for 6.7 million wartime deaths or the higher figure for ca. 6.9-7 million wartime deaths includes 3,178,084 recorded by the Extraordinary Commission. Exactly what proportion of 1,376,500 military deaths are included is to me uncertain, since many conscripts were called up from among evacuees (3.5 million for entire Ukraine) or indeed from GULag inmates. Even if one assumes at the most extreme that all military deaths* are included, there is still an excess mortality of approximately 2,140,000 unaccounted for, which must include collateral damage, the effects of disease and starvation under the occupation, starvation and disease during the immediate aftermath of 1943-45 and possibly also the 100,000 or so Poles and Ukrainians who killed each other in Volhynia during 1943-44.

*the figure of 1.3765 million Ukrainian military deaths applies to Ukrainians by passbook nationality, thus included many Ukrainians in the RSFSR and Belorussian SSR. Against this would be military deaths among non-Ukrainian minorities in the Ukrainiann SSR, not least of which would be Russians.

One can assume - though it requires checking - that a proportion of the 2.3 million out-migrants also died.

The French authors, Mesle and Vallin, evidently have a whole book on this. It should be interesting to compare it with the demographic work done on the RSFSR by ADK in addition to their work on the USSR as a whole.

One thing to note is that excess wartime deaths in the Ukraine were almost entirely caused by the Germans and Romanians, whereas a significant proportion of excess mortality in the RSFSR was self-inflicted by the Soviets on themselves.

But that is another story.

(cross-posted to the Stalinist victims thread)

thom
Member
Posts: 251
Joined: 12 Mar 2006 05:34
Location: Canada

Bialystok region

Postby thom » 14 Mar 2006 16:26

Population of territories ceded from USSR to Poland in 1944/45:
1) from Belorussia (part of Belostok oblast): 945,000 (as of 1931)
2) from Ukraine (part of Drogobyc and Lvov oblasts: 340,000 (as of 1931)
Total: 1,285,000 (1931) [Eberhardt, Polska granica wschodnia 1939-1945, p. 204]
Total: 1,392,100 (1940/41?) [ADK, Naselenie Sovietskogo Sojuza 1922-1991, p. 53]

Belostok (Bialystok) oblast was dissolved on September 20, 1944, and 9115 sq. km remaining in the USSR (population 405,500 as of 1931 [Belorussian Review 1956 (3), p. 18]) transferred to the newly formed Grodno oblast.

ADK's calculation of 26.6 million deaths is based on postwar borders [ADK, Naselenie Sovietskogo Sojuza 1922-1991, p. 74], [ADK, Vestnik statistiki 1990 (10), p. 25]. Therefore, population losses of territories ceded to Poland in 1944/45 are not included in their 26.6 figure.


Return to “Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Naver [Bot]