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Soviet Prisoners of War: Forgotten Nazi Victims of World War II

Originally published by World War II magazine. Published Online: June 12, 2006 
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As the dust settled over Europe in the summer of 1945 and war-ravaged Europeans began the slow process of recovery, the leadership of the Wehrmacht attempted to present itself as untainted by the crimes committed by the Reich. Field Marshal Erich von Manstein artistically painted a picture in his memoirs of the gulf that'separated soldiers' standards and those of our political leadership.' He was not alone. Many other generals busied themselves glossing over the abundant explicit examples of their own complicity with the Nazi regime. Meanwhile, those in the dock at Nuremberg sought to deflect their own guilt by laying the blame at the feet of Adolf Hitler and his SS minions.

This campaign of selective memory picked up steam as relations between the former Allies deteriorated and experienced officers of the Wehrmacht were seen as possible assets in any future war between the West and the Soviet Union. By 1946 the impression that the Wehrmacht had fought a chivalrous war, despite the pressure from above to be brutal, was becoming accepted as gospel by some in the West. Even with the passage of 60 years, this impression remains largely unchallenged. While it is true that the Wehrmacht generally fought within the recognized rules of war in Western Europe, the conflict on the Eastern Front was entirely different. In the vast expanse of the Soviet Union, the Wehrmacht was responsible for some of the worst excesses of the war.

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Hitler's war against the Soviet Union fused ideological aggression with racial impetus and colonial aspirations that resulted in a conflict of unsurpassed brutality. Rather than being an unwilling participant in this brutal struggle, the Wehrmacht was a loyal and enthusiastic player. One of the most telling examples of its participation in war crimes was its treatment of Soviet prisoners of war. Statistics show that out of 5.7 million Soviet soldiers captured between 1941 and 1945, more than 3.5 million died in captivity.

Several reasons have been advanced by those seeking to explain this gruesome statistic. The first is that the Soviet Union had not signed international conventions protecting prisoners of war, and therefore its soldiers could expect no protection under international law. Another frequently quoted explanation, one used by Wehrmacht officers testifying at Nuremberg, suggests that the German military was simply overwhelmed by the number of prisoners and that the mass deaths were an unfortunate but natural consequence of insufficient resources. Such factors as weather, battle conditions on the Eastern Front, epidemics and problems with food supply are often cited as other possible reasons.

Careful scrutiny, however, shows how frail these arguments are. Germany's armed forces played their role as the vehicle for the Reich's expansion to the full, and through their own deliberate policies caused the premeditated death of millions of POWs.

Before Operation Barbarossa began in 1941, the Wehrmacht determined that Soviet prisoners taken during the upcoming campaign were to be withdrawn from the protection of international and customary law. Orders issued to subordinate commands suspended the German military penal code and the Hague Convention, the international agreement that governed the treatment of prisoners. Although the Soviets had not signed the Geneva Convention regarding POWs, the Germans had. Article 82 of the convention obliged signatories to treat all prisoners, from any state, according to the dictates of humanity.

In March 1941, Hitler issued what has come to be known as the 'Commissar Order,' which clearly spelled out the future nature of the war in Russia. The coming conflict was to be 'one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be waged with unprecedented, unmerciful, and unrelenting hardness.' It also instructed Hitler's subordinates to execute commissars and exonerated his soldiers of any future excess. 'Any German soldier who breaks international law will be pardoned,' the Führer stated. 'Russia did not take part in the Hague Convention and, therefore, has no rights under it.'

At a subsequent gathering to explain the application of this order to senior army officers, General Edwin Reinecke, the Reich officer responsible for the treatment of POWs, told his audience: 'The war between Germany and Russia is not a war between two states or two armies, but between two ideologies — namely, the National Socialist and the Bolshevist ideology. The Red Army [soldier] must be looked upon not as a soldier in the sense of the word applying to our western opponents, but as an ideological enemy. He must be regarded as the archenemy of National Socialism and must be treated accordingly.' Reinecke continued with the admonishment that this must be made plain to every officer taking part in the operation,'since they were apparently still entertaining ideas which belonged to the Ice Age and not to the present age of National Socialism.' Under the direction of the Commissar Order, immediately after capture all Soviet political officers should be killed and that thereafter, under a'special selection program of the SD [Sicherheitsdienst, the Nazi Party's security service], all those prisoners who could be identified as thoroughly bolshevized or as active representatives of the Bolshevist ideology' should also be killed.

On September 8, 1941, three months after the start of Operation Barbarossa, Reinecke reminded his subordinates, 'the Bolshevik soldier forfeited every claim to be treated as an honorable soldier and in keeping with the Geneva Convention.' Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, chief of the Abwehr (German intelligence), objected to Reinecke's assertions but was quieted by Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, who reminded the admiral, 'This struggle has nothing to do with soldierly chivalry or the regulations of the Geneva Conventions.' It is interesting to note that while Hitler's armies felt themselves relieved from the 'niceties' of international law during the campaign, the soldiers of their Finnish, Italian and Romanian allies regularly acknowledged the rights of Soviet soldiers under their protection.

The other feeble line of reasoning to explain away the mass deaths of Russian POWs is that the supply problems were out of the generals' control. Here again, however, the facts fail to support the argument. From the very beginning, German military planners expected large numbers of prisoners. Four months before the opening of the campaign, the Wehrmacht calculated that it would capture at least 2 to 3 million prisoners — 1 million in the first six weeks.

The true explanation for the millions of deaths lies in the Wehrmacht's very deliberate planning of how it was to treat its prisoners. With the war going Hitler's way in 1941, there seemed little reason to observe the customs of civilized warfare; soon there would be nobody left to object. Rather, what was more important was that the generals prove their worth by demonstrating they were reliable partners in Hitler's ideological war.

Traditional norms of conduct were discarded even before the campaign opened. In March 1941, as Reinecke was briefing Wehrmacht officers, plans were drawn up for how army units would collaborate with SS General Reinhard Heidrich's Einsatzgruppen murder squads as the Germans moved eastward. Although a product of Hitler's twisted mind, the manual explaining the particulars of how the Commissar Order would be applied was drafted by Wehrmacht lawyers. Guidelines for the Conduct of Troops in the East called for ruthless elimination of active or passive resistance. While it had been customary following earlier campaigns to issue orders absolving German soldiers of guilt, the Barbarossa Jurisdiction Order of May 13, 1941, had provided these protections before the campaign even began. Perhaps more important, German soldiers were informed of this protection and went into Russia believing there would be no consequence for their subsequent actions.

With their plans for invasion and treatment of POWs well in place, the Wehrmacht unleashed Operation Barbarossa on June 22. Its initial success shocked even the victors. The mechanized panzer columns rolled forward almost effortlessly and left in their wake tens of thousands of bewildered Soviet soldiers who were quickly and easily scooped up by infantry units following behind. The cruelty was apparent from the outset. Major General Heinz Hellmich, commanding the 23rd Infantry Division, ordered that white flags were not to be respected. 'There will be no quarter!' he raged. A Captain Finselberg of the division's 6th Infantry Regiment told his troops to take no prisoners, as they were 'useless consumers of food and anyway a race whose extermination would be a step in the right direction.' Panzer Group 3 found prisoners guilty of having taken 'measures against the German Wehrmacht' and shot them out of hand. On June 29, Field Marshal Günther von Kluge ordered, 'Women in uniform are to be shot.'

Later, as their excesses ignited a protracted partisan war, the Germans reacted by issuing harsh orders calling for the execution of any Red Army personnel found in civilian clothing. An order to the 56th Infantry Division stated, 'Soldiers in plain clothes mostly recognizable by their short hair are to be shot following their identification as Red Army soldiers.' Villages were razed for sheltering Red Army soldiers, and prisoners were shot in retaliation for partisan attacks or for simply being soldiers. A field court-martial had sentenced a major to demotion for shooting POWs for no particular reason. Hitler intervened and excused the major, stating, 'We cannot blame lively spirits when they, convinced as they are that the German people are engaged in a unique battle of life and death, reject the Bolshevik world-enemy beyond all commandments of humanity.'

As a reflection of the racial nature of the war, Jewish prisoners were often held for execution by mobile SD squads or by Wehrmacht commanders. Soldiers from the Soviet Union's Asian republics were frequently shot out of turn, as were loosely defined 'Communist agitators.' So too were the wounded. In October 1942, wounded prisoners being held at Stalag 355 were being shot rather than treated. Seventy others, 18 of whom were amputees, were shot near the village of Khazhyn on December 24, 1942.

Those 'lucky' enough to escape the arbitrariness of their first moments as POWs were soon herded westward to begin their captivity. The marches were often as terrifying as combat itself. Nikolai Obrynba, a medic in a Soviet militia battalion hastily raised as the Germans pushed on toward Moscow, was captured in the fighting around Vitebsk. He remembered the exhausting march into captivity: 'It was the fourth day of our march toward Smolensk. We spent the nights in specially furnished pens, enclosed by barbed wire and guard towers with machine gunners, who illuminated us with flares through the entire night. The tail of the column, which stretched from hill to hill, disappeared into the horizon. Whenever we halted, thousands of those dying from hunger and cold remained or they collapsed as we marched along. Those still alive were finished off by soldiers wielding submachine guns. A guard would kick a fallen prisoner and, if he couldn't get up in time, fired his gun. I watched with horror how they reduced healthy people to a state of complete helplessness and death.'

Leonid Volynsky also remembered such shootings: 'An exhausted person would be sat at the side of the road; an escort would approach on his horse and lash out with his whip. The prisoner would continue sitting, with his head down. Then the escort would take a carbine from his saddle or a pistol from his holster.' Later, when confronted with these atrocities, General Alfred Jodl of the high command of the army (Oberkommando des Heeres, or OKH) explained them away with the feeble explanation that 'prisoners who were shot were not those who could not, but those who did not want, to walk.'

Understandably horrified by what it was seeing, the civilian population became restless and uncooperative. To counteract this, an OKH report of August 1941, just three months after the invasion had begun, stressed that 'force, brutality, looting and deception should be avoided in order to win over the population' and that the treatment of POWs was a major source of hatred for the Germans. Alarmed that the will of the troops would be weakened by such kindly treatment toward the enemy, Jodl carefully noted in the margin of the report, 'These are dangerous signs of despicable humanitarianism.'

Deliberate brutality and forced marches thinned the ranks of the POWs, but it proved to be an insufficient means of ridding the Germans of their unwanted burden. To further winnow the ranks, rations were systematically withheld from the prisoners. Food was earmarked for German use, and the army was to live off the land and dispatch any surplus to the Reich. Captured food worth 109 million Reichsmarks was sent to Germany from Russia between July and December 1941 alone. This distribution of resources was done with the full cooperation of the army, which acknowledged in another report, 'Thereby tens of millions of men will undoubtedly starve to death.'

Prisoners marched through the rear area of Army Group Center, for example, were getting only 300 to 700 calories a day. Those attempting to supplement this bounty by grabbing food from fields passed along the way were instantly shot. In many cases even the civilian population was barred from assisting the prisoners. Dr. Evgeny Livelisha of the 44th Rifle Division remembered: 'The peaceful civilians came to meet us, and tried to supply us with water and bread. However, the Germans would not allow us to approach the citizens, nor would they let them approach us. One of the prisoners stepped five or six meters out of the column and without any warning was killed by a German soldier.'

While the initial success of Barbarossa had been significant, the Germans failed to subdue the Soviet Union by the time the first snows fell in November 1941. The worsening weather made combat operations difficult for the German soldiers struggling to reach Moscow and caused the lot of their prisoners to grow even worse. When winter weather made it impossible to move prisoners by road, Wehrmacht directives were issued to have most men transported by rail but only in open wagons. In December 1941, between 25 and 70 percent of prisoners transported in this way perished en route. A prisoner named Gutyrya would be forever haunted by his trip to Stalag 304. 'The experience in the wagons can hardly be described in words,' he remembered. 'Wounds bled and turned everything black. Men died in each wagon. They died of blood loss, tetanus, blood poisoning, or hunger, thirst and suffocation as well as other deprivation. This inhumane ordeal lasted for 10 days. The journey came to an end. At noon they unloaded the men. The dead were thrown out onto the platform.'

Whether by foot or by rail, the ultimate destination of most prisoners in 1941 were Russenlager, camps built specifically to house Russian prisoners and managed by the Wehrmacht. Organizational Order Number 37 of April 30, 1941, stipulated that the camps were to consist of barbed-wire enclosures and watchtowers. The Wehrmacht discounted the need for hospitals or canteens — quicklime and cooking pots were to be provided instead. Few of the camps had barracks of any kind. As cold weather set in, the inmates were forced to dig shelters into the earth. The commandant of Stalag 318 noted that his charges were 'digging holes in the ground with their mess-kits and bare hands' as early as September 1941. Pavel Atayan was one of those who resorted to such improvised shelter. 'You just had to dig yourselves a hole in the ground to sleep in and we slid inside there, four at a time; you had to find room to bend your legs. We were really cold. It was winter. Every day they sent a cart to pick up the dead.'

When the frost and snow came, however, even those shelters were of little use. Many died of exposure in that living hell, but far more died through starvation. The frontline army policy in Russia of withholding food was continued in the camps, which given their fixed location should have been able to receive and distribute what was necessary. Although some prisoners were doubtlessly hungry when captured, the bulk of the deaths in 1941 actually took place hundreds of miles from the front, weeks or months after capture. As administrators of the Russenlager, it was the OKH that set the amount of rations to be supplied or withheld.

The quantity, to say nothing of the quality, of the food received by the Soviet POWs was set far below the minimum required for human survival. Xavier Dorsch noted that in the camp he helped guard at Minsk, 'The problem of feeding the prisoners being insoluble, they have largely been without nourishment for six to eight days and are almost deranged in their need for sustenance.' Another guard, Johannes Gutschmidt at Dulag 203, recorded in his diary that conditions in his camp soon reduced the prisoners to beasts. 'There was nothing to eat, not even any water. Many died. Finally they gave them dry macaroni and they fought over it.'

Victor Yermolayev was on the receiving end of such largess. 'After a few days, they began throwing us packets of semolina, dehydrated semolina, they threw them to us…some caught them…and others couldn't. We fell on it like wolves!'

The commandant of Stalag 318, a Colonel Falkenberg, noted on September 11, 1941: 'These cursed Untermenschen [sub-humans] have been observed eating grass, flowers and raw potatoes. Once they can't find anything edible in the camp they turn to cannibalism.' 'The prisoners live in the open air,' a witness to conditions at the Karolowka camp reported. 'At the camp the hunger is so terrible that a mile away they can be heard groaning and shouting `Food.' They eat grass. Dozens die from starvation.' A Hungarian tank officer recalled: 'I woke up one morning and heard thousands of dogs howling in the distance. I called my orderly and asked, `Sandor, what is all that moaning and howling?' He answered: `Not far from here there is a huge mass of Russian prisoners in the open air. There must be 80,000 of them. They are wailing because they are starving to death."

Rations scarcely resembled food at all. The prisoners' bread was specially formulated for Russians by the German Ministry of Food on November 24, 1941. The ministry advised its bakers that 'a useful mixture consists of 50 percent rye bran, 20 percent residue of sugar beet, 20 percent cellulose flour and 10 percent flour made of straw or leaves.' When made aware of these conditions, Reichsmarshall Hermann Gring and his staff helpfully suggested that the prisoners be allowed to eat cats. The Ministry of Food replied: 'Animals not normally consumed will never do much to satisfy the need for meat. Rations for Russians will have to be based on horse meat and meat stamped by inspectors as unfit for human consumption.'

Gabriel Temkin, taken prisoner in 1942, remembered some of those meals. 'All we were getting to eat was watery soup with pieces of rotten meat, a diet that was literally decimating us. It was the flesh of dead horses killed and lying alongside the roads since the German air strikes in the first week of July that was now to become our staple. The horses, their swollen bellies and open wounds full of white maggots and other parasitic worms, were collected by prisoners on adjacent roads.'

As the campaign continued, conditions in the camps became even worse. The army revised rations — downward. On November 13, 1941, the quartermaster-general, a Colonel Eduard Wagner, stated boldly that sick prisoners'should starve' and that rations for the remaining prisoners should be reduced — just before the onset of winter. Even those enmeshed in the Nazi regime saw that, had the will been there, the prisoners could have been fed. Alfred Rosenberg, the Reich minister of the Eastern Territories, complained to Field Marshal Keitel, 'In the majority of cases, the camp commanders have forbidden the civilian population from putting food at the disposal of prisoners and they have rather let them starve to death.' Allied officers at Colditz were barred from sharing Red Cross parcels with Soviet prisoners. In 1940 French POWs had been allowed to take supplies from German reserves. No such rights were granted officials supplying Soviet prisoners.

Under such deplorable conditions, disease began to stalk the camps. Tetanus and blood poisoning, diphtheria, malaria, pellagra, tuberculosis, pneumonia and typhus decimated the camps. In Stalag 304, prisoner Gutyrya remembered that in the wake of starvation, 'the typhoid fever epidemic began.' He continued: 'Up to 500 men died of this illness each day. The dead were thrown in mass graves, one on top of the other. Misery, cold weather, hunger, disease, death. That was camp 304.'

If the question had been simple logistics, as was later claimed, then the offer of outside assistance should have been readily accepted. Such was not the case. A Red Cross overture of vaccination equipment in the winter of 1941, during the epidemic, was rejected by Hitler. Soon the Wehrmacht began to formulate its own system for dealing with the sick and diseased. Many were quarantined in isolation camps; others were shot. In December 1941, one camp commandant noted that 1,000 wounded or sick prisoners had been brought to open-air collection points 'where they mostly soon perished in the cold.' At Stalag 324, it became customary for the sick to be shot once a week. An epidemic of dysentery at Stalag 359B led to a grisly final solution. Between September 21 and 28, 1941, Police Battalion 306 launched Operation Chickenfarm, which saw some 6,000 Red Army prisoners shot by German troops — 3,261 of them on the first day. In the subsequent report detailing the murders, victims were described as 'laid eggs.'

The result of all this abuse was that the daily mortality in an average camp was from 80 to 150 men. By January 1942, this equated to an average of 6,000 men per day. Less than a year after the start of Operation Barbarossa, in April 1942, a total of 309,816 prisoners had died in the camps in Poland alone. One German official in the occupied territories coldly noted that as of February 19, 1942, of the 3.9 million prisoners taken to that point, only 1.1 million remained in the camps. Some 280,000 prisoners, mainly Balts and Ukrainians, had been given the dubious privilege of being sent from almost certain death in the Russenlager to begin the slow death of work as slave laborers. The rest had simply perished.

When the process of 'disposing' of excess prisoners through abuse or neglect proved to be inefficient, the Wehrmacht streamlined their system by turning to the experts. Prisoners sent to Munich's Stalag VIIA for forced labor were inspected upon arrival by local Gestapo agents. Of the 3,778 prisoners who arrived, some 484 were found to be 'undesirable' and immediately sent to concentration camps and murdered.

While it is true that in this instance the Wehrmacht did not carry out the actual executions, it had released the prisoners from its control, placed them on the trains that took them to Germany and, once the loading had been completed, marked the prisoners' identity cards with 'transferred to the Gestapo.' Those prisoners sent to Stalag VIIA were not the only ones to receive such treatment. Sachsenhausen concentration camp alone executed 9,090 Soviet POWs between August 31 and October 2, 1941. Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau, Flossenburg, Gross Rosen, Mauthausen and Neuengamme all received similar 'deliveries,' which they handled in a like fashion.In addition to supplying labor for Germany, the Wehrmacht was also quite happy to provide prisoners for medical experimentation. In one such case, a Dr. Berning killed 12 prisoners from Stalag 310 while performing experiments on their digestive systems. In another, prisoners were shot using dum-dum bullets so the effect of the munitions could be assessed.

The policy of deliberate extermination eventually abated as the realization began to sink in that the campaign in Russia would not be the lightning victory that had been planned. Only in the late autumn of 1941, when Germany's wartime economy began to feel the strain of the now global conflict, was the decision made for the greater employment of POWs. From then on, surviving Soviet prisoners were used as slave labor. Many were dispatched to the Reich's coal mines — between July 1 and November 10, 1943, 27,638 Soviet POWs died in the Ruhr coal pits alone. Others were sent to Krupps, Daimler Benz or farmed out to countless smaller companies.

Although the generals later claimed that they were busy fighting the war and were thus not responsible for what happened behind the front, the fact remains that the Wehrmacht retained responsibility for the prisoners destined to forced labor, assigning their rations, allocating them to specific industries, guarding the columns as they headed west and maintaining the miserable Russenlager. When the prisoners eventually succumbed, it was Wehrmacht personnel who recorded their deaths and registered and oversaw their burial. Giving the lie to later claims that 'they did not know,' German civilians regularly witnessed bands of weary, starving Russian prisoners moving throughout their country.

They were not the only ones. As more and more Russians were sent westward, they were frequently collected in camps that were next to the POW compounds set up for prisoners from the other Allied countries. The abuse of Russian prisoners had become such that American, British and French POWs frequently commented on the mistreatment they witnessed.

After the war, when the full horror of what had transpired in Hitler's Reich became known, the Allies set up criminal courts to try the worst offenders. While the SS and other police organizations were, correctly, confronted with their crimes, the Wehrmacht largely escaped such scrutiny. Although a few high-ranking generals were tried, including Jodl and Keitel, Wehrmacht personnel who had actively participated in the systematic abuse and murder of Soviet POWs went unpunished.

The fact remains, however, that the Wehrmacht actively assisted in the planning and execution of the war. It is also undeniable that its conduct of the war included a POW system that violated international treaties and the rules of war in its treatment of Soviet prisoners. This was vastly different from its treatment of other Allied prisoners. Contrast the way in which the Wehrmacht safely herded 2 million French prisoners into the Reich in 1940 with the death marches of Russian prisoners of late 1941.

The Wehrmacht actively formulated the way Soviet prisoners should be deprived of the protection of international law, handed prisoners over to the SD for execution, set starvation rations, deprived prisoners of essential medical assistance, organized a system of camps designed to be primitive, farmed prisoners out for slave labor and deprived them of rights normally associated with POW status. Most damning is that those excesses were the result of deliberate planning prior to the invasion of Russia and were not the unfortunate result of the 'chaos' of war.

Despite the Wehrmacht's feeble efforts to hide its crimes behind a veil of secrecy, Russian soldiers and civilians were well aware of the mistreatment. Such knowledge strengthened the resolve of the Soviets to fight on until it was the Germans who were on the defensive. It also ensured that as Soviet armies advanced westward, their wrath would be terrible.

There can be no excuse for the horrible excesses committed by Soviet troops in Germany, but the Wehrmacht's treatment of Russian prisoners might serve as one possible explanation for their behavior. Far more than half the Soviet soldiers taken prisoner by the Germans during the course of World War II died in captivity. Sixty years later, a full accounting of the Nazi regime and the brutality of the war on the Eastern Front requires that politicians, legal authorities, historians and students of the war hold the Wehrmacht accountable for its actions and seek justice for its victims.


This article was written by Jonathan North and originally appeared in the January/February 2006 issue of World War II magazine. For more great articles subscribe to World War II magazine today!

102 Responses to “Soviet Prisoners of War: Forgotten Nazi Victims of World War II”

  1. 1

    [...] town. ? Soviet Prisoners of War: Forgotten Nazi Victims of …Statistics show that out of 5.7 million Soviet soldiers captured between 1941 and … the [...]

  2. 2
    jidrich beran says:

    this is my fathers name,he was from the checkrebublick and at one of the prisons,he made it out of ther,but in 1955 he disapeard and was never heard of again.can you help.

  3. 3
    Nari says:

    I'm looking for my uncle, (V)Biktor(nikname-Duru)Sakheishvili,missing since WW2.The words spread, he was captured, but he managed to escaped.Please help me to find out,whether he is dead or alive.

  4. 4
    Diana Junicke-Davis says:

    My father, Gunter Junicke, was in a Siberian Gulag. He was captured the day after WWII was declared to be over, in Berlin Germany. Does anyone have any information about Siberian camps, and how or whom may have helped my father return to Berlin?

    • 4.1
      chris says:

      My opa was captured in the winter of 1945, from what I was told he remained a pow until 1949..I dont know if Stalin released the pows or he and some other germans escaped,, he made it back to Berlin and added in the berlin air lift…he was very skinny and weak took most of the 1950s to recover. iwas young but he showed me were he took 10 rounds in the right leg from a russian machine gun upon his capture..I remember him in the early 60s but never talked much about the camp or the war…he died in 1968… my dad is still alive and is from Berlin…I could get more info if you need it …Chris…Peace

    • 4.2
      B.M.Barrett says:

      Please contact me.

      • 4.2.1
        Nancy teras says:

        I am looking for any information on a young man taken from Hungary in 1945 by name of Kovesdi, Istvann he was about 15 or 16 years old and was being taken to Siberia. Any information or direction on how to better my search would be greatly appreciated. I am doing this for his sister Magda and nephew Zsolt. Thank you In advance. Nancy

  5. 5
    Paul Buhler says:

    Good one jonathon north! do you also write articles about the way the german prisoners were treated? or the mutilations inflicted on german prisoners from the first days of operation barbarossa? or the the habit of the running over of german prisoners by tanks? or the 90,000 Cossacks and their wives and children handed back to the russians at the end of the war after being promised they wouldn't be by the british? or the 10 million ukrainian peasants deliberately starved to death by stalin? Was there any combatant, ALLIED or AXIS that DIDN'T commit an atrocity during the second world war? Why don't you spend your time searching for those instead of re-hashing the same old information that I get crammed down my throat EVERYTIME I look at ANYTHING about WW2!!! Then maybe you won't look like some 2 bit copy cat! Sorry, BORING copy cat!

    • 5.1
      bibi says:

      If i was a russian in 1941-45 I would hardly give a damn about a humane treatment of Greman POW's. Paul Buhler, I don't know if you are able to try and walk in their shoes…It requires certain empathy. Germans started this brutal war on Russia why do u expect Russians to adhere to international law when Germans didn't?????? Totally agree with Russian. my grandad was in that war too and he reached Vienna. so many of my friends alo lost their grandparents in this war. ok Stalin was horrible but Russians and other USSR nations were not fighting for his sake! they were fighting for the sake of their families and their land. in Russia it is called great Patriotic War. during the war Stalin was very popular and he generated big consensus. At the end of the day he won this war. I am sorry but Stalin's crimes although terrible are a different matter and not a topic of this article.

      • 5.1.1
        Olga says:

        I was born and raised in USSR and as someone who knows everything first hand I would agree with you but only to part of it, why Soviet people fought Hitler. In everything else you are wrong, especially: "during the war Stalin was very popular and he generated big consensus. At the end of the day he won this war. I am sorry but Stalin's crimes although terrible are a different matter and not a topic of this article."

        1. Stalin as much responsible for starting WW2 as Hitler. If you would like me to explain I would be happy to do so.

        2. Stalin didn't win the war, Soviet people did. Stalin was more if incompetent. There is a theory that he in fact wanted that war.

        3. By Stalin's orderWW2 Soviet POWs were considered to be traitors of USSR and sent by Stalin to concentration camps (camps were as bad as nazi's were), so by this only reason Stalin's crimes is a topic of this article. My grandfather was one of them. Private, called to Red army in 1941, captured by nazi in July 1941, from 1941-1945 in Mauthausen, experienced all Nazi atrocities you hear about Holocaust (though he was Ukrainian), liberated by US Army, went back home and spent next 8 years until Stalin's death in Soviet concentration camp. Such examples are counted by millions.

        4. Stalin was the one who refused to sign Geneva convention, so he is ultimately responsible for what happened to any Soviet POW.

        5.If you truly empathize with Russian people to close your eyes on what happened to them because communism came to power is wrong thing to do. The only way you can assure that such thing doesn't happen again is to speak the truth about everything what happened in Soviet Union including crimes committed there toward anybody and speak loud.

  6. 6
    Winfield Mcmurtrey says:

    Shorter Paul Buhler – "Two Wrongs makes a Right".

  7. 7
    anton jutronic says:

    Russians had it coming.

    They have always behaved in war like beasts.

    Just remember Poland, Finland, Ukraine, Hungary, Chechnia and Afghanistan.

    They've got what they deserved.

    • 7.1
      Hannah Kim says:

      No. Russia was an American ally during World War Two. You say the Soviet Union was evil, no I don't. James Bond [though I love them] portray the Russians as bad, no they're not. Russian prisoners of war were treated badly and were innocent despite the fact the Germans did that to destroy Judaism and Communism.
      Also, fair hair is blonde/pale yellow or really light brown/pale ash brown. That means someone with light brown hair is also fair-haired. Blonde hair is always light yellow. So we can say Hitler believed all blondes were better, but that he killed some fair-haired people who were not blond.

      • 7.1.1
        Hannah Kim says:

        But you're right in the second context. Hitler invaded Poland, those people all have fair hair blue eyes [I've seen lots of Poles with light brown hair]. He invaded Russia, Norway, and the Netherlands, whose population has lots of people with blonde hair blue eyes [I've seen lots of Dutch, Norwegians, and Soviets with really light blonde hair in my school; heck the last Soviet classmate I had in grade school was blonde]. Also, even though Anne Frank was dark haired, she had pale skin and was killed.

  8. 8
    Sally Abravanel says:

    What, Anton? If I remember correctly it was the Mujahadin/Taliban "freedom fighters"(armed, trained and financed by the CIA) who flayed Soviet soldiers alive and threw acid in the faces of Communist female teachers who were trying to teach Afghan women to read.

  9. 9
    Robert says:

    Excellent article, too little is known of the crimes of regular German army in the East.

    I note that most of the other 'Comments' are by people who usually post on Stormfront…..

  10. 10
    adam says:

    grandfather died in palatki smolensk february 1942. he was a commissar, his name was nikolai turubanov from kurgan republic. Was there a battle in palatki or just the big prisoner of war camp. Are there mass graves in this area.

  11. 11
    bahsgrl says:

    400,000 nazi soldiers were captured in the battle for Stalingrad. Only 91,000 of them made it to the POW camps in Siberia. The Soviet Union did not release their nazi POW's until 1947 and by that time only 5,000 of them were alive. My grandfather was one of those 5,000. He was not a member of the nazi party and always said that the reason he went to war was so that his sons could stay behind a work their farm. My grandfather once told me that when it comes to war you don't think about your wife, kids, etc…. your training kick in and your just trying to stay alive. Many people do things during war that they wouldn't do under normal circumstances. People know it's wrong but they are afraid to speak up and have the group turn on them. Does this make them monsters? We have women being attacked by groups of men in public, people starving on our streets, and children being abused next door but most people turn a blind eye because we don't want to get involved! Does that make us monsters?

    • 11.1
      aaron says:

      "400,000 nazi soldiers were captured in the battle for Stalingrad. Only 91,000 of them made it to the POW camps in Siberia. The Soviet Union did not release their nazi POW's until 1947 and by that time only 5,000 of them were alive."

      Read it, at least, the German book … Maybe then you will know that 91 000 – is the total number of prisoners of war under staltngradom. Most of them were sick and weak. Therefore, mortality, that is, in this group of prisoners, was much higher than in the whole of the Soviet captivity. Although the proportion of you, in general, do not have any relation to the story.

      • 11.1.1
        Tim Upham says:

        At Stalingrad, Nazi is not synonymous with German. There were Hungarian, Romania, Italian troops, and Spanish volunteers. In fact more Italian soldiers died on the Russian Front, than any other military campaign Italy was involved in during World War II. So basically, Stalingrad was a war between Fascism and Communism. Just that after war, both Hungary and Romania went communist. The number of Soviet prisoners who died under German captivity was by all means much greater than 91,000. In fact, over 235,000 Soviet prisoners of war died in concentration camps, along with Jews and Roma.

  12. 12
    Russian says:

    My greandfather
    My grandfather fought in this war, he survived from the beginning of 1942 and took Vienna in 45. He had never told me that Russians were brutal to Germans, these sausage-eaters were protected by low, by the commissars they so liked to kill!
    Waffen SS soldiers, in general, were not detained; he told me that they were killed on the battlefield by soldiers. It is not amazing – Russian soldiers saw what they have done! They have made a desert on the place of tightly populated regions during just couple of years. But the common Wehrmacht soldiers were spared, over 2.5 millions came back to Germany after Stalin’s death in 1956. Mortality rate in Russian camps was much lower than in German, at least nobody exterminated people there like animals.
    It is not casual events when brigades of panzer SS troops surrendered to 2-3 Americans they happily met on their way in April-May 1945. When SS officers quietly and being absolutely adequate killed they families, and then shot themselves. War gave us a lot of such examples. These guys knew what they have done in Russia! They were afraid!
    Unlike this “awful” comrade Stalin many Russian generals would barely be so kind with Germans! A lot of them lost their whole families in the flame of the war! What they could do – simply give weapon to yesterday POWs and do the same as Germans did right before the invasion of Russia 22.06.41-say that they can do everything they want with Germans! They did NOT do that!!!
    So misters and misses Germans you must understand that you were very, very lucky that you met “monstrous Russian beasts”, but not you civilized neighbors, they would never forgive you things like you have done in Russia!!!
    Remember it and never forget that Germany was re-borned in May 1945, thank to Russian generosity and kindness. It was the most generous and expensive gift which has ever been done. It coasted over 25 millions lives!!!
    Think about that.

    • 12.1
      Ande Maki says:

      Dear bahsgrl

      As a Finn I must state that your comment of the human russians is a great piece of scrap. Rapers of 3 million german female.

      I don´t go to details but my country has really felt the kindness of this Great Comrade. During last 800 years more than 100 years of war. Our losses in WW2 equal if US would have lost 18 million men instead of 440k.

      Finland was NEVER occupied and the commies losses were astronomous , thanks a lot to our german counterpartis and their arsenal .

      • 12.1.1
        Russian says:

        As a finn you must know that your country has been under Sweeden until 1814 (where all magistrates and nobels were sweedish, finnswhere simply peasants and slaves).
        Than Russians won against sweeds in 1809 and god Finnland. than for the first time Suomi have got own parlament (the first one in the whole Impire) and large independence in their local things.

        They pay us with a sh** at revolution (supporting Lenin-Trotsky's rebel with own regular forces) and WWII (millions of Leningrad's inhabitants died of starvation også because of city's blocade by finns from the North-East).

        Me as a Russian remember it very well, and Finnland will pay this debght sooner or later!!!

        Specially for you, an evidence of finnish superior humanity "The last smile of the Russian POW"

      • 12.1.2
        Tim Upham says:

        In the Siege of Leningrad, the Finnish Army did not advance any further than to the pre-1939 border, and a single Finnish shell never hit Leningrad. The city was cut off, so that the only way supplies could reach the city was across frozen Lake Ladoga. The irony is that when Heinrich Himmler came to Helsinki, asking the Finnish Foreign Minister to hand over the 2,000 Jews in Finland for deportation, it was refused, and not a single one was deported. But yet, Finland did indirectly contribute the 1,000,000 dead during the siege. Finland did pay the price, by not getting back the territory it lost during the First Russo-Finnish, including the city of Viipuri. So May 8th, is a good way to remember how all people and nations suffering during that time spam.

      • 12.1.3
        aaron says:

        " During last 800 years more than 100 years of war."…
        very, very interesting historical information) You o'k?

        "Finland was NEVER occupied")
        until 1939, Russia and Finland did not fight. At the beginning of XIX century was a war with Sweden. The outcome of the war is the rejection of Finland from Sweden in favor of Russia as a dangerous bridgehead for aggression. In obschkem, the same tune was in 1939.
        With a much more humane outcome for Finland ..

      • 12.1.4
        Tim Upham says:

        You obviously have not lived in Europe. From the 13th to the 15th centuries, there were crusades to force both the Finno-Ugric and Baltic peoples to convert to Christianity. The one in present day Finland was called the Northern Crusade during the 13th century, when Roman Catholic Sweden conquered the pagan Finns, and forced them to accept Christianity, thus beginning Swedish rule of Finland. In the 16th century, Scandinavia accepted the Protestant Reformation, making both Sweden and Finland Lutheran. The Congress of Vienna in 1814, awarded Finland to the anti-Napoleon Russia, and took Norway away from Denmark — a Napoleon ally — and gave it to Sweden. The Swedes only fought Napoleon in Swedish Pomerania — today the coast of Poland — while Moscow was burned. To make Russia feel better they gave them Finland. To punish Denmark, they ripped apart Norway from them and gave that to Sweden.

    • 12.2
      Alexander says:

      You are right, I totally agree with you, by the way my own grandfather also fought in the Red Army and he kept saying the same thing, that we treated the Germans way more humanely than the Germans treated us. He said he thought that Germany should be wiped off the face of the Earth after what they had done.

  13. 13
    Machaila says:

    thanx 4 having this wonderful site avalable 2 the public!!!

  14. 14
    Chanam Yael says:

    We cannot change the past. All the victims because of a Nazi regime. We can only learn from it in order to be better.
    We can only try not to be like Hitler and be against all kind of 'slavery' like 'sex slavery' of women from 'poor' country.
    Against reality that people are starving or cannot purchase a home or a reality that people are trying to 'devalue' other people because they are Jewish or Musulman or Christiens etc.. Lets try to be better.
    To respect others.
    A world that people have different languages, appearence, faith is a more interesting rich world.
    Hitler was a crazy sick person.
    We should learn not to be like him. We should try to create a better world with mutual Respect no matter the class of the person his origion and religion.
    Whether he is beautiful or ugly, slim or fat
    The past is DEAD
    We have only the FUTURE

  15. 15
    R K RAO says:

    siege of Leningrad
    I am often haunted by information that many Leningraders ignorant of lightning German advance towards their city had send their children to summer camps,right in the path of the invaders. Though many children were rescued,over 200,000 innocent children were captured by the Germans.what happened to them?.How many survived German captivity or worse.Ref 900 DAYS-SIEGE OF LENINGRAD.Could you please give me some information on this, ´´´ ¨¨
    Best regards
    R K RAO

  16. 16
    Christopher says:

    War is hell, and ask any soldier he will tell you that. It is usually only the politicians and ignorant that revel in the declaration of war. Every war has its heroes and animals, across the divide. I know of many German heroes, Soviet heroes and Yank and British heroes, and the many acts of bravery that took place throughout the war years. Be careful of generalisation, and understand that when you release the dogs of war, the first casualty will always be the truth, and thereafter death and cruelty take over. War is hell, lets learn from that and not defend anybody or any country who advocates murder.

    Thanks for the article.

  17. 17
    How America Betrayed Europe says:

    I always find it so convenient for historians to disassociated the rise of the Axis Powers (yes Hitler was not alone) with the economic terrorism that was being inflicted upon Europe, Middle East, India, China and North Africa.

    As if Hitler just suddenly appeared out of thin air to destroy the world! Thats what today's established scholars would love everyone to believe.

    If Hitler was such a lone mad man i find it hard to believe he was able to align himself with so many other powers within the world.

    Could it be the Rise of the Axis in WWII was a directed reaction to British Global Imperialism and Zionist International Corporations who held no loyalty to their host nations?

    Much as we still see to this day in America who's industrial industry has been exported for the sake of international corporate greed?

    Does this alternate historic scenario require too much thought amongst the establish 'boogieman' trumpeters?

    It makes for SUCH better theater doesnt it? Creating villains for the pilgrims to fight.

    The British Empire is on its Death Bed. America better decide which side its on this time round.

    And there will be another 'time round'

  18. 18
    Nightshift says:

    Dad, as he gets older, is finally telling me some stories. His family lived on a farm in Finland. Three Russian prisoners of war were sent to the small town and one man lived with with Dad's family. Dad was 12 when Sergei arrived, whom Dad felt must have been in his 40's at the time. Dad would point at things and draw items in an attempt to communicate and as kids do, he picked up some Russian. He told me that Sergei taught him many things, including a device they used in Siberia at the time to hunt. The house would get so cold in the winter that water would freeze. The POW's could come and go as they wanted and Sergei shared meals with the family around the table. Dad then told me that it came to the attention of the officials that the 3 POW's in this town were not being treated harshly enough. They were collected one day and my father, who never displays emotions, had to pause when he told me that Sergei began to cry when he had to leave. He took the address and wanted to get in contact when the war ended. He was never heard from again. You know, most of those people were just hard working, nonpolitical guys with loved ones missing them in some far-off locale. Too bad there wasn't a happy reunion for all involved.

  19. 19
    brief says:

    die Behandlung der sowjetischen Soldaten war schrecklich. es muss russland sehr weh tun und ich glaube tut immer noch weh.dieses trauma erfordert ein langes heilungsprozess,wenn man es überhaupt heilen kann.
    gut, dass man überhaupt darüber spricht. denn solange man das nicht verarbeitet hat, wird es keine Zukunft geben. Schweigen bringt uns nicht weiter.

  20. 20
    Galt says:

    This article is true in the instances it quotes, but it is written to make a point and makes no attempt at context or balance. The Russians for instance, until later in the war, basically didn't take prisoners, they simply torutured and murdered any Germans that surrendered.

    Whereas the survival rate of Russian prisoners was about 40%, the survivial rate of German prisoners at Stalingrad was only 5%. The article is absolutely silent about Russian treatment of German prisoners. Why?

    Many Germans were undoubtedly brutal towards Russian POWS. Given them regularly seeing the mutalated bodies of Germans attempting to surrender that was a regular feature on the Russian front, it is somewhat understandable.

    Many frontline German soldiers and officers were not brutal towards prisoners however.

    When the Russians counterattacked in the Crimea in 1941/42, the Russian POWs in Manstein's camps voluntarily fled with the German army.

    I've never been a fan of authors who tell one side of story. They are biased, and this dilutes the value of what they write.

    • 20.1
      Russian says:

      Do not refer to the survival rates of POWs taken in Stalingrad, it has no sence since (these 90.000 is a small drop of more than 3 millions taken together during the war).
      Do not forget that these POWs were captured by the country were the civil population and army starvated due to war that germans has started! Would you expect thay should be fed by black caviar after imprisoning?! It was done a lot to save the miserable lives of these murederers-maniacs, many of them survived the war and told people like you what thay experienced! On the way from from the border to Stalingrad thay have alredy killed and tortured millions of civilians. Of almost 3 millions Russian POW taken during the first 4-5 monthes of blitz krieg germans had intentionally exterminated more than 2 millions during the first winter: starvation, diseases and mass killings also in conc. kamps.
      Ainzatsgruppen killed civilian population of Russian ethnicity as pleasurely as jews. Of 27 million died Russians in the war the soldiers of the Red Army consisted only 8.3 millions, other were women, children and old men!!!
      Therefore as a Russian I simply do not understand why germans' effecive industry of mass killings, they factories of death like Aushvitz and Osvenzim, has not been used against them after they lost the war. To pay them the same coin: "NO MERCY TO FASHISTS" isn't it?! Unfortunately, comrade Stalin was very philanthropic creature!

      • 20.1.1
        renegado says:

        Absolutely in agreement. The atrocities committed by the Germans (not only for the Nazi, since the slaughters of Russian war prisoners, children, women and elders, were realized by members of the German regular army, police officers and even colonists) has no comparison with anything realized by any people in the last two thousand years.
        I am surprised from the kindness of the Russians, just after of conquering Berín they began to feed the civil population, while the Germans were submitting to the russian cities conquered to a deliverate diet of famine to exterminate them.
        Only a point the Russian prisoners murdered by famine and ill-treatment in a few months between 1941 and 1942 there were 3-3,5 millions as said most of the historians.
        Even while the Germans were besieged in Stalingrado they maintained a field of prisioeros Russians in its interior and they let them to die of famine.
        There were more than 10.000 concentration camps and 600 of them only in Berlin, all the Germans knew everything and the majority was agreeing with the criminal politics of its leaders. It is a fact that only now starts to open to the light after Cold War.

    • 20.2
      bob says:

      i agree with you completely

  21. 21
    Nobody says:

    I think that as the survival rate of prisoners surviving at stalingrad was 5% that the survival rate of prisoners that were capured by russians e.t.c. should have been much lower even though the survival rate was 40% for the russians if it had been me in charge I would not have even started taking prisoners if I needed information or something like that I would have just tortured them and then killed them as that is probably what they would have done to me given the chance.

  22. 22
    Max says:

    Excellent article. It is interesting how some people react to the FACTS you are presenting. Since those facts do not agree with their ideas, they react as if they were personally insulted or something like that.

    I think we need to be more open. We need to seek for the truth. The truth is not what our media tell us. It is not what soviet media told them. It is not what nazi media told the germans. We have to investigate, because, sadly, media says what is "politically correct" to be published. Three examples:

    1) A chorus said: Irak has massive destruction weapons. The chorus repeated it. It was correct, it was patriotic.
    2) Everybody heard about the six million dead jews, few about the twenty (or more) million dead russians. Conclusion (in the minds): There were more jews' dead than any other people's.
    3) Many of us thought it was only the SS, or the special extermination detachments. Now we all know that the Wehrmacht was involved. Yes, the cold war was a golden chance for thousands of war criminals…

    If we are open minded, we can learn more, and work for a better future.

    Sorry for my english, it is not my native language.


  23. 23
    RK RAO says:

    It has been proved beyond any doubt that STALIN and not
    HITLER, was the biggest mass murderer in the History of man-kind.Hitler murdered hundreds of thousands mentally
    challenged,terminally sick and even physically handicapped
    Germans,as "use-less eaters".He deliberately starved and killed
    millions of Russians and Jews.All this pales compared to the
    crimes against humanity committed by Stalin,He killed millions
    of his own people duling mass collectivization and man-made
    famine in the Ukraine and other regions.It was Stalin's policy
    to keeep 12-14 million peiople in camps to be employed as slave
    labour,majority of whom died of disease and hunger

    • 23.1
      mok says:

      Stalin did not killed his own people; he was not russian nor ukarainians, he was georgians. He destroyed "the enemy of people as a class". His own people was international revolutionaries . I am wondering how people especially in western countries accuse russians for all the killings and persecutions during the Soviet time, because of the leaders of the communist regime were not russians but all minority nations of the USS; jews, georgians, armenians, baltic nations and even polacks and finns.

  24. 24
    paul says:

    I watched the pianist last night on tv and it prompted me to find this site. It stated at the end of the film that the officer who fed and let the pianist live. DIED IN A RUSSIAN PRISON IN 1952. Why was he still in prison at that time i thought the russians let the German pow's go in the late 1940's. When did the last german pow die in russia and what did russia do to them.

    Strange how watching a film can spark such interest in a subject.

  25. 25

    [...] – 1944. gada septembris". Yearbook of the Occupation Museum of Latvia 2000: pp. 87–153. [15] "Soviet Prisoners of War: Forgotten Nazi Victims of World War II", History Net. [16] [...]

  26. 26

    [...] – 1944. gada septembris”. Yearbook of the Occupation Museum of Latvia 2000: pp. 87–153. [15] “Soviet Prisoners of War: Forgotten Nazi Victims of World War II”, History Net. [16] Ibid. [17] [...]

  27. 27
    Look for Konstantin Franz Herrmann died in about March 1978 in the Carribean &, Is a War Hero out of Italy, my hoe is that he is still alive by some small chance (my father)! 209-931-4032 CAlif. says:


    • 27.1
      costantino herrmann says:

      non parlo inglese. mio padre si chiamava Konstantin Franz Herrmann ed era nato a Geithain (ex DDR) il 24 giugno 1921. E' morto il 11 agosto 1978 in Italia. Vorrei conoscere i suoi familiare. aspetto con ansia una risposta. Grazie. Il mio nr di telefono(+39) 328.4034594.

  28. 28
    Angela Herrmann says:

    Yes anything to do with American Seargeant Konstantin Franz Herrmann, & a last sighting of him in the Carribean would be very very much appreciated or anything about him. I would like to find his grave & possible anything else I can find out about his whereabouts in the Carribean area, maybe why he was there. His family would like any news of any kind. Write to A. Herrmann (War Heroes), 3431 Cherryland Avenue Space #24, Stockton, CA 95215 for anything at all on him. Thanks P.S. He orchestrated an escape from Italy and saved many men's lives some of whom I hope see this Reply. Thanks

  29. 29

    [...] HistoryNet: Soviet prisoners of war – Forgotten Nazi victims of World War II [...]

  30. 30

    [...] HistoryNet: Soviet prisoners of war – Forgotten Nazi victims of World War II [...]

  31. 31
    Objectionist says:

    The last paragraph:…

    Another guard, Johannes Gutschmidt at Dulag 203, recorded in his diary that conditions in his camp soon reduced the prisoners to beasts. 'There was nothing to eat, not even any water. Many died. Finally they gave them dry macaroni and they fought over it….

    is wrong. Johannes Gutschmidt was a Camp Commander of certain camps (Dulags) who wrote a diary. He wrote in his diary (the quotqtion above appears 07.01.1941):

    30. 6. 1941 (Bielsk)
    Today a prisoner arrived who had smashed the complete jaws until the ear by shots and the front part was shot off completely.
    For he had shots in the region of the heart too, he wasn't supposed to survive according to the physiscian. He reived a lot of morphium but woke up very alive after a while. I took a numer of pictures of him. When he was taken to the civilian hospital he asked to be driven seated and not on a stretcher and also that I take some more pictures of him. The next day I visited him in the hospital and the chief surgeon said that he will make it due to his strong constitution. We have now received 8 large boilers and 22 Russian field kitchens. Now larger numbers of POWs can arrive: we are prepared.

    I1. 7. 1941 (Bielsk)
    In the afternoon a major from the OKH was on visit and was quite astonished that we have warm food for the POWs. We "found" 2500 litres of gasoline. Food for the POWs we receive plenty, fish,small sardines, corn, ..We also receive horses. Those with broken legs or exhausted that they cannot stand anymore. Our camp is becoming more beautiful each day and the discipline is improving.

    8. 7. 1941 (Sluzk)
    In Minsk a camp was prepared for 30.000, it had to be stuffed with 140.000. There was nothing to eat, not even water. Many died. Finally they gave them dry maccaroni to eat, on which they desperately threw themselves. They are guarded by soldiers riding on captured horses. Those guards have long whips and even shoot. However they don't get discipline into the camp, the hunger is too big. However I haven't seen the camp…

    9. 7. 1941 (Sluzk)
    I couldn't sleep the whole night and awoke in my tent at 3.45 a.m.. Numerous farm wives from the neighbourhood brought us milk and eggs, refusing to take money. In Bielsk the Secret Field Police shot 30 Jews with doubtable justification, in Minsk they shot even one hundred. It is ashaming how this police is raging. We do our best to behave correctly towards the Russians and the police behaves the opposite direction. They say that those jews have committed acts of sabotage. However not one case of sabotage has occured.

    12. 7. 1941 (Sluzk)
    Today a prisoner was brought who had been escaped some days before and was caught again today. Because he behaved rather offensive, I put him under arrest for 10 days. Besides this the POW make a calm impression, we have no difficulties with them. But they realize soon that we have only good in mind with them, caring for that they have enough to eat and do all our best for their woundeds. My physician allways has enough band-aids and medicaments, but we also like to give woundeds to the civilian hospitals. That means to set them into freedom, for the hospitals have no reason to treat them furtherly as prisoners.

  32. 32
    bob says:

    my great grand father is missing in action in world war two he is russian his name is ivan danielovich morozkin we think he might have been tooken to prison in germany those idiots are mean and cruel if you have any info plz replay:)

  33. 33

    [...] of War: Forgotten Nazi Victims of World War II". Weider History Group. Richard Overy gives the number of 5.7 million Soviet POWs. Of those, 57 percent died or were [...]

  34. 34
    ken Ishmael says:

    The 20th century has been the most brutal in recorded history. This fact can be contributed to the removal of God in these socities. Communist Russia, Nazi Germany, Red China, Imperial Japan all either removed organized religon or held their leaders up as devine. When a socity has no higher moral code to answer to…there is no end to the level of inhumanity they can inflict on their fellow man.

  35. 35
    Mark T. DeNucci, Sr. says:

    I found this article very informative but also found one glaring error: the author incorrectly referring to the German Army as the Wehrmacht. The German Army was not the Wehrmact but was the Heer. The Wehrmact is the name for the entire armed forces of Nazi Germany. The Kriegsmarine was the German Navy and the Lufftewaffe was the German Airforce. It is amazing how many author's continue to make this mistake.

  36. 36
    Tim Upham says:

    That is the reason we must remember May 8, 1945, the day Germany surrendered marking the end of its involvement during World War II. Soviet prisoners were kept in horrid conditions. They were kept in enclosures with no shelter, only randomly was food throne out into these enclosures to feed them. Prison guards would take guns to randomly shoot them. Many Soviet prisoners were held in concentration camps, for the breakout at Sorbibor was led by a Soviet prisoner. When we realize the vast humanity that suffered and died as a results of World War II, Soviet prisoners have to be included among them. For that was one of the crimes against humanity that the defendants at the Nuremberg Trial were convicted of.

  37. 37
    wow! says:

    I am amazed by the messages of some Germans in this forum. It shows clearly that some of them are still living in absolute denial of what sort of terrible crimes their wicked evil ancestors had made! Truly delusional, it would be for laughing if it would not be so pathetic.
    Get it straight people: you declared the war, you invaded, massacred, butchered, killed, raped, humiliated and exterminated millions of people.
    If some of your monster ancestor inhuman bastards got POWs and were maltreated, then tough!!!! It was the Germans who were against all others, not the opposite. Arrogant, annoying and extremely pathetic, stop provoking the public feeling with your crap posts. You bloodshed the whole Europe, destroyed nations and brought them back 100 years! Get it straight, you were the bad guys, not the others!!!!!!

    • 37.1
      Tim Upham says:

      For a long time, when the United States was involved in the Cold War with the Soviet Union, it did not mean that we could lose our humanity towards our fellow man. One of the of the most unpopular presidents we had Richard Nixon, was in the Soviet Union in 1972. In Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), on Soviet television, he read excepts from Tanya's diary. A Russian girl who perished during the Siege of Leningrad. In it she mentioned how everybody in her family died. Then Nixon read out the haughty sentence "But Tanya is still here." She died shortly after writing that passage. Fortunately, today Russia and the United States is no longer in an armed competition, just like Germany and the Soviet Union were during the 1930s. If we can look beyond our past differences, then so can Russia and Germany. To prove that people like Tanya did not die in vain.

  38. 38
    Dave says:

    The article uses Soviet and Russian as synonyms which is very wrong. The Red Army was made up of Russians, Ukrainian, Belarusans, Kazakhs and many other groups in the USSR.

    The Red Army prisioners of war were not only Russians, but Ukrainians, Belarusans, Kazakhs and other groups comprising the USSR's multiethnic makeup

  39. 39
    Marina Dadayan says:

    I'm looking for my uncle, Dadajan (Dadayan) Gergory , missing since WW2. Not long ago found on Internet that he was in Stalag IVB. They don't show the date of death. There were rumors that he stayed in France after the war. If someone has any information or could suggest any agency which helps to find missing POWII it will be appreciated.

    Thank you.

  40. 40
    Renegado says:

    Excellent article I write someting about this too in :

    Unfortunately the Germans have not repented of anything as we observe in some comment here. There keep on being a potentially dangerous people in spite of what most of the people believe. Sincerely I do not know how the Russians did not displace the whole population of East Germany to Siberia after what the Germans did in Russia from the first day, using children and women as human shields, etc. No nation in the last two thousand years has done the atrocities that the Germans have done. And they still dare to speak!

    • 40.1
      Alexander says:

      Thats true, perhaps any other country would do that with the Germans, but the Russians are extraordinarily humane, Russians are not hateful people.

    • 40.2
      Alexander says:

      Exactly, my grandfather would be very happy to hear such words and he would totally agree with you, I know that for sure, thanks.

  41. 41
  42. 42
  43. 43
    Joesph Bineski says:

    Only 1 to 4 percent of any people are psychopaths. Instead of letting psychopaths arrange hatred and wars between Russians and Germans, or between Americans and Vietnamese; lets learn to recognize/ discern the psychopaths so we who are at least 96% easily identify, isolate, and either dis-empower or annihilate those who thus cause our misfortunes. Our weakness has been compassion, empathy, and sympathy for those who will never have compassion, empathy, or sympathy. They are not really human like us, even thought they may look, sound, and act (sometimes) like us. They are inhuman and without guilt or remorse. We can let them exist but only in isolated and non-influential existences. This might be the best option as they do have vast influence, power, and understanding. They might not fight us on this if we do not threaten to annihilate them. If they do resist then we resort to their termination.

    • 43.1
      Alexander says:

      Right, I agree with you on this, psychopaths should be identified and destroyed before they can cause any damage, but how to achieve this objective?

  44. 44

    [...] casi prisioneros rusos sino que los fusilaban. Fin de la nota, pero puedes continuar leyendo más aquí. El avance ruso sobre Alemania en 1945. La guerra termina en Abril-Mayo de [...]

  45. 45
    aaron says:

    The conscience of the author, is only the concluding sentence: "There can be no excuse for the horrible excesses committed by Soviet troops in Germany, but the Wehrmacht 's treatment of Russian prisoners might serve as one possible explanation for their behavior."

    Ande Maki raloctno shouted:
    - "As a Finn I must state that your comment of the human russians is a great piece of scrap. Rapers of 3 million german female "

    Dear Finnish friend, upset you never seen these women (in how-ever close numbers). Troupes of Russian women strewn all over Russia.

    • 45.1
      Alexander says:

      I am sorry, which troupes of Russian women strewn over Russia are you talking about?

      • 45.1.1
        aaron says:

        They were scattered in 41-45. You should not find fault with the words.

    • 45.2
      Alexander says:

      Scattered where? What are you talking about, just explain yourself in detail?

  46. 46
    renegado says:

    I see with stupor that the truth on the happened in the WWII continues without appearing clearly in the western countries. The Germans in its joint are guilties of the worst genocide of the history of the humanity. The Wermacht was a band of criminals, not only the SS and the einsatzgruppen. They killed by bullets , to more 1.500.000 men women and children before the creation of the gas cameras, burying alive with its mothers many babies and children who had not been shot, in these "actions" there took part not only the police but the Wermacht and the German colonists. There were more than 10.000 concentration camps, only in Berlin approximately 600, the population knew everything and was approving it, even after forced the Americans to a German woman to seeing a concentration camp, kept on believing in Hitler and she said that "Hitler of course did not know what it was happening".
    The Germans are a fanatics' people like the Japanese and this million criminals educated following wings generations of Germans, helped by the accidental ones due to the cold war.
    It surprises the kindness of the Russians with them and it is already seen as they are rewarded for Occident.

    • 46.1
      observer says:

      so where does one begin with genocide? i find it interesting that for the longest time for most wars, the immediate history has been written by victors (i am on victor side citizen just so its clear) – it often takes many years to allow access to archives to get a clearer picture yet the perceptions of many is already formed or should i say mislead

      yes the germans were lead by an evil man and organization that caused much death 6mil genocide plus WWII losses – all noted, and the world is shocked as germans have produced a high number of cultural musicians, theologans, scientists etc etc and were generally regarded as desired immigrants thru the 1800's by english, USA and other countries even earlier in russia, romania, hungary etc. for their ability to assimilate easily and strong work ethic

      — but if we're talking about soviets – lets start to look at the more recent data available via archives — for too long soviet victor bravado was a bit tainted —- like accusing germans for the massacre of polish in 1939 when it was finally revealed to be sovites….and no one said the soviets should send in 2 out of 3 troops without guns or shoot them for running too fast or too slow via commissars – of the many dead on the soviet side, how many were self induced?

      and lets not forget the purges prior to war…and the ukrainian mass genocide of 5 to 8 million depending on several estimates in '32 & '33 — it is only in the last decade or so that the accounts of Stalin deaths can be estimated in 20 to 40 million depending on who's account you take and if you truly include his full years from revolution to his death- i could list several sources – just google them — for genocide i include:

      so everyone can argue about POW's being treated better or worse but no one can suggest this man was better or worse than Hilter — both are evil and killed way too many people – one did it in shorter time and the other took his time killing just as many

      but you suggest the germans in general are evil — i would look to how Greece is reacting to its poor economic climate and the rise of neo nazi parties gaining in popularity to suggest that ANY nation given the right circumstance could react the same way – allow me to explain

      the end the treaty of 1919 was inhuman across the world in how "people" were parceled up — much of the world conflict TODAY in middle east, africa and asia stems from that poor agreement………….. and last time i checked germany didn't start WWI (austro hungary did, then russia, then germany) yet was forced to accept this as fact (desire to humiliate)—- yet the aftermath for them was hyper inflation, riots, gun fights between communists and other a nation thru out the 1920's while the rest of the western world boomed -so the rise of nazi's or some other extreme entity shouldn't be a surprise — and the west allowed it — allowed germany to rebuild its army beyond the 100,000, allowed it to re-occupy the ruhr industrial base region, allowed, sahrland to rejoin, allowed the occupation of Czech, didn't support internals groups that wanted to overthrow Hitler prior to Poland– BOTH poland and france EACH had larger armies than germany in 1933 — in fact the germans were training tanks and air strategies with the russians thru the '30s

      so the war ends — and lo and behold the german concentration camps that continue to kill are then controlled by the soviets for a number of years more — if you're arguing that they didn't kill people as fast — good for you — but the reality from archives shows us soviets under stalin killed as many perhaps more

      so the net to me is both sides were evil — caused way too many deaths — there is no right or wrong here — just wrong and wrong, between them both over 80 to 120 million died depending on how you count the numbers — germany is no longer a threat army wise or nuclear – russia still is on both accounts

      • 46.1.1
        Alexander says:

        Well, first of all I would like to point out that I don't consider the Germans as being evil, my grandfather did, its not the same thing. I do think that what the Soviets did in Germany, raping women en masse and so on, was not the right thing to do, because its wrong to punish innocents for the crimes perpetrated by others, you always should at least try to find them. I saw an interview of a German officer who admitted shooting at fleeing civilians in retaliation for a killing of German soldiers by partisans. I think he should be shot for what he did, but he wasn't, he had a nice life after the war and lived for many years laughing about what he did during WW2, while others who didn't do anything probably suffered.

        Its true that German aviators and tank crews even came to the Soviet-Union to train their skills, but on the other hand Russia came in international isolation after the revolution and Germany was the only Western country that accepted to work together with the Soviets, because Germany was itself isolated after WW1 due of the Versailles treaty.

        And as far as the Russian threat is concerned, if you pay attention to what is happening on the international scene, you should notice that its not Russia that starts most wars on the international scene lately, its US, in fact Russia didn't start any war recently, with the only exception of Chechnya, just in case you would mention it, but Chechnya is not a foreign country, it is in fact a rebellous province, its a republic that is part of Russia and also previously was part of the Soviet-Union, of course, the war in Chechnya was not an invasion of a foreign country. The only thing that the Rusisans were up to in Chechnya was to safeguard the unity of the country, thats all. And after the fall of the Soviet-Union and since the retreat of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, Russia didn't start any war on the international scene and didn't invade any country, but the US did. And not just in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya (the last two countries that I mentioned were attacked without any approval of the Security council) and now its very likely that the US will also engage in Syria and probably in Iran. Now give me please a name of a country which Russia recently invaded. So you should perhaps reconsider your point as to which country poses a bigger threat to the world peace, is it Russia or some other country?

      • 46.1.2
        Renegado says:

        Dear “Observer“ your argumentation is the typical one of the 60s and 70s in full cold war, mentioning other genocidies to turn the attention of the committed by the Germans.
        Surely there has been, and unfortunately, for your opinion and others, they will keep on happening genocidies, the Armenian ones in 1915 (quoted by Hitler like example of scarce historical memory, there he was right): “Who remembers the Armenian ones:”, I would say: “who remembers the women and children murdered by millions by the Germans!, not alone Jews“. The genocide of Rwanda in 1994, Pol Pot, etc.
        Surely Katyn was a political Stalin slaughter, but the dead persons do not come to 40.000, all men and of a shot in the head the majority, not tortured by famine for years or used for experiments. How many histories and movies have we seen of Katyn and how many of 3.500.000 Russian soldiers murdered by the Germans in a few months? 40.000 against 3.500.000.
        But it is not a numbers topic, any slaughter is horrible independently of the quantity. It is a moral topic if we can speak about morality after Auschwitz.
        The Germans were indoctrinated in its immense majority (not few ones like the western propaganda in the postwar period it has repeated insistently) for a racial theory for which to kill inferior human beings was almost a need and make propaganda openly for it. Average German, normal human beings were turning into killers to the least opportunity, especially with the Jews and in the East. I recommend the book “Ordinary men” of Christofher R. Browning.
        Nothing of that happened with the Russians, they did not have a killer ideology like the Germans, and the excesses of ends of the war it has no comparison with the brutalities and murders committed by the Germans with full cold blood and planning, for example creating brothels for the troops with sexual slaves for its soldiers (another silenced topic), and creating again the slavery that had not seemed in Europe from the Middle Age. No country in the history of the humanity created the factories of the death that the Germans constructed, it is the lowest step of the human history and as a proper Nazi said in Nuremberg, it will not be excused in 1000 years, and it is already forgotten by the majority. Not for me.
        Of the Gulag the majority returned, of Auschwitz not.
        Really new publications and new information are appearing on the WWII and the information of the GULAG, they being horrible, they are demonstrating that the number of dead persons is much less than the murdered ones by the Germans in the USSR, to start the children of the deportees were going to orphan-asylums, were not murdering them with its parents as the Germans were doing, it nor was gassed to 2/3 of the people who arrived to the fields of Siberia as also the Germans were doing. Also there are appearing more and more publications that demonstrate the implication of most of the German society in the racist politics and of extermination, finishing with the myth spread in the postwar period (and that still lasts) of a good people directed by a band of killers.
        We can speak about the famine of Ukraine, and about other calamities, but here it is a question of the deliberate slaughter approved by the generals of, I repeat, 3,5 million Russian soldiers in only a few months, it was the most rapid genocide of the history of the humanity, only similar in time to that of Rwanda and the persons in charge scarcely they received punishment. Many killers of the Wermacht and Nazi occupied important charges in the Germany of Adenauer.
        Why did Germany turn in a killers country it is another history. The agreement of Versailles is not an excuse, Russia for the agreement of Brest – Litovsk lost much more than Germany and did not attack anybody for it.
        The Germans voted in mass for Hitjler after this one was publishing its book “My struggle” where it was exhibiting clearly its killer ideas. When the German armies were conquering to other countries the people was pleased, only when the defeats happened some military men tried a coup d'état, earlier the majority also they were pleased with Hitler. we speak about a people that was preventing the foreign workpeople ( slaves ) and the Jews from coming to the antiaircraft refuges when the Allied Forces were bombarding the German cities.
        The euphoria with Russia they lasted little so a few months after attack to Russia they were defeated in Moscow and they stepped back bashfully with many scenes of panic (another fact silenced by the western historiography), Moscow was the beginning of the German defeat and not Stalingrado.
        The proper WWII served like example of how different peoples behave, while Italy and Denmark tried to protect its Jews, the Baltic countries, Hungary, Romania Croatia and of course Germany they were murdering them in mass. The Russians had a rare magnanimity with the Germans, I had not had it.
        Million Germans guilty of horrible murders stayed without the most minimal punishment and educated the following generations of Germans. What did they teach them? Really someone believes that the current Germans are not racist: Not to speak about a problem does not mean that it does not exist.
        There are many other causes of the collective culpability of the Germans for action or omission and it is very interesting them to study, the anti-Semitism of previous centuries, its psychology, its ancient adherence to a chief, its innate tendency to obey, etc, but it would be another topic.

      • 46.1.3
        observer says:

        – the comment on who is more of a threat today was about germany vs russia not a comparison on any other nations

        — so on that basis i said russia as germany has not attacked anyone since wwII, nor suppressed them or kept concentration camps running for a while after the war, nor has nuclear bomb etc etc

        since the end of the soviet union, russia has been more passive but i would think there is a concern on any nation where nukes and alot of arms exist, that the wrong leadership could come into play

        they are however supporting the syrian regime which has been quite brutal to their people while the west has not officially supported the rebels

        if we're to take this beyond that original comparison – i would agree that the USA has been very aggressive although i would not include Libya in that list and doubt they have the appetite to go into Syria. Shale gas and oil has enabled them to approach self sufficiency in energy recently – in fact there is a lower oil price in USA than world price – perhaps this makes them less paranoid?

      • 46.1.4
        observer says:


        any genocide is a bad thing and they have been happening for centuries when the world populations were less yet number high — but the magnitude and scale with newer technologies is the frightening thing so lets hope that they never get worse than what the world witnessed in WWII

        but i don't think anyone mentions others to deflect from the german ones — if anything it should be a reminder that mankind of any nation can turn out to be more animal than human….and wars tend to bring out the worst in people

        my point was that as a loosing side, history is written differently right after the war, say the first 20 to 30 years versus what is with cooler heads being written now….. and more has been discovered on both sides (ie hidden facts by germans as well as allies) Katyn was merely an example i gave of something blamed one way when in reality it was not true — how much more will be uncover like this?

        again you speak of germans as all participating in Auschwitz – what about the poles, hungarians, czechs, russians, romanians, croatians etc. etc. that participated willingly — do we broad brush them as all evil nations too?

        i completely disagree with your comments on average germans turning into killers — yet to say russians didn't kill, rape or mistreat is completely blind — they treated their own people worse than others especially those returning from POW camps –and then lets not forget how the eastern block was treated for years after the war and suppressed en force — are you really trying to say that these people were there of their free will cuz the soviets were to nice? If you take the war casualties out of the picture on both sides, soviets ie Stalin actually killed more people just because he felt like it – there are many web sites the outline and most dont include the civil war years or later years after '48

        i fail to see how starving millions is a more human way to kill people than to be "slaughtered" as you suggest. and yes millions more went to the gulags with a higher proportion coming out but many more were killed without even getting to a gulag….and those in gulags were also starved to death or died of illness due to poor conditions so again which is more humain? somehow i get the feeling you point to the germans to defend what soviet union did to its own people and others during this time and beyond — i say there is no right here — both nations were led by evil men that killed millions — one did so in a shorter period of time but the other did so over the couse of time and millions more than the first so i fail to see any justification that one worse or better than the other

        versailles wasn't listed as an excuse for germany, rather an issue that plagues many conflicts today — look at the middle east, asia and africa — colonial issues aside, the adjustments made by this treaty incorrectly affected many nations and has resulted in conflicts since then

        as for Brest-litovsk — that was a treaty by red army of convenience so they could focus on the russian civil war vs fighting germans in WW1 — i don't think anyone would agree that it would have held over the longer term

        please get your facts straight – hilter never got a majority in fact didn't even get over 34% of vote so to say the majority of germans "voted in mass" is completely incorrect on your part and shows emotion more than reason — and to suggest that everyone read Mein Kampf is also incorrect — its too bad cuz if they would including folks internationally, then perhaps more would have been done to stop him — but its also now known that germans did reach out to the British to get rid of Hilter prior to the start of war but were rebuffed…then as his diplomatic victories mounted it became harder to get folks involved and the moment was lost

        i notice that you don't mention how as germany advance into the Lithuanian etc. and Ukraine, they cheered as if liberated due to the repression from soviets — the fact that the nazi's did their evil deeds to turn them against them is fact and probably a good thing cuz if they would have kept them friendly the war might have turned out differently

        as to moscow vs stalingrad – i would agree that had the germans not focussed further south in the war that first summer (they lost a panzer division to the sourth for 6 weeks) and had concentrated on it again the following spring, it would have been worse for the soviets as most rail lines stem from there and would have been demoralizing — its well documented that hilter made a number of mistakes over-ruling his generals on what to do many times but its also a very good thing too :)

        at least in your last statements i see you are russian and deeply affected by this and hence the passion — but to think germans passed down their killing ways to the next generation is a bit much or is it racist? — perhaps you too think the germans stem from the assyrian race — a very war like culture that wanderd up from the middle east like a USA evangelical paster thinks (he put it into a TV show)? that's all nonsense

        If you look into their history, it is the Prussian influence that unified germany after the franco-prussion war in 1871 that is responsible for the efficient war machine — this has much to do with being a baltic nation caught inbetween russia, autro-hungary and france and stems from Frederick the Great defeating them with help from Britain — from WWII, i'm convienced the General staff and Prussian influence is finally broken – something that didn't happen in WWI – most are dead

        were there guilty germans that didn't get punished? – yes –and many were protected by USA, Britain, Roman Catholic church and USSR especially if they could help in technology, science, espionage and intelligence for cold war which is very unfortunate — and were there British, American, Soviet and other nations guilty of war crimes and inhumanity and never punished — yes — war is never a clean thing and many things happen when troops are stressed in a given situation

        did nazi's organize killings – yes and more effiently than others but again i'll point out that doesn't mean it was just them, many collaborators from all nations were involved – notice how i said nazi's instead of germans – hilter himself was an austrian

        does germany have racism today? – show me a country that doesn't!! But at least during world cup in 2006 in germany i didn't hear of such events like what was shown in Ukraine during Euro cup. Germany today has millions of turks, has even accepted that anyone with a german passport can play for the national team (earlier prior to 2000 this wasn't really the case)

        again if i compare where a threat to the world could come from either germany or russia….if anything the russian tendancy to adhere to authority still and without a real democracy – either in government or mafia, having nuclear bomb, history of suppressing other nations for decades, corrupt leadership (is communism supposed to be to help the work class yet somehow the party members all get rich!?) and being in wars more recently etc etc would make me worry more that way than the other — your personal history can sway you if you like

      • 46.1.5
        Renegado says:

        Dear Observer, is a pleasure to have a speaker who knows the history, although we should differ an some points.
        You try to give a global vision of diverse genocidies and the geopolitics in the XXth century. Precisely it is the topic that more I am interested in together with the WWII.
        The topic of this forum is the terrible slaughter of 3,5 million Russian soldiers for the Wermacht principally, and to this topic you does not dedicate almost attention in your assertion.
        We can speak about many other topics, surely the communism in Russia has murdered millions of persons (in its immense majority Russians), only in the first year of communism died more people that in all the XIX century and XX by the czars, no people has suffered so much either like the Russians, or even Chinese, in the century let's remember that the Germans murdered fundamentally foreigners.
        My friendliness is deep towards the Russian people, that in spite of having behind a bloody dictatorship as that of Stalin they fought against another dictatorship also killer and racist like that of Hitler, and they conquered them, but there was a big difference the Germans were trying to destroy races, nations, entire cities, of a deliberate and cruel, often sadistic form. Stalin was acting fundamentally for political motives, for example the Chechens were deported by the closeness of the Germans and its friendliness towards them, not by its race, and later they returned to its country, with a big mortality of course.
        The Cold War served to the Germans to avoid many punishments to its crimes since the Allied Forces already used them then against the Russians. Another example; the German judges of the IIIrd Reich (real killers) were absolved to or they condemned to condemnations from which they were reprieved in 1951, 1955, etc.
        In these brief comments often certain expressions are generals, but if we bring in in the detail the elections to the German parliament of March 5, 1933, they were gained by Hitler with 47,2 % of the votes, obtaining 288 benches, and 17.277.180 voters, the following parties were the SPD with 7.181.629 voters and the KPD (communists) with 4.848.058 voters. really Hitler did not obtain the absolute majority but it was allied by nationalistic parties and in the voting of March 23, 1933 when special powers were granted to Hitler for four years, only the social democrats voted in against, 441 deputies against 94. In that epoch "brown shirts" already had more than 4 million affiliates,
        and "Mein Kampft" had been published by million copies, soon Hitler began murdering and imprisoning its opponents, even to many that had helped him.
        Certainly when we speak about a nation of million inhabitants we cannot think that their 100 % is communist or fascist, but if we must have in all that the majority, of course USA there are communists but there are a negligible minority.
        My opinion, which is every day more endorsed for publications that they are appearing, since from the postwar period this truth has tried to hide, is that most of population had points of view similar to those of Hitler and that from 1933, this population was indoctrinated, especially the young people, in a racial and killer ideology as there has not been equal other one in the history. The communism, at least theoretically, was not looking for the elimination of other peoples but its progress, but we know already in that it has finished.
        Also the atrocities of the Germans (I repeat of most of them not only the SS) in the war of the East they had no comparison with the done as other nations, most of the violated German women lived to count it, the Germans were violating the Russian women and later they were killing them together with its families and many times their entire village. There is a difference. If you want I can give you details , and books, of all this.
        This forum is small to speak of all the interesting topics of the WWII, but I believe that the Germans, the majority of course, not all, are guilty for action or omission of horrible crimes and they did not have almost punishment.. You can argue to me that murders of the Gulag either, and agree, but we speak about the Germans and about the WWII. Hitler gave free rein to what most of the Germans were wishing and of course the immense majority knew the concentration camps and what it was spending, Another topic is if a normal citizen could in the rearguard do something. For example a citizen of United States of America knows that his army is torturing Arabs to obtain information. Can it do anything at personal level? Little or not at all. Nevertheless there were some protests in the IIIrd Reich and they obtained something, for example thousands of German women demonstrated to ask for the freedom of its Jewish husbands, and they obtained it !, what demonstrates that if there had been more protests there would have been a progress of the situation.
        About the current situation, a topic foreign to this forum, Germany has intervened recently in several conflicts and not of a pacific form. For example its recognition of the independence of the region of Slovenia was one of the motives of the war of Yugoslavia, it is as if the government of Mexico recognizes the independence of Texas when the army of USA, in fulfillment of the legality tries to prevent the secession.
        Russia has transferred immense territories 20 years ago and only she claims a safety, while the missiles are been placed in all its periphery. Let's remember another silenced fact, in the crisis of Cuba the Americans had missiles in Turkey pointing to Russia, and in the negotiations they imposed that the international secret was supported on it, this way the Russians were looking like the villains. As always.
        With great pleasure we can maintain conversations about this topic and others, especially WWII and holocaust in

        My blog

      • 46.1.6
        Oserver says:


        what i find disdurbing on your part is that you look at a point in time and broad brush a whole set of people as evil — you continue to write about Germans vs Nazi – big difference –basically this approach is no different than what the Nazis and all the nationals from various countries that participated with them did in mass accusing the Jewish people of all sorts of falsehoods too — why stoop to that? — are there "bad" people in any nations – why not hate the mongols who as a percentage of world population killed more people in their times than the nazi's?

        further to your posting

        you'll need to provide references to some of your facts – don't see any reference to 47% — 43% was the highest i could find – again my original point was make any nation desparate enough and they'll go radical willingly — just took to neo nazis in Greece and how Hungarians are mistreating Romas in their country today with no consequences — if you study the german period from 1918 to 1933 – massive inflation, unemployment, unstable governments, more street fights with guns etc between government, communists and fascists contributed to a large part of people grasping to someone that would make the chaos stop – that doesn't justify what actually happened but should certainly explain — french followed napoleon etc.

        absorption of any nation into another is to make it not exist – i do believe Russia and Soviet Union participated in this practise along with other countries — and many thousands to millions killed as i pointed out — does this make the russion people evil or bad – of course not – such generalities are always dangerous — its the leadership that is to blame

        usa is only nation to use the nuclear bomb – twice – does this make them evil – no — they killed natives and enslaved millions of blacks — but do they reflect upon it as a nation — look at their text books in school — or Soviet ones….or any nation…..

        so while this is a forum on german bad doings – broad brushing them all as you in particular insist on doing, is rather racist from my view and hence why i've stepped into the debate

        hatred upon hatred is what keeps this type of activity active in the human race as a whole — only now each us of us can spread it faster and for all time via internet than before – true or false it doesn't matter, people just publish what "they" believe —- which will lead to further genocides and hatred — that is what i find disappointing on your part – no further debate is required

      • 46.1.7
        renegado says:

        The topic of the behavior of the Germans in the WWII is especially a justice question. Immense most of the killers of thousands, million innocent victims have not received any punishment, even the opposite, filling important jobs in the German and western society (like Von Braun) of postwar period. The judges, doctors, engineers, industrialists, even chiefs of the groups of killers, the Eisengruppen, remained free or with punishments so minimal that as a judge of Nuremberg said, “a chicken' thief would have more punishment than these criminals”.
        The implication of the Wermacht in all the slaughters, was till now a taboo that is breaking, especially from the exhibition of 1995 in Germany, titled “Crimes of the Wermacht”.
        While the goods (buildings, apartment, paintings, factories, etc) of the millions of murdered Jews were stolen by the Germans, Polish, Baltic, Hungarian, Rumanian ones and other peoples involved in the slaughters, without any compensation (since in most cases the progeny also was murdered), a German association the Prussian Trust, to is devoted to claiming compensation for the descendants of those ethnic Germans expelled from present-day Poland and elsewhere after World War II.
        The graves of serial killers, like the SS and other Germans are taken care perfectly in Ukraine by funds of German private associations, while the graves of its victims, children and women for the most part, they remain without burying properly and as they stayed in mass graves from the WWII in most cases. I recommend the book “Holocaust for bullets” of Father Patrick Desbois Editorial Palgrave Macmillan 2009.
        An example between thousands is a recent article of Der Spiegel ( December 20, 2012 ) where he tells how the Germans were killing about 165 persons every day in Italy, an area little punished by them compared to others like the East of Europe.
        Therefore it is a justice question for the victims, that the German atrocities would be known, and since most of the culprits cannot already be punished, even now Hungary and Germany protect the scarce criminals who are taken to the courts. Recently Hungary has liberated a killer elder who had been taken to judgment after a lot of efforts. At least there must be of public knowledge the protection that these criminals have had and have on the part of these countries, Certainly the increase of the fascism in Europe and the neo-Nazism in Germany is every day more worrying .

        We are speaking about Germany, there are many other painful topics, for example I´m of the opinion that all the war criminals must be punished, but the behavior of the International court of the The Hague with the criminals of the ex-Yugoslavia is absolutely partial, while Croatian or Moslem war criminals are exonerated or punished to lights punishments, the Serbians are hardly convicted, even the prime minister of Kosovo, accused neither more nor less than of traffic of organs of Serbian prisoners in an inform of the European Council, is still free.

        It remains a lot of work for doing, but fortunately, little by little, the truth on the German atrocities, its absence of punishment and the implication of most of the German population in them, for action or omission, as says a writer, “too many few ones did something to help the victims and too much they did not do anything by no means”, it is going out slowly to the light with new studies and publications.
        The implication in the current German society of this past and the education that these million killers gave to their children and grandchildren is another topic to be studied, fortunately the current German society is very different from that from the 30s and 40s, but to claim that it does not have any relation with her is a utopia. What they have inherited and what not must be an object of detailed studies, I recommend on this matter the book “Can the Nazi Germans be re-educated” published by World Propaganda Clasics in 2009 and that was distributed in 1945 to the American troops in Germany.

  47. 47
    European says:

    fair article. Only at the end, when the author referred to "the horrible excesses committed by Soviet troops in Germany", he told a lie. Russian showed unprecedented humanism. Germans should remember this. Not only the Germans, but still, who got frightened us Ivan. It scares us today. But we have to remember.

    • 47.1
      poool says:


      Even though the Red Army didn't deliver the level of vengeance everybody was expecting, they still didn't turn out to be angels. They committed horrendous atrocities in Germany, but it was less than what the Germans already did in USSR, and/or would have done with the achievement of victory.

  48. 48

    [...] Nazi Victims of World War II". Weider History Group. Diarsipkan dari yang asli pada 19 Januari 2010. Diakses pada 19 Januari [...]

  49. 49

    [...] If double forced labour wasn't bad enough, during their time as POWs Soviet soldiers were among the worst treated in WW2. For example, when the food available for use in camps became incredibly scarce, Colonel Eduard Wagner issued an order to let prisoners starve to death. [...]

  50. 50
    Hannah Kim says:

    Hitler treated Soviet prisoners of war WORSE than he treated Western slaves because the USSR was a Communist nation. Think about this: In 1941 Hitler invaded Russia to destroy Judaism and Communism. The reason why in the West, most people deny this is because we think of the Soviet Union as evil.
    James Bond movies are very inaccurate about Russia: It should be mentioned at least ONCE Hitler attacked Russia; it NEVER happens in Bond movies! The "slaughter" at Katyn never happened!

    • 50.1
      renegado says:

      The Germans murdered en masse to the Russian prisoners not only for being communists but mainly racially motivated, the first to be killed as they were taken prisoners were political commissars, Jews (anyone with black hair that seemed Jewish) and those with Asian features, all of which were considered subhuman in German theory. After the war with their alliance with the United States the Germans managed to forget their main motive for murder, the race, and gave more importance to his anticommunist struggle to appear more friendly to Americans and the occidental world and to forget about their incredible genocides that is unparalleled in human history. Not even the japonese reached their cruelty and their many killed.

  51. 51
    Tim Upham says:

    The slaughter at Katyn Forest is attributed by the International Red Cross to be done by the Red Army.

    • 51.1
      Hannah Kim says:

      Katyn Forest slaughter did not happen. Like I said, Hitler murdered Soviet prisoners of war because the USSR was a Communist nation. By the way, I think anyone that seemed Jewish usually had DARK BROWN hair, not necessarily black hair but at least dark hair. It's the Jews that have the dark brown hair, the Asians who have the black hair. Also, I'm Asian. I have Asian features [raven black almond shaped eyes, light brown hair with black roots]. I believe the typical Asian features are black eyes and black hair, unless they dye it fair [pale yellow or light brown].

  52. 52
    Tim Upham says:

    The Katyn Massacre was independently confirmed by the International Red Cross. Also, Jews can have red hair, blonde hair, and blue eyes. Their characteristics are determined by the people who they lived amongst. Casimir the Great had a Jewish mistress, whom he had 3 children with. This type of mixing has been going on for centuries.

  53. 53

    [...] Forgotten Nazi Victims of World War II". Weider History Group. Archived from the original on 19 January 2010. Retrieved 19 January [...]

  54. 54

    [...] Nazi Victims of World War II". Weider History Group. Archived from the original on 19 January 2010. Retrieved 19 January [...]

  55. 55

    [...] BS. The Treatment of Soviet POWs: Starvation, Disease, and Shootings, June 1941?January 1942 Soviet Prisoners of War: Forgotten Nazi Victims of World War II Three million starved POWs in six months indicates your statement deliberate starvation was [...]

  56. 56

    [...] Intriguingly, the Wehrmacht officers were not tried for violations of the Geneva Conventions; indeed, the USSR had not ratified all of the Geneva Conventions, and this put Germany (which had ratified them) in an ambiguous position relative to its non-ratifying belligerent. (A less kind way to say it might be that the difference served to rationalize dreadfully inhumane treatment.) [...]

  57. 57

    [...] Nazi Victims of World War II". Weider History Group. Diarsipkan dari aslinya tanggal 19 January 2010. Diakses 19 January [...]

  58. 58
    Rustam says:

    Hi, my name is Rustam. I am looking my grandfather. His name is Ismailov Ahmed. He went to war from Uzbekistan. He went to WWII and never came back. Please if you know or you got list of WWII solders who died at War, please send it to my email adress

    Thank you very much

  59. 59

    [...] "Soviet Prisoners of War: Forgotten Nazi Victims of World War II". Retrieved 22 June 2011. "Before Operation Barbarossa began in 1941, the Wehrmacht determined that Soviet prisoners taken during the upcoming campaign were to be withdrawn from the protection of international and customary law. Orders issued to subordinate commands suspended the German military penal code and the Hague Convention, the international agreement that governed the treatment of prisoners. Although the Soviets had not signed the Geneva Convention regarding POWs, the Germans had. Article 82 of the convention obliged signatories to treat all prisoners, from any state, according to the dictates of humanity." [...]

  60. 60
    Jason says:

    This is a very interesting article, and not surprising. What a terrible story of man's brutal treatment towards man – sickening, and short sighted. Humans must stop being so self-absorbed. We all will ultimately be judged by our capacities to take care of others, to treat others with grace. How different we would think, if only we truly recognized our spirit selves, and the one God who made us. God bless you all, my brothers and sisters. May we learn to live in peace.

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