As Stalin did with the Soviet Germans in the Great Patriotic

History 22/01/20 As Stalin did with the Soviet Germans in the Great Patriotic

Ethnic Germans, along with representatives of other peoples of the USSR as the great Patriotic war joined the ranks of the red Army. But very soon, the party leadership decided that Soviet Germans have no place on the battlefield. He was prepared for other, less severe fate.

the beginning of the great Patriotic war in the USSR, there were about 1.4 million ethnic Germans. However, the Soviet leadership was extremely cautious approach to the process of their mobilization: to the front preferred to send trustworthy citizens of German nationality: Communists, political officers, human resources officers. For example, in August 1941 from the Volga German ASSR were selected only 50 people – all members of the CPSU(b).

On the Soviet front, the Germans showed themselves from the best side. So, in the ranks of the 88th infantry division fought from 547 of the red army, the Germans, none of them showed cowardice and went over to the enemy, which is so feared in the Kremlin. A lot of Germans were among the defenders of the Brest fortress, many of them showed miracles of courage and heroism.

In the late summer of 1941 under Rogachev died heroically Lieutenant E. Erdman. His group was encircled and was completely destroyed. He survived one. And then the officer decided to simulate surrender. He raised the stick a white piece of cloth and clean the German shouted: “don’t shoot, I’m German!”. But as soon as Erdmann around the closed ring of the encroaching soldiers of the Wehrmacht, he detonated a grenade.

of Course, the Soviet Germans and representatives of other peoples of the USSR found themselves in German captivity. But, as shown by the analysis of 360 filtration POWs, the Germans of the Volga region, only in 9 cases the surrender was deliberate, otherwise the capture was due to the hopelessness of the situation. In addition, the Germans in vast majority of cases refused to go on withcooperation with the German authorities.

that All changed in September 1941 with the release of the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR “On the resettlement of Germans residing in the Volga area”. Now their path lay beyond the Urals. The Soviet government attributed this to the fear of mass transfer of the German population on the side of Nazi Germany. For the Volga Germans was followed by other Volksdeutsche, including those who fought in the red Army.

According to the Directive of people’s Commissar of defense of the USSR from September 8, 1941, ethnic Germans spoke as from the army because of military educational institutions and other army structures. They were instructed to send in the inner district with enrollment in the construction battalions. Commanders were allowed to keep parts of the military personnel of German nationality, but this had to be made only through petition to the Ministry of defence.

the Germans-soldiers, to avoid deportation, went to all sorts of tricks, including taking the documents of their fallen comrades – so they became the Russians, Ukrainians, and even Azerbaijanis. They often helped the commanders, the truth and the truth hiding from the all-seeing eye of the NKVD. But the process was started, the vast majority of Germans were outcasts in their own country. Those lucky enough, were under the strict control of the security services, are separated from the rest of the personnel.

In the book “On the bones of trudarmeytsy” Alexander Nachtigall leads the recollection of one of the Soviet Germans, which never came to the front. “Without waiting for call, I decided to contact the nearest recruiting office. I was engaged… to Belstroy”, – he said. Interestingly, the same fate awaited atheromasia his officer, who was “much too suspicious name”.

by the end of 1941, Soviet authorities resettled in Siberia and Kazakhstan more than 800 thousand Germans. The male population was mostly sent to construction of industrial facilities in the Urals but in reality – the building of a camouflaged object of the Gulag: Sevurallag, Bacallao, Twinlake, Alikalia, the bogoslovlag, tagillag.

able-Bodied German population was the basis of the so-called “Labor army”. Power in such a way solved two problems: reduced among the German immigrants of social tension and compensate for the shortage of workers. In fact, it was the isolation of the “dangerous German contingent” through engaging in hard labor.

Subject to the mobilization of the Germans were obligated to come to the Assembly points of the people’s Commissariat of defense. If yourself ordered to have winter clothes, stock clothes, personal hygiene items, mug, spoon, bowl and a 10-day supply of food. For failing to report to mobilization points violators were waiting for the harsh measures including the death penalty. According to the archives of the NKVD, on 1 January 1942 by the construction work, there were over 22 thousand Germans.

“Labor units” were divided into two types. The first was created with the construction of the Gulag and obey the camp authorities: they ensure workers occurred according to the norms prescribed to the prisoners. The second was formed when civil people’s commissariats and departments, and obeyed their leadership, the regime of detention here was less stringent than in the units functioning in the system of the NKVD.

Mobilization of the Germans in “the labor army” occurred in several stages and lasted until the end of the war. Estimated for the period from 1941 to 1945, excluding repatriated in working groups has generated over $ 316 thousand ethnic Germans.

In each of the labor camps had their own specific work. So, in the Vyatka camp mobilized Germans used the forest, isolatory and lesopogruzochnaya works in Baillage they worked at the steel, and Bogoslovie – at the aluminum plant. Mass character the use of the labor of Soviet Germans wore in the coal industry, as well as on railway construction.

When the main mobilization resources ethnic Germans were exhausted, the authorities undertook other categories of the German population. In particular, in the archives of the NKVD, it was discovered that in the construction of the various people’s Commissariats were the disabled groups 2 and 3 and pregnant women of German nationality.

By April 1945 the number of German trudarmeytsev accounted for about 10% of the total number of the labor contingent of the NKVD. Unfortunately, they could not boast of the standards, as many of them lacked skills in the workplace. For example, at the Aktobe plant based the mass of workers were represented by immigrants from agricultural regions of the country and had no notion of specifics of mining operations.

the quality of the Germans, of course, was affected by difficult living conditions, shortage of warm clothing, poor nutrition, lack of medicines and qualified medical assistance. Unlike many other categories of workers they had to work 14 to 20 hours a day, which led to a significant deterioration of the physical condition and disability. Thus, according to the trust “Kaganovicha” only in March 1944 due to his injuries was recorded a loss of 765 people.

the mortality rate among German “trudarmeytsy” as a whole did not stand out compared to other categories of workers. However, some figures are still impressive. According to the textbook “History of Germans in Russia” by doctor of historical Sciences, Professor A. A. German and doctor of philosophical Sciences, Professor T. S. Ilarionova, 1942 at the enterprises of the people’s Commissariat of internal Affairs died 11 874 ethnic Germans (10% of total work). And for all time of existence of Belstroi Chelyabmetallurgstroy the average death rate among the Germans-trudarmeytsy amounted to 17.3 % (the second position after prisoners).

the Germans in the labour units are always treated in a special way. So, the camp guide, “Belstroy”, reporting to the authorities, wrote: “In order to ensure complete isolation of mobilized notmcev operating on the territory Bakal plant, created round-the-clock cordon and completely excluded all external communications of the contingent”. The only “privilege” of Soviet Germans – they were not settled next to political prisoners. This, according to authorities, testified that the Germans are not equated to “enemies of the people”, and their isolation is only a necessary measure in wartime.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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