History 08/02/20 What trophies were forbidden to send home the soldiers
Soviet citizens at the end of the great Patriotic war first saw the German products did not always understand its purpose or working principle. This has sometimes led to tragic consequences, if it was about German captured weapons, or comic episodes, as in the case of everyday objects.
German property has begun to fall into the hands of Soviet citizens in 1943, when the Red Army began to push the German troops to the West and to liberate the occupied territories of the USSR. In January 1943, Stalin signed GKO decree “On the removal of captured property and ensuring its preservation”, where the authorities focus on the conditions of collection, recording and storage of German weapons, ammunition, equipment, scrap ferrous and nonferrous metals, economic values and other property, which, after a left retreating Wehrmacht.
the First time in the hands of Soviet soldiers were mainly captured weapons. He was taken away from the front lines and warehoused for the most part under the open sky. Soviet soldiers called these warehouses haystacks, as from a distance they resembled an oblong stack of hay. It’s a myriad of German small arms under the scorching sun, torrential rains and heavy snowfall gradually rusted and fell into disrepair.
an officer of the artillery supply 11-th Guards army Nikolay Aksenov noted that the beginning of later disassembly of the weapon debris was very unsafe, as many models of weapons were taken directly on the battlefield and the few who checked loaded or not.
Disassembly was performed mainly by women, as almost the entire male population was on the front. They had to explain a lot of nuances, for example, that you cannot pull out a weapon from the pile for the muzzle part and check it payload with the ramrod. However, to keep track of all worked. Feldman, who controlled the process, is told that once when approaching the scene of the showdown over his head whizzed through the cleaning rod: it turned out that the rules violated the warehouse, which was designed to monitor safety. The ramrod and the bullet pierced his brush, but his happiness didn’t hit any tendons or bone.
the Big danger of captured German machine guns, many of them the gates were armed. When loading happened the inevitable bumps, and if the receiver was the cartridge, it inevitably was a shot – for someone it could be fatal. Once at the base of the warehouse brought machine guns MG-42: they were in grease, Packed in boxes and wrapped in parchment paper, recalls Feldman. They did not check and sent directly into degreasing in a hot bath. After the procedure one of the workers dropped a gun butt on the floor – a shot rang out. After this incident, began to carefully check and Packed the weapon.
When the soldiers of the red army entered the land of Germany the number of trophies began to grow exponentially, the place of arms increasingly held items of army and home life. Fortunately, on the way met a lot of abandoned houses, warehouses and shops. In order to regulate the collection of captured property of the State Defense Committee in December of 1944 allowed the military once a month to send home parcels, limiting the privates and sergeants 5 pounds, officers – 10 generals can send a parcel weighing up to 16 kilograms. But this led to even more confusion: the soldiers had found a loophole to send home as many trophies as possible. Later the rules were tightened – the parcel was allowed to send only with the permission of the commander.
it was Forbidden to pack in the parcel, weapons, currency, printed materials, flammable substances. But the rest of the restrictions was not. Among the most popular items were shoes, clothes, fabrics, soap, needles, pencils, notebooks, sugar, egg powder, jams, coffee.
the Soldiers, who were lucky enough to get hold of the most rich trophy belongings were considered eligible suitors. So, E. Okhrimenko soldier boasted in a letter home: “Mom, do I have to accept a pretty boy, and he loves me and I love him… he, mommy, own a car and have suitcases full of trophies, clothing and shoes, and everything for me. So … my husband and wonderful will come home.”
At some point in the process of getting your suitcases trophies went too far, and the command began to worry that this may play a cruel joke and the magpie, and the army in General. Lieutenant-General Andrei Okorokov in his report wrote: “And if our carts are loaded with junk, it will lead us to sad consequences: we can compromise in the great offensive, which deployed … Bling can absorb our people.”
However, the generals and abused the opportunity to send home the trophies. They were allowed to take home cars, motorbikes, pianos, furniture, hunting guns, gramophones, cameras. One of the leaders by volumes of captured property became Marshal Zhukov: in 1948 he was found to have 194 of the piece of furniture 44 carpet and tapestry 7 drawers with crystal, 55 Museum paintings and more.
Many took everything, without examining how it is useful in the economy. So, Lieutenant-General Vladimir Kryukov was confiscated 78 window latches 16 of door locks, bike pump 44 and kilometers of captured tissue. Someone brought from Germany a bag Bicycle calls, but with the head of SMERSH, Viktor Abakumov revealed a suitcase full of braces that he was going to wear.
All in wonder
the Excitement with which the Soviet troops snapped up items German items well explained to those who fought in the 2nd Belorussian front veteran writer Vladimir Bogomolov: “Onkazanchis in Germany after four years of bloody brutal war, destruction, hunger, soldiers and officers of the red Army, to his surprise, saw a rich and well-fed German farm farmers own house with electricity, unprecedented household appliances in rural homes, the cabinets and drawers, and in them – clothes, good shoes, woolen blankets, feather duvets, a porcelain”.
a Lot of what the Soviet people was unusual. Greedy for all the beautiful officers ‘ wives looked at the fashion magazines that were brought by their husbands from Germany, and tried to match them captured in the image. However, it came out comical, and sad. Soviet women could not imagine that in Germany is made from silk linen with embroidery and so unabashedly wore lace camisoles-slips as evening attire, including for the theater.
an Interesting thing happened to war correspondent Lev Nikulin, which describes Sergey Dovlatov’s story “Solo on the underwood”. Experiencing passion for all sorts of unique things, Lev Veniaminovich walked the streets of the occupied German cities, looking for anything interesting. His cherished dream was a foreign typewriter. And then one day, going into the destroyed office, he found well-preserved underwood. Deciding that Moscow will easily replace the foreign font in Russian, it has taken to finding herself.
several months passed before heavy cast iron typewriter was delivered to the Soviet Union. Trophy Nikulin passed experienced mechanics in the hope that that no problem to replace “Latin” in Russian. And what was disappointing the reporter, after the wizard stated that the machine is intended for printing in Hebrew from right to left, and to carry out replacement is not possible.
Artem krechetnikov, a journalist of the BBC Russian service, told about a funny case of using a Soviet Colonel in the German patent shoes, which fell apart literally after the first noskie. It turned out that the officer expropriated shoes in shops selling funeral accessories. Boots, and sour cream on the live thread had a completely different purpose.
© Russian Seven
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