How did the Volga Germans in the Great Patriotic

History 31/01/20 How did the Volga Germans in the Great Patriotic

From December 1923 to August 1941, the year in the USSR there was an Autonomous socialist Soviet Republic of the Volga Germans. According to various sources, the outbreak of war among its population there were from 350 to 400 thousand ethnic Germans. Not less than 200 thousand were Russians and Ukrainians, who used the German language as the second native and close to their traditions in the German culture. And if before the beginning of the great Patriotic war, no national prejudice in the red army was not, then from June 1941, the attitude of the Soviet Germans has changed.

Difficult fate of the Volga Germans

the beginning of hostilities in the ranks of the Soviet army was more than 30 thousand ethnic Germans. Further appeal of the representatives of this nation were severely limited. Volunteers from the Volga region to the red army almost did not take. The exception was verified members of the CPSU(b), and those were barely in the hundreds. There is a legend (it is confirmed by the historian Boris Yulin) that the reason for this relationship was conducted by NKVD operation. Those under the guise of soldiers of the Wehrmacht abandoned in the Volga region the detachment of ethnic Germans, the alleged saboteurs. And despite the fact that the squad several times openly “lit up” by pretending to be (which was their intent), reports on the presence of the enemy deep in the rear of Soviet fronts in the top did not.

At the end of August 1941 the German Republic was liquidated and its inhabitants deported to Kazakhstan, Siberia and the Altai. Most of the Soviet Germans, those who before the war had served in the ranks of the red army, in September of the same year was transferred from the front to the rear of or were dismissed from the army and sent to their exiled families. And many of them had already managed to prove themselves as heroes.

the Soviet German war heroes

Ethnic Germans Toolkit, Kroll, Schmidt, Wagenleitner, Meyer, Kyung, Keeling, Miller and many otherse were the first who faced the Wehrmacht in parts of the Brest fortress. Should I remind you how bravely showed themselves defenders of this Soviet Outpost? Private Meyer, collecting a bunch of Germans dropped leaflets with the offer to surrender, he wrote to them in German: “Not to be a fascist pig in our Soviet kitchen garden” and threw it towards the approaching enemies. For heroism in the defense of the Brest fortress, he was posthumously awarded the order of Patriotic war II degree.

And this is just one example. But to describe them all, you will need at least several thick volumes. Oddly enough, despite the plans of the Third Reich, in the occupied territories of the USSR they have not been able to create military units of the ethnic Germans. They all continued to fight in the ranks of the red army, at least seven were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union, and about a thousand were awarded orders and medals.

in addition, it is worth mentioning the numerous defectors German soldiers and officers who sided with the red army, and recruited by the NKVD “for subversive and intelligence activities.” According to the documents and information the German of the memoirs of Helmut Altner such, there were at least 5,500 people.

Yaroslav Gorbunov

© Russian Seven

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